Mario Sgambelluri interviews Claria EVP/CMO Scott Eagle about Claria's plans. Some excerpts:
PersonalWeb [brings] the content that a user wants together in one place -- creating a customized web page based on their online interests -- automatically and anonymously.Reading this interview, I have two reactions.
PersonalWeb learns what topics an individual user is interested in ... [and] recommends new content that matches their interests -- content they may never have discovered otherwise.
As personal interests and favorite websites change over time, the PersonalWeb page also changes -- remaining totally personalized with content relevant to each individual consumer.
PersonalWeb creates a customized home page tailored to a user's unique interests -- automatically. There is nothing for a user to set up or maintain.
Less than 10 percent of consumers take the time to manually configure or personalize a home page. Our internal research shows that the other 90 percent want the benefits of personalization but either don't know how, are too busy to bother, or feel that the page will become outdated if they don't continually update their preferences.
With so much happening online in terms of the vast amount of content available to discover, it can be difficult for consumers to easily find and enjoy the content most relevant to them. The solution is technology that understands your ever-changing interests and automatically brings you what you like most.
On the one hand, it good to see enthusiasm for personalization of content and information. Scott Eagle is saying that personalization can help readers find interesting content they wouldn't find on their own, all without any effort. The focus on the reader and helping the reader is promising.
On the other hand, I am concerned to see this interest in personalization from a company with a reputation for developing intrusive adware products. I am worried that having a known adware vendor working in personalization of information could push users toward distrusting all personalized websites, setting back development in the field for years.
See also articles on Claria PersonalWeb in BusinessWeek, New York Times, SiliconBeat, and TechDirt.