Friday, March 02, 2007

Autogenerated content for the Google Personalized Home Page

Kai Shih has the post on the Official Google Blog about a cute new feature that will autogenerate content for new tabs on the Google Personalized Home Page.

For example, I named a new tab "geek" and got a page with articles from Slashdot, Wired, PCWorld, PC Magazine, Engadget, MajorGeeks, and HowStuffWorks. A tab named "search" had searches for YouTube, eBay, WhitePages, YellowPages, Wikipedia, and

Compound queries do not seem to work as well. "Computer science" yields a page with matches for "computer" like PCWorld and PC Magazine and matches for "science" like ScienceDaily, Scientific American, and New Scientist. None of that was the hard core computer science stuff I was expecting.

Obscure stuff does not work at all. For example, requests for autogenerated pages for "cryptography", "mysql", or "findory" returned empty pages.

Nathan Weinberg at Inside Google, who talked with Google personalization lead Sep Kamvar before writing his excellent review, reports, "The system relies on many factors, primarily other people who have named their tabs the same way you've named yours, sees what Gadgets are popular in that set, and gives you a page of them."

The next step, I would assume, would be to try to generate a tab or, more boldly, the initial version of the personalized home page using the information in your search history. That would be very cool, like My Yahoo or Netvibes but with no effort to set up and configure.

See also Philipp Lenssen's review at Google Blogoscoped.

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