Friday, August 17, 2007

Esther Dyson on personalization and Google

Esther Dyson has an interview on the Charlie Rose show that covered several topics, including health, space travel, search, personalization, and social networking.

At 34:22, she talks about personalization, personalized search, and behavioral targeting. Some quotes:
The big issue for Google is going to be personalization.

You sort of see them dancing around this issue of, well, I could do much better search for you if I knew [more about you].

They are very, very concerned about the privacy issue. They're terrified that this is going to be a problem for them.

It's pretty clear Google wants someone else to go first with personalized search to get people to be more relaxed.
Esther goes on to say that she expects smaller companies to take the lead on personalized search and advertising. The implication appears to be that, once these startups nicely warm up the public on personalization, Google will launch all the personalization features they have been holding back, using their big data and big clusters to dominate the field.

The rest of her interview is interesting, especially if you have a strong interest in health, but also just for the tidbits on other technology companies. For example, at 33:38, after a discussion of social networking, she says, "Yahoo should have become Facebook."

See also my May 2007 post, "Esther Dyson on the future of search".

[Charlie Rose talk found via Adario Strange]

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