The importance of recommendation engines

If long tail economics taught us anything, we now understand the
importance of diverse content and the tremendous business potential
outside of the world of block busters.

When applied to the mobile space however, two key problems exist with
long tail economics:

1. A phenom of human psychology I refer to as "obsenity of choice".
When offered too many options, we humans become paralized like a deer
in the headlights.

2. The complexity of I/O - getting search criteria into those little
mobile keyboards and understanding the results on those tiny little
screens make Inputs and Outputs (I/O) a real constraint.

To avoid this, content providers will be forced to build very
sophisticated reccomendation engines that can be taken advantage of
"passively" in the mobile domain and enhanced and maintained
"actively" through the tradational browser.

Pandora, the popular music engine has done a nice job of this.

In the future, I expect multi-screen reccomendation engines that shape
user preference across the mobile screen, cable tv program guides and
online. The best engines will use collaborative filtering as a base
and enhance the equations using interpurchase time, geospatial,
attitudinal and demographic inputs.

Look for future posts on multi-channel reccomendations as some of our
pilots go live.

J. Patrick Bewley
(501) 205-4066

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