CNN -- Nov 20 -- Everything you buy online says a little bit about you. And if all those bits get put into one big trove of data about you and your tastes? Marketer's heaven. Pandora creates unique "radio stations" for three million users. Whattorent.com administers a personality test and recommends DVDs. The Web, they say, is leaving the era of search and entering one of discovery. What's the difference? Search is what you do when you're looking for something. Discovery is when something wonderful that you didn't know existed, or didn't know how to ask for, finds you. When it comes to search, there's a $145 billion company called Google, but there's no go-to discovery engine - yet. Building a personalized discovery mechanism will mean tapping into all the manners of expression, categorization, and opinions that exist on the Web today. Professor John Riedl built one of the first recommendation engines in the mid-1990s. "The social web is going to be driven by these systems." Amazon remains the prime example. Levchin, (31, co-founded PayPal) is creating a "machine that knows more about you than you know about yourself." Slide is a slide show photo-sharing site. But photos are just a way to get Slide users communicating, establishing relationships. The site culls news feeds and gathers real-time information from eBay auctions or Match.com profiles etc. It drops information onto user desktops and watches to see how users react. FULL ARTICLE @ CNN
Mark Brooks: When I was 22 and fresh out of college I decide to spend a winter selling cars at a Ford dealership in Los Angeles. (This was after four summers selling aerial photography door to door in Pennsylvania and Michigan). I learned a lot from my American sales closers and counterparts. One of the things they repeatedly told me, and ingrained in me was "buyers are liars." This seemed like an extreme mentality at the time, but, at the core of this message, they were telling me that people really don't know what they want. They were right, and this is most true for the internet dating industry. Users absolutely need help and guidance. Some users know it, some don't. The premium money is in serving those who know they need help and guidance, and are willing and able to pay for the help. Unfortunately they are more likely to get creamed than get real knowledgeable guidance and assistance. This will change, and the (high integrity) companies that lead this change will be the Google's of the internet dating world.