Collective Intelligence and Web Version 2.0

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There is a great deal of hype regarding the World Wide Web, Next Generation. And one thing to be said about hype is under the candy coating, there is truth. One of these more interesting kernels of truth is known as collective intelligence. Collective intelligence is used to improve the user experience at different websites. If you have done any shopping at Amazon.Com, you understand the power of collective intelligence.

One of the sites there to provide collective intelligence is Avail Intelligence. As I'm looking at their website, their homepage is showing a counter where they say their service on a worldwide basis is improving their customers revenue on the order of five dollars every second. However, this Swedish-based company is not providing web-based collective intelligence, without competition.

Silicon Valley companies such as Cisco, Google, Juniper, VM Ware, and others such as Expedia and NASA are have all been swooned by another California company by the name of Baynote.

Baynote works as a SaaS (Software as a Service). The firm collects data and delivers it via JavaScript. (Yes, they provide the script). On your side. Just add tags to your site and your good to go. The company claims it works with any website application or search engine without upgrading or replacing any part of your web sight.

In keeping with the concept of security through obscurity, they don't say much on the topic except to say encryption mechanisms including 128-bit SSL support. They also say they can support large sites and used NASA's site that is an example, supports 15 million visits per month or more.

Baynote uses a variety of inputs to create custom socially driven applications. This collective intelligence is known as behavioral targeting technology.

Other firms in the game (or at least were, before being purchased by others) include: DoubleClick, BlueLithium and Tacoda.

However it seems that Baynote and Avail are the two leaders in really putting the word Intellegence to the term collective intellegence. Baynote states is is not dependent the conventional approach to behavioral targeting such as zip code, age, and income level.

The end result should be a more pleasant end user experience, without giving away your personal data. As I have always been wary of data aggregators, I'm delighted.

Tcat Houser (Just because I'm paranoid, doesn't mean they aren't out to get me) has authored a number of books in the Information Technology field. You can find out a bit more by visiting his personal web site, http://www.tcat.net

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