Data Portability

January 11, 2008

Been a while since my last post, top of mind right now is all this data portability stuff triggered by ScobleGate.

scoble thumb

Worth reiterating in case it’s not clear that the idea that your data is yours has been at the very heart of matchmine since day one.

We’re working through the details on what this means before we get more formally committed to it, but we will get behind APML, and we very much support the objectives of the Data Portability Workgroup. Our platform can easily enable users to export their preferences as APML, which as a standard will inevitably provide a baseline rather than a comprehensive solution. We believe users – as well as the publishers and advertisers who are other important constituencies in this problem – will need both tools and platforms to manage this data, and in some cases deeper science to extend it’s functionality.

Trent has already reached out to Chris Saad with an offer of help. As soon as he gets out from under, look for something about matchmine getting on board.


Surfing The Net With Dory

December 28, 2007

My monthly column on Adotas, the lead story in the mag. Cool!

Adotas » Surfing The Net With Dory – The Absent-Minded Online Service


matchmine headlines GigaOm!

December 6, 2007

To be honest, I never imagined I’d be so excited for us to appear in somebody’s blog. If you’re going to be in one, though, this is the one.

My favorite bit:GigaOm

What I like about matchmine is that it lines up my multidimensional taste profile (my MatchKey) with the multidimensional profile of a piece of content. For example, I like “The Princess Bride” because it combines comedy with romance and a bit of fantasy; matchmine can find other movies that have similarly specific profiles.

matchmine reminds me a bit of Pandora, which doesn’t use collaborative filtering but rather searches for music based on the characteristics of music you say you like. Pandora, however, doesn’t construct a personal profile of you to match to the music; it starts with music you specify.

matchmine can also match you to other people, by computing the similarity of your respective MatchKeys. That would be another path to find content you might like.

matchmine works across content types and services, effectively bypassing the compartmentalization of personalized recommendations. But it does so in a way that doesn’t compromise privacy, because you retain control of your MatchKey. Plus, when used to make recommendations, it’s not associated with any identifying data.

Wow. Totally get’s it. Get the whole post here:
matchmine: Made for the Multidimensional You – GigaOM

It’s a movement, baby. Resistance is futile…

More thoughts on facebook…

November 29, 2007

Published an article in ADOTAS today, looks like this will be a recurring column.adotas logo

It’s been an interesting couple of weeks in the mediasphere. On the one hand, we’ve had Facebook asking advertisers to belly up to the buffet of targeting data made available through their new ad initiative. On the other, we’ve seen the behavioral targeting crowd launch a “Do Not Track List,” which would clearly take some of the tastier goodies off the online ad targeting table. So what’s it all mean? Should responsible advertisers start salivating over the pictures on the menu? Or should they re-commit to their diets just as the all-you-can-eat cruise ship leaves port?

Comments welcome.

Privacy & matchmine

November 8, 2007

Lots going on right now at the intersection of facebook targeting capabilities and “do not track” initiative from Tacoda. Marta Kagan does a nice job expressing how many people feel about all this, including me.

The pressing question is what do do about it.

I see 3 strategies:

  1. Do nothing. Accept that privacy is an illusion, or at least make the implicit decision that the risk isn’t really worth the hassle of something else to deal with in your life. It seems like most people under 30 are here, though it’s not clear whether that’s a generational or life-stage phenomenon.
  2. Maintain your anonymity online. Don’t give out your e-mail address, turn on cookies, or download anything, which pretty much cripples your ability to get the stuff you want on the Internet. Might as well go off the grid, buy a Che t-shirt and make baskets.
  3. Take control of your own online privacy. Take the active measures you can take today to manage your online identity (the private browsing feature on Safari and Sxipper are two of my faves.) And get behind emerging initiatives like ours that further empower individual people to take control of their own privacy and preference data.

This last one is the most attractive, but as is so often the case it also requires the most work.

The privacy case to do that work with respect to matchmine is pretty simple:

  • Your MatchKey knows a lot about what you like but nothing about who you are. Yes, the download is a pain-in-the-ass (and it will be optional soon,) but as we get more and more partners on board it will enable you to get what you want in lots of places online without compromising your anonymity with so much as a user name.
  • You decide – explicitly – who you want to share your key with and who you don’t.
  • It gives advertisers – who when they’re not twisting their mustaches and tying maidens to train tracks are paying for all the free stuff online – just the information they really need to make sure their advertising is effective for them and relevant to you.

Wouldn’t that be cool? It’s a movement, baby. Get on board.