Alex Barnett blog


June 2006 - Posts

Search & Enjoy! (Podcast) The Power of Search and Recommendation

"Speakers from Microsoft, Blinkx and discussed issues of content regarding search, recommendation, the semantic web and the ownership of data in the Web 2.o era at Content 2.0 on 6th June 2006."

I was on the panel with Matthew Ogle of LastFM and Surunga Chandratillake of Blinx TV, two UK companies doing some very cool stuff in the area of collaborative filtering as content recommendation systems.

FORUM: Search & Enjoy! The Power of Search and Recommendation
Featuring Suranga Chandratillake of Blinkx, Alex Barnett of Microsoft, and Matthew Ogle of Last fm, chaired by Mike Grehan of Marketsmart Interactive
Filesize: 36.2 meg
Length: 1.15.17 

You can listen to the podcast here and a detailed write up here.

I was invited to discuss Attention and My Data. The word Attention (with a capital 'A') had been mentioned a number of times during the day and I took the opportunity to define the concept as I understood it. The My Data notion combined the Attention Data idea with topic of customer data ownership and its portability. I asked both Matthew and Surunga if they were thinking along these lines and they both confirmed that they absolutely were.

Matthew explained how they are planning how LastFM users will be able to export their playlist and associated metadata away with them (which tracks they listen to, how long, times of day, frequency etc) and plug them into other services if that what users want to do. I loved that.

Surunga said he also support this 'my data' approach in the context of Pico but pointed out some of the privacy issues associated with allowing this level of flexibility.

He also made a great point re: the wishlist analogy I've used as attention data. I had talked through the scenario where a user could take their wishlist from Amazon and plug into another booksite, such as Barnes and Noble online to get pricing on those books and recommendations based on the wishlist. Surunga suggested that we should be able to use that same wishlist in any service that was capable of recommendation - the point being that the books you read would be a great pointer to the kind of video, podcasts, blogs and audio content that my be of interest to you.

I really enjoyed the session, starting off my piece by explaining that I was at the conference under false pretences - I wasn't there to pitch Microsoft products of MSN Search or the new raft of Live services, but that I had been invited to the conference because I had been blogging and talking about Attention and the 'my data' stuff and the organizers liked what I wrote. I later found out from the organizers that Microsoft UK pr team had seemed bemused as too why I had been invited to talk and not one of their senior MSN EMEA VP superstars. The power of blogs indeed...

More Posts