One of the most interesting things about the web in 2009 is the ease with which people can be tracked across the internet. The Backtype system we use here at TheNextWeb frequently gets people talking as it ‘magically’ pulls in comments people have left about our posts around the web.
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DailyPerfect asks you to do just one thing; enter your full name on their front page. With just that information, it analyses publicly available information about people with your name from across the internet. This ‘digital footprint’ includes websites, forums, social networks and the like. From here it displays a list of current news stories from around the web that it thinks you will be interested in.
I was particularly keen to see how it would handle my results. My namesakes include a notorious Australian mass murderer and a man who writes Chess simulation software ; would it think I was interested in nothing but killing and boardgames?
Well, the results were surprisingly good. It brought up a large number of reviews of iPhone apps and a variety of tech news, meaning it obviously correctly guessed my interests. A couple of stories about deaths and chess did creep in but it’s very easy to fine-tune the results through rating the topics it thinks you’re interested in.
The site is intended as a demonstration of their API that allows developers to harness this personalisation technology in their own projects. It’s being targeted at sites with lots of content and lots of users. For example, a large news site like the New York Times could ask visitors to type in their name and retrieve stories relevant to them.
In the past month we’ve seen Wolfram Alpha and Google Squared launch. DailyPerfect is another example of the automated, interpretative search technology that’s going to change the way we use the web forever.