Pondering Personal Data, Online Privacy and the eCommerce Experience while I wait for the Semantic Web to arrive. I am a co-founder of First Retail Inc. - a bootstrapped startup in the Bay Area of California working to leverage semantic web technologies to improve the online commerce experience.

Priming the iPad for for Frictionless Retailing

Back in the late nineties Jeff Bezos of Amazon.com coined the term 'frictionless retailing' - throwing down the gauntlet to online retailers to improve product search, personalization, customer loyalty, recommendations and simplified carts and payments - yet today the consumer experience is far from frictionless. The arrival of the iPad could enable online retailers bring their shopping experiences up to date.

Technology Trends #6 - Information Security

The sixth post in the series on Technology Trends examines how as large swathes of the world's data moves online, individuals and organizations move to protect that data


  1. As more data moves online, organizations and individuals struggle to maintain effective security of that information as hackers find increased rewards for their efforts

Technology Trends #7 - Scuba Diving the Web

The seventh post in the series on Technology Trends discusses the long awaited trend of machine readable data and how that can be applied to create a new range of context aware applications


  1. The web will graduate from the Corporate Web (organizations create brochure and transactional websites) to the Deep Web where user generated content and data resident in databases becomes index-able and available to those with sufficient authority

Technology Trends #5 - Democracy Moves Online

The fifth post in the series on Technology Trends imagines how government and public administration functions move online for the convenience of both governing bodies and citizens


  1. Online services for consumer reviews, polling and voting are increasingly popular techniques and were the forerunner for user generated content.

  2. The entertainment industry is using real time polling and opinion capture to determine programming and script tactics

Technology Trends #4 - Data is the New Oil

Technology Trends #4 - Data is the New Oil

The fourth post in the series on Technology Trends explores the growing value of personal data and how services to catalog and trade it will emerge.


  1. Aggregated personal information is already a valuable commodity both officially (marketing lists and profile data) and on the black market (credit card and personal identity information)

Technology Trends #3 - The Data Explosion

The third post in the series on Technology Trends discusses how data volumes will explode and organizations will not only need to store and classify data, but also extract meaning from it.


  1. As systems are automated two things happen – more objects take on an existence in a database and more electronic transactions involving the object take place – this is simply more data

Technology Trends #2 - It's All Social Media

The second post in the series on Technology Trends explores how online media and user generated content are fusing completely leading to all web-properties becoming social media.


  1. All websites develop an interactive component where individual to individual exchanges are facilitated – many product (B2B and B2C) organizations are rushing to ‘communify’ their commerce sites

Technology Trends #1 - Mobile and Connected


This post, the first in a series on Technology Trends, discusses how mobile devices and physical objects will begin to take their place on the virtual web. Their location and properties will be mapped and through various services, users will be able to interact with them.

Creation and adoption of new technologies and the resulting changes in behavior is faster than ever. Organizations of all types struggle to keep pace with new technologies. Those who are able to spot opportunities and then play to them, gain a temporary advantage over their peers.

You say Influencer, I say Influencer

When you say "Influencer" do you mean the same thing as me when I say "Influencer". A question I have been asking a lot recently and wondering why it is not being asked a lot more seeing as so many people are saying the word. As my team at Overtone has been working on new algorithms to determine key participants in online conversations, the question as to whether they are actually influential keeps coming up.

The most common definitions of Influencer?

Humanities Greatest Challenges and Personal Data

The panel discussion on Humanities Greatest Challenges caused me to ask the question: Can we use technology, the web and personal data to help us reduce our consumption of energy, water and fossil resources without necessarily reducing our sustenance, security and comfort and without restricting developing nations to enjoy the same prosperity? After all, this is mostly a blog about personal data.

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