Serendipity Is Not An Intent
From the post:
Wired had two amazing pieces on online advertising yesterday and while Felix Salmon’s piece The Future of Online Advertising could be Yieldbot’s manifesto it is the piece Can ‘Serendipity’ Be a Business Model? that deals more directly with our favorite topic, intent.
Twitter is the greatest discovery engine ever created on the web. But discovery can be and not be serendipitous. Sometimes,, as Dorsey alludes to, you discover things you had no idea existed but much more often you discover things after you have intent around what you want to discover. This is an important differentiation for Twitter to consider. It’s important because it’s a different algorithm.
Discovery intent is not an algo about “how do we introduce you to something that would otherwise be difficult for you to find, but something that you probably have a deep interest in?” There is no “introduce” and “probably” in the discovery intent algo. Most importantly, there is no “we.” It’s an algo about “how do you discover what you’re interested in.”
Discovering more about what you’re interested in has always been Twitter’s greatest strength. It leverages both user-defined inputs and the rich content streams where context and realtime matching can occur. Just like Search.
If Twitter wants to build a discovery system for advertising it should look like this. (emphasis added)
Inverts the advertising and when you think about it, the search algorithm. Rather than discovering, poorly, what interests the user or answer as question, enable the user to discover (a pull model) what interests them.
Completely different way of thinking about advertising and search.
Priesthood of the user? Worked (depending on who you ask) a long time ago.
Maybe, just maybe, a service architecture based on that as a goal, could disrupt the current “I know better than you” push models for search and advertising.