I’ve been thinking recently about the role of ‘advanced search’, i.e. the practice whereby some sites withhold certain aspects of functionality from ‘standard’ search and accommodate them instead within a separate search experience. Now, there’s a longer story to the rationale and value in doing this (which I’ll cover in a subsequent post), but it reminded me of the following presentation which addresses the issues of audience segmentation and personalization more generally. In particular, it describes an attempt to develop a framework for understanding the various types of personalization seen online and define them in terms of their fundamental characteristics.
To test it we applied it to a few notable instances to see where they would fit. The outcome revealed personalization types that could exist in theory, but don’t in practice – which of course starts you wondering why. I should point out that the ‘research’ behind this was relatively modest, so it’s by no means the final word, but it’s interesting food for thought (until I get round to writing a proper piece on ‘advanced search’ :)