Personalization is one of the top buzzwords for 2011. But it’s not
without merit. Indeed, building a personal experience on the web can
improve user retention, reduce bounce rates and (in an ideal world)
even improve commerce. But it’s tough to balance the traditional
approach to user-generated content with the hard math of
As you probably know, sites that generate or curate content from users
rely on having a small number of producers feeding a huge set of
consumers. When you cross into the world of personalization, most
sites filter down their content to that produced by a friend. The
problem is that not many people create — ever. And typically, people
only have 150 to 300 friends. If your friends don’t create content,
the personalized experience can be very, very lonely.
In this session, Sanjay Vakil of TripAdvisor will share a case study
on how the company has tackled this problem with a “Personalization
Pyramid” and created a better custom experience for its users.
Sanjay heads the social team for TripAdvisor. He oversees the company’s Facebook applications and the Facebook Connected elements of the core site, including the “Instant Personalization” effort. Before joining TripAdvisor in October 2009, Sanjay founded several startup companies, including LuckyCal, a predictive calendar tool, and PatientKeeper. At PatientKeeper, Sanjay helped to raise the first $51 million of funding and built their handheld application and multiple generations of the server side platform and its associated integrations, making medical information securely available on the web. He is coauthor of multiple patents filed during his tenure. Sanjay holds S.B., S.M., and Ph.D. degrees in Aerospace Engineering from M.I.T.
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