April 30, 2007

Wise Crowds of Long-Tailed Ants, or something like that

Baynote sells a recommendation engine whose motto appears to be “popularity implies accuracy.” While that leads to some interesting technological ideas (below), Baynote carries that principle to an unfortunate extreme in its marketing, which is jam-packed with inaccurate buzzspeak. While most of that is focused on a few trendy meme-oriented books, the low point of my briefing today was the probably the insistence against pushback that “95%” of Google’s results depend on “PageRank.” (I think what Baynote really meant is “all off-page factors combined,” but anyhow I sure didn’t get the sense that accuracy was an important metric for them in setting their briefing strategy. And by the way, one reason I repeat the company’s name rather than referring to Baynote by a pronoun is that on-page factors DO matter in search engine rankings.)

That said, here’s the essence of Baynote’s story, as best I could figure it out.


4 Responses to “Wise Crowds of Long-Tailed Ants, or something like that”

  1. Joshua Stone on May 1st, 2007 12:51 am

    Curt, if it’s true, 20% revenue lift is astounding in ecommerce. Most stores, including mine, would kill for a 5-10% lift from a marketing campaign, technology implementation, or adding additional SKUs. To bolt on anything and get 20% is phenominal.

  2. Text Technologies»Blog Archive » Huge e-commerce gains claimed by everybody on May 1st, 2007 7:15 am

    […] those numbers really mean. (Flagship customer = Land’s End.) Baynote makes more modest but still large claims. (Flagship customer = no big names that I’m aware of.)  Endeca is clearly the market […]

  3. Curt Monash on May 1st, 2007 7:16 am

    A fair point, Joshua. Thanks. I accelerated another post based on your comment, as per the trackback above.

    One thing about Baynote — due in part to their packaging and pricing, they may be a whole lot more accessible to mid-market/small players than some of the obvious alternatives.

  4. Elastra - somewhat more sensible Amazon-based DBMS option | DBMS2 -- DataBase Management System Services on September 24th, 2008 6:45 am

    […] track record includes Powersoft, Octel, and Employease — but also Pets.com, Napster, a company that gave me a ridiculous briefing, and a .524% career NBA free-throw […]

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