Selling recommendation data as a business model

Pelago/Whrrl CEO Jeff Holden made some interesting comments in a discussion with Greg Sterling.  First, he talked about the opportunity for recommendations in local search:

He discussed how this might apply to the emerging arena of “footstream” data and recommendations for people and places in the real world on mobile devices. Tracking mobile user behavior yields lots of data about the types of places users go and their real-world behavior. This hypotehtically could deliver local recommendations based on user profiles and corresponding “footstreams.”

Given Jeff’s background from Amazon and the nature of the Whrrl application (which has now been somewhat re-positioned) I always thought this was the ‘end-game’.

But perhaps even more interesting, is the possibility of making money off the acquired data in a more direct way:

Footstream tracking of individuals would have to be personal by necessity (with all the potential privacy questions), but the local recommendations Holden spoke about could be provided anonymously to users who are grouped into certain profiles based on their favorite places and activities in the real world.

He hinted that there might be an emerging business model here for Pelago as a repository and provider of this type of data for other publishers and sites.

I can imagine this raising some interesting privacy discussions, but it seems entirely logical – even inevitable perhaps.  And a tangible indication of the value of collecting such usage data!

RELATED:

Publishers: Your Usage Data is More Valuable than Your Content

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