GraduationThe Personalization Roundup is an ongoing blog series featuring the most evocative news, articles and blogs curated by Baynote each month highlighting the rapidly growing topic of web personalization. Over the last month we saw an uptick in articles examining the role of personalization in developing more targeted web search and social media strategies. From a former Microsoft director launching a personalized recommendation iPhone app to why Pinterest is integral to all retail marking strategies, these articles highlight the need for companies to develop eCommerce personalization strategies that engage the customer and aid product and information discovery.

“5 Reasons Pinterest is a Must for Business Marketers,” Forbes – In an article examining the marketing value of Pinterest, our very own Scott Brave is quoted on the use of affinity data—or data on user likes and preferences—to develop marking strategies. Scott states, “Individual pinning choices are interesting, but there is even greater opportunity to analyze segments of people who express an affinity for a product or category in aggregate.” The article further elaborates on Scott’s comment by discussing the value of using affinity segments to improve messaging and targeted outreach.

“Former Microsoft Dealmaker Fritz Lanman Launches Livestar Recommendations App,” AllThingsD – Fritz Lanman, angel investor and ex-Microsoft senior director in corporate strategy and acquisition, launched Livestar, a personalized recommendations iPhone app. While Livestar is currently focused on restaurant recommendations, the app plans to add movies, music and wine recommendations. Unlike other personalization apps, Livestar lets users quickly send recommendation requests to people within their existing social networks. Whether those requests are answered or ignored remains to be seen. According to Fritz, “If we can get your friends to review, this can be a big company.”

“4 Ways to Make Metrics Actionable,” iMedia Connection – In this contributed piece, I follow up on our recent “Metrics Therapy”white paper with specific steps retailers can take to develop and execute on the key metrics driving their business. Strategies highlighted in the article include: establishing a common glossary of measurement terms, holding in-person meetings once a week to discuss key metrics, investing in a data warehouse all employees can access, and developing educational resources to help employees better understand how to analyze and use metrics data.

“Google’s New Brain Could Have a Big Impact,” MIT Technology Review – Published a month after the launch of Google’s Knowledge Graph, this article discusses the value that the Knowledge Graph has added to Google search, in addition to its potential uses. Currently, the Knowledge Graph contains over 500 million entries that provide Google users with immediate context and details on search inquiries. Shashidar Thakur, the tech lead for the Knowledge Graph, says his current priority is to find ways to use the Knowledge Graph to answer more complex questions.

“E-Commerce Accelerating Due to Personalization, Pinterest and iPad,” AllThingsD – This contributed piece by Sergio Monslave, partner at Northwest Ventures Partners, highlights three “megatrends” driving eCommerce’s impressive growth. Not surprisingly, personalization tops the list. Sergio states, “with social sentiment tools, analytics and ‘big data’ insights, e-tailers today can match products to consumers more scientifically, and on a much more granular level.” Combined with Pinterest and the success of the iPad, Sergio believes e-commerce transactions will pass the $100 billion mark by 2017.