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Sobees: aggregation on your desktop

Like many of the other DEMO presenters, Sobees is designed to collect and categorise the web-based information you're interested in. But Sobees does it in a desktop application instead of via a site or browser add-on.

The app is designed in modules. You can add a panel with Facebook updates, another with tweets from the people you're following. You can also have a separate panel with information related to a specific topic you're interested in. That panel could include things like news stories, photos, and related tweets. But you can swap modules in and out depending on the mix of content you want to see.

You can also use the Sobees application to upload information to multiple services -for example, demo putting photos on both Flickr and Facebook at once.

7 Billion People: more personalised shopping

Unlike the other services and apps that I've mentioned here, 7 Billion People isn't anything you can go out and try on your own. Instead, it's a service that the company hopes e-commerce sites will use to make shopping a more personal experience.

The developers of 7 Billion People say they use linguistic and behavioral psychology to analyse what you do on the web and to figure out from that analysis what kind of shopper you are.

Their demo showed the service running on top of Amazon.com (though they noted that Amazon is not a customer). One company exec went into the site and immediately drilled down to the specs of a camera he was looking for, ignoring all reviews by other customers and recommendations of other popular products. When he returned to the site, his experience was tailored to him - specs were front-and-center, while most information about reviews and recommendations by other shoppers was buried.

His colleague went to the same pages, but clicked first on user reviews and information like 'Other people who looked at this product also looked at ....'. When he went to an Amazon page for another product, the site immediately opened up the user reviews page, figuring he would probably be interested.

I'm always a little skeptical of artificial intelligence that's supposed to be as sophisticated as the kind 7 Billion People is using. But if they can get that analysis right, the service could actually make online shopping more efficient for everyone. It's currently only available with US-based sites.

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Edward N. Albro

PC World (US online)
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