Content Assistants for Messaging and Social Media

June 26th, 2013 & Filed under Use Cases

Small conversational data such as tweets or text messages are a goldmine of individual interests. Millions of people everyday tweet about their favourite food, send a Kik or Facebook message about a recent TV episode, or take a photo on Instagram while attending a sporting event or concert.

However if you’re trying to recommend content or promote offers within a conversation, the ability to determine a user’s interests from these small data inputs is a huge challenge.

John Koestier in Venture Beat writes:

…tweets are difficult to register commercial intent…

If I tweet about my wife’s illness, are you going to target me with a random medicine? Or if you tweet about a great dinner you’re just about to eat, will you really be receptive to ads about a Greek restaurant just down the road?

In this post, we’ll show you an elegant solution for content recommendations, applied in messaging and social media platforms.
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Personalized Web Content for Your Application

June 19th, 2013 & Filed under Use Cases

Back in the early days of the Web, the Yahoo! Directory filled a huge gap in the ecosystem.

This portal helped us make sense of the Web. It organized content based on topics, connected those topics into a hierarchy to make sense of it all, and standardized the presentation of the content so that it was convenient and accessible.

But where can you find a portal that makes content from the Web accessible in your application? If you want to incorporate content from the Web into your app, let alone personalize it to the individual interests of your users, you’re undoubtedly confronting some daunting problems:

  • the content isn’t described in a way your application can understand;
  • the content isn’t organized in a way that matches your app; and
  • the content isn’t presented in a way that makes it easy to incorporate into your user experience.

In the sections that follow, we’re going to introduce you to a simple solution. Primal is like a personalized Web portal for your app. It’s a data service that makes it easy to incorporate Web content from sources you trust, tailored to the needs of each individual user of your application.

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The Myth Behind Big Data and Privacy

June 11th, 2013 & Filed under Industry Analysis

We know what personalization means and the compromises it imposes on our individual privacy.

Or do we?

This is perhaps the most insidious myth among the technorati: In order for people to benefit from advanced and personalized technologies, they need to compromise their individual privacy.

This idea is remarkably pervasive and damaging, driving both consumers and businesses away from the opportunities of personalization and next-generation information services.

In this post, I’m going to introduce you to the myth and the underlying villain, Big Data. I’m also going to argue that innovation is a much better path forward than evil, or doing nothing at all.
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Using Scala Implicits to Implement a Messaging Protocol

June 3rd, 2013 & Filed under Developers

We’re building some cool new stuff at Primal. Awesome ideas and talented people are a must have in order to build successful and exciting products, but we also need our tools to step up to the challenge. This is why we’ve started adopting Scala and Akka. In this post, I’m going to describe how we’re using Scala’s implicits in order to implement a very important part of our internal messaging fabric, without having to over-burden the business logic. Read more »

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A Smart Machine as a Content Curator

May 31st, 2013 & Filed under Use Cases

In this post, we’ll show you how to add Primal’s data service to your content curation solutions, as a fully automated, machine-editor.

We’ll also highlight the practical applications and benefits of using a smart machine as a complement to your manual and crowdsourcing strategies. Specifically:

1. How to filter out irrelevant content from your content supply.
2. How to provide personalized collections of content.

For our demo, we’ll use a content aggregator called Alltop, and show you how to recreate these examples and build a similar solution yourself.

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Trixie’s Story: Virtual Assistants and Interest Graphs

May 27th, 2013 & Filed under Industry Analysis

I was meeting with two guys, one a technologist, one a business advisor.

The discussion was focused on Primal’s technology: semantic user models, knowledge representation, yada, yada…

The business advisor, having listened patiently for some time, finally interjects, “Tell me what this means to Trixie!”

“Trixie?”

“Yes, the everyday person. Tell me a story of why Trixie would care about any of this?”
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Introducing Primal Assistants: A framework for software agents

May 27th, 2013 & Filed under Developers

Primal does a lot of heavy lifting in knowledge representation and content filtering. If you ask it to grab you some relevant content around your interests, it will do precisely that.

But what if you don’t want to have to ask? Search engines are fantastic, but they still require that you go to them and then try to figure out how to formulate your query in a way that gets you decent results.

Primal already has the ability to understand what you want, and we’re now working on some technology that will let Primal deliver you the content that you truly care about before you know you want it.

Read on to learn more about Primal’s new software agent and content streaming framework.
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Why The "Star Trek Computer" Needs Open Data…And Scotty, Too

May 24th, 2013 & Filed under Industry Analysis
Scotty

Do you share this opinion?

So given that, what can we say about the eventual development of something we can call “The Star Trek Computer”? Right now, I’d say that we can say at least two things: It will be Open Source , and licensed under the Apache Software License v2. There’s a good chance it will also be a project hosted by the Apache Software Foundation.

The rationale? ASF provides an awesome array of advanced technologies, in everything ranging from NLP, information extraction and retrieval, machine learning, Semantic Web, and on and on. It’s like a free, all-you-can-eat buffet! (er, Star Trek food synthesizer?)

I share the enthusiasm for open source tools. We use many of these technologies at Primal.

But this is where their science fiction story starts to lose me:

Of course, you don’t necessarily need a full-fledged “Star Trek Computer” to derive value from these technologies. You can begin utilizing Semantic Web tech, Natural Language Processing, scalable machine Learning, and other advanced computing techniques to derive business value today.

We often meet product developers and entrepreneurs looking to build next-generation intelligent solutions.

If these advanced technologies are available for free, why not just jump in and start building?
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How to Train Your Personalization Dragons

May 1st, 2013 & Filed under Industry Analysis

I love this post by Joshua Fruhlinger, Please don’t personalize me. I know who I am. It captures a sentiment that many of us share (1) (2) (3). Joshua provides a wonderfully non-technical and simple summary:

I know who I am. I don’t need Facebook or Google or Microsoft or Apple or anyone else to collect data and tell me what I’m interested in. I’m pretty sure I know what I like and don’t like.

It’s a great point: Not only are big data approaches to personalization privacy-invading and offensive, they don’t work very well!

dragons-1There are much more direct and transparent ways to approach the opportunity of personalization. A system that allows you to be the master of your interests is self-empowering.
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Primal: "Welcome to your interest network"

April 24th, 2013 & Filed under Product Updates

Some things are too important to leave to anyone else. For me, the health of my family is one example. There isn’t an aspect of that interest that I can live without. And when new information surfaces, it needs to find me.

Whether its your health, your business, or your life’s purpose, you need comprehensive information and a service that’s dedicated to your individual interests, 24/7.

Where can you find an information service dedicated to the topics and content you truly care about? Your interest network would be as unique and one-of-a-kind as you are. But you don’t have the time to build it yourself and you don’t have the money to get others to do it for you.

Welcome to Primal, your interest network, made-to-order. It’s free for individuals and affordable for companies of all sizes. And now anyone can start an interest network. Read more »

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Primal CEO Yvan Couture featured in Communitech's 15th anniversary video series

November 30th, 2012 & Filed under News, Team

As part of their 15th anniversary celebrations, Communitech decided to check in with a few key entrepreneurs from Waterloo Region’s world-class technology community, including our own CEO Yvan Couture.

In this video series, Yvan reflects on the genesis of Communitech and his role in growing Waterloo Region’s technology community.

Watch the video here.

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Social Media Analysis using your Interest Graph

September 5th, 2012 & Filed under Use Cases

News alert! Your social network wants to get to know you. Unfortunately, identifying and understanding your interests based on 140 characters is pretty hard to do! That’s why marketers are busy trying everything to get to know you better.

In this post, we’ll demonstrate how Primal can be used to power social media analysis. This demos highlights tweets about topics you are interested in and helps you discover related topics that people are tweeting about right now!

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