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Feb 2nd 2014

Top 5 Reasons to Personalize Your Content

As part of your friendly neighborhood semantically driven personalization engine, Gravity, I thought it would be fun to share the TOP 5 REASONS TO PERSONALIZE YOUR CONTENT! (Note: you can't see, but I'm making jazz hands while I type this).

  • We are all special snowflakes - Every reader is unique, so why do we give them all the same content experience? The Interest Graph captures and measures our individual tastes and motivations to make content experiences as differentiated as we are (within a finite set of qualified permutations).

  • You have a metric ton of content - We're new to the company, but our initial analysis of the collective AOL content corpus places it somewhere in the "Holy Moly" range. Within the vastness of this sea of content, there is something to address virtually any interest a human might have. Personalization helps each piece of content find the users who will love it.

  • Content promotion is a real estate problem - Whenever we present users with a set of content, we are sadly limited in the number of pixels at our disposal. The proliferation of mobile has only exacerbated this real estate crunch. Personalization is all about making efficient use of the space we have to show readers content they'll love. For example, I'm not much of a sports guy so every sports story promoted to me is a missed opportunity. But swap out Super Bowl stories for more on what the texture of dinosaur skin was and we've got ourselves the beginnings of a party!

  • Personalization works - Interest Graph-based personalization is the most performant mechanism for engaging users bar none. Graphs are fun, here's one:

  • Gravity is fun to work with - There's nothing more exciting to do with your time than applying big data to user experiences (don't judge me).

Mar 22nd 2012

MapQuest Shares Data Eye Candy

With literally millions of data points pulsing through MapQuest's products each day, we find it easier to visualize and ultimately make use of the information as an infographic, rather than a standard spreadsheet. According to comScore data for February, more than 35 million people each month searched for maps, directions and places such as restaurants, airports, hotels and top brands -- data is something we have a lot of and it tells us a lot about what's interesting to our users.

We even used this MapQuest data about where people like to go to create MapQuest Vibe, our local discovery product. If you haven't had a chance to download one of the top free travel apps in the iPhone store, go to the MapQuest Vibe site or search for mqvibe in the iPhone store to help you find cool neighborhoods and the best restaurants, bars, and shopping wherever you are.



View / download full-size by clicking here.

Mar 20th 2012

AOL Launches AdLearn Open Platform

Today we launched the beta version of the AdLearn Open Platform (AOP), an extension of Advertising.com's current AdLearn technology that will allow clients to manage, optimize and analyze online marketing campaigns from one central platform.

At AOL we are committed to product innovation in the ever-changing marketplace, and strive to provide the best services and tools available to advertisers. An in-house team of industry veteran sellers, PhDs, business analysts and experts in the non-reserved space built the AOP platform that provides digital marketing professionals with access to the robust AdLearn optimization technology, real-time bidding (RTB) capabilities, massive reach and premium inventory.

AOP is a natural progression for our business and was built with input from our enterprise clients as well as an in-depth understanding of the needs of agency trading desks. The platform was designed to arm and empower marketing professionals with technology that drives the highest and most efficient ROI possible. It delivers tools that marketers need to effectively manage every dollar spent on their brand including scaled performance, transparency, quality inventory, advanced campaign control, access to data and audience insights in one central platform.

Advertising.com has been running the largest and most sophisticated non-reserved inventory marketplace for more than a decade. With the launch of AOP, we are well-positioned to become a strong player in the programmatic buying space.

We expect the full launch of the platform to occur this summer, and we plan to continue to build features within AOP throughout 2012.

Nov 15th 2011

Michael Manos Speaks at 7X24 Exchange Fall Conference


Michael Manos, AOL VP of Technology Operations, presented at the 7x24 Exchange Fall Conference in Phoenix on Monday focusing on "Managing Disruption: A Data Center Love Story." During his presentation, which was covered by Rich Miller for DataCenterKnowlege.com, Manos shared his expertise on data centers, incorporating references to movie romances like "The Princess Bride," and discussed AOL's efforts to reform and update its technologies:

"AOL runs about 60,000 servers, Manos said, which are spread across five primary data centers in North America and Europe. "We're talking about dramatically reforming what was one of the world's largest Internet companies," said Manos. "In our case, the data center team was very plugged in and wanted to improve. What we did was come in and radically reduce the cruft."

A starting point was "Project Ops-Surdity," a mission to find and retire servers that were plugged in but not performing any useful functions. "In 10 months, we've been able to reduce our footprint by 4,500 servers," said Manos. "It's been a lot of work."

Click here to read the full article about Manos' presentation on DataCenterKnowledge.com.

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