Baynote, a company that provides recommendation technology for web publishers, businesses, and others, is launching a new software service — what it calls its Collective Intelligence Platform.
The Cupertino, Calif. company has been developing software that tracks user behavior on a web site or other communication channels like email, identifying then sorting the variations in visitor behavior into a bunch of different categories. So if a user comes to a site and starts randomly clicking around on front page articles, those actions will indicate to Baynote that they’re new to the site and looking for general information. Baynote then serves up what it considers to be the most relevant articles from the site, in an interface like a sidebar window of recommendations.
On the other hand, if a person comes to a site and clicks only on articles about a particular topic, or does a search on the topic, it indicates that they’re on the site for a closely-defined reason. Baynote will serve up closely related articles and other information.
See screenshot below for an example of user behavior differences within a site about children’s health.
Today’s news is basically that the company is taking this technology and turning it into a platform for publishers to analyze a wide range of services. Its new email recommendation services let a Baynote client display targeted ads or products in emails to customers. Its new mobile service, like its web service, makes content recommendations based on visitor behavior.
Another part of the new platform, “Baynote Insights,” promises to give more detail about a site’s community. An analytics service, it lets publishers see specific behaviors of new groups of visitors on a site, behaviors of groups of existing users, and more. It also lets publishers track how Baynote targeting affects pageviews, engagement, clicks, and changes in revenue. Finally, a publisher can also use the platform to customize Baynote recommendations on a site to emphasis specific types of content.
Baynote competes with Aggregate Knowledge and Loomia, both of which use their own differing methods of targeting content — all of these companies have been reporting a strong reception from large clients over the past year or so. However, chief executive Jack Jia tells me he sees the most direct competition coming from “homegrown solutions” that companies build on their own.
Baynote wouldn’t disclose revenue to me, but said it was “significant” for a 50-person company. It already has many brand-name clients, including Expedia.com, NASA and Symantec.