I was just watching a good interview from CNN that Roopa Mathur sent me a link to (Google PR/Lobbyist Adam Kovacevich and Expedia attorney Tom Barnett) when by chance I came across another story on CNN.com called Personalizing the internet in 2011. Both stories are worth watching, but the only comment I’ll make on the first story is to point you to the comments of Amadeus CEO David Jones ( but then check out this video and spot the similarities with the CNN story). The second story on personalization gives me much more meat for a blog post here.

It was only yesterday when posting predictions for 2011 that I wrote “personalization will be the buzzword of the year” so interesting to hear Hunch co-founder Caterina Fake saying “I really think that 2011 is going to the year of personalization.”

The early emphasis in the story is on using local positioning as a means of driving personalization, but of all the forms of data and the associated privacy concens that may hinder adoption and having consumers embrace personalization, this is one that airlines need to be very careful with. The reporter Maggie Lake sums it up nicely when she replies that this “frankly, freaks me out a little.” Personalization is so much bigger than GPS, but this is the first point usually mentioned in any story like this.

When many people bring up privacy issues they often miss the mark, but Caterina Fake makes a very interesting observation when she says “the feverish connecting that we did in Web 2.0 is starting to decline.” Is unfriending / defriending coming back into vogue? What I think she is getting at is trying to draw us into thinking about the socialgraph versus tastegraph argument – this was the underlying point when I asked the following question back in July,

Does the search component of travel inspiration require more technological muscle and grunt, or is it social over science and personal contacts over proprietary cache?

I’m not sure we have a definitive answer to that question yet, but it really is at the heart of how an airline direct channel builds its personalization architecture.