When Real Time Is *Not* Fast Enough: The Intention Web

Things started slow
I remember when people would go to conferences, take notes, then share them a few hours or days later.  Then in 2005-2006 I noticed people started to live blog sessions, anxious readers would refresh as the page was updated in real time –sometimes with photos.  Fast forward to Dec 2006, Twitter emerges to the early adopters and people begin to share in real-time.   Plurk, Jaiku, and then Facebook status updates emerge, followed by the enterprise vendors like SocialText, it’s not just a product, status updates are now a feature.

[The Intention Web: A Published, Anticipated Goal.]

When Real Time Is Not Fast Enough: The Intention Web
I’ll be presenting at Europe’s largest tech conference, LeWeb next week.  My topic?  When Real-Time Isn’t Fast Enough: The Future Of the Web (I’ll publish slides, later).  In particular, with event planning features, like Facebook events, upcoming.org, we’re starting to see people make explicity public remarks on what they want to do, when, and with who.  Welcome plancast.com a startup by Mark Hendrickson formerly of Techcrunch who created this simple website that allows people to broadcast what they plan to do next using Twitter or Facebook.

Web Strategy Matrix: Asynchronous, Real-Time, and Intention Web

What It is, and Examples Opportunities Challenges
Asynchronous Web Information exchanging between multiple sets of time. People publish, someone else reads later.  Examples: News sites, press releases, websites without social features. Information with longer term shelf life can be archived and consumed. Much of today’s information is related to real time events, people want to share their thoughts and experiences, this is quickly getting outdated as social features empower real time conversations appear, regardless.
Real-Time Web Information published as it happens, often, content is consumed in real time, with the reader also broadcasting back, resulting in synchronous communication. Examples: Twitter, Jaiku, Facebook Status updates. Consumers can give instant feedback about their needs. Companies can respond to the immediate needs of customers. Excessive noise from everyone publishing their status. Companies unable to sort through noise, prioritize, and react. This problem to compound over time.
Intention Web Information that provides explicit predictions of who will do what next, although it’s not happened yet.  Examples: Upcoming.org, Facebook events, Plancast. Update: Silicon Valley Insider writes about Tweetmeme, Topsy, Sency, OneRiot People can connect to each other, improving experience. Businesses can provide a more contextualized experience for customers or prospects using Social CRM Explicit intentions may not be true, the future is always uncertain. Companies can barely keep up with real time web –let alone predict the future.

Intention Web Provides People and Companies Opportunities
Some may call this the, anticipation web, intention web, or forward looking web, but regardless of the name, there are some unique opportunities:  1) People can now use their social relationships that have similar goals or events on their cal and improve their experience.  2) They can also identify who in their social circles are most likely going where, increasing their knowledge of top events.  3) This provides businesses with the ability to listen to provide highly contextualized offerings and experiences for those explicitly stating their intents. Once a listening strategy is developed, expect Social CRM to be in the foreground mining, organizing, and making this data actionable.

Yet Barriers Will Challenge Consumers and Companies
Yet the intent based web is also fraught with challenges for both people and companies.  1) Status updates are still getting traction.  Twitter has the media hype, but not yet the mainstream adoption, so you can’t expect the social behaviors of everyone to broadcast their future intents.  2) For those that do broadcast their intent, should be concerned about privacy and personal security.  3)  The future is always uncertain, a great degree of intention data will be inaccurate. 4) Most companies can’t even keep up with the asynchronous web, let alone the real-time web, and certainly not the intent based web.


Screen shot 2009-12-04 at 5.42.12 AM
Above: Plancast allows me to broadcast my goals which include, what, where, and when.

Screen shot 2009-12-04 at 5.41.41 AM
Above: My goals can now be published to Twitter, Facebook, or to my friends on Plancast.

Screen shot 2009-12-04 at 7.10.05 AM
Above: Community can subscribe to Paul Greenberg’s intentions, who’s set a goal to attend the upcoming SAP event.

Bottom Line: Intention Web Will Provide Consumers With Contextualized Experiences
Expect the real-time web to quickly evolve into the intention web. People will work together to share their information about what they plan to do, and improve how they work or organize. Expect Social CRM systems (Salesforce, SAP), Brand Monitoring vendors (Radian6, Visible Technologies), and Search Engines (Bing and Google) to quickly try to make predictive models on what could happen, and what are the chances. Businesses that have a physical location like retail, events, or packaged goods can use this data to anticipate consumer demand. They may offer contextualized marketing, or increase or decrease inventory or store hours to accommodate. Don’t be surprised in the future and you walk into a store with your preferred items, meal, or drink already nicely packaged for you.

164 Replies to “When Real Time Is *Not* Fast Enough: The Intention Web”

  1. If somebody could build a great minority report filter we could mitigate some of the risks for intention web ;).

    I agree prediction and anticipation on for example customer behavior is very important, you can offer great service if you can fulfill the customer's need before the customer has a demand for something. On the otherhand, he won't even notice (and appreciate) that you provide him with this service since he wasn't longing for it at that moment (although he would be in a few minutes / days).

  2. If somebody could build a great minority report filter we could mitigate some of the risks for intention web ;).

    I agree prediction and anticipation on for example customer behavior is very important, you can offer great service if you can fulfill the customer's need before the customer has a demand for something. On the otherhand, he won't even notice (and appreciate) that you provide him with this service since he wasn't longing for it at that moment (although he would be in a few minutes / days).

  3. If somebody could build a great minority report filter we could mitigate some of the risks for intention web ;).

    I agree prediction and anticipation on for example customer behavior is very important, you can offer great service if you can fulfill the customer's need before the customer has a demand for something. On the otherhand, he won't even notice (and appreciate) that you provide him with this service since he wasn't longing for it at that moment (although he would be in a few minutes / days).

  4. Jeremiah, I have the utmost respect for you. I do have to call silly on this though. What ur describing is people sharing calendars.

    “Don’t be surprised in the future and you walk into a store with your preferred items, meal, or drink already nicely packaged for you.”

    Why should I be surprised? It's happening right now. It's called phoning in your order for pickup.

    The world doesn't need more noise. It needs less.

  5. Jeremiah, I have the utmost respect for you. I do have to call silly on this though. What ur describing is people sharing calendars.

    “Don’t be surprised in the future and you walk into a store with your preferred items, meal, or drink already nicely packaged for you.”

    Why should I be surprised? It's happening right now. It's called phoning in your order for pickup.

    The world doesn't need more noise. It needs less.

  6. Peter thanks, call it how it is, I'm fine with that, in fact, respect you for it too.

    On that line of thought, basically blogs are also silly too, it's people sharing diaries. Or LinkedIn is silly as people are sharing their Rolodex's. Flickr is silly for sharing images, and YouTube…oh you get my point.

    Regarding contextual or personalize experiences, it gets interesting if a company can *anticipate* a customers needs, based on their intent, which may not be as explicit to what they need.

    The difference now is that people haven't shared calendars in the past.

    Note: I added CRM expert Paul Greenberg's calendar as a screenshot in the post.

  7. Peter thanks, call it how it is, I'm fine with that, in fact, respect you for it too.

    On that line of thought, basically blogs are also silly too, it's people sharing diaries. Or LinkedIn is silly as people are sharing their Rolodex's. Flickr is silly for sharing images, and Twitter…ok, well that *is* silly.

    Regarding contextual or personalize experiences, it gets interesting if a company can *anticipate* a customers needs, based on their intent, which may not be as explicit to what they need.

    The difference now is that people haven't shared calendars in the past.

    Note: I added CRM expert Paul Greenberg's calendar as a screenshot in the post.

  8. Hi Jeremiah,

    I love this topic.

    There is already a lot of existing conversation in terms of expressed needs, intentions, etc. For brands, I call this “listening for the point of need”. People are expressing intentions & needs all the time, the key is to learn how to refine your listening for these needs and – very important – identify those that have implicit invitations to engage or imply a request for help (otherwise you are interrupting, and not helping).

    As an example, I did an analysis on this a few months ago, measuring how many people express their buying intent around a laptop. The results were surprising to me as I found over $100M in potential laptop sales each month were expressly declared online with people saying things like, “My daughter is going to college in the fall. What type of laptop should I buy her?”

    Just look at this link to see more examples happening right now of people expressing buying intent – http://search.twitter.com/search?q=%22planning+

    The key for a brand is a) learning how to track those precise conversations that matter and then b) how to respond and engage appropriately in a way that is helpful.

    Great topic.
    Cheers,
    Marcel
    CEO, Radian6

  9. Hi Jeremiah,

    I love this topic.

    There is already a lot of existing conversation in terms of expressed needs, intentions, etc. For brands, I call this “listening for the point of need”. People are expressing intentions & needs all the time, the key is to learn how to refine your listening for these needs and – very important – identify those that have implicit invitations to engage or imply a request for help (otherwise you are interrupting, and not helping).

    As an example, I did an analysis on this a few months ago, measuring how many people express their buying intent around a laptop. The results were surprising to me as I found over $100M in potential laptop sales each month were expressly declared online with people saying things like, “My daughter is going to college in the fall. What type of laptop should I buy her?”

    Just look at this link to see more examples happening right now of people expressing buying intent – http://search.twitter.com/search?q=%22planning+

    The key for a brand is a) learning how to track those precise conversations that matter and then b) how to respond and engage appropriately in a way that is helpful.

    Great topic.
    Cheers,
    Marcel
    CEO, Radian6

  10. I already see plenty of conference intention in ads and web sites. They invite you to come and speak often long before the event (I'm enamored with the unconference format but I have yet to go to one, it's the improv nature).

    Intention will be heavily judged by the conviction of the intender. Some folks have some pretty extraordinary intentions but can't keep up with a schedule. Others will do their best to meet every published intention.

    What do you think of intention predictive tools that will aid by pre-planning highly probable likelihoods, doing all of the leg work before you've finalized your decision to take action.

    Automated travel agents that work out an itinerary before you consciously decide to attend.

  11. I already see plenty of conference intention in ads and web sites. They invite you to come and speak often long before the event (I'm enamored with the unconference format but I have yet to go to one, it's the improv nature).

    Intention will be heavily judged by the conviction of the intender. Some folks have some pretty extraordinary intentions but can't keep up with a schedule. Others will do their best to meet every published intention.

    What do you think of intention predictive tools that will aid by pre-planning highly probable likelihoods, doing all of the leg work before you've finalized your decision to take action.

    Automated travel agents that work out an itinerary before you consciously decide to attend.

  12. Thanks Jeremiah. I'm not saying that sharing, or a company actually being proactive is silly. I'm talking about “The Intention Web”. Maybe it's a semantics issue with me.

    If you're pointing out that there's more web-based applications coming out that enable people to broadcast what their intent is then I agree with you 100%.

    If your saying that there's a new web out there then that's where we disagree.

    People have shared calendars in the past through a variety of applications. Now, people share calendars through a variety of applications too. It's just that the sharing is done on a much larger scale.

    I'm very interested in intent on the web. I value your insight and expertise and look forward to more posts from you.

    I subscribe to your blog through Google Reader and follow you on twitter. But wasn't that your intention, to get me to subscribe and follow? 😉

  13. Thanks Jeremiah. I'm not saying that sharing, or a company actually being proactive is silly. I'm talking about “The Intention Web”. Maybe it's a semantics issue with me.

    If you're pointing out that there's more web-based applications coming out that enable people to broadcast what their intent is then I agree with you 100%.

    If your saying that there's a new web out there then that's where we disagree.

    People have shared calendars in the past through a variety of applications. Now, people share calendars through a variety of applications too. It's just that the sharing is done on a much larger scale.

    I'm very interested in intent on the web. I value your insight and expertise and look forward to more posts from you.

    I subscribe to your blog through Google Reader and follow you on twitter. But wasn't that your intention, to get me to subscribe and follow? 😉

  14. Thanks Jeremiah. I'm not saying that sharing, or a company actually being proactive is silly. I'm talking about “The Intention Web”. Maybe it's a semantics issue with me.

    If you're pointing out that there's more web-based applications coming out that enable people to broadcast what their intent is then I agree with you 100%.

    If your saying that there's a new web out there then that's where we disagree.

    People have shared calendars in the past through a variety of applications. Now, people share calendars through a variety of applications too. It's just that the sharing is done on a much larger scale.

    I'm very interested in intent on the web. I value your insight and expertise and look forward to more posts from you.

    I subscribe to your blog through Google Reader and follow you on twitter. But wasn't that your intention, to get me to subscribe and follow? 😉

  15. Jeremiah, to elaborate my twitter reply in short; “nice but intentions become real valuable when execution is guaranteed. Using costly sharpened spears on axiomatic targets is risky”.

    What I like about your hypothesis is that the issue I raised can be solved. In my opinion predictive models as you mentioned on what could happen is limited in value, models on chances of execution is more interesting. It’s possible to analyze an intention on the probability of execution to a certain acceptable degree. This minimizes the risk of loose shots and creates a model for effective targeting. This is certainly possible with all the data out there. Let us take you and this post as an example. If a system would analyze you on this post against other data available out there it could output a high probability profile that you will execute on your intention to present at LeWeb. For example data would show that you frequently attend conferences and that you are an influencer on the subject of this post which matches with context of the conference. In this case it would be certainly interesting to target you with an advertising offering a cheap ticket to Paris or a hotel room. The probability of execution would be 90%; you could catch the flu 😉

  16. Jeremiah, to elaborate my twitter reply in short; “nice but intentions become real valuable when execution is guaranteed. Using costly sharpened spears on axiomatic targets is risky”.

    What I like about your hypothesis is that the issue I raised can be solved. In my opinion predictive models as you mentioned on what could happen is limited in value, models on chances of execution is more interesting. It’s possible to analyze an intention on the probability of execution to a certain acceptable degree. This minimizes the risk of loose shots and creates a model for effective targeting. This is certainly possible with all the data out there. Let us take you and this post as an example. If a system would analyze you on this post against other data available out there it could output a high probability profile that you will execute on your intention to present at LeWeb. For example data would show that you frequently attend conferences and that you are an influencer on the subject of this post which matches with context of the conference. In this case it would be certainly interesting to target you with an advertising offering a cheap ticket to Paris or a hotel room. The probability of execution would be 90%; you could catch the flu 😉

  17. Jeremiah, to elaborate my twitter reply in short; “nice but intentions become real valuable when execution is guaranteed. Using costly sharpened spears on axiomatic targets is risky”.

    What I like about your hypothesis is that the issue I raised can be solved. In my opinion predictive models as you mentioned on what could happen is limited in value, models on chances of execution is more interesting. It’s possible to analyze an intention on the probability of execution to a certain acceptable degree. This minimizes the risk of loose shots and creates a model for effective targeting. This is certainly possible with all the data out there. Let us take you and this post as an example. If a system would analyze you on this post against other data available out there it could output a high probability profile that you will execute on your intention to present at LeWeb. For example data would show that you frequently attend conferences and that you are an influencer on the subject of this post which matches with context of the conference. In this case it would be certainly interesting to target you with an advertising offering a cheap ticket to Paris or a hotel room. The probability of execution would be 90%; you could catch the flu 😉

  18. It sounds like you're actually making two points in one here.

    First of all I agree that it's important, particularly for companies in the entertainment industry, to be able to identify and react to their customers' personal preferences and intentions. For example, while they’re getting better I've always been surprised that when I'm paying thousands of dollars for a Caribbean cruise how few companies even ask what drinks I'd like in the mini-bar.

    The second point I'm hearing is that (in large part due to sites like Twitter) there's a wealth of public information available on your prospects that can be tapped and while companies are becoming increasingly successful at responding to individual Tweets (for example the last time I was at Wynn Encore Las Vegas they helped me find my favorite slot machines) there's also an opportunity to look deeper and uncover unspoken needs.

    Although it may be a slightly contrived example I was recently speaking with @CMarzi84 about how marketers could take advantage of the new Twitter Geo Targeting features and we came up with the following idea how the NHL could sell excess inventory:

    1. I’m a follower of @NHL and opted in to their NY Rangers Fan Twitter List
    2. The majority of my Tweets are from New York City
    3. From time to time when I travel I happen to be in the same city as a Rangers road game (and not even realize it)
    4. Let's say I happened to be in Buffalo this Saturday (where the Rangers and Buffalo Sabers are playing) and sent a Tweet including my location that day
    5. If @NHL were to send me a direct message that day offering me discounted tickets to the Sabers/Rangers game there's little doubt I'd take them up on their offer

    Are there more practical and/or more common examples … absolutely … but the point in the above example while the Tweet itself had absolutely nothing to do with hockey if @NHL were to look beyond the individual Tweet and focus instead on:

    1. My long term behavior
    2. My larger Social CRM profile
    3. Their own schedule of events

    It could unlock opportunities that would have otherwise been missed.

  19. It sounds like you're actually making two points in one here.

    First of all I agree that it's important, particularly for companies in the entertainment industry, to be able to identify and react to their customers' personal preferences and intentions. For example, while they’re getting better I've always been surprised that when I'm paying thousands of dollars for a Caribbean cruise how few companies even ask what drinks I'd like in the mini-bar.

    The second point I'm hearing is that (in large part due to sites like Twitter) there's a wealth of public information available on your prospects that can be tapped and while companies are becoming increasingly successful at responding to individual Tweets (for example the last time I was at Wynn Encore Las Vegas they helped me find my favorite slot machines) there's also an opportunity to look deeper and uncover unspoken needs.

    Although it may be a slightly contrived example I was recently speaking with @CMarzi84 about how marketers could take advantage of the new Twitter Geo Targeting features and we came up with the following idea how the NHL could sell excess inventory:

    1. I’m a follower of @NHL and opted in to their NY Rangers Fan Twitter List
    2. The majority of my Tweets are from New York City
    3. From time to time when I travel I happen to be in the same city as a Rangers road game (and not even realize it)
    4. Let's say I happened to be in Buffalo this Saturday (where the Rangers and Buffalo Sabers are playing) and sent a Tweet including my location that day
    5. If @NHL were to send me a direct message that day offering me discounted tickets to the Sabers/Rangers game there's little doubt I'd take them up on their offer

    Are there more practical and/or more common examples … absolutely … but the point in the above example while the Tweet itself had absolutely nothing to do with hockey if @NHL were to look beyond the individual Tweet and focus instead on:

    1. My long term behavior
    2. My larger Social CRM profile
    3. Their own schedule of events

    It could unlock opportunities that would have otherwise been missed.

  20. Intention will never truly be 100% accurate, things change. This, however is more valuable than having no data at all.

    What could truly be valuable? Looking at historical data, and coupling it with intention data.

  21. Intention will never truly be 100% accurate, things change. This, however is more valuable than having no data at all.

    What could truly be valuable? Looking at historical data, and coupling it with intention data.

  22. Of course intentions change. My point is that additionally adding the probability degree of executing on intentions in the equation based on historical data creates more valuable outcome. Its a start and a feasible strategy to tackle “predicting the future challenge” you stated for the Intention Web.

  23. Of course intentions change. My point is that additionally adding the probability degree of executing on intentions in the equation based on historical data creates more valuable outcome. Its a start and a feasible strategy to tackle “predicting the future challenge” you stated for the Intention Web.

  24. Thank you, in a way it's very similar to the way that (primarily email/website based) lead nurturing is evolving.

    Once someone fills out a form and they're cookied you can follow what they do on your website for weeks or even months after the fact:

    1) The obvious use of this activity is looking and reacting to a specific action: after a prospect spends an hour watching a video on the ROI of your product it may be wise to have a sales rep give them a call.

    2) A less than obvious use of this activity is to set up alarms,for example if a current premium advertiser starts researching your more cost effective offers (that they'd never looked at before) it could be a strong hint of their intention to decrease their spend.

  25. Thank you, in a way it's very similar to the way that (primarily email/website based) lead nurturing is evolving.

    Once someone fills out a form and they're cookied you can follow what they do on your website for weeks or even months after the fact:

    1) The obvious use of this activity is looking and reacting to a specific action: after a prospect spends an hour watching a video on the ROI of your product it may be wise to have a sales rep give them a call.

    2) A less than obvious use of this activity is to set up alarms,for example if a current premium advertiser starts researching your more cost effective offers (that they'd never looked at before) it could be a strong hint of their intention to decrease their spend.

  26. Great topic from a corporate perspective as we are always trying to find ways to engage and support our customers needs- now can be done at “the right time”. Sounds like some mashup of serval components taking place:

    * Social Calendaring/ Sharing
    * Geo-Coding to allow more targeted and segmented servicing
    * Proactive marketing serving a targeted need (and at the right time)
    * Social CRM elements on building a total customer profile and really learining/ growing with your customers needs+ wants (and intensions).

  27. Great topic from a corporate perspective as we are always trying to find ways to engage and support our customers needs- now can be done at “the right time”. Sounds like some mashup of serval components taking place:

    * Social Calendaring/ Sharing
    * Geo-Coding to allow more targeted and segmented servicing
    * Proactive marketing serving a targeted need (and at the right time)
    * Social CRM elements on building a total customer profile and really learining/ growing with your customers needs+ wants (and intensions).

  28. Brilliant thinking. I love it. We are working on something along these lines at TipTop. To get a sneak preview, check out our real-time, semantic, social search engine offering at http://FeelTipTop.com

  29. Brilliant thinking. I love it. We are working on something along these lines at TipTop. To get a sneak preview, check out our real-time, semantic, social search engine offering at http://FeelTipTop.com

  30. Jeremiah,

    Would love to have the conversation on the intent-driven enterprise and the intent-driven web someday. Lots of research to share. I like the way you are approaching it, but we are still far, very far from it — at least until we get to this little thing called semantics. Once the semantic web gets underway, then we can revisit the intent-driven anything and have something to write about.

    Until then, interesting dreams — with some positive movements in the area — but not at the deployment level.

  31. Jeremiah,

    Would love to have the conversation on the intent-driven enterprise and the intent-driven web someday. Lots of research to share. I like the way you are approaching it, but we are still far, very far from it — at least until we get to this little thing called semantics. Once the semantic web gets underway, then we can revisit the intent-driven anything and have something to write about.

    Until then, interesting dreams — with some positive movements in the area — but not at the deployment level.

  32. for those of us “in the know” this is all old information 🙂

    The folks at Zipipop.com did this over a year ago (for more information see this post http://www.arcticstartup.com/2009/12/04/locatio… over on artic startup). One of the founders of Zipipop calls this Intention Broadcasting (long write uop here http://zipitheory.blogspot.com/2008/09/dynamics…)

    Also, Matt Biddulph's iconic “cones diagram” is the best visual explanation of this i have seen so far (you can see it on slide 20 in this presentation http://www.slideshare.net/blackbeltjones/dxf200…)

  33. for those of us “in the know” this is all old information 🙂

    The folks at Zipipop.com did this over a year ago (for more information see this post http://www.arcticstartup.com/2009/12/04/locatio… over on artic startup). One of the founders of Zipipop calls this Intention Broadcasting (long write uop here http://zipitheory.blogspot.com/2008/09/dynamics…)

    Also, Matt Biddulph's iconic “cones diagram” is the best visual explanation of this i have seen so far (you can see it on slide 20 in this presentation http://www.slideshare.net/blackbeltjones/dxf200…)

  34. Thanks Esteban, agreed we're a ways off, but not as far off. There's two approaches to intent: 1) Explicit and 2) Implicit.

    Plancast, Facebook Events, and Upcoming are Explicit. People *say* what they want to do and put a plan towards it. See http://www.43things.com/ quite a few new year's resolutions.

    Implicit is more complicated. I dont know the theories behind the semantic strategy that well, but it appears it's deriving intent from gestures, historical data, and context.

    I think the explicit data, is here now, it's just about finding a system that can contextualize and provide the personalized content.

  35. Thanks Esteban, agreed we're a ways off, but not as far off. There's two approaches to intent: 1) Explicit and 2) Implicit.

    Plancast, Facebook Events, and Upcoming are Explicit. People *say* what they want to do and put a plan towards it. See http://www.43things.com/ quite a few new year's resolutions.

    Implicit is more complicated. I dont know the theories behind the semantic strategy that well, but it appears it's deriving intent from gestures, historical data, and context.

    I think the explicit data, is here now, it's just about finding a system that can contextualize and provide the personalized content.

  36. Marcel is spot on.

    In the days before Google we'd ask our friends and contacts for recommendations. Then we found search engines gave us more options. Now we are super-connected through the social web and we have access to real humans in their millions. The answers they give to questions are real and considered; they may even have the value of recommendation attached. Suddenly, word of mouth is amplified to the power of n. Asking search bots and databases for answers looks old fashioned and shortsighted.

    The Next Big Thing is not searching for real time answers, because no matter how recent it was asked/answered it's still searching others people's historical content. The social web enables to ask OUR OWN questions right now and to get real, considered, custom, highly revelevant answers. Real people do the research for you and are happy to share their knowledge.

    And there's no real trick to exploiting this. We launched a Twitter Sales Tool to accompany our Social CRM system this week, which trawls the 27 million tweets a day for people saying/asking “i need”, “who can recommend”, “can someone suggest” — these are all explicit needs; and from needs come leads. None of these people care who answers them, as long as they get an answer; companies that can capture and track the questions and the solutiosn they're offering in reply are tapping into a rick seam of potential business. It sure beats fighting over the top positions in Google only to get a click, not a lead.

    Marcel has revealed an aspect of using the social web that many are yet to consider. But I can confirm his view that you'd be surprised at how many are using it this way already and the also how many explicit needs go unanswered.

    Ian Hendry
    CEO, WeCanDo.BIZ
    http://www.wecando.biz

  37. Marcel is spot on.

    In the days before Google we'd ask our friends and contacts for recommendations. Then we found search engines gave us more options. Now we are super-connected through the social web and we have access to real humans in their millions. The answers they give to questions are real and considered; they may even have the value of recommendation attached. Suddenly, word of mouth is amplified to the power of n. Asking search bots and databases for answers looks old fashioned and shortsighted.

    The Next Big Thing is not searching for real time answers, because no matter how recent it was asked/answered it's still searching others people's historical content. The social web enables to ask OUR OWN questions right now and to get real, considered, custom, highly revelevant answers. Real people do the research for you and are happy to share their knowledge.

    And there's no real trick to exploiting this. We launched a Twitter Sales Tool to accompany our Social CRM system this week, which trawls the 27 million tweets a day for people saying/asking “i need”, “who can recommend”, “can someone suggest” — these are all explicit needs; and from needs come leads. None of these people care who answers them, as long as they get an answer; companies that can capture and track the questions and the solutiosn they're offering in reply are tapping into a rick seam of potential business. It sure beats fighting over the top positions in Google only to get a click, not a lead.

    Marcel has revealed an aspect of using the social web that many are yet to consider. But I can confirm his view that you'd be surprised at how many are using it this way already and the also how many explicit needs go unanswered.

    Ian Hendry
    CEO, WeCanDo.BIZ
    http://www.wecando.biz

  38. You are absolutely right,

    This is about explicit intent and semantic technologies step in to forecast implicit intent (imagine if we could know your plans without your stating them, right? – just by looking at your activity streams and putting 2 and 2 together through analytics).

    The entire social evolution we are living has brought us many steps closer to an implementation of implicit by providing us with actual intent if we can to discern it. what happens when you combine activities from many different streams for the same person? you get a very clear picture of their intent… that is if you can understand the metadata associated with each event (implicitly) — which is where semantics comes in.

    Very cool stuff, and cannot to see it become reality in the next 5-10 years (maybe less, but certainly even if that that timeframe we have accelerated dramatically from the 15-20 we were expecting before just to see something like this happen)

  39. You are absolutely right,

    This is about explicit intent and semantic technologies step in to forecast implicit intent (imagine if we could know your plans without your stating them, right? – just by looking at your activity streams and putting 2 and 2 together through analytics).

    The entire social evolution we are living has brought us many steps closer to an implementation of implicit by providing us with actual intent if we can to discern it. what happens when you combine activities from many different streams for the same person? you get a very clear picture of their intent… that is if you can understand the metadata associated with each event (implicitly) — which is where semantics comes in.

    Very cool stuff, and cannot to see it become reality in the next 5-10 years (maybe less, but certainly even if that that timeframe we have accelerated dramatically from the 15-20 we were expecting before just to see something like this happen)

  40. Peter, this may be a bit premature, but it isn't silly.

    For example, in many ways, NextJump is an intention web ecommerce site. People register their preferences – stuff they are looking for – and merchants bid to provide it. They have gotten sufficiently good at fine-tuning preferences that one in eleven offers are accepted. Pretty amazing.

    There's going to be a writeup on the company in the NYT on Sunday, I believe. (I was interviewed for the story. I don't have any connection to the company, but have met with them a couple of times.)

  41. Peter, this may be a bit premature, but it isn't silly.

    For example, in many ways, NextJump is an intention web ecommerce site. People register their preferences – stuff they are looking for – and merchants bid to provide it. They have gotten sufficiently good at fine-tuning preferences that one in eleven offers are accepted. Pretty amazing.

    There's going to be a writeup on the company in the NYT on Sunday, I believe. (I was interviewed for the story. I don't have any connection to the company, but have met with them a couple of times.)

  42. This is extremely interesting. The marketing/advertising opportunities are truly endless. Hotel or airline deals for the vacation planner, grocery coupons or takeout for the parent running late, gift suggestions for an upcoming birthday, etc, etc. Not to mention the potential business support and collaborations that could occur. Love your insights and look forward to seeing your presentation!

  43. This is extremely interesting. The marketing/advertising opportunities are truly endless. Hotel or airline deals for the vacation planner, grocery coupons or takeout for the parent running late, gift suggestions for an upcoming birthday, etc, etc. Not to mention the potential business support and collaborations that could occur. Love your insights and look forward to seeing your presentation!

  44. I guess the next step is to have the web search for things before I actually need them. Of course, when it becomes psychic, someone will try to turn it off, at which point, Skynet takes over, and we all know what happens after that 🙂

  45. I guess the next step is to have the web search for things before I actually need them. Of course, when it becomes psychic, someone will try to turn it off, at which point, Skynet takes over, and we all know what happens after that 🙂

  46. Jeremiah, can't wait to hear your speech at LeWeb. Hope to have the chance to meet you in person there.

  47. Jeremiah, can't wait to hear your speech at LeWeb. Hope to have the chance to meet you in person there.

  48. Maybe I am interpreting Jeremiah in a wrong way, but what he is trying to say is much more than sharing intentions.. It's not just semantics.. it's ontologies.. it's data mining.. it's social networks.. it's context-awareness.. Altogether, they can indeed help in understanding and predicting human behavior..

  49. Maybe I am interpreting Jeremiah in a wrong way, but what he is trying to say is much more than sharing intentions.. It's not just semantics.. it's ontologies.. it's data mining.. it's social networks.. it's context-awareness.. Altogether, they can indeed help in understanding and predicting human behavior..

  50. Won't be in Paris unfortunately, but we are close to release something similar, connected to Facebook and available on mobile. We discussed it already in another blog post, but this is our focus. We are interested with what people are intend to do. There are enough informations and networks available everywhere. People want added value with the network they already built. You will be able to discover what your friend are going to do or intersted to do in the future, discuss and share the info with other and finally decide and get to the event together.

  51. Won't be in Paris unfortunately, but we are close to release something similar, connected to Facebook and available on mobile. We discussed it already in another blog post, but this is our focus. We are interested with what people are intend to do. There are enough informations and networks available everywhere. People want added value with the network they already built. You will be able to discover what your friend are going to do or intersted to do in the future, discuss and share the info with other and finally decide and get to the event together.

  52. I like your thinking here but my corporate experience tells me that the legal departments with have a fit with broadcasting intentions.

  53. I like your thinking here but my corporate experience tells me that the legal departments with have a fit with broadcasting intentions.

  54. I like your thinking. However, when it comes to intentions, corporate legal departments will have a fit over broadcasting intentions.

  55. Wonderfully researched and thoughtful post. As witnessed by the comments, a great conversation to be had as well. Thanks.

    And I since I read a lot of the comments (and searched them all), I can say I'm amazed no one brought up Foursquare! To me, that is right in the wheelhouse of the intention web. I won't go into all the reasons, but one that sums up the relevance pretty well all by itself is your third opportunity listed above: “This provides businesses with the ability to listen to provide highly contextualized offerings and experiences for those explicitly stating their intents.”

    Foursquare puts brands squarely at the center of a conversation based on not only what you are getting ready to do, but where you're getting ready to do it, why and with whom. Which means if they're listening (and there are mechanisms built in for that), they can influence what you do in the next few seconds with offers and advice. Not only that, but your friends can do the same…which means it's both word-of-mouth marketing and permission marketing at hyper-speed.

    I for one am very interested to see if Foursquare or any of the platforms/services you mentioned will be the one to push the intention web mainstream.

    Thanks again.

    @johnvlane

  56. Wonderfully researched and thoughtful post. As witnessed by the comments, a great conversation to be had as well. Thanks.

    And I since I read a lot of the comments (and searched them all), I can say I'm amazed no one brought up Foursquare! To me, that is right in the wheelhouse of the intention web. I won't go into all the reasons, but one that sums up the relevance pretty well all by itself is your third opportunity listed above: “This provides businesses with the ability to listen to provide highly contextualized offerings and experiences for those explicitly stating their intents.”

    Foursquare puts brands squarely at the center of a conversation based on not only what you are getting ready to do, but where you're getting ready to do it, why and with whom. Which means if they're listening (and there are mechanisms built in for that), they can influence what you do in the next few seconds with offers and advice. Not only that, but your friends can do the same…which means it's both word-of-mouth marketing and permission marketing at hyper-speed.

    I for one am very interested to see if Foursquare or any of the platforms/services you mentioned will be the one to push the intention web mainstream.

    Thanks again.

    @johnvlane

  57. Great to see the topic of intentions getting more attention. In Finland there is a fair amount of discussion concerning our old Zipiko service and Plancast. From the beginning we described Zipiko as an “intention broadcasting” service and I did my thesis on the theory of Intention Broadcasting. This blog has promoted me to post a short paper that I had published at the i-Semantic conference this September in Graz, Austria. You can find it here: http://zipitheory.blogspot.com/2009/12/publishe

  58. Great to see the topic of intentions getting more attention. In Finland there is a fair amount of discussion concerning our old Zipiko service and Plancast. From the beginning we described Zipiko as an “intention broadcasting” service and I did my thesis on the theory of Intention Broadcasting. This blog has promoted me to post a short paper that I had published at the i-Semantic conference this September in Graz, Austria. You can find it here: http://zipitheory.blogspot.com/2009/12/publishe

  59. Agree. Also intentions are an integral of pragmatics and therefore the “Pragmatic Web”; and that is why I included intentions in my thesis summary description of the Pragmatic Web: “The coordinating of meaning, context and intention to facilitate communication and cooperation in achieving desired outcomes.”

    By the way I have uploaded the Graz talk presentation in which you make an appearance: http://zipitheory.blogspot.com/2009/12/publishe

  60. Agree. Also intentions are an integral of pragmatics and therefore the “Pragmatic Web”; and that is why I included intentions in my thesis summary description of the Pragmatic Web: “The coordinating of meaning, context and intention to facilitate communication and cooperation in achieving desired outcomes.”

    By the way I have uploaded the Graz talk presentation in which you make an appearance: http://zipitheory.blogspot.com/2009/12/publishe

  61. Jeremiah,

    This is great stuff. As you say, many people can't keep up with the asynch web now.

    I see the challenges here as, 1) shortcutters – more people trying to skip ahead to the result without putting in the real live hard work it takes to have a real-time strategy, complete with authentic and effective community engagement.

    and

    2) Adoption: I still get people wanting to write an “About us” page on their site, and they look at me like I'm a looney when I suggest that they kill that mindset about their site, and tell an ever-developing “about us” story using other tools not located on their site. So – real time and future web or pragmatic web or whatever is going another step altogether.

    I am driving that bus now…but I don't have many passengers!

  62. Jeremiah,

    This is great stuff. As you say, many people can't keep up with the asynch web now.

    I see the challenges here as, 1) shortcutters – more people trying to skip ahead to the result without putting in the real live hard work it takes to have a real-time strategy, complete with authentic and effective community engagement.

    and

    2) Adoption: I still get people wanting to write an “About us” page on their site, and they look at me like I'm a looney when I suggest that they kill that mindset about their site, and tell an ever-developing “about us” story using other tools not located on their site. So – real time and future web or pragmatic web or whatever is going another step altogether.

    I am driving that bus now…but I don't have many passengers!

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