1. (via Virgin Picks Your Destination based on Weather | Adverblog) … I am quite tempted to try this one day

  2. I love the concept of this, will try it out and see.  Each month you get send a random selection of photos from a year earlier.  Sort of a serendipitous way of being reminded of old photos.  Of course, I’d love to have it go back even further (not just 1 year but that month from any year), but hey…  

  3. Clever Sense, the company behind Alfred, is sharing some early stats — and they’re looking good. Thus far the application has given 7 million recommendations to users in less than three months. And users have ‘Liked’ two million venues within the application (you can use a Pandora-esque thumbs up or down to further train the app’s suggestions). Apparently those recommendations ring true, too: the app has 550 ratings and a 4-star average on iTunes.

    The most important stat, though, concerns the way people are actually using the application. Namely, the fact that some 94% of the requests that go through Alfred are based on ‘Serendipity’ versus only 6% that are explicit searches.

    So what does that mean? One of the key features that distinguishes Alfred from competitors (like Yelp) is that there’s a focus on requiring little-to-no input from the user. After you’ve gone through an initial training session where you tell the app what you like, it does its best to recommend places to grab coffee, lunch, drinks, or whatever else it believes you’re looking for when you open the app (it pays attention to things like the current time to make this initial guess). Oftentimes it only takes one or two taps to get a quick recommendation

  4. Serendipity and personalization are in fact two sides to the same coin. Personalization merely acknowledges intimacy, whereas serendipity pretends to have happened on it as if by accident
  5. A random scrap of information can trigger just the right conceptual collision. It’s hard to know which scrap might do the trick, but that’s the beauty of social networks — they constantly produce potential sparks, for free