Personalization (broadly known as customization) consists of tailoring a service or a product to accommodate specific individuals, sometimes tied to groups or segments of individuals. A wide variety of organizations use personalization to improve customer satisfaction, digital sales conversion, marketing results, branding, and improved website metrics as well as for advertising. Personalization is a key element in social media and recommender systems.

Digital media and internet

Another aspect of personalization is the increasing prevalence of open data on the Web. Many companies make their data available on the Web via APIs, web services, and open data standards. One such example is Ordnance Survey Open Data.[1] Data made available in this way is structured to allow it to be inter-connected and re-used by third parties.[2]

Data available from a user's personal social graph can be accessed by third-party application software to be suited to fit the personalized web page or information appliance.

Current open data standards on the Web include:

  1. Attention Profiling Mark-up Language (APML)
  2. DataPortability
  3. OpenID
  4. OpenSocial

Web pages

Web pages can be personalized based on the characteristics (interests, social category, context, etc.), actions (click on button, open a link, etc.), intent (make a purchase, check status of an entity), or any other parameter that can be identified and associated with an individual, therefore providing them with a tailored user experience. Note that the experience is rarely simply accommodation of the user but a relationship between the user and the desires of the site designers in driving specific actions to achieve objectives (e.g. Increase sales conversion on a page). The term customization is often used when the site only uses explicit data such as product ratings or user preferences.

Technically, web personalization can be achieved by associating a visitor segment with a predefined action. Customizing the user experience based on behavioural, contextual and technical data is proven to have a positive impact on conversion rate optimization efforts. Associated actions can range from changing the content of a webpage, presenting a modal display, presenting interstitials, triggering a personalized email or even automating a phone call to the user.

According to a 2014 study from research firm Econsultancy, less than 30% of e-commerce websites have invested in the field of web personalization. However, many companies now offer services for web personalization as well as web and email recommendation systems that are based on personalization or anonymously-collected user behaviours.[3]

There are many categories of web personalization including

  1. Behavioral
  2. Contextual
  3. Technical
  4. Historic data
  5. Collaboratively filtered

There are several camps in defining and executing web personalization. A few broad methods for web personalization may include:

  1. Implicit
  2. Explicit
  3. Hybrid

With implicit personalization, the web personalization is performed based on the different categories mentioned above. It can also be learned from direct interactions with the user based on implicit data, such as items purchased or pages viewed.[4] With explicit personalization, the web page (or information system) is changed by the user using the features provided by the system. Hybrid personalization combines the above two approaches to leverage the best of both worlds.

Web personalization is can be linked to the notion of Adaptive hypermedia (AH). The main difference is that the former would usually work on what is considered an "open corpus hypermedia," whilst the latter would traditionally work on "closed corpus hypermedia." However, recent research directions in the AH domain take both closed and open corpus into account. Thus, the two fields are closely inter-related.

Personalization is also being considered for use in less overtly commercial applications to improve the user experience online.[5] Internet activist Eli Pariser has documented that search engines like Google and Yahoo! News give different results to different people (even when logged out). He also points out social media site Facebook changes user's friend feeds based on what it thinks they want to see. Pariser warns that these algorithms can create a "filter bubble" that prevents people from encountering a diversity of viewpoints beyond their own, or which only presents facts which confirm their existing views.

On an intranet or B2E Enterprise Web portals, personalization is often based on user attributes such as department, functional area, or role. The term "customization" in this context refers to the ability of users to modify the page layout or specify what content should be displayed.

Map personalization

Digital web maps are also being personalized. Google Maps change the content of the map based on previous searches and other profile information.[6] Technology writer Evgeny Morozov has criticized map personalization as a threat to public space.[7]

Mobile phones

Over time mobile phones have seen an increased emphasis placed on user personalization. Far from the black and white screens and monophonic ringtones of the past, phones now offer interactive wallpapers and MP3 truetones. In the UK and Asia, WeeMees have become popular. WeeMees are three-dimensional characters that are used as wallpaper and respond to the tendencies of the user. Video Graphics Array (VGA) picture quality allows people to change their background with ease without sacrificing quality. All of these services are downloaded through the provider with the goal to make the user feel connected to the phone.[8]

Print media and merchandise

In print media, ranging from magazines to promotional publications, personalization uses databases of individual recipients' information. Not only does the written document address itself by name to the reader, but the advertising is targeted to the recipient's demographics or interests using fields within the database, such as "first name", "last name", "company", etc.

The term "personalization" should not be confused with variable data, which is a much more granular method of marketing that leverages both images and text with the medium, not just fields within a database. Although personalized children's books are created by companies who are using and leveraging all the strengths of variable data printing (VDP). This allows for full image and text variability within a printed book. With the advent of online 3D printing services such as Shapeways and Ponoko we are seeing personalization enter into the realms of product design.

Promotional merchandise

Promotional items (mugs, T-shirts, keychains, balls etc.) are regularly personalized. Personalized children's storybooks—wherein the child becomes the protagonist, with the name and image of the child personalized—are also popular. Personalized CDs for children also exist. With the advent of digital printing, personalized calendars that start in any month, birthday cards, cards, e-cards, posters and photo books can also be obtained.

3D printing

3D printing is a production method that allows to create unique and personalized items on a global scale. Personalized apparel and accessories, such as jewellery, are increasing in popularity.[9] This kind of customization is also relevant in other areas like consumer electronics[10] and retail.[11] By combining 3D printing with complex software a product can easily be customized by an end-user.

Role of customers

Mass personalization

Mass personalization is defined as custom tailoring by a company in accordance with its end users tastes and preferences.[12] From collaborative engineering perspective, mass customization can be viewed as collaborative efforts between customers and manufacturers, who have different sets of priorities and need to jointly search for solutions that best match customers' individual specific needs with manufacturers' customization capabilities.[13][14] The main difference between mass customization and mass personalization is that customization is the ability for a company to give its customers an opportunity to create and choose product to certain specifications, but does have limits.[15]

One example of mass personalization: A website knowing a user's location and buying habits will offer suggestions tailored to that user's demographics. Each user is classified by some relevant trait (location, age, and so forth) and then given personalization aimed at that group. This means that the personalization is not individual to that singular user, it only pinpoints a specific trait that matches them up with a larger group of people. [16]

Behavioral targeting represents a concept that is similar to mass personalization.

Predictive personalization

Predictive personalization is defined as the ability to predict customer behavior, needs or wants - and tailor offers and communications very precisely.[17] Social data is one source of providing this predictive analysis, particularly social data that is structured. Predictive personalization is a much more recent means of personalization and can be used well to augment current personalization offerings.

See also


  1. ^ Thorpe, Chris; Rogers, Simon (2 April 2010). "Ordnance Survey opendata maps: what does it actually include?". The Guardian. London.
  2. ^ "Google Opens Up Data Centre for Third Party Web Applications". 2008-05-28. Retrieved 2013-01-16.
  3. ^ Wall Street Journal, "On the Web's Cutting Edge, Anonymity in Name Only", August 4, 2010
  4. ^ Flynn, Lawrence. "5 Things To Know About Siri And Google Now's Growing Intelligence". Forbes.
  5. ^ Bowen, J.P. and Filippini-Fantoni, S., Personalization and the Web from a Museum Perspective. In David Bearman and Jennifer Trant (eds.), Museums and the Web 2004: Selected Papers from an International Conference, Arlington, Virginia, USA, 31 March – 3 April 2004. Archives & Museum Informatics, pages 63–78, 2004.
  6. ^ Lardinois, Frederic. "The Next Frontier For Google Maps Is Personalization". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2015-09-13.
  7. ^ Morozov, Evgeny (2013-05-28). "My Map or Yours?". Slate. ISSN 1091-2339. Retrieved 2015-09-13.
  8. ^ May, Harvey, and Greg Hearn. "The Mobile Phone as Media." International Journal of Cultural Studies 8.2 (2005): 195-211. Print.
  9. ^ Weinman, Aaron (21 February 2012). "New jewellery website targets 'customisers'". Jeweller Magazine. Retrieved 6 January 2015.
  10. ^ "Philips launches the world's first personalized, 3D printed face shaver for limited edition run". Retrieved 2016-03-02.
  11. ^ "Twikit brings 3D customization to French retail". Twikit Blog | 3D Customization, 3D Printing. Retrieved 2016-03-02.
  12. ^ "personalize: Definition, Synonyms from". Retrieved 2013-01-16.
  13. ^ Chen, S., Y. Wang and M. M. Tseng. 2009. Mass Customization as a Collaborative Engineering Effort. International Journal of Collaborative Engineering, 1(2): 152-167
  14. ^ P. Sengottuvelan, R. Lokeshkumar, T. Gopalakrishnan, "An Improved Session Identification Approach in Web Log Mining for Web Personalization," Journal of Internet Technology, vol. 18, no. 4 , pp. 723-730, Jul. 2017.
  15. ^ Haag et al., Management Information Systems for the Information Age, 3rd edition, 2006, page 331.
  16. ^ Wallop, Harry (2013-01-18). "How supermarkets prop up our class system". The Daily Telegraph. London.
  17. ^ "10 Trends for 2013 Executive Summary: Definition, Projected Trends". Retrieved 2012-12-04.

External links

Ancient Roman sarcophagi

In the burial practices of ancient Rome and Roman funerary art, marble and limestone sarcophagi elaborately carved in relief were characteristic of elite inhumation burials from the 2nd to the 4th centuries AD. At least 10,000 Roman sarcophagi have survived, with fragments possibly representing as many as 20,000. Although mythological scenes have been mostly widely studied, sarcophagus relief has been called the "richest single source of Roman iconography," and may also depict the deceased's occupation or life course, military scenes, and other subject matter. The same workshops produced sarcophagi with Jewish or Christian imagery. Early Christian sarcophagi produced from the late 3rd century onwards, represent the earliest form of large Christian sculpture, and are important for the study of Early Christian art.

They were mostly made in a few major cities, including Rome and Athens, which exported them to other cities. Elsewhere the stela gravestone remained more common. They were always a very expensive form reserved for the elite, and especially so in the relatively few very elaborately carved examples; most were always relatively plain, with inscriptions, or symbols such as garlands. Sarcophagi divide into a number of styles, by the producing area. "Roman" ones were made to rest against a wall, and one side was left uncarved, while "Attic" and other types were carved on all four sides; but the short sides were generally less elaborately decorated in both types.The time taken to make them encouraged the use of standard subjects, to which inscriptions might be added to personalize them, and portraits of the deceased were slow to appear. The sarcophagi offer examples of intricate reliefs that depict scenes often based on Greek and Roman mythology or mystery religions that offered personal salvation, and allegorical representations. Roman funerary art also offers a variety of scenes from everyday life, such as game-playing, hunting, and military endeavors. Early Christian art quickly adopted the sarcophagus, and they are the most common form of early Christian sculpture, progressing from simple examples with symbols to elaborate fronts, often with small scenes of the Life of Christ in two rows within an architectural framework. The Sarcophagus of Junius Bassus (c. 359) is of this type, and the earlier Dogmatic Sarcophagus rather simpler. The huge porphyry Sarcophagi of Helena and Constantina are grand Imperial examples.

Cremation was the predominant means of disposing of remains in the Roman Republic. Ashes contained in cinerary urns and other monumental vessels were placed in tombs. From the 2nd century AD onward, inhumation became more common, and after the Roman Empire came under Christian rule, was standard practice. The Sarcophagus of Lucius Cornelius Scipio Barbatus is a rare example from much earlier. A sarcophagus, which means "flesh-eater" in Greek, is a stone coffin used for inhumation burials. Sarcophagi were commissioned not only for the elite of Roman society (mature male citizens), but also for children, entire families, and beloved wives and mothers. The most expensive sarcophagi were made from marble, but other stones, lead, and wood were used as well. Along with the range in production material, there existed a variety of styles and shapes, depending on where the sarcophagus was produced and whom it was produced for.

Beats Music

Beats Music was a subscription-based online music streaming service owned by the Beats Electronics division of Apple Inc. The service combined algorithm-based personalization with expert music suggestions from a variety of sources.

Development began in 2012 under the name "Daisy". The service built upon Beats' consumer electronics line and its 2012 acquisition of the similar service MOG. The service was launched in the United States on January 21, 2014.

Beats Music was acquired by Apple Inc. as part of its purchase of Beats Electronics in May 2014. Beats Music stopped accepting new subscriptions when Apple Music launched on June 30, 2015. Subscribers were moved to the new service. Beats Music was completely discontinued on November 30, 2015.

Beer cheese (spread)

Beer cheese is a cheese spread most commonly found in Kentucky and Southern Indiana. Similarly named cheese products can be found in other regions of the United States, but beer cheese spread itself is not widely distributed. Despite this fact, the product is nearly ubiquitous in Kentucky. There are a number of different brands that are popular – most are similar in taste and texture. Fans of the snack usually have their favorite brand, and there are many homemade versions which use a wide variety of ingredients to add personalization.Commercially-produced beer cheese spread usually consists of a processed cheese base with a sharp cheddar flavor, while homemade varieties almost always start with sharp cheddar cheese. To this, enough beer is added to provide flavor and texture, as well as garlic and a variety of spices including dry mustard, horseradish and cayenne pepper. Most varieties come in mild and hot versions, but all tend to have a strong garlic flavor. Beer cheese is traditionally served with saltine crackers, though it can be found served with various other crackers and crudités, most often as an appetizer.


Customization may refer to:

Customization (anthropology), the process of cultural appropriation and creation of bespoke design

Mass customization, the use of computer-aided manufacturing systems to produce custom output

Modding, a slang expression for modification of hardware, software, or other items

Car tuning, the modification of an automobile, motor bike, scooter or moped

Personalization, the use of technology to accommodate differences between individuals

Custom-fit, a design term for personalization with geometric characteristics

Bespoke, made to order. UK equivalent of US custom-made

Custom software, software that is specially developed for some specific organization or other user.

Dave Fern

Dave Fern is a Democratic politician serving on the Montana House of Representatives, representing Montana's 5th district. Formerly, he served on the Whitefish School District board of trustees, a position he was elected to in 1992 and held for about 24 years. During this time, he supported the personalization of education.

Enterprise portal

An enterprise portal, also known as an enterprise information portal (EIP), is a framework for integrating information, people and processes across organizational boundaries in a manner similar to the more general web portals. Enterprise portals provide a secure unified access point, often in the form of a web-based user interface, and are designed to aggregate and personalize information through application-specific portlets.

One hallmark of enterprise portals is the de-centralized content contribution and content management, which keeps the information always updated. Another distinguishing characteristic is that they cater for customers, vendors and others beyond an organization's boundaries. This contrasts with a corporate portal which is structured for roles within an organization.

Google Personalized Search

Google Personalized Search is a personalized search feature of Google Search, introduced in 2004. All searches on Google Search are associated with a browser cookie record. Then, when a user performs a search, the search results are not only based on the relevance of each web page to the search term, but also on which websites the user (or someone else using the same browser) visited through previous search results. This provides a more personalized experience that can increase the relevance of the search results for the particular user. Such filtering may also have side effects, such as creating a filter bubble.

Changes in Google's search algorithm in later years put less importance on user data, which means the impact of personalized search is limited on search results. Acting on criticism, Google has also made it possible to turn off the feature.

List of features removed in Windows 8

Windows 8 is a version of Windows NT and the successor of Windows 7. Several features which are present on Windows Vista and Windows 7 are no longer present on Windows 8.

MNET (interbank network)

MNET Services Private Limited is a Pakistani operator of inter-bank connectivity platform of MCB (Muslim Commercial Bank) for online financial transaction processing and offers a managed services portfolio that includes card personalization & management, mobile payment services and ATM & POS controller hosting.

Meal kit

A meal kit is a subscription service–foodservice business model where a company sends customers pre-portioned and sometimes partially-prepared food ingredients and recipes to prepare homecooked meals. Services that send pre-cooked meals are called meal delivery services. This subscription model has been cited as an example of the personalization of the food and beverage industry that is becoming more popular and widespread.

Microsoft Dynamics AX

Microsoft Dynamics AX is one of Microsoft's enterprise resource planning software products. It is part of the Microsoft Dynamics family.


Nimoka, written in lower-case letters, nimoca (ニモカ, Nimoka), is a rechargeable contactless smart card ticketing system for public transport in Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan. Nishi-Nippon Railroad (Nishitetsu) introduced the system on May 18, 2008. Its name is an acronym of "nice money card", while nimo (にも) in Japanese means "also," as the card is usable also on buses, also on trains, also for shopping, etc. Like other electronic fare collection systems in Japan, the card uses FeliCa, RFID technology developed by Sony. On March 13, 2010, nimoca was interoperated with two similar cards in Fukuoka—SUGOCA from Kyūshū Railway Company (JR Kyūshū) and Hayakaken from Fukuoka City Transportation Bureau—plus Suica, a card used in Greater Tokyo Area by East Japan Railway Company (JR East). The card features a ferret as the official mascot.

Nokia 7210

The Nokia 7210 is a handset by Nokia, built on the Series 40 1st Edition software platform and enabled with J2ME (Java). The device features text and picture messaging, WAP browser, Stereo FM radio, Polyphonic ringtones, two preinstalled games and a 1.5", 128x128 pixel, 4,096 color display. It was the first Nokia phone for the mass market with a colour display and with polyphonic ringtones (they were already on the Nokia 7650).The 7210 featured an all-new front cover design, with a unique keypad layout incorporating a 4-way scroll button. The phone came in a choice of colours, with changeable Xpress-on covers available. Eight colour schemes are available along with the ability to download images to save as wallpaper to add even more personalization.

Announced on 12 March 2002, it came to market in October 2002.


Optimizely is an American company that makes customer experience optimization software for other companies. The Optimizely platform technology provides A/B testing tools, in which two versions of a web page can be compared for performance, and multivariate testing. Optimizely also enables personalization, which may be used for making data-driven decisions. The personalization capability can be used for serving online advertising.The company's headquarters are in San Francisco, California with offices in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Cologne, Germany, London, United Kingdom and Sydney, Australia.

Personalized search

Personalized search refers to web search experiences that are tailored specifically to an individual's interests by incorporating information about the individual beyond specific query provided. There are two general approaches to personalizing search results, one involving modifying the user's query and the other re-ranking search results.


Rav-Kav (Hebrew: רב-קו‎, lit. "multi-line") is a reusable contactless stored value smart card for making electronic payments as a joint fare collection system for the different public transportation operators accross Israel.

Rav-Kav can be used in public transportation such as all bus companies and the national railway in Israel.

SUPER TV (Bosnia and Herzegovina)

SUPER TV is the first Bosnian IPTV provider, owned by LOGOSOFT.

The service was launched on 11 March 2009 in Sarajevo. In January 2015, the company m: tel bought for 24 million BAM majority stake (65%) in LOGOSOFT.SUPER TV is Internet Protocol television (IPTV), which is based on xDSL technology and provides a high degree of interactivity and personalization of television content. It provides various thematic channels, HD and Timeshift channels, Video on demand, video recording, the use of an Electronic Program Guide (EPG) and other similar services. The company offers integrated packages (LoGo) with fixed telephony, mobile telephony, IPTV and Internet access.

Variable data printing

Variable data printing (VDP) (also known as variable information printing (VIP) or variable imaging (VI)) is a form of digital printing, including on-demand printing, in which elements such as text, graphics and images may be changed from one printed piece to the next, without stopping or slowing down the printing process and using information from a database or external file. For example, a set of personalized letters, each with the same basic layout, can be printed with a different name and address on each letter. Variable data printing is mainly used for direct marketing, customer relationship management, advertising, invoicing and applying addressing on selfmailers, brochures or postcard campaigns.


Zazzle is an American online marketplace that allows designers and customers to create their own products with independent manufacturers (clothing, posters, etc.), as well as use images from participating companies. Zazzle has partnered with many brands to amass a collection of digital images from companies like Disney and Hallmark. Zazzle claims to have over 300 million unique products listed on the site.

Zazzle was launched from their garage by Robert Beaver, Bobby Beaver and Jeffrey Beaver, and went live in 2005. The company received an initial investment of US$16 million in July 2005 from Google investors John Doerr and Ram Shriram, and an additional investment of $US30 million in October 2007. The site was recognized by TechCrunch as 2007's "best business model" in its first annual "Crunchies" awards, and has been noted by industry experts, such as B. Joseph Pine, for its easy-to-use technology. In 2010, Zazzle was recognized as one of the "Hottest Silicon Valley Companies" by Lead411. It is based in Redwood City, California. offers digital printing, and embroidered decoration on their retail apparel items, as well as other personalization techniques and items.

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