Posts Tagged ‘apml’

BBC Beta

January 3, 2008 1 comment

I’ve seen surprisingly little commentary on the BBC beta so I thought i’d share my 5 cents (plus broadband costs) on the matter. The User Experience guy at the Beeb also blogged about his thoughts

What I like…
Design: the layout is clean with a nice size font
Header: a page header is surprisingly difficult and I think this is a good implementation of a friendly clean header.
Clock: The clock brings back a lot of nostalgia from when I was a kid and i love it.

What I don’t like…
Personalisation: I would have hoped the BBC would have moved on from their focus groups and did some true user testing. From our experience of Optus Zoo and people say they want it but rarely change the settings and if they do often don’t change it. It fails to recognise when something is important.

For example, I’m not interested in Tennis so I wouldn’t choose it in my preferences however I am interested for two weeks a year when Wimbledon is on. Result, great content is hidden and the site can often look shallow (something the BBC is certainly not!)

Learned behaviour alongside story/page importance is the way forward for personalisation not manually set which takes the BBC a step back a couple of years. This is a real shame as the BBC should be driving the industry forward which it has both the position and resources to do so.

Richard Titus if you’re listening, check out things like APML and maybe look at revisiting it on phase 2 of the launch.

Categories: apml, Web Design Tags: , ,

APML: What’s in a value

November 28, 2007 1 comment

I was speaking with Chris Saad about what to put in the value field within my APML file. His response was that he “encouraged the APML workgroup to deliberately avoided defining a standardized way to calculate the value, allowing vendors to innovate and differentiate with their respective implementations”.

Ahh innovation, my favourite word. So how would I go about putting a standard value for ninemsn, and in particular News?

On the looser cruiser (the bus) this morning I came up with four metrics to use. For those MBA students you’d know how much academics love to put everything into a box model and painfully start everything with the same letter, so here’s my attempt! The four P’s of content relevancy.

  • Present – the content freshness
  • Popularity – the amount shown to everyone
  • Preference – what categories you personally have selected in the past
  • Proximity – how close it physically is to you

To clarify it more fully, here are the exact metrics I would use for News.

  • Present – content publish/update date
  • Popularity – page Impressions
  • Preference – national/world/entertainment/sport/business/technology/heath
  • Proximity – suburb/city/state/country/world

From the diagram below you can see I score from zero to one in each of the four frames.


To let’s do some examples to test this out. We’ll say I’m the average news consumer living in Sydney (in ninemsnland we call these people cruise controllers).

Story Present Popularity Preference Proximity Total
Paris runs over photographer 0.2 0.7 0.6 0 1.5
Local park is vandalised 0.2 0.2 0.4 1 1.8
Train crash in Coffs Harbour 0.9 0.8 0.4 0.4 2.5
President bush dies 1 1 0.1 0 2.1

As you can see the theory fails on the last version as it’s low on the popularity metric due to politics and the story is in the world proximity. Therefore a fifth P could be used, Priority. This is a tough one and I’ve deliberately left it out of everyday news as an override mechanism needs to be in place for the “wake me up at 3am” type stories that thankfully only happen a few times a year.

So those are my thoughts, I welcome feedback on the metrics and weighting as its not quite there yet.

Categories: apml Tags:

Great APML article

November 15, 2007 1 comment

Attention profiling is a very interesting concept and it seems that Australia is leading the way (well Farraday Media is).

Below is the best article written on the subject to date that I’ve found.

What is attention profiling…here’s a quote from the article.

Attention profiling is quite possibly the next wave of smarter, more relevant web browsing. APML is an emerging standard that promises to make it much easier for websites and services to cater to your exact tastes, reducing the information overload of seemingly endless web content.

Next stage is now to get the ninemsn exec team onto the data portability bandwagon (

Categories: apml, Technology Tags: ,