Ajit Jaokar wrote an interesting piece titled Personalization is not a substitute for critical mass – from Zagme to Blyk, where he shares his views on Personalization with respect to critical mass; a good read.
Let me add my views on this important topic…
Personalization (the use of context for content-tailoring purposes) is kind of orthogonal to “critical mass”. Thus, personalization can’t be a substitute to critical mass. Yet, personalization is a tool that can be used as an enabler to help reach the goal of adoption, acceptance, and eventually “critical mass”.
Critical mass is the main goal, and will always be the main goal, regardless of the tools or techniques used to get there. Critical mass is relative to the particular target. Reaching critical mass depends on many factors, and in the case of mobility, a key factor is “mobile handset usage”. Fortunately, a boom on the usage of mobile/wireless is underway; see Reasons Why The Mobile/Wireless Usage Boom Is Underway.
Back to context, if properly leveraged/applied to the particular “vertical of interest”, which can be challenging and broad, and whomever does it right, the use of context means an advantage over others, and again, a tool towards adoption, critical mass.
As Russell Buckley wrote very well at ForumOxford:
“It’s still going to be primarily about Reach. But within that, we’ll have increasingly better targeting, contextualisation and personalisation”.
Here Russell touches on three main concepts: 1) Reach, 2) Target, and 3) Contextualisation and Personalisation
And he is right on spot.
For the purpose of completeness, I will reorder the above concepts a bit, and add to it:
It is about Targeting, Reaching and the Interactions, the use of Context for Content-Personalization, Measuring and Discovering, and Optimizing. All of these as the tool-set to help attract, provide useful/relevant information, and maximize the interactions (and thus maximize adoption, and eventually critical mass).
Now, the shameless plug: this is what eZee inc., my startup, is all about.