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The Living Adapting Site

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I've talked about what follows a number of times but only as disconnected bits; now I'm going to describe the forest rather than the trees. Some of what follows has already been implemented by a number of sites, some is in testing, some in research; however, it all is real and it all works if not as a whole live reality, not yet, quite.


Important Note: the following is simplified and limited, the reality is complex and far far more reaching.

You are warned.

A visitor arrives on site for the (apparent) first time and the default format for that landing page is served. Simultaneously the visitor is being fingerprinted (Visitor Identification, Cre8, December-2011; Mining Apps, Cre8, December-2014) and entered into a database.

As the visitor scrolls, moves mouse, etc. reading speed and interests, individual on page track and multiple page click tracks are logged, entered into DB, and associated with fingerprint id.

Visitor leaves.

Visitor returns, is identified by 'fingerprint', prior site interests are checked against landing page content... and a personalised (rather than the default) format based on context of person, device, history, etc. Personalised Selling Is A Competitive Advantage, Cre8, December-2011.

Mine are pure info sites; what others with eCom sites are doing is taking personal ID from orders and mining SM for additional data to better pinpoint offers. This for your mother's birthday, that for your anniversary, your nephews high school grad... all apparently serendipitous but in reality your web shared personal information leveraged. With nary a cookie or registration on site.

I know which books or movies or media devices or what-have-you I sold you through affiliation and which ones you were checking out on my presell pages that you didn't. So, I can better target you each time you return. I know which ad pages for which products interested you the most over time so I know which coupons and offers to suggest first and second on given days in given seasons.

Back to the beginning: a visitor arrives on site for the (apparent) first time from a back link aka not via SE and that referrer is checked against a DB. If not there, the default format... (and is logged to be added)... however, if already there I already know the context of what brought the visitor: the referring page's title, heading, description, link's anchor/surrounding text and subheading... and a semi-custom context driven page format and content is delivered and visitor is fingerprinted for future reference.

Yes, there is a fly (possibly - still too early to say definitively) in the ointment for those that live and die via Google: not every visitor sees the same page at a given URL; there is a default and then there are the personalised. It is using context to change content - remember how innovative was CSS? - this is a similar shift. The page is becoming a recombination of URIs under an overarching URL.

In time (still in research stage) a site may become a recombination of URIs packaged according to personalised requirements. rather than move from formal page to page one would move through information chunks (I don't have the computer power to go more granular in real time).

The web is still wild and increasingly weird and loads of fun...


And the revenue rivers overflow with goodness and money. :)

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So, can you track someone who is using assistive technology like JAWS or a text to speech reader? I've always wondered a few things...like for example, they can't SEE the ads in front of them and I bet it would be rare for someone to think of optimizing them.


And, how would the site page adapt to someone who has limited abilities but is still technically using the page?

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Sure, Kim, slice and dice with edge cases!

First let me say that it is best to publish content in a manner that is accessible to, usable by as wide an audience as possible. To do so I currently use responsive design with server assist to render as cross device as possible, context driven progressive enhancement to provide a best feasible experience given user and transmission constraints, mark-up best practices to support assistive technologies, etc.

There are ways to detect some browser assistive tech such as JAWS but not all; however if the user is accessing via app that can tell (pretty much) all. The reason I wrote the previous paragraph is because most sites attempting assistive detection are doing so in order to deliver a 'disability enhanced' experience. Instead, I track it as a market segment.

What and how a user 'sees' and 'hears' page content varies by the disability and the assistive tech. I prefer to let them decide. While, hopefully, making it easier and more seamless.

That said, ads (and affiliate pre-sell) are content, and are received however the user and the tech allow/prefer. And I most certainly DO optimise them; well, not AdSense! :D (although...)

Perhaps the most adapting done is for those with cognitive disabilities. There are many such and there is no way for a site to know, which a visitor might have; however, it is possible to detect certain on page behaviours and contextually shift in various ways - but I, once again, prefer to give that control to the visitor, in large part because I simply do not want to waste the resources doing what they can (usually) do better. Of course that means making options available and clear.

If you specify the 'limited abilities' I might be better able to answer. :)

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