Int. J. of Internet Marketing and Advertising   »   2016 Vol.10, No.3



Title: Self-authored interest profiles for personalised recommendations


Author: Reuben Binns


Address: Department of Computer Science, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3QD, UK


Abstract: A large portion of the content, recommendations and advertisements shown on the web are targeted, based on a profile of an individual user. This paper explores two ways of creating and using such profiles. Behavioural profiling - a commonly used technique which makes inferences based on an individual's previous activity - is compared to what I call Self-Authored Interest (SAI) profiling, which is based on information explicitly volunteered and controlled by the individual. I present the results of an experimental study comparing the effectiveness of the two systems in generating targeted product recommendations. I find that (a) people respond more positively to product recommendations when they are derived from SAI profiles, and (b) the mere belief that a recommendation comes from an SAI profile is also associated with more positive responses.


Keywords: digital marketing; behavioural profiling; behavioural targeting; privacy; recommender systems; uncanny valley; permission marketing; vendor relationship management; personal data; personalisation; self-authoring; personalised recommendations.


DOI: 10.1504/IJIMA.2016.10001054


Int. J. of Internet Marketing and Advertising, 2016 Vol.10, No.3, pp.207 - 222


Date of acceptance: 20 Apr 2016
Available online: 02 Nov 2016



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