Personalization, Customization, Individuation, and New Media

Previous webpage: Social Media and Early Platforms for Individuation. Many media executives and media academicians inadvertently conflate the differences between the terms personalization, customization, and individuation. The terms differ in meaning. Here is a primer about correct usage: Personalization is a form of address or motif. Let’s imagine that your first name is John. You receive an unsolicited commercial postal letter (i.e., ‘junk mail’) that begins with ‘Dear John’ and that tries to entice you to purchase a product or service. Meanwhile, untold thousands of other people also receive the same unsolicited commercial letter, except that theirs begins with ‘Dear Susanne’ […]

My 'Individualization of Content' Speech at APME

I spoke Saturday as the final speaker at the Associated Press Managing Editors annual conference, in Louisville, Kentucky. The conference’s subject that day’s was Newsrooms of the Future: Blueprints for Editors and Readers. Among the nine other speakers, Belden Associated President Sammy Pappert (a story about his speech) and President Alan Nelson (text of his speech) were particularly good. My chosen topic was individualization of content. It’s not a topic that many newspaper editors care to consider. If anyone would like to see my slides for the speech, you can read my narration in the slides’ PowerPoint’s ‘Notes’ view.