There are two types of personalization:
1.) Explicit - a person sets some preference or takes some action to make the system more useful to them.
2.) Implicit - the "system" makes some inferences about the person using it based on usage / behavior.
I was thinking about this last night when we got home and turned on the TV, there are probably only a handful of channels or even shows that my wife and I watch. I started wondering why the cable box doesn't know us by now? I understand Tivo will suggest shows based on things you've watched in the past, however, what I'm thinking about it is slightly different. Of the 500 or so channels available, we probably only watch 10 or 15 of them, at most, in the course of a month. Weather Channel, Smooth Jazz on Music Choice, Fox Soccer Channel, etc. There is a great likelihood that when the TV is on in our house, it is probably one of the those channels.
Over time, the system should just learn this about us.
What I'm thinking is that when you turn on the TV and hit "Guide", it should just come up with your "Most Viewed Channels" and give a quick and easy way to switch to "All Channels". Perhaps some other option to set either "Most..." or "All..." as the default. That would be a nice mixture of both explicit & implicit personalization.
This isn't rocket science; this would be a simple brute force algorithm based on usage patterns. You could take it even further, of course, it could be based on day of the week, time of day, etc. During the day, it is very common for one of us to leave it on a music channel for an extended period of time when we're at home. Sunday night is almost always one of the movie channels. So why do we have to sort through the long list of available options.
I get that you can set "Favorites" these days on most cable boxes, however, that is 3 clicks just to set a favorite and then another 3 clicks to get to your list of favorites. It's useful, but still places the burden on the person.
There are probably more than 500 channels available on most cable / satellite systems these days, instead of just adding more content all the time, why not help people quickly find content that they'll probably enjoy?
What do you think?