There’s a gimmicky Website called Genderanalyzer that claims to be able to predict the gender of a blogger by scanning their site. They’re 64% certain that I’m male. They also nailed Clayton (79%), and Fred (75%). But they’re 74% sure that Bill is a woman, and also 75% confident Jessica Hagy (one of the most popular female bloggers in the world) is a man.
So my point is not that the thing is accurate, but that it’s even conceived. This is one of the types of services the Web will be able to do well in 5 years or so – get human-quality impressions of a person or company by perusing their online presence.
The gender of a blogger is, of course, a trivial thing for this kind of automatic analysis to determine. But what about the kid-friendliness of a restaurant, or the hip-hop friendliness of a night club? Or the honesty of an online merchant, or the quality of a hotel? Or, to get back to personalities, how about the compatibility of a potential friend, spouse, physician, lawyer, or golf buddy?