Last.fm founders launch Web recommendation startup Lumi

Lumi, a new startup project developed by Last.fm founders Felix Miller and Martin Stiksel launched this week.

A browser plug-in, the app utilises an individual's web data to provide targeted suggestions of all kinds of content from the Internet including news, arts, sport, music and film.

"When we started Last.fm in 2002 we tried to show that with the right kind of technology it's possible and easy for people to discover new music they like. We always thought that by taking a similar approach for the Web as a whole it should be easy for people to discover all sorts of content," explain Stiksel and Miller.

Through doing this, the duo think they can provide an answer to the noise of Facebook and Twitter sharing, by providing suggestions based on your personal interests rather than the of friends and the people you follower.

Presently available as a plugin for Chrome, Safari and Firefox, the team is currently developing a mobile app from their office in Hackney, East London.

Stiksel and Miller also hope to show people that their browsing data - which is already being collected in the background - can have a use other than exploitation by corporations for advertising purposes.

"We've been asking ourselves why do we always have to start from scratch when we fire up our browser? We put a lot of time and effort into searching for things, following links and surfing, yet all of this effort is forgotten and counts for nothing. Instead, wouldn't it make sense to use this data to help us find better stuff?" they comment.

Privacy is becoming increasingly important in the online world, and the startup realise that being asked to allow a service to collect and use browsing data, may well be a concern for many.

For this reason, Lumi is ensuring that any privacy worries are headed of right from the go, assuring users that the service is completely secure: "We're very aware that recording your visit data with Lumi raises some pretty serious privacy concerns. We assure you that your browsing activity is secure, completely anonymized, and only ever accessible by you."

To help show this commitment to privacy and security, the website even advertises a dedicated email 'hotline' for anyone who finds a security issue with the service.

Furthermore, Stiksel and Miller maintain that they have no interest in making money from the data, something which the £142m sale of Last.fm in 2007 may have to do with.

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