Clarifications to a podcast – I was recently mentioned (quite positively, me thinks) in a podcast. The speaker made a few mistakes though…

Drew Sanocki mentioned me in EP #49: Bold eCommerce Predictions with Drew Sanocki of up around 36m14s. I was flattered and noted a few mistakes in what was said. I offered the following as a comment (hasn’t appeared yet) so I’m publishing it here in case others are similarly confused.

Hello and thanks for the mention.

Just so there’s no confusion, my name is Joseph Carrabis. You can get most of the scoop on me on LinkedIn. The book is Reading Virtual Minds V1: Science and History. Interested listeners/readers can pre-order V2: Experience and Expectation in NextStage’s KnowledgeShop.

I’d consider myself a researcher rather than sociologist.

The tool you’re mentioning is our Evolution Technology (ET). We currently have four patents on ET and there are more in the queue. ET is considered both base and disruptive. One use is monitoring online behaviors and in doing so, ET does use transient cookies to store things like pagename, sitename and so on.

However, ET neither uses permanent cookies nor gathers any personal identifying information whatsoever.

ET has been independently validated to 98% accuracy determining visitor age and gender while they’re navigating a site. Its ability to identify individuals across websites is due to its ability to recognize an individual’s thought patterns — what we call neuroprints, like fingerprints of the mind — when an individual is on different properties. This ability comes from most people being able to fake just about anything except how they think. How an individual makes decisions, shows interest, demonstrates attention, etc., is the same (at a neural level) regardless of what site they’re navigating or what device they’re using. Again, this is covered in V1: Science and History.

The “job” example you mention is also covered in V1: Science and History. It took about 30 seconds to determine that visitor’s job based only on how they interacted with our site. We don’t have a “jobs” page per se. ET pops up a request that you contact us if it determines you’d get along well here and we have an opening that matches your abilities. It asks no questions, there are no forms to fill out.

Mouse movements comprise about 10-15% of how ET makes its determinations. Its accuracy drops to 83% if the visitor bounces and it works on most commonly used digital platforms (desktops to mobiles, etc).

Our company is NextStage Evolution. We’ve been in business since 2001. ET currently gathers and tracks online behavior in over 100 countries. Companies often come to us to

  1. create custom tools for their use based on ET
  2. advise them on entering new markets or cultural marketing based on our extensive cultural behavioral database
  3. because we’re lots of fun to work with, …

Hope that helps and again, thanks for mentioning us.


Posted in About, About MeTagged

NextStage Is Awarded Patent #3 – “System and method for obtaining subtextual information regarding an interaction between an individual and a programmable device”

NextStage Evolution received its third issued patent in four years on June 5, 2012. In a patent atmosphere that is making it increasing difficult to patent software-based technology, NextStage Evolutions technology continues to set itself apart from the pack while establishing a perimeter around its novel system. The third patent, US Patent No. 8,195,597, is specifically directed to the psychometric link a computer user develops with the machine interface focal point on the screen (e.g., the arrow or cursor) and the body language that can be interpreted from how the machine interface focal point is positioned relative to the information presented by the computer. Demographic information, consumer interest, opinions, and preferences is translated from machine interface body language to actionable business information with NextStage Evolutions Evolution Technology.

We got Patent #3Thank you, thank you, thank you. Yes, this is an important one. Not to downplay patents 1 and 2, this is the one that I’ve jokingly described with “Every time you have a thought, you’ll owe us a nickel.” You can read the full patent on the USPTO site. It deals with how humans non-consciously communicate with devices and describes the system behind how people create community with whatever’s in their immediate environment, something I described in Reading Virtual Minds, Volume I: Science and History.

Others may want to put a focus group in an fMRI, have them wear funny hats, pay a team to follow individuals through shopping malls or put up a survey and hope the right people are answering (they’re not). All we need is your visitors to be themselves and do what they’d normally do the way they’d normally do it — no hats, no machines, nobody following them around, no annoying popup questionnaires, no nothing except your visitors doing what they would normally be doing on your digital property each time they visit.

I gotta tell you, understanding human behavior’s a lot easier when you get everything else out of the way and just deal with the humans and what they’re doing right there at that moment. You get a lot more information about your visitors when you let humans be humans and not laboratory subjects.

And again, thank you, thank you, thank you.


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Taking the Harder Path

For reasons ununderstandable to me, there’s much overt and covert discussion about whether online analytics is hard or not, or even if it should be.

It seems an odd discussion to me. I regularly receive analytics reports on my various blogs and such. Interesting to look at and nothing I recognize as actionable. Guessable, yes, obviously actionable, no. I also receive NextStageish reports on my various blogs and such. Those let me know what my readers are thinking and responding internally. Much more valuable (to me) than “clicks on a page” because now I know why they clicked or didn’t.

For example, today I was sent Fascinating and frightening, but real magic! a customer review of Reading Virtual Minds V1: Science and History on The review took me by surprise:

“What started as an exploration into how I might provide a better user experience to website visitors quickly turned into a journey of self exploration. Joseph Carrabis is able to explain complex subjects in simple and easy to understand text. This book solidified so many connections for me that on more than one occasion I thought to myself “WOW, so that’s why people do that!”
“As you get to the end of the book it becomes clear that ET in the wrong hands could be a bad thing. Yet, it’s exciting to think of all the positive and good uses for this sophisticated technology. The book really sparked my imagination and I can’t wait for volume II!”

I thanked Ms. Flatt via Twitter. Her comments are, to me, sweeter than wine, finer than gold, bluer than the most midnight sky and truer than my heart with my lovely Susan beside me.

Ms. Flatt’s review is an example of someone getting it. No study, no work, nothing is going to be as fulfilling as the work, study, play, whatever, you do that helps you discover yourself, helps you learn how to be a better being, a better you.

But the person getting it needs to be ready, willing and able to do the work involved in getting it.

And although I’ve been talking, teaching and presenting on such topics for over 20 years now, there is still no greater thrill for me than knowing someone has peeled that onion back just a little bit, has peered into the face of their own internal gods, has learned who, what, when, where, why and how they are and has started down the path of getting it.

Because to truly be of service to another you must first learn to be the other. One way to do that is to learn more about yourself, the peeling of the onion, and in most cases be prepared to cry.

My opinion, that.

The work is often challenging, the path often difficult, the rewards always wonderful and worth it.

My opinion, that, as well.

So although I don’t recognize online analytics as “hard”, I do recognize harder paths, such as the one of self-discovery.

I’m about to take such a harder path, this time volunteering for Web Analytics Without Borders (WAWB). This is the harder path (in my opinion) because rolling up one’s proverbial sleeves and offering to help is inherently more challenging than complaining about a problem, pointing out the errors others are making in working towards solutions and not getting involved oneself. The resources outside of oneself when volunteering are minimal if they exist at all therefore the resources must come from within, which means one must discover them, hence it is a path of self-discovery and inherently harder than otherwise.

So you, Dear Reader…are you willing to challenge yourself to make life less challenging for others? Contact Stephane Hamel or Adam Laughlin at WAWB.

And thanks.

Questions for my Readers

I’m having a go-round with myself about making my writing better and more accessible (in all my blogs) to readers. I’m hoping that readers will give me some feedback on some items so I can improve.

Please feel free to give me feedback as comments here, via Skype (nseJDC), email or phone calls. I’m pretty reachable and quite willing to learn.

  • Is my writing friendly or unfriendly?
  • Do people find my use of faux-HTML (things like <CAVEAT>, etc.) irritating?
  • Is my writing just plain difficult to read?
  • Is the use of images in my blog posts distracting, helpful, …?
  • Are my posts just plain too long?
  • Is my writing narcissistic?
  • Do I quote myself too much?
  • Do I concern myself too much with scientific accuracy in my writing?
  • And lastly: Do I need to share more about myself?

I’m genuinely curious, folks, and would appreciate any feedback I can get.

And if there’s something I can do to improve my writing that isn’t listed in the above, please let me know that, too.

Thanks. – Joseph

About Me

Joseph Carrabis is Founder and CRO of The NextStage Companies (NextStage Evolution, NextStage Global and NextStage Analytics), companies that specialize in helping clients improve their marketing efforts and understand customer behavior. You can reach NextStage Evolution at 603 791 4925 or via info(at)nextstagevolution(dot)com.

Carrabis has authored 25 books (most recently Reading Virtual Minds Volume I: Science and History) and over 500 articles in five areas of expertise. His books have covered cultural anthropology, database technology and methods, information mechanics, language acquisition, learning and education theory, mathematics, social network topologies, and psycholinguistic modeling. His articles have covered computer technology, cultural-knowledge modeling, equine management, knowledge studies and applications, library science, martial arts, myth and folklore, neurolinguistic, psychodynamic and psychosocial modeling, group and tribal behavior, and social interactions in NYC and more. His writings are available at, An Economy of Meanings, BizMediaScience, iMediaConnections, Politics2012, Stating the Obvious, That Think You Do, TheAnalyticsEcology and Triquatrotritecale.

Carrabis is a Senior Research Fellow at USC Annenberg’s Center for the Digital Future, Senior Research Fellow and Board Advisory Member for the Society for New Communications Research and served as Founder, Senior Researcher and Director of Predictive Analytics for the Center for Semantic Excellence. He is a member of Scientists Without Borders, the AAAS’ Section Z, the Association for Psychological Science and the New York Academy of Sciences. He was selected as an International Ambassador for Psychological Science in 2010 specializing in trauma and AIDS therapies.

Carrabis has been a lead speaker, guest presenter and panelist at several industry, trade and academic conferences and conventions, ranging from The MIT Enterprise Forum to the International Communications Association Conference on the scientific side and from the eMetrics Summits to XChange to iMedia Summits on the business side. He is invited to present at scientific conferences and contribute to journals more frequently than time allows.

Carrabis has been awarded patents for NextStage’s Evolution Technology, a broad series of patents creating a new field of technology and applications. Evolution Technology allows any programmable device to understand human thought and respond accordingly.

You found it!


So far so good, yes? You’ve come to my new blog. I’m creating Triquatrotritecale because the KMM blogging platform, long home to my first blog, BizMediaScience, is becoming too finicky for my liking. I am, in that sense, the penultimate user; I want things to work when I need them to work and I want the interface to only change as I want it to. Forget if I need it to change, it should only change as I want it to change (I’ll accept a certain amount of pain (do you know the definition of “loyalty”?) but once that threshold is reached, I’m gone).

And that may well be the defining statement of this blog – Notes on the Penultimate User.

And I don’t mean me, by the way.

Okay, enough. Stay tuned.