Toby Segaran

Toby Segaran

  • @kiwitobes
Toby Segaran is the author of Programming Collective Intelligence, a very popular O'Reilly title. He was the founder of Incellico, a biotech software company later acquired by Genstruct. He currently holds the title of Data Magnate at Metaweb Technologies and is a frequent speaker at technology conferences.

Beautiful Data Beautiful Data
by Toby Segaran, Jeff Hammerbacher
July 2009
Print: $44.99
Ebook: $35.99

Programming the Semantic Web Programming the Semantic Web
by Toby Segaran, Colin Evans, Jamie Taylor
July 2009
Print: $39.99
Ebook: $31.99

Programming Collective Intelligence Programming Collective Intelligence
by Toby Segaran
August 2007
Print: $39.99
Ebook: $33.99

Toby blogs at:

Photo-Development Challenge Results #2: Statues

May 22 2015

It's been three months to the day since I posted "Photo-Development Challenge: Inspire Me and Others With Your Artistic Interpretation", and I'm mortified that it's only the second set of results that I'm finally getting around to sharing (the first having been "Hillside Temple Buildings" 2½ months ago). In retrospect,… read more

Ask the Readers: Will higher interest rates make you save more money?

May 22 2015

This article is by editor Linda Vergon. Interest rates are expected to rise later in 2015. What will you do with this information? You could make the case that you haven’t missed much if you didn’t keep your money in a savings account over the last few years. But still,… read more

Four short links: 22 May 2015

May 22 2015

GM: That Car You Bought, We’re Really the Ones Who Own It — GM’s claim is all about copyright and software code, and it’s the same claim John Deere is making about their tractors. The TL;DR version of the argument … read more

Four short links: 22 May 2015

May 22 2015

GM: That Car You Bought, We’re Really the Ones Who Own It — GM’s claim is all about copyright and software code, and it’s the same claim John Deere is making about their tractors. The TL;DR version of the argument … read more

A “have-coffee” culture

May 21 2015

Download a free copy of Building an Optimized Business, a curated collection of chapters from the O’Reilly Web Operations and Performance library. This post is an excerpt by J. Paul Reed from DevOps in Practice, one of the selections included … read more

A “have-coffee” culture

May 21 2015

Download a free copy of Building an Optimized Business, a curated collection of chapters from the O’Reilly Web Operations and Performance library. This post is an excerpt by J. Paul Reed from DevOps in Practice, one of the selections included … read more

Cultivating change

May 21 2015

Attend Cultivate July 20 and 21, in Portland, Oregon. Cultivate is our conference looking at the challenges facing modern management and aiming to train a new generation of business leaders who understand the relationship between corporate culture and corporate prosperity. … read more

What today’s fitness technology means for tomorrow’s office

May 21 2015

Contributing Author: Claire Niech Attend O’Reilly’s Solid Conference, June 23–25, in San Francisco. Solid is our conference exploring how the collision of software and hardware is fueling the creation of a software-enhanced, networked physical world. At 5:37 a.m., Nina’s alarm … read more

Cultivating change

May 21 2015

Attend Cultivate July 20 and 21, in Portland, Oregon. Cultivate is our conference looking at the challenges facing modern management and aiming to train a new generation of business leaders who understand the relationship between corporate culture and corporate prosperity. … read more

What today’s fitness technology means for tomorrow’s office

May 21 2015

Contributing Author: Claire Niech Attend O’Reilly’s Solid Conference, June 23–25, in San Francisco. Solid is our conference exploring how the collision of software and hardware is fueling the creation of a software-enhanced, networked physical world. At 5:37 a.m., Nina’s alarm … read more

Tuxedo Jacket

August 15 2014

I decided I wanted to make something a little more elegant for Halloween this year (and for future parties / Burning Man). It’s a little hard to capture on video, but it’s really quite mesmerizing: This is a tuxedo jacket that I bought at a thrift shop on Valencia St.… read more

Twitter lights and memory limits with Arduino Yun

August 15 2014

When the Arduino YÚN was announced, I was definitely curious. Many people said it was overpriced because a Raspberry Pi with all the necessary add-ons was slightly cheaper and more powerful.  Although I’ve managed to do some interesting things with my Pi (more on my home automation system to come), I’ve definitely… read more

Disco Stick

August 15 2014

For New Years 2013, my friend Steve Davis organized a big party in Geyserville at a very strange venue with lots of Ocelots. I had an old HL1606 light strip that I’d bought from Adafruit so I thought it might be interesting to make something for the party. Unlike newer light… read more

Sound reactive GE Christmas Lights

August 15 2014

A couple of years ago, I found some posts online about hacking the protocol that controlled GE Christmas lights. Combined with an Arduino and an MSGEQ7 (along with some posterboard and a bladed tool that cuts circular holes) I made this: That was fun and people thought it was neat,… read more

"At last, a book that tells what the semantic web can do, rather than explaining how the world might be if, overnight everything on the web suddenly became ‘semantic.’"
--Neil McNaughton, Oil IT Journal

"A worthwhile book if you work with data — whether you be a consumer or producer."
--eldavojohn, Slashdot.org

"Reading this book isn't like reading an IT textbook. It's like reading an adventure story that wows you with each chapter. I bet you'll be so amazed by some of the stories here that you'll share them with colleagues. It's that interesting."
--Todd R. Weiss, ComputerWorld

"This book was, to me, truly extraordinary and truly entertaining. I read it in pieces over the course of a few weeks, and it was lovely to take in one story – one angle on data problems or applications – and muse on it on and off until I had a few minutes to read the next. It’s a book that lends itself to piecemeal reading, jumping around, and rereading at will. And it’s one I recommend not just to IT pros, but to everyone. "
--Jennifer McCown, SQLServerPedia

"While the book is indeed beautiful, it more importantly provides a set of carefully described case studies in all phases of the data capture, processing,analysis, communication and visualization life cycle. "
--Ira Laefsky, Amazon.com

"...Programming the Semantic Web serves as a solid introduction and survey of the tools and techniques necessary to make it into something worth your effort...I can say that after reading this book, I finally get the concept of semantic data and the relationships it defines... The examples in this book are quite useful and not too abstract. "
--Thomas Lockney, Amazon.com

"I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to understand important Web 2.0 concepts involving analysis of information and data or who needs to implement a Machine Learning or Data Mining application. "
--Ira Laefsky, Amazon.com

"...Toby Seagram does an excellent job of making programming approaches easy to understand. I highly recommend the book even if you never plan to implement any of the algorithms, just to develop a conceptual understanding of how they work."
--Sol Lederman, Federated Search Blog

"...the must-have book for Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 applications."
--Charles Merriam, BayPIGgies

"Any library strong in programmer's guides needs Programming Collective Intelligence: it backs in details on machine statistics and uses these insights as models for creating more effective online systems."
--James Cox, The California Bookwatch

"If you're working with existing data this may spark off an inspiration that will let you add some new features or up your accuracy. Or if you're presented with a problem this book may give you techniques that will help you solve it without having to work everything out from first principles. It's well written manual that'll handily expand your repertoire."
--Simon Winstow, London Perl Mongers

"This is one of the best books I've read in the last few years. It has a very natural and easy to follow format, with simple but powerful pieces of code written in Python...I highly recommend this book to learn about different techniques and to give you insight of what you can do with information in general. "
--Gustavo Cavalcanti, Amazon.com

"Segaran's examples are all interesting, and both his explanations and his code are exceptionally clear. Some readers will find there's more math in the book than they'd like, but given the subject matter, that can't be helped. With a few more exercises at the end of each chapter, it'd be a great textbook; as it is, it's an excellent introduction to a topic that grows more important every day."
--Gregory V. Wilson, Dr. Dobb's Portal

"If you are into developing intelligent software, or simply learning more about intelligent methods, this is a great book for you. The book is very well written with easy to follow Python code, clear explanations of the code, and then something often overlooked: showing the results. The interactive nature of Python allows you to work thru each code example. This makes for an excellent learning paradigm...This is the kind of book, I wish I had a month off to work thru all the examples, even as a good review."
--John Taber, the truth is out there

"Statistical programmers will probably find years of entertainment here. :) "Normal" programmers will expand their horizons, too."
--Thomas Duff, Duffbert's Random Musings

"It's an excellent book for anyone who wonders how to use data from other websites or how to use user behavior to learn how to service those users better. Toby Segaran, the author, uses a clear and expository style that allows you to learn how collective intelligence techniques work, in addition to seeing implementations of the techniques (in Python, but porting from Python isn't difficult, especially with how clear his explanations are.)...All told, it's a fascinating book. Web 2.0 isn't just about interactivity – it’s about intelligence, too. Interactivity is easy to achieve, with so many web frameworks that focus on interaction. Intelligence is a little harder – and this book goes a long way to making it easy."
--Joseph Ottinger, TheServerSide.COM

"Once in a while a book comes in that breaks the mold. Programming Collective Intelligence: Building Smart Web 2.0 Applications, by Toby Segaran is one of them. Basically, Programming Collective Intelligence is a book about analyzing Web data using statistical and AI methods in Python. It's more interesting than that sounds, however, at least partly because it's very practical and pragmatic."
--Martin Heller, Strategic Developer

"I first learned of this book just a few weeks ago, shortly before it was available. I immediately read the sample chapter on the publisher's website and was certain I had to get ahold of a copy...I was not in the least bit disappointed with what I found. It has been quite a while since I've looked at any Python code (I'm more of a Ruby fan, personally), but the code is easy to follow and it's a simple matter to extract the basic concepts into any language...Finally, I should mention that the last chapter does what so many other technical books should but don't: it clearly summarizes everything he has shown you. He does this in a straightforward way so that you won't have to go searching through the book, rereading everything again, to put these techniques into practice."
--Thomas Lockney, ama

"Programming Collective Intelligence is my “must have” book for 2007. I’ve been looking for a book that was able to explain machine learning, data mining and the related mathematics. I think I’ve found it! "
--Aneesha, Random Syntax

"Bravo! I cannot think of a better way for a developer to first learn these algorithms and methods, nor can I think of a better way for me (an old AI dog) to reinvigorate my knowledge of the details."
--Dan Russell, Google