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:

Signals from the 2015 O’Reilly Velocity Conference in Santa Clara

May 29 2015

People from across the Web operations and performance worlds are coming together this week for the 2015 O’Reilly Velocity Conference in Santa Clara. Below, we’ve assembled notable keynotes, interviews, and insights from the event. Think like a villain Laura Bell … read more

Designers as data scientists

May 29 2015

Download a free copy of “The New Design Fundamentals” ebook, a curated collection of chapters from our Design library. Note: this post is an excerpt from “Designing with Data,” by Rochelle King and Elizabeth F. Churchill, which is included in … read more

Signals from the 2015 O’Reilly Velocity Conference in Santa Clara

May 29 2015

People from across the Web operations and performance worlds are coming together this week for the 2015 O’Reilly Velocity Conference in Santa Clara. Below, we’ve assembled notable keynotes, interviews, and insights from the event. Think like a villain Laura Bell … read more

Designers as data scientists

May 29 2015

Download a free copy of “The New Design Fundamentals” ebook, a curated collection of chapters from our Design library. Note: this post is an excerpt from “Designing with Data,” by Rochelle King and Elizabeth F. Churchill, which is included in … read more

Ask the Readers: What expense do you most want to dump?

May 29 2015

This article is by editor Linda Vergon. Is there a bill you pay that you absolutely detest? Occasionally, I’ll get an attitude about paying one bill or another. (Ha! Paying taxes on April 15 is one bill that comes to mind immediately, for example.) I recognize that there is a… read more

9.3 trillion reasons fintech could change the developing world

May 29 2015

Request an invitation to Next:Money, O’Reilly’s conference focused on the fundamental transformation taking place in the finance industry. A relatively commonplace occurrence — credit card fraud — made me reconsider the long-term impact of financial technology outside the Western world. … read more

9.3 trillion reasons fintech could change the developing world

May 29 2015

Request an invitation to Next:Money, O’Reilly’s conference focused on the fundamental transformation taking place in the finance industry. A relatively commonplace occurrence — credit card fraud — made me reconsider the long-term impact of financial technology outside the Western world. … read more

Four short links: 29 May 2015

May 29 2015

Using Logs to Build Solid Data Infrastructure — (Martin Kleppmann) — For lack of a better term I’m going to call this the problem of “data integration”. With that I really just mean “making sure that the data ends up … read more

Four short links: 29 May 2015

May 29 2015

Using Logs to Build Solid Data Infrastructure — (Martin Kleppmann) — For lack of a better term I’m going to call this the problem of “data integration”. With that I really just mean “making sure that the data ends up … read more

Applied DevOps and the potential of Docker

May 28 2015

Editor’s note: this post is from Karl Matthias and Sean P. Kane, authors of “Docker Up & Running,” a guide to quickly learn how to use Docker to create packaged images for easy management, testing, and deployment of software. At … 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