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Future Algorithm of the Social Web

Posted in internet by tipo on February 16, 2010

I recently alluded that Facebook needs to implement smarter algorithms or my defriending fiesta begins tomorrow (David Armano held a similar argument this weekend). My coworker Mike Arauz helped me realize that my dilemma is much larger than Facebook, by asking what metrics would I like to see in a network’s algorithm. There’s no doubt that social’s main focus is soon to be content (and location) compared to individual connections. If current social powerhouses don’t filter the noise, they will quickly become less valuable.

A social algorithm needs two pillars: 1) That identifies your relationship with an individual (person, brand) and 2) That identifies your relationship with the content source. An individual and content source must be equally weighted because if content is social’s currency, it’s only valuable when you have individuals to exchange it with and vice versa. Most networks tend to only focus on the individual and ignore the fact that a significant part of our interactions occur with content. Whether a friend pushes out a status update, check-in or piece of content, his action needs a two-pillar combined score:

For the algorithm to be possible, the future social network would leverage APIs so your friends and data from Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Google Reader, Delicious, Last.FM, Netflix and so forth travel with you. On a more micro level, I would hope for the algorithm to reflect more personal connections: Do you listen to the same music as the individual? Watch similar films? Hang out in the same places? However, the crux of the algorithm is to recognize your relationship with content and the insights that come from it.

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3 Responses

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  1. Eric said, on February 16, 2010 at 11:47 am

    If you could create a middle-ground social network – something between Facebook (deep connections and functionality but without the Farmville bloat) and Twitter (interesting and fast but with more useful functions) – and base it in this Google-esque algorithm, you’d have yerself a goldmine, Tips. I’d join it in a nanosecond.

  2. […] on my theme last week of looking at Facebook the post Future Algorithm of the Social Web by Rachel Tipograph piqued my interest. Generally speaking I think on occasion people put way too […]

  3. Anita Singh said, on February 17, 2010 at 11:21 am

    Sounds like the future social network could learn a few things from dating sites algorithms. After all they are built to find those personal connections.


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