What do Quora, Hunch, Nara, and Ness all have in common? They are all companies that generate value for their users by leveraging the power of Interest Graphs.
1. The controversy around Google’s personalised search? Based on an interest graph.
2. Facebook’s Open Graph? Interest graph.
3. Yahoo News? Interest Graph.
With Ebay’s acquisition of Hunch for about $80 million to help improve its recommendation system to better compete with the likes of Amazon, and over $100 million in venture funding for startups in pursuit of finding ways to develop connections between what people like, who they know, where they are etc., the graph technology space has been gaining increased attention over the past few months.
Enterprises are trying to build interest graphs across every site on the internet. If you think about it, we all probably have several disparate and independent interest graphs already created, even if they’re not too advanced or ready to deliver relevant consumer choices.
The real trick is in figuring out how to connect these disparate graphs to build a single multi-category, multi-faceted graph of who you are, and what you are interested in, for a world that serves you choices rather than one you have to navigate through.
Enter: the Choice Engine. The topic of what a Choice Engine can do, and its applications have been elaborated on by Suresh Shankar in his post “How does a Choice Engine overcome the choice problems?”, but what does it actually take to build a Choice engine?
I believe there are 5 key factors that have to be considered:
1. The basic ingredient: data. Is it collected implicitly or explicitly, and what is the quality of said data in its role of inferring interests?
2. Distilling ‘signals’ as reliable interest indicators among the ‘noise’ across the vast domain of information
3. Considering how the graph is created, and the patterns to look for
4. APIs: Enabling X-Commerce enterprises to connect to, and leverage the power of a Choice Engine
5. APIs to APPS: enabling consumers to interact with, and benefit from a Choice Engine anytime, anywhere.
Do check-in next week to explore the role of data in building a Choice Engine!
NEXT: Interest Graphs to Choice Engine: 5 critical components to succeed: Data [Part 2]