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John Reidl on Creating the Social Web

Reidl is in the University of Minnesota Dept of Computer Science

Will look at the Alexa's top 10 web sites.

1. Yahoo
Tags. Tag clouds.
HubMed, something someone put together in delicious
GeoRef tags in Flickr

GroupLens did a study about different types of tags and how people feel about them:
-Factual tags (anime) are overall considered useful
-Subjective tags (surreal) are less useful, but everyone feels their own tags ARE useful
-Personal tags (mydvd) are not useful, but 87% people value them for organizing

Delicious tag studies: non power law of tags and tag frequency showing the dropoff of tags after the first 7 or so.

Social structure of the environment may be the very thing that is leading people to create valuable tags.

Can a useful ontology be created in a folksonomy? Is there any way to encourage that?

2. Google
Google search is social, it's all about page rank.

Google changed their search algorithm to deal with Word Farms and people who they feel are trying to engineer their page rank.

Rich get richer. People are more likely to find sites heavily linked to.

The long tail in blogspace. More than 50% of readings happen out in the long tail because there are so many of them.

NetFlix: you'll be happier with a title they recommend than one you pick yourself. They just offered $1M to someone who can build a better recommender.

3. MySpace
Heather Ann Tucci's statement online about August 19, 2006 accident and people who died eventually led to her conviction because she had, effectively, confessed.

4. MSN: too boring to talk about
ISP and Content Provider

5. Ebay
People make more money if they have a higher reputation
Sellers punish buyers who give negative feedback and this is one of the reasons why people don't give honest feedback on ebay

6. Amazon
Most important resource is customers. Customers selling to other customers (recommend products to other customers).

7. YouTube
"Video by amateurs" according to Google.
Almost none of the most popular videos are by amateurs, most of them are copyrighted content. Right before YouTube was acquired by Google, they made a deal with CBS to allow CBS to look for their content, and if they found one, YouTube would pay CBS most of the profits from advertising for that content.

$1.65Billion for YouTube is about $25million per employee (65 employees)
$16 per 100 million views per day. Google already had video technology, they were buying the community.

8. World of Warcraft
8 million worldwide
Fayejin funeral on WOW. at Frostfire Hot Springs. Another group, the sworn enemy of her trip, found out about this and decided to raid the funeral.

People who spend a lot of time in WOW are very ambivalent about this.

8. Craigslist.org
Renting apartments in NYC. craiglist had to add a $10 fee for NYC so that people would stop reposting ($2.5m / year). Estimate that Craislist could generate $500M/year with banner ads. Craig said "Users haven't asked for banner ads"

9. Wikipedia

Movielens is a recommender site run at UMN. 120,000 registered users so far. 10,000 movies. Wanted to see if they could get users to maintain movie database.
Scale (slashdot, users moderate, only way to keep up)
Speed (viegas did a study to show that users are quick to undo antisocial things like graffiti)
Robustness against change (protection from one user quitting)
Direction-setting: where are we going with this?

How can you manage the quality of contributions? Knowing that their work will be reviewed increases the quality.

What happens if you review after publication (wikipedia) instead of before?
Expected quality is higher in wiki model

WikiPedia: How do you help people find work to do? Randomly, chronologically, communite needs, alphabetically.

People did four times more work when work was routed to them through an intelligent recommender system.

10 Facebook
90% thought peers would look
only 3% thought professors would look

11. CNN
CNN now does RL news in Second Life. Can get a pager in Second Life that you carry around

Reuters has a bureau in Second Life and reports on Second Life news to the Real world

QUESTIONS
Will this be taken seriously by the academy?
Don't know, there's so much effort reflected in these activities though, would like to think that there will be a payoff for the greater social good.

Where are business models, and what is the economics?
Did talk about economic theory (for ex. analysis of eBay about motivations) but didn't actually talk about money.

What about the effect of popularity and people who want to be with people like them on the social web, not with older people who found out about it later, etc.?
Yes, there will be a first wave that will leave when it gets too crowded, but then there will be a second wave.

Comments

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