Posts Tagged ‘mepath’

all information is relative?

September 6, 2010

The website PeerIndex.net have talked about their ‘relative measure of an individual’s online authority’ as the Semantic Web Blog puts it for them.  PeeerIndex are similar to Klout.com and others looking to establish an online influence measurement score online.  The idea of ‘relative’ is interesting, it is what we use on mepath.com and the lifestylelinking – open source project.   As far as I can understand the relative authority index combines three parts, authority, audience and activity.  I class this data as log data, that is data produce in serving up and interacting with a webpage.  It is valuable data as googles pagerank demonstrates for every search query.  What I have found out over the years of exploring data from such sources, it is the second best proxy for the real context or meaning authored in the text.  That is why, mepath and the lifestylelinking project use relativity based on the context of each blog post authored.  Put another way it uses nil log data in its calculation of relative.

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filtering social news

April 23, 2010

What are the magic ingredients that brings the best information to us in a social context?  A couple of months ago I presented the whole story on the logic going on behind mepath.com.  This week the development team over at facebook partially presented their model.  The techcrunch blog has a great summary.

EdgeRank is the core metric formed and a news feed is a series of Objects prioritied by edgescore.  This can be summarised in the following equation:

The Sum of all Edges = Ue * We * De

where U is the affinity score between the user and Edge creator, W weight for each edge type, D time discount.

U – is real interesting as it is trying to decide how close you, the reader of the news stream is to author of the object.  Now, FB has a great starting point, they know there is a social connection between you and the author as only friend connections are brought back into a new feeds (OK, slightly more complicated as fan pages etc or app. data may feedback object not authored by a friends ie. like a RT of a non follower on Twitter).   By contrast mepath is given no starting relationship connection, it has to decide that itself and does so based on the lifestyle context of an individual over time.

W – applies a weight based on the type of edge e.g. comment, video post etc.  In effect saying the type of media authored can be biased up or down.  That is real interesting but how these weighting are decided is of even more interest?

D – time discounting.  Real time to later time.  Everyone one wants the latest but just in case we are not logged in 24/7 then we can review top news that ‘holds’ on to some friends post for longer, minimizing the chance you missed important news.  From my thinking on time filtering data, it is a deep and complex science all on its own.  The most important information an individual wants may well have happened in the past and well into the past.

While we can segment and split all we like, the simple objective remains, bring back the best information that is possible to have for the individual.  And increasing the will found and be achieved by understanding both the context it is initiated and understanding the context in which is was authored.

lifestyle interests

April 20, 2010

The thinking guys over at Techcrunch authored  a post entitled, Facebook To Twitter: Back Off, We Own People’s Interests today.  They talk in terms of a ‘battle line’ being made in the cyber sands over the interests of individuals.  Why is it worth a battle? “Whoever knows what your interests are right now and can package them up for advertisers has the chance to make a lot of money.” the articles states.  I am always reminded to start the economic story with the individual, as the article does in talking about the how ‘interest’ posts will be feedback into a FB news stream of each FB user.  Yes, it is great to connect individuals around interest, it is good to be open and to share, the mantra states.  Create value for individuals then you have an opportunity to share in some of it.

The opportunity to view pictures, videos or to read thoughts or feedback from individuals that share a common interest with you, even though you don’t know them through your existing friends (social) network is a great service.  The semantic web community has used ‘interests’ as the starting point to demonstrate their wears.  Twine now part of Evri.com made a spoof video on what exactly ‘interests’ were?  I guess we all know now.  Why have the semantic search businesses used the ‘interests’ area as the place to enter the market?  When you expand the sources of inputs back into an individuals news or activity stream then the potential volume of posts from the interest community can become vast very quickly, any benefits from connection can be quickly lot in the hose pipe of new updates.  Also, an ‘interest’ is a board category, take skiing, down hill moguls, in Scotland or the Alps.  Yes, Interest can be setup or tagged with increasing granularity but then you have a lot of interest to match yourself too.  OK, algorithms can be crunch behind the scene to help discovery.  I think the semantic and next generation search or filtering startups are just saying, we will do that from source.

Back to the economic value to the individual, if ‘interests’ information help them find or go to or buy a better ski resort, accommodation or pair of new skis then the businesses supporting them on that outcome will get to share in the economic value spent.  Advertising income is a real source of income online, main stay for google et al but I am not sure the best or maximum value is being collected.  Advertising is no small market but I think we as an industry are leaving too much value on the table.  How much extra value is there to be had?  All the costs incurred in advertising, selling, marketing, development, research and IT/Online.  Individuals sit at the top of that food chain, they will benefit the most and those best supporting them will have the opportunity profit well.

Social search Q&A

April 1, 2010

I picked up this article, The Tantalizing Promise of Social Search from a friend on Twitter.  The discovery of this webpage is a real life example of the future promise of social search as set out in the interview with Alexandra Samuel.  The interview discusses both the technical problems and the social problems to be tackled.  With the social ones predicted to be harder to solve than the technical ones.  Alexandra talks about the integration of search and social networks activity streams, in the context of friends or experts.  I think we are all ‘experts’ and the goal is alway to find the right context be that social or knowledge to provide information that solves our query.  Some times the friends in a social network will have the answers to help and be willing to share but at other times friends won’t know but it is highly probable a group of individuals in the world will have the answer.  I like to think of these as ‘friends you do not know about’, that is people who are really important to you but you have never met or have existing social ties with.  Finding this type of unknown friend is the problem we have been working on at mepath.

footprints in the snow – lifestylelinking

February 11, 2010

I am always looking for better ways to explain the ideas behind lifestylelinking.  The other week I was out walking in the snow covered hills and there was lots of footprints in the snow.  At the bottom of the hill the number of footprints were numerous, so numerous they sort of merge into a mass of marks in the snow with bits of unique prints standing out.  As I climbed the breadth of prints narrowed and well into the walk they became so few that you could follow the unique tread marks of the walkers.  Now, I walk for many hours at a time so after a while I was reduced to following just one set of marks in the snow, as it happen, not footprints but those of cross country skier.

Eventually, I diverged from the tracks of the skier but in terms of those out in the hills that day, this skier was ‘lifestyelinking’ with me the tightest.  As I later found it was probably my fiddling friend that had been out the day before.  I thought, at the start of the walk I could not even see the skier marks for the mass of paths in the snow but as I climbed I was linking my walk with fewer individuals but eventually I found my closet hill walking lifestyle match.  The great thing about finding this person is that we can share stories and other experiences.  In this case, I knew the person but most of the time I will not but it is probable that there are lots more stories and experiences to be shared ie. blog posts to read, pictures and videos to view, other places they like to walk or places they travel far and locally.

The snow made ‘lifestylelinking’ possible in this case, the same walk in the summer provides no such obvious footprints, much like our surfing around the web.  However, mepath works to identify the patterns in lifestyles and matching those, I like to think we provide the benefits of the snow online all year round.

wintersports magazine

January 13, 2010

We are in the heart of winter, here in Scotland and I am enjoying clicking through the list of winter sports on mepath.  Great to see lots of other winter sport enthusiasts having fun in the wintry conditions.  One of my free skiing photos even made it on to mepath, I was tickled pink to see that!

James

mepath in the cloud

January 13, 2010

We are just about there with having mepath hosted in the cloud.  Another 48 hours to resolve our url and then mepath.com‘s new home will be complete.

TechMeetUp – Aberdeen

October 22, 2009

The University of Aberdeen Department of Computer Science hosted the inaugural TechMeetUp – Aberdeen last night.   People started turning up around 6.30 and tech chat soon started, Physics, NLP researchers, Engineers and those hacking away at private projects in their space time all shared their ideas and work.  Bruce Scharlau from the University had arranged for beer and pizza to arrive around seven and once that was scoffed we headed to Measton 6 lecture hall to listen to a couple of talks, the first by Gavin Maclean of OpenPlanet Software, on OpenCL and the second was on mepath.com.

OpenCL was a new topic to me but I had done some searching on it before hand.  I am sure this is an oversimplication but we all have CPU and Graphics cards in our PC or Mac.  Now these graphics cards can contain many more, quantum more processing power than on the CPU.  However, the whole computer is focused on using the CPU.  OpenCL is a frame work that can be used to tap into graphics card’s processing power.  Gavin told how the CEO of Nvidia sees a future for mobile devices without a CPU.  To finish his presentation Gavin demonstrated a fractal type equation being run in one thread, CPU and OpenCL, the time savings were impressive using openCL.

It was an apt. link to my talk, as every day mepath is creating more demand for processing power.  Here are the slides I presented and a video of the talks are coming soon. Cheers to all those that turned up, asked questions and to those that organized the event.

Video from the event

mepath.com beta0.7 release LIVE

July 16, 2009

mepath.com started it’s evolution to a lifestyle magazine user interface today with our before Beta0.7 release.   The home page, opens with five sports where daily photos, videos and blog posts are displayed.  To select a different sport, click on a lifestyle sport.  Don’t see your favorite sport?  Click on the Add/Edit link to select from a range of sports.  If you still can not see the sport you are after, why not use the feedback button located on the right hand side of the screen to tell us the sport that you would like to see listed.

The feedback service is provided by GetSatisfaction .  Not only does it give us, mepath the opportunity to communicate more effectively with users of the website, fellow mepath community members can learn or answer questions, potentially faster than me, the developer of mepath.com .

Thank you to all those users that have tested our OpenID and Facebook Connect log in pages.  Your feedback has been invaluable and we look forward to receiving more of your feedback.  It’s much appreciated.

Cheers

James

text, photo, video lifestlye mashup

April 14, 2009

The activity stream on mepath.com has expanded to include video.  Each sporty activity stream starts with photos, then video and then a list of blog posts, all are up-dated on 24 hour cycle.  The mashup of content types has made each sport stream more instantly identifiable and while you can go to flickr and youtube to view the same content having it all aggregated in one place provides a convenient way to discover information on a daily basis from the world of sport.

My current favorite streams are the skiing activity stream and the triathlon activity stream.