Nov 28, 2008

Mechanisms to adjust taste/profile

I do not use StumbleUpon very often, but when I do, I always like the results. I have not really put any effort in creating a profile or something, so the results are not really relevant to me, but most of them are very funny, interesting, or draws my attention otherwise.

I suppose a relatively simple algorithm is needed to show me these results (lots of people like this website >> you must like it as well). Still, it is interesting how you can influence the search results, and today, with a new upgrade, I noticed 2 interesting additions to do this.

The first one regards "Not-for-me", which is when something does not appeal to you in any sense. There are similar mechanisms in for example (this program picks music for you, I love it), where you can "Ban a song", "Love a song", or just "Skip a song". The other one, which I really like, is one that solves a common problem with intelligent algorithms that try to predict your taste or likes/dislikes: slowly being guided into a profile or taste that you cannot escape anymore without radical changes in taste. I do have that with, which plays too much indie-rock, and too much of "Tricky", which I do not like, but still, the algorithm has decided that I do, so I have to listen to it once in a while. I solve this problem by listening to playlists by "Neighbours" (similar, but somewhat different music taste), or "Friends" (possibly no shared taste at all).

For this problem, StumbleUpon has implemented the "Too much of this lately" option, which in some way must be translated to the personalized algorithm you have and delivers Interesting/Funny/Relevant websites to you.

Since I am also involved in developing software that tries to determine the relevance of content-objects within social networking environments, based on interaction with the users, I find these types of simple (on the interface level) mechanisms very interesting.

clipped from
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  • Adds the following thumbdown types:

    1. Not-for me - This doesn't suit me.

    2. Stumbled this before - This content was in a previous stumble.

    3. Too much like this lately - Baby animals are nice, but that's enough for now.

  • What is StumbleUpon?

    blog it

    Nov 20, 2008

    The proof for peer production

    Mozilla, or as my father called it "Mozzarella", is an open source project that allows anyone to contribute. The nice thing about the browser is not just that people can contribute code to the browser, but they can develop applications that run on the browser (Facebook, <b>not open source,</b> does the same for its social network). Today, Mozilla corporation announced that more than 1 billion addons have been downloaded by its users. I am not really surprised by this, because I could not go without FF addons, it is one of the main reasons I use this browser (rather than Chrome or Opera). I might post another blog with my favourite addons, including the Clipmarks addon I use for posting this message.

    mozilla_logo_blue_nov08.pngMozilla today announced that it has served its 1 billionth addon download since they started keeping track of these downloads in 2005. Currently, Mozilla's users are downloading close to 1.5 million addons every day.