Social Ranking: Finding Interesting User-Generated Content

A session at SXSW Interactive 2011

Tuesday 15th March, 2011

12:30pm to 1:30pm (CST)

As more people use the internet to share statuses, tweets, links, and other content the task of separating the wheat from the chaff is quickly becoming more and more important. Luckily, there are a number of approaches to finding the most interesting content in use across the internet, both by analyzing content itself and by giving users themselves the tools to identify what is good.

Our panel will explore the details of how sites we use everyday have attempted to solve this problem. We’ll talk about voting systems where democracy works on a smaller scale, social systems that try to figure out who you care about or whose style you share, content analysis approaches that try to show you things based on your explicit or implicit set of interests, and other interesting algorithms for scoring and ranking content. We’ll also talk about implementation, touching on scaling distributed databases, training Machine Learning models, etc.

We’ll talk about some common issues across these systems. Something as simple as counting votes can actually turn into a long lesson in statistics. And there are other factors our algorithms must balance, including making sure we show recent stuff vs. the overall best, ensuring new content gets a fair chance to prove itself, and keeping the a site simple with all this complexity happening behind the scenes. Finally, we’ll talk about how algorithms that control content distribution end up being big targets for gaming and abuse.

LEVEL: Intermediate

About the speakers

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Chris Volinsky

Director of Statistics Research - AT&T bio from Twitter

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Jason Kincaid

Formerly a mild-mannered reporter at TechCrunch. Email: Jkincaid@gmail.com bio from Twitter

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Serkan Piantino
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Christopher Slowe

Bit twiddling caffeine junkie with a soft spot for physics. Chief Scientist at @thehipmunk and former lead developer for @reddit. bio from Twitter

This person is speaking at this event.
Kate Niederhoffer

social psych, social media, methodology and measurement bio from Twitter

Next session in Ballroom C

3:30pm The Wonderful Things in Internet of Things by Alex Williams

32 attendees

  • Andrew Weber
  • Ben Guthrie
  • Ross Boucher
  • Caroline Giegerich
  • Dean Cruse
  • Devon Smith
  • Dustin Mihalik
  • Serkan Piantino
  • Eamonn O'Brien-Strain
  • Emmett Shear
  • Devin Hunt
  • Héctor Ramos
  • Jason Kincaid
  • katenieder
  • Kat Mandelstein
  • Christopher Slowe
  • kickme444
  • Kim Hollenshead
  • Ben Tesch
  • Manu Marchal
  • Matt Biddulph
  • Amanda Thompson
  • Tim Holden
  • Reinier Ladan
  • TH Schee
  • S. Daniel Leon
  • Chris Volinsky
  • Thomas Daly
  • Tom Whitwell
  • Toph Tucker
  • Tyson Evans
  • Gavin Bell

23 trackers

  • David Damore
  • Ryan McCormack
  • Colin Schlüter
  • Dave Curry
  • finn
  • Garry Tan
  • Heather Alden
  • PF Samuelson
  • Dan W
  • James Weiner
  • Jason Wehmhoener
  • José Padilla
  • James Stewart
  • KevinH
  • Marcello Merlo
  • Maarten den Braber
  • Nathan O'Hanlon
  • Nick Downing
  • Markus Wegscheider
  • Simon Willison
  • Aurelio Tinio
  • Sebastjan Trepca
  • Jeff Triplett

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Time 12:30pm1:30pm CST

Date Tue 15th March 2011


Ballroom C, Austin Convention Center

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