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Perils of Popularity Webdirections keynote

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Perils of Popularity Webdirections keynote

  1. The perils of popularity (or how to create hits) Rashmi Sinha
  5. social networks are evolving
  6. ~2002 <ul><li>linked in, friendster </li></ul>
  7. Hi I found you while I was searching my network at LinkedIn. Let's connect directly, so we can help each other with referrals. If we connect, both of our networks will grow…
  8. Just a graph! <ul><li>How it works </li></ul><ul><li>People connect to each other </li></ul><ul><li>Six degrees of separation </li></ul><ul><li>“ Are you my friend” awkwardness </li></ul>1) I am linked to -> -> to you --->You are linked to her -> -> to her…
  9. ~2004 <ul><li>object based social networks </li></ul>
  11. Watercooler conversations (mediated by objects, e.g., Flickr, YouTube, SlideShare) 1) I share my pics -> -> with you ---> -->You share your pics -> ---> with him <ul><li>How it works </li></ul><ul><li>People share objects | watch others </li></ul><ul><li>Connections through objects </li></ul><ul><li>Social info streams: emergence of popular, interesting items </li></ul>
  12. Viral sharing (pass on interesting stuff, e.g., YouTube videos) <ul><li>How it works </li></ul><ul><li>Individual to individual to individual </li></ul><ul><li>Popularity based navigation track “viral” items </li></ul>1) I send video I like -> -> to you. You pass on --> --> to her, who sends on to her, who passes on…
  13. May 2007 <ul><li>Facebook - We own the social graph, you bring the objects </li></ul>
  14. social app has 3 components <ul><li>the objects </li></ul><ul><li>the social graph </li></ul><ul><li>the place </li></ul>
  15. Can the social graph be independent of the place & objects the graph the place the objects
  16. Nov 2007 Can Google set it free?
  17. 4 models of popularity <ul><li>Google </li></ul><ul><li>Digg </li></ul><ul><li>YouTube, SlideShare </li></ul><ul><li>Facebook </li></ul>
  18. 1. Google - Blind sociality <ul><li>Social network cannot be browsed </li></ul>
  19. Picasa: You cannot see friends of friends
  20. Google calendar: You can only search public events
  22. 2. Digg as a laser beam <ul><li>Focused </li></ul><ul><li>in time </li></ul><ul><li>on tech topics </li></ul><ul><li>young male users </li></ul>
  23. encourages mobs <ul><ul><li>Quick, engaging, transparent metric </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sequential decisions </li></ul></ul>
  24. top diggers <ul><li>can reach front page </li></ul><ul><li>rich get richer effect... </li></ul>
  25. wisdom of crowds needs independence
  26. 3. Youtube - promiscuous popularity <ul><ul><li>Many metrics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>no multi-level menus </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>navigation by popularity </li></ul></ul>
  27. Popularity on SlideShare Keep it on your desktop Download Remember stuff, tell someone you like their stuff Favorite & tag Share with your friends Email Share on your blog Embed Watch it View Interact with others Comment Goal Metric
  28. diff strokes for diff folks <ul><li>most viewed </li></ul><ul><li>most favorited & tagged </li></ul>
  29. Long tail of content <ul><li>Anyone can share </li></ul><ul><li>But who reaches the masses? </li></ul>
  30. How hits are created
  31. N Sync vs. lonely girl
  33. System designer as studio boss <ul><li>We need things to talk about at the watercooler </li></ul><ul><li>Hits will find a way! </li></ul>
  34. Creating trends <ul><li>Everything starts as equal </li></ul><ul><li>People can connect locally </li></ul><ul><li>Highlight alternative viewpoints </li></ul><ul><li>System should be flexible </li></ul>
  35. 4. Viral navigation on Facebook <ul><li>News feed, notifications & messages </li></ul><ul><li>Its about social connections </li></ul><ul><li>Content does not get passed </li></ul><ul><li>Apps get passed around </li></ul>
  36. Making spammers of all of us? <ul><li>Tracking spam rating </li></ul><ul><li>Throttling as needed </li></ul>
  37. Rules of the game are always changing <ul><li>Changed metric </li></ul><ul><li>Throttled viral pace </li></ul><ul><li>Still no leveling of the playing field </li></ul>
  38. Popularity breeds spam & corruption <ul><li>Top Diggers </li></ul><ul><li>Spammy facebook apps </li></ul><ul><li>News feed optimization </li></ul>
  39. the metric counts <ul><li>Digg - One transparent metric. Easily corrupted </li></ul><ul><li>YouTube - Multiple metrics. Harder to rig </li></ul><ul><li>Facebook - Single metric ( no installs ). Now daily usage </li></ul>
  40. Is search threatened by popularity & virality?
  41. User generated content Images Videos Slideshows Music Articles
  42. Flickr based search results
  43. Pagerank needs an open web <ul><li>Closed circles don’t work </li></ul>
  44. 10 lessons about social design
  45. Forget the ipod!
  46. Give up control This is messy!
  47. 1. Make system personally useful <ul><ul><li>personal snippets ( & Flickr) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Creativity (YouTube) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>My slides: SlideShare </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Don’t count on altruism </li></ul><ul><ul><li>thrive on people’s selfishness </li></ul></ul>
  48. 2. Symbiotic relationship between personal & social <ul><li>Small individual contributions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>can be collected & mashed-up </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Simple, guessable URLs for everything </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Slideshows > by Events </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Music > by Playlists </li></ul></ul>
  49. 3. what kind of social do you want to be?
  50. Which playground do you want to play in? <ul><ul><li>Open web </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Facebook </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Myspace / Hi5 / Xanga / other social networks </li></ul></ul>
  51. Do you want your own social graph? <ul><li>Or play in existing ones? </li></ul>
  52. 4. Privacy is social <ul><li>Sharing is often in closed circles </li></ul>
  53. Indexed by Google (everyone/everywhere) Only me My friends My groups Public Private Only in place
  54. 5. levels of participation <ul><li>Everyone does not need to create! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Implicit creation (creating by consuming) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Remixing—adding value to others’ content </li></ul></ul>Source: Bradley Horowitz’s weblog, Elatable, Feb. 17, 2006, “Creators, Synthesizers, and Consumers”
  55. 6. Enable viral navigation <ul><ul><li>Help people connect </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Let them feel presence of others </li></ul></ul>
  56. but decisions should be independent… <ul><li>Choreography: when alone, when part of group </li></ul><ul><li>prevent mobs </li></ul><ul><li>not too easy to mimic others </li></ul><ul><ul><li>incentives for originality </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>allow for alternative viewpoints </li></ul></ul>
  57. 7. Add in serendipity <ul><li>navigation not just about popularity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Keep popular stuff fast moving </li></ul></ul><ul><li>make “long tail” accessible </li></ul><ul><ul><li>popularity as a jump off point to other ways of exploring </li></ul></ul><ul><li>personalization & recommendations </li></ul><ul><li>ad-hoc groups? </li></ul>
  58. 8. Add in a dash of experts <ul><li>contest on SlideShare: both judges & popular votes </li></ul>
  59. 9. Be agile <ul><li>You don’t know the right answer </li></ul><ul><li>Fail fast to get to the right answer </li></ul><ul><li>Track metrics, adjust, change </li></ul>
  60. 10. Most of all, allow for play
  61. Finally <ul><li>your slides at </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>find me at </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>

Editor's Notes