Jay Adelson - Organizing Chaos: The Growth of Collaborative Filters

[Live from Web 2.0 Expo 9/16 - 9/19 Follow along the other Expo Talks in RSS.]

Jay Adelson is CEO of Digg, guiding all aspects of the company’s development, growth and management. Under his leadership, Digg has grown to 26 million visitors per month, and is now considered one of the top socially focused Web sites.

Why do collaborative filters matter? How many of you used google? How many of you have used Digg? Any time you take the interests of a group and use that to filter and create relevance for an audience and a group then that is collaborative filtering. Even search is a sense of collaborative filtering, just think about backrub and page rank or clicks on a search result. This has evolved.

So what’s changed? Now you’re on the web 24 hours a day. In 2003 Berkeley said there were about 2.3 million sites added every day. Now there’s about a terabyte a day added to the net. This data is dynamic. Privacy and sense of privacy has also changed. Younger generation doesn’t have the same issues associated with privacy that we have and our parents have. How I use my away message on AIM, “I’m at lunch”, whereas my teenage baby sitter’s will say “I’m feeling down” “I’m full”. We are moving from a seek culture to a connecting culture.

Let’s break social filtering down into three parts:

1) something like a Digg or a Zeitgeist is the same for everyone.

2) social networks where I create a subset of groups with just my friends. I can’t use my friends as a judging factor for what might be interesting to me.

3) The exciting thing, the point I can leave you with today, is the hyper-personalization opportunity. Instead of looking at a social network, look at everyone and pair you with people like you and use that collective wisdom that are more specifically interesting to you. Since your personal data is going to move from website to the next you have to think about how you can take that information and deliver experiences specific to individual users. Collaborative filters are the key to the monetization to Web 2.0 applications