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Tuesday, March 15 • 12:30pm - 1:30pm
Social Ranking: Finding Interesting User-Generated Content

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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.

avatar for Jason Kincaid

Jason Kincaid

WriterTechCrunchJason Kincaid has been a writer at TechCrunch for three years, where he's covered everything from the discovery of Bigfoot (which unfortunately turned out to be a hoax) to the launch of the latest version of Android. He is also credited with coining Kincaid's Law... Read More →
avatar for Kate Niederhoffer

Kate Niederhoffer

FounderKnowable ResearchFounder: Knowable Research. Co-founder, Sooth. Previously: Strategy, Dachis Group; Measurement Science, Nielsen Company; BuzzMetrics. Passionate about bridging business and psychology. Specialties: social psychology, text analysis, social intelligence tech... Read More →

Serkan Piantino

Engineering MgrFacebookSerkan Piantino currently manages the News Feed infrastructure for Facebook. He works on scaling infrastructure to hundreds of millions of users and billions of requests per day, and helps develop algorithms to find the most interesting and relevant social content... Read More →
avatar for Christopher Slowe

Christopher Slowe

Chief ScientistHipmunk IncPhysics and math background (putting that PhD to good use!). Entry into the start-up world via Y-Combinator's first class. Reddit's first employee (pre-Condé Nast acquisition) and later Lead Developer. Currently Chief Scientist at hipmunk.com.
avatar for Chris Volinsky

Chris Volinsky

Dir, Statistics ResearchAT&T Labs-ResearchChris Volinsky is Executive Director of the Statistics Research Department at AT&T Labs-Research in Florham Park, N.J. Chris got his PhD from the University of Washington in 1997 studying Bayesian Model Averaging. He joined AT&T in 1997 and... Read More →

Tuesday March 15, 2011 12:30pm - 1:30pm CDT
Austin Convention Center, Ballroom C

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