Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Search SIG: Using the Social Graph / Social Platform

I am blogging live from the Search SIG at Yahoo! Sunnyvale. I expect an interesting evening, my high expectation are set because its moderated by Dave McClure

Food and Networking: Thanks to Y! for Lasanga. Huge audience including Jeff Clavier.
(I haven't see him for a while since I blogged his event last yr, guess I am more into Facebook events these days than general web.20 events.


Panelists are:
Kevin Marks, Google
- Orkut, Opensocial, Social Graph API are 3 products from Google in social space.

Aditya Agarwal, Dir of Engg, Facebook
- works closely with Facebook search team, cool thing in social space are Friendfi and facebook.

Kent Brewster, Yahoo
- works on the developer network, and social updates using mybloglog.

Eve Phillips, Chirp
- Chirp pulls content discover what your friends are doing.

Dave McClure
- Welcomed everyone to Social Graphing Pattern conference and what he thinks cool are - slideshare.net photoplow - virtual chat w flickr

Dave: Whats special about Social Search or Discovery, is it evolutionary or Revolutionary
Google personalized search from Google, not hugely sucessful - DM

Adithya - Surprised everyone saying its evolutionary.
There was huge data on internet google came w ways to find relevance. Facebook data is around a particular use to apply as next step.

Chirp - Social content, using friend graph to filer thru all that as two parts.
First part is a search problem. Answer comes from second part. Eve is smart, her perpectives have been deep and very articulate.

Dave: Seredipitious discovery like stumbleupon, other I know what I am looking for
How does social data play into it, how does it monetize it, which is easier.

Kevin says search with intent is direct and easier to monetize.
Adithya - both are similar data, news feed has lot of data. In future, huge amount of data around social graph coming up. Yes, its clear monetization strategy when theres intent.
But brand ad is larger thats where the facebook potential lies.

Eve - Difference is similar to the difference in experience between sitting in front of TV/Radio and Computer.
Social context - you don't just get a coupon for P&G product, but you get familiar with the brand.

Dave: Whats assets does Y! have to bring to discovery?
Mybloglog - integrates users diff profile on diff New in API, you can sya who user is at this point of time (Check developer.yahoo.com)

Dave: what parts of search engine and social graph are important?
Dave listed feeds, developer API to build upon the social graph, and brought my favorite - email and IM data.

Kevin - Says privacy issues of friends hidden in email as compared to open friends declared publicaly by the user.
Adithya - All facebook measures to encourage people to show their accurate social graph.
Adding tags as family member was not highly motivational so it was not hugely successful. We want user to express the entire content.
Needs feeds content is built on friends list and also knowing about a person whether they like video stories more etc. Dave said Facebook should be infering a person's real social graph by the frequency of communication etc and Adithya didn't accept or refute it. This is fascinating, guess thats how they prioritize what they show in feeds.

Dave: Yahoo, do they have everything needed to tap into a user's social graph, what about email.

Kent says who is being followed on twitter vs who is following on twitter is different. He says email list is not good to follow, can't spam people based on their email interactions. He says why social networks don't use email.

Well, I disagree here. Email data is different, I agree people will not appreciate the spam message but there maybe a different way to overlay services on top of email based on the knowledge of the email social graph.

Dave: Upcoming became more interesting after Dave added his friends. So what do you see as assets you would like to share to make it better by being open (this is my understanding of the question):

Kevin - Opensocial allows the App developer to take the social graph in their network and do interesting things. We all see the world from our view, Kevin learnt a lot of interesting thing about social graphs of different social networks involved in Opensocial.

Dave follows us asking explicitly what assets of Google will they be bringing out as open.

Adithya - About platform and interacting with other networks
Opensocial allows App within separate small networks. Facebook opened API to allow more cool Apps, because we need active users first.

About Javascript API of Facebook API - Adithya says its the first iteration of Facebook platform, allowing user to take their graph to their web site. Its an interesting new beginningm I wish I could learn more on the impact of this one. Guess, this is Search SIG, this is not the place for it.

Lets focus back on social search.

Dave: Dave Acordian in is audience who is a huge proponent of - Privacy and Portability - how important are these?

Kevin - email is private but doesn't give any info about user, social site shows who is the person but doesn't allow communication.

Adithya - Privacy is at the core of everything we do.
Kent - There can never be a privacy surprise. Also runs a Bulletin Board for writers for 10yrs. Its not portable if you cannot remove it.

Dave: Question to audience - Privacy, portability or password more important.

Demos now:

1. Blogjuice by Kent: I am a huge mybloglog fan from start. They have something called blogjuice allowing mybloglog user to share their social profiles that can be discovered live for any sites's reader. Cool.
2. Chirp by Eve: Integrates content (in this demo) photos from facebook, flickr etc shows as screen saver, whats interesting is you can comment on a picture from chirp and it will show up on facebook.
Interesting, I didn't realize any external program could input data into facebook.

Anyone know of more examples of being able to write into facebook from the web, thats a step towards making an open web?
3. Social Graph API from Google by Kevin.

Audience question: Demos from Y! and Google and Chirp are about discovering what user is doing, maybe embarassing serendipitous search. Concerned about leaving consumer out without engaging them.

Adithya raises a set of questions of what all user concerns maybe and Facebook's thinking on where to ask user to show user' data to friends. Bottomline These are difficult questions so Facebook is committed to portability but slow because they are comitted to privacy and want to do it right.

Nice finish for this talk.


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