Thursday, January 29, 2004

Ross at Random bytes complains about being asked to upgrade the eurekster toolbar.

I've only been asked twice. Link
Some answers from the Eurekster team to some questions I've had and other users have had about Eurekster.

-----Original Message-----
One question I have is, Is my network just my connections or also my connection's connections? Do i see the searches that your connections make in my friends recent and popular searches and sites? Do you use your networks picks to refine my main search results?

As you correctly state the 3 numbers defining your network are your first, second and third degree. Although you should know that they are cumulative, so the third degree total includes all the people in your 1st and 2nd degrees. So based on the numbers you quoted for your account (8|104|1022) your "extended network" contains 1022 people.

This explains why your second and third degree figures would have jumped a lot when you connected to me because I have a well established network so my 2nd degree became part of your 3rd degree.

We are still experimenting with how much of your extended network contributes to the activity in the Your Friends tab (on the What's Hot sidebar) and any personalisation in your search results (re-ranked results with an E next to them). Presently most of the activity will be generated by your first degree but eventually a user will be able to define how much influence the different parts of your network have on what you see.

Obviously once we implement ways to categorize your network this will all be even more useful.

-----From postings on the blog-----
Re: the eurekster toolbar being spyware

The toolbar does nothing more than let you make searches on eurekster without having to go to the site, it does not monitor other sites you visit. To quote our privacy policy " Like you, we hate the thought of someone misusing personal information."

Thanks for the answers! This is very cool that a company informally talks about their product from a development perspective through a third party blog. I am glad to be involved. If anyone has any other questions, let me know. I will compile them and send them off.

Based on my conversations with Sanders Consulting Group Plus and some reading I did the other day, I've realized that I am an innovator. If you like to be more cautious about trying new things out, be careful what you read. Eurekster is new. Try it out at your own discretion.

For more info on the Rogers Adoption Curve, go here.
Comments on this blog
In response to a few people regarding adding comment functionality to this blog. Currently, this blog isn't ranked highly on google or atw (and thus eurekster) for the "eurekster" search term. Last week it was 34th on google, but it has disappeared this week. If it does become ranked higher (by high "pagerank" sites linking here), and it results in a lot of hits, I will add comments to facilitate discussion. Until then, if you want to comment, please do it on your blog.

If your're looking to add comments to your blog, SCGP recommends haloscan. I am sure that they've thoroughly researched this one and that it is a good choice. Thanks for the recommendation.
syndication of what I search for.

I was just thinking it would be cool to have a web service from Eurekster that allowed me to dynamically display my friend's recent, and top searches and sites on my weblog.

If enough people published the feed: google, atw, teoma and the other web crawlers would effectively be incorporating what sites we visit into their ranking algoritms.
Wrapping up the SGGP discussion...

Sanders has responded again to my comments below

I think we've agreed to meet in the middle (or somewhere there about). Here is their proposal:

The point of our post on Eurekster was two fold. #1. It left our visitors know it was there. #2. It gave them information, which they are free to research, form their own opinions, and finally make their own INFORMED decision about Eurekster. They will now do this with FULL informational disclosure. You say that our time would have been better spent...... Maybe you will learn that you jumped too quick to promote Eurekster at a future time. Maybe we will learn that we were wrong in our cautious stance on Eurekster. Only time will tell.

As for the blog shooting match, it's all good. I look at it this way. SCGP readers now have a link to your blog where they can get updated information about Eurekster. We have provided them with our views, and they will be looking at your views. In the end, all this information will give them what they need to make an INFORMED decision about Eurekster. Your blog will keep them updated much more quickly than our blog will. Based on this, maybe you could take a little more objective view of Eurekster, and we will attempt to take a less cautious view of Eurekster.

My last comment: This is cool that SCGP knows their audience and is writing for them. When I write (on this blog atleast) I don't think much about guiding people. I am just sharing my thoughts and discoveries. It is also interesting that i go out of my way to try new things out and want others to do the same, yet others (eg SCGP) go out of their way to be cautious and warn people about potential future problems with trying new things out. It takes us all to make the world go round. I think we both have valid reasons for being the way we are.

For SCGP and their readers: I promise to be vigilant on monitoring Eurekster. Although, I believe the balance between protecting my privacy and the value of personalization is something we still have to determine, full disclosure by companies about privacy related issues is imperative.

My Eureskter friends top searches and top sites

So, i have been trying to keep my network to people interested in certain topics. I am not going to list them again (feel free to read the posts below). However, here are my eureskter network's top searches and sites.

top searches
extreme segway eurekster motorhome conversion whizspark acclipse Uchida Spectrum american blinds google "The Wurzels" bricolage audio ascii codes anatomy hoof dairy be my eurekster blogdex banana loaf recipe arcade games amphora stevenson anila Bristol City + English Fo... arts events new zealand s... arts events new zealand your friends top Sites

top sites
Manufacturers' Directory British Companies. United... How to setup your CD-RW o... kottke.org :: home of fin... Information Technology In... Dictionary.com Feedster :: RSS Search Engine Jeremy Zawodny's blog DelphiGroup.com - Busines... LinkSwarm.com -- The web ... Knight Ridder/Tribune : G... General Wesley Clark for ... How to Convert a Bus into... Cat Fanciers: Tonkinese: ... Janus SOAP Concepts and F... 2day.com - clueful people Boing Boing: A Directory ... MarketingWonk - Internet ... Immediart Print on Demand... DelphiGroup.com - About -...

So, so far my network is veering from my stated interests for using Eurekster. It is still early and my network is still relatively small at 9 direct users. And, of course, my network is interested in other things besides my stated interests, despite my best attempt to keep it focused. Therefore, what I am asking Eurekster to do is probably a highly unfair standard. Although, maybe it gives them something to shoot for. I'd also be interested in some tips on how to use it more effectively to do what I am trying to do.

What it does show is still pretty interesting, though. The neatest thing that I've noticed is that my searches are being repeated by others (presumably) because people are curious why someone else has searched for it. (they have an envelope next to them in my friends recent searches and they also show up as my friends most popular searches) From the perspective of disseminating a meme, this is probably the fastest it can ever be spread. People search for things that they are interested in before they write about them on blogs or discuss them in forums or before they talk about them in person or email. Therefore, with eurekster, the rate at which a new meme spreads virally is probably the quickest it can ever be (unless we learn how to read each other's thoughts).

The Sanders-Eureksterblog saga continues: Keeping it Real.

Here is their post in response to my last one. Below is a comment I left on their blog.

Hey. Good Stuff. Here's the link to the toolbar.

It is in the bottom navigation.
It is also step 3 of 3 of registration. This is why I assumed that you haven't registered.

My main point is that your time would have been better utilized by thoroughly checking out the service before you reviewed it.

Anyone that collects information or that has a web page with a hidden ActiveX component could be a spyware purveyor. I just think your a little to ready to draw guns before you actually spend some time researching...on this one atleast.

Otherwise, keep up the good work.

I'll also post this on my blog as it is my preferred way of responding to public posts.

And I think a blogging shouting match is healthy once in a while.

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