The inventor of the World Wide Web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee has published an article for Scientific American. I think everyone should read it.
TwitBlock is over a year old now. One thing we have tried to avoid is being an authority on what is and isn’t spam. We have deliberately avoided blacklisting accounts. The idea has always been to empower the community to collectively decide what is spam by bringing the most likely junk accounts to the surface. We provide some very simple analysis, and indicate how many other people also think an account is spam.
I’ve been thinking a lot about sentiment analysis recently; for a number of reasons:
Datasift (a new product by Tweetmeme, currently in rather exclusive alpha) offers sentiment analysis as part of their streaming filters for Twitter.
Valley-based Fflick are developing their own sentiment engine via machine learning algorithms. The current manifestation of this is a movie review site, but they will be pursuing other verticals – no doubt once the tech has improved and they’ve got some $$s.
Qwiki, which I wrote about yesterday, appears to be on the artificial intelligence trail too. The task of establishing whether content is relevant/important/canonical is an incredibly daunting task to automate.
Finally [prompting this post] this morning I see a product launched by Lewis PR: Chatterscope monitors brand mentions and performs sentiment analysis – A free alternative to Radian6 and Alterian, perhaps? Monitoring and alert functionality is obviously useful, but sentiment analysis – that’s the marketing holy grail, and I’ve always been
It’s ambitious technology. Their goal is to “improve the way people experience information” and [even more ambitiously] to “advance information technology to the point it acts human”. These two statements indicate somewhat separate challenges. That first point is largely a delivery problem, the latter keeps Nobel Prize winners awake at night.
I know plenty of developers, and plenty of designers. Apart from the obvious technical/creative divide, something else seems to separate the two. Developers seem far more likely to want to get involved in a project with no promises and no money. The idea of creating a product, totally unpaid, with the possibility of turning it into a business, seems to be much more appealing to developers than for designers. I know this sounds like a sweeping statement and there are exceptions, but on the whole this a common observation of mine.
Below is a mock-up of how I’d like to see Twitter implement fine-grained application permissions.
Take in its beauty, and then I’ll explain …
This image is a mock-up – it is not Twitter, or TweetDeck official. (just covering my back, ok?)
Part of my DevNest talk last week was examining Twitter’s position on desktop clients. i.e. whether they wish to own the space that the likes of TweetDeck and Seesmic are occupying. They have quite purposefully owned the mobile space, most interestingly through their acquisition of Atebits which saw Tweetie become the official “Twitter for iPhone” and the most popular mobile client after m.twitter.com. I’m sure this will prove essential in reclaiming their brand.