Monday, November 4, 2013
Those Matchmaking Algorithms
Matchmaker, matchmaker. Make me a metadata...
Say what? Who could have foreseen that today's matchmaker would be metadata? Then imagine dating at hyperspeed and you have algorithms. You don't see them, but algorithms bring readers and authors together on Amazon and shape what you get in your Facebook news feed.
You know how you get reads recommended for you when you log on to Amazon? That's an algorithm at work. Same for the bestseller lists. It all begins with the book's metadata. The core is the title, price, author and category. Layer on the enhanced metadata such as blurbs, bios, review quoters and sample chapters, and Amazon's algorithms ping into action to match a reader and author. Every time you write a review, every time you buy a book, Amazon feeds this into its algoritm, bringing you closer to us. [And we love being closer!]
From the author side of the equation, every time you write that five-star review about one of our books or buy our latest release, it fuels the algorithm that places us on the bestseller or recommended reads lists. [We really love this.]
Wonder why your Facebook newsfeed only displays certain updates? That's its infamous, constantly changing algorithm at play. [The darn algorithm can't even keep a nickname. Its most recent,"The Edge," was just declared dead.] It's like a credit rating: invisible, important and unique to each user.
Every click, like, comment, tag, share or friend has weight. Think about it. Once you've visited a person's 'page' for the first time, how often do you actually go to that page? If you say 'never', you're not alone. One statistic is 96% of fans don't return to a brand's FB page. We rely on our newsfeed to keep caught up, but the newsfeed is all all about a statistical analysis determining our interaction with each other.
Consequently, if we want to know what's going on with each other, an occasional comment is a winner. Daily, short, relevant posts with photos get high marks for engagement, but a quick like works for me.
Mathematics may bring us together, but its the human interaction we all strive for.
What FB news/story gets you to do more than 'like'? Photos, book updates...what?
:) Carol Stephenson
JUSTICE AT ALL COSTS
HER DARK PROTECTOR, 2013 EPIC & IDA finalist
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