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
Website; Facebook; Twitter; Not Your Usual Suspects


10 comments:

jean harrington said...

Carol, I don't have answers to your questions--at least not yet, but you've given me food for thought. I agree that we should review and comment on fellow writers books, the more we do so, the better for all of us. Now to follow through and not be one of those 96%ers.

Rita said...

I had reviews from fellow authors removed and my reviews on books were removed in the Amazon bot debacle. They wanted to prevent authors from buying/selling reviews. Like authors don’t read or have a right to say if they like something. To avoid problems I do not give reviews any more. Very sad.
PS: My reviews probably sucked because all I said was “I love the story and the characters got to me.”

Anne Marie Becker said...

Great topic, Carol. And like the others, I have no answers. :)

I do try to comment on my Facebook page (linked to Twitter) a few times a week. It used to be that posting a picture would gain you more visibility, but now it seems (at least to me) that I'm getting more views if I post some comment about my daily life. Go figure. If I ever did get it all figured out, I'm sure it would change again.

Toni Anderson said...

Probably pictures of my dog :)

All this data collection is crazy, but wouldn't be great to get locked onto say Nora Roberts or Linda Howard LOL?

Cathy Perkins said...

It does drive me crazy that I don't get updates from people I know are posting on FB, even if I use the lists I created (KOD, Carina, etc).

But like y'all I post fairly regularly and scroll the news feeds, but rarely revisit someone's page.

Shelley Munro said...

Facebook frustrates me so much. I haven't been visiting much recently. That's the first thing to go whenever I get busy.

Wynter Daniels said...

Interesting post. Photos often lure me in. What stirs me to action? Something that tugs at the heartstrings.

J Wachowski said...

I'm with Shelly-FB makes me crazy. I get ads for such weird stuff. (why would I want to like a limo service? Not that I wouldn't love to have one.) Then, miss updates from friends I know posted!

The posts I like most are funny. "I'm just here for the jokes & photos." Shallow!

Carol Stephenson said...

Wynter and J., you picked one of the items with the most weight: photos. When I researched this topic for a recent workshop pane, the FB actions with the most weight were photos/videos, links and plain text updates. Posts bet. 100-250 characters get 60% more likes & shares than longer posts. Asking for what you want brings in 90% more engagement. The other tip was daily, relevant & timely posts.

But then there's that thing we also love to do with our time: write. :)

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