Notes on Feature Based Group Forming
If you’re thinking about launching an application that centers around group forming as a filtering mechanism, a couple of quick feature requests:
- “Smart Sets” ala iTunes are unlikely to work because human features are less well understood then pop’s features, and will lead to frustration and abandonment, so don’t do that.
- most entities we refer to as human have a single geographic location at any given point in time. This is a useful, and well understood feature. Cityli.st was a project I start to exploit this fact that automatically maintained and updated Twitter lists based on a person’s location. (turns out Twitter lists don’t work very well, nor are they particularly useful.) Please dear god, build this into G+ already, especially if you’re going to have checkins.
- update asymmetry is a fact of life. Some folks update multiple times a day, some folks update very few minutes, some folks drop 1000+ photos in a single upload session once every 6 months. Automatic grouping by rolling average of update frequency would be extremely useful.
- shibboleths (aka something you have or something you know). A group of everyone who hit this onetime URL. A group of everyone who can take a photo the Empire State Building from where they’re currently standing.
- time is another interesting human constant. People I’ve recently contacted, people I haven’t contacted in years, and people who I was at the same concert/bar/office with are all useful slices.
Photo by maryclaireroman