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Twitter Suggested User List to Be More Programmatically Chosen

At a conference in Malaysia, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone said the Suggested Users List (SUL), a boon in followers for anyone on it, will be going away sometime in the future:

“That list will be going away,” Stone said at a conference in Malaysia. “In its stead will be something that is more programmatically chosen, something that actually delivers more relevant suggestions.”

See that term? “Programmatically chosen”. Hmmm…

The SUL was hand picked by the staff of Twitter. Which meant if you weren’t included on the SUL, it felt like a snub if you had established a large presence on the service. It was also celebrity-heavy, which was nice if that’s your thing. But people have a range of interests beyond Hollywood and music.

How do you suppose suggested users will be be “programmatically chosen”? My guess is that is that this new reputation score we’ve been hearing about will be part of it.

More broadly, I could see incorporating the same criteria discussed previously in How Should Tweets Be Ranked in Search Engine Results? including:

  1. Relevancy of tweet stream to a subject
  2. Crowdsourced signals of authority
  3. Effectiveness in providing relevant content

Maybe a new user enters key words indicating areas of interest and the Twitter system returns a set of users to follow. Wouldn’t that be a better way?

This all raw speculation on my part. But it would be cool if they roll out a more effective way to match interests to people.

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Twitter to Clean Up Trending Topic Searches – Is This that Reputation Thing?

On Twitter’s blog, they announced an initiative to clean up the spammy tweets that often appear for trending topics. As described from the post:

Today we’re starting to experiment with improvements to trends that will help you find more relevant tweets. Specifically, we’re working to show higher quality results for trend queries by returning tweets that are more useful.

MG Siegler over on Techcrunch and Jolie O’Dell of ReadWriteWeb wonder how this will be accomplished. My guess? Twitter is starting some sort of reputation score for accounts. The lowest-of-the-low accounts in terms of reputation will get shunted aside.

For background on this reputation thing, see a couple earlier posts on this subject:

Included in that second link is this quote from a Rafe Needleman post in May 2009:

Twitter Search will also get a “reputation” ranking system soon, Jayaram told me. When you do a search on a “trending” topic–a topic that is so big it gets its own link in the Twitter.com sidebar–Twitter will take into account the reputation of the person who wrote each tweet and rank the search results in part based on that.

Curious to see how this one plays out.

My Ten Favorite Tweets – Week Ending 090409

From the home office in Los Angeles Station fire…

#1: CNN: Hired! I got my job through Twitter http://bit.ly/1L7lT8

#2: Reading: New Approaches for Analyzing Influence on Twitter http://bit.ly/lz6VP Deep, detailed analysis. Focuses on 12 big hitters.

#3: What an interesting concept. Check the social web to see who scores high on key terms. http://test.jobshouts.com/ (via @gyehuda)

#4: Collaboration King picks the top 3-5 vendors in 11 different categories of collaboration software http://bit.ly/j22WW #e20

#5: Enterprise 2.0: If you (just) build it, they won’t come http://bit.ly/XumO9 “Focus on the low-hanging fruit of human behavior”

#6: Delicious blog: Two PhDs are working on a reputation system for Delicious to make finding good content easier http://bit.ly/4sbGyI

#7: Innovation = problem to be solved + ideas/knowledge of others + presence of mind

#8: Jeffrey Phillips of OVO: External Innovation Communities (via Spigit blog): http://bit.ly/13MJC9 #innovation #spigit09

#9: Do Users Want Innovation? http://bit.ly/Zk5Mp by @jkuramot Truly breakthrough? Not initially – only early adopters. #innovation

#10: RT @innovate Cash for Clunkers – 10 out of Top 10 clunkers turned in were American, but only 2 of Top 10 purchases were. #cars #usa #green

My Ten Favorite Tweets – Week Ending 050809

From the home office in the Nokia Theater, Times Square…

#1: Twitter is working on a reputation ranking for users, to be part of how search results are returned: http://bit.ly/hu3yX

#2: Seeing a number of enterprise 2.0 vendors moving hard into the idea/innovation management realm. Good place to be.

#3: CapGemini – companies that batten down the hatches & stop innovation during the recession will find themselves behind on the upswing #wif09

#4: Christensen – Intel did $18 billion in revenue from ideas generated by employees in breakout groups organized by Andy Grove #wif09

#5: Christensen – Strategy problem for companies. A business model hijacks an idea and forces it to change to conform. #wif09

#6: Christensen – Expensive failure always results when disruption is framed as technological rather than business model terms. #wif09

#7: Saffo – a Stanford colleague says that by 2030, half of all miles driven will be by robots. #wif09

#8: Saffo – you can always tell when a new tech is hot. Single males in that field can actually get a date. #wif09

#9: Nice article in the @latimes about the iconic California fast food chain – In-N-Out: Can perfection survive? http://bit.ly/sZUfb

#10: iPhone effect: my 5 y.o. son was pressing his finger on my laptop screen to navigate on a web page.

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You can find me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/bhc3