Posts Tagged ‘interest graph’

The Social Graph Must Die

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017

Have we reached the breaking point? Has our collective exhaustion with social media — the incessant notifications, the oppressive filter bubbles, the outright denial of our individuality — finally exhausted the excuses, apologies, and band-aid fixes?

Here’s the #ElephantInTheRoom: The social graph is a terrible basis for matching people to information. This is probably not a message that will be welcomed by the corporate giants and countless ventures that are banking on the social graph, but it’s an argument that’s long overdue. The social graph must die.

To be clear, the social graph is not social media. The former is the model or representation of the relationships between people. It’s the foundation upon which social media services match people to information. And in this capacity, the social graph is irredeemable.

Read the full post on Medium

The History of the Semantic Web is the Future of Intelligent Assistants

Friday, August 19th, 2016

The Semantic Web provides an enticing vision of our online future. This next-generation Web will enable intelligent computer assistants to work autonomously on our behalf: scheduling our appointments, doing our shopping, finding the information we need, and connecting us with like-minded individuals.

Unfortunately, the Semantic Web is also a vision that, to some, seems very distant, perhaps even outdated. It has been over a decade since it was popularized in a May 2001 article in Scientific American. Semantic Web researchers and engineers have been toiling even longer on the monumental technical and sociological challenges inherent in creating a global Semantic Web.

The good news is that we are seeing evidence today of its accelerating emergence.

Read the full post on Medium

A Visual History of The Next Big Thing (and how to see The Next One coming)

Saturday, December 14th, 2013

First published on

In business, vision isn’t some mythical ability to see the future. It’s about being able to recognize a pattern and apply it to something new, before others see it coming.

In this post, we’ll introduce you to one such pattern, the gestation of new media within old media. We’ll then review some examples of how the pattern has repeated itself over the past 30-years, from one Big Thing to the Next.

We’ll then apply the pattern in the here-and-now, to see how it points to The Next Big Things. (more…)

There’s a Graph for That!

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

According to Murthy Nukala, “any marketer who doesn’t have a graph within the next twelve months will be at a permanent competitive disadvantage.” That’s a pretty ominous warning, particularly when most marketers have no idea what a graph is, let alone how to use it.


Graphs are a useful way to represent relationships between things. And the World Wide Web is called a Web for a reason: it is a huge network composed of pieces of content and links among them. So it isn’t surprising that graphs are being used everywhere in IT these days to represent particular kinds of relationships among types of content living on the Web.

Since every kind of relationship among things on the Web seems to have its own graph, it can get a little confusing keeping them all straight. That also makes it hard to determine which of those many graphs could be important to you and your business.

You might find it all befuddling enough to develop graphophobia and just ignore them all. That would be a shame, because leveraging these mysterious graphs could truly revolutionize your business.
Here I’ll connect some of the dots and help you understand what graphs are and why they are important. (more…)

Big data’s creative and empathetic sibling (and why they struggle to get along)

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

Joyce Hostyn argues that Better Human Understanding, Not Big Data, Is the Future of Business. Some excerpts (with my emphasis):

Despite the best of intentions, we’re not data driven, we’re hypothesis driven. Our stories (our mental models) are merely hypotheses of how the world works. But we see them as reality and they influence what data we collect, how we collect it and the meaning we glean from it…

In a quest to become data driven, are marketers trapping themselves with outdated mental models of data and analytics? “Big data is being wasted on marketing. The true power of analytics is in revealing cultural dynamics.”

Many echo these concerns about data-driven marketing, and the need to be skeptical and hypothesis-driven. (1) (2) (3)

Hostyn concludes her thoughtful article with a number of questions, including:

  • Can we leverage big data to zoom out and understand patterns and trends, then zoom back in for a dive deep into the hearts and minds of individuals?
  • Are we willing to develop hypotheses with the potential to disrupt our old mental models? Create experiments to test those hypotheses. Prototype to think. Collect feedback. Iterate.

At Primal, we’ve invested years exploring this mode of hypothesis-setting as a lens into big data. It involves a collaboration between humans and machines across the full spectrum of analytical and synthetical thinking.

What follows is a summary of that exploration and what we’ve learned to this point.


User Modeling for Personalized Content Services

Tuesday, August 27th, 2013


Developers have long created software that customers use directly. But now, we’re creating solutions that incorporate internal representations of end-users and adapt to individual needs.

In this post, we’re going to introduce you to the most important component in your solution stack, the user model, explain why it’s so important, and show you how to incorporate user modeling into your solution.


Content Assistants for Messaging and Social Media

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

Small conversational data such as tweets or text messages are a goldmine of individual interests. Millions of people everyday tweet about their favourite food, send a Kik or Facebook message about a recent TV episode, or take a photo on Instagram while attending a sporting event or concert.

However if you’re trying to recommend content or promote offers within a conversation, the ability to determine a user’s interests from these small data inputs is a huge challenge.

John Koestier in Venture Beat writes:

…tweets are difficult to register commercial intent…

If I tweet about my wife’s illness, are you going to target me with a random medicine? Or if you tweet about a great dinner you’re just about to eat, will you really be receptive to ads about a Greek restaurant just down the road?

In this post, we’ll show you an elegant solution for content recommendations, applied in messaging and social media platforms.

Personalized Web Content for Your Application

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

Back in the early days of the Web, the Yahoo! Directory filled a huge gap in the ecosystem.

This portal helped us make sense of the Web. It organized content based on topics, connected those topics into a hierarchy to make sense of it all, and standardized the presentation of the content so that it was convenient and accessible.

But where can you find a portal that makes content from the Web accessible in your application? If you want to incorporate content from the Web into your app, let alone personalize it to the individual interests of your users, you’re undoubtedly confronting some daunting problems:

  • the content isn’t described in a way your application can understand;
  • the content isn’t organized in a way that matches your app; and
  • the content isn’t presented in a way that makes it easy to incorporate into your user experience.

In the sections that follow, we’re going to introduce you to a simple solution. Primal is like a personalized Web portal for your app. It’s a data service that makes it easy to incorporate Web content from sources you trust, tailored to the needs of each individual user of your application.


A Smart Machine as a Content Curator

Friday, May 31st, 2013

In this post, we’ll show you how to add Primal’s data service to your content curation solutions, as a fully automated, machine-editor.

We’ll also highlight the practical applications and benefits of using a smart machine as a complement to your manual and crowdsourcing strategies. Specifically:

1. How to filter out irrelevant content from your content supply.
2. How to provide personalized collections of content.

For our demo, we’ll use a content aggregator called Alltop, and show you how to recreate these examples and build a similar solution yourself.


Trixie’s Story: Virtual Assistants and Interest Graphs

Monday, May 27th, 2013

I was meeting with two guys, one a technologist, one a business advisor.

The discussion was focused on Primal’s technology: semantic user models, knowledge representation, yada, yada…

The business advisor, having listened patiently for some time, finally interjects, “Tell me what this means to Trixie!”


“Yes, the everyday person. Tell me a story of why Trixie would care about any of this?”

Introducing Primal Assistants: A framework for software agents

Monday, May 27th, 2013

Primal does a lot of heavy lifting in knowledge representation and content filtering. If you ask it to grab you some relevant content around your interests, it will do precisely that.

But what if you don’t want to have to ask? Search engines are fantastic, but they still require that you go to them and then try to figure out how to formulate your query in a way that gets you decent results.

Primal already has the ability to understand what you want, and we’re now working on some technology that will let Primal deliver you the content that you truly care about before you know you want it.

Read on to learn more about Primal’s new software agent and content streaming framework.

Why The "Star Trek Computer" Needs Open Data…And Scotty, Too

Friday, May 24th, 2013

Do you share this opinion?

So given that, what can we say about the eventual development of something we can call “The Star Trek Computer”? Right now, I’d say that we can say at least two things: It will be Open Source , and licensed under the Apache Software License v2. There’s a good chance it will also be a project hosted by the Apache Software Foundation.

The rationale? ASF provides an awesome array of advanced technologies, in everything ranging from NLP, information extraction and retrieval, machine learning, Semantic Web, and on and on. It’s like a free, all-you-can-eat buffet! (er, Star Trek food synthesizer?)

I share the enthusiasm for open source tools. We use many of these technologies at Primal.

But this is where their science fiction story starts to lose me:

Of course, you don’t necessarily need a full-fledged “Star Trek Computer” to derive value from these technologies. You can begin utilizing Semantic Web tech, Natural Language Processing, scalable machine Learning, and other advanced computing techniques to derive business value today.

We often meet product developers and entrepreneurs looking to build next-generation intelligent solutions.

If these advanced technologies are available for free, why not just jump in and start building?

Content Recommendations based on a Webpage

Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

How do you recommend products or content for a very specific interest at a moment in time?
In this post, we’ll show you how to build a world-class recommendation engine using Primal’s data service.

A Personalized News App

Thursday, March 7th, 2013

In the sections that follow, we’ll show you how Primal can support your product development efforts by providing the data that describes the interests of individuals and finding the content that people will truly love!


Social Media Analysis using your Interest Graph

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

News alert! Your social network wants to get to know you. Unfortunately, identifying and understanding your interests based on 140 characters is pretty hard to do! That’s why marketers are busy trying everything to get to know you better.

In this post, we’ll demonstrate how Primal can be used to power social media analysis. This demos highlights tweets about topics you are interested in and helps you discover related topics that people are tweeting about right now!