David Kirkpatrick

February 15, 2009

Contextual analysis, content and Sphere

Filed under: Media, Technology — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 12:07 am

Sphere’s content widget on mainstream media websites has driven traffic to this blog on many occasions when I’ve posted on breaking, or hot, news. Sometimes the post of mine is peripherally related to the article that drove the traffic, but not about the exact story. That makes sense now I see where Sphere is a big proponent of contextual analysis, rather than behavioral analysis, to sort content.

Here’s an interesting post on the debate between the sorting methods on Sphere’s blog.

From the link:

For the past year, we at Sphere have been waging a polite and respectful war on our cousins in the space, powering related content using behavioral analysis.  We’ve believed and maintained that behavioral analysis (ie: forming relationships based on repeat user connections) cannot compare to contextual analysis of the content, mainly because readers don’t always group their reading so systematically by topic.  I blogged about this last year and our opinions/learnings haven’t much changed.  We think behavioral matching is a cool technology and extremely valuable in other applications – such as commerce.  I love the feature on Amazon.com where it tells me that 64% of users bought the item I’m looking at, 24% bought another one and still, 14% bought a third.  It makes my shopping experience more informed and leaves me feeling better about my purchases.  Likewise, it’s helpful, when buying an iPhone, for instance, to know that most previous purchasers also bought the charger set and plastic case.  Content, though, is a different story.