Our “problem” of the day has to do with Social Network Interfaces…
The Challenge: Find the most effective entry-points into the social web for our purposes.
Our Focus: We continue to investigate various means to interact with social networks like Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, “the blogosphere,” and other social channels.
Programmatic interfaces (known as APIs) provide visibility into the public content available on many of these networks and several third-party systems aggregate feeds across multiple channels. Our engineers have been weighing the pros of cons of various approaches. Many of the third party tools do an excellent job of normalizing information coming from different sources and supplementing the raw content with their own analytic overlays. Alternately, building our own adapters into the social networks puts us in more direct control of the data flow, which may yield benefits down the line when we start applying our relevance algorithms.
Within the broader tech community, there’s a tremendous amount of activity going on in this area, much of it by companies focused on social media monitoring tools for businesses. While we are not squarely in that space, the rapid advance of tools to support business intelligence applications around social data is working to our advantage, providing us with many viable options to tap into the social web and, ultimately, to help our users distinguish the signal within the noise.
It’s an exciting arena to be working in right now!