April 20, 2011 – What would it be like to have search sites take your friends’ opinions into account when you look for restaurants? Newspaper sites that use their knowledge of what’s previously captured your attention online to display articles you are interested in? Sounds a lot like Amazon’s technology, doesn’t it?

Technology Review brought this topic to our attention in their article, “Social Indexing.” Let’s face it, the Web is better when it focuses on us. Facebook’s chief technology officer, Bret Taylor, agrees. To bring this idea to fruition, he is creating a pseudo social index of the most frequently visited chunks of the Web.

Many sites, such as Amazon, have tried to personalize what they offer by remembering your past behavior and showing information they presume will be relevant to you. But this social index would be different and more powerful because it also mines your friends’ interests and collects information from multiple sites. As a result, the index can give websites a sense of what is likely to interest you – before you visit. Of course, if you have an eclectic taste in friends, the results could be skewed.

Melody K. Smith