Groups You May Like

We believe that you should always be able to discover new people to engage with, and our goal is to make this easier for you. Therefore, this past Sunday, Sid (front end engineer) and I (Ferenc, a data scientist) were hard at work, coming up with a few simple, yet powerful upcoming features that we hope will improve user experience around PeerGroups. In this post we wanted to give a little sneak peek into a small widget we came up with, called ”Groups you may like”.

the widget also shows friends who belong to each group, so it's easier for you to understand what the group is about

This is one of those features which does what it says on the tin; it sits on your dashboard and recommends groups that we think you will want to check out. We wanted to build on our existing strength (having detailed deep analysis of people’s activity and influence) to create a simple prototype, that’s immediately useful to you.

We started by thinking about the question “Why should a group interest me?”, and came up with these answers:

  • overall popularity: Not all groups are created equal. Some are just more interesting and popular than others. If we had no other information about you, the least we can do is to suggest you check out groups that are trending and popular amongst our users.
  • overlap in community: You may want to check out groups whose members include your friends and people you engage with. We have already identified people who influence you the most, and have data on people you converse with most often, so if a group has a large fraction of these people, we’ll recommend that group to you.
  • overlap in interests: We have a very fine and detailed analysis of each user’s activity and influence in over 1500 topics (and the number is growing). We use that information to detect if your areas of interest overlap with that of members in a particular group. Here, we put more emphasis on smaller topics: you’re highly active in a niche topic like “Peer Influence”, and we happen to find a group whose members specialise in this very topic (such as the PeerIndex Team), than that group is probably highly relevant to you.
  • closeness to you: PeerIndex are a multinational community: we have active users from the U.K, U.S, France, Germany, Romania, Brazil, Spain and several other countries. Whilst the French may be interested in French Marketing Professors,  Aussies will want to check out Top Australian Social Media People instead. We can therefore also take into account your location and language when recommending groups.

On our Sunday hack-day we’ve implemented overlap-in-community aspect, and it alone started generating surprisingly sensible recommendations to us. In the following days we will keep adding further criteria, and testing the widget on the PeerIndex Team.

The rewarding part of working at a startup like PeerIndex is that the feature may well go live already by next week. Once we roll it out we will start to have finer data on which groups you actually like. For example, by observing which recommendations you click on, which groups you tweet about, which pages you spend most time interacting with, we can start turning the knobs on our system to ensure the widget always recommends stuff that are actually useful to You.

Are you Socially Engaged?

By Melody Hossaini of InspirEngage.

Why is it important for us to be socially engaged, now more than ever? Well I remember sitting at our first family PC and thinking it was utterly incredible that you could put your own photo as a desktop background! Little did I know that today you can get a Facebook app that lets you share one final message after death. 3 trustees confirm your ‘passing’ and a final message will be posted to your wall! (I think it’s just as well I couldn’t envisage that when I was 9!)

The power of the Internet and evolution of online social media platforms has been remarkable, with my particular interest being amongst change makers and entrepreneurs. It’s clear to me that both are an integral part of life and business. Your actions online translate to your offline relationships.  I was on a train recently, and the gentleman next to me kept looking over. In the end, he asked; “are you Melody from the Apprentice” (which by the way is now my official name!) and after I confirmed, he continued with, “what do you do? Oh wait, don’t you run a Social Enterprise training young people to be successful in employment and enterprise?” To my delighted astonishment I asked how he knew this, to which he replied; “I follow you on Twitter”.

As a Social Entrepreneur myself, I’m a keen Tweeter and Facebooker, and after appearing on a programme like The Apprentice, these networks truly provided me with an immediate platform that I could utilise as I saw fit. For my business, and me, straight away it was about expanding our reach to our beneficiaries (young people) and our colleagues in the field (youth sector), as well as potential clients who could benefit from our services.

I utilise our social engagement platforms to open up dialogue through every week holding a ‘Topical Tuesday’ debate where everyone is invited to debate on the topic of that week, let people know what we are up to and how they can get involved, as well as help promote young entrepreneurs’ businesses.  For me, they are a creative space and it’s not hard to be innovative when there are so many fascinating people to connect with. Young people, especially, keep me coming back to my feeds all of the time! From executing business meetings to creating a new enterprise just after a few tweets, they continue to use these networks in novel ways.

For me, the web is a powerful tool encouraging leadership amongst young people. They no longer need to rely on someone lending them a platform to have their voices heard, but instead can create their own extremely influential platforms promoting their causes, opinions or enterprises. And how do you do that? In my experience, interaction is key. If people can see that you value their engagement and can offer them useful benefits (knowledge sharing, tips, giveaways etc), then they’ll engage with you.

Melody Hossaini is CEO of InspirEngage and has reached over a million young people in over 100 countries. InspirEngage aims to improve the lives of children and young people through unique Skills Development Bootcamps. Melody is one of the leading youth sector figures in the UK and was a candidate of BBC 1’s ‘The Apprentice in 2011.

The PeerIndex Widget

We know a lot of you have been waiting for it,  and we’re very excited to say the PeerIndex widget is now available ! If you want to share your PeerIndex score you can now feature it on your website.

This little yellow square is a fast way to visualise your influence on social media.

How to get one ?

You need to be registered on PeerIndex first, then just insert this HTML link on your blog:

<iframe allowtransparency="true" src="http://api.peerindex.com/1/embed/profile?id=TWITTER_HANDLE" style="width:170px; height: 170px; color:#FFF600; background:#FFF600;" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" tabindex="0" class="peerindex-box"></iframe>

Just add your TWITTER_HANDLE e.g. @PeerIndex and your widget will be ready!

Example

<iframe allowtransparency="true" src="http://api.peerindex.com/1/embed/profile?id=HouHouHaHaa" style="width:170px; height: 170px; color:#FFF600; background:#FFF600;" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" tabindex="0" class="peerindex-box"></iframe>

And here’s how it looks…

Tada! That’s it, easy right? Unfortunately the widget does not work on wordpress.com at the moment. But if you are hosting your own wordpress blog, you can manually install our wordpress plugin, as seen on Mischa’s blog.

If you have any questions or problems, please contact me: alizee.hornoy@peerindex.com

A big thanks to HouHouhaha for helping us to test the badge.

You can visit his website, a French platform promoting young artists, which looks at culture, photography, graphics, and design here.

Get your widgets ready!