We all have those Facebook friends we look out for on our newsfeed, the ones who post great links or pictures that we can’t resist but sharing. Or the personal reviews of a film that have us booking our tickets to the same. Each of us knows which of our friends influence us in one way or another.
The trouble is lots of that information is locked up in our heads! (Or an ‘implicit understanding’ as @fhuszar, our data scientist says.)
Of course, the core function of PeerIndex is to find and evaluate that influence. The key thing we do is analyse billions of tweets and other status messages and figure out the influence and authority of users from these explicit data. How do memes flow across the social network? Who starts them? Who amplifies them? All of this activity is baked down into a series of PeerIndex scores across more then 1,600 different topics.
But our data science team is always looking for ways to test our assumptions, identify new sources of data and shine light on the problem in a different way. So we have created a little summer experiment to tap into the question of influence from a totally different direction.
Welcome to RateMyMates!
The RateMyMates game is a simple quiz designed to elicit our implicit understanding of who is influential in particular topics and express it in explicit ways.
RateMyMates asks you to compare which friends influence you on what topics. It’s a bit like a sports knockout tournament, a random draw followed by a head-to-head until there is a winner. We will show 16 random friends from the 128 you have most recently enaged with. Each time you do the test, a new selection will show up. Do the test as often as you like!
You may evaluate people on topics you had never associated them with before, which will make you think about influence and how it relates to your personal circle of friends in a whole new way.
We will record the outcome of each match by asking specific forced-ranking questions that will help us explore how individuals define influence. We will share some of our findings later this year.
If you share RateMyMates with your friends it will increase the amount of experimental data we can gather. Please do share it, we need a minimum of 10,000 participants to have a useful dataset to explore!
And you might find a friend who reckons you’re da boss!