What is an Interest Network?
What exactly is an Interest Network?
Whats the difference between a Social Network and an Interest Network?
Should Social Networks interact with Interest Networks?
Lets start with something we all know, Social Networks.
Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are without a doubt the largest Social Networking websites out on the web. Facebook and other Social Networks are centred around an individual’s friends, or what is known as a ‘Social Graph’. The Social Graph is a map of social/business connections for that individual. So what is an ‘Interest Network’?
Just like Social Networks, Interest Network’s are based around individual’s however instead of creating a network of friends, a network of the individual’s interests are created in what is called an ‘Interest Graph‘.
Social Networks vs Interest Networks
As Social Networks provide us a map of our friends and colleagues (people we like), the Interest Network provides us with a map of our interest topics (things we like). Platforms such as Facebook have grasped the attention of billions with the interaction between ‘friends’, but are all these people actually friends? Well no not always, many have crept through into your ‘friends’ list from other friends. Hence the privacy issues that have become apparent.
Interest Networks offer privacy and control over your interests on the web. To ensure relevancy and privacy the Interest Network needs a direct request for information from the user to enable a relevant return of results and the resulting network graph created should be private and only shared if the users wishes. The resulting Interest Graph belongs to the user and not the platform that is providing the service.
The user now regains their control of their information.
Integrating Interest Networks with Social Networks
The current trend is for individuals to interact with people on the web. Facebook and many others have provided the platform for something we never knew we wanted. An up and coming trend is that of the Interest Network, with people creating their own Interest Graph but specific interests and privacy built in, in some cases. This means that people can use the web without having to interact with other people unless they want to, giving control back to the user. The majority of users on the web use Social Media to interact with people they like, and Google (and of course other search engines) to find the topics they like. Search engines however do not protect their privacy and they are biased towards what the search engines actually have in their database after they have crawled the web, and of course advertising.
With a private Interest Network and a button to share their interests (should they wish) brings control back to the user. After all the web in its simplest form is a library of information thats full of the topics we want to know about, so having an Interest Network thats is private to the user is really the primary use of the web with the ability to share your topics of interest with your Social Network should you so wish.
The search engine has had a hold on the ability to find topics of interest since the dawn of the Internet. The search engines send out their spiders and robots around the web and index whats out their into a massive database of Big Data, that belongs to them and thats what has made the likes of Google so powerful and dominating. We as users then use their search facility to find whats in their database.
Imagine if an individual could send their own robots and spiders out onto the web and build their own database or Interest Graph by just entering their own interest topics. Their robots, or now that the spider belongs to the individual is now called an Intelligent Agent, gathers up all the information requested, from the web using semantic technology (Gartner predicts) and displays this information on a single webpage that the user can view, and share if they opted to do so.
Is this what’s coming next on the web?
We would love to hear your comments, opinions on this subject.
- Do you think this will be the way ahead?
- Do you think Interest Networks will return privacy control to the user?
- What uses can you see for the Interest Network?