Free Targeted Advertising -- An Experiment

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I have been working on Target Your News, a reddit-like site for
personalized news/targeted advertising:

It's a way of telling people about something without spamming everyone.
However, unlike standard collaborative filtering approaches, there's a
twist here:  the submitter of a link controls who sees it.

There's a catch of course. As a submitter, you need to be careful about
who will see your submission. If you spam many people with your
submission, they may just vote it down thus reducing its score.  The
score of the URL determines its ranking within the list of
recommendations for a user. So it's important that you target your
submission appropriately to maximize its score, so that it will rank
more highly as a recommendation.

Targeting is based on previous submissions by you and/or others. You
could say something like target people who liked this earlier
submission, avoid people who disliked this submission, etc. You could
have many such targeting rules. These targeting rules combine to give
users a "targeting score" for that submission. If the targeting score
is above a certain threshold, then the user will see the submission as
a recommendation.

Note that targeting is a real-time game. You may change your targeting
rules frequently after you have made a submission. If your initial
targeting does not appear to be working well, you can try to tweak it.
Speed matters. If you tweak it too slowly, the score of your submission
might go down quickly.

Any feedback on this would be appreciated.  Feel free to play with the
prototype @


Re: Free Targeted Advertising -- An Experiment

Amir  Michail wrote:

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hi! (snip)

so people are emailed targetted submissions or do they log into the site to
see what's on target?

is this supposed to be crawlable to search engines, thus releasing this
content into the greater net or is it restricted content?

how do you intend to grow an audience?

Re: Free Targeted Advertising -- An Experiment

trevor wrote:
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Currently, you need to log in.  I suppose people might like to receive
recommendations by email.  I could add that soon.

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Although there are demo accounts with no passwords, the intent is to
have restricted content.  This is all about personalization after all.

If you are a delicious user, you can try accessing your demo account
using "delicioususername_demo".  For example, you could try logging in
as "amichail_demo" to access my account. Leave the password blank.

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I'm not sure yet.  I would appreciate ideas on that matter.


Re: Free Targeted Advertising -- An Experiment

Amir  Michail wrote:
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I've written a paper that better motivates and describes the service:

"Shattering the Self-Promotion Taboo"


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