Knowledge-based Recommendations

Over the last few months, recommendation startups have sprouted up—getglue, Hunch, Foodspotting,, Miso, Xydo (in beta), Bubbalon, etc.—to offer suggestions about restaurants, books, web sites, or just about anything in this world.

If you add in Facebook (with its like button, and lots of 3rd-party rating apps ), Amazon, and NetFlix, there’s enough of a universe to merit a service that rates and recommends recommendation services. There’s a startup, no doubt, working this out.

All share the idea that there’s wisdom in the crowd, and to various extents use stats about the mob to algorithmically classify tastes—clustering, nearest neighbor,decision trees—and then generate suggestions. There’s a nice summary of these collaborative filtering techniques in the reference section below.

What about a more conventional, common-sense approach that derives wisdom from actual knowledge of the subject?Continue reading

Tech Meeting Across the River (Hoboken Tech Meetup)

Hoboken Tech Meetup is a nice counterpoint to the goings on across the Hudson. Though I enjoy the big-city excitement of the NYC version, the Hoboken Meetup I went to last night at Stevens Institute’s Babbio Center also had its share of fun, Jersey style.

I loved when Michael Streko of Knowem (Belmar), social media trademark protection firm, said he sucked at Powerpoints before he launched into his speedy presentation, which had maybe two slides. I get it: we’re not fluff-meisters, we got products that sell and make money.

On this point, Streko stated that his site was profitable within an hour two hours after launch.

Take that NYC startups!Continue reading