Thursday, October 15, 2009

Stumbling upon new sites

In my CIS 101 class today, we discussed (among other things) add-ons, and I demonstrated one called StumbleUpon.

As a computer person, I love this.

Basically, StumbleUpon allows you to download an add-on for your Web browser. You select some of your interests, and you can "stumble" upon sites that you like. You can select whether you like a site or dislike it, and based on what your interests are and what sites you like, you will be able to stumble to sites that other people with similar interests like. The more sites you rank, the more accurate it becomes.

This is fascinating to me because on some level this makes use of a technique called "data mining" - basically, how we can use a computer and some data to make predictions better than any person can do by hand. This is similar in some ways to "wisdom of the crowd" - where if you ask a hundred people who are going to win a football game, the collective opinion of the crowd would tend to be correct.

As with many things I mention here, this is a free Add-on!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

From Men in Black:

Edwards: Why the big secret? People are smart. They can handle it.
Kay: A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it. Fifteen hundred years ago everybody knew the Earth was the center of the universe. Five hundred years ago, everybody knew the Earth was flat, and fifteen minutes ago, you knew that humans were alone on this planet. Imagine what you'll know tomorrow.