Tuesday, April 07, 2009

xBetween

Just because I have an endless need to tinker, I planted the seed of another idea today. It isn't much more than this so far....

xBetween: "How many times have you heard the phrase “it’s like a cross between…” when you ask someone to describe something to you? That most simple idea, and how it could be applied to the web to help other discover new stuff (or just have fun), was enough of a spark that I went out and got the domain names today for xbetween.com and crossbetween.com (as well as the Twitter name @xbetween).

I’m not sure what exactly, if anything, this will turn out to be. But, I think there could be some potential to create something interesting out of that simple idea."



I'm starting to formulate some more ideas about what this could turn into, but given the idea is still only a few hours old I'm sure it will continue to evolve. Ideas? Suggestions?

6 comments:

shawnb said...

Tons of ideas. Allow users to submit ideas (along with photos or photo links). Allow users to vote xbetweens up and down. Allow users to give alternative xbetweens for a given answer. Post daily ideas and have users come up with different formulae. Group by subject/topic. I can go on...

jherskowitz said...

Yeah, I was thinking about the "vote up" the best xbetweens.... turning it into somewhat of a game. Who knows, maybe earn points redeemable for merchandise?

I'm also toying around with ideas to tie it into Twitter. Nowadays, you don't exist unless you somehow tie into Twitter, right? ;-)

roymond said...

This idea is like a cross between a solution and a problem. Without the problem, of course.

Otherwise it's very 6-degree-ish. For instance, if people rated songs along these lines, you'd end up with lots of user-driven relationships between titles. But it would still exclude any content outside that which is specifically mentioned, so discovery would end there.

jherskowitz said...

@roymond, see it works even for ideas. :-)

But, I'm not sure I'm clear on why you think discovery would end? Theoretically the cross-linkages are endless... it doesn't end at 6 degrees. You could wander endlessly, just like you can do currently with "related artists". This would just be a different take on how "relatedness" is defined.

roymond said...

Well, to take the music model further:

User-A says artist-1's song is a cross between artist-2 and artist-3. So User-B hears about artist-2 and artist-3 but it never involves artist-45, since it's a closed system. Recommendation engines need to make that jump and not pull from the same pool, but somehow introduce entirely new content beyond the reach of User-A and User-B...activating the long tail.

jherskowitz said...

But the idea is that independent of User A (and User B), User C says that they think Artist 1 is a cross between Artist 27 and Artist 63. User D could say "you guys are crazy, Artist 1 sounds like a cross between Artist 83, Artist 4 and Artist 143).