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Reputation within a Social Network

I had the pleasure this morning to meet with one of the founders of Circos. In one of my earlier blogs I classified Circos in the same category as Kango. After meeting with Mario Jobbe, it became clear that Circos has a different spin on the semantic search space. Circos has launched a preview which focuses on the travel industry, in particular hotel search, but the company plans to enter other non-travel segments as they grow. One interesting feature that allows the user to look at the profile of a given author at a travel site such as Trip Advisor or Yelp!. By graphically showing the key attributes evaluated by the author of the comment, the user can get a sense of the relative frequency and reputation of the given author. This is an important spin on the semantic search approach recognizing that the opinions of the more trusted authors play a role in the value of their comments. This is just touching the surface of an important social networking dynamic that mirrors real world social networks, reputation. Suppliers have continued to express concern that review sites only contain very positive or very negative comments representing the two ends of the bell curve. Understanding the relative reputation of the author within a given site such as Trip Advisor is an important a feature easily determined by clicking on the author’s name. Circos carries this one step further by aggregating 500 review sources into a single search response and thus allowing the user to evaluate the author across multiple entries posted on different sites. As review sites continue to mature, the value of a particular review can be impacted by the reputation of the author.