Portent Invites Facebook Users to Help Build Social Graph for ‘Likes’

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Seattle-based digital marketing company needs at least 10,000 volunteers to share their information anonymously to make connections between random interests.

While social graphs map out relationships between people online, an ambitious new project launched by digital marketing firm Portent Interactive will identify unexpected connections between user interests.

Called the Idea Graph, the beta tool finds patterns in the randomness of Facebook “likes.” So far, it has revealed that many President Barack Obama supporters drink Coca-Cola, BMW drivers listen to the Beatles and cyclists watch the "Adventure Time" cartoon.

In order to create a complete data set, Portent is seeking 10,000 volunteers to help build out the Idea Graph by authorizing a Facebook app to anonymously access their demographic data, likes, links and friends lists.

“We’re going to apply the tool first to Facebook and then expand it to other social networks,” said Ian Lurie, CEO and founder of Seattle-based Portent. “By mapping these ‘random affinities,’ we will generate a list of common interests marketers can use to grow their audiences and build rapport with customers.”

The result of the Idea Graph will be a list of user interests and the Euclidean Distance between them – the likelihood that someone who likes a particular topic will also like another topic. So far, Portent has analyzed 170,000 relationships between topics based on 16,000 pages, links and other content that has been shared and liked by Idea Graph participants on Facebook.

Upon completion, Portent will publicly release the graph showing connections between concepts, brands and other likes. The Idea Graph will only use data anonymously and in aggregate, and the project is being conducted purely for research purposes. Volunteers will not receive spam or advertisements as a result of signing up.

To participate in the Idea Graph, visit graph.portent.com.

About Portent Interactive
Founded in 1995, Portent Interactive has grown into one of the nation’s premier Internet marketing firms, helping businesses in the realms of SEO (search engine optimization), paid search, copywriting, social media, web development and more. Portent’s approach has succeeded in industries ranging from technology to travel, for B2B, B2C, and B2G companies.

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