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RE: [newtech-1] Web Commenting Systems

From: user 4.
Sent on: Tuesday, March 4, 2008 12:52 PM
>> commenting will be needed to get a (rough) aggregate idea of 
what the users think of the car 

This is sentiment analysis.  There are several academic solutions to deriving sentiment from text.  A search on "computational linguistics sentiment" will bring up a lot of information that may help direct you on how people have thought through identifying the feeling of free-text.  RapidMiner is an open source data mining tool that may help. I have not used it but others have recommended it as useful for this. If the comments are basic, teen-age stuff you can pretty easily create a score based on the ratio of negative-positive words. Build out a glossary of good/bad or run do a dictionary lookup. Slang is important to track.

The other needs are basic CL issues with a feedback element. Depending on how silly you wanted to get you could do stuff like determine that a comments is redundant or add one to a custom bucket/taxonomy for that comment based on keywords eg "this car is slow and does not have good braking" == performance++.  "I saw prices for this car in Oregon but it ran on tree leaves rather than diesel"== price++, green++. Depending on how the user gets to a list of comments you can try to predict what they are interested in. Ie I got to the car description by clicking cars->family->­$20-30K. So assume I am cost conscious. Cars->family->­best performance.

>> Relevancy:
Some solutions I have prototyped for relevance were things like how long was the content was read (timed based on view or duration before the scroll bar moved or reached a specific point-page 2 link) track what the user did next and time the duration. Then you can do some post-processing to find the spikes to provide a very basic list of what may be relevant.  

That is a shotgun of ideas, all with big holes, but anytime free-text is involved there are bound to be holes...  
To me it sounds like a good project to get creative.


-----Original Message-----
From: [address removed] [mailto:[address removed]] On Behalf Of Asif Youssuff
Sent: Monday, March 03,[masked]:25 PM
To: [address removed]
Subject: [newtech-1] Web Commenting Systems

Hey all,

I'm working on a freelance project on the side, and I've been tasked 
with creating a commenting system for it.

Let me give you guys an idea of what the comments are for, and what I'd 
like to accomplish...

The site is basically going to be a database of items, for simplicity's 
sake, let's call them cars.

The site will allow users to tag these items for their own relevancy (as 
well as others).

However, commenting will be needed to get a (rough) aggregate idea of 
what the users think of the car.

What problems am I trying to solve?

Vote inflation: We don't want any one user to be able to influence the 
tally to an immense degree (by posting[masked] times), but we want users 
to comment as often as they'd like.

Relevancy: The user can go through and view all comments, however, a 
casual user will likely only look at the top view comments.

How can we make it so that the "best comments" are listed as being 
representative of the car? Listing by date won't work, and listing by 
amount of comments submitted doesn't work either.

Timeliness: The comment should not be outdated, this feeds into the 
relevancy problem.

I'm sure that there are issues that I'm not covering here, but those are 
what I came up with in a bit of armchair modeling.

I also thought about a cut-down slashcode moderation type system, but 
that may be too complex, and the amount of users needed to sustain a 
good moderation system might not be present with this site.

What am I looking for?

Code, preferably open source, so I can recreate, or reuse it.

Philosophies on how to do it right.

Any other ideas. I want to do it well, and it's not an easy problem to 
solve /well/.


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