Max Levchin and Bill Gurley say that the next big company will capture the Interest Graph. (February 2011)
Adam Rifkin stashed this in Interest Graph!
Bill Gurley mentions that Netflix removed the social graph from its recommendation engine because other algorithms were better.
Here's more from the TechCrunch article:
The real game-changing model involves capturing and capitalizing on the “interest graph,” he says. The company that succeeds in doing so would be “close to the Google search paradigm because it would be right in line with demand generation and with discovery that relates to product purposes.” Thus, it is the interest graph that defines the middle ground between Google and Facebook — between search, advertising, and the social graph.
I think we can be sure that whoever can collect a record of your current interests and package them for advertisers stands to make a lot of money. Levchin says that Twitter may end up being a more advantageous platform to advertisers because it allows you to follow a brand and get realtime information and updates — through brand discovery and celebrity discovery — which is more likely to be informative than what you get from your friends, who may not be experts. Twitter has said that it believes that it has control over the interest graph, but status updates don’t really provide the depth and contextualization that is really needed
There's a 40-minute video of Max and Bill in the TechCrunch article.