by Mike Munie and Thuc Vu, Katango’s Co-Founders and Algo Gurus

Your social network contains a lot of information about you. Remember the old saying, “you are what you eat?”  In this century, you are defined – at least in part – by who you connect with online, and what you like, share, do and have in common with them. That’s the stuff our algorithm gets at.  One of several things it does is to use data from your connections to solve the very real problem of being able to share specific things only with the subgroups of people from your overall social networks who will care about them (or who you want to see them), with little or no effort on your part.

We want the algorithm to do the work for you.

At times, the algorithm surprises us with the socially meaningful connections it draws from a given set of data. For example, we’ve found that all sorts of location information – where you worked, where you went to school, where you live – can surface useful relationship links between you and your friends online that are relevant to creating subgroups for sharing specific information. We’ve also found that your number of friends and the types of interactions you have with those friends strongly correlates to your age.

Similarly, your friends’ relationship statuses can correlate to your age. Most of Yoav’s friends are married, while Yee’s are a mixed bag of marrieds and singles – whereas the vast majority of our friends are single.

In testing, we’ve used the algorithm to build highly useful subgroups for sharing based on their social profiles – and very soon, you’ll be able to use it, too. Mostly everyone wants a group specifically for family, which is interesting because that’s – counterintuitively – one of the more difficult groups for the algorithm to compile. On the other hand, some users have been completely stunned at the groups our algorithm was able to create for them because it found connections between people they may not have consciously realized were there.

Of course, the algorithm is essential to the product. But it’s not the star. People and relationships are the stars of Katango. Anyone can create a geeky algorithm that does a cool trick. We want ours to help you connect and share with the real people in your life on and offline more efficiently and with more discretion, so that you can connect and share more, with less worry and less work.

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