By John Hamerlinck
I have been wondering if there might be valuable and practical uses for recommender systems for civic engagement. If you’ve shopped on Amazon.com or read a lot of online news sources then you are no doubt familiar with recommender systems. Your actions (things you have purchased or looked at) are used to create content intended to inform your decisions or help you manage information (here is a good article by Greg Linden on recommender systems and news aggregation).
These systems are far from perfect. Data changes. People change (see “5 Problems of Recommender Systems” by Richard MacManus). It seems, however, that people with similar goals and working on similar issues, need to be able to help each other find timely, useful information. Does anybody have some examples to share of recommender systems for social change?