What is going on with Sphere? I signed up for the beta waiting list and haven't heard a peep in months. Furthermore the last coverage I saw in the press was in October. Are they planning on launching soon? Can we get a status report guys?
Mary Hodder's research on topic communities is one of the bases of Sphere. Here is more information from her blog, Napsterization
In particular, I spent a couple of years working on the topic browsing of blog data, developing a front-end php-based system, 150 pages of usability, user and design research, preliminary algorithm design for determining topic communities through multiple metrics, scoping search up and down those communities, as well as weighting bloggers through other combinations of those same metrics (multiple metrics reduce the power law effects that a single metric can have on a community), as well as blogger profiling.I would still love to see Mary's research, it sounds fascinating. Incidentally, she gave a great presentation to the UC Sims 141 Class on Blog search. I highly recommend the webcast.