Of late, there are a number of challenges that are trending on Facebook from past few weeks now. Started with the #Icebucketchallenge, now there are over ten’s of challenges for which people are nominating their friends to take up. Challenges like the #BookBucketchallenge, #Ricebucketchallenge, #thepicturechallenge, thefoodlistchallenge, etc are the ones which you might be seeing on your timelines these days.
After Icebucketchallenge and Ricebucketchallenge the challenge which has now gain huge momentum is the #BookBucketChallenge.
You may have seen one of your friends post something like
List 10 books that have stayed with you in some way. Don’t take more than a few minutes, and don’t think too hard. They do not have to be the ‘right’ books or great works of literature, just ones that have affected you in some way.
To figure out which books are the most popular among people and have stayed for long, recently, Facebook analyzed more than 130,000 status updates matching “10 books” or “ten books” appearing in the last two weeks of August 2014.
The demographics of those posting were: 63.7% were in the US, 9.3% in India, and 6.3% in the UK. Women outnumbered men by the ratio of 3.1:1. The average age was 37.
It programmatically segmented the posts into lists, and found the most frequently occurring substrings, which corresponded to different books, e.g. “Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy”. However, the same book could appear as different substrings: e.g. just “Anna Karenina” or “Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy”. It clustered similar variants programmatically, hand tuning where the algorithm had failed to merge two popular variants. It then used the clusters to automatically match the book lists against the common variants of the top 500 most popular books.