Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Is "interestingness" patentable?

I'm in a mad rush to get to Budapest today but I just spotted this over at Alfie's blog and felt it was worth mentioning.

If you're a flickr regular (like me and Tom and Devi and Lloyd) then you'll know all about the different ranking systems flickr has to rate your photos and one ofthem is interestingness which, I'm guessing, is an algorithm based on number of views vs number/range/content of tags vs volume/content of comments.

Alfie has spotted that flickr is applying for a patent based on this 'interestingness' and wonders if it's the concept of 'interestingness' that's being patented or the algorithm. It seems to him, and I concur, that many social networking sites already use similar methodology to rank and order content and members within their community. So is it really patentable?