In the online social world Discovery describes features that highlight new and especially relevant community-generated and editorial content.

Ensuring that relevant content finds you

Discovery—a pillar of social networking—is built upon the principle that people are ultimately social creatures and assign a high degree of value to the social context of everything they do. If they read a news article, they want to know who else is reading it. If they buy a product, they want to know who else has bought it. In the end, consumers expect that relevant information will find them.

Discovery can be delivered through a range of features. Basic search capabilities are a must-have, as are discovery widgets that promote selected popular content from across the site, e.g., most commented, highest rated and recommended content.

Pluck’s support for Discovery

We’ve designed Pluck Applications to surface other valuable discovery features. For example, social activity streams allow users to see what their peers are interacting with. Community Groups surface content in various ways, including daily digest e-mails. And Pluck Forums let users subscribe to discussions they care about.

Discovery can – and should – be extended beyond the walls of any one community through a principle called “social unification”. This involves leveraging the social Web to “unify” a user’s social experiences in a meaningful way, by exporting social media interactions to Facebook, Twitter, Google, Yahoo and other corners of the social web through APIs and compliance with open standards.

Pluck’s support for discovery is built into our Engines (such as Recommendation and Notification) and Collections (Highest, Most, Results). Discovery Widgets make displaying new or hot content effortless, and the Pluck SDKs include all the social objects required to replicate the features of these widgets. Social activity feeds are a feature of Personas and Groups, and specialized feeds can be built through the SDKs. Both simple and advanced search capabilities can be leveraged throughout the platform.

Pluck Discovery, including activity feeds and search, fully supports highly granular queries with multiple criteria, including content tagging. For example, you can choose to display only the most relevant hot content based on where the user is on your web site, as well as other custom criteria.

Finally, because you don’t want discovery results dominated by old content which was once popular, Pluck Discovery is based on a customizable rolling window. For instance, you can show articles with the most comments within a 14-day window.

Examples of Discovery in action

Newest articles
Latest reviewed products (by category)
Recently updated Personas
Recent forum discussions and more
Highest and Most:
Highest rated products (by category)
Most commented articles
Most popular Community Groups
Most active forum discussions and more
Community-wide feeds
User activity Activity from a user’s friends

To learn more about Discovery and Pluck, check out our discussion of Pluck Collections and Pluck’s Recommendation and Notification Engines.


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