PeerIndex arrives to work out if you're full of it – or not

PeerIndex, which was previously known as Viewsflow while it was in alpha, has now re-launched and gone into Beta.

As it was billed as a sort of high-brow filtering mechanism for Twitter users. It’s now moving in the direction of a platform for “ranking authority on the social web.” It plain English it looks at your social and “reputation capital” to work out if you really do know what you are talking about.

Of course many have tried such a feat and failed, or at least had limited success. Some obvious competitors to PeerIndex are Klout, twittergrader and twitalyzer. But Twitter influence monitors like Klout look mainly at followers. PeerIndex will look at how a particular person is part of a diffusion network for interesting content. Founder Azeem Azhar calls it a way to “identify from millions of users the opinion leaders from the merely opinionated.”

The platform is currently indexing 1.7m of what it calls “the most salient users” on Twitter, and is adding 10 to 20,000 per day. You can add Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or a blog profile to be analysed.

It’s PeerIndex’s view that you might have authority in one subject but you may not have authority in another, plus that – finally – raw follower or friend counts are not an indication of authority on a subject.

So the core algorithm looks at various things including semantics, social networks and the actual sharing behaviour of its users. For instance, there is a cost for over-sharing – noisy people who spam their feeds get punished in the index. PeerIndex will rank people in their ability to share things which other people find interesting.

As we wrote previously, PeerIndex is aiming at creating a sort of Morningstar rankings for people, in the way Morningstar ranks Mutual funds.

Ultimately the aim is to be an an analytics layer cast over third party platforms like Twitter, identifying a community of specialists across any platform. That then produces a platform for other third parties to build customised apps, like an index of people who know the solar industry in Africa.

The startup is privately backed by leading European angels and executives including Bill Emmott (former Editor in Chief of The Economist), Ab Banerjee (former CEO of Raw Communications), Sherry Coutu, Stefan Glaenzer, and Simon Gibson.