In a recent effort, Thomas, a student in my research group, explored goals and goal relations on 43things.com. You can see an outcome of his effort in the Pajek screenshot below (click here for a larger version of the graph):
We used 43things.com API to crawl a minor set of goals and relations between them. The relations were inferred via a rather naive approach using simple weights for user- and tag- co-occurrences as well as 43things.com’s similiar-goal API call. Surprisingly, many of the strongest associations inferred are rather intuitive. Utilizing 43things.com’s API, this small exercise illustrates the potential of large socially-constructed corpora for collecting common sense knowledge (such as “fall in love” helps to “be happy” – as illustrated in the above screenshot). Making such common sense knowledge more explicit on one hand might help to aid users in formulating, progressing towards and satisfying their goals on the web, and on the other hand might help systems to identify, understand, assess and reason about users’ requirements and goals.