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I think you may find that it is a combination of both. This is what it looks like: The people who know you best and know what you like, as well as know a domain really well. I agree, in the absence of tips from the people you look up to and who know what you specifically like, the people who "look like you" would be a substitute.

Here's where the fallacy of the one-note social graph is exposed. In most circumstances, I care more about someone's credibility or similarity to me than their proximity to me socially. This is especially true when filtering content. Netflix learned this when they tweaked their algorithm to rely more on social signals than interest signals. It failed, and they reverted. Great post, thanks.

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