A system for facilitating exchange of user information and opinion using automated collaborative filtering includes memory elements for storing item profiles and user profiles. The data contained in those profiles is used to calculate a number of similarity factors representing how closely the preferences of one user correlate with another. The similarity factors are evaluated to select a set of neighboring users for each user which represents the set of users which most closely correlate with a particular user. The system assigns a weight to each one of the neighboring users. The system uses the ratings given to items by those neighboring users to recommend an item to a user. The system may be distributed, i.e. the system may include a number of nodes connected to a central server. The central server includes a memory element for storing user profile data and the nodes may be the type of system described above.