The Fallenposters Blog

Because the posters fell down, duh. Recommendations

with 3 comments

Recently I’ve gotten addicted to rating items on This is a part of my goal to “improve” my recommendations. But I have been having some issues with this system.

Singer, Kelly ClarksonIf I give a book, DVD, or CD a high rating, then it’ll spit out recommendations for books by the same author, movies by the same director, or CDs by the same artist. Now I understand that their logic for this is that, “Hey, if he loved that one Kelly Clarkson album, then surely he’ll love every other album made by an American Idol contestant plus any other pop music!” This, thankfully, is not the case.

Surprisingly, I like “Breakaway” by Kelly Clarkson. But that doesn’t mean that I necessarily want to go out and buy Carrie Underwood’s, Bo Bice’s and Clay Aiken’s albums.

Author, Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. On the same course, I’ve read and enjoyed a number of Kurt Vonnegut’s books . And now because of that, Amazon feels that I need to have every book written by him. Now I’m sure some may argue that Amazon got this one right, but I don’t really feel that way.

The main thing that irks me about it is that I know that I like Kurt Vonnegut, and I’m sure that I would love every one of his books. But why can’t it take that logical step and recommend something else? Who knows, I guess it has to do with the algorithm it uses. Until they fix that, I’ll continue telling it that I’m not interested in Britney Spears’ oeuvre.

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Written by Eric Spiegel

August 23, 2006 at 2:08 pm

Posted in grab bag

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3 Responses

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  1. Unfortunately, this seems to be one of the weakest areas of Amazon’s software. It seems that everyone complains that the recommendations they get from Amazon are either totally off-the-wall, having no relation to what you really like, or like you the recommendations are too conservative, too close to what you already have. Given some of their other problems (like making consistent profits), I doubt if they’ll do too much with this in the near future. But you might want to take a peek at the Customer Reviews Discussion boards on Amazon – quite a few very literate people there with opinions about everything.


    August 23, 2006 at 6:42 pm

  2. Yeah, I used to get a ton of off-the-wall recommendations but that was mostly due to it making recommendations from my purchases (which were not always for myself). So after turning off the recommendations from my purchases, they got a little better.

    I’ll have to check out the discussion boards more, they seem like a better way to figure out if I might like something.


    August 24, 2006 at 7:28 am

  3. Dude, I think you’re onto something here. I never met a recomendation service I liked. Perhaps you should give more thought to developing a a program that does a better job. Like a genome project for any type of recommendation based on personal likes/dislikes.


    August 26, 2006 at 6:06 am

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