The choice is ours

November 21, 2006

In today’s papers…

Filed under: News and Comment — shippingpal @ 11:40 am

CNN is running a story that seems to get recycled every year or so, the idea of (what’s now being called) ‘personal recommendation software.’  It’s not a new concept, though it differs from plain searching for obvious reasons, and it’s something I’m quite into.  The mistake here, as always, is to overimagine it – as it there could be a Google-equivalent that will somehow intuit what kind of music you like based on what’s in your grocery bag.  I don’t buy that neat compartmentalization.

There are a number of really good advisor systems out there, one of the oldest being the Global Network of Dreams, which I was using a fair bit when it first came out four or five years ago now.  The music site is particularly good, the movies one OK, the books a bit off to my taste, and I never tried the social networking one.  Another great music site is Pandora, which allows you to plug in your favourite artists and find similar (hopefully not-too-similar) music.  I set up a station there and it was surprisingly accurate, though with a 7,000 song iTunes library I am pretty much self contained as far as music goes.

These advisor system articles always love to harp on about Amazon‘s recommendations, but I’ve never once been persuaded to buy something based on their recommendations.  Often, I get email offers for books that I’d never bother even cracking the spine on.  Maybe it works better for other people.

Currrently reading: Emergency Sex and other Desperate Measures (Cain, Postlewait, Thomson) [audio]

Currently hearing: Hi-Fidelity Dub Sessions 3

Currently watching: Itineraire d’Une Enfant Gâté (dir Claude Lelouch)


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