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Customers who bought this also ordered.....

 
 
Reply Thu 23 Jun, 2011 10:10 am
Do you find those recommendations valuable?

I've tried using the ones on Amazon when I think "I'd like to read something funny. I thought ______ was funny so I'll see what other people who bought it also ordered."

I haven't had much luck.

Do you know of any site that makes recommendations and does a good job of it?

Is it better to find a review that you agree with and see what else that particular person has liked?

Thanks!
 
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Thu 23 Jun, 2011 10:22 am
@boomerang,
Quote:
Is it better to find a review that you agree with and see what else that particular person has liked?


I'd go this route. I've seen those things in operation before, and i suspect that they're just programs that match up key words. If the key word is "funny," god know what kind of tripe might be linked.
Butrflynet
 
  2  
Reply Thu 23 Jun, 2011 10:26 am
@boomerang,
I use them quite often and have changed my mind about a purchase based on an alternative offered by those recommendations on many websites.

Looking at the alternative recommendations is a basic part of my comparison shopping, along with user reviews, Consumer Reports etc. After doing the comparisons, I probably change my mind about purchasing something more often than I'm convinced it is the right choice for purchase.
0 Replies
 
Irishk
 
  2  
Reply Thu 23 Jun, 2011 11:07 am
I buy ebooks books from various places, but I always check Amazon's reader reviews first. I really like them. They never just say, "I hated this book"...or, "I loved this book", but rather go in to detail about why they loved or hated it. Helps a lot.

For other stuff, too. When I was shopping for an ice-cream maker, I learned that the one I'd decided upon was irritating to some because of the noise factor (doesn't bother me at all), but I wouldn't have known about it without the reviews. On the kitchen and dept. store sites, that little factoid wasn't mentioned at all.

At Christmas-time, I was trying to buy an herb-keeper for a friend who loves to cook but has just about everything (hard to buy for) and learned that the one I'd been trying to find wasn't really all that good...but others out there were. That info wasn't on the Williams-Sonoma site or others I'd tried (still, the thing sold out nation-wide because it was on Oprah's 'favorite things' lol...go figure).

I love comparison shopping and really like reading about others' experiences with whatever I'm looking to buy. I definitely think it's a useful tool.

0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  2  
Reply Thu 23 Jun, 2011 11:16 am
@Setanta,
At Amazon I've just typed in the name of a book that I liked and seen what else comes up. More often than not I'm not getting the connection. It's almost like I'd read a different book.

I wonder if the books it brings up for me are based on some average between me and Mo since I use the same account to order for both of us. Maybe it thinks I'm a 30 year old with an interest in social studies and zombies.
tsarstepan
 
  2  
Reply Thu 23 Jun, 2011 11:16 am
@boomerang,
I can tell you that Netflix has a middling recommendation engine.

For example: If you like this thrilling sci-fi film you might like this costume drama ... and the only connection one could make is that they're both subtitled and produced by the same country.

IMDb's recommendation engine is just as useless.
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Jun, 2011 11:18 am
@boomerang,
Quote:
in social studies and zombies

There's a great work of satire waiting to be written here Boomerang. Smile
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Jun, 2011 11:22 am
I do a lot of comparison shopping via internet and read a lot of reviews. We just bought a new mattress and I compared the daylights out of everything. The internet is a godsend for comparison shopping.

I'm talking more about an "if you liked this, you'll probably like this other thing" sort of recommendation.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Jun, 2011 11:26 am
@tsarstepan,
I get really weird recommendations from Netflix. I was wondering if they might come up with some of the based on the cast (If you liked this movie that had actor X in it, you'll like every other movie he's ever been in even if they aren't at all the same.)

Mr. B likes action movies and sci-fi, I like documentaries, I get a lot of referrals for documentaries about the future and daredevils.
Arella Mae
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Jun, 2011 11:31 am
@boomerang,
The only one I really know much about is audible.com. I buy lots of audiobooks and I do like to read the reviews of other audiobook listeners. So far, I have only ignored the comments quite a few made on one book in particular because I thought what they were picking on about the book seemed kind of petty, ONLY to find out they were right on!

How's your little one and his pet snake doing?
Irishk
 
  3  
Reply Thu 23 Jun, 2011 11:35 am
Oh, I totally ignore Netflix recs. Their "Our best guess for IrishK" is always wrong lol.
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Jun, 2011 10:49 pm
@boomerang,
Quote:
I'm talking more about an "if you liked this, you'll probably like this other thing" sort of recommendation.

I probably wouldn't rely on others' recommendations too much, unless I knew them very well & had very similar tastes. Which isn't the case on internet book sites, is it?
As an "if you liked this" rule, when I stumble upon an author I really love, then I'll usually get my hands on everything they've written & read the lot, one by one ..... until I run out of their books (or lose interest) .... which has been known to cause shocking withdrawal pains & an angsty period of wandering aimlessly in the reading desert (till I finally hit on the next writer of my dreams), I can tell you! Wink
Arella Mae
 
  1  
Reply Fri 24 Jun, 2011 09:37 am
@msolga,
Do you read the ebooks or listen to the audiobooks?
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Fri 24 Jun, 2011 10:19 am
@Arella Mae,
Speaking of picking on books....

One time on a beach trip I finished the book I was reading and was forced to buy something at a beach convenience store. I picked up a book that said "NPR's top ten chiller thriller" or something like that on the cover. It turned out to be a chase (fine) Christian (okay...) romance (....uhhhh......) novel that for some reason was tarted up with a "thriller" element.

I thought it must just be me -- that I didn't get what the author was doing -- that I was picking on it -- or something -- so I looked up the reviews on the book. They were excellent, really excellent. And there were a LOT of reviews.

I'm still scratching my head over that.

Mo and snake are excellent! He did his science fair project on snakes and got to take Strangles to school. It was awesome.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Fri 24 Jun, 2011 10:22 am
@msolga,
It's been a long time since I've come across an author I've consumed. I'd love to find one.

My neighbor and I trade a lot of books back and forth. Most of them are hits but once in a while we'll hand a book back to the other and say "I couldn't finish it". It's so strange when that happens.
0 Replies
 
tsarstepan
 
  3  
Reply Fri 24 Jun, 2011 11:02 am
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:

I get really weird recommendations from Netflix. I was wondering if they might come up with some of the based on the cast (If you liked this movie that had actor X in it, you'll like every other movie he's ever been in even if they aren't at all the same.)

Mr. B likes action movies and sci-fi, I like documentaries, I get a lot of referrals for documentaries about the future and daredevils.

I wish that the Netflix engine would be that sensible. One major example of the engine's flaws.

My favorite television show of all time is Mystery Science Theater 3000. But at Netflix, each movie/episode is listed seperately with its own individual page.

I have watched dozens upon dozens of episodes on Netflix streaming. I also watched dozens and dozens more of episodes on Netflix DVD. The lowest I have rated one of the MST3k's movies was a 3 out of 5 and that was under their short run Film Crew days.

About 90% of the time, I rate their films a 5 out of 5 with the remainder with a 4 out of 5.

One would think that if there are episodes I haven't rated on Netflix that they would be on the top of my recommendation list given that on Netflix its the most watched program (with plenty of rewatches in order).

But to find any episode that Netflix has left for me, I have to search manually through dozens of pages to see if any exist.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 24 Jun, 2011 11:09 am
@tsarstepan,
My next thought is that you should tell Netflix that, but then I remembered - it is not easy to write back to Netflix, or it wasn't for me.
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 24 Jun, 2011 11:11 am
@ossobuco,
They bury their contact information and make the person jump through loops for reporting legitimate errors like when a streaming movie is mislabled for another. Seen that twice already.
ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Fri 24 Jun, 2011 11:16 am
@tsarstepan,
I don't think they want person-to-netflix feedback, as that would presumably affect their financial model re staffing. I think it's shortsighted, but given the volume of the potential feedback, maybe I'm wrong re the useful comment to noise ratio.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 24 Jun, 2011 11:50 am
I just tried to use this on Amazon to find a book club book, this has worked in the past but not today. I went with good old human fuzzy logic and asked for recommendations here, and djjd managed to come up with just the thing in his first try. Woo!
0 Replies
 
 

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