What Do You Think I’ll Like?

Aaron, one of the masterminds behind FeedRinse, asks that all RSS Reader provide feed-recommendations.

While I agree there is value in RSS readers making it easier to add relevant sources, my experience with the recommendation engines like Netflix and Amazon has them batting .30. It’s rare that I purchase or rent anything either of those engines think I should. It’s far more likely that I’ll be inspired by another person providing a recommendation.

It’s not the engines fault. Star-rating, past purchases, and high-level genre categories don’t provide enough information to generate a quality recommendation.

That said, RSS is a pretty good recommendation engine itself. Nothing like email, but still pretty good. It could be better sure, and I’ve got some ideas around that.

I just received an email from Ben Moore pointing me to Tim O’Reilly’ s post about Yahoo’s new Pipes service. Ben thought there might be some similarities between Pipes and some of the projects I’m working on. Ben’s probably right (the site’s down right now).

While Pipes sounds interesting (“Pipes opens up mashup programming to the non-programmer” – Tim’s words). What’s more interesting to me is that Ben pointed me to it. A relevant, personal recommendation.
Thanks Ben.

4 thoughts on “What Do You Think I’ll Like?

  1. I haven’t had much luck with Amazon or Netflix either. But I discover new music all the time using the iTunes “listeners who bought this also bought…” It almost seems like the less complex the recommendation engine, the more relevant the results.

  2. Oh, thanks Ben 😀
    I didn’t take it that way. My point was that we can aggregate all we want, but it’s still the informed, personal recommendation that resonate through the din.

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