I hope people don't think I am picking on Amazon. Amazon clearly has one of the best recommenders in the world. The last time I went to Amazon, I intended to buy 1 book, I ended up with 5 all because of their recommender. 99% of the recommendations from the Amazon recommender are spot on - but there's a small number of recommendations that are surprising, funny or just plain crazy. Now this doesn't always mean that these are bad recommendations. For example, here's one that was sent to me by Anita Lillie. She says:

I noticed you are posting freakomendations on your blog, and it reminded me of how I was looking for flowers for a mother-in-law-type person for Christmas last year, and I got a recommendation for the video game Halo. I went back today to try to find the same recommendation, but I couldn't find it. Instead, I see a "recommendation" ("other customers who bought... also bought...") for the movie "Hot Fuzz" fairly frequently within the "flowering indoor plants" product category. Anyway, it was particularly funny with the Halo, and I'm guessing it's all those 20-something guys who go online to order something for their moms.

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As Anita suggests, the demographic of Amazon flower purchases probably skews to 20-somthing guys getting something for their moms, so throwing in Halo or Hot Fuzz, may not be a bad way for Amazon to make an extra sale or two.


Actually I think that's especially funny since a peace lily plays a somewhat major role in the movie Hot Fuzz... perhaps some people ordered one after seeing the movie?

Posted by Julian on April 29, 2008 at 05:42 AM EDT #

It's hillarious. Actually, I really considered buying a peace lily after seeing Hot Fuzz. As it turns out, I already have one, and I'm not really taking care of it - not nearly as much as Nicolas Angel.

Perhaps this has to do with the number of people who really purchases this product. Perhaps, for cheap, a link between a not-popular item can be made via a few purchases.... However, buying a 35$ plant + the movie is quite too much for a prank. Could it be a prank from Amazon themselves? I guess there has to be some legitimate data behind all this...

Actually, it should be the other way around, recommend the plant to the people who purchased the movie.

Posted by Marc-O on April 29, 2008 at 05:10 PM EDT #

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