Here's a recommendation from that registers high on the relevance scale but a bit low on the novelty and serendipity scale.

hendrix.png hendrix_novelty2.png

This is not necessarily a bad recommendation from the point of view of a store trying to sell MP3s, but it is just not the best recommendation for someone who is trying to find some new music.


This is similar to when I was searching at Amazon for the latest Harry Potter book and it recommended the prequels. It's probably a safe bet that someone searching for the latest in the series will probably have heard of, if not read, the previous books.

It's an example of a the ultimate Safe Recommendation (or Safe-o-mendation).

Posted by Sten Anderson on August 14, 2008 at 11:07 PM EDT #

Regarding the Harry Potter example I don't agree with your example. I have not read any of the previous books, but I might buy the last one because of all the latest hype in the media. I would like it if they suggested the previous books to me. I may even know some of the previous books, but maybe not all.

Sure they can do all sorts of things to optimize and optimize, but often it will quickly become over-optimized.

Posted by Dan on August 18, 2008 at 06:04 AM EDT #

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