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Topic: Buddy Similarity

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Subject: Buddy Similarity
Date Posted: 11/8/2008 7:29 AM ET
Member Since: 10/19/2006
Posts: 136
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I have a lot of people on my Buddy List that I have traded with and recommended books to over the years. However, with one exception, none of them has a similarity index of more than 20%.

My question is: how is the percentage calculated? By my bookshelf, my wish list, my book ratings or all three? Because if it is calculated by my bookshelf then it will be totally off-base. Most of the books on my bookshelf were picked up at the FOL sales or given to me by friends and family members. Actually, my wish list really reflects my reading choices.

Last Edited on: 11/8/08 7:32 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/8/2008 8:17 AM ET
Member Since: 10/23/2005
Posts: 7,719
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HI Anne,

The below is from this month's NewsWire, which came out on November 4th. You can read the NewsWire in its entirety by clicking on the link on your Club Communications page. You can also choose to get the newsletter via email each month by going to your Account, then Settings and Choosing Yes to the Receive Newsletter portion about half way down the page.


Dear Librarian--I was totally psyched by the Similarity Index.  But then I looked at my Buddies, and no one is more than 10% similar to me!  Am I such a freak?  Why don't I have higher similarity to other people?  --Outcast in Orlando

Dear Lanny,

Don't worry!  You're not a freak.  Well, you might be, but not because of low Similarity Index numbers :).   The Similarity Index is inaccurate if it doesn't have good data to work with.   If you haven't chosen favorite genres, haven't rated many books using the star-rating system, and haven't put a lot of books on your Wish List, then it's hard for the system to tell who is similar to you!

You can improve the accuracy of the Index by (1) choosing favorite genres on the Member Homepage (you don't have to choose three- one or two are fine), by (2) putting items on your Wish List and (3) by rating books with the star rating system.

Number 3 above is super-powerful - the more books you rate with 1-5 stars, the more likely it is that you will rate the same books that someone else has rated.  Giving the same books the same number of stars is really the most accurate measure of your similarity to another member.  So turn to the stars to find your reading soul-mates!  They're out there, we just know it.

Don't forget, you can see your similarity on ANY viewable profile -not just on Buddies.  You can view a member's profile by clicking his or her highlighted nickname anywhere it appears on the site.