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Topic: How do Recommendations work - or do they?

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Subject: How do Recommendations work - or do they?
Date Posted: 1/11/2011 5:19 PM ET
Member Since: 10/23/2010
Posts: 19
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I am confused about the recommendations I'm getting. 

I would expect that the recommendations would be based on the star ratings I have given to books I've rated, but they don't seem to be working correctly.  I see things like "Since you liked XXXXX...", when XXXXX is a book I gave a rating of one star.  I didn't like it at all, so why on earth would I want to read anything like it? 

I also see books I've already read, and rated, coming up as a recommendation.  If I've rated it already, then I've read it. 

Am I missing something, or does this recommendation thing just not work right?


Date Posted: 1/11/2011 5:35 PM ET
Member Since: 10/23/2010
Posts: 19
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No thoughts?  If you go to the HOME page and choose recommendations, do yours seem to go along with what you've posted and what you've rated highly? 

I'm wondering if there's something I need to reset, or refresh, that I'm not doing. 

Any feedback is appreciated... thanks!

Date Posted: 1/11/2011 5:37 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,601
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I almost never look at those. I did just now since you mentioned it to see what came up...and you're right. It's a bunch of junk I have no interest in reading at all. I have no idea what they base their recommendations on. If you are being recommended books you've rated here, I would tend to think maybe it's not working.


Date Posted: 1/11/2011 5:55 PM ET
Member Since: 10/23/2010
Posts: 19
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Thanks!  I use Amazon recommendations all the time and they are really pretty helpful.

I just read something that said if you want to improve your recommendations,add more books to your wish list.  So, I went and found a book by Anne Tyler that I haven't read and was about to do that.  But, I'm not seeing a WISH button anywhere.  How do I add it to my wish list? 

I'm feeling really stupid today!!!

Date Posted: 1/11/2011 6:33 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,209
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If there is no Wish List button on a book, then there is probably an Order button because it is currently available in the system. You won't be able to Wish it, but you can Order it or add it to your Reminder List.

I never much liked my recommendations - it was always recommending a book on my Book I've Read list and sometimes recommending the same book it was referring off of "If you liked Inked by Author X you might also linked Inked by Author X" so I really haven't looked at it in ages.

It may be that you don't have a lot of history on your account so it doesn't have much to base recommendations on yet.

Date Posted: 1/11/2011 8:06 PM ET
Member Since: 1/20/2009
Posts: 2,680
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Mine seem to be working pretty well, at least within reason. There's nothing funky or off the wall there right now. But then, I have a pretty lengthy account history at this point. It seems to use books you received but haven't rated to generate a 'IF you liked _____, you might like' list, then use your actual ratings to generate another list, and then use your favorite genres and friend's likes to generate more ideas. I'd guess that if you don't have a pretty decent  account history, it wouldn't really work at all for you.

But, in any case, it was never designed to be any kind of substitute for something like the Amazon recommendations. The system here is not nearly as fine-tuned in its programming to find good recommendations. It never could be, so long as this remains a site that doesn't generate huge amounts of money for the people who run it. That's the cost of a largely free site that isn't designed to make a profit. So, if you have an Amazon account or the like, I'd always recommend using the recommendations pages there instead.

Last Edited on: 1/11/11 8:09 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/11/2011 8:26 PM ET
Member Since: 10/23/2010
Posts: 19
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Thanks for the information, everyone!

Date Posted: 1/11/2011 8:37 PM ET
Member Since: 4/5/2008
Posts: 1,869
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I didn't read the whole set of responses, but are you looking at the FABIL list?  Mine has a setting that says books with a rating of _____ stars are the ones I like.  I have it set for 3.5 stars so it supposedly will only show me books like the ones I rated that high.  Hope that's what you are asking about....

Last Edited on: 1/11/11 8:45 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/12/2011 12:12 AM ET
Member Since: 10/14/2010
Posts: 577
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Don't know if this helps.  I have never rated a book and it appears to base my "You might like" on both the books on my bookshelf and the ones I have ordered/WL'd.

Date Posted: 1/12/2011 12:37 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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I don't use that feature.  Do my own research with book reviews, Amazon reviews, and publishers.