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Topic: "Other people ordered these books"

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Subject: "Other people ordered these books"
Date Posted: 8/30/2008 6:14 AM ET
Member Since: 7/1/2008
Posts: 2,835
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or whatever it is called.

You know the screen. It's the confirmation screen.

Surely this has been discussed before, but it is sooo wierd. The books have so little to do with the book you just ordered. Amazon does this and usually gets another order from me because their books are actually related.

Today I ordered a book on Victorian People and Their Ideas...and the only book that showed up was Carl Sagan's Contact.

Any plans to make this feature more efffective?

Date Posted: 8/30/2008 8:44 AM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2006
Posts: 2,303
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Can't say about plans, but I usually don't even look at it.

Date Posted: 8/30/2008 8:51 AM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2006
Posts: 4,972
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 but I usually don't even look at it

Me either anymore. Though I was a little amused at first at some of the TOTALLY unrelated books it gave, it got old, fast.


Date Posted: 8/30/2008 10:47 AM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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I've never noticed any even remotely close matches at that point. I just ignore it all together now.

One of the things I don't like about the FABIL on "My Lists" is that if I find an author I like and rank it high, then I mostly just get all the other books by that author. I think checking out other books by an author is a real no-brainer, and I don't need help with that. I need the names of new authors I may not know about.

Neither system seems to work very well. I'd really rather they use the computing time and effort for something else. There's just too many other places to get recommendations that seem to work better.

Date Posted: 8/30/2008 11:22 AM ET
Member Since: 6/4/2007
Posts: 2,941
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I think you have to consider that if you request a book that hasn't been swapped very often then it's not likely to draw on more than a few sources for that information.  On top of that, I doubt it would take into account ALL the books those people (or that person, even) have requested, probably just a few transactions surrounding the request of that title, maybe just other books requested within a certain time period.  I don't think it's too far fetched to think that at least one person might request the Victorian book and also have ordered Contact.  For some titles it probably isn't as easy to find titles to list, and something's better than nothing (well, hopefully).  I think it's well intentioned, but it's bound to have it's kinks.  Sometimes I see titles that relate to the book I've requested, sometimes not.  I really don't think it's that big of a deal, though, because I typically don't pay it much attention.  It's not as if I wish I could look to those suggestions for ideas on which books to get, I already have a pretty solid idea of what I'm after as it is.  I usually see it as just another attempt by PBS to add to the Swap experience.  Although I don't get use out of it, and even though sometimes it seems off the mark, it's nice to know PBS offers these kinds of nuances.  The entire site doesn't have to be aimed at little old me, and I'm sure it comes in handy for some people from time to time.

Date Posted: 8/30/2008 1:55 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Some people also have really varied reading tastes so they could have ordered those 2 books together.

Like right now I am reading The Anatomy of Deception by Lawrence Goldstone and an erotic romance anothology. 

At the thrift store yesterday I picked up a fictional account of Lord Bryon's life, a murder mystery and 2 bodice ripper romances.  I have sci-fi, romance, erotica, non-romance westerns, historical fiction and bodie rippers in my TBR pile.

Date Posted: 8/30/2008 5:01 PM ET
Member Since: 7/1/2008
Posts: 2,835
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Well, I order widely, too. I read widely myself. I also order a lot for boys 14, 10, and 3, My Bro and SIL in their 40s, and my parents in their 80s.

I ususally ignore it, but I just wondered if it could be more helpful. Even when I order a mainstram paperback, the choices are odd.

Date Posted: 8/30/2008 5:04 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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Last Edited on: 6/9/10 3:38 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/30/2008 6:10 PM ET
Member Since: 8/27/2005
Posts: 4,134
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Maybe as more time goes by and more orders happen, the percentages will change so that they are more accurate.  I also wonder if PBS members are a little more likely to try books outside of their usual preferences.  Since getting a book is such a good deal here, I'm more likely to try something that I'm not 100 percent sure I'll like, whereas if I'm buying at full price on Amazon, I'm going to stick to my favorite genres.

Rick B. (bup) - ,
Date Posted: 8/30/2008 8:13 PM ET
Member Since: 11/2/2007
Posts: 2,625
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I guess I have weird tastes, because it usually shows me other books I've ordered.

Date Posted: 8/30/2008 11:11 PM ET
Member Since: 10/23/2005
Posts: 7,719
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If you check on the Search page for books, it has a place there for Similar Books. Books other membrers have also ordered will depend on who was doing the ordering. I am also all over the place with my reading tastes. I am currently reading Survivor by Mark Burnett and a Cat Who book by Braun. And I keep dipping into The 100 A Ranking of The Most Influential Persons In History. I ordered them here at PBS in the last couple of months.

Date Posted: 8/31/2008 8:12 AM ET
Member Since: 10/20/2007
Posts: 1,680
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I check out the books that show "other members ordered".  I have become interested in other genres that way.