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Topic: Similarity? Can I find members just like me??

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Subject: Similarity? Can I find members just like me??
Date Posted: 12/7/2008 2:32 PM ET
Member Since: 1/2/2006
Posts: 23
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Hey all,

I recently clicked through to the profile of a PBS member and saw "similarity - " followed by a (low) percentage number. Anybody know how these numbers are computed? Also, is there any way to find those folks who share a high similarity to me? It'd be great if you could do a member search by similarity or find the top 10 most similar readers, especially for those of us who look for some pretty unique-niche books. Any thoughts?


Date Posted: 12/7/2008 5:04 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,350
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Here are a couple of paragraphs from the "similarity index" Help Doc:

The Similarity Index shows how "alike" you and your Buddy are.  it is determined based on the information you provide to the club through your participation.  So when you apply star ratings to a book, add an item to your Wish List, or tell us what your favorite genres are, we're more able to come up with a profile of you as a reader.  And as others do the same, we can start matching up people who have similar tastes and habits.


Right now, most scores will be seem low.  This is because the Similarity Index is based on some club features that are still pretty young or under-used.  You can make your Similarity Index more powerful and accurate by applying Star ratings to every book you have read, and also choosing your favorite genres on the Member Homepage.  


Date Posted: 12/7/2008 5:53 PM ET
Member Since: 11/6/2008
Posts: 110
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As far as I know, there is no way to search for other members who have "high similiarity".

Date Posted: 12/7/2008 6:22 PM ET
Member Since: 8/27/2005
Posts: 4,136
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So does this mean that books on your bookshelf don't count when calculating similarity?  I hope they don't, since I get a lot of my posting books from resale shops or from other people, they are not books that I have even read. 

Date Posted: 12/7/2008 9:37 PM ET
Member Since: 5/20/2008
Posts: 1,123
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No Diane - they don't count. TPTB realize that our bookshelves is not the best way to figure out our tast in books!

Date Posted: 12/8/2008 10:54 AM ET
Member Since: 1/2/2006
Posts: 23
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Thanks all!

Wow, there are a lot of potential cool uses for this. I hope it continues to develop. Imagine being able to match your wishlist against other people's bookshelves - so even though they don't have the exact books you want they have a lot of books like them. I'm always looking for DIY books on design, construction and gardening, and there are a few buddies who consistently post great books. It'd be exciting to find more like them.

It seems though, that the current function - where PBS suggests books to order based on what I've just requested - just doesn't work at all. I'll order a book on deck building and it tells me I should get a John Grisham novel too. Hmmm. Understandably, it must be a real chore to make sense of all the data that's being generated by our listing, wishing and requesting. I love that function on Amazon and Netflix - it'd be great to see it really work here!


Sianeka - ,
Date Posted: 12/9/2008 1:59 PM ET
Member Since: 2/8/2007
Posts: 6,630
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I don't know WHAT the PBS team has for future plans for the Similarity Index, but I do know that they do intend to build upon this feature and offer more options utilizing it, they've stated this many times in their communications.   They have also stated they are waiting till the feature has matured a bit (has more information in the source pool) before they bring out these developments.   I'm looking forward to finding out about these new features!

Last Edited on: 12/9/08 1:59 PM ET - Total times edited: 1