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23 December, 2006

Don't read this

Via Neil Gaiman: the Library Thing UnSuggester.

A standard feature of web stores is the little suggestion applet which informs the visitor that 'if you like x, you might like to try y' or 'other customers who bought x also bought y'. The UnSuggester is the reverse, searching the LibraryThing database (not that of Amazon or any other retailer) of 8 million books to establish those titles one is not likely to enjoy, based on books one already owns.

For example, if I like 'Snow Crash', by Neal Stephenson, it seems I'm unlikely to rush out and buy, nor to already own, any of 73 items of hardcore christian propaganda. Extremely true, though there's nothing anti-christian about 'Snow Crash'.

It didn't immediately occur to me, but this can be used the other way round: insert the details of a book one doesn't like, and receive a suggestion for a potentially more satisfying alternative.

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