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The LibraryThing UnSuggester

November 22, 2006

I came across a site called “LibraryThing” that has a unique (as far as I know) feature for recommendation. While most sites try to suggest strongly correlated content (according to item correlation scales, or user ranking behavior), LibraryThing’s “Unsuggester” actually recommends the worst possible content for a given item.

The results are hilarious and make a lot of sense. It’s interesting to see popular books that are extremely polarized in terms of user readership, and it’s often intriguing to see which groups or demographics are being depicted by the polarization. For example, it’s pretty clear that “Bitch” would not be found alongside Tufte’s “The Visual Display of Quantitative Information“. There’s other classic pairings of books on programming and literary classics; philosophical tracts and junkie autobiographies; religious history and romantic fiction, etc. Try it out with some of your favorite reads and see the books you should avoid at all costs.

I have Tufte’s book, so I’m thinking about buying “Bitch” and putting them next to each other on my shelf and seeing what happens.

From → Recommendation

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