Powered by
Movable Type 3.2

November 28, 2006

Shouldn't targeted marketing be... targeted?

Today on the Internets

You know how Amazon periodically sends out those "You liked A so we thought you might like this new book/CD/DVD B" e-mails? They usually don't annoy me too much. Sometimes they're even helpful, if they mention a new book by a favorite author I'd somehow managed not to hear about. But today's was just bizarre:

We've noticed that customers who have expressed interest in books by L.M. Montgomery have also ordered A Pocket Guide to Epidemiology by David G. Kleinbaum.

Um, what? (For those of you who might not know, L.M. Montgomery was a Canadian novelist in the early twentieth century who wrote, among other things, Anne of Green Gables.) I cannot imagine how these things are possibly connected. I mentioned this to a friend and he told me that he got a weird recommendation from them today too. Anyone else?

Posted by Kat at November 28, 2006 11:17 PM

LOL. That's great. Mischievous Amazon employee? That's totally the sort of thing I'd do if I worked for them, and thought I could get away with it...

Posted by: Tracy at November 29, 2006 06:34 AM

Too funny!

Posted by: laura b at November 29, 2006 07:28 AM

Amazon with a sense of humor? Could be!

Posted by: Leslie at November 29, 2006 09:11 AM

I'm thinking either bitter employee making a final stand, or someone reversed the signs in the regression model and they're actually sending you the book you're *least* likely. Speaking of which, have you tried the UnSuggester on LibraryThing? At Knit's End creates an unsuggestion for an S&M book. Funny.

Posted by: mamacate at November 29, 2006 09:43 AM

Amazon's recommender seems to believe that if one customer buys both (a) and (b) then anyone who buys (a) must be interested in (b) too, regardless of whether (a) and (b) have any other similarities. Because of my somewhat eclectic tastes, I get lots of peculiar recommendations from them.

Posted by: AuntyNin at November 29, 2006 10:38 AM

That's FUNNY. My recommendations are always wonky because I buy gifts for people...

Posted by: Chris at November 29, 2006 11:24 AM

I bet Christmas shopping on-line is throwing things off .. people are buying two things for two different people, not because they like both items themselves!
I just did a bunch of shopping at Amazon and probably threw it off somehow in the process as I was ordering things for babies, kids, adults, gag gifts, serious gifts, and then a few homeschooling items for me and the kids LOL!

Posted by: Brandie at November 29, 2006 12:18 PM

I've gotten some fun ones. I buy a book on anorexia, I get recommendations for Republican political books. What gets me is, if you buy one edition of something that's been reprinted a lot, say Lord of the Rings, all the other versions come up as recommendations

Posted by: Ivy at November 29, 2006 05:51 PM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?

Page design by fluffa! Hosted at prettyposies.com. Powered by Movable Type 3.2