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15 May 2007 @ 08:43 pm
Post: They Are ALL Secretly Judging Me  
I just went to make an addition to our Netflix queue, and I was - okay. Does this happen to anyone else? You look at the movies/books/whatever that a given service (Netflix and Amazon are my two big offenders, here, as we don't have TiVo or even, you know, anything for a TiVo to record) suggests for you, and you think, "Have I injured this service in some way? Is this a deliberate insult? Or does Netflix [or whoever] really think I am this person?"

For me, that is usually followed, a microsecond later, by, "...Oh, god. Am I this person?"

The first blink of the day was caused by Netflix's showcased recommendation: The Founding Fathers: The Men Who Shaped Our Nation. There are several dozen reasons why I am extremely unlikely to watch this DVD, ever. But, fine, whatever, perhaps Netflix is just feeling unusually patriotic or something. Except, well, Netflix claims that we will enjoy this movie because we enjoyed The Reduced Shakespeare Company. Not the same thing, Netflix! Unless The Founding Fathers has a comedy bent that is very, very well hidden in the description.

So, fine. Apparently Netflix feels that I need to be a little more serious in my cultural consumption. Less humor, more history. All right. This is something I can hear and remain calm. I can handle constructive criticism. (I can. Really!)

It was in this mood - noble martyrdom, basically, with a side order of pretending not to be miffed - that I clicked on the Movies You'll tab. I have instinctively avoided this since they introduced it, on the grounds that that kind of imperative statement gets my back up. "Oh," I think. "I will this, will I? HAH. I FLATLY REFUSE TO ANYTHING. That will show them." This is not healthy behavior, and generally I try to suppress it. But since I was already fairly ruffled, plus violently hormonal, plus seriously short on sleep, I decided to click.

(You may, at this juncture, be questioning my decision. Feel free. It's just - sometimes you know you'll regret it, and you click anyway, and before you tell me you never do that, I want you to think about the time you clicked on goatse.)

So. The top movies I will (by order of Netflix) are:
  1. Brokeback Mountain
  2. Angels in America
  3. House, MD
  4. C.R.A.Z.Y.
  5. Street Fight
  6. The World According to Sesame Street
So, in order, we have:
  1. A gay-themed cowboy movie that I already specifically told Netflix I did not want to see. (You may indeed call me a bad fan AND a bad person of alternative sexual orientation AND a cultural boor, if you like. I don't care. I've read the short story, and that, frankly, was enough. See also: hormonal weepiness. When just the thought of the shirt scene makes me sniffly, I know to avoid the movie.)

  2. An AIDS-themed miniseries that I very much suspect is subject to the same hormonal weepiness ban.

  3. A show about two doctors in love. With lots of cancer in the background. Can I just - can I just have a quick word with Netflix, here? DEAR NETFLIX: I CRIED FIVE TIMES OVER AVATAR: THE LAST AIRBENDER. I CANNOT BE WATCHING THINGS WHERE PEOPLE DIE OF CANCER OR AIDS OR HATE CRIME. THANK YOU FOR YOUR PROMPT ATTENTION TO THIS MATTER.

  4. A movie that, going by the summary, is about growing up gay in Canada in the arms of David Bowie and Mick Jagger. I'll admit that Netflix has piqued my interest here, except after the first three, I suspect that this is about growing up gay in Montreal and, like, volunteering to work with terminally ill angels in Stetsons. See what happens when you aren't thoughtful with your suggestions, Netflix? My trust just isn't there anymore.

  5. A documentary about a mayoral election. In Newark, NJ. I mean, I'm sure it was a fascinating election, but there is a certain discontinuity, here.

  6. A documentary about a children's show I have never seen and know nothing about except that it has something to do with muppets and a large yellow bird.
But I will give Netflix credit for identifying at least one of my interests. I would call that interest "the gay." It's just that the accompanying message appears to be, "Enough with the gay, already. How about politics? Or, hell, how about the politics of children's programming? ANYTHING. SERIOUSLY. GET A LIFE. A MUCH STRAIGHTER ONE."

So. Fascinated, I pushed on to the individual genres section.

See, the way this works is, you tell them what genres you prefer to watch (in our family, this is documentaries for me, TV and anime for Best Beloved, and classics and SF/fantasy for both of us), and they give more weight to items in those genres. Which, fine. I wasn't particularly delighted with their selections in those areas, except for an animated series called The Amazing Screw-On Head, which I added to our queue on the grounds that a) that is a truly awesome title and b) Best Beloved will be watching it, not me, so awesomeness of title is more than enough reason to get it.

And then I got to their suggested genres. These are, apparently, the ones they think we might like that we haven't rated yet. What genre does Netflix think we should watch? What specific genre does it feel is lacking from our current rental line-up? Faith and Spirituality. ("Rate more Faith and Spirituality movies, so we can give you more recommendations," it advised. We can't. We haven't seen any of them. This is unlikely to change, Netflix.)

So now the message is: you love the gay, but we think you need to develop more wholesome interests, like politics, large yellow birds, and religion. In other words: NETFLIX IS JUDGING ME.

I seethed via email to Best Beloved for a bit.

So, once you've worked up a certain amount of righteous indignation, it's obviously time to continue in that vein, yes? Which meant heading over to see what Amazon wants me to buy.

What does Amazon want me to buy? I'm glad you asked.
  1. Every single yaoi manga ever published in the United States. Here's just a partial sampling: Love Mode, Yellow, Gravitation, Fake, Our Everlasting, La Esperanca, Shinobo Kokoro (seriously awesome slogan: "protecting the clan with some man-on-man" - that totally goes on my There Oughtta Be a Challenge manga tag lines list, which gets longer with every passing day), Gerard & Jacques (down, bandslashers!), The Art of Loving (not, as it sounds, one of those unfortunate '50s-era marital advice books), Wild Rock (the blurb says, in part: "can these star-crossed lovers get behind each other to stop the long-standing family feud?" - um, yes, we already GOT that it was yaoi, no need to include the gratuitous buttsex joke), Sweet Revolution (in which the seme possesses a "magical dagger" - that's yaoi for "healing cock," right?), Man's Best Friend (which does indeed involve gay sex with a magical transforming dog; this is why yaoi fandoms don't need crackfic, people), Lovely Sick - seriously, you would not believe the list of yaoi in my recommendations. Pages and pages. Some I'd never even heard of until today.

    And why am I supposed to consume this Time-Life Complete Yaoi Collection (attractively priced at only a bazillion dollars)? Because I bought a volume of Antique Bakery. Seriously. That's their whole reasoning behind this. This seems - I don't know. Disproportionate. I mean, okay, I love the gay as much as the next girl, but, but, but - one volume of Antique Bakery does not an entire library of yaoi manga make.

    And, really, if you're going to rec me yaoi manga, please don't just wholesale recommend the entire genre. Pick some especially solid ones and start there. Because, like - take Lovely Sick. Could be great, but it was apparently designed to hit every power imbalance squick I've ever had. Amazon, if you're going to rec me porn, at least pay attention to my particular porny needs!

  2. NINE separate cleaning books. Eight of them are on organic cleaning around the home, including one called Clean House, Clean Planet. I know these are probably great books. The yaoi's probably good, too, at least some of it. But I still feel judged. Are you calling my house dirty, Amazon?

    Why, yes. I think you are. Feelings = hurt.

    They also want me to purchase a book called Baking Soda: Over 500 Fabulous, Fun, and Frugal Uses You've Probably Never Thought Of. See, now, I'm willing to believe there are many uses for baking soda that have never crossed my mind. Actually, I'm kind of proud of how little time I've invested, over the course of my life, in the development of novel baking soda applications. However, the title of this book, in such close company with all the gay manga, is taking me to some strange mental places, and now I must never think about baking soda again ever. Seriously. It's - I - just - no. (And the sad part is, if I'm thinking of it, some mangaka has probably already written it. Hide me!)

  3. Science fiction and fantasy. This is entirely appropriate, and yet, taken in conjunction with everything else, is making me feel, um. A little pigeon-holed, typed, categorized, you know?

  4. The complete works of Henry Jenkins and the whole fandom studies crowd. Aaaand the pigeon-holing is complete. Look, I am sure Henry Jenkins is a marvelous and fascinating writer. I've certainly liked what I've read by him. And I'm equally sure he's a wonderful person; I'll bet he donates money to homeless war orphan puppies with tragic ailments and so on. However, every single book he has ever written - plus all other books with "media" or "fan" in the title - seems excessive. It's like you're saying I have no life, Amazon!

  5. Five books along the lines of Unforgettable Journeys to Take Before You Die.

    Yeah.

    Taken in conjunction with the previous items, I cannot help but interpret this as Amazon's gentle way of saying, "GET OUT OF THE HOUSE, YOU PORN-LOVING GEEKY FANNISH SLOBBO. For the love of little apples, at least do something besides sit at that computer. You're wasting your life! What's left of it! Because you're probably going to die pretty soon, since your house is a total pigsty. Heavens to Betsy, what will the neighbors think?"
In short, Amazon has decided that the role it should play in my life is "demented, over-involved, hypercritical mother with an unhealthy and profoundly traumatizing interest in me reading porn."

Thank you, Amazon. I appreciate the thought, I really do. But NO. No, we do not have that relationship.

So, Netflix thinks I'm a gay moral degenerate (true!) who needs to take up an interest in politics and religion and the Amazing Screw-On Head. Amazon thinks I'm a fannish moral degenerate (also true!) who needs to for Christ's sake clean something and go somewhere already. I'm fine with them thinking I'm a porn-obsessed lesbian whore of Babylon - complimented by it, in fact. But the judgment, that is going too far.

It could just be the hormones. It really could. But my feelings are very, very hurt.

Which got me to thinking - yes, yes, there's a point to this entry! - am I the only one who reacts this way?

Poll time!

Is this a normal problem?

Yes. It happens to us all - one drunken night of TiVoing, and you spend the next ten years trying to convince TiVo you aren't really into naked John Travolta.
143(60.9%)
Well. I wouldn't say normal, exactly, but it certainly does happen.
43(18.3%)
It does happen, yes, but only to CRAZY PEOPLE. (Who have bad taste in movies and books and TV.)
3(1.3%)
TFV, I view this whole poll as a cry for help.
13(5.5%)
TFV, I am defriending you right now - Amazon and Netflix have convinced me that you are a bad person.
2(0.9%)
You'll feel much better when the hormones have calmed down. In the meantime, read a nice book. (Not one Amazon has suggested, either.)
31(13.2%)

I have felt judged by:

Netflix, those bastard disc-pushers.
5(2.4%)
Amazon and its so-called "recommendations," which are nothing more than thinly veiled insults.
81(39.3%)
TiVo's lies, lies, lies about what I really want from television.
13(6.3%)
Something other inanimate suggestion service I'll tell you about below.
15(7.3%)

What other services are secretly judging you?

In hopes of persuading recommendations services that I am a decent, intelligent person deserving of quality recommendations, I have:

Added items to my cart/queue/whatever that I really do not want to see or read.
1(0.5%)
Rated items that I have not, technically, seen or read.
31(14.3%)
Pretended to be interested in the items suggested, in hopes of making the service like me again.
0(0.0%)
Pretended to be interested in the items suggested, just to get them off my recommendations list so I can see what replaces them.
12(5.5%)
Purchased or rented items for friends with taste, and pretended they were for me.
1(0.5%)
Created an entirely new account.
4(1.8%)
Actually attempted to become the person my inanimate recommendations services believe I should be.
2(0.9%)
I am such a tasteful person that I never have this problem.
7(3.2%)
I am sane and thus don't care what recommendations services think of me.
77(35.5%)
Tags: [poll]
 
 
 
Wyoming Knott: WTF (whiskey tango foxtrot) by karitawyomingnot on May 16th, 2007 03:51 am (UTC)
Okay... I've not read all the way through yet because I have to boggle...

YOU HAVE NEVER SEEN SESAME STREET?!?

WTF? Isn't it some kind of law?
tried to eat the safe banana: Cute but poutythefourthvine on May 16th, 2007 03:58 am (UTC)
My parents tell the story thusly:

My first TV exposure was, in fact, Sesame Street. They tried, when I was of Sesame Street age, to get me to watch it. They plopped me down in front of the TV and waited for whatever that show is about to work its magic. I did not seem to notice the TV was on. After a few minutes, I was observed stealthily crawling from the room to pursue my own activities.

This was repeated three times. The third time, I hid in a closet so I could not be dragged back to the TV.

They did not try again.

I pretty much believe all subsequent problems arose from this. THEY SHOULD HAVE TRIED HARDER TO MAKE ME NORMAL, DAMN IT. Because, yes, there IS a Sesame Street law - at least going by the fact that every other American person has seen it - and my parents FLOUTED it.
(no subject) - wyomingnot on May 16th, 2007 03:59 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on May 16th, 2007 04:36 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - holli on May 16th, 2007 04:18 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on May 16th, 2007 04:39 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - out_there on May 16th, 2007 05:24 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - feochadn on May 16th, 2007 04:39 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - jmtorres on May 16th, 2007 06:56 am (UTC) (Expand)
Feonixriftfeonixrift on May 16th, 2007 03:54 am (UTC)
I've heard of some really mean TiVo pranks based around that concept.
tried to eat the safe banana: I've been badthefourthvine on May 16th, 2007 04:40 am (UTC)
I long to hear more details.

*fascinated*
(no subject) - feonixrift on May 16th, 2007 06:01 am (UTC) (Expand)
minnowminnow1212 on May 16th, 2007 03:57 am (UTC)
Oh, Amazon recommendations.

I have had moments where I feel vaguely guilty because they recommend something I recently bought--but not from them. I'm all, "Yes, amazon, that was great, spot-on recommending! Except I already read it. ...well, no, you wouldn't know about it. I don't keep you in the loop on every book-related decision, amazon! I have other sources! Oh, don't give me the puppy eyes."
Cristin Anneladysorka on May 16th, 2007 04:21 am (UTC)
I do that one all the time. And I feel vague guilt, and don't actually tell Amazon that I already own it. Because it might hurt its non-existant feelings, or something.
(no subject) - minnow1212 on May 18th, 2007 12:26 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on May 16th, 2007 06:58 am (UTC) (Expand)
(Deleted comment)
Bettybrown_betty on May 16th, 2007 06:21 am (UTC)
aaahaa yes. And I'm too lazy to figure out how to turn off those email notifications so they keep on emailing me to tell me they have a new crochet book out that they're sure I'll find fascinating.
(no subject) - thefourthvine on May 16th, 2007 07:06 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - pedanther on May 17th, 2007 01:40 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on May 17th, 2007 03:45 pm (UTC) (Expand)
lynnmonsterlynnmonster on May 16th, 2007 03:59 am (UTC)
This may or may not help, but I'm pretty sure the manga thing is because most of the people who buy one yaoi manga buy a heck of a lot of the other ones, too! (When I was doing order fulfillment, every time a new one came out, the same set of people bought it right away, often through amazon.)
tried to eat the safe banana: Sea vinesthefourthvine on May 16th, 2007 07:08 am (UTC)
But then how do I find the good manga? Because while that makes sense, it means the system is not, you know, especially helpful in telling the good stuff from the stuff that will make me want to remove whole chunks of my brain in a desperate attempt to forget.

Oh, right. I harass you for recommendations.

*harasses*
(no subject) - lynnmonster on May 16th, 2007 07:54 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on May 16th, 2007 08:00 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - delurker on May 16th, 2007 01:56 pm (UTC) (Expand)
idiasm: peculiarity: omyldidiasm on May 16th, 2007 04:02 am (UTC)
I've bought all my schoolbooks through amazon for several years, and really, I don't need any more books about Latin, thanks. But alas, amazon does not agree with me on that. Also sometimes I read... chick lit... but only by this one author, okay, and I don't want any other authors.

But I did discover that you can go into settings somewhere and tell amazon what to use when recommending you things, which has helped somewhat. Only a little bit, but a couple persistent things have disappeared off my list now.
tried to eat the safe banana: Black umbrellathefourthvine on May 16th, 2007 07:12 am (UTC)
*nods*

This makes sense. I never purchased textbooks through Amazon - or, okay, I have, but only for continuing interests that one of us would sincerely like recommendations for. But if I had, I can see myself going, "That was ONE CLASS, and I was really glad when it was over, so could we not do this anymore?"

Only a little bit, but a couple persistent things have disappeared off my list now.

I don't get the persistence. There are some items that seem to have incredible sway over the recs - hello, Antique Bakery! - and some items that, no matter how many I buy, never seem to have much influence.

I want TOTAL TRANSPARENCE in my recs systems, obviously.

*schemes*
(no subject) - idiasm on May 17th, 2007 12:41 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on May 17th, 2007 08:03 am (UTC) (Expand)
margarksmargarks on May 16th, 2007 04:03 am (UTC)
hahaha! this was the funniest rant I've ever read! But, yeah, I never look at Amazon's suggestions anymore because they go a little insane with keywords.

tried to eat the safe banana: Smilethefourthvine on May 16th, 2007 07:14 am (UTC)
Thank you!

And, you know, despite my obsessive love of recs systems, it's been a while since I checked out Amazon's recommendations, too, because, you know, crazy and useless. Which is why I was stunned by the Cavalcade of Yaoi. Apparently that one Antique Bakery volume changed Amazon's whole view of me.
Tafadhali: [SPN] Johnhandstafadhali on May 16th, 2007 04:05 am (UTC)
I'm just drifting by via friends friends, but I occasionally work for a recommendations/personalization software company and ALL WE DO is make fun of Netflix and Amazon's recommendation systems. (Okay, we also work on improving other companies' recommendations, but Netflix only wants help if the help comes from people willing to publish their software on the internet and to be paid in, like, hugs, so Netflix is basically sending us an engraved invitation to make fun of it.)

I suppose you could say my Amazon recommendations are pretty good, in that I own a quarter of the things they recommend. But it took me three years to get them to start recommending me actual literature, and then I ruined it by buying a Batman comic.
tried to eat the safe banana: Batgirl in glassesthefourthvine on May 16th, 2007 07:16 am (UTC)
That company you work for? Oh my god, that is the coolest company in the whole world. I am sick with envy.

Netflix only wants help if the help comes from people willing to publish their software on the internet and to be paid in, like, hugs

This explains a great deal about their recommendations. I feel much, much better now.

Do they not understand the importance of a really quality recs system? *shakes fist*

But it took me three years to get them to start recommending me actual literature, and then I ruined it by buying a Batman comic.

See, yes! Exactly! I finally had them trained to give me recs for, you know, books I wanted to read. And then that one volume of Antique Bakery just changed everything. Surely these items should not have that much weight. *grumps*
Susan the Neon Nurseneonnurse on May 16th, 2007 04:07 am (UTC)
Maybe the Sesame Street rec was added because of the well-known pop culture fact that two of the most popular, long-term characters, Bert and Ernie, are considered by those in the know to be a couple. I mean, sure, try to pull the wool over our eyes with that story they're just best friends. Might work with the kiddies, but SOME of us know what's up!
tried to eat the safe banana: Happypigthefourthvine on May 16th, 2007 07:20 am (UTC)
Maybe the Sesame Street rec was added because of the well-known pop culture fact that two of the most popular, long-term characters, Bert and Ernie, are considered by those in the know to be a couple.

Really? Wow. If only I'd watched, I could've been slashing in my toddler years, instead of having to wait until I was, you know, 10. Damn my parents. Why did they not strap me down and force me to watch Sesame Street? Clearly, they abdicated their parental responsibilities. *shakes fist*

I mean, sure, try to pull the wool over our eyes with that story they're just best friends. Might work with the kiddies, but SOME of us know what's up!

*nods thoughtfully*

People have tried that particular story many times. LIES. ALL LIES. WE KNOW THE TRUTH.

...Now I'm wondering if there's Bert/Ernie fan fiction, but, um. I'd probably need to know more about the characters to read it.
(no subject) - neonnurse on May 16th, 2007 02:15 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - (Anonymous) on May 24th, 2007 04:15 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - neonnurse on June 20th, 2007 08:53 am (UTC) (Expand)
KRIM: brain on drugsbitter_crimson on May 16th, 2007 04:13 am (UTC)
I'm surprised you left off the thing I totally do all the time for the last question... That is, go through EVERY. SINGLE. RECOMMENDATION. Amazon has for me and madly click "I AM NOT INTERESTED!" on about 70% of them. Then I get mad when my recommendation list isn't long enough and go gallivanting around trying to find random things I own so I can rate them, get MORE recommendations, and start the process all over again. =D
Mal: daniel question mark (by jr_moon)malnpudl on May 16th, 2007 04:39 am (UTC)
You mean... that's not normal? *blinks*
(no subject) - thefourthvine on May 16th, 2007 07:28 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bitter_crimson on May 16th, 2007 12:02 pm (UTC) (Expand)
inappropriately bibliophilic: hikaru!raucousraven on May 16th, 2007 04:15 am (UTC)
*insert flying bison here*
In terms of the manga, well... Yeah, silly amazon certainly seems like it's all about the typecasting. I plot my vengeance along the lines of a) looking up my theory texts and import music and lots of Hikago, and b) reading my manga in the big-box stores while mentally thumbing my nose at the system. I do support the manga I love, though. (Ooh, and just fyi -- Saiyuki has wonderful characters and ridiculously pretty art. And I just read a random volume each of, respectively, Mushishi (elementals spirits! who invade bodies/forests/etc. and need to be chased out by a, a, dunno, weirdly laid-back demon-wrangler or something, it's all so gloriously strange!) and Kurogane (boy made of METAL. already hitting all my FMA kinks) and lo, they were excellent.

That jacket scene in the Proulx short story choked me up so bad. So bad. *sniffle*

Lastly, this: I CRIED FIVE TIMES OVER AVATAR: THE LAST AIRBENDER.

THIS IS WHY I LOVE YOU SO. NEVER CHANGE.

tried to eat the safe banana: Gothefourthvine on May 16th, 2007 07:34 am (UTC)
You know what I like best about Appa? His sense of humor.
Feel free to pimp manga and anime extensively! As long as you accept in your heart that I will never, ever watch FMA, at least until I am no longer prone to hormonal weepiness.

That jacket scene in the Proulx short story choked me up so bad.

*whimpers*

I read it some years before the movie came out - when the book came out, basically - and when I heard they were making a movie, my reaction was, "OMG they are putting that ON FILM? Noooooo! My tear ducts can only take so much!"

THIS IS WHY I LOVE YOU SO. NEVER CHANGE.

Thank you! See, you love me for who I am - a hormonal, deranged Appa-adorer. This is what I want from Amazon and Netflix, and instead what do I get? Judgment. Attempts to change me. UNKINDNESS.

From now on, you should rec me things instead of them.
Re: *insert flying bison here* - lynnmonster on May 16th, 2007 08:04 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: *insert flying bison here* - raucousraven on May 17th, 2007 04:27 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Annieraisintorte on May 16th, 2007 04:16 am (UTC)
My husband I lived two hours apart at one point, and I would visit him every weekend. Before I left I would always add a few random shows to his Tivo, (this is before he started compulsively checking his to do list). Mostly religious shows (mostly stuff with nuns), cooking shows (the Naked Chef), Walker, Texas Ranger (sadly, we usually ended up watching those), and a few home improvement shows because he hates those.

It still screws with our Tivo suggestions :-)

I think Amazon is still trying to figure out why I bought Hong Kong 97 (Robert Patrick is naked and shooting a gun, and I wanted to terrorize smittywing).
tried to eat the safe banana: Batgirl in glassesthefourthvine on May 16th, 2007 07:36 am (UTC)
Before I left I would always add a few random shows to his Tivo, (this is before he started compulsively checking his to do list). Mostly religious shows (mostly stuff with nuns), cooking shows (the Naked Chef), Walker, Texas Ranger (sadly, we usually ended up watching those), and a few home improvement shows because he hates those.

This is the most awesome use of TiVo ever in the whole history of the universe. <3!

Robert Patrick is naked and shooting a gun, and I wanted to terrorize smittywing

I believe you mean "tantalize smittywing." She seems to be, shall we say, a very willing victim. Complicit, even. *eyes you both VERY STERNLY*
(no subject) - raisintorte on May 16th, 2007 02:59 pm (UTC) (Expand)
laurajacquez on May 16th, 2007 04:17 am (UTC)
Rated items that I have not, technically, seen or read.

Mostly, this is me rating books by particular authors that I hate very low when Amazon recommends them to me. (For example, Amazon decided -- quite reasonably -- that I wanted to read Terry Pratchett. Except I hate Pratchett with a burning fire of hate. Telling it "not interested" was not getting me anywhere, so I started rating the books really low. Shortly thereafter, it stopped recommending me Pratchett.)

I also go in & tell Amazon not to use certain things for recommendations, because HELLO, I buy GIFTS for people from Amazon, and while my father-in-law is going to love his birthday present of a Really Pretty Golf Courses coffeetable book, NO I DO NOT WANT STUFF ABOUT GOLF OMGSTFU.
tried to eat the safe banana: Black umbrellathefourthvine on May 16th, 2007 10:50 am (UTC)
*nods*

The rating authors I hate thing makes a good deal of sense; during my long and happy experiment with alexlit.com, which had the best fiction suggestion system ever (but I think is now sadly defunct), my only major frustration was that I'd give a low rating to, say, three of an author's books, and sometimes it would suggest a fourth by that person. And I'd be all, I didn't like the first three, and now you want me to read a fourth? But that was how alexlit worked: you really, really were not supposed to rate anything you hadn't actually read. It was a conundrum.

With Amazon, I don't feel bad about rating books I haven't read if I know for sure I'll hate them, because I'm not actually screwing up a decent recommendations system. An advantage to, well, a pretty sucky recommending tool!

HELLO, I buy GIFTS for people from Amazon

Oh, god, yes. And for me, sometimes one gift - which I would not have purchased for myself! - ends up spawning a lot more recommendations than any ten things I did buy for myself. If I didn't click the "gift, don't consider for recommendations" button with consistency - well, I'm guessing my recommendations would look even weirder than they do.
Zigismunda formosa: archeologymelannen on May 16th, 2007 04:24 am (UTC)
The only place with enough data on me to give me recs is LibraryThing. Unfortunately, it has *too much* data on me, and has started basically just saying, "Yo! Finish the series you already have 75% of before you go starting on completely new stuff!"

Which is probably fairly sane advice, but not helpful in showing me new things I didn't know I wanted.
Zigismunda formosa: archeologymelannen on May 16th, 2007 04:46 am (UTC)
...although looking deeper, apparently with the corollary: Get knocked up, stat! And find spiritual enlightenment!

...which worries me. Especially when the pregnancy books are sandwiched in among Conan the Barbarian and Star Trek books.
(no subject) - thefourthvine on May 16th, 2007 10:54 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - melannen on May 16th, 2007 02:53 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Her Head Exploded! How Cool Is That?: bluesithzee on May 16th, 2007 04:27 am (UTC)
This rant has 1) made my evening and 2) caused a wheezing fit. And now I have to go find out how Amazon and Netflix are currently judging me.
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV bluethefourthvine on May 16th, 2007 10:55 am (UTC)
And the verdict is? I am all agog to hear if other people are as harshly judged by Amazon and Netflix as I am!