Cafe Witness

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

When Referral Engines Stop Caring

The IMDb has, to my knowledge, one of the longest-running examples of the "if you like THAT, then you might like THIS" referral algorithms currently online.

It's also laughably bad.

I just logged in to rate a film I'd seen yesterday: Born Into Brothels, a 2004 documentary about children growing up in the Red Light District of Calcutta. (Great film, btw.)

Afterwards, I scrolled to the bottom of the page to see the reviews. Below them are the Recommendations.

Mine included Pitch Black.

How does being interested in a documentary about the children of Indian sex workers in any way imply that I would be interested in a CGI-filled science fiction romp starring Vin Diesel as a blind serial killer in space?

IMDb: Your recommendation system has been online for almost ten years. It should work by now.

(Ironically, I did enjoy Pitch Black when I saw it in theaters, but that's beside the point... isn't it?)

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