05 July 2010

Facebook Suggestion Fail

One of the cool things about social technology is that the operators of social networking sites can create algorithms to determine things you may like or people you may know. In the case of Netflix, it is truly awesome.

Facebook hasn't quite mastered it yet, though:
In case this is too small for you to read, it suggests that because I like Southwest Airlines I might also like "Being Conservative." Why, yes, yes I do enjoy "being conservative." If by "being conservative" you mean "being a conservative pinko commie."

Then, not 30 minutes later I got this suggestion:
Well, which is it, Facebook? I can't very well like being conservative and Barack Obama at the same time!

Facebook also suggested that I might like the TV show "Family Guy" because I like The Giver. I really don't see the correlation there. Facebook's algorithms need some work. (Clearly they are basing this on sheer quantities rather than any sort of observable patterns.)


Jenny said...


Ana said...

Etsy recently added something VERY much like this - every member of Etsy can "heart" or "favourite" individual items from any given shop or individual shops as a whole - apparently Etsy has used our current favourites (both items and shops) to determine and make suggestions of other shops that they think we might like. The thing is I look at my favs and think this tells me that I quite fancy crisp unique modern fashions, a bit of vintage, certain knit and crochet fashions, button bouquets and smart looking aprons (amongst other things of course) but it seems that Etsy on the other hand gets (from the same info mind you) that in addition to some of the above I apparently like lingerie, skanty panties and bikinis....????
FAIL Etsy.