Personalization modes

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In shopping for Mother’s Day the algorithms now think I am female. Obviously, they took the items I looked at for this quest and incorporated them into my profile’s records and are basing new recommendations on them. They are fresher. And they have left over inventory they want to move. So, I get it.

This shopping for another persona has to be a relative common phenomenon since personalization became a buzzword, so I don’t get why this hasn’t been solved over a decade later. People shop for others’ birthdays all the time. And maybe my solution below doesn’t exist because people impulse buy for themselves and others based on getting things suggested later. And, one can go into the recommendations and delete off items to restore them to normalness.

This other persona influence to recommendation must have happen so much that I am surprised that such companies that use it have not created shopping modes.

  1. Allow users to say they are shopping for another person. Associate the personalization that that profile. Based on what is bought for that person, the suggestions can get better.
  2. With some sort of confirmation from the person being shopped for, they might make recommendations based on their wishlists. Although mine are sorely out of date.
  3. If the user is looking for things that seem… uh… out of character or in character for the subject of an upcoming holiday like mother’s day or father’s day, then prompt the user if they ought to change modes.

 

 

TED Talk: The Filter Bubble

Companies are personalizing web sites for us. Facebook only shows us things like what we have before clicked. Google gives us search results tailored either to our user id or a number of factors.

Basically, our perspective of what is on the Internet could be highly flawed due to actions we had no idea was judging us. So usually clicking on Democratic news items filters out the Conservative perspective which helps us be more balanced in our thinking.

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If the above video does not work, then try Beware online “filter bubbles”.

Book Club

Joined a book club. Oddly enough for being an avid reader, I’ve never really done well discussing them in groups. In high school, there was a group of authors who would discuss manuscripts each other had written. The difference between this and a book club being openly critical of something hurts can hurt the author’s feelings. Saying you don’t like someone’s favorite book doesn’t have the same personalization.

Guess I turned a corner when Chelsea and I planned to get together and discuss The Tipping Point about 9 months ago. In the actual book club, I enjoyed hearing other’s takes and responding to them. Better understood some areas I guess I glossed over when reading on my own. Not too much like Lit class like I expected. (Was also able to overcome the nausea of going off to meet strangers.)

Wondering if perhaps the best approach is to discuss while reading … instead of … reading then discussing? Guess people’s differences in pacing make that hard. Plus they’d have to be around each other more like daily than once a month.

By the way, in my introduction, I claimed these as the three “books” I like.

  1. Piers Anthony’s A Spell for Chameleon (the Xanth series) started my obsession with getting a hold of new books. One of my aunts gave me the first three books. I then had to buy the rest of the books the day they dropped in bookstores. That was before Amazon existed.
  2. George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series (first book is A Game of Thrones) Ended my obsession of getting a hold of new books. After all, I spent months checking in with a certain bookstore asking when Storm would drop. Feast spent a year on pre-order through several slipped drop dates. I no longer pre-order books.
  3. Not sure why I named Lincoln’s Melancholy except the other books which came to mind were about physical sciences. I less than stellarly try to be more partial to behavioral sciences.

Naturally quantum mechanics came up. For the life of me, I could not remember name Michio Kaku. His book Hyperspace was where I learned the about the concept of using worm holes to travel massive distances or even time travel. (Actually I read that one at the request of another aunt so I could explain it to her.)

Now… Off to read Ender’s Game again.