Sunday, August 14, 2011


I do enjoy "digital" recommendations, both Amazon-style (with just pattern matching on clicks and orders) and the social way, i.e. recommendations you get from your social networks via Facebook, Twitter and co.

But it's also really nice to see the old-fashioned analog recommendation at work, like two weeks ago in London.

As is almost mandatory we were a Foyles.. most probably the best book store in the world.
With the best Jazz (and world-music) department... (at least for a book-store).

While I was browsing their Jazz CD titles there, sorting through the Keith Jarretts... I noticed the excellent music they were playing in the background... So I asked the guy at the counter, he smiled, pointed to the "Currently Playing" display right next to him, looked at the two Keith Jarrett albums I was about to buy and added something in the lines of "You will love this if you like Keith Jarrett", and then went to shelf to get the CD for me.

The artist is Gwilym Simcock ... a jazz and classical piano player I have to admit I have never heard of, and the album in question is Good Days at Schloss Elmau. Now part of my CD collection.

Maybe Amazon could have done this as well... it would definitely fit my buying pattern there... but this analog recommendation was a nice experience and flash-back into the eighties. When "social" was still something you experienced in person.

BTW: this reminds me of the early days of digital recommendations some 10+ years ago, when we were discussing locations based services(LBS) and restaurant recommendations (based on location). We were talking so some providers of LBS and ranting about the quality problems of such recommendations, when one of their managers said "You can't even get a decent restaurant recommendation out of a human being."


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