Either Google Book Search Needs to Tweak Its Recommendation Engine, or There Are Furniture-Building Secrets in “Freakonomics”

That is my conclusion after seeing this Google Book Search Page for a book called How to Build Your Own Furniture. The page lists three “Related Books,” including How to Make Your Own Recreation and Hobby Rooms, How to Build Your Cabin or Modern Vacation Home, and … Freakonomics.

Huh?

I am trying to think of what may have fooled the Google recommendation engine into tossing our book in there. While it is true that I was briefly a carpenter, and often think of writing a book as a process very similar to building a house, and probably therefore rely more than the average writer on verbs like “dovetail” and “hinge” (used in a non-carpentry manner, however), I cannot figure this one out. I do think that people who are interested in any of the other three books on the page are bound to be pretty disappointed if they happen to grab the fourth.

(Hat tip: Andrew Burkett)

Leave A Comment

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

 

COMMENTS: 26

View All Comments »
  1. Alsadius says:

    It seems pretty simple – as with most Google links, it’s based off how closely people link them, not based on actual content(search “miserable failure” to see what I mean). Presumably, Freakonomics was one of the three books most frequently bought with the one you were looking for, so it’s displayed as being linked. Sometimes it’s nonsensical, but it’s by far the easiest way to generate connections, so people use it.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  2. Alsadius says:

    It seems pretty simple – as with most Google links, it’s based off how closely people link them, not based on actual content(search “miserable failure” to see what I mean). Presumably, Freakonomics was one of the three books most frequently bought with the one you were looking for, so it’s displayed as being linked. Sometimes it’s nonsensical, but it’s by far the easiest way to generate connections, so people use it.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  3. 3612 says:

    To borrow an argot from a true literary/carpentry classic, “House” by Tracy Kidder, Google has done a “cobby” job, but it’s one that works… sorta. And that’s the essence of cobbiness!

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  4. 3612 says:

    To borrow an argot from a true literary/carpentry classic, “House” by Tracy Kidder, Google has done a “cobby” job, but it’s one that works… sorta. And that’s the essence of cobbiness!

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  5. zbicyclist says:

    Structural equations ~ structures?
    Zoning variances ~ error variances?
    Levitt ~ Levittown?

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  6. zbicyclist says:

    Structural equations ~ structures?
    Zoning variances ~ error variances?
    Levitt ~ Levittown?

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  7. Kent says:

    The first part of an article in The New York Times yesterday:

    ["Besides the fact that both are considered great movies, “The Wizard of Oz” and “Silence of the Lambs” don't have much in common. One is the story of a girl from Kansas who's transported to a magical land where animals dance and sing, and the other is about a serial killer who eats his victims. You wouldn't necessarily expect people to have similar reactions to the two movies.

    But it turns out that, for whatever reason, they usually do. Those who love one tend to love the other, and those who think one is overrated generally think the other one is, too

    This odd little fact comes from an enormous database of movie ratings collected by Netflix, the online movie rental store. On its Web site, customers can give any movie 1 to 5 stars, and the company then uses these ratings — 1.6 billion of them — to find connections like the one between “Oz” and “Silence of the Lambs."]

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/31/business/31leonhardt.html

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  8. Kent says:

    The first part of an article in The New York Times yesterday:

    ["Besides the fact that both are considered great movies, "The Wizard of Oz" and "Silence of the Lambs" don't have much in common. One is the story of a girl from Kansas who's transported to a magical land where animals dance and sing, and the other is about a serial killer who eats his victims. You wouldn't necessarily expect people to have similar reactions to the two movies.

    But it turns out that, for whatever reason, they usually do. Those who love one tend to love the other, and those who think one is overrated generally think the other one is, too

    This odd little fact comes from an enormous database of movie ratings collected by Netflix, the online movie rental store. On its Web site, customers can give any movie 1 to 5 stars, and the company then uses these ratings - 1.6 billion of them - to find connections like the one between "Oz" and "Silence of the Lambs."]

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/31/business/31leonhardt.html

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0