1. Posted August 24, 2011 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    Amazing! I just posted about BookLamp onmy blog and here you have an article on it! An excellent article, btw, and I’m fully with you on this.

    I would trust a computer to give me a range of choices – then of course, I would reserve the right for myself to pick and choose. Trouble is: the choice is likely to be as good (or as bad) as the BookLamp database, which, at this point, with only 20,000 books, is way too narrow to allow for identification of appropriate options every time.

    The other point that bothers me, is why BookLamp is focused on getting books from publishers only? With the on-going digital revolution, the stigma attached to self-publication has been lifted (see John Locke, Amanda Hocking, J.A. Konrath et al). Surely there are all sorts of Indies and self-pubbed authors they could turn to, making sure of course that they get the kind of books they need to fill the “holes” in their system…

  2. Posted August 24, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    Another great story from Publishing Perspectives.

    Product discovery certainly remains one of the largest challenges and BookLamp’s attempt to develop machine based categorization is another step in solving the challenge. A small wrinkle worth mentioning is that Pandora employs human music analysts to qualify music pieces across the music genome dimensions and human based approach has outperformed machine learning techniques in music. Netflix is on a similar path in the film realm having created numerous attributes to classify movies, but largely relying on the user base to actually classify the films.

  3. Posted August 25, 2011 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    This is very interesting technically. Sure, for some time we’ve had computer-based lexical analysis which can describe a particular author’s style, but I find this new avenue somewhat worrying.

  4. Posted August 27, 2011 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    Here at Just the Right Book, we love that the literary world is giving this some thought. We think about it every day. A lot. Our answer, which seems to work for a lot of readers, is to begin with a curated list of fiction (no, there is no DaVinci Code). We match the books to the reader according to their answers to a ten-question quiz. Each reader gets three suggested books that are just right for them based on their answers to the quiz. The beautiful thing is that you’ll get different recommendations if you’re in a new mood tomorrow and change your answers a little. We use a human algorithm that codes books based on metrics developed by a group of booksellers who have worked with readers for decades. It works, and we’re constantly refining it. Try it.www.JusttheRightBook.com/quiz.

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