Monday, September 13, 2004

Blender from Think Tank 23

John Battelle and others pointed to Blender, a prototype of a tool that tries to add related Amazon books (with associate tags) to any RSS feed. If you must put advertising in your feed -- and please consider why you really shouldn't -- it's true that this might be a relatively non-obnoxious way to do it.

Unfortunately, the idea seems better than the implementation. The first few recommended books for this blog, Geeking with Greg, were:Hmm... Nearly random, from what I can tell. The description of the prototype says they "scan the items in the original feed(s) and use our concept matching technology to find books that relate to the ideas expressed in the feed." If I grok that, it means they're doing keyword or phrase matches between individual blog posts and book descriptions or reviews. A reasonable first approach, but I'm not surprised that they seem to get a lot of spurious matches.

To be fair, it is just a prototype. The idea is clever. I'm sure we'll see a compelling implementation soon enough.

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