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Best Bets Daily: Thursday

If You Like...

Posted September 14, 2006
So-called recommendation engines are often hilariously way off target. (Amazon’s computers think I'd like that?! I'm totally insulted!) Trying to guess what you'd like to buy based on what you've bought in the past and what "other people like you" (whatever that means) have bought in the past is a dark and dubious art, so I mostly ignore such suggestions. That said, I recently permanently bookmarked one rather excellent recommendation site: Liveplasma. I was underwhelmed when it first launched, but lately it's been really smart about intuiting what I might like. It displays related music in a very cool animated graphic that shows a sort of solar system of my taste. And the site's also been busily building out its database of movies, which you can explore by typing in a movie title, director's name, or actor's name. Liveplasma has been in a very long beta (test) phase; in my experience, it's rather stable, but be forewarned: It sometimes doesn't work as well with older Web browsers.

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