I Don’t Like!
So I’ve been trying I like!, which is another of those preference network databases. It gives you recommended links via RSS, and RSS is like a magic word with me these days. “RSS Feed!” is way better than “please” and “thank you” with sugar on top. But I like! kinda blows. Its number one recommendation? Google.
What the hell is the point of telling a preference-engine that you like Google? Everyone on the Internet likes Google. Telling me to visit Zeldman because people who like Zeldman also like Google and Boing Boing is like telling me to move to Milwaukee because people who like living in Milwaukee also like cheese and kittens, and I’m no kitten-hater!
The obvious problems with I like! are that the database is tiny, and you can’t expunge Slashdotters from your I like! universe. You can’t even tell it that Kottke is dull. The fundamental problem is that people are really boring. It’s the same reason I’ve never gotten any of those corporate or P2P Bayesian music filters to work – for every person who shares my tastes in music, there are 10,000 Enya-grubbing New Agers who’ve accidentally purchased a Cherish the Ladies album (they thought the Celts were a tribe of echo machines).
Actually, I like! did manage to point me to Chocolate & Zucchini, which was worth something. The whole experiment probably would have gone off much better if I hadn’t put down Boing Boing on my like-list. The tech-industry nerd factor is just too high on that blog.