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.


  1. Hjalmar Gislason wrote:

    Thanks for the comment on “I like!”. I’m glad that it pointed you to something interesting.
    But you’re right. At the moment the database is rather small so the top recommendations are not too reliable. From the feedback I’ve got though, it seems that most people find in their recommendations quite a few links that they like, but didn’t know existed – actually surprisingly so given that the service is only 4 days old.
    Just tell I like! that you like Google too (if you do) and it will only improve your recommendations – honestly.
    Thanks again for the feedback.

  2. Chris wrote:

    What if it recommends something that you don’t like and want to get off your list? Your choices are to ignore it and hope it goes away, or lie and say that you like it. If everyone did the latter, then everyone would end up liking everything.
    Maybe there should be an I Don’t Like service. List pages you hate, and it will give you a list of similar pages to watch out for in the future. Heh.

  3. yami wrote:

    So far, liking Google hasn’t helped much; I’m biding my time until more people sign up. But I think individually produced linky-blogs will always have an edge over automated services, as individuals are much better at highlighting why the linky-link is so swell.
    Been thinking that with I like! and del.icio.us and etc, it’s high time for an uninspired cynical parody; I could use some interesting new project to do at work in the evenings. But uninspiration hasn’t struck yet…

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