I’m always curious about that phrase. What I really want to understand is why something is recommended for me.
There are many motivations why someone/something would recommend something to me:
- They are trying to get me to consume or buy something for their benefit
- They want me to like their recommendation
For the latter, it could be to eventually slip in something to sell or because I am paying for their recommendation in some other way (subscription or ad revenue somewhere else).
If it’s the latter, it’s a “purer” recommendation, which could be based on:
- What I’ve chosen in the past — by matching the same categories
- What I’ve rated other choices that are similar
- What others like me have picked
There’s a lot of hype about AI-based recommendations. Doing what Amazon does is much easier today if you have a large amount of data. However, it’s still possible to build recommendations that are effective without AI. One can provide credence to these recommendations with one simple act: explaining why the recommendation is being made.
“Because you liked comedies, here are a few more movies that match comedies”.
“Because you rated books by this author with 5 stars, here are other books by the same author”
Adding some humanity (and humility) to recommendations builds more credibility.