Amazon recommends

October 9, 2007

A few months ago, Amazon added “similar items” to their data feed. This wasn’t available when BookMooch launched, and I’ve been itching to offer recommendations on BookMooch for some time now.

Book detail pages now show a “Amazon recommends” section:


which simply displays the book titles:


BookMooch has 750,000 books in its database, so it’s going to take a while to get all the recommendation data from Amazon. The way I’ve got it working now, is that when you look at a book details page and there is no recommendation data yet for it, BookMooch ads it to a background task to add it soon, and usually in a few minutes it’ll be there.

It turns out that adding recommended books will greatly increase the size of the BookMooch database, because each time a book is recommended, BookMooch needs to fetch all the book data for that recommended book, and store that into BookMooch. And of course, we then need to do the same thing to the books that were recommended by the recommendation, and so on. Sometimes, such as with children’s books, which are very popular already on BookMooch, all the books are already in the BookMooch database. Other times, such as with text books, I see a spiraling process of adding all the recommended books in a field. It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out.

In a week or two, I’ll start adding “recommendations” from your wishlist, inventory, pending and mooch history, which will find books that Amazon recommends that are also *available* for Mooching right now on BookMooch. I’ll also, in a secondary list, show you recommendations that aren’t currently moochable.

I may also change the “Amazon recommends” list to bold or otherwise mark the recommended books which are available for mooching, so you can easily scan it for books you can get right now.

14 Responses to “Amazon recommends”

  1. Heather said

    Wow! This sounds like a very cool feature! I’m definitely looking forward to checking it out and playing around with it.


  2. britne said

    Wow, awesome!! This has me so excited! I’m one of those people who adds every textbook, so I always enjoy seeing new recommendations. Thank you!!

  3. Ana said

    It sounds cool indeed, but isn’t this data based on what people buy on Amazon? I feel like I would rather this site used LibraryThing’s recommedation system, which is based on what people actually OWN.

    I guess there is the issue that we wouldn’t want to limit the info to just what the members of LibraryThing think, because there are probably many more people using Amazon to buy books than using LibraryThing.

  4. Yes, this is basically the “people who bought this also bought” data.

    I’d love to use LibraryThing’s recommendation data, but currently they’re not providing a feed of that information. They might in the spring of 2008, however.

    You’ll notice that it says “Amazon recommends” — that’s to differentiate from other ways in which a book might be recommended.

    I’m planning on adding a “people who mooch this also mooch” recommendation feature.

  5. Margaret said

    Thank you! I’ve been hoping that Bookmooch would have a feature like this. Thanks for adding it.

  6. Mark Williams said

    I’ve actually found Amazon’s recommendation to be helpful since they introduced it (somehwat to my surprise…), though of course prefer those of Librarything, so would like to see the switch if it becomes possible some day.

    But I do think this an excellent addition to Bookmooch, and look forward to trying it out, thanks!

  7. bibliophile7 said

    i was just thinking of this today! i thought BM could use that feature like on librarything. john, you’re too awesome…

  8. Callirhoe said

    Is it possible for BookMooch to be any cooler than it is right now? You are AMAZING. Thanks so much for thinking of such fantastic additions to the site. (What will they think of next? one wonders.) ❤

  9. Heather said

    Maybe I’m missing something here, but it doesn’t seem to be working for me…

    “The way I’ve got it working now, is that when you look at a book details page and there is no recommendation data yet for it, BookMooch ads it to a background task to add it soon, and usually in a few minutes it’ll be there.”

    I’ve gone to a few specific book details pages where there were no recommendations, and then I’ve gone back hours later and there still aren’t any. Is it just slow coming, or what?

  10. re: “missing something”

    There’s a big backlog of books that need to fetch recommendations from Amazon. I checked this morning, and 30,000 books were in the backlog. In theory, this should take just a day or two more, but I think it’ll be 10 to 20 days before everything on BookMooch has recommendations.

    I checked a random book today:

    and it did have recommendations. But, none of the books it recommended had recommendations themselves.

    Give it time 😦

  11. Heather said

    Okay, cool, at least I know I wasn’t missing something totally obvious! lol

    *waits like a hyper puppy for recommendations to be made*

    And somehow, until clicking that link, I didn’t realize you had your own BM account with actual books and stuff, John. *headdesks*

  12. Leah said

    I am elated. I felt it was the one missing thing that bookmooch needed. I so love this site. I have used other trading sites and none compare. This is by far the best and you are making it EVEN BETTER.

  13. Peggy T said

    Just noticed the Pulldown menu for the Amazon recommends. I like it!
    It’s compact

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: