Seen it, read it

October 28, 2007

A number of people asked that recommendations hide books that they’ve previously given away, or are giving away.

I thought that was reasonable, but I wondered: “When you’re looking at books that BookMooch is recommending to someone else, should I hide books you’ve given away, or books the person being recommended is giving away, or don’t hide at all”. I puzzled that one for a while, and came up with a consistent way of handling this issue.

Also, I thought it was kind of interesting to have BookMooch show you that it recommends books that you’ve previously had, as it is a kind of confirmation that the recommendations are working decently.

From now on, all user recommendations will show all books (that weren’t specifically hidden by the user) but any books that you previous mooched/gave away/wishlist are displayed in grey italic, so that it’s easy for you to skip over them. If you don’t want to see the recommendation at all, just hide it. Whenever you are logged in and looking at people’s recommendations, the “hide” button will be available, and clicking that will hide that book from all recommendations that you view.

Here is what the books you’ve already given/wishlist/mooched (ie grey/italic) look like:

A BookMooch member asked on the blog “how many recommendations are there?” — the answer is that there are a max of 500 recommendations. But, if you hide one, another takes its place, so it’s not possible to whittle down the recommendations to a small list.

6 Responses to “Seen it, read it”

  1. Hope said

    Thanks for that clarification; that makes sense now.

    I very much like the italics – now I have a choice whether to leave the books there, or to hide them and see what else BookMooch suggests. At least I’m not having to flip back to another window to work out which particular books I have previously mooched from a series. Thanks!

  2. Rachel A Hyde said

    As my recommendations seemed wildly off the mark, putting in a delete button would be a good idea. Then you could whittle down the recommendations to just books you would actually be interested in, and hopefully the program could “learn” from that as it does on Amazon.

  3. Sorchah said

    Since you have the recommendations, would it be possible to have “similar members” (based on their reccomendations)?

  4. chunnie said

    “Recommendations” is something I love, but also find wildly annoying because I am having to hide titles I don’t want to. The accuracy of the system seems fairly good for me. Not only has it recommended books that I have already mooched etc, it is also recommending books that I already own that I have never mooched, offered on bookmooch, or had on my wishlist. At the moment I am having to “hide” the latter to make browsing my recommendations easier. It would be good if there was an option to manually highlight these in italics, this way I could see just how accurate the “recommendations” are, but also be able to distinguish at a glance those I have already mooched/given/wishlist/privately own from ones I might be interested in reading at some point in my life. The ones that I am definately not interested in reading I could then hide without feeling that small pang of regret. The italics thing is greatly appreciated, but a manual option to change a title to italics would be ace too 🙂

  5. Andrew said

    Sorchah, that’s a great idea! Finding compatible inventories seems to be a popular activity amongst moochers, it would be great if there was a mechanism to make the search easier & less random. You can now use a recommended book to find potential mooch inventories, but it would be even better if Bookmooch gave you “recommended inventories”, preferably ranked highest to lowest. The logic could be:
    1) find all books on your recommendation list, your wishlist and your save-for-later;
    2) find all inventories that have any of these books, counting the number of “hits”;
    3) list users in descending order of number of hits (ie books on your 3 lists).

    This would give you a list of mooch inventories that you could profitably browse. Not sure if this is even conceivably possible from the point of view of computing horsepower (servers are powered by horses, aren’t they?) it would require, but anyway, I reckon that it would be cool.

  6. Melissa said

    On the recommendations, I wish there was some way to tell it that you had read or have the books it is recommending. I want the program to know it is picking good books for me, since I already own them, and didn’t know if hiding these remcommendations was really the best way of telling it this.

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