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April 19, 2004 12:01 AM

Broken:'s personalized e-mails

Nicholas Henry writes:

I received this e-mail from Amazon early this month. This is great example of broken personalization.
It reads:

"We've noticed that customers who have purchased The K&D Sessions also enjoy the work of Various Artists. For this reason, you might like to know that Various Artists's Sounds Good in the Nude is now available." Who doesn't enjoy the work of Various Artist?


Well maybe J Lo. but thats it.

Posted by: gunner at April 19, 2004 04:06 PM

Here, here. Similarly, because soundtracks are associated with "Various Artists," you get recommendations for stuff you're not remotely interested in. Mp3s from soundtracks are associated with "Various Artists," so, for example, if you go to a particular soundtrack, you get links to mp3s from movies with remarkably different taste. For example, go to the Kill Bill soundtrack and you get links to mp3s from a 1994 cast recording of That Is to Love!

(Off topic: I'm a big K&D fan, too.)

Posted by: Robert Stribley at April 21, 2004 10:04 AM

While a lot of Amazon's recommendation engine does work, the random "we thought you might like X" ones are almost always broken.

My favorite was the one I got that said "Because you've purchased movies featuring Whoopie Goldberg in the past, we thought you might like ." The only movie I own with Whoopi Goldberg in it is Robert Altman's "The Player," which is a hell of a lot different than pretty much anything else of hers.

Add another big Kruder and Dorfmeister fan to the list, by the way.

Posted by: Steve Jackson at April 22, 2004 04:00 PM

Amazon inserts ads into their search results. I've gotten ads from Barne's and Noble, saying "Search for this book at Barne's and!" Clicking it takes me to the same books page on

Posted by: Greg at April 25, 2004 02:54 PM

Various artists is actually an artist. "Sounds Good In the Nude", is actually by one artist, Various Artists. Who decided to name himself this for attention but failed misserbly and is extremely obscure so that when anyone does hear of him they think its a compaltion of other artists ment.

Posted by: ian at August 19, 2004 06:00 PM

I wonder if there are any sounds that sound better in the nude?

Posted by: Sarah at November 16, 2005 11:01 AM

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