Why Amazon Personalization Does Not Always Work

from the very-true dept

A good article complaining about some of Amazon.com’s personalization features. The author once bought some books for his kids and now Amazon treats him like a kid. I’ve noticed this to be a problem also. I recently purchased some GMAT preparation books and a dictionary for a friend and every time I go to Amazon they throw tons more GMAT books (I took the GMAT in ’95 – I don’t need any more books) and more dictionaries. I’ve survived for many many years with my trusty $0.99 (the price tag is still on the book saying “NON-FOOD $0.99”) Webster’s which was published in 1984 (or I use the web as my dictionary). Just because Amazon knows what I’ve bought in the past, it doesn’t mean it can automatically point me to the correct new books to buy. If anything, the personalization is more annoying than helpful. Update: Just came across another very interesting article that makes some good points about personalization software. We like personalization when it comes from a person, because that’s friendly. When it comes from a computer, you tend to question the motives.

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