July 22, 2006

Omakase.

I've put Amazon "Omakase" ads up in the sidebar:
Omakase is a Japanese word meaning 'leave it up to us'. It is commonly used in Japanese restaurants for a meal where the chef uses their experience and knowledge to select and prepare the meal for a customer without specific directions.
Amazon somehow reads the contents of the blog and constructs ads based on what it learns. Some of its learning is impressive. Like, right now, it's putting up links to George Orwell writings. But some of it is off. I keep getting books by guys named Althouse. I've seen the name Jay Althouse before. He does music books for kids. He's no one I know. Then, I was wondering why there was a book about welding. Had I ever mentioned welding? But, again, it's just an author named Althouse. You might think anyone named Althouse is someone significant to me. It's funny how often people have asked me: "Do you know [first name] Althouse?" The answer is always "no." I will blog about it if this fact ever changes, but I have never in my entire life met anyone named Althouse who was not a member of my extended family, which is really small.

Anyway, I like the Omakase program at Amazon. It's pretty smart. But they need to iron out the kink that believes anyone with my last name is making something my readers are likely to be interested in. But I'm sure some of you are interested in teaching music to kids. And welding.

14 comments:

Michael H said...

I'm more interested in teaching welding to kids. Or welding to music.

Akiva said...

Read Althouse, buy more stuff?

Bissage said...

Sipp was a welder. No?

David said...

There is a big market for family trees these days. Many people are interested in finding previously unknown relatives who happen to have the same last name.

Most names can be traced back to a common ancestor by birth or marriage.

It is interesting if you are looking for your roots.

nypundit said...

I wonder if using these Amazon ads would violate my TOS with Google. Not that I would make any money from either one.

Mary said...

I'm getting some creepy things. ("The Head on the Door" ?) Does this program work with what we've searched on Amazon before, or are all of us seeing the same products based on the blog alone?

Ann Althouse said...

NYPundit: Google permits nonGoogle ads on Blogspot blogs.

Akiva: I'm mainly encouraging people to buy books via the Amazon ads. Isn't that good? If you're going to buy books anyway, buying them starting here is a way of contributing to my enterprise here without spending any extra money. Don't you want to do that?

Mary: The ads are based on what is on my site, so they should be for things I've mentioned, but the software they're using isn't perfect. Actually, they say over there that it's "beta," so they are working on it. I think it's a great idea, better than Google ads, because it's almost entirely about books and movies and music I've discussed.

Mary said...

That's coincidental then, since I had recently looked up The Cure and Santana albums, and now I see other offerings of theirs that are being recommended there.

I wonder if we all are seeing the same products, or if it somehow ties into our individual accounts (?) Cool feature, though.

Ann Althouse said...

Mary: I just checked again and it says "based on Amazon's unique understanding of the site, the user, and the page itself," so info they have on you is included. When I'm using it myself, I couldn't see that. Presumably, the things it knows about you are only used if they chime with something I've written. I've written "Santana." I don't know if I've ever said anything about The Cure, but, of course, I've written the words "the cure."

Jennifer said...

That wouldn't be your Jonathan Althouse who co-wrote Interpreting the National Electric Code which Amazon believes I might be interested in, would it?

I like that the selections change each time I return to your main page. Amazon strongly believes that I want to sing, though. Lots of related choices.

SippicanCottage said...

Bissage- You have a good memory.

I was a welder in the desert, which must rank right up there as about the stupidest situation one can find oneself in.

It was twenty-five years ago. I'm at least seven percent wiser than that now.

Jennifer said...

I'm noticing a lot of things I have looked up in the past (sometimes the fairly distant past) at Amazon, but that tie into recent posts.

I'm really impressed by this little ad. Now, if they could just stop pimping everything ever written by an Althouse...

Mary said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
downtownlad said...

I just know that the Omakase at Nobu was probably the best meal I have ever had in my entire life.

Google adsense was horrible when I used them though. Glad to see they are upgrading.