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Old 10-30-2006, 04:48 PM   #78
nekokami
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@bowerbird,

I love your vision of the future of publishing (which is no surprise, given my post on alternatives to traditional publishers last week). However, I'd like to make two comments:

1 - If you rate books on Amazon (usually books that you've bought, but not necessarily), or add them to your wishlist, Amazon starts recommending books that you might like based on those ratings, and I have to say they've made some excellent recommendations from my point of view -- stuff that I like a lot, that I would probably not have read (or even noticed) otherwise. This feature has come a long way in the last year or so.

2 - I think there's value in occasionally looking at something that doesn't match your usual profile. In David Brin's Earth, one of the main characters has a custom news/email filter written which makes sure she occasionally sees news items completely off her usual preferences (as well as a portion of email from her detractors as well as supporters -- she gets a ton of email, being an internationally known figure of some notoriety). This struck me as a really good idea at the time, and still does. Otherwise, I could see us stagnating into separate "silos" (or "phyles" if you like Stephenson's term better) of readers all over the world-- the 241 readers of your book may have formed a wonderful worldwide family, but that doesn't necessarily mean they should be avoiding communicating with anyone else in the world, I'm sure you would agree.

Just a couple of thoughts....
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