Friday, 30 January 2009

Crazy Amazon Recommendations



I've been looking on Amazon.co.uk a lot lately, they seem (bizarrely) to be one of the cheapest places for mid-range camera kit.

Yesterday I was thinking about which telephoto lens to get for the new camera, and I thought I'd check out the Amazon recommendations - I bought the camera through them, and I thought they might have an idea of what lenses other people tended to buy for it. (After all, they're very good at telling me when I need a new R.E.M. album.)

Problem is, in addition to telling me what accessories I need for my camera, it also wanted to tell me what camera I might want for my accessories. Clearly Amazon has no hierarchical relationship 'X is an accessory of Y' - they just look at what things happen to be bought at the same time.

So since I bought a spare battery last week, and that also fits with the Canon 1000D which I don't already own, Amazon recommends I buy a new camera. No, thank you!

And since I bought an SD card a few months back, Amazon also believes I want to buy every compact camera that takes the SD format. Again, not quite...

Okay, so you can fix this by going in and telling it not to make recommendations based on particular purchases - I went and switched off recommendations for all my accessories. But I sort of feel I shouldn't have to do that... it should have that sort of info in the product databases.

Where's artificial intelligence when you need it?!

P.S. In the end we got a 55-250mm lens, and a new digital photo frame. Post next week is going to be exciting!

11 comments:

mo.stoneskin said...

Looking forward to the final product...snap away to your heart's content.

I tend to buy camera kit from ebuyer. So, did you buy an R.E.M album too?

Chef E said...

I love photos...my sister is a photographer, unfortunately she lives across the country from me now...you should check out her site...I help with it...I will have her visit you first..

Lilly's Life said...

I love REM and I am looking forward to your photos. I just point and click and no nothing about photography really. I will just come here and read what you are doing. As for Amazon - well they have a marketing plan that upsells and cross sells and it must work for them, as infuriating as it is.

Rachel Cotterill said...

Mo - I've bought many R.E.M. albums over the years, but none today. Today was all about photo accessories.

Chef E - by all means point me towards your sister's site, I'd be very interested.

Lilly - I wouldn't claim to really know anything about photography, I rely on finding things that are worth photographing rather than pure skill :)

Photonuts said...

Hi I am 'E's sister in Texas...I look forward to seeing your pictures...she stirs me in the more creative direction though...

Kazzy said...

Sounds like fun buying all of those gadgets. My BFF is a photog and can't ever shake her addiction to camera equipment! Have fun!

Jeanne said...

Someone came over from the University (with which the clinic is affiliated) to train me on the procurement and financial reporting software -- and got to listen to me critique the user interface and lack of sophistication the entire time. If you've ever written software, you become a terrible snob about using it.

Dave King said...

Strange how you can sometimes get what you want in the most surprisinfg places. I tried unsucessfully in the computer shops nearby to get a couple of bits for my computer this last week. Got all I wanted in what in my youth we would have called an ironmongers!

Rachel Cotterill said...

Photonuts - thanks for visiting, and I love your whales :)

Kazzy - I've always wanted to know what BFF stands for, can you enlighten me? I think it's an American acronym...

Jeanne - yep, that's me (see my third post).

Dave - it's all very unpredictable. You're lucky if you still have an ironmonger near to you.

Domestic Executive said...

Oh, you're going to have so much fun. Hope you have a camera bag big enough for all these lenses and accessories. Oh, maybe Amazon can sell you one!!

Rachel Cotterill said...

Domestic Executive - I think my camera bag is big enough for now, but not if I upgrade to the next biggest lens... :)

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