I suppose I would trust Peter Gabriel more than than most CEOs of music recommendation sites when it came to to selecting listening material. (At the very least, I’d hear some WOMAD-appropriate stuff.) Although he’s not really the person making all the music recommendations on his new site TheFilter.com, he’s developed what he calls a “life jockey” to help users find new music, movies, and other means of entertainment.
“We’re doing something different to the others – trying to integrate the machine approach and human beings,” said Gabriel.
“Most of us have people we know who are well informed or have great taste in certain areas and we’d like to have that available to us at all times. Any sort of navigation requires good filtering, particularly when the number one commodity for most of us is our own time.”
These sort of things always seem more exciting in theory than in practice for me, and once The Filter recommended downloading a widget of some sort to “enhance” its recommendations, I knew that I wouldn’t be returning. I’ve gone through scrobblers and aggregrators and the like, and all I’ve gotten in return is a slowed computer in exchange for some dodgy suggestions. (The Black Eyed Peas? Thanks, but no thanks, The Filter.) Is there a future for collaborative filtering when there seem to be human-powered “recommendation engines” like blogs, radio in various forms, and friends?