"If you like x, you'll like y" in computer speak

Lately, I’ve been having the desire to try to get a poetry website going where a person could go and get recommendations for poets based on their likes and dislikes. Essentially, it would be like one of those “People who enjoyed this book also liked this one!” thingies that sites like Amazon have.

But I don’t know much about programming, so I don’t know what this sort of database entails. Can someone give me an idea of the scope of what I’m asking? Is this a 15 minute job for a programmer, or a 15 year trek in the wilderness?

Assume I’m completely and utterly stupid. You won’t be far off.

Not a programmer, but I imagine it wouldn’t be that terribly complicated:

You have list A of people who either bought or rated movie X highly.

Each person has a unique database which stores their purchases/ratings history.

Of all people in list A, find which movies Y and Z turn up the most instances throughout said personal databases of being bought and/or rated highly.

Anyway, it could be slightly more complicated than that but that should be the gist of it.

  • nods *

You’d need to come up with a more detailed specification (your programmer can help you with this, of course) in order to get an accurate estimate, but it’s certainly not a major project, especially if you already have a database of poems and users. Days rather than weeks.

Oh, and yes I realize now you are doing poems instead of movies but I was just thinking of Amazon. I guess since people don’t usually buy individual poems (unless you are selling books of poetry), you will have to rely on a user rating system.

Yes, I should have brought that in, as well. Ideally, this would be something where someone could come rate various poems or poets and their information would be added to the database.

It’s called “collaberative filtering”.