This weekend’s collection of videos are oddly personal for me. Which is to say that they’re all things that YouTube thinks I want to watch. See, I’ve never paid their recommendation features much mind (if only because I watch such a strange range of content over the course of a typical NewTeeVee week that to do so would be madness). But today, looking over the videos generated by YouTube analytics for me to enjoy, I noticed some choices that made a lot of sense — and a few that didn’t.
Here’s an obvious one, for example: Because I watched The Guild Sells Out! more than once in December, and only watched the first season of The Guild on YouTube, their recommendation engine suggests that I check out the second season premiere.
Meanwhile, covering An Engineer’s Guide to Cats on Christmas Eve 2009 has lead to me being recommended THE BEST CAT VIDEO YOU’LL EVER SEE — which, truth be told, comes dangerously close to living up to its title.
However, the next video that came up in my recommended playlist (which autoplayed immediately afterwards), wasn’t a winner — instead it was a rec resulting from watching a bootleg version of the American Idol “Pants on the Ground” moment. How does General Larry Platt’s ode to properly-fitting trousers connect to a poker showdown between Tom Dwan and Phil Hellmuth? No clue. Is this something I actually want to watch? No, it’s not.
Same goes for this 10 minute Spanish-language montage of Disney love songs, which was a recommendation based on the fact that I watched the first episode of indie web series Poor Paul a couple of weeks ago. In the words of Jon Stewart, “Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa?”
And while the recommendation of Belly Dance Fitness Part 2 makes sense given how much time I spent watching weird dance videos at the beginning of the month, I only watched about two seconds of the video that said recommendation was based on, Perfect Hips Belly Dance Workout.
So on the one hand, only one or two of these videos connected to content I’d watched in the last two weeks, and none of the videos recommended had less than 250,000 views. And an important detail to mention is that I very rarely use the ratings feature and thus all the YouTube version of Skynet had to go on in terms of picking videos for me was my viewing history.
All that said: Cats, random dance videos, and Felicia Day? On the whole, YouTube, not too far off base. But what about you, gentle reader? Do your YouTube recs match with your interests?