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Revive a Dead Thread > Book incompatibility test

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message 1: by Andrew (new)

Andrew I am quite new to the site, and have been trying to find people with similar tastes by clicking on the profiles of people whose reviews or discussion posts I liked, then taking the "book compatibility test".

The results? I have tried dozens of people, but my highest rating so far has been around 20%. Most are below 10%. So I am left with a few alternative conclusions to draw:

A. My taste in books is weird. Nobody is compatible with me.

B. I'm just not finding the right people - perhaps there's a less random way for me to find people with similar book collections?

C. The results are always quite low - around 20% is actually a 'good' score.

Anyone got any insight into how the book compatibility thing works, or what a good benchmark score is to indicate 'compatibility'?

message 2: by Fiona (last edited Jan 11, 2009 10:26AM) (new)

Fiona (bookcoop) We are 75% similar Andrew. But most of the books we do have in common I have yet to read, but the ones we both share we tend to rate similarly, apart from For Whom the Bell Tolls which I thought was boring as sin and you evidently didn't. :P

Not sure how it works, but I think it is just a bit of fun. I think you're best way of finding people similar to you is to talk to them or get to know them in groups, such as TNBBC and soon you'll find that the books you add will suddenly start spreading to the people around you...

message 3: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Hi Fiona

I see that our ratings for books we share are 75% similar. But the percentage I was talking about was the one on the next screen, when you click "book compatibility test" in the top-right. Then we get a score of 28%.

I guess you're right, it is just a bit of fun. Was just curious about how it works, though, and why the scores always seem so low.

message 4: by Becky (new)

Becky (Beckyofthe19and9) Your compatability with me is 30%.

I don't know exactly how the compatibility is scored, but the highest compatibility I've seen is around 45%. I think they choose random popular books within a category, and give each one a score between 0-6, 0 being not on your list, 1 being a To-read book, and 6 being a 5 star rated book. They then compare your "ratings" with the comparee's books and through the magic of mathematics come up with a number. (That's what I think, although they could stand naked in a circle of stones shaped like animals and sacrifice teddy-bears to the Percentage God for the number... No way to tell.)

Anyway, I know that there is a thread in the GR Feedback group discussing a way to search members as well as books, but I'm not sure how high that is on the "To-Do" list.

=) Hope that helps... somewhat!

message 5: by Fiona (last edited Jan 11, 2009 10:46AM) (new)

Fiona (bookcoop) Andrew wrote: "Hi Fiona

I see that our ratings for books we share are 75% similar. But the percentage I was talking about was the one on the next screen, when you click "book compatibility test" in the top-right..."

Eh, what test is this! Never heard of this before...

message 6: by Jean (new)

Jean Liota (gardenlady56) | 28 comments This is interesting. Never noticed the compatibility number before. But looking at it, I think the low compatibility percentages might result from the way scores are tallied, which is a little eccentric.

Here's an example. Andrew doesn't have To Kill a Mockingbird on his list. I gave To Kill a Mockingbird 5 stars. The algorithm considers my rating and Andrew's to be a "terrible match." In reality, I bet that Andrew, like most people, probably has read the book, and probably even has good things to say about it. But he just hasn't happened to rate it yet. So it's a bit misleading to call it a terrible match.

I think the more useful number is probably not the overall compatibility, but the degree of similarity on books we've both rated.

Or, it could be that the algorithm uses the teddy bear sacrificial method that Becky mentions.

My two cents.

message 7: by Fiona (new)

Fiona (bookcoop) OKay, how did I not know about this before. Interesting, more time to waste now checking everyone on my friend list.

message 8: by Fiona (new)

Fiona (bookcoop) OKay, most of my compatibilities are in their 30's highest at 53%.

I I find anyone in their 90's obviously I'm going to marry them.

message 9: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Thanks for the replies - I particularly loved the image of naked teddy-bear sacrificers. Jean makes a good point - I have read To Kill a Mockingbird, a long time ago, and liked it. There are a lot of books I just haven't got around to entering yet. So like any calculation, it's only as good as the data it uses. Guess I'll have to get entering more books, then!

message 10: by Beth Eff (new)

Beth Eff | 342 comments I just "found" the compatability test a couple weeks ago and most of the people on my friends list are in the 20's or 30's.

The highest I've seen is 54%.

message 11: by Jill (new)

Jill (wanderingrogue) | 329 comments That's an interesting little test. I had no idea it was even there.

As far as not having too much in common with people, don't sweat it. Part of the fun of this site is meeting people, perusing their bookshelves, and learning about new books you wouldn't have heard of otherwise.

message 12: by Liz M (new)

Liz M I agree with jean in that your low percentages are due to not having rated very many of the books used for the compatability test -- the "worst" compatibility is between a 5-star rating and a non-rated book. However, if you want to see your compatibility soar, mark unrated books as "want to read it" -- that seams to be an "excellent" match against any rated book, no matter how many stars.

message 13: by Kandice (new)

Kandice I guess I'll have to try it. I think the best indication of good discussion fodder, is not how many books you rated the same, but how many books have you read or want to read that are the same. Even if you loved it and I hated it, we have something to discuss!

Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (SusannaG) | 1736 comments That is a really interesting little test. I think it needs tweaking, but a cool idea.

message 15: by Leila (new)

Leila (softlyblush) I had no idea about this book incompatibility test. I knew about compare books but not this test. *goes to do it on all my friends* This is fun :) Thank you btw for bringing it up!

message 16: by Leila (new)

Leila (softlyblush) Eh. The highest was 50% and the lowest was 12%. Most seemed to be around 15-20% though.

I think it is odd because most of the books that my friends read, I am very interested in. I guess it's because there are so many books that I have yet to read and I try not to add them all to the 'to-read' list.

message 17: by Andrew (new)

Andrew (sir_reads_a_lot) | 509 comments 21% with me Andrew...and I'm also Andrew!!! :)

message 18: by Fiona (last edited Jan 11, 2009 03:29PM) (new)

Fiona (bookcoop) I am only 41% compatible with myself. Which means that my highest scoring friend at 53% is more like me then myself.

I don't get that. :/

message 19: by Cynthia (new)

Cynthia (PandoraPhoebesMom) | 1826 comments Heck I'm only 26% compatible with!!!

message 20: by Becky (new)

Becky (Beckyofthe19and9) I'm 52% compatible with myself... I guess that's good, because I wouldn't want to have to unfriend me. =|

message 21: by Petra X (new)

Petra X (PetraX) Where's this test then?

message 22: by Fiona (new)

Fiona (bookcoop) go to compare books on a profile and at the top right there's a link called book compatibility test or something similar. Never have know it was there had it not been for this topic!

Wouldn't put much faith in it though.

message 23: by Kandice (new)

Kandice I am 57% compatible with myself...hooray!!! I was 76% with one of my friends, so just a few more percentage points and we could get engaged! Hahaha!!!

Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews (SilversReviews) | 154 comments Where is this test? :)

message 25: by Kandice (last edited Jan 11, 2009 06:37PM) (new)

Kandice Elizabeth wrote: "Where is this test? :)

Click on your own profile. As your friends are displayed you can click on them and click on compare books. From there you can click on compatibilyty. As you are looking at posts, you can click on the posters avatar and do the same thing.

message 26: by Jean (new)

Jean Liota (gardenlady56) | 28 comments Kandice - how do you test your compatibility with yourself? I'm curious.

message 27: by Jeane (new)

Jeane | 4891 comments Somebody did write about this some weeks ago. Lori got addicted to it and then I did too and checked all my friends on the my list... was fun. And surprised me.

Allison (The Allure of Books) (inconceivably) I'm only 17% compatible with myself...

I always knew I was a little odd.

message 29: by Fiona (new)

Fiona (bookcoop) Jean wrote: "Kandice - how do you test your compatibility with yourself? I'm curious."

The same as you would another person, but yourself. :P Just go to your profile page and etc.

message 30: by Kandice (new)

Kandice I have kind of gotten a grasp on how it rates your compatibilty with others, but how the heck can you be less than 100% compatible with yourself? Are we a bunch of Sybils?

message 31: by Becky (new)

Becky (Beckyofthe19and9) Kandice wrote: "I have kind of gotten a grasp on how it rates your compatibilty with others, but how the heck can you be less than 100% compatible with yourself? Are we a bunch of Sybils?"

*shrug* Teddy-bear sacrifices by moonlight...?

message 32: by Kandice (new)

Kandice Becky-You're a crack up!

message 33: by Becky (new)

Becky (Beckyofthe19and9) I do my best! ;)

message 34: by [deleted user] (new)

I never noticed that before. Thanks. WE are about 40% sorry got distracted after I left so don't remember the exact number.

message 35: by Kandice (new)

Kandice Becky-Of the books we have in common our tastes are 73% similar! Our compatibilty is only 43%, but it seems that's quite high.

message 36: by Becky (new)

Becky (Beckyofthe19and9) I know... you have the 3rd highest compatibility with me of all my friends!

It seems that the lowest compatibility that I can have is 21%... A few real life friends are on my GR friend list even though they have 0 books in common with me, and yet they still have 21% compatibility.

It's very interesting!

message 37: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (TNBBC) | 9634 comments Mod
I checked Fiona (33%) and Jeane (44%) against me....
And the strange thing is we have such a large amount of books in common....

Oh well. Like you all have said, I dont put much stock in it. If you cant get 100% compatability with yourself, then the thing is obviously wonky!

message 38: by Jon (last edited Jan 12, 2009 07:20PM) (new)

Jon Andrew - to throw in another guy stat, i have 81% similar ratings to you, but only 21% in the compatability test. I think the compare books screen tells you more than the book compatability one, which as has been pointed out is a bit nonsense as you get marked down for never having read something.

Ive also wished there was a way to find your book-twin on the site! as your likely to be interested in their reviews so worth befriending - wish they would do something, im sure its straight forward for technical folks to do!

81% is pretty good Andrew! we wont worry about the 21% on the next page :)..

p.s im only 30% compatible with my self - i knew there was something shifty about me .. myyyyyyyyy preeccciiiioooouuusss

message 39: by dara (last edited Jan 12, 2009 08:10PM) (new)

dara I tried that the other day. It seems to count not having a book on your list that your friend does against your compatibility. So in other words, it's stupid. The compare books feature makes more sense. At least it's based on books you're both aware of instead of a set list of popular books in certain genres.

message 40: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (TNBBC) | 9634 comments Mod
I like Andrews idea... about finding a book twin.
Andrew, you should email Otis about it, or post a topic for it on Goodreads Feedback!!!

message 41: by Andrew (new)

Andrew LOL - never realised you could do the compatibility test with yourself. I just did it and...

I am 19% compatible with myself.

Oh well, at least it explains why I can never make up my mind on what to read next...

Hey, just noticed that I don't even get a 100% rating on the 'Compare books' page: "You and yourself have 548 books (or 99.82% of your library and 99.82% of his library) in common."

Well, I think I am now 99.82% certain that the feature needs a little more work. Or, as Ofmatt put it: "So in other words, it's stupid."

message 42: by Petra X (new)

Petra X (PetraX) I found the test. Thanks Fiona. I am 41% compatible with myself! What is even more mysterious is (on compare books) that I have 98.82% books the same as mine. What's with that? How can anything compare two identical sets and say that they are only 98.82% the same?

message 43: by Jessica (new)

Jessica | 1000 comments I remember a couple of months back you couldn't even compare your books to themselves so maybe this 98.82% thing is such some sort of glitch. (Well obviously, but I just felt like saying it...)

message 44: by Sue (new)

Sue | 7 comments Hi All,
I am just getting started on GB and fear that I have found my fellow addictive readers! I think it is interesting to see other peoples lists, especially the lesser compatability; it is a great way to find new things to read. I am such an eclectic reader that it is helping me branch out!

message 45: by Becky (new)

Becky (Beckyofthe19and9) I always thought that the 99.41% book comparison with myself was a glitch because I had other exclusive shelves. I no longer have other exclusive shelves, so it makes no sense.

And, welcome Sue!

JG (The Introverted Reader) If the book comparison is less than 100%, you've added the same book twice and rated it differently. This was discussed on the Feedback group here.

message 47: by Becky (new)

Becky (Beckyofthe19and9) Ahhh! Thank you JG! That makes sense, because I do have 4 or 5 books that I have multiples of. :)

JG (The Introverted Reader) I'm 47% compatible with myself. I'm more compatible with Carrie (54%) than with me! They always say you have to watch the quiet ones... :-)

message 49: by Fiona (new)

Fiona (bookcoop) I don't think I have multiples of any of my books. :/ But what about the book compatibility? In the book comparison I think I'm 100% last time I checked.

JG (The Introverted Reader) I was only talking about the duplicates with the comparison, so if you're at 100%, you're good. I don't know about the compatibility thing. Maybe someone should ask in the Feedback group. It seems pretty messed-up and only good for a few laughs. "Teddy-bear sacrifices by moonlight." :-)

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