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July 1, 2009

Nexterlizer - Simple Recommendations

Deciding what to read or play or watch or listen to next, can be a tricky thing. Too much choice, too many decisions.

To help you there are a myriad of web sites: catalogue everything you’ve ever read, make friends and let them make suggestions, answer forty two questions. And so on.

All of which are nice, but let’s face it, too much hassle. I’ve been in and out of more book recommendation sites than I can remember and none of them have satisfied what I want. So I decided to build one.

It’s called Nexterlizer and it’s the simplest recommendation application I could imagine: tell it what you last read, watched, listened to or played and it will try and give you a recommendation. Not a list, not a choice, just one. Sometimes it won’t find a recommendation, most of the times it will.

It’s a Getting Real (37Signals) approach to recommendations.

There’s also a Twitter bot @nexterlizer which you can tweet with your last item and it will reply with its suggestion.

eg. @nexterlizer Oryx And Crake

or if you want to specify whether it was something you read, played, listened to or watched you can add a prefix:

r for read
l for listened to
p for played
w for watched


@nexterlizer p Guitar Hero
@nexterlizer w Terminator Salvation


Try it out, let me know what you think and I hope you have fun with it.


For each of the three books I entered it gave me a book I've already read (and always by the same author). Still, it might be handy for someone who hasn't read anything else by a given author. :)

Hi James good luck in coming up with something a little different to the Amazon suggestions...
For the four books I tried it suggested either ones by the same author (Kethani -> Helix; Hilldiggers -> Shadow of the Scorpion) or extremely unlikely matches (The Last Theorem -> God's Equation: Einstein, Relativity, and the Expanding Universe; The Praxis -> Praxis I: PPST (Cliffs Test Prep)). Actually the God's Equation book was not too extreme but its not a novel. I like the idea of a "Another one button" or a "thumbs-up / thumbs-down" vote on the suggestion?
Also I live in the UK, so if you could set region so it linked to Amazon.co.uk rather than Amazon.com?