What Is Best vs. What Is Best For Me
How many times have you found yourself looking at lists of "Top 10 Movies" or listening to the "Top 20 Music Countdown" in your local radio station? How often do you ask your friends which is the best restaurant in town, what video game is a must or what is the best way to lose weight?
We are all used to trying to search for what is best. But with the rise of the Internet, a new set of questions have begun to arise. What movie would I like better? What music fits my tastes? What restaurant fits my budget? What is the best way for my body to lose weight? Actually, these aren't new questions. They are old ones that now have a place to find their answers. The Internet has become full of recommendation services. These try to match users with what fits them best. This is very closely related to what is known as the Long Tail.
If you look at it in terms of a movie store, there are a few movies that almost everybody loves and buys. These are the blockbuster hits. Then there are the movies that not many people watch. But the number of movies in this category is way bigger than the number of blockbuster hits. These movies make up the long tail. You probably won't find these movies being advertised heavily, as only a handful of people are interested in them. But for this handful of people those movies may be their number one movies. Those movies are not what is best, but are what is best for them.
Will people then stop focusing on what is best for everyone and only focus on what is best for them? Not entirely. Both ends of the spectrum are important. There will always be a book that everyone should read. There are always health tips that apply to everyone. But with personalization, instead of invalidating what is best for everyone, we can make it better, complement it. You will be able to know what CD's to listen to first and where to go from there. That is, after all, what many recommendation sites do. Based on your ratings of popular items, they can guess your preference of less popular items.
It's good to know that in today's society we can find both: what is best for everyone and what is best for me.