Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Sunday, April 26, 2009

I'll be writing something in the next few days about #amazonfail on my marketing blog but here lets just say I think it's a combination of deliberate policy (to suppress certain LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) books and a cock-up. Computer algorithms do turn up some weird surprises.

For my main personal blog, I'd just posted about the Aria "Ebben? Ne andrĂ² lontana", from La Wally by Catalani. and sung by Wilhelmenia Wiggins Fernandez. In opera terms it's a pretty obscure piece, but hauntingly beautiful - if you've never listened, I popped a YouTube vid on that link so do listen. Then, under the "Related Videos" is Mungo Jerry's "In The Summertime". Now, I happen to like that too - but then my musical taste is broad - but how are the two related? Well, after a bit of digging, it seems somebody who also posted a video of Wilhelmenia Wiggins Fernandez singing "Ebben? Ne andrĂ² lontana" also posted a video of "In The Summertime". Related? Only very tenuously. That's the trouble with algorithms: they don't always give the expected results when faced with real-world data. I suspect that was a part of what happened with #amazonfail.

So here's a live version of In The Summertime ...

Now seriously, do you think the two are really related?