Googlazon, What Should I Watch Tonight?

I have 998 channels of cable TV coming into my house.  Once you take out the music-only, pay-per-view, and other specialty channels, there are perhaps 200 or so that have content I might watch.  This is a barely  manageable number – by using my Y-chromosome super-surfing skills, I can be fairly confident I have a good handle on everything that’s on, and that I am watching the show that maximizes my viewing pleasure.  (Or be confident that there’s nothing on that I want to watch, and that I should go read a book or take a walk or something.)

Of course, this system isn’t perfect.  I have never seen the majority of TV shows out there.  Usually this is OK – I have a pretty good idea what kind of programs Two and a Half Men  and Flip This House  are, even without ever seeing them, and I’m confident that I can skip them without missing much (that I would enjoy, anyway).  But I’ve also never seen The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, or My Name is Earl.  For all I know, one of those shows could be PERFECT for my tastes, and replace House  as my favourite show.  But I soldier on with a kind of blind faith that I am getting the most out of my Toshiba regardless.

But what about when the Long Tail effect starts to permeate broadcast media and there are 1,000 channels?  Or a million?  How will I know that I am watching the programming that is most suited to me?  This is where the Google cloud-mind and the Amazon taste-trackers will really add value.  I predict that in less than 10 years, Google will know everything I ever watch and doubtless will be able to tell how much I am enjoying it by measuring the dilation of my pupils and monitoring my pulse.  When Google detects that I really like a particular show, it will ask Amazon to mine its recommendation engine for other shows that millions of people who saw the one I’m watching also liked.  By fine-tuning its selections over time according to my relative satisfaction, Googlazon will eventually arrive at the ideal mix of programming for my individual requirements.

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One Response to “Googlazon, What Should I Watch Tonight?”

  1. Clayton Morrissey Says:

    I agree 100%. I’m surprised that pushing personalized content to your cable box/ PVR hasn’t happened yet.

    Simply tracking your current viewing habits from your cable box and flagging shows and show genres as favorites for you can’t be that hard to do with current technology. (see Amazon.com’s system for generating recommended titles)

    * Check out Craig Ferguson’s Late Late Show on CBS after Letterman. I think he’ll appeal to you too.


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