Human Interaction #win – Recommendation Sites #fail

Millions of Dollars/Pounds/Yen/Euros have been thrown in to recommendation sites in one way or another. In Northern Ireland we have our own which is rather good, elsewhere there’s Yelp, TripAdvisor and a plethora of others.

One thing I’ve been picking up on though is our lack of wanting to look at these sites.  Chances are we may have the respective app on our phone but the fact still remains we yearn for human interaction. Want proof? 


The natural instinct of many is not to go searching but just to ask another human being. The most important phrases a marketer could pick up on within social media is who’s asking who. Even down to a job posting there’s a good chance still that the boss of the firm will pick up the phone and ask a seasoned networker, “do you know anyone who can….”.  

It’s fair to say that the fatigue of another website to look at is setting in. I don’t personally browse, I may consume information whether that be audio, video or a book. When it comes to something real, tangible then I ask another person. Now that may be a person I actually know well, a loosely coupled connection (Twitter/Facebook) or just throw the comment out and see where it goes. 

So perhaps it’s fair to say that the neural network of Twitter provides part of the answer. Ryan asks the question and within three steps of his network can find someone actually in Edinburgh.

(Ryan:friend (Jase:friend (Someone:location Edinburgh):question “Restaurants in your location”))

Is there much real point asking Ryan’s network who’s centrality may not be Edinburgh based?   

There is method to this madness, one of Ryan’s network may recommend a place but may have only ate there once. Where as a local will have potentially eaten at a specific restaurant tens of times and know the staff, menu well.

The power of recommendation is not necessarily in review sites, it’s just a few steps away from your network of centrality.

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