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Old May 15th 05, 12:43 PM
Sidheag McCormack
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fs writes:

Does such a thing as a recommendation engine for baby names exist? I'm
trawling for baby name websites, and not finding such a thing (although
I now know that the technique I'm looking for is called a
"recommendation engine" ;-).

I'm imagining a website along the lines of many movie and music
recommendation websites - "If you enjoyed movie_a, movie_b and
movie_c, you may also enjoy movie_d or movie_e".

Even Amazon's "people who bought that book also bought this" facility
uses the same basic concept.

The site I need right now is more along the lines of "if you're
considering names such as Tom and Dick, you may also like the name

I think the trouble is that the things you mention, movie, music and book
recommendation engines, hang off the fact that there's already a widely
used mechanism for people to record their preferences. For names, you'd
have to start from scratch building that. You could of course build such a
thing and just rely on people's natural liking for expressing their
opinions to ensure that lots of people will go and record what names they
like, but the data isn't already out there, I think, so the first people
would have to record their preferences without getting anything back for
their trouble. I can't devote the time to building such a thing myself, but
as you say, technically it wouldn't be that hard. If someone else does, I
don't mind doing my bit for the community by ranking some names!

Our firstborn is due early January. Very early days yet, so lots of time
to choose names and plan for life to never be the same again. We have a
few possible boys' and girls' names listed, but we know there are plenty
more that we would seriously consider...if only we could think of them.

How about just posting the names you do like here, with a request for
people who like your names to suggest others? (There's no guarantee that
the people who hate your names will keep quiet, this being Usenet, but you
can ask!)

FWIW DH and I used what is probably the most nerdly method I've heard of.
We went to, each printed out a full listing of all
the names there (17,000 or so? site's not responding right now so can't
check) in very small type, and each went through making shortlists
independently. Then we looked at both our shortlists. There was a small
intersection, but actually it turned out that we convinced one another - in
the end, the girl name we chose had been on my shortlist but not DH's, and
the boy name we chose (not Colin, that's a screenname, as is Sidheag) had
been on DH's shortlist but not mine. At least we were pretty sure we
weren't missing something we'd both have liked better!

DS Colin Oct 27 2003