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BookRx App Provides Recommended Reading Based On Your Tweets

by Bryan Thomas Schmidt 

BooksMashable reports that BookRx, a new app from Northwestern University’s Knight Lab, recommends books based on your tweets.  Simple insert your Twitter handle and seconds later, the app provides a list of categories and specific books which you might enjoy.

Shawn O’Banion, a third-year PhD student, worked with his professor, Larry Birnbaum, to create BookRx. “Twitter is really unique because it’s a stream of consciousness for the user,” O’Banion tells Mashable. “Typically you’re projecting an image of yourself on Twitter with the things that you say; while that might not be your true self, it’s actually who you want to represent on social media.”

Per Mashable, BookRx works by comparing the words, hashtags and mentions in your tweets to those of a sample user with pre-determined reading preferences. The app’s creators used a secret data gathering technique to assess the sample and a machine learning algorithm to link tweeted words to specific book recommendations.

“Typically when you see recommendations online, you’re not given any explanation or reason for the recommendation,” O’Banion says. “It’s sort of like a black box, and I think that’s why people get kind of creeped out by it, actually — because it’s not transparent.”

Whether you take the recommendations seriously or just use them for fun, BookRx can be a fun tool to experiment with. You can give it a try here. For more information, read the full article at Mashable.

Bryan Thomas Schmidt is an author and editor of adult and children’s science fiction, fantasy and humor books, short stories and articles. A frequent contributor to blogs like SFSignalAdventures In SF PublishingGrasping For The Wind and To Be Read, he also hosts Science Fiction and Fantasy Writer’s Chat under the hashtag #sffwrtcht on Twitter and blogs about writing and creativity on his own blog at Connect With Bryan On Google+


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