Digital: Ex Post

July 06, 2005

"Pre-filters" vs. "Post-filters"

The Long Tail: "Pre-filters" vs. "Post-filters": "The key word in the preceding paragraph is 'predict'. What's different about those kinds of filters and the ones I've been focusing on is that they filter before things get to market. Indeed, their job is to decide what will make it to market and what won't. I call them 'pre-filters'.

By contrast, the recommendations and search technologies that I'm writing about are 'post-filters'. They find the best of what's already out there in their area of interest, elevating the good (relevant, interesting, original, etc.) and ignoring or downplaying the bad. When I talk about throwing everything out there and letting the marketplace sort it out, these post-filters are the voice of the marketplace. They channel consumer behavior and amplify it, rather than trying to predict it."

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