100+ Recommendation Engines for Great Discoveries and Saving Time

By Amber Hensley

Just about everyone loves the convenience of having their own personalized interests delivered to them without much work. That’s exactly what recommendation engines do for Internet users. When you browse websites or make purchases, these engines remember your preferences and make suggestions for you based on your history. The following list offers over 100 recommendation engines to help you discover new possibilities or save you time when planning or browsing. With recommendations in movies, music, books, news, and many other great categories as well, you will find plenty of places to visit on the Internet to find new discoveries or save a bit of time.

Movies and TV

From selecting DVDs to watch at home to finding the perfect movie at a theater these sites will help you discover new movie and TV options.

  1. Netflix. This super popular movie rental site customizes recommendations for you based on how you rate other movies and even compares your recommendations against general ratings.
  2. Hollywood Video. Register with this movie rental site and rate movies to get personalized recommendations.
  3. Blockbuster. Connect with friends and family to share movie ratings and get recommendations for movies you may like.
  4. Starz. Register with MyStarz to get customized schedules, personalized reminders, and rate movies, shows, actors, and directors.
  5. HBO. Sign in at HBO to get customized schedules that reflect your viewing habits, connect with other fans, and have access to live events in which you may be interested.
  6. film.com. Find plenty of movies grouped by category or join the community for a tailored film-finding experience.
  7. Fandango. Not only can you rate movies and get recommendations when you join My Fandango, but you can also find where movies are playing near your location.
  8. MyFilmz. Share your favorites and discover other movies based on your preferences here.
  9. Clerkdogs. Competing to be the Last.fm of movies, Clerkdogs recommends movies based on your preferences.
  10. Criticker. Rank ten movies to start getting movie recommendations tailored to your tastes here.
  11. What to Rent! The first time you visit this site, you will need to select a user name and complete a short quiz. The next time you visit, you immediately get movie recommendations based on your personality and preferences.
  12. Fancast. Get many of your favorite TV shows here along with recommendations for others based on your preferences.
  13. Mefeedia. Plug into the community here to get recommendations on TV shows or just browse through those available to watch them on your computer.
  14. Hulu. Find TV shows grouped by collection, popularity, or recently added to get free TV easily.
  15. ShareTV.org. This online TV community lets you create a profile and keep track of your favorite shows and get related videos, links, and more.

Books

Book lovers will enjoy these sites that will help find new and interesting reads.

  1. LibraryThing. Compare what you are reading with others, share your favorites, and find new books based on your reading taste.
  2. Shelfari. Share what you are reading, find out what others think about books you are interested in, and get recommendations for future books.
  3. Good Reads. Like Shelfari, you can connect with others and get recommendations for books here. You can also receive reviews from others based on your interest in books you would like to read.
  4. What Should I Read Next?. Enter a title of a favorite book to get recommendations for other books. If you sign up and list other books, the results become even more personalized.
  5. Barnes and Noble. Not only can you get recommendations on all sorts of reading material here, you can also get updates on local events, participate in online book groups, and more.
  6. Borders. Borders’ Magic Shelf customizes recommendations for books and more especially for you. Supplying your email address also provides you with coupons.

Music

No matter what taste you have in music, these music recommendation engines will help you explore new possibilities.

  1. Last.fm. This popular site recommends music based on what you are listening to and comparing with other listeners with similar taste in order to create your perfect playlist.
  2. Pandora. Another popular music station, Pandora asks you for a favorite band to start off the recommendations that grow as you indicate more of your favorites. Matching is based on a computer-generated list that many find very accurate.
  3. Musicovery. Select from options in mood, decade, and type of music to find new as well as old favorites here.
  4. iLike. Not only can you find new music here, you can also get customized concert updates.
  5. Amie Street. As you browse and purchase music (for super low prices), Amie Street learns your preferences and will suggest other music that is similar to what you like.
  6. MeeMix. Create stations based on your selections, choose your current mood, and rate stations to find more music.
  7. Slacker. Select from almost 20 different stations, add your own, or choose music you recently listened to in order to hear what is playing on each station. You can also skip a limited number of songs you don’t like.
  8. MOG. Discover and share music here and get recommendations based on your taste when compared with other users.
  9. Play.it. You become the DJ here. Create your favorite playlists and get recommendations based on what you’ve done.
  10. Broadjam. Devoted to indie music, this site will help you discover new music and organize what you’ve already heard.
  11. Jamendo. Download and share free music (approved by the artists) and discover new music based on your preferences.
  12. Mufin. Search for a favorite or click on an available title to get music recommendations based on your selections.
  13. MyStrands. Not only can you get music recommendations here, but find out about music videos and music parties that you may enjoy.
  14. musicmesh. Visit this site and music from your browsing history pops up with information from all the albums of a particular artist. Look at playlists, read reviews, find out where to purchase the music, and even add it to your favorites list.

Multimedia

These sites offer suggestions on a variety of multimedia including music, videos, photos, websites, podcasts, and more.

  1. SeeqPod. Search for specific songs, videos, or webpages, select "discover" to find something new, or select from one of today’s playlists.
  2. YouTube. This ultra-popular site offers videos similar to the ones you watch. Find plenty of fun and random stuff here.
  3. imeem. Create audio, video, and photo playlists, which you can post and share, or check out others playlists. Through tags and groups, you can discover new content similar to your tastes.
  4. Zune. On Zune, you can find music, videos, podcasts, games, and audiobooks. Make playlists, discover new stuff, or shop for what you already love.
  5. inSuggest. Get websites, images, and bookmarks based on your preferences here.
  6. ulike. Make your list and compare with others to get recommendations on movies, music, books, games, art, and news.
  7. liveplasma. Music and movies are the focus of this site where you can get a "map" of recommendations.
  8. Streakr. Find videos, pictures, people, and websites at this site.
  9. Scouta. Get video and podcast recommendations based on your prior ratings.
  10. The Filter. Register to add your tastes and you will get recommendations for music, movies, and web videos.
  11. Joost. Watch TV, movies, music videos, and more at Joost and find others based on recommendations from what you are watching.
  12. Veoh. You can customize your Veoh experience, then download videos, movies, and TV shows and participate in the community as well.

Internet Discovery

The Internet holds an amazing amount of information just waiting to be discovered. Let these recommendation engines help direct you to what you find interesting and save you the time of wading through the other stuff.

  1. Xmarks. This new web discovery site is based on bookmarking and social ratings to provide you with tons of options to discover new places on the Internet.
  2. Juice. This Firefox add-on transforms your browser into a recommendation engine that also allows you to bookmark and organize your finds.
  3. StumbleUpon. StumbleUpon creates lists of sites that meet your selected criteria, and you can also choose to bookmark these for future use.
  4. Reddit. Not only can you bookmark your favorite sites here, but you can also get recommendations based on your preferences and see what others think of popular sites that they rate.
  5. Del.icio.us. This popular site allows you to save favorite sites, add notes to yourself, share with others, and get recommendations based on these preferences.
  6. Digg. Find news stories and various postings on the Internet based on user votes and matching your preferences.
  7. SpinSnap. Find news, videos, music, people, and more on the Internet by simply clicking a category of interest.
  8. FeedEachOther. Based on RSS feeds, this site sends you only the web content you will be interested in reading.
  9. Gnod. Search for books, music, movies and people with this recommendation engine. It remembers your interests and focuses the search results on those things you are more likely to enjoy.
  10. Rollyo. Select a search from several different categories such as reference, parenting, or the news and receive customized results based on criteria you set.
  11. Boxxet. Boxxet asks what you are a fan of and returns results from the "best of" news, blogs, videos, photos, and more.
  12. Twine. With Twine you can search for information, collect what you find, share with others, and get recommendations.
  13. Ujiko. This unusual recommendation engine allows you to customize web searches by eliminating results or tagging some as favorites and relies on your preferences for future searches.
  14. Technorati. Not only is this site a blog search engine, but you can create a watchlist that delivers blog posts with your favorite topics.
  15. Talk Digger. Find out what other people are saying about web sites, blogs, and specific topics that are customized to your interests.
  16. Kreeo. Enter information about your profession, interests, and more to get information relevant to your interests in this community-based site.

Shopping

Not only will these sites help you find exactly what you want much faster than trying to do it yourself, many of them also work to save you money on your purchases.

  1. Amazon.com. Probably the most famous recommendation engine of all time, amazon.com allows you to shop for virtually anything and offers recommendations based on both your browsing and purchasing history.
  2. Overstock.com. Do your discount shopping here and get recommendations as well as reminders for important events such as birthdays and anniversaries.
  3. Yahoo!. Shop with Yahoo! and you can get notifications on price drops in addition to customizable searches.
  4. eBay. This popular person-to-person shopping experience remembers your past shopping history, logs ratings on your payment or selling activity, and get recommendations on upcoming auctions that match your past purchases.
  5. sfeed. This microblogging platform combines shopping preferences to recommend shopping that will likely appeal to your preferences.
  6. StyleFeeder. Get product recommendations based on your personal taste in everything from clothing to household goods. Browse celebrity lists too, if you want to shop like the Olsen twins or the members of Simple Plan.
  7. MyShoppingPal. Shopping with this site is not only customized by your taste, but also your specific sizes, color preferences, and more.
  8. 3LUXE. Enter the item for which you are shopping and get the three top matches based on best in class rather than popularity to help you discover the very best products available.
  9. Like.com. This recommendation engine has taken online shopping to a whole new level. The visual search allows you to choose details, color, pattern, or shape to determine how to search for exactly what you want.
  10. Slifter. If you are looking for a specific product and want to buy it locally, just enter your item and receive a listing of local stores that carry that item. Compare prices or set up Slifter to work on your mobile device.
  11. The Find. Search through hip boutiques, large department stores, and local shops all through this one recommendation engine that finds unique items, sales, and much more.

News

Customize your daily news sources to deliver only what you want to read about with these sites.

  1. DailyMe. Create your own customized news delivery with your choices for the type of content within several different categories–and laid out in newspaper format.
  2. Congoo. Get the latest world news right on your customized home page or use the search engine to look up whatever news topic in which you are interested.
  3. Fark. This news aggregator features unusual and downright bizarre news. If this is your thing, customize what you see with myFark.
  4. Slashdot. Not only can you get "nerd oriented news" here, you can also save preferences and participate in the community when you log in.
  5. Mahalo. From news to events to answers to questions, the categories here are diverse. Log in so Mahalo will offer content based on your preferences.
  6. Wikio. Customize your breaking news, headline news, blogs, and electronics shopping with Wikio.
  7. Daylife. Stay on top of breaking news with this global news aggregator where you can customize content as well as get photos, articles, quotes, and more.

Local Information

Whether you want to find a restaurant recommendation, a great concert in your area, a fantastic tailor, or want to keep an eye on the weather, these sites customize your search to your local area.

  1. Docoloco. Get recommendations for businesses, restaurants, and more or contribute your own favorites.
  2. Citysearch. Enter your city and get restaurants, events, night life, local shopping, hotels, and much more along with reviews and recommendations.
  3. Local.com. If you want to find a restaurant, place of business, or a service and you want to keep it local, try this recommendation site.
  4. Eventful. From food and wine to art openings to music concerts and everything in between, stay on top of what is happening in your area with Eventful’s tracking and management system that is totally customized to your preferences.
  5. Zvents. Discover what is going on in your area with recommendations on business events, arts and craft fairs, performances, and much more.
  6. Weather.com. Enter your zip code or city for local weather forecasts, severe weather alerts, and more all customized to your location.
  7. WeatherBug. Like Weather.com, WeatherBug also offers local forecasts and National alerts, but also streams local weather and provides local alerts as well.

Food and Cooking

From finding recipes based on your mood to discovering non-corporate cafes, these recommendation engines will have you eating what you want in no time.

  1. Cookthink. Find recipes based on such criteria as what you are craving, specific ingredients, a specific cuisine, or even your current mood.
  2. Nibbledish. Get delicious dishes here where users share recipes and photos of the dishes which then receive votes.
  3. Tasty Planner. Create, plan, and share recipes here. When you are ready to cook something, select that recipe, and you get a grocery list generated and emailed directly to you.
  4. BigOven. This site will help you discover recipes based on your preferences or provide recipes to help you in areas such as using up leftovers, cooking with a specific flavor, or using what is in season.
  5. Zagat. Enter your zip code or city and search for restaurants and reviews with this popular search tool.
  6. allthefood.com. Plug in your zip code or search by state to find restaurants.
  7. Delocator. Use your zip code to find non-corporate cafes in your area.
  8. DineSite.com. Find restaurants in your area and reviews with this recommendation engine.
  9. Food Finder.net. Not only can you find restaurants in your area, but get ratings and menu items as well.
  10. Food Finder. Enter your zip code and the type of food you want to receive a listing of all the restaurants in your area.
  11. The Vegetarian Resource Group Online Restaurant Guide. Find vegetarian, vegan, or vegetarian-friendly restaurants across the US and Canada.

Miscellaneous

These sites will anticipate and assist you with travel, physical activity, and gaming.

  1. TripIt. Email your travel plans to TripIt and you will receive an itinerary as well as recommendations for maps, restaurants, activities, and more as well as the ability to secure any reservations or make purchases online.
  2. Strands. Runners, cyclers, swimmers, hikers, and even walkers can get together here to find others like them and get recommendations on routes, gear, training programs, and much more.
  3. Active.com. If you enjoy an active, sporting lifestyle, this site provides recommendations, registration for events, and a community of others with your shared interests.
  4. GamerDNA. Enter a favorite video game and discover new games that may be of interest to you with this game discovery engine.