Web Video Pioneer Stuart Skorman Launches the First Human-Powered Movie Recommendation Engine : Clerkdogs.com Challenges The Netflix Challenge

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Stuart Skorman, one of the pioneers of the recommendation technology known as collaborative filtering used by Netflix and other popular brands, is out to prove that computerized movie advice needs a human touch. Skorman believes that film discovery requires a mix of man and machine similar to complementary destinations such as Wikipedia for information or Pandora for music. Consumers lack a place online where they can interact with great clerks to discover new films and TV shows.

ClerkDogs interacts with film seekers in a Web 2.0 way that feels like you are talking to a knowledgeable video store professional.

Revenge of the Clerks

ClerkDogs is poised to create the first discovery service for film fans based on the analysis of movies by former video store clerks. ClerkDogs is not based on user-generated reviews. It's all about simply finding a great film without requiring consumers to rate hundreds of movies. All results are based on video clerk analysis.

ClerkDog's Mash It tool consists of 35 mood-defining attributes that can be adjusted, resulting in a list of movie matches that bring consumers closer to movies they will love. For example, if you like Pulp Fiction because of its dark humor and characters, you can find other movies based on those specific ingredients. Current discovery technology forces consumers to fill out generic ratings without allowing them to interact or participate.

The Conversation with a Video Clerk; Reborn as a Web 2.0 Sequel

The movie mapping analysis and genome project that powers ClerkDogs was started when Skorman opened his first brick and mortar video store in 1985 and moved to the Web in 1995 when he founded Reel.com. Reel was the first online video store to integrate collaborative filtering into e-commerce, which Skorman sold three years later for $100 million to Hollywood Entertainment. In 2006, Skorman reunited the five original writers from Reel.com to invent ClerkDogs.

"Our mission is to deliver the first real film discovery experience that's as fun as the movie you end up watching," says Skorman who is a former video store clerk himself. "ClerkDogs interacts with film seekers in a Web 2.0 way that feels like you are talking to a knowledgeable video store professional."

Challenging the Netflix Challenge

Thousands of the smartest techies on the planet have tried to win the one million dollar prize Netflix is offering to significantly improve the collaborative filtering technology at Netflix. They have all failed! Skorman believes technology has taken this movie prediction business about as far as it can go. It's time to bring real human intelligence and intuition back into the movie shopping experience. ClerkDogs uses technology to enhance and communicate human intelligence and intuition, not to replace it. Their innovative algorithms are important, but here the stars of the show are the former video store clerks.

The company has launched today in beta and recommendations are available at http://www.clerkdogs.com with films specifically in the crime and suspense genres. Other genres will be added in the near future.

To check out a video example of how it works visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mx4D0qBpN-s&fmt=22

About ClerkDogs

ClerkDogs is the first-ever human-driven film discovery service that connects you to the films you want to see based on your mood and built upon the knowledge of seasoned video store clerks.

60-year-old founder Stuart Skorman came out of retirement to create ClerkDogs because online movie advice today doesn't compare with the experience of interacting with a seasoned video store pro.

ClerkDogs's offices are located in San Francisco's Mission District.

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Vijay Chattha
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