Regular visitors will notice something new on The Chuck Cowdery Blog, some stars at the bottom of each post, followed by recommendations of other articles on, presumably, similar subjects.
I say "presumably" because I have nothing to do with generating the recommendations. The stars and the recommendations are provided by outbrain (all lower case appears to be their preference). It applies retroactively to every post made since the blog began, but since I just added it about twenty minutes ago, there are no ratings yet.
You probably have seen this on other sites. My question is, what do you think? Do you like it? Is it useful?
My first impression is that it makes the page look more cluttered. I haven't put up widgets like "Ads by Google" because the revenue is negligible, it makes the page look busy, and I don't like the idea of ads being placed on my site over which I have no control. I have the same reservations with the outbrain recommendations, although I don't see any problem with the ratings system per se.
There is an option to restrict the recommendations to this site, so only my own past posts on similar subjects would be recommended. I can also turn off the recommendations altogether. What do you think?
(Note, October 19, 2009. I recently turned it off, as the automatically-generated recommendations especially were getting on my nerves. No one has complained. Sorry, Yaron.)