Getting a “Qloo”

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In between books, movies, television, and music, there’s a whole lot of pop culture out there to consume these days – and there’s a lot to literally consume as well, with an abundance of restaurants offering every kind of cuisine. Luckily, today’s technology allows us to keep track of it all, and to get recommendations based on our tastes. For example, Netflix recommends movies based on those you’ve already watched and Pandora streams music based on other bands you like, while sites like Yelp can pull up the restaurants that suit your palette.

It’s likely that your tastes in these various categories overlap to some degree. So wouldn’t it be nice if there were a service that ties them together and makes recommendations based on your overall preferences?

Now there is. It’s called Qloo (a clever spelling for “clue”). It considers your leanings in the categories of music, film, television, dining, nightlife, fashion, books, and travel, and makes recommendations in all categories “from the people whose taste most closely matches yours.”

It’s a great idea, but perhaps currently missing an essential category. If a site like Qloo knows your taste and interests, it could also recommend courses you might like to take; everything from small not-for-credit classes and presentations in topics like cooking and Pilates, to larger training programs or Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) – and even colleges and universities with degree programs that fit your interests.

Here’s an example: say you recently watched the movie “Eat, Pray, Love” on Netflix and ate at a vegetarian restaurant. A site like Qloo might then suggest a list of local yoga classes and vegetarian cooking classes, an upcoming event where a speaker is giving a presentation on women traveling solo, or even the Bachelor of Arts in Maharishi Vedic Science program offered by Maharishi University of Management.

Technology is making learning an even easier possibility – and a reality – for many people hoping to pursue a college degree. Let’s take it a step further by making education programs, and online tools of all kinds, part of the newest generations of lifestyle services and apps. Anything that makes education generally more accessible and appealing to people is certainly a good thing in my book.

Written By: Lorelei Plotczyk
Lorelei is a regular contributor to the Ashford University blog.

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