It's Germane

The John Jermain Library's Weblog

From CIL, Day 2

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Well, this live blogging thing has turned out to be harder than I thought for many reasons, with which I will not bore you. However, I was able to cobble together one post today, about a session I attended that was very interesting.

This afternoon I listened to a presentation by Tim Spaulding, the founder of LibraryThing. Tim’s presentation was billed as being from a “Cutting Edge Technology Leader.” Definitely true. Here’s a pithy comment that was written about LibraryThing:

I’ve seen the future of online catalogs and it’s name is LibraryThing.

Tim told us who said this, but I missed it. Sorry.

Library Thing is a website with over 180,000 members who catalog their book collections. So far over 2.5 million books have been cataloged. Once cataloged, books can then be tagged with descriptive words (tags). Currently, there are over 16 million tags have been added. Tag “cloud” shows top 32 tags. With 16M tags, LT has a very good idea of how regular people view books. The cool thing is that tags added by real people are often more accurate than the topics assigned by the Library of Congress, because they capture the way we actually think about a particular book, not just some abstract concepts.

LibraryThing also has lots of fun data the aim of which is to explore who you are through the books that you own. Virtually all the content on LibraryThing is created by users.

Some other features of Library Thing:

  1. It shows you how many books you share with other users, and who you share the most with.
  2. You can review books, and track others reviews about books in your collection.
  3. Has author pages, and treats them as importantly as the books themselves.
  4. Combines different editions of a book into one work.
  5. Has suggestions of other books you might like, and an “unsuggester” – books you won’t like. (e.g. if you liked this, then you definitely won’t like this….)
  6. LT enables better recommendations, because people are making them based on their own experience, and what has influenced them. Amazon has info about books you just bought, LT has info on books you keep.
  7. LT builds connections between people with similar interests.
  8. You can feature books that you’ve cataloged on your blog.
  9. Upcoming feature – Books I’ve read/bought in chronological order.
  10. and more…it’s a really cool site for folks who love books.

All you need is an e-mail address to join. No other personal info is collected, although you can share additional personal info if you want.
Highly recommended for book lovers.

http://www.librarything.com.

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