Skip to content


Here’s another cool tool that talks about the social aspects of reading. It is called LibraryThing and you can look at it here.
There are apparently some mini-librarians out there! There may even be enough to be drawn to this site which allows them to:
– Catalog their personal books online.
– Show everyone your library, or keep it private.
– Find people with the same books that you own and get reading suggestions from people who like what you like.
– Tag your books such as is done on and Flickr (eg., wwii, magical realism, knitting, christian living, cats).
– Search Amazon, the Library of Congress and 30 other world libraries.
– Export your data or import from almost anywhere too.
– Free to a point – enter 200 books for free, as many as you like for $10 (year) or $25 (life).
– Put a widget on your blog to show people what you’re reading.
Hmmm. Here’s a next generation application that could teach something to libraries and Amazon alike. Maybe we’re too hasty in universally cleansing reading profiles a la USA PATRIOT Act. Maybe we could provide services like this and promote the social nature of reading – with the informed consent of our users. At what point do we cross the line between protecting our users or potentially infantilizing them and removing the personal right for them to make independent decisions about their level of privacy? The Amazon and eBay lesson seems to be that many users will supply some information in an informed way to personalize or enhance their web experiences. A larger debate probably needs to occur on this front. All those 2.0 ideas and opportunities might be nullified by too dogmatic or paternalistic an apporach to these ideas. Then again, maybe not. It’s still worth a better discussion than is occuring now.

Posted on: December 13, 2005, 11:39 pm Category: Uncategorized