Yet another web 2.0 app for book lovers

I’ve set up a page on www.goodreads.com, a social networking site for book lovers — “Friendster for nerds” as a friend put it. It’s very similar to Friendster, in that you’re encouraged to add “friends” and you can then see what they’re reading or have yet to read.

Maybe it’s because it’s new, but goodreads isn’t as good as, say, LibraryThing. I’m particular about the edition and cover art of the books I list, but the goodreads search function is rudimentary and only draws on Amazon and goodreads users’ collections for book information — I found myself looking up ISBN numbers on Google. You can’t add your own cover art either. Tagging (or making “shelves” as goodreads calls it) is a pain — you can’t select multiple books. LibraryThing still has more functionality, but alas there’s a 200-title limit for free accounts.

On a side note, how effective are these sites in bringing people together anyway? Especially since many book lovers aren’t predisposed to socialising in the first place.

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One thought on “Yet another web 2.0 app for book lovers”

  1. >Especially since many book lovers aren’t predisposed to socialising in the first place.

    Hey, I hope you don’t mind if I drop a note. I think this is a very good point. (And one that LibraryThing’s competitors don’t seem to get.) It may not be so much that book people don’t want to socialize, but they have a higher bar, and necessarily excited by traditionally social networking. “Friend”/”Not friend”/”Friend of friend” is a very limited way of connecting to people, and it doesn’t carry any content other than the connection. If we share 30 books, and they’re about French architecture—our shared passion—there’s a much better and more nuanced connection. It’s a connection we can benefit from without any actual social interaction. You can look at my other books and get ideas. Your recommendations factor the connection into account. Your tags structure the space I browse through. That is, you benefit from social connection without any actual social contact.

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