23 February 2006

LibraryThing Innovates Again

In a previous post, I have written about LibraryThing and described it as follows:
LibraryThing is conceptually equivalent to del.icio.us, used to tag web resources, produce tagrolls, see how others have tagged similar content, etc.; but for books.
Today, LibraryThing announced how it intends to solve a problem that has plagued librarians and giants like Amazon.com: how to relate comments, recommendations, reviews, ratings, etc. not only to one instance of any given book, but to all instances of the same book, published by different editors.

LibraryThing leverages the power of the masses: any LibraryThing user can associate "works" together. The response has been very strong:
Starting three days ago, I announced a trial project to let users determine what books belonged together, the first time anything like this has been attempted. Using simple check boxes, users could go through a favorite author's works, combining and separating editions as necessary.

The response has been startling to say the least: In three days, users have combined 17,000 times, mashing together 42,000 works! Users have spent hours at the task, and debated the nuances in a blog post that now sports 182 comments.
More information on LibraryThing is available here.