First Amazon bought Abebooks, which already owned a portion of LibraryThing. Now Amazon buys LibraryThing competitor Shelfari. Of course neither of these social networks for books talk to one another, nor do they interoperate with any of the other ones out there. That's why I have a LibraryThing widget on my Publishing 2020 blog but the iRead app is on my Facebook page. This means that as I read and review a book I have to update both services. I started using LibraryThing first so it's always my top priority and helps explain why my iRead list is often out of sync.
In the immortal words of Rodney King, why can't we all just get along? Seriously, there's no good reason why I should have to manage multiple services that are so darned similar. If I read a book I should be able to enter the info about it in one place and have it picked up everywhere. Tim O'Reilly makes a wonderful plea for interoperability in this post but I'm not holding my breath waiting for it to happen.
So here's my question: Since it's highly unlikely we'll get all these services connected, why doesn't some enterprising developer take this opportunity to create an uber-service that does it for us? Wouldn't it be great if this uber-service provided access to all the data from the book-related social networks and allowed you to create a variety of customized widgets that could be easily dropped in to any/all websites, including Facebook?
Feedbooks is an excellent analogy. Their "newspaper" service lets me combine multiple RSS feeds into one Kindle e-book that I can easily (and wirelessly) update with one click. It's completely changing how I utilize RSS feeds and a model that lends itself to all sorts of interesting solutions.
I have tried them all (I think!), and for FB, stick with Good Reads. I have connected with readers w/ similar tastes. When readers review or post books, I discover interesting reads I might not have known about.
I'm so with you though...just like Ping.fm is for Twitter, Plurk, and all social media, it would be nice to have something similar for books. IF only I was a tech junkie!
Posted by: Madison (Girl Arsonist) McGraw | August 30, 2008 at 07:56 AM