Yet more of the thrash that is publishing, as folks notice that if the bookstores vanish, finding books you like will become harder.
The number one reason anyone buys a book is that he or she has read and enjoyed another book by the same author. The number two reason is that a trusted friend recommended the book. What some folks are looking for is an automated friend; the replacement for the friendly, helpful, knowledgeable bookstore clerk.
In The Economist:
Great digital expectations
Digitisation may have come late to book publishing, but it is transforming the business in short order
This week a British outfit called aNobii released a trial version of a website that it hopes will become a Wikipedia-style community of book lovers, with an option to buy. The idea has potential.
So, yet another Social Medium joins the party. This adds to the fragmentation of the on-line world. A thousand communities becomes a thousand and one, each a tiny bit smaller. It’ll be interesting to see how it all shakes out; I’m going to predict that this site will be over-run by self-promoters. It’s only minutes before they find out about it.
The Economist says “Wikipedia-like” (though that would in itself import a whole layer of known weaknesses), but I don’t see it. Where’s the ability to edit the reviews? And do we want anonymous others editing the reviews? That would end in a bad place.
Meanwhile, you can find other Book Recommenders. e.g. What Should I Read Next. What criteria they use isn’t clear to me.
Way back when, there was a site where you’d be shown a bunch of titles and asked whether you’d read them, and, if you had, whether you liked or didn’t like it. I don’t recall its name (but it had an Ancient Greek theme, if that helps). After it had enough ratings from you, it would recommend new books for you. Sort of like Pandora Radio does for music now.