Wednesday, August 29th, 2007

Happy birthday to us!

Today (we think) marks LibraryThing’s second birthday. We’re now officially in the terrible twos.*

A year ago we had just hit five million books on our birthday, today we’re just a few hours away from 18 million books.

Birthday feature [Tim] : You begged for us to release one of the top-requested features for the birthday, so we came up with setting your display style for visitors to your library. Yes, wish lists and collections are on the way!

Numbers and factoids:

  • We have 261,481 registered members. If we were a city, we’d be the 68th largest in the United States (Wikipedia), just above Plano, TX. We are on par with French Polynesia (population 259,800—Wikipedia). Unlike French Polynesia, however, we do not have an anthem. Yet.
  • LibraryThing members have applied over 23 million tags. If our tags were laid end-to-end, they would stretch to the moon.**
  • There are 389 reviews of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows on LibraryThing. The 1,000th-most popular book on LibraryThing is Le morte d’Arthur by Sir Thomas Mallory, which still has 1,247 copies. Author number 1,000 is Margaret Drabble. (You know, Margaret Drabble, don’t you?)
  • Nine libraries have signed up for LibraryThing for Libraries. Five have gone live with it. The first nine LTFL customers have uploaded over 1.75 million books.
  • Our German site, LibraryThing.de, has 2,452 members. Our Dutch site, has the most active Talk. Finnish is our most-translated site, currently at 99.4% done.
  • If LibraryThing were a library (not a city, keep up!), we’d still be the second largest in the nation, behind only the Library of Congress (ALA Fact Sheet).

Twelve things that you didn’t know you could do on LibraryThing***

  1. Find out what your friends are reading. Connection News lets you see what books your friends have recently added, rated, or reviewed.
  2. Swap books. LibraryThing integrates with ten separate book swapping sites all over the world, so you can see at a glance which books are available or wanted, and move them back and forth. Check out the Swapping FAQ.
  3. Unsuggestions. Get fantastic (and humorous) UnSuggestions. Did you know, for example, that Mason-Dixon Knitting is the top UnSuggestion for The Satanic Verses, Peter Pan, AND Paradise Lost?**** (Yeah, we’ve got Suggestions too.)
  4. Organizations use LibraryThing. Browse the library catalog of The Uganda Revenue Authority (really!), the Weather Museum in Houston, Texas, The Cambodian American Heritage Museum and Memorial Library, The Nabokov Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia, Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art in NYC, and numerous churches, schools, businesses, and other institutions. Read more about Organizational accounts.

  5. LT Authors. Browse through the library of Joe Hill, Elizabeth Bear, or one of the 562 other authors who showcase their personal books on LibraryThing. The 20th-most popular LibraryThing author is Tim’s wife, Lisa Carey, author of Every Visible Thing. If she ever loses that spot, the Zeitgeist will magically start showing the top 21. Check out all LT Authors.
  6. Photomosaics. See all your covers to make a photomosaic or a poster of them.

  7. Blog widgets. You can show off your library on your blog with our blog widgets. Or make a search widget, and people can search your library right on your blog.
  8. Author gallery. Your author gallery displays pictures of all the authors in your collection. LibraryThing members have uploaded more than 12,645 pictures so far.
  9. LibraryThing in your language. LibraryThing is available in 30 different languages; the translation is done entirely by members.
  10. Statistics. Check out your stats page for a list of books that you share with exactly and only one other member.***** Ah, your soulmates.
  11. Helpers log. Watch other members as they combine works, authors, and tags, add author pictures and links, and more. In the past 24 hours, the Helpers log recorded 1,860 different actions.

  12. Buy Swag. Cafe Press has a LibraryThing Store, with t-shirts and so forth. We sell everything at our cost—even the thong.

Thanks and praise [Tim] : Social Software is 90% social, and 10% software: You guys made it. It has been an absolute blast for us to do the 10%, and a real honor to have been part of something so stuffed with passion, intelligence and humanity.

Next week Casey, Christopher and Abby are coming up to spend the week brainstorming, coding and playing miniature golf. We plan to tackle some big topics and make some big changes. We’ll let you know how things are going, and move the conversation onto Talk as much as possible.

Credits: Photo by Rachael (chamisa flower on Flickr), a runner up in last year’s birthday book pile contest. More cakes appeared in this Talk post :)

*If “beta” gives us license to do whatever we want, this can only help. “We think” because Tim started this as a hobby, and didn’t keep track of it. The first blog post was on the 29th, but the site itself may not have been opened until the next day. Some of the early blog posts are a hoot now. I didn’t even think of “social features” for a week. [Tim]
**If each tag was 54 feet long.
***or saw once and forgot, or knew but don’t care, or know and care, or…
****I had a hilarious common thread/yarn joke to go with that, which Tim gave a resounding “boooooo.”
*****”Vous et nul autre” is one of the more debated phrases used on the site. (It is also one of the most unlikely to change! [Tim])

Labels: birthday, features

One Comments:

  1. Joel says:

    Happy Belated Birthday! :-)

Leave a Reply