Archive for January, 2010

Wednesday, January 6th, 2010

Four times as many event listings

Overnight I added 3,364 bookish events to LibraryThing Local.

That more-than quadruples the number of events in LibraryThing Local!

The new events were from Barnes and Noble, Borders, Waterstones UK and Indigo/Chapters stores. Together with IndieBound—already in the system—this covers the largest English-language bookstore chains that also have event listings.

We are, of course, looking for new event sources. Publishers are probably our next stop. But members have been the largest single source of events, and will always be critical, especially for libraries and independent bookstores that don’t use IndieBound event listings.

It should also be said that none of this would be possible if members hadn’t helped us to add LibraryThing venues for all the stores in question, and hook their numbers up to ours. This was critical for our innovative Local Book Search, and we plan to do even more with these linkages in the future.

To add a new event go to LibraryThing Local, or just start here.


PS: This isn’t a coincidence. We’re going to be releasing something related—and big—tomorrow! :)

Labels: events, librarything local, local book search, members

Monday, January 4th, 2010

The Great Group Revamp

I’ve revamped groups in ways small and large.

The result! The revamp is working. Since the change, daily group-joining rates have almost doubled for both old and new members. Nice.

New Groups page. There’s a new group tab (see here). The page is:

Group tags. Until now, there was no good way to find particular sorts of groups. Rather than designing some static and ultimately limited system of categories, we’ve asked members to tag groups. Of course, members went crazy at it. You can see the tags:

Local Groups. Groups can now have locations, and the group home and your groups page now show local groups. As members have pointed out, “local” is a relative term, but the results will improve as local groups are identified and added. (Go here to add a place to an existing group.)

At present, the largest groups are the Australians, Germans and Bostonians.

“Welcome to LibraryThing!” By popular request/agitation added a Welcome to LibraryThing! group, for introductions, questions and other conversation. As the description states:

“LibraryThing is a rich site, with a number of different communities and projects going on. It can also be a complex site—powerful but sometimes daunting to newcomers. This group is a friendly place for new members, and the experienced members who can help them make the most of it. Most questions and introductions are answered within minutes.

Members, new and old, are invited to check it out.

Dormant groups. The system now tracks groups for activity. If twelve months pass without a message—excepting private groups—the group becomes “dormant.” As befits a more than four year-old site, some 3,000 LibraryThing groups are currently dormant!

Groups “wake up” when a new message is posted to them. In many cases, however, it’s better to start a vibrant new group than revive a dormant one.

Other changes.

  • Better searching. Group searching is much improved, with activity graphics by every group, weighting by activity, tags figured in, dormant groups excluded by default and a better algorithm generally.
  • Better navigation. All group pages are now connected, with a common navigation.
  • Smaller pages. Pages are smaller and therefore faster. Caching is improved, so the results are both fast and updated frequently.

Talk about it These changes have been trickling out for more than a week, and conversation has been extensive—and very helpful. The more important topics are:


1. As explained elsewhere, tags are sized more according to the aggregate activity of the groups than the number of times they are tagged. This differs from how work tags work, but favors the goal of helping people find things.

Labels: group tags, groups, tagging