Archive for the ‘birthday’ Category

Monday, September 14th, 2015

LibraryThing’s 10th Anniversary

Happy birthday to us! LibraryThing hits the big 1-0 today, with 10 years—and 99 MILLION books—of cataloging under our belts. As you can see, we’re all having our cake (and eating it, too) to celebrate.

Thanks to each and every one of you, and here’s to the next 10 years!

Come share in the warm fuzzies over on Talk.

For more about our Ten-Year Celebration, check out our new feature to enhance music and movie cataloging, and watch for our iPhone app, coming out shortly.

Labels: 10th anniversary, birthday

Saturday, August 29th, 2015

LibraryThing not ready for double digits

LibraryThing’s ten-year anniversary is officially postponed… for two weeks.

As some of you know, LibraryThing would be turning ten years old today. But summer vacations, family visits, and work stuff have have put us behind.

So, we’re moving the clock. (Yes, we can do that. We can do anything.) So today is NOT our tenth birthday party. Our ten-year celebration will be on Monday, September 14th.

Bring your party hat.

Labels: birthday

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

LibraryThing is Seven: Summon the AllThing!

LibraryThing’s employees (from left): Chris Catalfo, Abby, Jeremy, Kate, Brian, Tim, Mike, Chris Holland

LibraryThing turned seven today.(1) Seven years! It’s been a blink of time in my life, but it’s a long time, and positively an eternity online. Where so many of our 2005 web 2.0 cohort died, sold out or burned out, LibraryThing somehow survived. We’re stable, profitable and growing, with over 1.5 million members using LibraryThing.com and the other language sites, and over 400 library systems around the world using our library services.

Chris and Abby win.

Jeremy and Tim lose.

Chief praise goes to our members, the best book people I’ve met online. When LibraryThing went up I wasn’t sure that more than a few hundred people would ever want it. I’m happy I was wrong! After the members, LibraryThing was created by its employees. We’ve had many fine employees before, but I feel (and Abby and Chris H. agree) that we’ve got the best team we’ve ever had right now—a harmonious and balanced mix of talented people. Our most recent project, BookPsychic, solidified my feeling that we had it right. We know we’ve got a lot to do. I look forward to working with them. (You can see the team above.)

To talk about the future, the LibraryThing staff (minus one) came to Portland last week for what we’ve been calling AllThing12—a week of strategic discussions, user-interface arguing, employee scheduling, and lots of eating and drinking.(2) Families and friends came at the end, so we branched off into barbecue and sandcastles.

Some of our pictures can be seen here, at the AllThing12 gallery.

A few main points emerged, especially about LibraryThing.com development:

  • LibraryThing will live and prosper. It’s been rough at times, but we’re bullish on the future.
  • Taking the time for BookPsychic and another near-complete feature for libraries was worth it. They are models for future development, and potentially explosive products.
  • LibraryThing.com needs significant work, especially in fixing bugs and making good features better. Our design needs small but significant updates.
  • Our plans for mobile did not work out—the path we were going down is dead. Finding a new path must be a priority.
  • We crafted a new schedule whereby LibraryThing.com development is ramped up, with Tim recommitting his time and at least one of the other three programmers working with him at all times. Tim’s happy about this (so is Jeremy).
  • We have the development schedule through February plotted out. The two stand-out projects for LibraryThing.com will be in revising how members search for and add books, and getting it together on mobile.

All told, it was a great meeting. We made some strategic decisions, hammered out parts of the interfaces and planned for the future. And we reconnected socially—a vital task for a company that’s almost entirely virtual. We drank and made off-color jokes. We heedlessly mixed business and family. And when our director of HR fell off her chair, we laughed our heads off and took pictures—and we still have our jobs!


1. Or maybe yesterday. It’s not entirely clear.
2. Our sysadmin, Brian, in Kansas, had classes and wasn’t able to join us—so we video Skyped him in. Next time!

Labels: allthing, birthday, fun

Monday, August 29th, 2011

Stamp your books!

Today is LibraryThing’s sixth birthday. In honor of the event, we’ve got a nifty new piece of LibraryThing swag—a good old-fashioned library stamp, so you can keep track of the books you’ve cataloged, and show off a bit too. After much deliberation and hunting, we finally found a supplier that could provide what we wanted: a decent wooden stamp with a handle that we could sell for a reasonable price.

The rubber stamp is mounted on maple wood, and we opted for the wooden handle, to give you that real library stamp feel. The impression is 1 inch by 1 inch— perfect for stamping on the first page, half-title, title page or wherever.

We’ll be selling these at $9.95 apiece, plus shipping and handling.

Order yours at: http://www.librarything.com/stamps.php

Come talk about the stamp.

Labels: birthday, LT swag

Sunday, August 29th, 2010

Happy 5th Birthday, LibraryThing!

Today marks the fifth anniversary of LibraryThing. In honor of us being “this many” (high five), here’s a birthday Camembert. After blowing out the candles (wishing for five more years of bookish and social-networking delight), I wrapped the cheese up so it can be the LibraryThing lunch tomorrow.

I hope every member of LibraryThing has a great day. ???? ????????!

Labels: birthday

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