Denmark is a small country, so it should be low on our agenda, down with the “Wisconsin push.”* But it’s a country of unusually passionate readers. Our Dutch experiment proved that catering to small, literate countries works.** Five million Danish readers? Come on in!
Libraries. Denmark is also a country of libraries and, as I learned when asked to speak before librarians in Aarhus (Århus), Danish libraries are way ahead when it comes to innovative uses of technology. Among other things, Danish libraries reach out. They certainly have more open Z39.50 connections—the connections LibraryThing needs—than anywhere else.
Before this we drew from only one library, Det kongelige Bibliotek (The Royal Library). Our data import had character-set problems and, owing to some creative changes to the MARC standard—called DANMARC, I kid you not—author-name problems too. We’ve now added twenty-four other public, university and government libraries, from Aalborg Universitets Bibliotek to the Vejen Bibliotek.
Free accounts. Read this far? Have a Danish email address? Well, I’m going to give out free accounts to the first twenty-five Danish members who write to me from a Danish (dk) email address. You need to have made an account and entered at least fifty books. Send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Help us out. So far, the Danish Zeitgeist and groups have not been very active. There aren’t many Danish author photos either. No doubt many Danes are counted as members of the English-language site. But let’s if we can’t get this to take off!
Other news. Multiple authors and roles are being released tomorrow if it kills us!
*I mean no disrespect for Wisconsin, of course. Denmark and Wisconsin are not only the same in population; they are the yin and yang of quality cheese.
**This goes against conventional “social networking” wisdom. MySpace, Facebook and the like are only now getting seriously into non-US markets, and none have a Dutch or Danish version. In theory, going after small markets is like lighting solitary candles in the sand when what you really need is roaring bonfire. But small networks can also more densely packed, allowing for faster spread, and the Netherlands and Denmark have exceedingly open and engaged societies, ideal for both social networking and literary ferment.