Monday, February 20th, 2006

Beta/unofficial features launch

Update: I’m going to give this another day of “beta.” I updated the About Works and Books page. I’m going to work on making the “combine” feature less cluttered, and the “separate” feature more responsive.

A suite of new features have been launched in beta. The core feature is a change in the relationship between books, adding a robust concept of “works” to tie different editions together. This behind-the-scenes change has allowed a cascade of other, seemingly unrelated changes.

I plan to watch the site today, and receive in the blog comments, on the Google group and by email. I’ll make changes and launch the features officially tomorrow. If you plan to blog the changes, I’d prefer if you did it tomorrow, when things are more stable. The same goes for praise and blame—to the extent you can, hold it, and if you are minded, give me solid, specific feedback.

The new features include:

  • Book combine/separate, available from author pages and the card-catalog page of a book. I took a swing at a few of my favorite authors (even getting into Rowling and Dan Brown), but the process is only beginning. I have also yet to fully explain the LibraryThing “way” of works.
  • Substantially-revised book-info pages (eg., social, card-catalog and edit pages)
  • Book-info pages include Amazon and user-supplied cover images.
  • Book-info pages now link to a number of booksellers as well as the OCLC “Find in a Library” service.
  • The change-cover feature has been improved. You can now snag covers from the 23,000 users have already uploaded.
  • Social pages now offer enhanced book recommendations in various flavors, such as “weighted,” “raw” and “exclude author” (useful when every recommended book is by the same person).
  • All-LibraryThing title and author searching, available from the search tab.
  • Card-catalog pages now show LCCNs and Deweys for most books from Amazon—and more will get them as the work system fills out. At present, these are not available on the catalog view, but they will be, along with clickable LC Subjects.
  • MARC records for many books, often many of them.

There are some known bugs, and tweaks and changes to last a week or two. Your feedback is, as ever, invaluable.

Labels: 1


Leave a Reply