Sunday, February 26th, 2006

“Users with your books” is better

Update: The server migration appears to have gone off without a hitch—anyway, LT’s had of the usual random, corrupting crashes since the changeover. I am a little behind on email, but will be—amazing to say—out of touch today.

The “Users with your books” box on user profiles shows how many books you—or any user—share with other LibraryThing users. Unfortunately, it counts all books equally—Harry Potter as much as something rare. And there was no dampening of big libraries, so everyone had the largest library, ellenandjim, near the top.

LibraryThing used to have a page that munged your “shared books” in various ways. The algorithm was, however, very inefficient, so I had to drop it somewhere around 1 million books. I’ve brought it back. It better than ever and it wont clog the server (another side-benefit of the new “works” system).

You can see the new feature by clicking the “weighted” link in the “Users with your books” box on your profile. It takes account of both book obscurity and library size. It really works for me, anyway, sifting to the top a number of users I’d never seen, but who share some of my favorite stuff. Try it out and tell me what you think.

PS: The 2:30am EST downtime is still on.
Feel free to chime in on this topic. My first task in the next week or so is to work on bugs and infelicities. After that, should I work on a “groups” system or a “forum”? A groups system would, among other things, allow a group of friends, a club or other association to easily search a bunch of libraries. There would also be group profiles and so forth. A “forum” feature would bring interactive, mutli-person discussion to LibraryThing. It would be very closely tied to the work, author and tag system, not just being “another place” to discuss books. (It would, of course, have a place to discuss bugs too.)

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