Thursday, April 13th, 2006

The New York Times Covers Zunafish?!?

I think I’m going to tear my hair out with jealousy. Today’s New York Times has a gushy article about the media trading site Kindly look at the chart below, LibraryThing vs. Zunafish according to Alexa.

Update: WOW. That’s a big bounce! Let’s see if they hold on to much of it. Nobody ever holds the first-day bounce.

Zunafish is the long red line at the bottom. There are at least a dozen trading sites doing better. Heck, my ancient history hobby site is crushing them! Or check the blogs. Google Blog Search lists 2,235 blog posts about LibraryThing. Zunafish? Seven, five posted today! (They’ll no doubt be more soon.)

Nor is Zunafish a totally new deal. They opened in January. As the NYT writes, “Mr. Bloom and Mr. Elias said that the circle of traders had been limited so far — they did not disclose figures.” You’re not kidding. According to Alexa, 4,570,852 web sites have more traffic. Four-million.

But, as the article states, they’ve raised $485,000. I guess that buys them a PR campaign. No doubt their numbers will spike now that they’ve landed the NYT article.

It seems so terribly unfair. Press should follow success, not create it. LibraryThing’s traffic currently outranks booksellers Biblio and Booksense, all trading sites except Peerflix (eg., PaperbackSwap, Lendmonkey, FrugalReader, Bookins, SwapandSave, etc.), Amazon’s AllConsuming, the much-heralded, and on and on. And yet LibraryThing’s press coverage has been largely restricted to The Christian Science Monitor‘s electronic edition and a piece in my home-town paper. Instead, LibraryThing’s grown on word of mouth.

I know. The answer is to get funding and to hire a PR firm. Forgive me for being idealistic, but it shouldn’t have to be that way.

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