Archive for the ‘santathing’ Category

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

SantaThing has arrived!

Now in its third year, I’d like to announce SantaThing!

What is SantaThing, you ask? SantaThing is Secret Santa for LibraryThing members.

The idea is simple. Pay $25. You play Santa to a random LibraryThing member, and find them up $20 worth of books, based on their library or a short description. Someone else does the same for you. LibraryThing orders the books and pays the shipping, and you get the joy of giving AND receiving!

You can sign up for yourself, but you can also buy in for anyone else–LibraryThing member or not. If the person doesn’t have a LibraryThing account, make sure to mention what kinds of books they’d like, so their Secret Santa can choose wisely.

Even if you don’t want to be a Santa, you can help by suggesting books for others.

New and exciting twists this year:
This year, we’re offering you the option of some independent (and for some people local) booksellers, and WAY more countries can participate (see the full list). For the first and second annual SantaThings, we used Amazon as our bookseller, and registration was limited to those living in the US, UK, and Canada.

This is a huge new experiment, so please be understanding. We’re trying to make SantaThing inclusive for other booksellers, with the hopes that next year we can throw the doors wide open.

In the United States, you can choose between Powell’s (Portland, OR), Harvard Book Store (Cambridge, MA), The Book Table (Oak Park, IL), and Amazon.com. In Canada, your choices are Chapters Indigo, The Book Depository and Amazon.ca. In the UK, you get The Book Depository or Amazon.co.uk. All other countries get to use The Book Depository.

Here are the important notes:

The sign-up will close Tuesday, December 1st at 4pm Eastern time. Once the sign-up closes, you’ll be able to use the same page to pick for your Santa.

Picking closes Friday, December 12th at 10pm Eastern time. Once the picking ends, the ordering begins, and we’ll get all the books out to you as soon as we can. There’s no guarantee that we’ll have books out by December 25th, but we’re going to try our darnedest.

Go sign up to become a Secret Santa now!

Questions? Ask them in this Talk topic.

Labels: santathing, secret santa

Thursday, December 25th, 2008

Happy Holidays, from LibraryThing!

From all of us here at LibraryThing, we hope you have a wonderful set of holidays, whatever they may be.

Many thanks to all who participated in SantaThing, for bringing new books into a fellow LibraryThing member’s home. The SantaThing page is open, so each participant can see who their Secret Santa was, and any suggestions.

Underwaterguy and I have just cracked our new books (thanks, Moomin_Mama and strongstuff). We plan on having a very reading day.

Note from Tim: Many thanks to Sonya and Abby (and Sara!) for doing 95% of the SantaThing work. The ordering was a little easier this year, but there were more Santas—over 370.

Labels: santathing

Monday, December 15th, 2008

SantaThing Sign Up Extended

UPDATE: SantaThing Santas have been picked! Go to SantaThing to find out who you’re giving books to!
PLEASE NOTE: You only have until Friday (the 19th) at 10pm Eastern Standard Time (3am GMT) to pick gifts.

Although we were going to end sign-up for SantaThing at noon today (aka, now), we’ve decided to extend it for a few hours. So you now have until 4pm Eastern today to sign up for SantaThing!

We already have over 300 members signed up to participate, and tons of helpful suggestions posted! If you don’t want to be a Santa yourself, you can always help out by looking at the list of Santas and posting book suggestions.

To sign up, just go here and click “become a Secret Santa”.

Tonight we’ll match up Santas to Santa-ees(?) and we’ll let you know by the morning who you’ve been assigned to pick out books for. Stay tuned…

Labels: santathing

Thursday, December 11th, 2008

SantaThing: LibraryThing’s Secret Santa

Back by popular demand, I hereby announce LibraryThing’s second annual SantaThing!

SantaThing is Secret Santa for LibraryThing members.

The idea is simple. Pay $25. You play Santa to a random LibraryThing member, and find them up $20 worth of books, based on their library or a short description. Someone else does the same to you. LibraryThing orders the books and pays the shipping, so no addresses are exchanged and no members are stalked!

Now, this doesn’t have to be just for you. You can also go in for someone you know—a relative or a friend. Describe their library a bit and someone will find them the perfect present. And you can become a Santa as many times as you like.

Lastly, even if you don’t want to be a Santa, you can help by suggesting books for others.

Crucial dates. This is going to end very soon.

  • Monday, December 15th at 12 Noon Eastern. Santa-signup ends. Shortly thereafter, we will tell you who you are matched up with. Then you go crazy trying to find the perfect books to give them.
  • Friday, December 19th at 10pm Eastern. Submit gifts to LibraryThing. LibraryThing buys everything.

Go sign up to become a Secret Santa now!

Questions? Ask them in this Talk topic. Unfortunately, for various reasons, this is only open to people with addresses in the US, Canada, or Britain.

Labels: santathing, secret santa

Friday, January 11th, 2008

Holiday book pile contest winners

Now that the holiday season is behind us, voila, the winners of LibraryThing’s holiday bookpile contest. First prize winner, Teampoush, gets a LibraryThing t-shirt for the subtly cool “Joy to the world” photo (look at closely at the books in the background if you don’t see it at first).

The two runners up are melannen with the impressive “New Year’s Day Bookpile” (what a way to start the year!) and SanityDemolisher with “Sleigh of Books”). Each will get a gift membership.

See all of the submissions here and here.

SantaThing report. I think SantaThing, while a little rushed, was a success! Almost 300 people picked out books for strangers, and had fun doing it. Next year, we’ll certainly make some changes*, but it was a good start. My sincere apologies to anyone whose books came after Christmas—we tried our hardest to get them in time, but it didn’t happen in every case. If you want to see what everyone else picked for their various Santa-ees, or if your Santa left you a personal message (most messages were transferred onto the Amazon order slip, but long ones didn’t fit in), go check it out!

UPDATE: we fixed the SantaThing page so you can peek at the suggestions on your own page.

http://www.librarything.com/santathing.php

The ordering process was actually kind of fun—I started to see themes of popular books. How many people got a copy of The Prestige by Christopher Priest? (Enough that I decided I should probably buy a copy for myself, if that many LibraryThingers recommended it).

*I think we’ll start the whole process earlier to give everyone more time to pick out books, etc. We also need figure out the shipping and billing logistics better! We ended up stuck with Amazon billing us separately each time we changed the shipping address (300 times) which hit our bank account’s daily limit on the number of transactions. Who knew? Well after Tim and I ended up using up our personal credit cards and spending over a week clicking on Amazon links, we decided – next year, yup, we’ll do it differently :)

Labels: book pile, contest, santathing

Thursday, December 13th, 2007

SantaThing about to close!

UPDATE: SantaThing is closed, and the Santa-ees have been picked. Check the SantaThing page to see who you’ve got, and start picking out books!

You have until noon, Eastern Standard Time (17:00 GMT) to sign up for SantaThing, Secret Santa for LibraryThing members. If you want to be part of it, sign up now! (If you want to know more about it, see the previous blog post.)

As of now there are 235 Santas. That’s a lot of participation!

Once we’ve closed it down, we’re going to throw everyone in a hat and pick the Santa-ees (Santa recipients?). We’re going to need to take some time to make sure all the entrants qualify—some non-US/UK/Canada people will have to be tossed—and have given us an address. We hope to turn it around quickly.

Once we’ve picked people, we’ll post comments on member’s profiles. Users who have comment-emailing on will get it by email too, but we can’t guarantee it doesn’t end up in your spam box.

You will have until 10pm Friday (Dec. 14) night to select the book or books. We’ll process things in the order they come in, as fast as Abby and I can handle it.

Labels: santathing

Monday, December 10th, 2007

SantaThing: Secret Santas for LibraryThing!

UPDATE: We just (9pm) hit 100 Secret Santas, and a lot of interesting comments on them. Some users are confused about the money. The situation is this. When you sign up, you pay $25. When you get someone you pick out up to $20 worth of books, and tell us what they are—by ISBN presumably. We buy the gifts and pay the shipping. I suspect we’ll make or lose about $1 per Santa. This is hardly about the money.

It had to happen and here it is: SantaThing!

SantaThing is Secret Santa for LibraryThing members.

The idea is simple. Pay $25. You play Santa to a random LibraryThing member, and find them up $20 worth of books, based on their library or a short description. Someone else does the same to you. LibraryThing orders the books and pays the shipping, so no addresses are exchanged and no members are stalked!

Now, this isn’t just for you. You can also go in for someone you know—a relative or a friend. Describe their library a bit and someone will find them the perfect present. And you can become a Santa as many times as you like. So, for example, I entered myself and my wife. Heck, I might outsource all my Christmas buying to the LibraryThing community! :)

Lastly, even if you don’t want to be a Santa, you can help by suggesting books for others.

Crucial dates. This is going to end very soon.

  • Thursday, 12 Noon Eastern. Santa-signup ends. Secret Santas are picked.
  • Friday, 10pm Eastern. Submit gifts to LibraryThing. LibraryThing buys everything. According to Amazon, if it’s ordered before Tuesday it will make it by December 24.

Back story. I wanted to do this last year, but couldn’t get it out in time. This year I aimed low. You’ll notice it’s very basic. (You can make suggestions, but you can’t delete past suggestions, use touchstones, etc.) But, what the heck? It’s going to be gone in a week—it’s good enough!

Addendum: I haven’t even blogged it yet, and one user has already signed up. The “tastes” section was filled out as follows:

“Please refrain from choosing anything involving wizards, elves, dragons, swords, etc… or anything Oprah demands be read.”

Labels: new feature, new features, santathing, secret santa