Friday, September 2nd, 2005

Feature priorities

Here are my current priorities:

  1. RSS feeds (with HTML version and a blog-widget)
  2. User-defined fields
  3. Add Dewey, author clicking
  4. Book-level view, showing who else has it and what they’re tagging it
  5. Improve some graphics

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Thursday, September 1st, 2005

Library feeds?

Thanks to Steven Cohen of LibraryStuff for blogging about LibraryThing (“Finally, a site with a name that is more generic than mine.”*) He suggests:

“I’d love a feed for someone’s catalog or specific tag. Let RSS technology take this tool to the next step.”

Interesting idea, and not too hard to program. It’s on my list. I’m thinking each library should have a feed. Should each library’s tags have feeds, or should the tag feeds cover all books? Hmmm..

*I originally planned to reify the “thing” graphically, either as my dog or as a Victorian monster illustration. Still pondering which…

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Thursday, September 1st, 2005

Delicious Library

I added a filter to import from Delicious Library, an elegant OS X application. It currently cross-checks everything with the Library of Congress, picking up LC call numbers and so forth. This takes time, and I think it’s been tripping people up. So I may cut it down to just picking up the information Delicious Library already has.

If you have problems, email me your file. I only had two files to work on—mine and some random guy who posted his music and video game collection—so I may not have caught all the format wrinkles…

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Wednesday, August 31st, 2005

Export added; what now?

I just added a CSV export feature, so you can throw the data into Excel, Access, Filemaker, etc. So, what now?

Some ideas:

  • Import filters for popular book-cataloging software. I’d start with Delicious Library, an elegant OS X application.
  • User-defined fields. I can add user-defined fields. For my sake, I prefer to use tags to keep track of where a book is, or who gave it to me. But others may prefer flexible user-defined fields.
  • Use of Amazon. How are people finding the LC data? It works for me, but I see some problems. The LC doesn’t always have copies of paperback reprints. So, you have to choose between the original edition or entering the paperback manually. I was thinking I could make it “fail” to Amazon—check Amazon if the LC doesn’t work. Or Amazon could always be an option.

What do you think?

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Monday, August 29th, 2005

LibraryThing “beta”

After a few weeks of development, LibraryThing is ready for public “beta” release.

When I worked in educational software, betas were suspect. Giving one to a customer would have probably been a firing offense. Google and Flickr have broken that taboo, and even given the term bleeding-edge chic. This is particularly amusing as “beta” means essentially the same thing as “under construction,” now as repellent thirty-somethings with Razor scooters.

What LibraryThing’s “beta” means:

  • Features are still being added. The user-to-user features aren’t fully developed. It makes no sense to find your closest “library match” when there are three libraries in the system.
  • I’m listening. Tell me what you like, what you don’t like, what you find confusing, etc. Post them here as comments, or email me at
  • I’m giving away memberships. I’m giving away memberships to anyone I think will use it well, and might tell others about it. Mostly these are library blogers. Are you one? Let me know.

That’s it for now. Enjoy!

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