Monday, January 30, 2006

A Literature Wiki, Maybe

A new little site,, promises to be a wiki-style guide to literature. So far, there is almost nothing on the site, but the notion is that the site will recommend where to start with an unfamiliar author--say you want to get started with Rushdie, for example. The site will tell you Midnight's Children fkn rocks and The Moor's Last Sigh is almost as good, but Shalimar The Clown is a butt-muncher.

The human element of these recommendations will, we think, easily beat Amazon's suggestions. However, LibraryThing, where people enter their libraries and tag their books,, generates recommendations that blow Amazon out of the water, based on what people have in their libraries alongside the book in question as well as what tags two books share. For example, on the page of any Harry Potter book, Amazon wants you to buy all the other Harry Potters. LibraryThing branches out to suggest Philip Pullman, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Madeline L'Engle. So Debbie may not be that novel after all and will obviously require lots of work to become useful. Keep an eye on her for us and let us know how she's doing, though, okay?

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