Shelfari – Your Book Collection Online

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Shelfari.com, in their own words, is a social media site focused on books. It is an online community of readers who come together to share their passion for books. To that goal, they give you various tools with which to share your love of books such as ratings, reviews, tags, friends, groups, suggestions, etc.

Shelfari was launched in 2006 by Taste Makers Inc. In 2007, Amazon.com reportedly invested $1 million in it which explains the heavy Amazon influence on the site.

This is all good and all, but I’ve tried participating in the community and making friends – by first approaching people who had similar reading interests. This seems like a no brainer, but nobody seems to want to be my friend. Perhaps I need a new profile pic? I don’t really participate in groups and other social features so most of the “social media” stuff is lost on me. What I do use Shelfari for is their visual bookshelf. When you add books to your collection, they are added to your virtual bookshelf which looks quite wonderful.

Pek's Shelfari Book Collection

The whole site is very interactive and visually pleasing. The bookshelf visualization apes a piece of Mac software called Delicious Library which lets you catalog your books, dvds, and cds. The interface of the website is very AJAXy. For example, when you add a book, you are presented with a drop down that lets you easily add the book to your wishlist, your reading list, or your collection, all in one click. They also have a widget that lets you put your Shelfari books in your blog. Here’s what that looks like:

If you do any reading and want to share your collection and reading habits online, you should check this out.

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Impressions of Twitter After 60 Days

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I’m not gonna bore you with an explanation of what Twitter is. There’s plenty of that to be found on the net. A particularly good one is the Twitter in Plain English from the “[insert technology here] in Plain English” series. I do however want to give you my impression of what I think of Twitter after having used it for a period of 2 months. I’ve heard about Twitter long before but had the same reservations I initially had about blogs. Why would I want to write about my minutia and who would read it. Tells you what I know.

To make a long story short, after attending SXSW this year, I came to realize maybe there is something to this new fangled wizardry called Twitter. How could I pass judgment so swiftly without having first tried it and deciding for myself? What could it hurt to try using it for a bit? After all, it’s free. I believe to be good at my job, I have to be up on the latest trends and technologies. Before, I would take a passive approach to knowing about a technology. Reading up on it was good enough and unless it really interested me, I really wouldn’t do much with it. Nowadays though, I feel like I ought to at least dabble with anything before I make up my mind on it.

So as soon as I got home, I started Twittering and finding people to follow. Only a few of my friends were on it so I made it my business to start following some people who had interesting things to say at SXSW. What I was really hoping to get out of Twitter was some occasional glimpse of the minds of these brilliant folk. I wasn’t sure what I was gonna Twitter about, but I decided that it would probably be a mix of technology, martial arts related stuff, and my goings on. I even managed to get my boss interested in Twitter despite his initial dismissal of it similar to my reaction.

So what DO people use it for?

  • Logging random daily crap that I would have no interest in
  • Posting interesting finds and links on the net
  • Throwing it out there that the user is at a certain place
  • Asking for recommendations
  • PMS outlet
  • Shameless self promotion

What do I use it for:

  • Posting cool links
  • Bitching Complaining about how old I’m getting and how hard wushu is becoming
  • Interesting life events that I’d like to remember
  • Making random comments and inside jokes
  • Evangelizing wushu to the world – at least to the techy social media world anyways

I guess I find Twitter useful. I’ve found EverNote and cooktime among other things through Twitter. Occasionally I will gather something insightful or interesting from the people I follow but for the most part it’s noise. Maybe with a search or a filter tool – I could get more useful info out of Twitter. It’s my hope that Twitter would be around long enough that I would be able to look back on my Twitter logs in my old age and reminisce about some thing I Twittered about that only I or my circle of friends would care about. It’s definitely a new medium of communication and it will be interesting to see what corporate spin it will take and how the general public will embrace this. For now, I think it remains a very niche tool for a very select subculture.

Popularity: 1% [?]

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