Friday, September 29, 2006

Proper review of Bookmooch

Well, a proper review of Bookmooch. I have been using it and I love it. But its not brilliant. Well lets get to the criticisms. If people put up books they do not have, get the 0.1 point for a 100 non existent books, they can exchange them for books on a deception. This has been done, when 1 guy in Asia did this and was finally stopped (I read this on another article, but can't find the URL, so sorry for that). There is also the look. It could really do with a cleaner look. Also (from the same article I can't find), what about an RSS feeder for when your wishlist book comes in.

The advantages are really good. The social element of swapping books, getting trust points from feedback and being part of a network, is its major selling points. As Cronin-Lukas of The Big Blog Company said:-

"Google sells reach. Amazon sells reviews. eBay sells reputation"

Reputation really helps on this site. People come back to my bookmooch as I have positive feedback.

I got to say, its a great service, but it can still add more features.

If I find the link i will post it up to that article I can't find.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

In search of the valley goes on sale

I have just been informed that In search of the valley has just been released for sale, at $19.99. The press release of the film:-
"In Search of the Valley tells the story of three friends' personal
journey into the psyche of Silicon Valley, when in September of 2004
they swapped London for California, spending one month visiting and
talking to many of the valley's heavyweights and biggest personalities.

Directed by Steve O'Hear, and produced by Fleeta Siegel, the
resulting film is a unique interpretation of Silicon Valley – a
social fabric that has produced some of the most remarkable
technological advances of the 20th Century, and spawned an infectious
dichotomy of counterculture and entrepreneurship."

The DVD can be ordered from:
DVD order

To view the new trailer, visit:

Nice to see it released and best of luck. I hope sales go through the roof. I have an Ipod riding on this being successful.

Friday, September 22, 2006

One web day

Today is one web day. This is described as :-

We’re here to celebrate the web. And you can tell everyone that you were there for the very first OneWebDay, because this is the first of many.

Lets celebrate.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

book mooch......wicked

Well, book mooch is rocking the main stage. Been trying to see what books I want and what I want to get rid of. I've already got rid of one book, and sent off for two myself. If you want to see my local wears check my list here. Although the books I want are a bit specialised, once more people join, and the tipping point is reached, it'll be better. I think this is such a simple, and easy to use sight. Good, I love it.

The Medium is the Message article

i was reading Eric Schnell's excellent article If "They" Build It, Will "They" Come?. Eric discusses the Idea of how previously we felt that library websites would create "Build it, and they will come." were as now its more likely "If they build it, will they come?". Eric discusses the "1% rule in library websites. the rules says:-

It's an emerging rule of thumb that suggests that if you get a group of 100 people online then one will create content, 10 will "interact" with it (commenting or offering improvements) and the other 89 will just view it.

Eric's question, that:-

While user centered sites are great in concept, the question is how many customers will actually take advantage of the features? Does the low percentage of customers actually using the advanced features in exsisting customer / user driven warrant the cost in time and resources to build it? By the time such a site is conceived, built and deployed will the paradigm have changed yet again?

Needs to be looked into. Anyhow, as ever, well worth a read.

Monday, September 18, 2006

In search of the valley exclusive photo

Having already flagrantly used my blog to advertise the release of In search of the valley (articles here and here). I thought I would add some VIRTUALLY exclusive photo's of the DVD release. Just been sent some photo's of the DVD case. Anyhow, enjoy the photo. Remember. Viral marketing doesn't work so tell your friends.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Cilip graduate open day

Went to the Cilip graduate open day today. Was very interesting, as missed out on free lunch, as I was waiting for the Infomatch person to check my CV. Was well worth it for that, and sounds like I could even get a job next year. So far off, but not too far. Anyhow, you all have a nice weekend. Moving the girlfriend to a new house, so that'll be fun.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Book Mooch.......swap books for free

Book Mooch is described as :-

BookMooch is a community for exchanging used books.

BookMooch lets you give away books you no longer need in exchange for books you really want.

Although I discovered it today on the excellent Libvibes, and its already has large coverage on Technorati.

Its a great idea. Problem is like many people I hate getting rid of books (unless there from relatives and never what I want). Anyhow, looks good. Now let's see how many copy the idea.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Is more blogging caused by excessive coffee in take?

Well, four in a day is a lot for me. Anyhow was Reading Jenny Levine's Blog entry on gaming in libraries. Seems she was in Holland and heard John Kirriemuir talk on gaming in libraries. She also provided his Powerpoint he gave. Its an interesting read for a powerpoint. It concludes as follows:-

Summary and pointers
Digital games used occasionally, but not much, in learning
Many people play them
Across many demographics
Mainstream form of entertainment
Instant response to trial and error (implications for teaching and learning)
Cognitive and neural changes and development
Encourages online exploration

Did I say “Play more games”…?

1. Preservation
2. Keep kids quiet in the library
3. Get people into the library
4. Circulating games
5. Circulating support materials
6. (Ab)using the library network
7. Input/output devices
8. Mobile library catalogue access
9. Library researcher: the game
10. Interface design
11. Accelerated online multi- tasking
12. Huge real-time social networking

Jenny, is looking into bringing more gaming to libraries and the difficulties it may bring. As a gamer, somewhere I could borrow games before buying alwats sounds good to me.

Just what I thought

Over on Rick librarian blog, he has an interesting story/link to something called Pearls Pick. In an American Librarians discuss new books they recommend etc to users, and patrons can order then online. What a great idea. I wanted to do this on my (failed) blog site. Oh well.

Guardian Article

Novelist Susan Hill has entered the debate on the diminish book stock at UK Public libraries in a Guardian article. Hill states:-

"They [The Museums, Libraries and Archives Authority, a government agency] have been actively trying for years to get rid of books and introduce almost anything else,"

She feels senior civil servant, Mark Stevens remarks in which he said:-

"Public libraries have a vital role to play in helping local authorities achieve their communities' social, economic and environmental aspirations - they are much more than just places to borrow books."

Are indicative of the downward spiral and a decrease in public library stock.

She is supported in her comments by Tim Coates, who's Good library guide blog has been underlining the fact that library closure are imminent and book stock is diminishing. At least someone's doing something. Perhap's Cilip might say something. Well maybe not.

Article on libraries and Google

I recently had a friend and he was asking how my course was going. I said the usual platitudes (enjoying it, hard work, etc). He then said, 'Why are you doing it? I can use my laptop to get all my information?' Not as if none of us haven't heard this said to us before is it? So what should my responce to this be? Well, the most obvious one is ignore them and ban them from my social network (even take them outta Facebook.
Or I could read Stephen Abram article called Waiting for Your Cat to Bark - Competing with Google and its Ilk.

The articles is in 3 stages and looks at the advantages and disadvantages of search engines and libraries, and the final part looks at how libraries an utilise search engines. The first article deals with Googles advantages and disadvantages. Next months looks at libraries, and november conclude it.

Abram's article looks at Google's slow uptake on social software (though as they bought Blogger and Writely, this is somewhat far of the mark (in my opinion). Though I must admit I agree on his final disadvantage of Google, in which he writes:-

So far, Google does local (communities, neighborhoods, clubs, etc.) poorly. Libraries were pretty good at this space – so far good libraries have a handle on that local connection – physically and psychologically. Can this be sustained? If Google and its ilk start setting their landing pages to default to a local page (for example to dominate local advertising, will our local institutions, like newspapers, schools, and libraries, be ready?

Anyhow, looking forward to next months follow up. but check it anyway.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Social Networking sight change Digg's open news model

Over one Wired they have an Article called Digg Fights Top Users For Control
. Seem's Digg,founder Kevin Rose has changed the algorithm for weighing and ranking stories, so as to stop spammers and gaming getting false Diggs.

Wired says:-

Digg's open news model -- stories on the site are ranked on popularity among its users -- has been criticized recently for being vulnerable to fraud or abuse.

Groups of users can bump news items to the top of the site's front door by working together in a bloc, submitting and promoting ("digging") stories together. To break up groups, Rose's proposed changes will favor news items given positive votes by users who don't know one another.

It adds:-

Since the new system aims to change the way users' submissions and votes are handled, some of the site's top users will see their importance in the insular world of Digg diminished.

Many of the site's top users spend hours on the site and forums, and they often digg each other's submissions. Because of this camaraderie, the site's top users are responsible for a disproportionate number of the stories that end up on the front door.

For example, the highest-ranked recently active user on Digg, P9, has submitted 1,334 stories. 668 of those stories have been promoted within the last 7 months. In response to the changes proposed by Rose, P9 has resigned from the Digg community.

"I will no longer no supporting Digg going forward," said P9 while announcing his resignation from the site on Thursday. "I bequeath my measly No. 1 position to whoever wants to reign... Now YOU can spend all the time, all the effort and get stabbed in the back by fellow Diggers (aptly named)."

Ummmmmm, sounds like Digg might be facing a backlash. I hope note, I quite like Digg.

ISBN in a tagged world.......why don't people use it?

I was reading Michael Stephens Lens Resources for LIS701 at Dominican University GSLIS by Michael Stephens and noted his book section. Not for the first time I noted that if you look at the book section, there's no ISBN number. I like the ISBN to be allowed to compare price's etc. By the way, this is not a diatribe against Michael Stephen's perse, as many library bloggers have done it. I just feel, in a Library 2.0 world, I thought we were also trying to make things easy for our users.
As Library 2.0 article by Michael E. Casey and Laura C. Savastinuk said:-

To increase both your library's appeal and value to users, consider implementing customizable and participatory services. The Library 2.0 model seeks to harness our customer's knowledge to supplement and improve library services. User comments, tags, and ratings feed user-created content back into these web sites. Ultimately, this creates a more informative product for subsequent users. Your library customers have favorite titles, authors, and genres.

Although Casey et al is discussing libraries, shouldn't we include our blogs, and the pointers to books is the most important thing we want to impart to our users?

When I review a book, I usual link to Amazon, which perhaps shows a personal biase. But we could link to librarything, which would provide feedback, via reviews etc.

Obviously, we could simply just google it, but even this can take time, and simplicity should always be what we look for in usability. Or as Jakob Nielsen says:-

Usability's job is to research user behavior and find out what works. Usability should also defend users' rights and fight for simplicity. Both aspects have their place, and it's important to recognize the difference.

Well, thats got that off my chest.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Internet Librarian

Internet-librarian is coming to town. Well London,uk on the 16-17th October,2006. Bloggers of Tame the web(Michael Stephens) and Panilibus (Paul Miller) will be discussing Library 2.0. As is ever with a one day conference the price is to expensive. Is it because they add a 2.0, they think they can charge times 2? £400 is just too much.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Book Review : CyberSelfish : A critical romp through the terribly Libertarian Culture of High tech

The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.
F. Scott Fitzgerald

This quote sums up my response to this book. Pauline Borsook's book, Cyberselfish.
Borsook was a former writer of Wired. It looks into the politics of Silicon Valley. First off, I love both Wired and Silicon Valley, but she soon diminish and make's me approach both with some disdain. Libertarian means :- One who advocates maximizing individual rights and minimizing the role of the state. Borsook feels that in silicon valley and wired, the area feels that the individual is more important than society. The individual has to be white,middle class and a geek. The books is in chapters and has an excellent chapter on her time at wired (and its sexist attitude). The problem with both wired and silicon valley is that they see technology as an answer to everything, and central government is the bogey man. This book is great and loved it. But i'll sum it up with a quote from :-

"As the CSU-SJ [California State University] study participant puts it, 'knowledge is viewed as data awaiting retrieval.' This restrictive notion of reading as database query, of reading for information, may suit technolibertarian, but not the rest of us so well. When I interviewed the other Microsoft billionaire, Paul Allen , for Wired, he trotted out the so-tired notion of the customizable newspaper [a blog?], delievered electronically. I explained to him that most people read a newspaper differently, skimming to be surprised, reading it precisely because they are not sure what they would find. He was puzzled, poor dear, and didn't know what I was talking about. Just as nerds constantly ask me what something I've written is about (in other words, they want a key-word precis/abstract. All writing is conceived of as technical documentation."

This book is great, as a critique of silicon valley, wired or politics. Just get it. 10 out of 10.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Does anyone care about DOPA?

Over on Librarystuff, they've a great (short) article on the DOPA Legislation.
He points out that:-

blogs about DOPA and the goal of the Save Your Space group to reach 1 Million signatures.

"[W]ith only 3,230 signatures so far, it doesn’t look like they’re going to make it. It seems that the average MySpace user is either oblivious to the legislation, or doesn’t understand it - something we could have predicted from the start."

Having already discussed DOPA (here and here), its a shame so few people are trying to stop this legislation. Lets hope it changes. And soon.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Philip K Dick films

Over on Library Journal they've indicated 2 Philip K Dick films are being made. One with the awesome Paul Giamatti (who was excellent in Sideways and better still in American Splendour). I only read a few of Dick's works, but loved it. Can't wait.

I'm with the band. The social networking band......

As you can tell, going through my bloglines as usual, whilst writing new entries (trying to adhere to the 1% rule I suppose). An was on A VC Blog, who'd been introduced to this excellent new piece of social software called tourbus. Check the entry here. Tourbus is described as thus:-

You can search for shows, or if you sign up can use an iTunes playlist or account to bootstrap your list of favorite bands, then you can get notified about shows via email / RSS / iCal.

Well worth a look though. Shame, I can't see where The Beatles are playing next.

Tag, your it......whoops, this is Google, label your it

As ever google has bought up another company. This come's from the well informed blog of John Battelle. Battelle says that Google has purchased the ESP game. He describes it thus:-

Google has licensed "The ESP Game", invented by Luis von Ahn, and is harnessing collective intelligence to tag images in its image database. This is just an experiment, of course. But it's a clever one - -if a critical mass of images are tagged, Google will have solved a very intractable problem for itself.

Anyway, I'd blogged previously about this before. The game is really cool. Give it a spin. Just don't tell those Google guy's we're tagging though.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Library 2.0 article released

Michael Casey, he of library crunch fame, is co-author (along with Laura C. Savastinuk) on library 2.0. The article is over on library journal here. I would highly recommend it, as Casey is an excellent read.