This week, BookSense.com announced that it will be providing LibraryThing, the popular cataloguing and social networking website for bibliophiles, with an events feed from all BookSense.com member stores. The events will be listed on LibraryThing Local, the place where LibraryThing members go to add their favorite bookstores, connect with friends, and keep track of interesting book-related events.
"What this does is allow our members to find great events," said LibraryThing founder Tim Spalding. "With BookSense.com, we've added about 600 events to LibraryThing Local." And, he added, "There are a lot of similarities between LibraryThing users and BookSense.com users. We consider ourselves the independent in the field."
Spalding, who described the partnership with BookSense.com as very "Web 2.0," explained that LibraryThing members can sign up for RSS feeds for news of events at their favorite bookstores.
"We believe partnering with LibraryThing is a great match," said Len Vlahos, ABA's chief programming officer. "By providing BookSense.com store event listings to LibraryThing, which has about 406,000 members, we've created a widespread, but targeted outreach for independent bookstores to potential new customers who are also serious bibliophiles."
Spalding noted that LibraryThing Local "was something I wanted to do for some time. LibraryThing 'thinks differently' about social networking. For example, we emphasize connections through books, listing people who share the most books with you.... LibraryThing Local is another slice at the social world that isn't 'yet another social network.'"
When LibraryThing users navigate to the Local page, they can enter their zip code to find local events at bookstores, fairs, libraries, or other venues, or they can choose to enter the name of a particular venue. In addition, LibraryThing members can add both venues and events to the listings -- something that members regularly do. Before the addition of the events data from BookSense.com bookstores, "our members entered all the data themselves -- 28,000 venues so far, including booksellers, libraries, and special events," said Spalding. "This is the pattern on LibraryThing. Our members ... love to enter their favorite books, authors, and so forth -- and their favorite bookstores and libraries.... It's weirdly addictive."
Spalding added, however, that bookstores and libraries can claim their venues "if they want to lock down their descriptions."
Booksellers who do not want their events included in the feed can opt out of the program by removing the check in the "Share Store Events" box on the "Preferences" page of the store's BookSense.com administrative site. Questions about the program should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.--David Grogan