Saturday, October 21, 2006

I have set up a librarything account. I look forward to adding titles. I was going to include reviews of books I knew well, but then I realized that the reviews wouldn't matter so much in this database. As a librarything user I wouldn't need to read one person's opinion of a book. I would rely on the wisdom of crowds and see what hundreds of other people with this book have chosen to buy. The sum of many simple decisions tells me as much or more than one well-considered opinion.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Making use of my Bloglines account, I subscribed to the contemporary literature blog at and learned about a YA novel, "Cathy's Notebook", that's taking full advantage of social networking sites to market the book. Someone is using websites, a MySpace page, and journal pages on AIM to create this character named Cathy and give her some presence in the wired, young adult world. To avoid repeating the "Lonely Girl" fiasco of a few weeks ago on YouTube, the web sites make sure to note that Cathy is fictional, but then invites people to play along. What's interesting to me is that the pages don't identify the publishers of the book. This could be entirely generated by the author. In fact, who's to say there is any book at all? The marketing could have a life of its own.

Monday, October 16, 2006

I discovered a fun piece of third-party software at A search feature called "retrievr" allows users to search for photographs by making simple lines and dots. It retrieves photographs that have similar colors and patterns. Thus, a diagonal line drawn across the box led to images in which which a shadow or a model's hair fell at a similar angle. It was interesting to see how this non-verbal search engine worked. I can imagine using it if I were making a collage or choosing a photo to fit into an existing color scheme.