November 8, 2008

Social Book Networking

Original Post from June 1st 2007
This article (Book world tunes into Internet social networks) discusses a few ways that social networking webs are helping to promote and recommend books.

One interesting example is a book with a swear-word in the title that no-one wanted to put in print to promote it (excessive in this case I think, but just an example) so they started leveraging internet social networking and e-mail in a kind of viral marketing for it that has seemed to work.

The article discusses a couple of other sites (like that bring people together to discuss and recommend books. I don't think this would work for me, as I would need to build up those relationships from scratch and wouldn't "trust" a book recommendation from people I don't know.

I think that it's a person's whole personality, and maybe our joint history as friends and/or work colleagues, that makes me trust their recommendation of a book - and maybe my previous book recommendations to them influence their recommendations to me.

I don't think I want to "socialize" with people just around a flighting common interests in one or a few books. That could be quite different trajectories of ours that just happen to cross at some point. A common interests in books, and common tastes (or not), is just one aspect of a much broader and complex relationship between two people, whose trajectories have gone in parallel or have been intertwined for a much longer period.

Thus, I would want the "book recommendation function" to piggy-back on existing relationships (whether physical proximity or via the internet) and social networks I have built-up (e.g. Work, Family, Friends, etc). If I was a book editor, or writer or publisher then my point of view might be different.

When I went to the site, I didn't get engaged and quickly moved on..

That's my initial thoughts anyway, although I'll try and keep an open mind on the subject.

Let me know your opinions, and if you would trust book recommendations from a "stranger".

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