Monday, September 10, 2007

Google Book Sharing Not the First

There's this post on the Google Blog about enhancements to its book search, namely the ability to create a "virtual bookshelf." That's all fine and dandy, and it being Google, undoubtedly the searchability is good.

But this isn't the first "virtual bookshelf" that you can share with others, and I doubt it will be the last. There is another website called Sheflari that lets you find, collect and share books in a "virtual bookshelf," and exchange comments, reviews and suggestions with other users. You can embed your Shelfari into your website, blog or online profile as well.

I've been using Shelfari to being a digital catalog of all the books I have read. It's turned out to be a bit of an undertaking as I have lists strewn about of the 100s of books I have read, and a journal of sorts I received as a gift to chronicle the books I have read, favorite passages, books I want to read, etc. There is something more gratifying about updating my Shelfari page and then seeing who else has read the same book, what they have to say about it and making a connection.

Google's addition to its Book Search has the same potential, and is yet another example of Google knowing anything and everything about you. Maybe you don't mind, but I have second thoughts about putting all my eggs, as it were, in one basket. That, and there isn't the information overload with Shelfari as there is with Google Books.

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