Thursday, November 23, 2006

The Thing That Came Out of the Library

Do you know what you are looking at right now?

It's called a "cloud," a graphical representation of any grouping of things, sized in such as way as to indicate the relative percentage of each item within that grouping. This particular grouping, as you can likely guess if a collection of authors--more specifically, the collection of authors represented in my home library.

You might wonder how I created this cloud and if you are, I can tell you that I did it while enjoying a very useful and interesting item on the internets.

It's called LibraryThing, a website that allows you to create a listing of all of your books. Once you have created your library of books, you can then search the site to find other people that have the same books as you or you can use the database to find other books that fit within your indicated likes and dislikes.

I think of it as something like the Netflix "Friends" feature. It is an example of how the internet's social functions can help open up new avenues to information and connections faster and easier than in the past. (Plus, it allows me to put a nifty widget on my blog sidebar displaying a random selection of my library's book covers, sort of like my Flickr photo widget.)

I think just about all of my blog-reading friends and family would find this site useful, interesting, and fun to peruse. And with the holidays coming up, it is a convenient place for you to check and see if I already own that book that you were thinking about buying for me.

Go check our my site, start your own, and have fun.

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