The Big List of Bookish Social Networks
As I mentioned when I discovered Wordie and Coastr, I’ve yet to find a book-oriented social network that’s inspired me to register. And it’s not like there’s any shortage of them. Here’s an alphabetical list of all the players I know of, annotated with deconstructive criticism. The bold-face names are serious contenders.
- aNobii: Multilingual Hong Kong-based book-lister with a clean design.
- Bibliophil.org: Personable. Feature-rich. Unfortunate design.
- Booktribes: Bookish social network with extremely busy pages.
- BooksWellRead: Way too many ellipses…
- Buchpfade.de: Bookish community site for German speakers.
- ChainReading: Aimed at reading addicts, but site activity doesn’t suggest an addicted user base.
- ConnectViaBooks: Socializing, rather than cataloging, is the main focus of this London-based booklover site. Some real potential here.
- Douban: Bookish community site aimed at some of the world’s 1.1 billion Chinese speakers.
- Goodreads: Simple bookish social network that emphasizes book recommendations from other users.
- GuruLib: For readers with a compulsive desire to catalog everything they own. Not pretty.
- Lib.rario.us: Media collection organizer in a precarious position.
- LibraryThing: The most established bookish community site of the bunch, with active developers. They just hired Wordie’s John McGrath and they’re encouraging people to make Chuck Close-style mosaics of themselves out of book covers. One to watch.
- Listal: Taggerific media-cataloging site with rich profiles, a surplus of content and widgets galore.
- Mediachest.com: Established media-cataloging site whose best feature may be groups.
- Reader2: As in “reader squared.” I found it difficult to browse.
- Reliwa.de: German book and music social network. Seems pretty active.
- Squirl.info: John McGrath, who created Wordie, is the co-founder of this social collection organizer, so I want to like it, but I don’t.
- Shelfari: Nicely designed bookish social network out to take out LibraryThing. They’ve got big widgets.
- ShelfCentered.com: Lists are called shelves here but you can’t begin browsing them until you register.
I guess what I really want is a combination of Wordie, Flickr and Amazon, with the book information pages of Google Book Search (maps included!) and highly customizable widgets. Is that too much to ask?