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1FelixQuiPotuit
May 27, 2007, 8:00am Top

Now that facebook.com is open to grownups, and to external applications, it would be fun if someone would write a LibraryThing app for facebook. Even something as simple as the "five random books" to post on one's facebook profile would be fun... Here's the link to the developers' page, for anyone who's interested:
http://developers.facebook.com/get_started.php

2collsers
Edited: May 27, 2007, 8:29am Top

It would be cool, except that facebook apps are the worst development to ever happen to facebook. I used to like facebook for its simplicity (as compared to myspace), but they have added so many useless features that I've found my facebook page to be more cluttered than my one on myspace.

3collsers
May 27, 2007, 2:43pm Top

Sorry if that sounded harsh; upon rereading, I realize that my tone was not very nice, but I'm just really not a fan of the new facebook changes. However, if facebook is going to head in that direction and stay there, I guess a librarything widgit wouldn't be that bad.

4timspalding
May 28, 2007, 3:43am Top

It's certainly something we're looking at. Does anyone have any ideas about what to do?

5markbarnes
May 28, 2007, 8:09pm Top

I like the simplicity of "old" Facebook too, but the ethos of Librarything is so similar to the ethos of "old" Facebook, that we gotta do something.

The first step is to allow us to link our Librarything account with our Facebook profile (at the Facebook end). It should be relatively simple to write an app that allowed us to put the equivalent of LT widgets on our FB profile, and possibly

However, as collsers was saying, just adding stuff to your profile smacks too much of MySpace. LTers and FBers want more! Here are some suggestions:

(1) Find Facebook users who had similar libraries to ourselves.
(2) Get book recommendations from my FB friends (amalgamate the BookSuggest from all my FB friends' libraries, then recommend me five books I don't already own).
(3) Add new additions to my LT library to my mini-feed (or books which newly match a specific tag).
(4) Show LT data for all my friends (or perhaps my network), like the Zeitgeist page, but just for my friends/network.

6disconcision
Jun 5, 2007, 10:33am Top

The LT API seems a bit scant. If it were expanded the coders among us could probably whip up something quick.

7markbarnes
Jun 5, 2007, 10:39am Top

Tim, if you're looking for inspiration, the Flixster Facebook application would be a good place to start. Only make sure a user's librarything account data is fully part of the Facebook app.

8nuttyxander First Message
Jun 5, 2007, 3:00pm Top

Flixster is a good start idea. Amusingly facebook already has a spot in the profile for books, but people are not using it in any consistent way so it's not very searchable.

It would be cool if any librarything app was designed to link to the whole librarything method of defining a book accross multiple editions and also to support book clubs and other such joys.

9steve_w First Message
Jun 6, 2007, 5:50am Top

Even if it was just the blog widget adapted for facebook, it would be good...

10natabat First Message
Edited: Jun 6, 2007, 12:56pm Top

A decent temporary solution until someone (I've been thinking about doing something basic) gets around to coding is to use the Enhanced Status application (http://apps.facebook.com/enhancedstatus) to post a LJ/MySpace image widget. The Enhanced Status application allows you to post arbitrary HTML/CSS to your profile, but it doesn't seem to work with the regular LT blog widget (though I didn't try very hard).

Although now that I give it a second look, Facebook seems to be cacheing the image. I'll play around with it and see what I can come up with.

11ssd7
Jun 7, 2007, 11:03am Top

A facebook app would certainly be fun (and help to spread LibraryThing); however, I think it would be much more functional if collections were finished first. My reasoning is that there cold be a "currently reading" collection that cold then be placed in your facebook feed.

12natabat
Jun 8, 2007, 12:16am Top

Ok. I just finished the "LibraryThing Widget" Facebook application. Add it, fill out the form as necessary, and you get an LJ/MySpace type widget in your profile.

The only problem is the caching issue I mentioned above. Most people are running cron jobs on their own servers to force the refresh on set interval, but my cheap host doesn't support cron, so the books listed are sticky until you resave the settings.

If you're interested in trying it out (I make no promises re: reliability or anything), shoot me an email (natabat@gmail.com).

Next Up: new LT books to the mini-feed. Stay tuned.

13collsers
Jun 8, 2007, 1:40am Top

Hey, I searched for the application, but I can't find it. Do you have a direct link to the app page? I'd like to check it out. Thanks.

14natabat
Jun 8, 2007, 10:09am Top

I haven't posted it to the directory yet, since I'd like other people to use it first :) You can find it here:

http://apps.facebook.com/apps/application.php?api_key=9df6c4172250584221bbb590bb...

15biolibrarian
Jun 8, 2007, 1:02pm Top

Thanks for creating this.

For the future...It would be nice to be able to import the book cover from amazon, or library thing.

Also, I don't know what the default font is in facebook, but please add that to the font dropdown menu.
Tkx,
Biolibrarian

16natabat
Jun 8, 2007, 1:49pm Top

(I've just posted the same message in the Facebook discussion for the app, but I'll post it here to be thorough)

All this application does is build the build the URL to generate LibraryThing's LiveJournal/MySpace (and now Facebook) compatible widget. For more info, you can check out the LT documentation for the widget here:

http://www.librarything.com/blog/2006/12/graphical-widgets-for-lj-and-etc-first....

On that page, Tim notes, "The widget can't have cover images. To display cover images, Amazon requires links to their service. A graphical widget can't do that." Also, the fonts are restricted to what are provided by the LT widget, so the 4 you see in Facebook are the only options.

17collsers
Jun 8, 2007, 3:00pm Top

Looks great on my facebook page...nice and simple, just like facebook should be. Thanks a lot for doing this!

18farmerje First Message
Edited: Jun 14, 2007, 10:16pm Top

Hey everyone,

There are lots of book apps out there on Facebook, but the one that I think works best with Librarything is Bookshelf: http://apps.facebook.com/bookshelf/

I know about half a dozen librarythings users using it, as it allows you to import all your stuff in one fell swoop by providing a CSV or list of ISBNs.

19JackieP
Jun 15, 2007, 12:23pm Top

I'd love to see a fully fledged facebook app for LibraryThing, and I agree, the Flixster app should give lots of inspiration - I'd love to see something similar to that. :)

20natabat
Jun 15, 2007, 4:08pm Top

I've figured out a way to get the fully functional (i.e. with links, tag clouds, and everything) widget into Facebook. Here's the link to the app (which I have called "My LibraryThing"):

http://www.facebook.com/apps/application.php?api_key=6c79c5fa5691fd718f30ab7e6fa...

Generate the widget just like you would from the tools, and copy that code into the text box on Facebook.

I've thrown this together in a couple of hours, so it's probably really buggy, and I'll be tweaking it for a while, but I'm making it available to you now anyway, since it's much more flexible than the graphical one.

And, just like the other one, it won't refresh automatically. Anytime you want to regenerate, just click on the "My LibraryThing" link on the left -- that will trigger a refresh (i.e. you don't have to hit "Save" unless you're changing the widget).

21collsers
Edited: Jun 15, 2007, 6:58pm Top

I don't know if I'm just being technologically stupid, but I just keep getting sent to the facebook homepage when I use that link. Could you post it again?

Thanks

22ryner
Jun 15, 2007, 9:48pm Top

21: Me too. :(

23JackieP
Jun 16, 2007, 9:32am Top

Yeah, it returns me to the facebook homepage as well.

24natabat
Jun 16, 2007, 12:50pm Top

25collsers
Jun 16, 2007, 4:47pm Top

It's still not working for me :(

26natabat
Jun 16, 2007, 6:14pm Top

Make sure you're logged into Facebook first. Then either link should work.

27ryner
Jun 16, 2007, 9:58pm Top

Sorry, I'm logged into Facebook, and still nothing.

28natabat
Jun 17, 2007, 7:36pm Top

Alright. Not sure why neither of those is working, but try this: http://fbapps.nfshost.com/ltdynamo/

29sicheiiyazhi First Message
Jun 18, 2007, 7:59pm Top

Same as everyone else ... I'm logged in, I go to any of the three URLs you listed, and it redirects to Facebook home. Sorry.

30natabat
Jun 18, 2007, 9:00pm Top

I might be the dumbest person ever. I had the "Only let developers of this application install the application" box checked.

I don't know how the 7 people who added it managed to do so, but (hopefully) this will fix it for the rest of you.

Again, sorry -- I blame this hellish cold I've been fighting.

31nperrin
Jun 18, 2007, 9:51pm Top

Hey there. I noticed that at the bottom the app includes a link to "Nicole's LT Catalog" that points to www.librarything.com/catalog. Assuming this is part of the app and not the widget (because my first name must be coming from Facebook), can you change the link to actually point to my catalogue? Unless someone is logged in as me, that link won't work.

32natabat
Jun 18, 2007, 10:04pm Top

Just fixed it. Click on "My LibraryThing" on the left to refresh the profile box. Thanks!

33ryner
Jun 18, 2007, 11:34pm Top

I love it!

I'm using style 4 because I like it left-aligned, but I really like the yellow background of style 3. I wish there was a style that is both left-aligned and yellow.

Thanks for making this work!

34natabat
Jun 19, 2007, 11:20am Top

Ok. I've added the ability to use your own style sheets. Here's a couple of usage hints:

1) Check the "No Style" option in the widget generator. You can also use !important in your CSS to overrule the selected style or just take your chances with the cascading.
2) Don't put <style> tags in the "Style" box -- the app will do that for you.
3) The class for the catalog link I added is "LTcat". To make it disappear, put this in the style box: .LTcat { display: none; }

ryner -- Try using style 4 with the following CSS:
.LTwrapper { font-family: Verdana , Arial , sans-serif; border: 2px solid #999999; padding: 6px; background-color: #FFFEB2 }

35markbarnes
Jun 20, 2007, 1:33am Top

This is terrific. Can I make two suggestions.
(1) Allow us to edit the header. I'd like to change mine to "Books I'm currently reading" or "Random books from my library" or something.
(2) Rename the final link to "View my whole library"

36natabat
Jun 20, 2007, 10:03am Top

1) I'm not sure if you're talking about the title of the profile box or the default header of the widget, but, either way, it's not possible. The title of the profile box is the title of the application -- I can't change that on a per user basis. The header of the widget changes depending on what type of widget you're using (random, recent, tag cloud, etc). I could add a field for a custom header (and then you could turn the widget header off), but I'm going out of town tomorrow so I won't be able to get to it until next week at the earliest (unless I get ambitious today).

2) Done. :)

37kelsey
Jun 20, 2007, 12:35pm Top

love it. i'd like to be able to invite my facebook friends to use it, like i can with a lot of other apps

38kelsey
Jun 20, 2007, 12:37pm Top

another thought--and this is more of a request for a more full-featured LT facebook app down the road--it'd be nice if your feed could be updated when you added a book

39natabat
Jun 20, 2007, 2:09pm Top

Inviting friends: I'll look in to that next week.

Updating feed: For now, the way to do this is to click "My LibraryThing" in your Facebook side bar when you add a new book -- that will cause the app to reload the widget. I know that's not ideal, but due to technical limitations, I can't do anything about it currently. If you're interested in those limitations, keep reading.

Facebook doesn't allow Javascript in your profile, so I'm essentially copying the output of the widget into static HTML. That's why it doesn't update automatically (whereas a normal use of the widget would). I, as a third party to Facebook and LibraryThing, would have to track all my users and run a script every x amount of time to force an update (which is how most applications are achieving this affect). The problem with this method for this application is two-fold. 1) I'm not tracking the users and 2) My host doesn't support cron jobs.

An official LibraryThing Facebook application wouldn't have to go through all this -- anytime you changed anything in LT, LT could trigger the appropriate Facebook code, no constant polling necessary. (Though for "random books" it would still have to force an update every so often.)

40collsers
Jun 20, 2007, 3:12pm Top

I think what Kelsey meant was for it to show up on her newsfeed

41fetchseven
Jun 20, 2007, 3:26pm Top

I pretty much love this. I think it's good enough to list on the apps list for sure by now. More people would start to be able to use it, and any problems could still be fixed then anyway.

42philosojerk
Jun 20, 2007, 4:15pm Top

it's great that members are developing their own LT facebook apps for people to use. as far as an official LT facebook app? here's the single greatest argument against that (from blog.pmarca.com)

"all third-party code that uses the Facebook APIs has to run on third-party servers -- servers that you, as the developer provide. On the one hand, this is obviously fair and reasonable, given the value that Facebook developers are getting. On the other hand, this is a much higher hurdle for development than if code could be uploaded and run directly within the Facebook environment -- on the Facebook servers...

when your application takes off on Facebook, you are very happy because you have lots of users, and you are very sad because your servers blow up...

I already described Facebook's viral distribution mechanism by which users became instantly aware of which applications their friends are using, can with one click start using those applications, and automatically spread them to their friends.

This is happening in an environment with 24 million active users -- active users defined as users active on the site in the last 30 days. 50% of active users return to the site daily. 100,000 new users join per day. 45 billion page views per month and growing. 50 million users, and a lot more page views, predicted by the end of 2007.

An application that takes off on Facebook is very quickly adopted by hundreds of thousands, and then millions -- in days! -- and then ultimately tens of millions of users.

Unless you're already operating your own systems at Facebook levels of scale, your servers will promptly explode from all the traffic and you will shortly be sending out an email like this. (http://pmarca.typepad.com/files/ali_partovi_ilike_letter.jpg )

ILike was the first third-party application to get serious lift-off on Facebook. Quoting from ILike's blog shortly after their launch:

In our first 20 hours of opening doors we had 50,000 users sign up, and it is only accelerating. (10,000 users joined in the first 12 hrs. 10,000 more users in the next 3 hrs. 30,000 more users in the next 5 hrs!!)

We started the system not knowing what to expect, with only 2 servers, but ready with backup. Facebook's rabid userbase chewed up our 2 servers almost instantly. We doubled our capacity to catch up. And then we doubled it again. And again. And again. Oh crap - we ran out of servers!! Although iLike.com has a very healthy level of Web traffic, and even though about half of all the servers in our datacenter were sitting unused, idle, as backup capacity, we are now completely maxed out.

We just emailed everybody we know across over a dozen Bay Area startups, corporations, and venture firms in a desperate plea to find spare servers so we can triple our capacity for the continued onslaught. Tomorrow we are picking up over 100 servers from different companies to have them installed just to handle the weekend's traffic. (For those who responded to our late night pleas, thank you!)

Yesterday, about two weeks later, ILike announced that they have passed 3 million users on Facebook and are still growing -- at a rate of 300,000 users per day.

They didn't say how many servers they're running, but if you do the math, it has to be in the hundreds and heading into the thousands.

Translation: unless you already have, or are prepared to quickly procure, a 100-500+ server infrastructure and everything associated with it -- networking gear, storage gear, ISP interconnetions, monitoring systems, firewalls, load balancers, provisioning systems, etc. -- and a killer operations team, launching a successful Facebook application may well be a self-defeating proposition.

This is a "success kills" scenario -- the good news is you're successful, the bad news is you're flat on your back from what amounts to a self-inflicted denial of service attack, unless you have the money and time and knowledge to tackle the resulting scale challenges.

Will every Facebook application go through this?

No, of course not. The ones that nobody uses will not have this problem.

But the successful ones all will.

The implication is, in my view, quite clear -- the Facebook Platform is primarily for use by either big companies, or venture-backed startups with the funding and capability to handle the slightly insane scale requirements. Individual developers are going to have a very hard time taking advantage of it in useful ways."

i know that's a huge paste, but similar stories have been all over the net since facebook's app platform came out a few weeks back. LT's servers are clearly already overstressed, as we all learned during those (horrid, terrible, anxiety-filled) couple of days last week. i'd rather see LT's server space, and the time & efforts of her creators, going into more extensive content and new ways to interact with other users, rather than ways to make my facebook page pretty. just my thoughts.

43markbarnes
Jun 20, 2007, 6:18pm Top

I'm not sure I agree with this - for these reasons:

(1) Music is always going to be more popular than books. Sad but true.

(2) Loads of people added iLike because there were only a handful of applications and it looked quite cool. Now there are (seemingly) hundreds of applications, and iLike looks rather average.

(3) The pain you describe is because of new sign-ups. This would be much less likely to apply to LT because (a) There's a fee to pay if you want more than 200 books, (b) it requires a reasonable level of commitment to enter 200 books (rather than just choosing your 5 favourite songs), and (c) there are already limits on adding books through the queuing system.

(4) You seem to be saying that you'd rather keep out new Libraythingers in order to assume those already in the club can have a better experience. I'd argue our experience (and LT's value) will increase with increase data and social connections. In other words, we'll have a better experience through more users.

And (5) It's a strange argument to say "We shouldn't do Facebook, it would be too successful".

Finally, I don't want to have a pretty Facebook page. I can do that through the existing widget. I want to use my LT data within the FB platform. See message five above for details.

44philosojerk
Jun 21, 2007, 8:58am Top

> #43 i don't disagree with all your points, but i think you've misrepresented my position a bit.

specifically, i am neither saying "don't do it because it will be too successful" nor that we should limit new users for the sake of current ones. of course i want new LT users, this place isn't worth the $25 i paid without the community - otherwise, i'd have stuck with the database i already had on my own pc for my books. nonetheless, my argument depends crucially on just how you definite the word "successful." there is a difference between new users being attracted to LT and actually becoming "LT-ers," and LT being virally spread across a community most of whom will input a few dozen books then probably never come back again. the 200-book limit is not likely to keep such people away, they will never pay anything in, and yes, the server capacity necessary to accommodate such users will be well beyond LT's current abilities. (from the crash last week i seem to remember tim saying they had either 5 or 6 - even if an official facebook app only took off to a fraction of the extent that iLike did, LT would be drastically under-prepared, and yes, the rest of us who actually *use* this site would be the ones who suffered because of it, in terms of a slower site, and possible loss of LT altogether due to the server demands.) attracting new LTers is good, but attracting large quantities of teenagers who will pay attention to the site for all of a couple of weeks, then forget about it, and kill our service in the process is quite a different thing. no, not all facebook users are teenagers, nor are they all like that, however a *hugely* disproportionate number are.

i take your point about the interactive features available to a facebook app, and my comment about "a pretty facebook page" was probably too quick. however, we can, and do, have those types of features here without bringing this over to facebook and paying the price for it. if you have friends on facebook who aren't here on LT already, you could always just tell them to join. meanwhile, my guess is there are rather more LTers who *don't* use facebook than there are who do, so it seems to me that a facebook app should rightly take a backseat to more comprehensive improvements to the LT site as a whole, including implementing more of the types of features such as you suggest, but here on LT instead of on a third-party's system.

45joedonahue.org First Message
Jun 21, 2007, 11:18am Top

I apologize for not reading this entire discussion, but I wanted to share that I have created a simple app called "librarythingfeed" (http://apps.facebook.com/librarythingfeed/) which will display your most recently added books. If anyone wants to try it out and post some feedback in the about page, that would be awesome.

46Kira
Edited: Jun 21, 2007, 1:58pm Top

It's funny philosojerk, I agreed with everything you were saying right up until the very end of your second last paragraph, where you randomly started to attack teenagers. You did immediately qualify your statement, but I don't understand why these statements have to be made to begin with. LT is a very understanding community about everything other than age it seems. And that part of your statement seems to say: LT shouldn't be wasting servers on encouraging teens to join because they are lesser than adults. "Attracting new LTers is good, but attracting large quantities of teenagers..." -- that seems uncalled for, what if I were to say: The most insular narrow minded people on this site appear to be adults, so to make the community friendlier we should get rid of them all. That statement is a grossly unfair generalization, but so is all the attack of other ages; I don't understand how everyone else around here gets away with saying the opposite so easily. (Not you in particular, your comment just sparked my long-simmering rant.)
In the end I agree with what you were saying about the app being a far away priority, but that doesn't have anything to do with facebook users being somehow all illiterate young people, and I think it weakens the argument to try and claim some users would be lesser than others based on what other websites they frequent.

47infiniteletters
Jun 21, 2007, 2:09pm Top

Large quantities of anyone who doesn't read? Not good.

Beyond the age of 5 or 6, reading frequency is not related to age.

48philosojerk
Jun 21, 2007, 2:26pm Top

> #46
forgive me, that did show my prejudice a bit. i tend to be less tolerant of teens, and not always justifiably so.

i don't mind attracting large quantities of teenagers, and of course there are tons of intelligent, book-savvy teens out there. i was trying to allude to the large quantity of people out there, both teens and adults, who seem to use the internet and social networking sites for little other than gossiping and typing in leet and saying very little of any value.

49natabat
Jun 21, 2007, 2:27pm Top

I've only skimmed the last couple of posts, but I'm just going to chime in here to say that I don't think a LibraryThing Facebook application would explode the way some other Facebook applications have for a number of reasons.

1) It would require a separate registration for LibraryThing, when most FB apps don't. LT could use this to our advantage by not streamlining the sign up process with the "add an application" process.
2) There are already several book FB apps out there that don't involve the new account overhead of LT that would be more appealing to casual users.
3) Yes, we'd get new users, but given the the points above, they're going to be people who want to take that extra step to become an LT member as well as an FB member -- and those are going to be the people we "want" anyway.
4) You don't have to submit the application to the directory. Put it in the Tools section of LT with the other widgets, don't put an "Add this application" link in the Facebook code, and then only current LT members will add it. Bang -- problem solved. Of course, include a link to LT so that those people who are really interested can follow it back here, but there's no reason we need to use the viral methods of most Facebook apps if you're worried about the load.

My point is, if someone just wants to display a couple of books on their profile, a LibraryThing application is overkill, and there are plenty of other book apps they can use. If they want all the extras that come with an LT account, then we're just helping them find us sooner than they may have otherwise.

50philosojerk
Edited: Jun 21, 2007, 2:28pm Top

gah, i was trying to edit my last post to say:

also, i don't think all facebook users are illiterate OR teenagers. i use it heavily, as do a good portion of the other grad students in my department.

51Kira
Jun 21, 2007, 2:38pm Top

>50 philosojerk:, editing posts is always tricky on Librarything, (and even moreso when there are touchstones) :)

52joedonahue.org
Jun 22, 2007, 9:20pm Top

natabat: I think a librarything app on facebook would be more of a mashup tool for existing librarything users rather than a means of evangelism to drive new users into librarything. At least, this is my perspective as I develop the "librarything feed" application I mentioned in post 45. A few of my co-workers and I have been using it quite happily. We already have lt accounts, and are looking for a way to bring the content together.

53ssd7
Jun 23, 2007, 7:21am Top

There are currently many "book" apps on facebook, and a few of them that allow one to import a LT catalog. None of them have the ethos of LT and end up falling short of what any sufficiently bookish person desires out of a "book" application. However, if development time were really to be spent on this I think that the application would have to include some of the following abilities to really merit taking time away from adding features to LT itself:

1) Add a selection of books from a user's library to the persons profile page if desired.

2) Allow the user to set books as being "currently read" and have those books show up in the user's mini-feed with a message like "Steven has started reading Travels With Charley by John Steinbeck"

3) Show when a user has added new books to her library. For some small number of books( 2 perhaps) it would give a message like, "Liz has added The Professor and the Madman and The Iliad to her library/"

For larger numbers it would say "Liz has added 25 books to her library." where 25 is a link to a list of the new books.

4) Show when a person writes a review.

I'm not sure if a LibraryThing application for Facebook would really enhance my experience more than any other cool features that Tim and the team may be thinking up. In fact, I'm not sure that I wouldn't be infuriated if LibraryThing was suddenly overrun by Facebook-ers.

54joedonahue.org
Jun 23, 2007, 9:11am Top

I like this a lot.
It would take some serious time to develop (working full time, going to school, and have a 3-week-old baby doesn't allow me all the time I would like for side projects) but here are some of my immediate thoughts. Tell me what you think.

1) In order to add a selection of books to the profile page from the user's library, it would have to be based off of your existing facebook "favorite books" list (a la the movies app). I have not yet seen a way that allows me to access the entire list of books in a user's library, only the last 20 added (from the "most recent" rss feed).

2) It has been suggested that something like this be based off of the librarything "started date" and "ending date" fields that you can enter for each book. Unfortunately, I am not sure how to access that information. So it would need to be set in facebook somewhere, and I am not sure what this would look like. Any ideas?

3) This could be based off the Recently Added rss feed, which is what I am currently accessing and parsing, so this is entirely feasible. I will add this to my "enhancements list" to be added once the existing app is stable.

4) There is also an rss feed for reviews, so this is pretty straightforward too. Enhancement #2!

55collsers
Jun 23, 2007, 10:04am Top

To make natabat's facebook app show the books you are currently reading, just give those books a specific tag and set the widget to only show books with that tag. Granted, the title doesn't say "currently reading", but it's something. You can edit the title if you use the graphical widget, but I didn't really care for the way that one looked on my facebook page, personally (at least not compared to the newer version).

56markbarnes
Jun 25, 2007, 12:09pm Top

joedonahue.org ,

If you're able to find the time, we would be very grateful.

I think there are ways in which you can do these things, using LibraryThing tags. For example, the following RSS feed shows all the books I am currently reading: http://www.librarything.com/rss/yourtags/now%20reading&user=markbarnes because I have tagged them all "now reading". You could add a feature to your facebook app for me to specify the tags I used for favourite books, or books I'm currently reading. When the app noticed the RSS feed had changed, it could insert the appropriate news into my news feed.

57joedonahue.org
Jun 26, 2007, 7:00pm Top

The "enhancement list" for this is getting a little out of control, but this idea sounds like the easiest to implement so far. I'll let you know when I whip something up, you can let me know what you think.

58heina
Jun 26, 2007, 7:48pm Top

I added both the LT and My LT apps. Yay!

59joedonahue.org
Jun 27, 2007, 9:42pm Top

I added a field to enter a "custom tag" which will read in your book list with the tag you specify. I still need to clean up some of the styles in the profile, and I want to enable it so a user can add multiple tags - but I am leaving to go camping for the weekend, and don't suspect I will get much done until next week :o)

There is still no news feed support, but it will be one of the next couple of enhancements.

60ssd7
Edited: Jun 27, 2007, 11:57pm Top

joedonahue.org,

Thanks for all the hard work on this and have fun camping.

61markbarnes
Jun 28, 2007, 6:16pm Top

Thanks for this enhancement. But when I tried to use it I got the following error: Invalid query -- insert into ltusertag values("markbarnes","now reading", "Y") -- Duplicate entry 'now reading' for key 2

Looks like you've incorrectly set the tag column to be unique.

Using other tags works fine, although (1) I'd like to be able to NOT display my recently added books. (2) The CSS could do with a little tweaking, (3) I'd like to be able to add custom headers (so rather than just giving the name of the tag, I'd like the header to be "Books I'm currently reading" or "My all-time favourite books" or whatever), and (4) "My recently added books" ends up being duplicated.

Sorry for the list of problems! It's only because I'm glad of the app, and I think it's worth developing. Book covers would be nice, too, though I appreciate they're not yet part of the RSS feed. Perhaps we could badger Tim to add them in?

62joedonahue.org
Jun 28, 2007, 9:35pm Top

I acknowledge each of the grievances you've listed, and I don't suspect they will be difficult to remedy. As far as book covers, I don't think Tim can put them in the feeds because Amazon wont let him. I have created an Amazon Web Services account and will be investigating how to ask them for the book covers (hard to tell so far if I will be able to pull it off since the lt feeds only provide a book title, not an ISBN or anything).
But we'll keep plugging along! Thanks for your support of the app, it makes it really worthwhile to know that someone out there enjoys it as much as I do and sees some potential in it. I will post back in here once I get some of the issues cleared up that you mentioned (after my camping trip!)

63joedonahue.org
Jul 2, 2007, 12:21pm Top

You were right about the bad index on the tag column... I got that straightened out.

64timspalding
Jul 2, 2007, 5:05pm Top

We have a big-time FB developer coming up next week. We're planning for it now, and doing all the back-end stuff. Suggestions appreciated.

65markbarnes
Edited: Jul 3, 2007, 1:29pm Top

This is terrific. As I've said before, I do think the Flixster app is a very good example of how an existing web service can benefit from Facebook integration, though that's not to say it can't be improved upon.

Here's what I'd like, in priority order:

(1) Show all my FB friends who are also using Librarything.
(2) Allow me to see shared books stats for each of these friends - and for other people who are not my friends, but are using the LT app and whose profiles I can view.
(3) This is the real biggy: Recommend books for me from my friends libraries. I'm not sure what the algorithm would be, but you're the expert on this. Here are three options: (a) Generate a recommendation from my friends library, and then remove from it all the books I have. (b) Generate a recommendation only from those books which I and my friend share. (c) Do a, but with ALL my friends. (d) Like b, but with all my friends, and giving increased rank to books that multiple friends have. (e) Show the most popular books owned by my friends that I don't have. By the way, given that we have "friend" features within LT now, there's no reason why the whole of the LT community couldn't benefit from this algorithm.
(5) Show me FB users with most similar libraries to my own.
(6) Allow my to a specify one of my tags which means "I'm currently reading this book".
(7) Display a panel in my profile which displays all the books (with covers) that I'm currently reading. I guess some people use the started/ended fields rather than a tag, so I guess you'd want an option to use this data instead of the simple tag (above).
(8) Update my feed every time I start and/or finish a book.
(9) Update my feed every time I review a book, and allow the review to be read within Facebook.
(10) Allow me to add my tags/author clouds to this panel, ideally with the data displaying within Facebook.
(11) Allow me to access combined tags/author clouds for all my friends.

I'm sure that's enough to be getting on with... ;-)

66kelsey
Jul 3, 2007, 3:45pm Top

I second mark's #8 & #9, and add a request for the news feed to be updated when I add a book

67ssd7
Jul 3, 2007, 5:24pm Top

I support mark's 6-9 and kelsey's addition.

68_Zoe_
Jul 3, 2007, 6:03pm Top

I think you can always see which of your friends are using an application by going to the application page.

I agree with #2, 3, 7-9, and kelsey's addition. Tag and author clouds I don't particularly care about one way or the other, and while I wouldn't mind 6, I'd much prefer it to make use of the features we already have (i.e., books with a started date but no finished date count as "currently reading", or at least books started within the past couple of months, to eliminate abandoned books).

The only one of mark's suggestions that I don't agree with is #5. I don't use Facebook to meet new people and don't want to start getting facebook messages from random people saying "hey, we share lots of books!". I'd much rather connect to new people via LT itself, since LT has a lot more privacy.

I'd also like a feature that lists books finished/started by my friends and in my networks in the past month (again, using date read/started), starting from the most common. I'd also like something like this on the LT zeitgeist: top 100 books started in the past month, week, etc. It would be interesting to see the reading trends.

69timspalding
Jul 4, 2007, 12:11am Top

This is good stuff. Keep it coming. We've got a week and two programmers and plan to kick ass with this. Your shoe will help.

70_Zoe_
Edited: Jul 4, 2007, 12:32am Top

A few more thoughts:

a) top 100 books by network
b) the ability to look at a book and get a list of which friends have started/finished it (in reverse chronological order)
c) list of friends who own a certain book (I assume this one is a given, but I figured I'd mention it just in case)
d) show the user's rating of each book (another application, iRead, does this)

71ssd7
Jul 4, 2007, 9:17am Top

Another nice feature would be the ability to customize everything. By that, I mean that, if the app can put something in my feed, give me the ability to turn that feature off; if it gives me the ability to show books on my profile, let me say exactly how many it will show.

72kelsey
Jul 6, 2007, 12:32am Top

ditto on Zoe's list.

i would really like b through d available on librarything itself. why should i have to go through facebook for that?

i also agree times 1000000 with ssd7.

73timspalding
Jul 6, 2007, 1:52am Top

>the ability to look at a book and get a list of which friends have started/finished it (in reverse chronological order)

The problem here that the number of people willing to update their started/finished metadata is fewer than the number willing to record their books, ratings and reviews as they have the time.

Perhaps we could do "most recently rated or reviewed"?

74markbarnes
Jul 6, 2007, 2:57am Top

I agree with all these recent suggestions.

Tim - I don't update the started/finished metadata for three reasons.

(1) I have a large library, I want to be able record which books I have read IN THE PAST. Often I can't remember the dates, even though I remember reading the book. So recording that I have finished reading a book through these fields would make the data very incomplete. Although if you could use fuzzy dates I might perhaps be a bit more encouraged. Perhaps you can use fuzzy dates, but I've always assumed you can't because the edit box doesn't say.

(2) You can't read a book twice.

(3) This is by far the more important reason: You can't do anything with the data. Or at least I can't do anything with the data. So there's no point me filling it in. Instead, I use tags "finished reading" and "now reading". I can use tags in widgets, and I can search by them, so there are much more useful to me.

If these date fields were useful (to me) I would use them.

Having said that, I have suggested in another thread that each one of us ought to be able to specify in our profiles which of our tags means "finished reading", "currently reading", "would like to read", etc. Other people are obviously using tags to mean these things, but we're all using different tags. Nearly 2,000 use the tag "read", for example. Slightly more than that use the tag "reading". Some people would want to specify multiple tags as they use things like "read 2006".

75joedonahue.org
Jul 6, 2007, 9:43pm Top

In my "librarything feed" application for facebook, I have added support for multiple tags. You can specify which tags you are using.
There are now also mini-feed stories when you add / remove tags from your tag list.

76_Zoe_
Jul 6, 2007, 11:23pm Top

The problem here that the number of people willing to update their started/finished metadata is fewer than the number willing to record their books, ratings and reviews as they have the time.

That's because it doesn't currently do much. Plus, while I would like the features I mentioned for the site as a whole, we're talking about facebook here. People update their facebook profiles all the time. I think the average facebook user would be much more likely to enter books as they finish them (maybe there could even be an easy checkbox for "completed today") than to catalogue their entire library.

At the very least there should be a way to mark completed books, so that you can generate newsfeed stories like "So-and-so has finished this book". For facebook, I'm much more interested in seeing what my friends are reading than what they own, because it's more dynamic.

Perhaps we could do "most recently rated or reviewed"?

In addition to everything else, yes :)

77ejp1082 First Message
Jul 9, 2007, 11:20am Top

I'd just like to throw my vote in for a LibraryThing app. A profile widget alone would be nice, and newsfeed mentions of new books and reviews would be great as well.

There's a "books" application on there already which does much of what I think a LibraryThing application ought to do - I'd rather use a LibraryThing app though if one could be made available.

78sicheiiyazhi
Jul 10, 2007, 11:28am Top

This message will probably take things in a very different direction and the suggestions may not be possible. But just in case ...

The application on Facebook called iRead already does A LOT of what I think would be ideal for LibraryThing. Also, iRead already has many members (and most of my friends). The problem with all the Facebook apps is they're only as useful as the number of your friends who are also using them.

Is there any way to link a LibraryThing profile to another application (like iRead)? I would love to change things on LibraryThing and have them reflected in my iRead ... but I think that will have to remain a manual operation.

Timing is everything on these apps, I think. iRead already has the member-base built up on Facebook, so few people will be willing to switch to LibraryThing (because they'd ALL have to switch over for it to be worthwhile). Shelfari has created a very nice Facebook app, but the same problem of member-base exists for them. I'd have to convince all my friends who already use iRead to switch their books, reviews, ratings, etc. to a different application. Not likely.

Not trying to be the pessimist ... I love LibraryThing ... just not sure about the transition to Facebook. But I'm still looking forward to seeing the new app!

Thanks for all the great work.

79_Zoe_
Jul 10, 2007, 12:42pm Top

I really don't like iRead. I find it awkward to navigate and visually unappealing (WHY is there yellow text?).

More importantly, only five of my friends are currently using iRead. Five of my friends (that I know of) already have LibraryThing accounts. So I don't think it's too late for an LT application to take off, if you don't wait too long. I think LT users are probably more devoted to LT than iRead users are to iRead, so as long as you include an easy way to invite friends (and make the application good), I can easily imagine the LT application winning out in the end.

Another Facebook books application that I think looks promising is Books. One of its advertised features is "When you start and finish books, news items are created in your feed for your friends to see!". I wouldn't bother using or promoting the LT app if it didn't include that too.

80ssd7
Jul 10, 2007, 1:14pm Top

The problem with all the Facebook apps is they're only as useful as the number of your friends who are also using them.

While I agree with the fact that the Facebook app should be more useful as the number of those using it increases, it should still be very useful even for a person who has no friends using it. Many features, such as the ability to broadcast which books you have recently bought, read, and reviewed will be useful to those with no friends using it.

Personally, I don't want a facebook app so that I can interact with LibraryThing through facebook. Rather, I just want to be able to broadcast my activity on LT to my friends on facebook, a sort of intellectual exhibitionism I suppose.

81ntutak
Jul 14, 2007, 2:03am Top

I created a 'Book Apps Discussion' Group on Facebook to discuss the merits and features of various book-related Facebook apps. Come join us!

http://csun.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2415744677

82timspalding
Jul 14, 2007, 2:08am Top

I'll check it out. Our Facebook ap. is still in the mucky-middle, but we intend it to be better than all others, in LibraryThing-ish ways, while also taking advantage of the unique context of FB.

83tower First Message
Edited: Jul 28, 2007, 2:53pm Top

Tim, I really like the Facebook app Books, and would appreciate it if you did something similar ( http://www.facebook.com/apps/application.php?id=2392094817 ). Though, a lot of the functionality of Books isn't even on LT itself, or I haven't been smart enough to find it. But mostly what I mean about this is the interface and the overall presentation of the application: it's beautiful.

I find the blog widget clunky, and therefore would really appreciate something that definitely looks more like Facebook than LT--not because I dislike anything about LT, I think it's really good; but because I and all my friends, and friends of my friends tend to only add apps that mesh well with Facebook. The pages that are clunky and cluttered are a tad harder to find than they are on MySpace, and I know a lot of people like it that way (even though it's hardly any better).

If you could do that, I'd finally be able to get rid of the compulsion to display my books, and I know many people would be very grateful!

84allisongryski
Aug 8, 2007, 10:38am Top

I don't understand the cover images limitation since 1) I uploaded most of my cover images and 2) facebook Apps like shelfari have cover images.

85allisongryski
Edited: Aug 8, 2007, 10:46am Top

Also, now that I've skimmed the whole thread ... what's the status of the official LT facebook app? Sounds like it's been about a month since the original "week" of development. I'm keen to get using it if it exists, since the "graphical" widget without cover images is very unsatisfying.

If it's still in progress, I'd like to chime in that one of my big concerns with the external apps is the privacy issue. I do not want any of my data, even books in my library, to be shared outside my friends without my explicit permission... and I definitely want the default to be the more private setting.

86natabat
Aug 8, 2007, 1:56pm Top

angorian -

Since you skimmed the thread, you probably missed the Facebook app for the real widget (with covers). Here's the link: http://www.facebook.com/apps/application.php?id=2465487789

87DCEFrance
Aug 15, 2007, 7:35pm Top

We really need a Facebook application for LibraryThing.

I spent many months entering my entire book collection in to Library Thing and bought a lifetime membership.

Now I find myself entering each book both in LibraryThing and in Good Reads.

Why did I bother creating an account in Good Reads and entering my books in there as well when it's twice the work? A Facebook friend of mine "invited" me to add the Facebook application Good Reads and I did. It works just as it should: people can see what I'm reading, what I've read and what I'm going to read right away.

We really need the equivalent for Library Thing...

I tell my Facebook friends and RL friends about Library Thing all the time... it's new to them... and often I get the phrase "oh... that sounds just like Good Reads"...

Library Thing needs Facebook!

PS: I am a 44-year old man with 2 kids and I have been using Facebook for quite some time!

88GreyHead
Aug 16, 2007, 4:46am Top

See post 82 from Tim, they've been working on an 'official' LT FaceBook app for a couple of months now. But that's no indication of when (if ever) it will be released.

89infiniteletters
Aug 16, 2007, 9:28am Top

There are also at least 2 3rd-party widgets from another Facebook thread.

90kenf
Aug 23, 2007, 3:25pm Top

Natalie, thanks -- the widget works great. But the "Style" box on the application page is completely blank and the widget looks weird on my page; it's in Times while everything else is in the usual FB font.

91anthony.rischard First Message
Aug 25, 2007, 2:27am Top

Looking very good! I have it behaving pretty much the way I want - simple and clean - a few book covers linking back to my LT. One small bug and one request though:

Bug : on http://www.librarything.com/jswidget.php you have commented "// rendered in 0"... however this is displaying on Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=620583036 if you need to see it in action. Can we please remove this?

Request #1 : View My Entire Library link at the bottom is taking up a line of its own. Facebook profile vertical space is at a premium ;-). Can we make this optional for display in the interface? It's redundant when displaying the header which also has the link to my LT.

Thanks!

92anthony.rischard
Edited: Aug 25, 2007, 3:49am Top

Oh! A second request, actually :-)

Request #2 : it would be nice, since we are all, I assume, displaying a sub-set of our LT in the widget, to give viewers an indication of the size of our Library.

Perhaps pull in the total library size from LT and simply change the header to read "Recent (or Random) selection from my library of XX books"

Just a thought. Certainly not a MUST have, but it certainly would be a nice touch, I think.

93bonne1978
Edited: Aug 25, 2007, 4:21am Top

I can't see anything on my profile in facebook
I see the line "My LibraryThing" but under that it's just blank.
Link to my profile
http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=549922075

I would be very grateful if anyone could help me.

94natabat
Aug 26, 2007, 9:15pm Top

kenf -- Change the style you're using for the widget (style 1, style 2, style 3, etc) or choose no style. The text box on the Facebook edit page gives you the option to add your own CSS/styles.

anthony -- Must've been something Tim added recently, because it's actually coming from the LT widget. Anyway, I noticed it last week and it's since been filtered out.

To not display the link, add the following style into the style box:
.LTcat { display: none; }

Since the widget doesn't give us the option of displaying total library size, it's not really an option I can offer in the Facebook application.

bonne:
Build a widget to your liking here: http://www.librarything.com/widget. Then go to the edit page for the Facebook application and copy and paste the widget code in.

Here's a sneak peak of what I've got in the works:
Built in forms -- no more bouncing back and forth between LT and Facebook.
Multiple widgets -- you can show a random selection of books AND a tag cloud (for instance).

I've still got some stuff to work out (custom styles and headers for each widget at a minimum), so I can't make any promises about when I'll be rolling it out, but it should give you guys something to look forward too anyway.

95kenf
Aug 30, 2007, 11:18pm Top

Thanks, Natalie. One thing I've also noticed is that it does not update. I added/removed the relevant tag from several books in my library, but three days later the widget was still showing the books that had been tagged previously, not the current set. How often does it refresh or does it have to be forced?

96saucyhp
Aug 31, 2007, 9:10am Top

I can't get it working in Facebook! When I go to the application, I just get an error message:

"Warning: file_get_contents() function.file-get-contents: Unable to access fbml version="1.0 in /nfsn/content/fbapps/public/ltdynamo/index.php on line 34

Warning: file_get_contents(fbml version="1.0) function.file-get-contents: failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /nfsn/content/fbapps/public/ltdynamo/index.php on line 34
LT Widget Generator
Copy the code generated by LT into the box below."

And when I try and copy the code from the widget (by the way, which box does it go into?) it just does weird things like make the boxes bigger and add forward slashes. Whats going on?! I'd love to get it working so any tips would be great!

97natabat
Edited: Aug 31, 2007, 11:49am Top

kenf - Yeah, Facebook caches all the data, so you have to force it to update. My host doesn't support the tools you'd need to push an update (and I don't keep a list of the users, which I'd also have to do). To trigger the reload, you just have to click on "My LibraryThing" on the left. You don't have to re-save though.

saucyhp - Huh. You're right. Looks like you can just ignore those errors and it'll work, and the messages go away once you have something in there. I'll look into it sometime this weekend.

The code from the widget goes in the first box. Not sure why you're having problems with the form -- that's just a standard Facebook form. What happens when you just type in it? If you can do that, you could probably just retype the widget code (painful, I know...) What browser are you using?

98szarka
Edited: Sep 1, 2007, 9:24pm Top

First, thanks natabat for the quickie app. :)

Now, here's my two cents about an official LT app for Facebook:

I completely agree with those who say they want simplicity. Call me old-fashioned, but I hate a lot of the crap that my 20-something friends are adding to their Facebook profiles.

What do I want the app to do? I want it aggregate info from LT into my Facebook profile: post a note when I add a book to my library, import new reviews, that sort of thing. I don't want/need it to provide interaction with other users within the Facebook site; I'll come to the LT site itself for that. In other words, I want to use it to share info with my friends on Facebook who might not be LT users; that's all.

Some of the above could already be done using the existing RSS feeds. An LT app would just make it easier.

99saucyhp
Sep 3, 2007, 9:19am Top

Thanks natabat! It's working now, I put the code in the top box and deleted everything in the bottom style box and it saved perfectly! Strange.

100ryner
Sep 3, 2007, 9:33pm Top

Mine was also broken, but it is working again after deleting everything and reinserting the code. Thanks so much for this great app!

101sicheiiyazhi
Sep 4, 2007, 9:24pm Top

Not to take away from "natabat" ... but what's going on with the original focus of this thread? Last word was that there would be some intensive development of an "official app" and then the release ... and that was a month or so ago. No word since. Anyone know what's going on?

102_Zoe_
Sep 4, 2007, 11:09pm Top

They still mention it periodically. I think they wanted to have collections done so that that could be included in the facebook app.

103_Zoe_
Sep 4, 2007, 11:12pm Top

104natabat
Sep 5, 2007, 3:14pm Top

Glad you guys got it working, because I never got around to looking at it like I promised to.

And, no worries -- as soon as the official app comes out, I'll be making the switch too! Mine are really meant to just fill the gap while we wait.

105antarcticlust First Message
Sep 8, 2007, 2:56pm Top

I'm glad the Facebook application was created - I just searched to see if there was one, and was glad there was. One thing I'd like is to be able to show (both on Facebook and on LibraryThing) what I'm currently reading, which isn't always the same thing as what I own. Are there any plans to add this sort of feature?

106slothman
Sep 10, 2007, 12:17am Top

I set the tag "currently reading" and then the "recent items" gadget for that, but I'm looking forward to when LibraryThing can just query from my library where (START_DATE > END_DATE || (START_DATE != 0 && END_DATE == 0)) or whatever the SQL equivalent of that is...

107_Zoe_
Edited: Sep 22, 2007, 2:33pm Top

I just noticed that on the wiki page, the facebook app isn't even mentioned as something they're working on. So I'm guessing it's still a very long way away.

108kenf
Sep 25, 2007, 9:17pm Top

Nat, the app seems completely broken? I get no books on my profile and error messages on the app page:

Warning: file_get_contents() function.file-get-contents: Unable to access version="1.0 in /data/c8/nfsn/content/fbapps/public/ltdynamo/index.php on line 34

Warning: file_get_contents( version="1.0) function.file-get-contents: failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /data/c8/nfsn/content/fbapps/public/ltdynamo/index.php on line 34
LT Widget Generator

109natabat
Sep 26, 2007, 11:15am Top

They've been making a lot of changes to the API, and I haven't really had the time to keep up with it, but it is possible that the updates broke something.

However, someone upthread was getting those same errors, and all you should have to do is delete whatever's in the boxes, copy the widget code into the top box, and save it. It just worked for me as well...and once you have a widget in there, the error messages should stop showing up.

110natabat
Oct 27, 2007, 3:47am Top

So, it seems at least one of my apps is pretty broken at the moment. If I ever get some free coding time, I'll look into it, but in the meantime, if anyone is interested in the code, I'd be happy to release it to them.

111ChrisG
Oct 27, 2007, 4:51am Top

Thanks for giving it a shot.

112timspalding
Oct 27, 2007, 1:29pm Top

We decided we needed two things for Facebook—a collections feature, which we are working on, and the new and improved importing functionality (which means more libraries to you, but a smoother program to us).

113ChrisG
Oct 31, 2007, 8:37am Top

Tim,

Are you saying that there IS a Facebook app, or that one is in development?

114ChrisG
Oct 31, 2007, 11:29am Top

read Jun 21, 2007, 2:26pm (top)Message 48: philosojerk Show Affinity

> ...was trying to allude to the large quantity of people out
> there, both teens and adults, who seem to use the internet
> and social networking sites for little other than gossiping and
> typing in leet and saying very little of any value.

Um, yes. And why would those people install a LibraryThing app in the first place? The only people who would/could install a LT app would be people who have a LibraryThing account.

LT needs a Facebook app if it is really a business. If LT is not a business, and is just a little hobby of Tim's then perhaps it doesn't need a Facebook app.

Of course it will also not likely grow much, and will probably shrink in active users as people who wish to use a book cataloging service that is compatible will leave and migrate to other providers that are. Of course, that won't include the tiny percentage of people "in the clique" who participate in these forums (the overwhelming majority of LT users don't).

Then the anti-business, anti-youth, academician curmudgeons can stick around and grouse among themselves.

115timspalding
Oct 31, 2007, 12:18pm Top

Thank you for you interest and for your business advice. It so happens that LibraryThing is the only business of its kind *with* a revenue model, and indeed we have substantial and quite diversified revenue where our competitors are either sitting on millions from Amazon or falling rocks. When it comes to FB, almost all the aps are not and never will be businesses, current excitement notwithstanding. And none of our non-Facebook competitors have had success moving to Facebook.

Making a version of LT that works on Facebook is of interest to us. We've decided that collections is a necessary precursor to it, insofar as Facebook people will be much less interested in cataloging lots of books and much more interested in categories such as "currently reading." It might also help to have our systems in order so that we can accomodate a rush of books from non-paying members.

While it would have been nice to get in early, when there were all sorts of nasty tricks for making people ad apps., we think that it's better to create something fundamentally better and even worth paying for than put "book poke" online tomorrow.

116ChrisG
Nov 3, 2007, 6:58pm Top

Tim,

The near luddite, anti-commercial elements of this forum know how to push my buttons. It ticks me off almost every time I come here. That's why I seldom post.

There's a saying in the music industry— Don't play to just the front row.

The LibraryThing members that regularly post to this forum make up less than 1% of the user base.

I simply want to see LibraryThing succeed.

I know I ruffled your feathers, but to casually dismiss Facebook's 40 million user aggregate would be foolhardy.

I'm going to assume that brushing off a Facebook app as a mere "book poke" was a cheap jab, and that you're not really an idiot.

The fact is, Visual Bookshelf was first to market. They're closing in on 1 million users, adding 10,000 a day. They've been written up in the press all over the place. That was revenue that should have been yours. They were first movers, and they ate your lunch.

I think LibraryThing is a superior product, but if it is going to succeed, keep a user base, and grow, it cannot be a closed gate community.

117timspalding
Nov 4, 2007, 1:41am Top

Some points:

1. We certainly want a Facebook ap. We don't, however, see the point of one that's just the same as everyone else's. The initial rush is over. If something better emerges people will switch.

2. You point about VB's revenue is unclear to me. What revenue? Their Amazon referrals? Let's imagine they have four times as many as we do, okay? That wouldn't pay my salary.

3. Facebook is a closed-gate community. That's the whole point. The aps are built that way, both technically and culturally. Notably all the FB book applications lack an export button whereas all the web-based ones do. I don't think that's going to win in the end, but we'll see.

118ChrisG
Nov 4, 2007, 1:39am Top

I will be pleased as punch when something comes out. I hope it blows away what's available now. I'm still cheering for your team.

If you owned that market share it wouldn't be Amazon referrals, it would be 1 million free ad placements, with advocates— one million sneezers pushing word of mouth.

It would be a sucessful app piggy-backing LibraryThing on to the Facebook PR mania. It would be all the press that Visual Bookshelf is getting with your name on it instead.

I think you greatly underestimate its value.

You'll do things your way. This is your project.

I still wish you all the success in the world.

119timspalding
Nov 4, 2007, 8:51am Top

I know. Thanks for the encouragement. We want to get collections out first—and better sources will come too. Facebook is probably the next step after that.

120jcollier
Nov 21, 2007, 11:51pm Top

This is all I really needed to do: post the books I'm now reading to Facebook. The rest is nice, but this is bread and butter. Thanks for the tip.

121jcollier
Nov 21, 2007, 11:55pm Top

Oops, I thought this was a threaded forum.

I was responding to Barnes earlier tip to use RSS to feed into Facebook:

http://www.librarything.com/rss/yourtags/now-reading&user=USERNAME

Social interactions with other Facebook/Library Thing users would be great, but this is a great start ...

122bluetyson
Nov 22, 2007, 4:07am Top

118

This would be the same music industry that has demonstrated for some years that has no clue what it is doing, right? :)

What is a facebook app, and why would someone not American care?

123joelwatson
Aug 16, 2008, 9:57am Top

YOURS worked. THANK YOU!!! Just no covers, but I can live without that for the time being. Thanks again. jw

124gamermom2004
Sep 30, 2008, 11:12pm Top

I use Virtual Bookshelf on Facebook. They allow you to upload your exported LibraryThing booklist so you don't have to start over. It is through that application that I came to find LibaryThing. The nice thing is that you can recommend a book specifically to your Facebook friends with just a click.

125timspalding
Sep 30, 2008, 11:54pm Top

It's really great how you can import your LibraryThing books, but you can't export them again. It reminds me of a mouse trap. Cheeeeeese.

126_Zoe_
Oct 1, 2008, 1:49pm Top

So, Tim, does it mean anything that you've recently catalogued a bunch of books on how to make facebook apps?

127jjmcgaffey
Oct 1, 2008, 4:21pm Top

125> Actually, Tim, I found it really strange that LT made it easy to export and very difficult to import (until recently - the new import thing is an enormous improvement. Tags, etc are included!). Anti-cheese?

128timspalding
Oct 1, 2008, 4:44pm Top

>126 _Zoe_:

Yeah. Mike is full-time Facebook now. He's making a simpler one for our LibraryThing for Libraries product—just reviews—as training wheels.

129ElizabethHasseries
Oct 16, 2008, 6:06pm Top

I really like the Visual Bookshelf app at Face Book. I'd love to have a widget like that from here to put up at my Live Journal site and other places. I'd also love it if I could connect my LT account with the Visual Bookshelf one.

130PastorBob
Jan 1, 2009, 4:59am Top

I do think a straight interaction between library thing and visual bookshelf would be awesome . . . I've already added books there on FB, and have started LT just Nov past. Different books on each since my library is quite large and I've just started! Once I get them both in line, it would be great if updating one automatically could update the other . . .

That desire for an automatic connection, however, does sound like I really want a LT FB app that can allow my non LT friends on FB to view my entire library . . .

Where's this at nowadays?

131_Zoe_
Jan 1, 2009, 12:52pm Top

I was just wondering whether any progress was being made on this....

132georgm
Mar 15, 2009, 2:04pm Top

Also wondering about that...

What I would really love is an integration with the Facebook News Feed so that it gets updated when I add a new book to my library, start reading a book, finish reading etc. Well, that's pretty much all I care about :)

I've looked into this, but there doesn't seem to be a decent way to figure out when a user has started or finished reading. Of course I could spider the LT sites and look for the corresponding fields or rely on a certain tag, but none of this seems right. Of course, an official LT app could do without all those hickups...

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