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בעברית LT in Hebrew

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1timspalding
Edited: Dec 8, 2007, 2:04am Top

Another thread pointed me to simania.co.il—the first time I've seen that site.

I'd love to hear what's good and bad about the site, and how LT can do better than them.

If I'd known about it, I might not have bothered with making the Hebrew site—the market is small and the left-right work is clearly going to be great. Well, probably I would have. There are other right-left scripts out there, after all, and a lot of Americans who read Hebrew but might not want to be in it all the time. (I at least found the site constantly reverting to Hebrew, which made it hard to explore.)

In general, native sites have certain advantages on the social side, while we can have technical advantages, like connecting with libraries. And, of course, larger is better in some ways.

Some questions:
*What are their sources anyway?
*Can users export from them?
*Can anyone find an email? All the contact stuff doesn't work for me.

2Hanno
Dec 8, 2007, 2:15am Top

Simania sucks, though they say that they're working on a new version, so it might become better in the future.

In Simania a book is not a member of work, so you have to rate the same book many times to get a real picture of your tastes in relations to the tastes of others.

I'm not sure about their sources, but they have a "libraries" link (http://simania.co.il/libraries.php) which lists 5 minor Israeli libraries that are "members of Simania".

Their interface is horrible, the site is slow, there is no forum system.

They do have a checkbox where you choose whether you own the book or not. ;)

I haven't noticed an export option.

You can contact them through:
support@simania.co.il

3timspalding
Edited: Dec 8, 2007, 2:28am Top

I sent them a note. I send one to everyone, and nobody ever does anything with us.

Fundamentally, I don't care about the Israeli market as a market, and would be glad to let them run a site drawing on both our strengths, on or off LT, that somehow made things better for LT generally. If we got something useful out of it, we'd let them use our MARC engine, for example.

Well, we'll see what they say.

What do they do well—apart from the checkbox you mention? They seem young—more Shelfari than LibraryThing. Sexier—the overabundance of clip art of cute women reading, including a crafty down-shirt photo on the home page sets the tone, I suppose.

We should hold a contest...

4Hanno
Dec 8, 2007, 2:54am Top

Well, they sort of focus on meeting other people. They have a page where you sort members by gender, etc. But really, there's nothing they do better than LT.

5timspalding
Dec 8, 2007, 11:02am Top

Surely they handle Hebrew better than LT!

6mirmir
Dec 8, 2007, 1:22pm Top

They do - but only Hebrew...

I believe that right now I have one of the largest Hebrew books collections on LT (hopefully this changes soon!), but Hebrew books are only about 40% of my library.

Here is only a partial list of things that I'd never be able to do on Simania:

- catalog all my books - in Hebrew, Yiddish, English, German, Dutch and whatever language I learn next. The old ones, the new ones, the weird ones.
- be in contact with people all over the world, over literature in various languages
- check my library on my cellphone when I'm standing in a bookstore
- send the link to friends who want to buy me a book as a gift and want to make sure I don't have it
- plan and manage my reading lists - the personal ones as well as the academic ones

What I love about LT is the plurality, the openness. The wiki-style "everyone is a librarian" thing. Simania, with all the virtues it may have, could never do that.

The goals of Simania are totally different. As Hanno says, it seems to focus on meeting other people who have read your (Hebrew) books.
To me, Simania symbolized frustration. It has happened to me more than once that I'm looking online for references to a Hebrew book, and the only result I get is a page on Simania - a page which, except for the title and author name, is blank.

7timspalding
Dec 8, 2007, 1:30pm Top

Well, don't say too mean things about them. I want to work with them somehow. :)

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