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Common Knowledge in your library

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Edited: May 25, 2009, 4:25pm Top

After adding stats for awards, characters and places, I've put them on member profiles, under "Common Knowledge."

May 25, 2009, 4:31pm Top

Now my profile is showing a bunch of stuff I've never done. I've never been near awards, characters, places in my life and don't particularly appreciate having it there.


May 25, 2009, 4:40pm Top

I don't necessarily mind having it there (and I *love* the new info on the stat page), but I agree that there's a bit of ambiguity about what these links on the profile are. Since the profile is someone's public face on LT, it implies that what's on the profile is information about that member. So, it's easy for someone to think that this is supposed to represent work they've done in CK. It's also not obviously information about the member - technically, it's information about their books, but it's not information they've created about those books, unlike tags, collections, etc. Many people don't necessarily use CK and won't know what this is.

IMO, it makes more sense as or on a homepage module than on the profile.

May 25, 2009, 4:44pm Top

I think it should at least be lower down on the page.

And if we're having all this on the profile, can there also be a direct link to the tag mirror added to the clouds list?

May 25, 2009, 4:47pm Top

Perhaps it would make more sense after the About My Library field?

May 25, 2009, 4:49pm Top

> 2

I agree. This is irrelevant to me. Particularly because it ties me to erroneous information entered by others that I do not have the time to hunt down and correct.

Note that everything else in that section of the profile is based on data that I entered or information that I chose to have displayed.

Edited: May 25, 2009, 5:07pm Top

I don't think it makes sense to have this on the profile. Stats page, yes.

As lilithcat said, "everything else in that section of the profile is based on data that I entered or information that I chose to have displayed".

Edited: May 25, 2009, 5:08pm Top

I certainly haven't put characters or places in, and will not put any more CK in at all if these numbers are going to be on my profile. I really dislike this idea. Please at least give us the choice to opt out.

Edited: May 25, 2009, 5:08pm Top

Well exactly - if it has to be there (and with me this counts the same as the boy scoutish badge stuff that I'm also not fond of so I'd rather it wasn't), then let it at least be right.

v (written before posts 7 & 8 so not responding to them)

May 25, 2009, 5:07pm Top

The numbers are a bit off - at least the numbers of series and awards in the profile page are different from the one in the statistics page. Caching/indexing issue?

May 25, 2009, 5:19pm Top

Okay, anyone for down near the bottom of your profile?

>8 MarthaJeanne:

Oh, stop threatening. Jeesh!

May 25, 2009, 5:25pm Top

"Common Knowledge" isn't a good title for this section. How about "Found in Library" or something of that sort?

My numbers, too, are a bit off, e. g., 887 series on the Profile page vs. 924 on the Series page.

May 25, 2009, 5:32pm Top

I'd prefer them lower on the profile page too, or just on the stats page.

May 25, 2009, 5:34pm Top

I think the Stats page is more appropriate.

May 25, 2009, 5:37pm Top

I think CK should be renamed Combative Knowledge, it certainly starts a few arguments. :p

May 25, 2009, 5:40pm Top

It's already on the stats page. I vote for on the homepage rather than further down on the profile.

May 25, 2009, 5:44pm Top

Oh, yes, right, rsterling - that makes sense. A homepage module, so folks can move it about or hide it as they see fit. I like it!

May 25, 2009, 5:50pm Top

I certainly haven't put characters or places in, and will not put any more CK in at all if these numbers are going to be on my profile.

Now my profile is showing a bunch of stuff I've never done. I've never been near awards, characters, places in my life and don't particularly appreciate having it there.

But this isn't for items you have entered, rather for CK that fits books for your library that anyone has entered. Almost like the CK version of tag mirror for your library. I don't find it offensive--in fact, I think it's kind of neat.

Edited: May 25, 2009, 5:59pm Top

> 18

It's also like the memes about the authors. Those pages indicate data about the authors represented in your library, regardless of whether you're the one who entered the data on the author pages or not.

ETA: Okay, I looked at Tim's original post again. I'd only seen this new data on the memes/statistics page, and now I see it's on the profile too. It doesn't offend me, but I admit it seems just a touch odd. Like it doesn't "belong" there as well as the other data.

May 25, 2009, 5:57pm Top

>19 Suncat:

Pro or con them?

May 25, 2009, 6:00pm Top

18/19 Are you sure? In that case why didn't Tim say so? All the other info listed refers to data inputted by the member so it doesn't make sense to me.


May 25, 2009, 6:01pm Top

>20 timspalding:

If I'm getting the vote, I'd say take them back off the profile but definitely leave them on memes/statistics. On that second page, I think it's really nice.

May 25, 2009, 6:31pm Top

Added to the Your Zeitgeist section on your home page:

Edited: May 25, 2009, 6:36pm Top

Okay, I've moved it down to the URLs area on your profile. People still against it?

Edited: May 25, 2009, 6:43pm Top

Thank you :) :) :)


eta: oh bugger I posted after 23 but before 24. My vote is for off profile altogether please.

May 25, 2009, 6:52pm Top

I agree with the "not on profile" crowd. :)

May 25, 2009, 6:52pm Top

Though it doesn't bother me as much as it does others, I think I'd still vote for off the profile entirely - mostly because it's just not clear what it is and what the numbers are supposed to represent, even for those familiar with CK, and certainly for those who aren't. On the profile, it's more likely people will infer this is information about a member's own activity.

May 25, 2009, 6:53pm Top

Can I haz opt-out?

The amount of data garbage is amazing. I don't mind the existence of the data garbage (is it really a quality signal, though?), I prefer not to see it associated to my profile. Lilithcat's point >6 lilithcat: of its fundamental difference to the other profile information stands.

Edited: May 25, 2009, 7:20pm Top

Having it in the zeitgeist looks like that's how many of those things I entered, which isn't true - it looks like the CK facts item broken down. I think it would fit best on the Statistics page.

I don't mind them on my profile that much, but lilithcat does have a point. That was why I suggested putting it next to "About My Library." Also, I would think that a person new to LT would not be able to make any sense out of that line. I often do direct friends I'm trying to inveigle into joining to look at my profile.

Edited to change my mind

Edited: May 25, 2009, 7:25pm Top

It's a list of series, awards and other such represented by the books in your library—what on earth is confusing about that? We might as well not link to works or authors. You don't have works in your library, and if you have any authors, either you're one or the author is cremated.

May 25, 2009, 7:27pm Top

I like it in the zeitgeist section.

May 25, 2009, 7:30pm Top

Well a number of us thought it was a listing of our own contributions to CK and you didn't contradict that. What's not confusing?


May 25, 2009, 7:35pm Top

I liked it in the original place of your profile. It is neither confusing nor out of place. I also like it on the stats page, and the zeitgeist block.

Putting it at the bottom of the profile page, buries it from the data at the top.

May 25, 2009, 7:47pm Top

I should move stuff around all the time. It brings out the defenders! :)

May 25, 2009, 7:50pm Top

Other question: why places and characters but not events? Not that I desperately want it, just puzzled.

May 25, 2009, 7:51pm Top

I like it in the stats too. I'm fairly new and though I do read, it does not consume all my time. I didn't even know one book I had was part of a series. Now I do. So, thanks!

May 25, 2009, 7:52pm Top

I like it on the profile, either place is fine. It's nice to have quick access to some fun information.

May 25, 2009, 8:00pm Top

Other question: why places and characters but not events? Not that I desperately want it, just puzzled.

Forgot. I'll add it tonight.

May 25, 2009, 8:06pm Top

It's a list of series, awards and other such represented by the books in your library—what on earth is confusing about that? We might as well not link to works or authors. You don't have works in your library, and if you have any authors, either you're one or the author is cremated.

Yes, but that part is not made clear by the labels; all the other things in my zeitgeist are things I did. Add more words to the labels, to make it more clear!

May 25, 2009, 8:13pm Top

> 38: Problem will be that there already is an "events" in "your zeitgeist".

May 25, 2009, 8:15pm Top

I think it really should have its own module. Zeitgeist are your own contributions...things you've done. Not passive things your catalog represents.

I hate to say this, but it makes more sense staying in the stats section. I know it feels like it should have more of a highlight somehow, but it feels like we're just trying to shove it anywhere it will fit right now...

May 25, 2009, 8:17pm Top

Other question: why places and characters but not events? Not that I desperately want it, just puzzled.

Ah. Never mind. Events don't have their own pages yet. So, it'll wait.

May 25, 2009, 8:54pm Top

I like it at the bottom of the profile page. I agree with bell7, it's a quick link to fun info.

May 25, 2009, 9:20pm Top

> 42: Ah.

May 25, 2009, 9:41pm Top

Should these be showing on private profiles? They are, currently, with numbers, though of course the links go to a page that says this library is private.

It still seems a bit ambiguous; technically, these are something like "facts about your books from Common Knowledge" or maybe "Common Knowledge about your books." But I'm still not sure that's obvious on either the profile or the Zeitgeist.

May 25, 2009, 9:43pm Top

>46 rsterling:

Nope. Gone now.

May 25, 2009, 9:47pm Top

47 - thanks!

May 25, 2009, 11:12pm Top

Because this shows only the CK info that is added in the English site I would like to be able to take this away from my profile.

May 26, 2009, 2:08am Top

It's really not clear what this is supposed to be, and really does not belong on the profile.

Edited: May 26, 2009, 3:02am Top

Add me to the "not happy with it in the Your Zeitgeist" group (on the Home page). When I look there, it says "Reviews 3" -- that's 3 reviews I've entered, not 3 reviews of all my books. "Ratings 23" is how many books I've rated, not all of the ratings everyone has entered about all the books in my library. "Tags 1791" is the number of tags I've entered. "Talk Posts" -- how many have I written? Likewise everything else there. The CK entries are totally different.

Don't get me wrong, I love the statistics, I love the pages they link to -- fascinating and fun. But it should be a separate section.

May 26, 2009, 3:23am Top

I like it where it is and it's easy to know what it is about if you use it. Sometimes usability needs something from you. Riding a bicycle is easy when you know how.

May 26, 2009, 5:51am Top

I'm with #52. It just takes a click to figure out what it is, and what it is is a lot of fun! Thanks Tim. :)

May 26, 2009, 8:11am Top

I like it in Zeitgeist because I can display the ones that interest me, and hide what I don't care about (awards).

I don't care one way or another whether it's on my Profile. I do think it looks out of place down below the URLs.

May 26, 2009, 8:35am Top

I agree that it's weird in Zeitgeist, and it's weird when Zeitgeist is inconsistent.

It's always been very confusing to me, for example, that clicking on 'recommendations (6)' in my Zeitgeist does not send me to a handy list of all the recs I've made, as it does for reviews, etc, but instead to a list of recs other people have made for me - despite that '6', which is the number of recs I've made. To me, the whole use of Zeitgeist is very confusing and user-unfriendly because it's not consistent, and adding CK there in such a fashion makes it worse.

May 26, 2009, 10:36am Top

Agreed with stephmo (41) : "it really should have its own module. Zeitgeist are your own contributions". And rsterling (@46) : "technically, these are something like "facts about your books from Common Knowledge" or maybe "Common Knowledge about your books." And rorrison (@51) : "not happy with it in the Your Zeitgeist" ... "fascinating and fun. But it should be a separate section". And Aerrin99 (55) : "it's weird in Zeitgeist, and it's weird when Zeitgeist is inconsistent."

Edited: May 26, 2009, 10:43am Top

Zeitgeist is not entirely your own contributions; for instance, "your books" is just a fact about your library. I think it would be silly to have two modules of similarly-appearing data. Inevitably people would ask for them to be combined.

I think it would make more sense to simply have column heads for the zeitgeist module to resolve any ambiguity:

* your books: # of books, collections, tags, distinct tags, tags / book, custom covers, series, awards, characters, places

* contributions: # of talk posts, posts/day, # of ratings, # of reviews, recommendations, author pics, CK facts, venues, events, venue pics, LT invites sent

May 26, 2009, 10:52am Top

Zeitgeist is not entirely your own contributions; for instance, "your books" is just a fact about your library.

Yes, but they're books that you've logged. It's not as if someone logs into your account at night and adds books to your library. Same goes for tags...

About the only argument you could make with tags not being entirely under your control in zeitgeist is that the distinct tags could be impacted by tag combining. But tag combining is a little-known feature and is rabidly protected from instances of over-combination.

But the CK is really impacted by others - and not you at all.

Believe me, I contribute to CK and I'm happy to see it get any extra attention - the more hands involved, the better things get for everyone. It was awesome to see so many birth dates and genders filled in - if this leads to more facts getting filled in, I'll be super-excited.

But I'd like to see the placement make some sense...and Your Zeitgeist doesn't make sense to me.

May 26, 2009, 10:53am Top

It's not as if someone logs into your account at night and adds books to your library.

Pity. It would have saved me a lot of time when I first entered my books!

May 26, 2009, 1:38pm Top

But the CK is really impacted by others - and not you at all.

The data is secondary data. You put the books in, therefore you have CK data that's connected. The same is true of any secondary data—how many authors in your library, author photos, member recommendations, etc.

May 26, 2009, 2:50pm Top

>60 timspalding: So you're saying to let this one go, eh?


Well, when do we get our random quote module? Huh? Huh?

Edited: May 26, 2009, 3:50pm Top

60: Sorry to disagree, Tim, but of those "secondary data" you list...

Authors doesn't show in Your Zeitgeist
Author Pictures does, and for me shows 11 which sounds like how many I have uploaded (if it included all author photos available for authors in my library, it should show 157.)
Recommendations in my zeitgeist shows 0, which is probably how many I have made and clearly isn't the number of recommendations that other people have made regarding the books I have entered.

The CK fields count data that other people have entered. "Your Zeitgeist" used to count only primary data that I had entered.

(If only I could email you two beers, we could settle this.)

May 26, 2009, 3:58pm Top

I love this new stat display, Tim. Double plus good!

This'll greatly help my League of Extraordinary Gentlemen character cataloging process. But then again, I'm a nerd.

Also, LT is the worst/best thing to happen to my OCD...

May 26, 2009, 4:04pm Top

>62 r.orrison:

How about putting it at the end, with a little line above it or something?

Edited: May 26, 2009, 4:24pm Top

Sort of like this?

Yeah, that would be cool.

Edit to add: Custom covers should probably go below the line, since that does include covers that others have uploaded (it appears to include ones I've uploaded, ones other users have uploaded that I have chosen, and ones other users have uploaded that were selected for me based on ISBN). I would prefer to see how many I have uploaded myself, above the line. Other than that, everything above the line is counting something I have done.

May 26, 2009, 4:21pm Top

I like it, rorrison!

May 26, 2009, 4:21pm Top

Looks good. Can you push the code to our servers?

May 26, 2009, 4:28pm Top

It's all free for you to grab: Lightscreen and Paint.NET. If I knew PHP, and you were open to a remote worker based in England, I'd send a CV. I don't suppose you need an ex-Microsoft C++, now Navision database, programmer?

(I do sometimes dream about hacking into athena and making little patches on the sly.)

May 26, 2009, 4:35pm Top

>68 r.orrison: And here I was thinking, "cool, I never knew rorrison was on staff!"

D'oh! =P

May 26, 2009, 4:42pm Top

>68 r.orrison:

We're mostly remote. Never heard of Navison. Scared of C++.

May 26, 2009, 4:55pm Top

Navision is a Microsoft ERP system; the built in programming language is sort of Pascal-ish, limited but with native multi-user database functionality. But I think this has wandered a bit off-topic...

May 26, 2009, 4:56pm Top

>71 r.orrison: Can you make me a random quote module from Navison? If so, I vote that you be on staff!

See, back on topic! :) Kinda...

May 26, 2009, 5:01pm Top

>70 timspalding:.

Tim, what is the language of choice of LT? It looks like a lot of it is JavaScript necromancy on the client-side, but what about the heart of LT?

May 26, 2009, 5:01pm Top

>65 r.orrison: I like that! I would also like to see the covers I have uploaded myself. It's not a must, but it would be nice.

May 26, 2009, 5:17pm Top

I # the love for 65.

May 26, 2009, 6:23pm Top

>65 r.orrison: yes yes yes! would love to see all the covers I've uploaded in one place.

May 26, 2009, 6:43pm Top


The server side stuff is written in PHP. Tim has mentioned this often and some of the URLs have a .php in them anyway.

May 26, 2009, 7:52pm Top

can it say "CK facts contributed"? instead of just "CK facts"?

May 26, 2009, 9:04pm Top

>73 aethercowboy:

PHP. We're cool in a retro kind of way ;)

May 27, 2009, 12:18am Top

78> But I thought the point was that these *aren't* CK facts contributed by you. Something like "CK facts assoiated with your books" would be more accurate.

May 27, 2009, 12:35am Top

I like it. It's a nice addition to the profile.

May 27, 2009, 10:08am Top

80 > The "locations" and "series" and other individual fields are CK facts associated with your books. But I believe that the field just called "CK facts" is in fact (ahem) the facts that you have contributed. If I'm wrong then there's something seriously wrong with math that shows 8,000+ "characters" in my library, and only "4,000+" CK facts.

May 27, 2009, 10:37am Top

Right you are. CK facts belongs above the line, Custom covers below (unless they can work out the personal uploaded covers count, which many would prefer).

May 28, 2009, 11:16am Top


I know there is talk about where the stats go, and I liked your first pick, but can deal with whatever is chosen for placement.

Now the series stat is in 3 places and yesterday I had 3 different numbers !

Home page Zeitgeist: 1259
Profile: 1257
Series Page: 1332

Today the home page and the profile agree at 1259, but still doesn't match the series page still at 1332. I realize the number changes as people add and delete series, and as I add books, but they really all should be the same number, and if it isn't going to be updated regularly, what is the point of collecting and displaying the info ?

May 28, 2009, 11:27am Top

I tried to grumble for the same thing a few times above but it was silently forgotten. Even after 2 days, my numbers are still different so I highly doubt that it is a caching issue.

May 28, 2009, 11:43am Top

I know the home page Zeitgeist updates every 30 minutes - so that could explain some lag...I almost wonder if the series page is counting all language sites instead of just the site you're logged into...

May 28, 2009, 11:49am Top

Well - no, it's not just the lag. But you might be on something for the language sites - if the Series page on the Profile is counting all of them and the other 2 are just counting the ones on the site you had logged in - this might explain it.

Although... I just logged in on the Bulgarian and the Dutch sites and the numbers are exactly the same...

May 30, 2009, 12:43am Top

I've been more-or-less away for a few days, but gosh. WHY do we have this on our profile page, again? Seriously, what's the "why"? It doesn't fit. My Profile is about *me*... favorite authors I've picked. URLs to my pages. Information I've added to my profile. ME. This Common Knowledge thing has nothing to do with me. My Profile doesn't have stats about reviews written by other people, why CK done by other people? It makes no sense.

PLEASE, if we *have* to have this, at least give us an opt-out? Please??

May 30, 2009, 4:33am Top

Series are real facts about your books, as real as the authors who wrote them, the publishers who published them or the color of their covers. That this data is collected from regular users and not from library data does not change what it's about—your books.

May 30, 2009, 5:24am Top

>89 timspalding:
Series are real facts about your books

They might be facts but they are not always facts about my books.

Edited: May 30, 2009, 11:40am Top

>90 Anneli:

Series as applied here at LT are facts about your books -- series are only supposed to apply to "works" not edition-level information. No publisher series in other words.

May 30, 2009, 11:53am Top


Well, that's how they're supposed to work, anyway. Anneli, if you do see incorrect series information -- something that's an edition-specific "publisher" series -- you can certainly delete it. (Ask in Site Talk or the LibraryThing Series group if you don't know how to edit CK data.)

May 30, 2009, 12:33pm Top

>90 Anneli:
If you have any that do not match, it might be a combination issue. Just post in the Combiners group and someone will try to get them sorted out.

Other from this - the way series are defined here, they always would be series - regardless of editions and languages... If something is not - it either need separation or series information deletion...

May 30, 2009, 2:20pm Top

It would be really, really cool if somewhere down the line, we could 'favorite' CK data.

For example, I like books that take place in Chicago, and books that have King Arthur in them.

Then that info could go on the main profile page and the rest of the CK data could go in the zeitgeist. Although, for the record, I like having it on the profile page.

May 30, 2009, 8:00pm Top

89: Yes, series are "real facts about your books". However, as I said before, it just doesn't *fit* with all the other stuff on the Profile page. The Zeitgeist is where stats about books/works in my library should go. My Profile page is all stuff that *I* put there.

I chose which Favorite Authors, which also ons, what information is displayed there. It's ME. The tags? I entered those. The groups? I joined those. It's what *I* do, it represents *me*.

The CK stats that are now on the Profile page do NOT reflect ME. I did not add those. I have not looked at them. Heck, I don't even know if they are correct! Yes, they are connected to books that I have in my catalogue. That does *not* mean that they should be on my Profile page.

Other people post reviews that are connected to books in my catalogue, they put tags in that are connected to books in my catalogue. Those aren't shown on my Profile! So why is CK stuff that is written by other people?! It doesn't make sense.

May 31, 2009, 2:55am Top

>92 lorax:
I know how to edit CK data, but I don't want to touch the series - it is too messy. And I certainly don't want to delete any of the series because there seem to be different views about which series are publisher's series.

I would like to opt-out CK from my profile.

May 31, 2009, 6:24pm Top

I second norabelle414's idea of favorite persons, places, series. These are personal choices - perfect for Your Profile. The CK section should be moved to below the Your LT author section (another involuntary element).

The CK places need to interpret their internal hierarchy (London, England, UK), aggregating to non-Borgesian units, instead of double or triple counting individual addresses (221b Baker Street), cities, counties, states, countries, planets, ...

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