Connect IndieBound to LibraryThing
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BTW: I'll be on later tonight to help out. Other LT employees will too. But now, Chinese!
And, well, I wrote the code. It took me all last night! :)
Would it be an idea to allow people to filter by city/state/zip so that they can easily find the bookstores they're more likely to know about?
Also, it would be great to have the page number links at the bottom of the page too, so we don't have to scroll back to the top at the end of each page.
Okay, I went in and connected my first venue. Then I thought, "Maybe I should come in here and see if I need to sign up or something." But I'm stuck in an all-day training class and I'm bored, so I'll keep on playing with it.
I see that IndieBound doesn't exactly have the best data. Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, Alabama on the first two venues I checked. Not to mention incorrect spelling of the business names of those two venues.
It might have been just a fluke, but it doesn't leave me feeling very confident regarding the quality of the data that we'll be getting back from them.
7> On the other hand, some of the data I've seen and matched with existing LT Local entries was better than what was already in LT. (Including things such as URLs.)
I'm not clear what the 'check again' link does. I clicked it once, accidentally. Not sure whether or not it's harmed anything.
A Different Drummer has the following information for Indiebound:
513 Locust Street
Burlington, Ontario, Canada
Burlington, New York L7s 1V3
I've linked it to the existing Canadian address on LT.
Googling the shop only comes up with the Ontario address.
Can someone with local knowledge check this please?
>8 kevinashley: Yeah, but it makes me wonder who in my area has created those additions to IndieBound. :)
Tim et al, I'm assuming that for cases of duplicate venues we should hold off on linking until the staff have done the combining.
> 9 I've linked it to the existing Canadian address on LT.
Which one? There were duplicate venues when I checked or has the staff done the combination already?
LT venue 7028 (Shore Books, Long Beach, CA) had the wrong street address but right website. The Indiebound data had the right street address (one which agrees with that on the store's own website.)
Just one data point.
How do you undo a mistake? I accidentally tied
Better World Books - Goshen
118 E. Washington St.
Goshen, Indiana 46528
Between the Covers
224 West Colorado Avenue
Telluride, CO 81435
and can't find an undo or untie button.
>8 kevinashley: I'm not clear what the 'check again' link does. I clicked it once, accidentally. Not sure whether or not it's harmed anything.
I think the "Check Again" link just checks to see if anyone has linked that store since the last time you refreshed the page.
And it seems to submit your venue number if you've typed one without saving it yet.
7,9: I'm not sure IndieBound is set up to cover Canada. If you search for bookstores in Canadian cities on their website there isn't much. I think their database also doesn't have an option for Canadian provinces, so Toronto stores that people have entered on IndieBound are getting listed as NY, Vancouver as WA, etc.
Intersetingly, there's a Bermudan bookstore listed in Ontario on IndieBound's site... Well, yes, they are both cities called Hamilton...
>16 rsterling: Very true; I saw some of that too after I checked out their site.
Unfortunately, Tim kind of confused the situation (for me anyway) by his statement the blog post.
We turned to IndieBound (formerly BookSense), the large and influential organization of independent bookstores in the US and Canada.
Another thing that's confusing about IndieBound, as far as linking it to Local goes, is that it's not clear which stores are actually IndieBound members or affiliates (for the little checkbox on Local) and, linked to that but an issue more for the forthcoming "find it" page, which ones that are members then would actually have book inventory data. It looks like anyone who joins the IndieBound website can add indie stores to their database, so that means that not all stores in their database are actually members. Maybe it doesn't really matter, but it's at least confusing when entering new venues into LT Local.
Another very good point. I ticked a couple of those checkboxes before I looked at the IndieBound website and realized that anyone could add stuff. Fortunately I only had two to fix.
I've discovered a couple of venues that exist in LibraryThing Local but "could not be found". The issue in both cases was that the name was entered differently from the way IndieBound had it. I just changed the name on the existing entry. It might be a good idea to double check via the address.
20: I've found some cases like that too. I just pasted in the Local ID number (ETA: on the IndieBound matching page), and that seemed to work (without changing the name).
Not every venue from IndieBound is an "IndieBound bookstore." It's all very confusing. The guys from IB explained it to me and I'm still confused so I don't really think that I could explain it to you without confusing all of us. :)
They list every independent bookstore that they know about. Only some of those are members of their association.
The actual IndieBound data is good, but the feed they sent has problems. I'm guessing they didn't handle the lack of data correctly, so the Candian stores, which have no US state information, picked them up from the one before. Anyway, while I understand the problem, they were very good to get us something so fast. Sometimes fast is better than correct. :)
It might be a good idea to double check via the address.
My method is to check the name, then the address. Even the zip code is good enough, unless it's Manhattan. If it's not in the first few results, it doesn't exist in the system.
So should we not be checking off the indie box? ... They list every independent bookstore that they know about. Only some of those are members of their association.
Oh, dammit! I thought they were necessarily IB members.
Can we get them to tell us which ones ARE IB members? Also, can we map these to events well, or not?
I encountered another problem. In doing the checks, some of the bookstores were not found even if I entered to bookstore name correctly. I would eventually find it after entering the bookstore name in a different way (*not* a different spelling, sometimes just minus (!) one of the words). You are going to end up with a lot of duplicate venues now.
I did a check on the ones I entered and went back and deleted the three duplicates I found (Blue Bicycle Books, Diesel - Malibu, NCSU Bookstore North Carolina State Univ.). The problem now is that it looks as if the link has been completed, but it has not. The right hand box is still blue saying the venue is linked even though I deleted the duplicate link. Those three examples I gave are now, in fact, linked to nothing! :(
I don't think I'm going to add the state-by-state thing. We're getting too close to done, I think!
So how can we tell if they're members? It doesn't say on the records!
Each store that is a member prominently displays the logo on its website, I've found. This involves actually looking at each store's website.
Would a search here come up with the correct information?
30: That is correct. For the most part.
I can see about getting them to provide us with the member/non-member information in future feeds. The cool thing is that once we have the venues hooked up all of the information that we get from IB will help us keep them updated, so we can always update anything that is wrong.
We must wait on IndieBound to do some changes on their side before we'll be able to properly hook these venues up to our event parser. We DO get a feed from IndieBound for events. Unfortunately their event data is tied to one set of IDs for their stores and this data file is tied to a completely different set of IDs. They explained to me that they are in the middle of transitioning from one system to the other and that they will eventually put the new numbers (the ones we're using for this new project) in the events feed. When that happens I'll be able to leverage all of this work to get better event to venue matching. I'm having to do some serious voodoo to match them up right now. Tim got a little over half of the venues in this feed to match automatically. I worked hard and got about 95% of the event venues to match....but it was more work than I should have done, I got a little OCD about it. ;)
Anyway, that's the long story.
I just pasted in the Local ID number (ETA: on the IndieBound matching page),
What is the "IndieBound matching page"?
Where is this ID number found on that page?
Where do you paste it in? There's no field for such a thing on the "create a venue" page.
Tim got a little over half of the venues in this feed to match automatically. I worked hard and got about 95% of the event venues to match....but it was more work than I should have done, I got a little OCD about it. ;)
I used phone numbers. They're the unique id of the modern world. The rest is just guessing...
33 Sorry, I'm not sure what terms are correct. The matching page - I don't know what it's called, I just called it that - is the 2nd link in Tim's first post. The Local venue ID is on every venue page when you find one on Local (maybe that's new? never noticed it before). So I search for the venue in one window, and leave the "help with IndieBound" page open in another, and then type in the venue ID in the box on that page when I find it on Local.
Doh. I had been checking the box when I added the venues until I read this page. I went back and unchecked the 7 I had done (I think I got them all) since I don't know if they were/were not IB stores. Several don't have websites so checking that isn't feasible.
(However this works out it was fun - I found out about a site waymarking.com that my geocaching.com PW works for and I asked a member there if I could use the pics he took of one of the bookstores - he had waymarked it - for the venue page on LT - ain't "teh interweb" grand!?)
I punched in the wrong ID for:
Undercover Books & Gifts Virgin Islands
It should have 46752 linked to it.
Undercover Books & Gifts Virgin Islands
Someone else must have had it up and edited it. It's now right.
ain't "teh interweb" grand
I search Flickr for every store I do, and message the person whether we can use the photo. The web is grand.
My God, people, you are crushing this. We're going to be done quite soon. (Thank, by the way. I think I'll win my bet with Chris about when we finish...)
A couple points:
1. I added an area for the last hour, to inspire people.
2. We are definitely gonna need a special badge for this. :)
As we get down to the bottom of the barrel, there are a lot of questionable places--ones not entered by IB staff, I think. Be sure to mark "other" if they aren't really a bookstore. I'm generous with that designation, but it can't be infinitely elastic or the data is too noisy.
Hullo everybody, this is Matt from IndieBound. Sorry to be late to the conversation.
If anything here is confusing, it's because we are a nonprofit. You should see our bylaws.
The only 'membership' involved is whether the independent stores in question are members of the American Booksellers Association. Yes, we can tell you which stores are members of the ABA, but I'm unclear what good that does for anybody. This doesn't seem like anything of interest to anybody but another bookseller. And yes, we list every independent bookstore we can find out about on IndieBound.org, not just ABA members.
IndieBound is just a marketing program which promotes independent businesses, starting with bookstores. That's it--it's not a membership or a secret handshake society (we're working on a handshake, tho). Plenty of toy stores, bike shops, and gift/home stores display IndieBound materials too.
The Canadian stores are a problem, yes. Since we are funded by member dues from US-only bookstores, we don't technically list stores outside of the US. Since our non-ABA-member data is user-entered, and we have a grand total of me and another person spending half her time working on this thing, sometimes mistakes do leak through. But I do my best to keep the data clean, I swear.
That's insane. I can't believe you guys did 1,300 in what, 18 hours?
>42 mattsupko: If anything here is confusing, it's because we are a nonprofit.
Don't sweat it Matt, your website is up-front and clear about what you are (a US listing) and where your data comes from. Unfortunately Tim's blog post wasn't. I blame him for any confusion. ;)
Matt: IndieBound is just a marketing program which promotes independent businesses, starting with bookstores. That's it--it's not a membership or a secret handshake society (we're working on a handshake, tho). Plenty of toy stores, bike shops, and gift/home stores display IndieBound materials too.
Cool. So, what's the name for IB stores that use the IB/BS site for online bookselling?
A lot of IB stores proudly display that they're IB stores. Shouldn't we acknowledge that (and link to you more)?
Squeaky, I predicted we'd be done at 11am—Chris say 1pm. 11am right on the nose—awesome.
That's insane. I can't believe you guys did 1,300 in what, 18 hours?
Almost exactly 18.
Our e-commerce solution is called IndieCommerce. There are somewhere around 200 of these stores at the moment. These are also the stores whose events data we're providing to you. In our feed, we've also included links to other stores we know of with online shopping who are not using IndieCommerce. Some of them use a service called BookSite, and some use Baker & Taylor's TheRetailerPlace, and then there are some homegrown systems out there like Green Apple's rockin' "Mergatroid."
Right now we're about at the halfway mark moving stores off of the old BookSense.com sites and on to IndieCommerce. This migration (think 'March of the Penguins') has been slowing up a lot of what we'd like to do, like online inventory.
We'd love it if you include IB branding with independent bookstores--there's just no need to identify them as members, per se. Unlike BookSense, IndieBound is wide open to any independent store (not just bookstore!) to display or modify as they see fit. It's kind of like Creative Commons. Anywho, you could just say that they are independent bookstores and display the IndieBound logo and a link.
Something we wrestle with every day is leveraging IndieBound to promote bookstores collectively without compromising their unique identities and their own brands. This is why IndieCommerce sites, for instance, don't say IndieCommerce anywhere.
Okay, I did several of these (correctly, I believe), but I think I screwed up my first one. They seem to have three locations, one of which was already in our venues. So, when I searched for the venue and it popped up, I happily matched them up before realizing that the addresses were not the same (though the URL is).
Anyway, I think some correction is needed (the location in IndieBound needs to be added as a venue, and then link it to the new venue?), but I don't know how un-link the two that I linked.
Here is the info
Best Bargain Books
65 Robinson Ave
East Patchogue, New York 11772-4834
Best Bargain Books (edit)
217 Middle Country Road
Centereach, NY 11720
Events: No event URL
Entered by: Osbaldistone
54> Interesting. I recall seeing those - there were three of them, as I recall - and I thought I had linked the LT venue on Middle Country Road to the right IB entry. I saw evidence of other 1-many and many-1 matches already made by others as I was going through the list, but there seemed to be no way of undoing one's own, or others, mistakes.
Seriously guys, I love LT. I came to help, got confused, decided to come back to it later because I was obviously having a dense moment ... and when I did, it was all done. There's nothing better than watching people-power do something so effectively. Huzzah! to you all.
http://www.librarything.com/venue/46234/Michael%27s-Books-%26-Movies (in Las Vegas) is connected to the wrong Indiebound location (someplace in california)
The following is the correct Indiebound link for the #59 post, but I don't know how to unlink the wrong bookstore and link the correct one.
Could someone help me out here?
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