Wednesday, April 06, 2005

21st Century Reader's Advisory

One of the things we occasionally get to talk about in our Blog presentations is the growth in cooperative creation of content. Here's an interesting example that just came over the transom.

This morning's e-mail brought a note from a gentleman named Paul Youlten, who is working on a new site called StoryCode. This is a cooperative site that allows librarians, teachers, book sellers, and other "passionate readers" to "score" fiction in a variety of categories, resulting in links from one book to another. For example, if you liked Life of Pi (as I did), you would find a number of titles that have a score correlation of 77% or better. I rated my all time favorite novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and there were about a dozen novels that had roughly 66% correlation, some surprising (Seventh Son by Orson Scott Card? I, Robot by Isaac Asimov?) and some intriguing (The Color Purple by Alice Walker and To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee). Your rating of the book could change the books that come up in the rating scale, since I was the first one to score Huck.

There are several limitations to the system now. It's in Beta, and the database is pretty small (about 600 titles) at the moment. But they're adding to it rapidly, and invite all of us passionate readers to join.

If you haven't seen it, you might also want to check out FictionFinder, which is a project of the OCLC Research to act as a reader advisory service based on the MARC record. The web site describes this by saying, "...summaries, subject headings, genre terms, etc. are extracted from individual bibliographic records, filtered," (through the FRBR algorithm, not a CIPA filter --- blogger's note) "and presented at the work level." This is another one of the wonderful tools available free from the OCLC Research Works site. Check it out!

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