I'd like to say we should not get sidetracked by discussions of
"business models." I particularly object to the idea that LibraryThing
can't experiment in the way that OL can because we have to have a
I won't toot my own horn, but I think LibraryThing has experimented a
good deal—and we're a handful of people. We have the budget of a small
library in rural Maine. I suspect Open Library is costing about the
None of this is about money. None of it. The people on this list could
revolutionize libraries on web for what Albanian-Americans spend on
As Emerson wrote "What are you waiting for? You're faster than this.
Don't think you are, know you are. Come on. Stop trying to hit me and
On 3/14/08, Kyle Banerjee <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> > I think there is still a lot of potential to make machine readable
> > metadata available at the same URIs that provide human readable
> > bibliographic descriptions...
> It almost seems insane not to do this since adding this tiny bit of
> highly useful functionality is trivial.
> > I think this is an area where OpenLibrary can afford to experiment a
> > bit, and break new ground--without having to worry (like you and OCLC)
> > about a business model.
> However, I think the business model aspect of any data problem is
> interesting because it has an enormous impact on what can be done at
> all, what is easy, and what is hard. Some high value data simply costs
> a lot to produce on a large scale, and there has to be a way to pay
> for it.
> One thing I'm particularly encouraged by are developments like the
> Google API. In a bizarre way, Google can help libraries by diverting
> business from them. For example, if a library displays TOCs using the
> API, users are more likely to be able to determine whether they need
> the book -- reducing the to request the book or obtain it through ILL.
> This reduces demand for library services if you're into bean counting
> metrics like number of requests. However, it also reduces costs for
> the library so resources can be diverted where they can do more good,
> helps the user get what s/he really needs, Google gets ad revenue when
> the user views the TOC at full size, and presumably, those paying for
> the advertising come out OK too. The incentive is to make everything
> easy to use, and everyone wins.
> Kyle Banerjee
> Digital Services Program Manager
> Orbis Cascade Alliance
> [log in to unmask] / 541.359.9599
Check out my library at http://www.librarything.com/profile/timspalding