Replied to a tweet by @Tania_UXDs (Twitter)
@BorisAnthony has some prior art: http://boris.libra.re/library/?i=color
Maybe this should be a session at the upcoming IndieWebCamp pop up on personal libraries

Call for Interest: IndieWebCamp pop up session on Goodreads replacements and decentralized book projects

Based on some recent discussions with a variety of people I’m helping to organize an IndieWebCamp pop-up session on personal libraries online. If you’ve ever considered how to own all your own Goodreads-like reading data and still interact with others or you’ve got an website, product, or application that attempts to do this, this is sure to be your cup of tea (or maybe we should say “favorite genre”).

If you’re interested, comment or reply to this post, or add your interest and preferred dates to the IndieWeb wiki.

  • Date: Sometime in February 2022
  • Time: TBD (approximately 3 hours in duration)
  • Streaming video/audio platform: Zoom
  • Hashtag for the session:

We’ll focus discussion on personal libraries on one’s site(s) and how they can interact with each other. How can we pool data and resources for the common good? How can we provide Goodreads like functionality in a decentralized manner? What pieces are we missing? How can we add them? Are there any easy ways we can standardize the pieces for better site-to-site interoperability? How can we interoperate with other projects like Mastodon and BookWyrm or data sources like Open Library?

Organizationally, depending on attendees and needs we may break our time up into two or three facilitated sub-sessions to focus on and cover specific topics of interest. If you have an idea for a sub-session topic (we’ll operate Bar-Camp style the day of the event) you’d like to see or facilitate please indicate it below.

If you’d like to help facilitate the session or volunteer in running it, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Want to start discussing the topic prior to the session? Feel free to meet up online in the IndieWeb chat.

We’ll try to announce a date around mid-January to provide time for people to reserve the time.

Replied to a tweet by Kevin SmoklerKevin Smokler (Twitter)
The StoryGraph looks like yet-another-silo in the merry-go-round of social reading sites. I prefer IndieWeb solutions like Gregor Morrill‘s (@gRegorLove) https://indiebookclub.biz/, an app/platform that posts your book reading data and updates to your own website.

Tagging Tom Critchlow (@TomCritchlow) and Ton Zijlstra (@ton_zylstra) for their thoughts and maybe an update on any recent experimentation.

I do wonder if StoryGraph are planning on making the ownership of your own data on your own site easier? That might be a reason for some buy-in.

Bookmarked The StoryGraph (thestorygraph.com)
We'll help you track your reading and choose your next book.
A potential tool to replace Goodreads.

Kevin Smokler in “who else is planning a shift from @goodreads to @thestorygraph in the coming year? Eh, @readandbreathe ?” ()

Replied to a tweet by Courtney RobertsonCourtney Robertson (Twitter)
On the IndieWeb front there are some interesting evolving examples and state of the art documented at:

In particular, I quite enjoy the micropub client IndieBookClub for posting reading updates to my WordPress site (it supports other platforms with Micropub support too.) More details: https://indieweb.org/indiebookclub. Here’s an example of how I’m tracking what I read on my own site: https://boffosocko.com/kind/read/ or if you want just the books.

If you’d like a non-WordPress hosted solution, you might take a look at Manton Reece’s excellent Micro.blog platform which has a nice book/reading UI: https://micro.blog/discover/books or https://micro.blog/discover/books/grid. (It uses IndieWeb technologies including micropub, so you can use IndieBookClub with it. You can also syndicate to it from your WordPress site if you prefer to have your own infrastructure and just join the community there for the conversation.)

I’m happy to help if you’d like further tips/pointers for any of the above.

On the Mastodon front, you might take a look at Mouse Reeve‘s Bookwyrm (GitHub) which is one of the best custom set ups in the ActivityPub space.

Jake Reeder’s Return to Cinder site and related Databyss platform

The coolest thing I think I saw at I Annotate 2021 today was Jake Reeder’s commonplace book for his reading notes and annotations. It’s very IndieWeb in some of the coolest ways.

He apparently began collecting his notes and annotations of Jacques Derrida using paper and pen, but transferred them into the cleverly named website Return to Cinder.

The site ultimately grew to include additional writers and works (thus also making it a personal library of sorts. It ultimately became valuable enough to Reeder that, with the help of Paul Hine for development they turned his site into a note taking platform available for other people called Databyss, which appears to be a silo note taking platform that allows users to:

Write and cite, research and re-search, and never get lost in Databyss. Welcome to your new word processor.

Users can register for a free account which includes hosting and storage, though doesn’t appear to allow custom domain names. I’m not clear what the potential business model is or may be, so be sure you’ve got the ability to back up and save your data elsewhere just in case. The interface looks very similar to Roam Research and some of the similar products in that same niche, though in this case the result is online rather than necessarily a private local repository or a private space in the cloud.

While the lack of end game for Databyss might worry me, the user interface examples of Jake’s personal site and the bigger platform are fascinating for the overall space. It would be cool to see how other IndieWeb building blocks might be included in these platforms to expand the space of both personal libraries and digital gardens.

Read books and the indieweb by Maya Maya (maya.land)
One thing I wonder about is what the various goals of structured book review content can be. The classic example would be a citation, to make it precisely clear whence one’s quotes originate and whither to search for context. The second obvious example would be a product review; “should you buy ...
Liked a tweet (Twitter)

I imagine that she’s purchased more than her fair share of books, but knowing some of her background, she’s “cheating” a tad since her job is reading/reviewing books which means the majority of her collection was sent to her for free. Of course she also has the added bonus that she’s probably actually read the larger portion of her library in comparison to most.