Just recently I've been checking out the social bookmarking/media web. The first major addition is YouTube.com which is everything Flickr is but based around video clips. It supports a set of Web APIs, RSS feeds and many social possiblities. Uploading video is a pain and enter metadata for clips is somewhat a pain compared to Flickr, you must fill in at least 3 pieces of meta (title, description and a set of tags). I got a feeling that Youtube wont be popular till video capturing is popular on mobile phones and digital cameras. Flickr was well timed for this expansion. As usual you can check out my public page here.
The other 2 Social networks I've been dabling with is myprogs, del.icio.us for software and reader2, del.icio.us for books. Both written by Dima Kuchin from Israel and coming to the UK really soon it would seem.
Like Youtube, they falls into the trap of entering metadata. Reader2 does have a google and amazon lookup, but its not great. I would expect once you have the ISBN of the book, all I would need to do is enter my tags. However, the copy item feature is good if a little fussy to use. It would be really great if Reader2 supported Amazon Wishlist and Myprogs could read your start menu or something via a downloadable application?
I'm kinda of looking forward to a movie version of these social bookmarking, which will save me building a personal store using cocoon or some other open source tool. I thought about using imdb to do this, but I still do not see any web api or even rss feeds for getting my data in and out. Unlike Youtube none of these services have public web apis but theres enough RSS feeds and I'm sure it will come over time. Just like how I hope Digg gets its act together, I'm not going to visit the website everytime I want to digg a story forever.
While I'm talking about social software. Has anyone noticed how Clusters or Bundles are starting to emerge out of the collaborative tagging. So for a good example, here is a search for social on Flickr. On the left hand side you will see a link to the Social clusters. Heres a Nature cluster, City, Phone and even the xbox. Interesting and popular is also becoming well used cluster types.
I have started looking at LibraryThing and comparing it with reader2. My first thoughts, is that its not as sweet looking but thats not a big problem because it actually has lots of ability to customise it. I just wish they would adopt a tableless design like reader2.
On the plus side, theres already the ability to import data from del.icio.us and export data as csv. I expect XML output wouldnt be out of the question but worst comes to worst, I could get Cocoon to transform it to some xml format. I also have to give Tim a thumbs up for pluging into the Library of Congress and building a much better book adding system. It also supports tags with commas instead of spaces which seems to be consistent with where every other tagging system are heading. Reader2 doesnt but has much more fluid interface (Ajaxy) for entering tags and other metadata.
Like Reader2, there is no WebAPI but worst still there no RSS feeds which I can find. This is deeply off putting and has stopped me adding more content for now. So generally I think LibraryThing is good if your a serious book collector (the revenue model seems to match this too) but for myself the lack of basic RSS feeds is off putting simply because I cant extract my own content out easily.
If your interested in checking it out, heres my profile and heres my books.
I would like to ask Dima Kuchin why he choose to do this. Wikipedia takes this approch too, but Flickr, del.icio.us and other just let people from all countries get on with it. Maybe with time there will be a way to aggregate tags from other languages together but I expect this will some time…