As the popularity of social media expands in the online community, it is little wonder that a variety of second-generation social bookmarking sites have materialized, dealing with a wide variety of categories. In the category of education and books, there are dozens of social bookmarking sites and we have determined the top three within this hierarchy. These sites serve as the perfect gathering place for millions of avid readers, creating a potentially attractive advertising arena for publishers; however, commercialization appears to be in its infancy.
When we were creating this list, we took into account a lot of information, including current levels of membership, visitor traffic, user-friendly accessibility, member features and innovation. So, the Blogtrepreneur Top 3 favorites – drumroll please…
According to our research, LibraryThing has the highest number of unique monthly users and site visitors, and has some 650,000 registered members (according to Zeitgeist overview, January, 2009). This places LibraryThing well ahead of its rivals. We particularly like its interface and usability, though. LT allows you to keep a convenient catalog of book collections and browse others. They give book recommendations and hook you up with other book lovers. For true accessibility they allow you to access your catalog from places like your mobile phone. Further, their format allows you to catalog and categorize your collection simply and very easily.
Like LT, Goodreads allows you to catalog your entire collection within your profile. Their database is pretty comprehensive. The application is clean—but a little bare. Goodreads does offer you flexibility, though as you can arrange your books in a variety of ways – author, title, rating, etc. LibraryThing allows you to show which users are borrowing and who’s next in line to borrow each book. This feature is great for those who have large collections, and can allow you to keep track of your loaners; Goodreads should adopt something like this. This site does appear to focus more on ratings than actual formatting and cataloging. In their favor, however, they do have a nifty little widget, which allows you to incorporate your reading habits, according to your Goodreads profile, on a compatible social network or blog.
Shelfari’s design is very clean and appealing, They make it very easy to add books to your shelf, you can categorize and tag your books and friends and set up different groups. We think that the orientation of this site is maybe a little too laid-back for those who are seriously looking for a tool to organize their personal collection. Shelfari is arguably the more commercialized out of our top three, as it has enjoyed a considerable infusion from Amazon. They do have just a few too many “cutesy” effects and pop-ups for our liking, but this site is still one of the leaders in the growing field of more than 30 similar sites.
So do you agree? What would your top 3 education and book sites be? We want to hear your thoughts.