Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Evaluating websites

The website I've chosen to look at for this exercise is The Book Seer. I tried searching for other titles and found some good suggestions. This is certainly a quick and easy way of getting recommendations. The site uses Amazon, LibraryThing and Book Army as its sources of suggestions. It gives lists of suggestions found on these sites with links from the titles into the source website. From these links you can go into LibraryThing or whatever, and carry on from there searching. Of course these sites have different reasons for recommending titles; Amazon wants to sell you things, whereas LibraryThing is a social networking site and gives you much more information about why this title has been suggested (tag clouds etc, user's comments). Book Seer also has links to 'you local bookshop' and 'your local library' as sources for suggestions which is good, but not relevant to NZ, as the bookshops link was for the UK and the library link didn't seem to work for me. It also has updates you can follow on Twitter which may also be useful.

The Book Seer is quite good as a quick and dirty way of getting lists of possible titles, but for anything more indepth I think other sites would offer more. It is also restricted in where it it sourcing suggestions, and you may feel more inclined to go straight to LibraryThing or a similar site, especially if you aren't interested in purchasing titles. I tend to take a lot of these 'recommendations' with a grain of salt in any case, and it is up to the user to say whether or not they work for them. Amazon is constantly offering suggestions with every search or purchase which does get annoying with too much extraneous stuff in your face at times.

No comments: