Tuesday, December 1st, 2009

“What is Social Cataloging?”

I’ve just posted a full video of my talk “What is Social Cataloging?” on YouTube.

Update: I’ve posted the whole thing as a single clip on Vimeo. I’d go there instead of YouTube.

The best way to watch it is to click this playlist link.

I talk about LibraryThing, social cataloging, the “social cataloging ladder,” Library 2.0, how libraries are failing at library 1.0 and I insult OCLC and cheer libraries on a bunch near the end. Fun for the whole family.

Labels: lianza, lianza09, librarything


  1. Martin says:

    I find it fascinating that this video says nothing about the content of books. It is as if cataloging is its own activity separate from books.

  2. Tim says:

    I wouldn't say that. Isn't what books are about—all the talk of cataloging, for instance—about books?

  3. Martin says:

    From what I can tell of the activity on Librarything I see more and more people add any kind of object. There's tons of people adding DVDs Videos, etc. I think I've even seen someone who added rocks or another such object.

  4. cnrenner says:

    @Martin: that's the Amazon effect. What Amazon offers defines what books are 🙂 (and Amazon is selling shoes and the like by now).

  5. Carol says:

    @Martin, isn't the subject/tags "about" the content of the books? I mean, how can you add tags/subjects without looking at the content? Also the reviews might have a wee bit to do with content…

  6. Katie Zimmerman says:

    Really great talk, Tim. I'm working on an MLS right now, and I'm finding it really frustrating that no one in library science is saying stuff like this. Thanks for filling the void.

  7. Library Hag says:

    I think some people add DVD's or whatever because they want a central place to catalog their "stuff". I find it a bit annoying but understand they desire. There are better places to keep records of your movie collection. I like the video hound retriever myself.

  8. cynthiadogmom says:

    I would think LibraryThing may want to consider putting in an auxiliary catalog tool for DVD/video or CD/music. I would dearly love a LibraryThing-like website for cataloging my music collection.

  9. Mark Barnes says:

    Can I suggest you use Vimeo as well/instead of YouTube? There's no pesky 10 minute restriction there.

  10. RuTemple says:

    Love the video.

    As to cataloging Things, the issue (pardon the pun) of cataloging serials remains somewhat fraught. Index the entire run as a catalog item? Index each issue (that one has, and perhaps hopes to fill out), or some combination? The discussions continue elsewhere…

  11. Alan Swartz says:

    I think some of the DVDs and CDs are there because they get imported along with books from other sources, e.g., Amazon.

  12. donutage says:

    Last I checked, many "real" libraries have non-book items in their catalogs: recordings, movies, games, educational manipulatives, etc. Don't see any reason why that shouldn't also be true of LT.

  13. Chris Mays says:

    Another suggestion for cataloging (but not social cataloging) of DVDs is to use the imdb.com MyMovies feature. I use it to keep track of forthcoming movies I want to see, or old ones not yet on DVD, and they have a list category for DVDs, and the capacity to edit categories (useful in lieu of tags).

  14. cbuusj says:

    Tim, I really enjoyed this! I've recently become an MLIS student and many of the things you discuss as well as LT itself are the reason why I think this field has a very interesting future. Thanks!