Rocking out on Pandora!
I was working online tonight doing my freelance gig as a VR Librarian on QandANJ and playing my customized Pogues and Tragically Hip radio stations in the background thanks to Pandora — one of my favorite Web 2.o goodies that I recently discovered. I was between questions when it struck me like a lightning bolt that we need an equivalent project and application in the library world. I am serious. We need to find a way to fund or create a “Book Genome Project” that is similar in size and scope to the Music Genome Project that was the impetus behind the creation and launch of Pandora.
Pandora made its public debut about 6 months ago and it was recently named one of the top freebies in PC World’s recent article 101 Fabulous Freebies. For those of you who have not yet discovered Pandora I urge you to go play with it — just be warned that it is addictive. You can also read a fantastic interview about Pandora on Blog that Web or read the Wikipedia entry for more information.
So, back to my lightning bolt — a “Book Genome Project”. I know we have many reader’s advisory tools and even databases such as Ebsco’s NoveList to help our customers select books, but they all seem “Oh So 1.0” when put in a side-by-side comparison with Pandora.
What I like best about Pandora (besides the fact that it always seems to play music that I like based up on one suggestion) is their objective to “capture the essence of music at the fundamental level”. They really seem to be doing it. How? By assigning a variety of attributes to songs that get at the core of what the music is really about and what people might like about that particular song.
Wouldn’t it be great to have a tool that was freely available on the web and simple to use that captured “the essence” of books. I doubt I am the first to have thought of this, but the way I am envisioning might be unique. A Pandora replication for fiction and non-fiction to help connect people to books. It is late at night and I have not had time to think this all the way through… but I believe I am on to something. I would love suggestions on how we could create our own Pandora for the library world.
More to follow on this (after I get some sleep).
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