Valdis Krebs makes an interesting supposition. He wonders if Amazon might launch a new social network based on the connections we have through books? If I have commented on David Weinberger’s new book, Too Big To Know, that could connect me with others who have read and commented on it.
Below is a network map(via social network analysis) of a very interesting new book — Too Big to Know [2B2K] by internet scholar David Weinberger. David’s book is shown by the magenta node in the center of the network. Directly connected to his book are the books that Amazon mentions that customers also bought [green nodes], in addition to 2B2K. These books are probably more similar than different to 2B2K. The blue nodes are books that are 2 steps away from 2B2K, they are probably more different than 2B2K, but retain similarities. The arrows show the direction of the majority of also-bought activity. If you find 2B2K interesting, you will probably find a pleasant read in one of green books or possibly a blue book — depending upon your desire for difference.Today, Amazon introduces you to similar books. Tomorrow, they will introduce you to similar readers.
Of course, Amazon doesn’t have to build such a network from scratch, they could begin by acquiring Goodreads or Readmill.
Readmill would be particularly relevant, since it is based on highlights and notes that readers make within the Kindle experience, which are shared with friends, as shown here:
I think Valdis is onto something, since reading is perhaps one of the deepest ways of characterizing our identities. The works that have informed and shaped us could be a bridgework to bring us closer together, certainly.