Saturday, June 14, 2008

Discovering Books With Bookhuddle

In this article we highlight some of the ways that members (registered users) and visitors (non registered users) can discover books using Bookhuddle. Bookhuddle is a book reference and social site and it offers users access to millions of books and many options to make finding new books both simple and enjoyable.

There are many ways to discover books using Bookhuddle. You can either directly go and search for books (e.g. browsing book categories, searching for specific books) or you can let the community and your friends do the hard work for you! (e.g. receiving recommendations, viewing friends' activity feeds)

It's easy to find books! Some of the ways include:

Book Browsing

The "Books" area is the starting point. On this page, you'll find several areas to help you focus on what you are interested in. On this page you will find New Releases and Top Selling Books (Amazon.com is the source of this data) as well as the Most Recommended, Most Listed, and Most Reviewed books on Bookhuddle. On the left side of the page, you will see the list of book categories and clicking on any one of them will show you the same areas, only constrained to the category you choose.

Book Tags

Tagging is a method of categorizing by associating a keyword or phrase to a book. All members can tag books to organize their books. If you click on a book tag, you will initiate a book search for all the books tagged with that keyword. So if you find a book tagged with "Harry Potter", clicking on the tag will help you find all the books related to everyone's favorite spell-caster.

When you visit another member's profile page, if their privacy settings allow, you can see the tags that they have used to categorize books in the "Tag Cloud" area of their profile. If any tag interests you, you can find all the related books that this member tagged by clicking on the tag.

Book Search

Bookhuddle has a powerful search engine that allows you to quickly find books. A search box is located at the upper right hand corner of each page and in the "Books" area.

Book Lists

There are multiple types of book lists and they all serve as a way to organize books, but also as a way for you to find new books.

  • Definitive Book Lists - These are reference book lists maintained by the Bookhuddle team. You can access them by going to the "Lists" area of the site. Some examples include: The Pulitzer Prize Winners For Fiction and The New York Times 10 Best Books of 2007 lists.

  • Member Book Lists - When you sign up, you will receive 5 default book lists representing the books you: own, have read, are reading, want to read, love. You can create as many additional lists as you want, whenever you want. You can browse through your friends' and other members' book lists to see what they are reading, have read, and so forth. This is a really nice way to discover new books if you have developed a friend network on Bookhuddle or if you have identified other members that share similar interests with you. You have control over the privacy of your lists and visibility is determined by the list privacy setting and relationship to the owner of the list.

  • Group Book Lists - Groups (or book clubs) also have book lists and you can view (depending on privacy settings controlled by the group) what's in those lists. If you find a group or book club that focuses on books or subjects that you enjoy, odds are you'll find more relevant books than you would searching randomly through the site.

Book Reviews

You can review the books that you have read, and you can always find out what's being reviewed by accessing the "Reviews" area. On this page you will find the book review stream showing the latest book reviews.

Recommendations

Bookhuddle is a social application and the interaction among members is a very powerful capability. Your friends can send you book recommendations when they come across a book that they think might interest you. Once that happens, you will see a recommendation notification appear on your Dashboard. You can also recommend books to people outside of Bookhuddle by specifying their email addresses.

Friend Activity

This is a great way to discover new books because it requires little or no action on your part.

If you have developed a friend network in Bookhuddle, you will receive notifications of your friends' activities on Bookhuddle on your Dashboard page. So if one of your friends adds a book to a book list or reviews a book, you'll find out. Then you can check out the book, see if it interests you and: add it to one of your lists, tag it, recommend it to someone else, etc.

If you are not a member yet, sign up now, it's free, it's fast. Enjoy a better way to discover, organize, and share book information.

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