Flickr + OpenLibrary = Bookdata goodness

July 7, 2009


As we noted some months ago, George Oates, former designer and more at Flickr, probably the best designed site on the web, moved to the OpenLibrary. And now this exciting move has borne some fascinating fruit: OpenLibrary Machine Tags on Flickr.

Stick with us. Machine tags are machine-readable versions of the ubiquitous tag system that Flickr and now many, many sites use to describe and organise content. So far, they’ve mostly been used to link music gigs or upcoming events with photos, but they’re expanding slowly.

Machine tags are an incredibly important link in the bookdata chain, as they allow us to harness bookdata across any number of services. Of course, the same caveats apply, as we’re still picking a unique ID essentially out of the ether, but I’m happier that its OpenLibrary doing it rather than Amazon – or trying to do it with ISBNs.

So the uptake is pretty low at the moment (80 at the current count), but I’ve been tagging my books on Flickr – covers, graphic interiors and text – and I’ll be watching to see what uses there are.

I think it’s really important we start moving beyond covers as the defining “image” of a book – so in particular, I hope people start tagging interior photos. I’m also aware of the possible uses at projects like the Book Seer and bkkeepr (as Tom notes), so… well, we’ll wait and see…


1 Comment

  1. Dumb eBooks Must Die, Smart eBooks Must Live

    Comment by Mike Cane — July 27, 2009 @ 2:16 am

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