Quote me on this

February 23, 2007


Probably the presentation that got me most excited at this week’s Future of Web Apps conference was QuotationsBook, launched at the conference by QB founder, Amit Kothari to, it must be said, a fairly muted reception – this was a pretty flashy audience who expect a lot of innovation and slickness.

QuotationsBook is a neat quotation source, with some (but far from all) of the features we’ve come to expect from the sort of Web 2.0 apps featured at FOWA – bookmarking, easy sharing, and external embedding. A quick comparison with other quote sources such as Wikiquote, The Quotations Page (#1 on Google) and Bartlett’s for the simple but probably not terribly common string ‘publishing’ reveals the following results:

These differing results are clearly the product of QB’s advanced thinking on how people use Quotes, together with a more serious approach than most quotes sites – instead of just pilfering other sites or waiting for users to add quotes, they re-indexed Gutenberg, for example. They deserve to do well.

What’s more interesting to me about QB, however, is it’s the first site I’ve seen to apply the principles of the semantic web to text. We’re all aware of the websites and applications that are transforming the way we access and interact with photography, video, music and other art forms, but there’s been very little done to upgrade the experience of literature. Apps like QB are among the first to think about what we can do with plain text, and that’s what makes them particularly exciting. I hope we can bring you more from Amit and the team soon.


  1. Hi James

    Thanks for the note.

    We think that text with context (or quotations) are a necessary part of mashups going forward. Glamorous things like photos and video have had the “social treatment”, but we’re going to really freshen and rejuvenate the most primitive and important of all things – text.

    In the next few weeks, we hope to roll out some amazing features and partnerships. For now, check out this example of a quote which has Gutenberg text surrounding it – http://www.quotationsbook.com/quote/1391/

    In future, when you add your own quotes (coming soon) our system will search the huge corpus of books from gutenberg, etc. and try to link a context in real-time!

    We’re matching thousands of classic quotes as we speak, and want to add other sources. Let me know of any ideas you have, we’d love to hear them.


    Comment by Amit — February 23, 2007 @ 3:06 pm

  2. […] spoke to a tepid reception – although Cathryn and James didn’t think so. It was obviously a challenge, plus our webbo isn’t ready (it’s […]

    Pingback by Rennaissance Man » Blog Archive » FOWA and Quotations Book — February 26, 2007 @ 1:52 pm

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