Building Walled Gardens

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Word comes of a new version of aNoblii, the social book sharing site:

“Now aNobii has relaunched with new discovery features including ratings, rankings and user-curated book topics that can be “followed” as though they were Twitter lists. CEO Matteo Berlucchi tells paidContent these trump Amazon’s hierarchy because they are more natural. It’s designed to heighten user engagement with books.”

It’s good to draw a big distinction between these kinds of things (which are basically walled gardens of one kind or another) and Blurb, which is social and allows reading, but is an open system where people can publish too. Walled gardens are still essentially one-way, with users providing social added-value but unable to create the primary object (the book). There’s a lot more social value in making tools for the informal and personal publishing universe (which dwarfs the number of books made by traditional publishers). Facebook may become a media platform, but it will have become one by being a social platform first.

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