Bookworm textual experimentation

About

What's the deal?

I originally posted a little something about why book review suck. I don't really think book reviews suck, but I think there's an opportunity to more quickly and effectively connect readers with fiction they'll enjoy.

Here's what I believe:

  • Fiction is art
  • Art is subjective
  • Technology has greatly increased the amount of noise in the fiction industry
    • Writing a piece of fiction requires little to no investment
    • Submitting work for consideration also requires little to no investment
    • Agents and editors are inundated with submissions, most of which are the written equivalent to a marketing cold call (see: Slush Pile Hell)
    • Self-Publishing has taken hold, and while there is quality fiction coming out of self-published authors, the trend has also increased the amount of noise in the market place
  • The technology exists to create filters that can reduce this noise on the receiving side (agents, editors, readers)
  • Since fiction is art, and art is subjective, these filters must take into account the measurable preferences of the reader
  • It's easier to quantify what isn't art than it is to quantify what is art
  • Technology can't render a verdict on a work's value, but it can prioritize the order in which a reader will consider a list of works (something like Google's Priority Inbox)

It's about creating a recommendation engine that's based on the individual, not on crowds. Sites like Amazon, Goodreads (also Amazon), Shelfari (also Amazon), and all the other booksellers that have recommendation engines on their site derive recommendations by comparing what you've read to what other people have read. No one is analyzing the actual text, or if they are, they're not talking about it.

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Who's involved?

It's a short list.

  • David L. Day - I have roughly four jobs:
    • Husband to a wonderful woman
    • Father to two energetic boys
    • Writer (see my main site for more info)
    • Technology architect

My day job is as the database and business intelligence technology area leader at a major insurance company. You can visit my LinkedIn profile to find out a little more about my technology work, although I haven't updated it since taking the technology architect role.

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Contact Info

If you're interested in learning more or would your site added to or removed from the analysis, drop me an email at:

bookworm (at) davidlday (dot) com

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Code of Ethics

noun

1. a standard of morals by which a group makes decisions about what is right or wrong.

I'm committed to the following:

  • Only scrape content that is publicly available
  • Obey all robots.txt rules and any rules embedded in <meta> tags
  • Treat all participants equally
  • Minimize use of resources on analyzed sites
  • Exclude any site at the request of the site owner
  • Never repost or republish content without permission
  • Keep a current list of all metrics used in analyzing content

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Goals

/ɡōl/

noun

plural noun: goals

1. (in football, soccer, rugby, hockey, and some other games) a pair of posts linked by a crossbar and often with a net attached behind it, forming a space into or over which the ball has to be sent in order to score.

2. the object of a person's ambition or effort; an aim or desired result. "going to law school has become the most important goal in his life"

It's good to have goals, right? Here's what I hope to achieve in the near term:

  • Host a master index website of contemporary short fiction freely available on the web
    • Initially target pro and semi-pro markets in SF/F/H
    • New writers can use this as a starting point to research target markets
    • Readers can use this to keep tabs on new free fiction from pro and semi-pro markets
    • I will use this to develop fingerprints of genre and markets
  • Expand the master index to include:
    • Pro and semi-pro markets in other genres
    • Works not available for free but which are available for purchase on the web
    • This will rely on contributed texts from editors and writers
    • Remember, this is an index only - none of the content will be available on bookworm
    • I will continue to use this to analyze genre and markets
  • Provide free access to collected metrics
    • Registration required, but no fees
    • Create a terms of service to protect the rights of writers and editors

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