Mergers and Acquisitions

No, we didn’t get bought, but you can merge libraries!

I added a feature that enables you to add multiple usernames to the URL to merge libraries. You simply add a + between each user’s name you want to combine.

For example: combines my wife’s media collection and with mine.

This also has an RSS feed (just like most of the other URLs) by adding /rss to the end, like So if you wanted to follow what your friends on (and let’s be honest, if they’re not on are they really your friend?) have been adding, you can build a url and you can subscribe to it with any RSS reader.

I wrote about some other URL hacking tips a while back.



everything is new again

I promised a rewrite years ago, and finally have managed to both start it AND get it stable* enough for use. I have tried to keep all the javascript widget thing and RSS URLs working. Let me know if there are any problems.

I plan on having the relationships (“friending” users and viewing a page of all your friends’ stuff) reinstated soon, among some other enhancements. Also missing is the old import feature. Hopefully, I’ll have enough time to get that finished in the few weeks.

I am writing an API to go with the new site. I already have some of the basic features working, but it’s not ready quite yet for public consumption. Stay tuned.

If you have any issues or questions, feel free to contact me.

*”stable” being a relative term here.


not just for normal people anymore!

I’ve finally added basic social networking support. You can now add any user on as a contact, friend, or family.

If you’re logged in, you’ll be able to see the link to add a user to your contact list in their profile page.

You will be able to see media added by people in your contact list by going to (using your username, not mine).

Substitute “media” with books, dvds, or music, to see stuff in just that category. Just like the other collection url’s by adding /rss you’ll get an rss feed.

My contact list is at (and you’ll find yours by using your username instead of mine).

There is still a lot to go into this, so keep an eye out.

importing and configurating

point. click. copy. paste.

Jim has updated his CSV parsing code, and what that means to those of us who aren’t php artists is that the import features should work a lot more efficiently.

You can import your collection from a text export of your delicious library here or the LibraryThing_TD.xls file from librarything here. Let me know how these work out for you.

Secondly, remember when I announced the javascript web badge thingy? Well… in case messing around with the query string thing was too complicated, and copy/paste is your kinda thing (Hey, I’m not being condescending. How do you think the code for this site was written?), you can try out the brand spankin’ new badge configurator! A nice little GUI for setting all those ‘advanced options’.

Soon, I’ll add a GUI for configuring the CSS so you can customize it for your site, without having to hack into the provided script. Point. Click. Copy. Paste.

rafe’s law

have you got anything without spam?

An Internet service cannot be considered truly successful until it has attracted spammers.
Rafe Colburn

While that at least makes us feel like we’ve ‘made it’ (are we successful?), it does little to ease the hurt that is seeing this site spammed.

I don’t know what they stand to gain spamming us. The URLs they’re adding in their “reviews” aren’t even linked, so… no love from the spiders (think GoogleBot) there.

In any case, it’s prompted me disallow titles that aren’t found on Amazon. Don’t worry, we’re working on a custom item option that, ideally, includes the option of using your own covers.

a quick update

just checkin’ in

I know I haven’t posted anything new in a while; however, that doesn’t mean development has ceased. Things have been going very slowly (obviously), but forward nevertheless. I’ve enlisted the help of another developer, a friend of mine from We’ll hopefully be hitting beta status here soon.

On a personal note: I’ve relocated completely, and in that process, we’ve moved a couple times, had a baby, and… well, isn’t that enough?

ex libris patriae

international amazonia

We’ve recently added some international support and beefed up the title look-up. You can specify which Amazon server you wish to use to look up your title. Also, if there are more than 10 results, you can page through them to find that obscure little title that makes your collection that much better than everyone else’s.

Once you’ve submitted a title using any of the other Amazon servers, the form will default to the one you chose last.

We haven’t updated the browser button (favelet, or what have you) yet, so it only works with Amazon US.

I’m still working on an API for those who know what I’m talking about, and I’ll be keeping you all posted.

And finally, wow, I probably shouldn’t have even tried to use Latin. Can someone correct the title (from the library of my country)?

web scriptery

it’s so cool it puts the ‘ice’ in ‘web service’

We’ve finally added a bit o’ javascript that you can include on your website for your collection.

You can see it in action here, actually, on the right side of this blog’s home page. I put that up there, as a demonstration.

To get this same kinda dealybopper on YOUR webpage, you just need to add:

<div id='librarious'>
<script type='text/javascript' src=''></script>
<a href='' title=' - social media cataloging'><img src='' border='0' /></a>

(of course you’ll substitute my user name for yours.)

The results are enclosed in div tags assigned specific classnames. The following is the CSS I have pasted above my script:

	<style type='text/css'>
	/* this is just a basic css sheet, feel free to hack away at it! */
		#librarious{width: 150px;padding: 10px;}
		.librarious_item{margin-bottom: 10px;padding-bottom: 10px;width:130px;overflow:auto;}
		.librarious_title{margin-bottom: 10px;font-weight: bold;}
		.librarious_cover{float: left;padding-right: 10px;padding-bottom: 10px;}
		.librarious_review{margin-left: 60px;padding-bottom: 10px;}
		.librarious_rating{margin-left: 60px;padding-bottom: 10px;font-size: .75em;}
		.librarious_tags{margin-left: 60px;padding-bottom: 10px;font-size: .75em;}
		.librarious_noReview{color:#808080;font-size: .75em;}

I’m sure people can get really creative with the CSS. Feel free to send me if you have something interesting, I plan on having a little CSS gallery/repository (a little zen garden, if you will).

The resulting markup for each item ideally looks like:

<div class='librarious_item'>
	<div class='librarious_title'>
		<a href=''>True Names: And the Opening of the Cyberspace Frontier - Vernor Vinge</a>
	<div class='librarious_cover'>
		<a href='' title='True Names: And the Opening of the Cyberspace Frontier - Vernor Vinge'>
		<img src='' width='50' alt='True Names: And the Opening of the Cyberspace Frontier' border='0' /></a>
	<div class='librarious_review'>
		an anthology of essays discussing topics touched on vernor vinge's short story
	<div class='librarious_rating'>
		3/5 stars
	<div class='librarious_tags'>
		<a href=''>scifi</a>

Just like the urls for the rss feeds, you can change media to books, dvds, music, or games to restrict results to those types. Also, you can add /tag/[keywords here] to restrict the results to those specific tags.

For example:

<script type='text/javascript' src=''></script>

I could use that code above to show the last 10 books, that I’ve tagged with webdesign AND reference.

There are a few advanced options as well.

  • hideTitle=true
  • hideCover=true
  • hideReview=true
  • hideRating=true
  • hideTags=true
  • reviewLength=20
  • limit=3

The “reviewLength” can be set to show any number of characters (setting it to 0 will have the same effect as hideReview=true) and “limit” will show the number of items to show from 0 (… Why would you choose that?) to 10 (the default).

The 8th rule of fight club is if this is your first night at fight club, you have to fight. Also, if this is your first time ever using a “query string” here’s how it goes: you can string those advanced options by first adding a question mark after the “js” in that script separating them with a & like so:

<script type='text/javascript' src=''></script>

That’s hiding the title and the reviews.

<script type='text/javascript' src=''></script>

That will give me a listing of 3 of my most recent dvds that I’ve tagged with scifi AND anime, hide the titles, and only show the first 50 characters of my review for each item.