There are already several book-oriented social media sites. I favor Goodreads these days, while others prefer Library Thing or Shelfari.
My first impression of BookSprouts was that it’s entering an arena in which there are already several strong contenders. But I followed the link from the TechCrunch article, signed up, added a few books to my collection, and otherwise tweaked my BookSprouts profile.
BookSprouts differentiates itself from the other sites mentioned above with its emphasis on book clubs. In fact, for those steeped in social media, I might liken it to a book-specific Ning (and in fact, some of the social networks at Ning are book clubs).
BookSprouts is of course also different because it’s newer. In fact, BookSprout emphasizes its beta-ness and love of feedback. So I wasn’t surprised to find that it currently lacks some of the features I sought first, such as:
- Import from other bookish sites, where many already catalog their books.
- About page: who’s behind BookSprout?
- Help: there is a link, but it doesn’t seem to lead to any help.
- An API.
I mention the (lack of) API because the time may be ripe for a way of spanning the bookish sites, a sort of Book Connect. I note that Goodreads has an API. I also note that Goodreads has groups, which look rather like book clubs.