ConnectViaBooks...a Bookish Way to Find Kindred Spirits


Flemming Madsen writes "There can be few things more gratifying in life than finding a kindred spirit; someone who sees the world as we do, who enjoys the same intellectual challenges, who smiles at the same funny side of life. It’s something we all yearn for and yet, as we tunnel between work and family commitments, it’s often difficult to meet people beyond our immediate circle, let alone someone with whom we can have a meaningful conversation.

The days of such intellectual isolation may be over thanks to ConnectViaBooks , a brand new web site which allows people to meet kindred spirits in the safe and culturally neutral setting of cyberspace."
As the name implies, these encounters are forged through a shared love of books.

You are what you read
“In my experience, the books we read say a lot about our personality and interests� says Flemming Madsen, the founder of ConnectViaBooks. �The more books we have in common with a person, the closer in personality type we are likely to be.� This was the inspiration behind ConnectViaBooks, which allows people to find others who have read the same books and share the same tastes. “The time you most want to talk about a book is when you’ve just put it down.� But isn’t that what book clubs are for?

Book club with attitude
“Book clubs serve a slightly different need,� says Madsen, “ConnectViaBooks isn’t just about sharing the latest novels. People may have favourite books on cookery, dressmaking or something more esoteric like Japanese prints.� Whatever your hobbies and interests, you can now find others who have been inspired by the same writers. It’s a book club with attitude.

So how does it work?
Once you have registered, which is free for a basic membership, you can then draw on a huge database of 50 million books to create your own personal book lists. A book list may include books that you have read or would like to read. You can create multiple book lists to match particular interests or create lists consisting entirely of textbooks and other learned publications - thus making the site a practical tool for academics and researchers who may find it difficult to find others interested in their field.
And because it’s possible to see if someone lives in your area, gardeners, clock restorers or academics for example, can arrange to meet.

Having created your book lists, you then tell the system to track down members who have chosen the same titles. As a further refinement, members whose lists match the greatest number of your own choices are ranked highest in your list of potential correspondents. From that point on, it’s down to individual members to pursue the dialogue. Membership is international though initially most interest is likely to come from Europe, North America and Japan

ConnectViaBooks has been developed by Onalytica which helps organisations analyse their internal social networks.