This is RDF: The BB Reading List

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

Below my Virtual Neighborhood is my Bb Reading List. This list is generated automatically using PHP from an RSS file (books.rdf), which is being build using the exact same technology as that used for ThreadNeedle.

Though I didn’t use RSS as a dialect of RDF for ThreadNeedle due to the hierarchichal relationship of a threaded dialog, RSS is an ideal match for a book list such as this because the list is a “grouping of like items”– the business model for RSS.

As this time I’m using the Dublin Core and Taxonomy RSS modules, with the addition of my own items. I’m planning on generalizing my added elements into a “books” module to add to the RSS specification, once I make sure something like this doesn’t already exist.

Note that the RSS is going to be changing. For instance, I’m adding separate elements for author because there might be more than one author, and I want to be able to access each discretely. Additionally, I’ll be using the taxonomy elements instead of Dublin Core’s subject, because a book’s subject can be more complicated then that shown for just the subject element. I’ll also most likely add multiple recommenders, as more than one person can recommend a book.

By automating the book list from an RSS file, I can pull out an ISBN number and use this to look up prices at Glenn Fleishman’s Book Comparison web site. Eventually, this could also interact with something such as the St. Louis Library Catalog Search, if the functionality is accessible as web services.

Think of it: we’re only a few small steps away from the following scenario:


Grabbing an RSS book reading list from your favorite weblogger, feeding this into a specialized application, clicking a link on each book to open a page containing:

All the Google listings for that book
–All the Google listings for each author of the book
—- Possibly even a Google listing of related subject matter
A catalog search for that book in the libraries in your area
A price comparison and availability of the book from several online book stores
Which bookstores in your area have the book in stock and their prices
A listing of all reviews of the book

…all based on a level of trust built into the RSS file through the associated person(s) or organization(s) making the recommendation, and the weblogger the list is pulled from,

…all from the same functionality, almost literally, as is being used to build ThreadNeedle.


(Note, list is still being updated – special thanks to Jonathon and Karl for listing so many great recommendations, which I’m still adding to my database. And you both let me know if you want an RSS file of your own once I work out the RSS module and vocabulary. I’m sure we can work out a cookie exchange.)

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