Sunday, April 01, 2007

A new name, a new LibraryThing

Today's farewell announcement by Library Stuff blogger Steve Cohen is sad news to many. But not to us at LibraryThing. Finally, the name we always wanted has come free!

After a quick round of emails I can announce that Steve has agreed to a complete buyout. LibraryThing has been renamed LibraryStuff.

With the move to LibraryStuff, LibraryThing increases its VMF or "Vague and Miscellaneous Factor," important in appealing to its target audience—jaded catalogers and information architects sick to death of the cut-and-dried certainties and voodoo-ontology of the Dewey Decimal System and of Library of Congress Subject Headings. LibraryThing held out hope some sort of definite or even "real" Thing, a "false move" which left the Lib2.0 cognoscenti shaking their heads about how the Man was telling them what to think. LibraryStuff promises no such certainties, just stuff. Don't want the stuff? Fine, we'll keep it.

The historic buyout brings Steve Cohen on board as legal librarian, book reviewer and resident namer. The terms of Steve's buyout were not disclosed, but let's just say Ari and Hallie are set.

First on Steve's renaming list is our upcoming "Library Services" feature. We were planning to keep the generic "LibraryThing Library Services" name, but adding the tag line Make your OPAC Sing... with LibraryThing! but now that Steve is on board we can expect a major rethink—"Stuff for Libraries from LibraryThing," etc. We also understand the name "Horizon" has also come free.

The decision to join up with LibraryThing finally puts to rest Steve's lingering "payola" scandal. Back in August 2005, Steve unwisely accepted a free membership to the one-day-old LibraryThing. Since then, he has been forced to issue disclaimers every time he mentions the site. The scandal boiled over when it was revealed that LibraryThing allowed Steve to enter a family video into our Hanukkah Book Pile contest although the video included no books at all! Subsequent revelations that Steve has also acquired free accounts to Shelfari, Gurulib, Anobii and Amazon have only fueled the outrage. At this point, all he could do was cash in.

Update: Major developments also coming in from OCLC, Google, TechCrunch. Yes, the new logo is in Cooper Black.


Blogger Blue Tyson said...

Nice. One day special on Get Stuffed t-shirts?

:-) 8-] ;-)

4/01/2007 11:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy April Fool's Day!

4/01/2007 12:00 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

Sorry this one was so easy. Last years "Walmart Buys LibraryThing" upset so many people I got worried about my more threatening plans :)

4/01/2007 12:01 PM  
Blogger Ed said...

All I can think of are all those obsolete T-shirts . . . ->gufaw!<-

4/01/2007 12:02 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

Finally out of beta....

4/01/2007 12:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay, why is it that I wasn't snookered by the WalMart prank but I was by the L-Stuff one?

Could it be that, contra Goebbels, it's the smaller lie that's more believable..?

: P

4/01/2007 12:27 PM  
Blogger Jenine said...

I was totally suckered and kept thinking, "I just bought a LibraryThing tee shirt!!! What am I going to do now?" Then again I'm known as being rather gullible.

4/01/2007 1:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You nearly got me, for about 2 and a half seconds. Brilliant one!
Steve Cohens's crew still is upset over this one. One even pointed him to a new bread winning job at Gmail Paper (

4/01/2007 1:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lose the terrible name. Lose the terrible font.

4/01/2007 2:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah-ha. April First...

4/01/2007 2:21 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

Terrible font? That's Cooper Black! I mean, you might as well insult Hobo!

4/01/2007 2:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I slap floor.

4/01/2007 3:45 PM  
Blogger Steven M. Cohen said...

I can't wait to report for work tomorrow. Anything special in store? Doughnuts? Box of Joe?

4/01/2007 4:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When you switch everything back tomorrow, could you think about finally changing the awful color scheme?

PS: It was funny.

4/01/2007 4:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Like girlfromipanema, I reaped about two seconds of furrowed brow, before memory did its work. :) - Nothing like last year's 'unprecedented' horror-tinged disbelief! Very nice.

4/01/2007 4:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tim you had me going. LOL I was truly hoping you were yanking our chain.
Oklahoma Booklady

4/01/2007 5:29 PM  
Blogger waltc said...

Not so fast, boyo. Steven M. Cohen is not the only proprietor of Library Stuff. I've been using that name--OK, with "The" prefixed- but not always-since September 2002 for sections of Cites & Insights, e.g. here and here and here.

And now that Google's bought OCLC, I may have to move six-tenths of a mile down the road or get a quick payoff as part of your buyout.

Steven M. may claim that he was there first and that I used the name with his permission. To such a claim I can only say... well, sure, that's true, but...

Nicely done.

4/01/2007 6:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw what you did there.

4/01/2007 7:04 PM  
Blogger dhamel said...

I am so happy this was a joke!

4/01/2007 7:53 PM  
Blogger JLH said...

Ha ha, very funny, as we used to say in RI. Got to it late, but it's really cool, even if a bit obvious. Or maybe it wouldn't be so obvious if I hadn't spent the day with three granchildren and their dad playing tricks all day.... They put me on the alert. Cool.

4/01/2007 8:21 PM  
Blogger Sandi Wiggins said...

Got me both times! Though I caught on quicker to this one. It is because it is soooo easy to believe these kinds of shifts in Web World, even though I long to believe otherwise.

4/01/2007 11:00 PM  
Blogger CatSpin said...

I don't think this is a good idea.

Keep LibraryThing as it is, or it will just turn into some awful web app!

I can't stay around for this, I am going to delete my account.

4/11/2007 4:36 AM  

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