Evaluation and Ranking of Book Social Network Websites

Saeid Asadi, Hamzehali Nourmohammadi, Massoomeh Omidi Ardali


Book social media are reading communities primarily developed as online social networks. This study aims to find precise criteria and indicators for evaluation of book social network and examine and rank the most popular book social networks. The sample population included 10 English and two Persian book/reading social networks publicly available on the Web. A checklist containing 9 main criteria and 35 indicators was built up through a Delphi study and it was used to gather the characteristics of the sample networks. The results indicate that Shelfari has the highest number of features (87%) and therefore it ranks first. In contrast, Bisheh, a Persian social network, contains only 60% of the features and ranks last. The results reveal that there is no meaningful statistical difference among the scores. In other words, all of the twelve book/reading social networks contain almost similar features and have more than 50% of indicators. Several technical indicators were ignored as it was impossible to access and examine inner layers of the studied websites.  In general, Persian book social network scored less than English ones and this can be related to smaller number of audience, little interest in such online communities or language barriers in developing book social networks. These findings can lead to new patterns and recommendations for different societies to improve their book social networks as these websites can encourage reading. Unlike general social networks, little work has been done on book/reading social network in order to reflect their structural functional characteristics. Besides, this paper has resulted in specific criteria and indicators for evaluation of book social networks which can be used as a tool for future studies.

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