I’ve long thought about having Text notifications (eg: mobile phone “SMS” messages) from BookMooch when a book on your wishlist becomes available. That would help people who aren’t at their computer all the time, be notified right away. The SMS message could even say:

“Your book ‘The Name of the Rose’ by Umberto Eco is now available on BookMooch from ‘angey (NY, USA)’.

Would you like me to reserve the book for 24h for you? Text YES back if you do”

I could also add features to tell BookMooch to do things via SMS, so you could send a text to bookmooch that said:

“bm wishlist 0812532597”

which would tell bookmooch to add the book that has that ISBN number, to your wishlist.

Or if you sent to BookMooch:

“bm 0812532597”

you’d get an SMS message saying:

“Good news, the book ‘The Name of the Rose’ by Umberto Eco (0812532597) is currently available on BookMooch from ‘angey (NY, USA)’.

Would you like me to reserve the book for 24h for you? Text YES back if you do”


“Sorry, the book ‘The Name of the Rose’ by Umberto Eco (0812532597) is not available on BookMooch at the moment.

Would you like me to add it to your wishlist? Text YES back if you do”

Would this be a feature you would get excited about?

Now, the problem. SMSs cost about $0.05 each to send. While that may not sound like much, there are over 3000 books mooched per day. If there were 3000 notifications per day, that works out to $4500 per month in SMS send fees.

Since BookMooch doesn’t charge for its use, that leaves me with a few options:

1) enable the SMS feature for everyone, but do a fundraising campaign and try to get more people to “give a little” each month

2) enable the SMS feature in a limited way for everyone (perhaps 3 notifications per month) and fully enable it for people who “give a little”

3) only enable the SMS features for people who “give a little”

I’ve made a survey to gather people’s opinions about this, please tell me what you think!


More Twitter Features?

November 6, 2009

Twitter Gra12
As I posted last week, the “newly added books” feature uses Twitter in a big way.

Now that I’ve added some Twitter features to BookMooch, it would be fairly easy for me to add deeper BookMooch/Twitter integration. I have a few ideas.

Help me decide what to do : answer this one question poll.


After 4 days of this survey, here are the results:


and here is how people answered the “other” choice:


A few comments from me in response to these results:

* “optional” — of course, this feature would be optional. There would be no obligation that just because you use Twitter and BookMooch that you need to have the two talk to each other. And of course it wouldn’t use your BookMooch username — these tweets would go to your twitter account as if you had written them. The idea is for your twitter followers to know what books you are giving away (or want to receive), etc…

* “yes, when…” — it looks like I’d need checkboxes for people to choose what BM events would cause a tweet, since what people wanted to be tweeted was all over the map

* “confusion” — a few people were confused about this feature, and thought that it would notify their twitter when books they _want_ (ie on their wishlist) became available. That’s not what it would do. What I was thinking was that BM would tweet that you have added a book to your BM wishlist, so that your twitter followers know what books you are looking for and could perhaps help you find it.

* “facebook” — there used to be a working Facebook app for BM, but it was not widely used (about 50 users per day using it). When Facebook did their app redesign a few months ago, the BookMooch app on Facebook no longer worked with Facebook’s new technology, and the person who had written the BookMooch app for Facebook decided to not put the work into making it work, since so few people used it.