Thursday, September 18, 2008

So What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?

So What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up? is the question adults often ask young children but one we find ourselves increasingly asking new ventures. It is important that people know their aspirations and although these may change on route , they understand the logic behind them and the actions needed to make things happen.

We read today in the Bookseller that HarperCollins are to launch any other web social network site next week called ‘BookArmy’. It comes hot on the heels of their slush pile offering

Some may suggest that the new venture looks like a giant book dating agency where book lovers can share reviews, recommendations and generally wax lyrically about any book. That sounds very plausible and a great idea and also a bit like the ill conceived BookRabbit or more successful Shelfari site. It is to cover not just HarperCollins titles but all books with an ISBN.

So the first question must be, ‘Where’s the money?’ quickly followed by our strap line question. The answer is obviously known to News Corp otherwise they wouldn’t be doing it. Some may say it’s about collecting and managing a list that can be cross fertilised and used by News Corp companies to sell stuff. Some may say it’s about collecting reviews and demographics that will be owned by News Corp and repurposed and may be sold on accordingly. Some will wait to see where any buy now buttons lead to and wonder if its an attempt to create a different sort of retail space that can be linked to MySpace.

Finally the name ‘Book Army’ conjures up some interesting images but again we must wait and see what branding marches forth.

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