Tuesday, April 18, 2006

The Demimonde

Said something about the demimonde in a previous post. Wikipedia provides the common dictionary definition pointing to a class of women in the 19th century who maintained wealthy lovers and whose conduct fall beyond the ambit of socially acceptable standards. Kim Stanley Robinson used The Demimonde in his Mars trilogy to refer to this loose group of settlements that existed outside the network of colonies administered by the Terran authorities. His fans have set up an e-forum (also called The Demimonde) where they discuss topics ranging from the Mars novels, SF, politics, ecology, spirituality, science, and just about anything under Sol.

Recently formed my own demimonde, creating links to these friendly blogs, sites and other online resources that take up much of my regular net surfing time. Have always wanted to keep these links out of redplanet, make this blog a cyber dead end, a virtual "black hole" that sucks in consciousness and leaves it counting breaths in limbo. Changed my mind. Realized that true fringes out there are neither well-defined nor self-contained. Edges rarely extend infinitely and often overlap. So, the redplanet will have its own demimonde. And topping the list is the Lectiograph which is actually a spin-off of previous posts about reading and books. Encountered this fantastic application from Jon Aquino's blog that captured the whole lectiograph idea.

Have always wanted to share my growing library at home with other people. Been exploring with some friends this idea of forming an online book discussion group where they could share their books and exchange reading experiences. Found out that the Ning application could now make this possible. Still need to try out its other features. But here are some things it could do:
  • My editorial review. This is of course the regular thing: teasers, initial impressions, reflections, interesting quotes, etc. There's some limitation when it comes to the fonts and the presentation (no paragraph breaks, text colors, block quotes). My temporary solution: include dates within the text. Apart from indicating how recent the information is, these serve as good text breaks.
  • Reading status. Now here's the really fun part. Each entry in Ning provides information on the books' status. Individual readers can log in, create bookshelves, include titles from their own physical collection, get to compose their own reviews, include titles from other bookshelves, and indicate which books they want to read, are currently reading and have finished reading.
  • Emailing tool. Each entry has an email link that allows readers to invite others to read a book, share comments and reviews, track down a title, or simply keep in touch. Haven't really tried this feature. Not sure if it provides its own emailing page or simply opens up the browsers' own emailing application. But it's really a convenient way to pass on information on one's lectiograph.

Have posted only one title so far in my bookshelf. Would be glad to lend it to a friend who is living somewhere in Manila and promises to return it in good condition.


Jonathan said...

Hi the_martian -- glad you found it useful!!

the martian said...

yo jonathan, sure did. thanks again!