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Theme fund: NGI0 Discovery
Start: 2020-06
End: 2020-06


Wikidata-based social sharing of reading experiences

The Inventaire Project is an effort to move forward on the front of accessing information on resources using libre software powered by open knowledge. This ideal is being materialized in the form of, a libre book sharing webapp, inviting everyone to make the inventory of their physical books, declare what they want to do with it (giving, sharing, selling), as well as who should be able to see it (shared publicly through e.g. ActivityPub, or only visible by your friends and groups).

To power those inventories with structured bibliographic data, is also playing the role of a Wikidata-federated open and contributive bibliographic database, extending data with Wikidata-compatible entities (CC0, shared data schema) tailored to our needs, but ready to be pushed to Wikidata when the data contributor deems it appropriate. This linked open data architecture allows users to build their inventories on a huge open knowledge graph, that we believe will, in time, offer exceptional discovery capabilities. This project addresses many features, such as improved privacy settings, accessibility, creating publisher collections and data federation.

Why does this actually matter to end users?

Books are still a phenomenal carrier of human knowledge - immersing us into deep thought constructs, and their creative expression allows us to investigate and perhaps understand some of the complexity and richness of the world around us, but also to execute thought experiments beyond the boundaries of the realistic, stretch our imagination living in virtual worlds and having the chance to hitch a ride into the brain of people in very different circumstances.

One of the great challenges for readers is that - unlike pages on the world wide web - you cannot automatically jump from one book to the next in a logical way. Sure, you can read any book that online bookstores recommend, their algorithms will in fact always recommend something - but would that give you the best and richest results? And will you not end up reading the same block busters as everybody else? Each reader has their own preferred ways to discover new books, beyond mere serendipity. One obvious way is through other readers with whom one shares the love for certain less popular books: maybe a book that was misunderstood by the general book buying audience, following a harsh rejection by critics because its unique voice was not recognised when published, will become your favorite book ever. Or maybe it already is, and you would love to talk about it some more.

Inventaire is a project that helps people share books they love, and learn about books they were not aware of. Because Inventair will adopt the W3C ActivityPub standard, people can not only share good reads, but also connect with others to discuss - similar to what book clubs do, but less hampered by time and space.

Run by Association Inventaire

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This project was funded through the NGI0 Discovery Fund, a fund established by NLnet with financial support from the European Commission's Next Generation Internet programme, under the aegis of DG Communications Networks, Content and Technology under grant agreement No 825322.