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#18 – Discussions

Avatar for @adamAvatar for @ste
3 min read

In this weeks Hardcover Live we catch up on Adam’s trip to Tahoe, Ste’s new espresso machine and dig deep into what discussions could be on Hardcover.

What Do We Want From the Bookish Internet? https://www.tor.com/2023/07/27/what-do-we-want-from-the-bookish-internet/


The conversation covers the challenges of book discussions on the internet and the need for a dedicated platform. It explores the difficulties authors face on social media and the limitations of existing networks. The idea of creating a content aggregator for book discussions is discussed, along with different conversation formats. The conversation also delves into designing layouts for discussions and the user flow for engaging with book discussions. The conversation explores various aspects of the discussion feature on the Hardcover app. They discuss tagging books and how discussions related to a book can appear on the book page. They also consider the inclusion of titles for posts and the types of posts that would benefit from them. The conversation delves into creating a unified posting flow and pre-populating post creation based on context. They brainstorm different types of posts, including lifestyle posts, opinions on authors, and user-created stories. The importance of user feedback and prototype user flows is emphasized, as well as the need to encourage meaningful discussions and prioritize discussion topics. The potential of discussions on the app is highlighted, and the importance of organizing and systemizing information is discussed. The next steps involve conducting user interviews to gather more insights.


There is a need for a dedicated platform for book discussions on the internet.
Authors face challenges in promoting their books and engaging with readers on existing social media networks.
A content aggregator for book discussions could provide a centralized place for readers and authors to connect and share their thoughts.
Different conversation formats, such as short-form and long-form discussions, can cater to different user preferences.
Designing user-friendly layouts and guiding users through the platform can enhance the book discussion experience. Tagging books allows discussions related to a book to appear on the book page, creating a centralized hub for book-related conversations.
Including titles for posts can provide a glimpse of the post’s content and help users navigate discussions more effectively.
A unified posting flow that accommodates different types of posts, such as updates, reviews, and user-created stories, can foster a diverse and engaging conversation.
Pre-populating post creation based on context, such as the book being discussed, can streamline the posting process and enhance user experience.
User feedback and prototype user flows are crucial for refining the discussion feature and meeting user expectations.
Encouraging meaningful discussions and prioritizing discussion topics can foster a community focused on book-related conversations.
Gradually rolling out features and considering supporter-exclusive features can help maintain the quality and purpose of discussions.
Organizing and systemizing information, such as filters and sorting options, can enhance the discoverability and accessibility of discussions.
Conducting user interviews is an important step in understanding user needs and preferences for the discussion feature.


00:00 Introduction and Vacation Recap
03:00 The Problem of Book Discussions on the Internet
17:20 The Challenges for Authors on Social Media
22:01 The Need for a Dedicated Book Discussion Platform
28:29 Creating a Content Aggregator for Book Discussions
33:49 Exploring Different Conversation Formats
41:00 Designing Layouts for Discussions
47:03 User Flow and Guided Exploration
50:27 Tagging Books and Discussions
51:33 Adding Titles to Posts
52:14 Flexible Post Types
53:40 Creating a Unified Posting Flow
54:09 Pre-populating Post Creation
55:31 Different Types of Posts
56:16 Allowing Posts Without Titles
57:16 User-Created Stories
58:02 Making the App User-Friendly
59:17 Getting User Feedback
01:00:17 Prototype User Flows
01:01:29 Filters and Sorting on Book Pages
01:03:13 Encouraging Meaningful Discussions
01:04:25 Prioritizing Discussion Topics
01:06:21 Gradual Rollout of Features
01:07:56 The Potential of Discussions
01:09:30 Organizing and Systemizing Information
01:10:31 Next Steps: User Interviews

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