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Old 02-04-2013, 01:53 PM   #1
Elfwreck
Grand Sorcerer
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Posts: 5,142
Karma: 24387852
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: SF Bay Area, California, USA
Device: Clié; PRS-505; EZR Pocket Pro, PRS-600, Kobo Mini
New service: DotDotDot

DotDotDot is a beta service/company that has an app and browser plugin (Firefox and Chrome, I think; I'm using Firefox) that allows you to upload epubs and either upload or connect to web documents (blog posts, news articles, etc) to read, bookmark, highlight & share bits with others.

I signed up for it yesterday, got my invite this morning. It's in beta. Early beta. Has some issues.

The Terms of Use say:
YOU SHALL NOT USE ANY THIRD PARTY CONTENT IN CONNECTION WITH THE APP WHICH IS
  • OFFENSIV,
  • DEFAMATORY,
  • LIBELOUS,
  • OBSCENE,
  • PORNOGRAFIC,
  • SEXIST,
  • RACIST,
  • FALSE OR MISLEADING,
  • OTHERWISE ILLEGAL, UNLAWFUL OR IMMORAL.
There is no "contact us" button or feature. Their official blog is a tumblr page. Obviously, they don't employ proofreaders for their official documents.

The service itself starts with 2 ebooks in a member's library: An introduction to dotdotdot, and Lessig's Free Culture. Nice.

They only work with unlocked epubs and web documents. Epubs with images that link to remote sites get an error message & won't load. (Some of the fanfic I download gets this, because it converts straight from the website.)

Every book you upload or start to read shows up on the public dashboard. Other members don't have access to your ebooks. You can "follow" people. (No idea what that means; I created an account 2 and a half hours ago, and I have 1 follower now.) Interface is very limited; there's no documentation explaining how anything works, but it's easy to figure out because there's not much you can do.

I suspect this is going to crash & burn unless they allow some kind of privacy settings, and it would help if they gave metadata (at least) for other-people's-ebooks, rather than a page that just says "The requested document was not found or you're not allowed to open it." In the long run, they could look for sponsors and offer links to buy the book.

EVALUATION: Interesting, mildly promising, not likely to succeed because I can see a large set of possible fail-points, and no indication that they're accepting user feedback.
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