Lectyo – The network of the book’s people
|Target Users||Professionals of the book chain and librarians and teachers|
|Nature of the initiative||Private|
|Contact||Luis González Martín
Director General Adjunto
+ 34 91 002 840
Lectyo.com is an initiative with an open source technological base built through the search of a user experience directed to favoring the configuration of a community of content producers, instead of the usual dynamic of social networks and platforms launched by technology companies that is characterized by the creation of content consumer networks.
Fundación Germán Sánchez Ruipérez (FGSR) is a private, independent, non‐for-profit organization that has worked on the promotion of reading, in investigation, the generation of knowledge and the provision of content on reading and the book for over thirty years. In 2010 FGSR launched a strategy over the Internet, to generate information for participants in ‘the value of the book network’. Nevertheless, the realm of reading and the book is almost completely monopolized by commercial contents and dynamics.
FGSR’s blue print has worked on the generation of tools for experts in the world of reading: www.lecturalab.org is the reference page for Hispanic speakers who want to learn about the key developments in the transformation of the book’s ecosystem. One hundred articles are published on a monthly basis, reflecting what is happening in the world in real time (2010)
www.canallector.com is the reference page for children’s and young people’s Hispanic literature. This webpage is formed of reviews and a selection of over 10.000 titles edited in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Spain, Mexico and Venezuela and it has been prepared by the most prestigious institution in each of these countries (2012).
To these mediums a platform that generates topical webpages on concrete issues and events is added under the domain of www.fundaciongsr.com. It was launched in 2011.
Over the last four years FGSR’s strategy has provided leadership in publishing content on the act of reading and the book in Spanish, but finds limits in the interaction with users. The user type of FGSR’s products and services values the prestige of the organization and takes advantage of its ability to provide tools to aid in acquiring knowledge about a new reality for the book and to develop activities. Nonetheless, he is a passive user that doesn’t contribute value to FGSR through the relationship, because it is organized unilaterally: FGSR > user.
In the book sector many of the relationship links with the readers have closed. Daily, traditional mediators between reading and books are losing contact with their readers. A few weeks ago a 72 years old woman approached the local library in her small town in the south of Spain and said farewell to the librarian. They had maintained a frequent and cordial relationship because the 72 year old had been an avid reader that looked for books every day. The old user expressed that, given their long relationship, she thought it necessary to say goodbye because she wouldn’t be going back: a few weeks age she had been given an e-reader and she liked reading books on it so no longer needed the library.
Internet has become a space for content marketing and sales. Big companies like Google, Amazon, Facebook or Apple generate digital environments to empower their relationship with clients through various approaches, but always considering the member of the ecosystem from his nature as a consumer.
FGSR has judged it necessary to generate a space for the work, conversation and generation of ideas of reading experts. Following from the previously cited webpage experiences and each page’s Facebook and Twitter accounts it became crucial to create a community for people who study the act of reading.
Twitter is not a digital community but a technological tool for online networking and communication. General technological apps such as Facebook, Wikipedia or Tumblr, or apps oriented towards a vertical reach or specialized for design professionals such as dribble, are not communities. Each one of them has managed to serve as a support for a digital environment that we have called –and rightly so- social media.
FGSR resolved to generate a social collaboration model as it is defined by Bradley and McDonnald, through two main elements:
- community: as a group of individuals that group around a common purpose. United around one purpose or interest this community is a potential collaboration environment;
- purpose: is the nexus or mortar that brings the individuals together. It is what defines the community and incites its members to contribute their knowledge, experiences and ideas.
The union of the concepts of social media, community and purpose forms favorable territory for collective collaborations:
- the community are those that collaborate;
- the social media is where they collaborate;
- the purpose is why they collaborate
Lectyo is a community created from scratch and offering each of its users, who study reading, the possibility of building a digital identity as professionals and to show the rest of the community their work methods, ideas and achievements. For this motive each user has been given their own url or web address.
With this tool a range of activities can be carried out, amongst which the following are included:
- each user can publish general ideas, opinions or content (text, image or video) on a personal page that will be seen (and commented and rated) by users following him;
- follow specific users to receive on your page the contents they publish;
- take part in a group debate or conversation on a determined topic. The creation of one of these groups can also be suggested, and they can be public or private (to incorporate others in the second kind it is necessary to be accepted by the group coordinator);
- access sections that contain news or debate subjects of a more general nature to comment, evaluate or share them;
- publish a questionnaire to get the participation of other users;
- generate hashtags to initiate conversation and debate trends;
- access a section with e-books on reading, libraries, publishing, bookshops or any subject associated with reading, created by experts from various countries and download them for free in a range of formats (pdf with video, EPUB and Mobi).
The role of technology
Lectyo links the content platforms of FGSR from the control panels of each of them (lecturalab, canal lector and fundaciongsr); when publishing content there is the option of sending it to the platform of Lectyo. This data transfer among platforms it’s based on XML.
This platform it’s based on three main technologies:
Thus the backend is build by the use of languages: PHP (mainly), Perl and SH during ten development of the platform.
In January 2014 FGSR officially launched Lectyo.com, a digital environment or social media in which book and reading professionals participate, together with people passionate about reading.
In the three months previous to its application it had worked on trial. Even though it had not been officially introduced almost 2.000 people – mostly librarians (17%), editors (15%), illustrators (12%), bookshop owners (11) and teachers (7%) - in Spain, Portugal and South America, registered and began sharing content and opinions in Spanish over a phenomenon that spread through word of mouth amongst those who knew of FGSR due to its digital products, and who are responsible for making decisions on, or directing institutions for, reading or book companies.
Ten days after the official introduction of the app it has 20,000 registered users who have completed their profiles and who intervene in the social network in an intensive way: the daily average number of transactions is one quarter of a million. Most of the users are South American.
The professional group with the greatest presence on Lectyo.com are librarians, followed by teachers, university lecturers, writers, editors, journalists, illustrators and bloggers. Nevertheless, the category that has grown the most in its participation is that of members who are simply passionate about literature, who contribute their concerns and ideas as readers to the community.
The country with the greatest number of users is Mexico, followed by Spain, Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Peru, Brasil, Venezuela and USA, although there are participants from all Hispanic-speaking countries, from Portugal and a wider range of locations.
It is completely free to register with Lectyo.com and as has been said, it allows for the publication of ideas, news, images or videos, commenting posts from others and the download of e-books on professional subjects. Some titles (for example Pinterest for librarians) have been downloaded in the last few days over 2,000 times.
The teams at FGSR are responsible for curating certain contents that are published as suggestions in news and debate topic sections.
At the margin of the conversations between users who can be followed on each person’s wall, gatherings have surfaced relating to:
- encouragement of reading at home Promotion of reading in schools Travel literature;
- book illustration;
- digital communication for the promotion of literature;
- Print on demand
Other gatherings have organized themselves as virtual reading clubs around one book or genre. The first reading club was created around a book edited by a small independent publisher, and is working as a virtual book club. This club is of an experimental nature and hopes to serve as a test for the launch of this idea to other editors and librarians in the future.