Thursday, September 20, 2007

New Feature: Link to this page

Ever found a book on zoomii you want to send to somebody else, but couldn't?

Sorry about that. If you find yourself in that place again, just click 'Link to this page' up next to the search box. It'll give you a link you can paste into an email or IM. That link will bring someone right back to the same spot in the store, with the same book open (if any), and the same search open (if any).


New Feature: Superfly

Tired of plodding around the bookstore? Now you can superfly! :)

Click on a section name, shelf title, or shelf arrow, you'll be 'superflown' to your destination. Try it out!

p.s. Also, it's not obvious, but clicking on the 'zoomii' title in the top-left brings you back out to seeing the whole store.

Monday at DemoCampToronto14

So Monday I attended DemoCampToronto14 with more than 200 other people. It was my first DemoCampToronto, and I thought it went really well.

The food was great, but not nearly as satisfying as the demos and presentations. I really enjoyed AideRSS's demo (they provide a filtering service for RSS feeds). Greg Wilson's presentation of Beautiful Code, made me lust for that book. And Mike Fletcher passed around 2 OLPC samples for people to play with, and told us about how the project is going. Very cool.

I also met lots of great people involved in interesting projects, like Ryan Coleman of Clay Tablet, Kevin Thomason and Ilya Grigorik of AideRSS, and Greg Wilson of the University of Toronto.

I myself demoed Zoomii, which came off really well. A lot of people were enthused about this virtual bookstore. Based on the blog postings about the event, it looks like Zoomii was one of the night's favorites. Here's a screenshot from the event.

Here's some blog postings that mentioned Zoomii:

DemoCamp14 on Hyperbio

DemoCamp14 on Lillian's Blog

democamp and i'm back on

DemoCamp14: Best Yet on The Third Bit

DemoCamp14. Democamp is all grown up. on

Perhaps the best telltale of how it went was that after the demo over 60 people requested accounts. :) I haven't sent out invites yet, though. The demo walked the 'golden path', and a few landmines remained, so I've been spending the last few days gingerly removing them. But the invitations will be going out shortly!

Anyway, great event. Back to work.

Welcome to the Zoomii Books Blog

First post.

Welcome to the Zoomii blog. Let's start things off with some W's

Who? Just me, Chris Thiessen. Of course, the support of my wonderful wife and amazing friends has helped enormously.

Zoomii is like a real bookstore seen through Google Maps.

I had the idea in late 2005, and started work in earnest in late 2006.

World headquarters is my home in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada.

I love real bookstores. Online bookstores have great prices and selection, but have really bad browsing - they're slow, you see only a few books at a time, you never get a sense of having seen the place. Zoomii rocks for browsing, is always open, and has Amazon's great prices.

And one H.

How? Java on Linux for the server. Javascript on the client. Amazon's amazing EC2 for hosting, S3 for storage, ECS for book information, and affiliate program for paying the bills.

Zoomii's currently in private beta, but if you leave your email address at or I'll be happy to send you an invite.

Feel free to email me for any reason (except spam) at chris.thiessen AAT