As announced elsewhere, WorldCat now supports user additions such as reviews, notes and tables of contents. The original post stated that it was Wiki functionality though I didn’t see that, as others in the comments noted. It’s been updated to stated that it has a Wiki backend and supports Wiki Markup though I don’t see either of those either. For this review I will presume there is absolutely nothing Wiki-related and focus on other things.
The first thing I noticed was that I was required to login to add content. This makes sense and I was happy to see that I could login with my WebJunction information. FirstSearch usernames are also allowed which works since only libraries that subscribe to FirstSearch are in OpenWorldCat now, or so it says on the homepage.
Overall the interface is clean and easy to use and the features are nice. It’s important to note that my library appears to have holdings covered in it, so it may be more useful for me that others. Having said that I think there are plenty of areas where it could grow and here’s some of my ideas for reference.
IANAL: I am not a librarian. I am looking at this as an outsider. What some call “a patron”. As such I have no real idea the politics, service agreements, purpose or otherwise behind WorldCat or more specifically OpenWorldCat. What I list below may not be feasible or go against the purpose of said project. Won’t stop be from spewing opinions though.
I guess as it stands it seems like a nice service but I don’t really see the point of using yet. Yes, it’s nice if someone searches for a book title in a search engine they get the option of searching in a library, but it seems like a waste of such a large undertaking for just that. Hopefully they have plenty of things cooking for the future. But if they are going to try to add these features they should really try to make the service more public and easier to access or I don’t think it will take off.
Update: There’s a post at Outgoing that goes over the wiki capabilities. Nice to see though linking seems to be discouraged in the content guidelines.