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For once, an internet site that's not just for the internet generation

Added: (Tue Oct 10 2000)

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*FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE*
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FOR ONCE, AN INTERNET SITE THAT'S NOT JUST FOR THE INTERNET GENERATION:
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Introducing the web's first online reading group and book resource
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Challenging the notion that the internet is a teenage zone,
whatamIgoingtoread.com, a new literary discussion site, is taking the
web to exciting new ground. The company is the brainchild of net
entrepreneur Edmund Noon, and developed from a simple observation, as
he explains: "For booklovers online, it's easy to buy books, but hard
to find websites that talk in a grown-up way about them." Which is where
whatamIgoingtoread.com comes in: the site doesn't sell books, but is an
independent discussion group and online resource for literature of all
kinds--and thus for people of all kinds too. This egalitarian approach
seems to have struck a chord: as well as visitor numbers that have
doubled for three successive months, it has won plaudits from ITV's Web
Review as well as an enthusiastic following. And, as the site's research
demonstrates, it's a big hit with women, married couples and those over
forty.

The format is familiar: six weeks in advance, a list of books for
discussion is displayed on the site, giving readers the opportunity
to find titles well in advance. Reviews are then posted, and users
encouraged to email in their opinions--most comments, subject to some
moderation, appear directly on the site. The difference is this: the
aim is to keep the debate as friendly, informal and non-intimidating
as possible. And this is reflected in the site's design, which
emphasises content and ease-of-use above trendy graphics--especially
helpful for those who may not be at ease with the web. And, preliminary
research indicates, women are thirty per cent more likely to be
interested in the site than men, rare figures in what is still a
male-orientated internet.

Says Noon, "Given the nature of the site, we also felt that it was
important for us to work as closely with the people who come to it,"
and, as well as a monthly newsletter which goes out to subscribers,
visitors are invited to email in their suggestions about books for future
discussion. The site also encourages original articles on anything to do
with literature, whether it is spirited praise of a childhood favourite
or a feature about the latest bestseller. Currently the focus is on modern
and literary fiction, crime and classics, but there are expanding sections
on children's books, non-fiction and autobiography. Noon plans to introduce
brand-new science fiction and poetry areas, very soon.

"But," Noon stresses, "we wanted to push the site beyond discussion alone,
and make it an indispensable resource for anyone wanting information on
books." To this end, whatamIgoingtoread.com have put together a nationwide
diary for literary events and a comprehensive bookshop directory, both of
which are continually updated and searchable by geographical area. The site
also hosts links to online booksellers and areas of literary interest across
the globe.

"We aim to foster a vibrant community of correspondents," says Noon, "and
encourage people of all ages and backgrounds to contribute. If they have
nothing in common other than a passion about books, we've done our job."

More information?
See http://www.whatamIgoingtoread.com/press.htm, or get in touch.

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whatamIgoingtoread.com
T 0870 607 9378
F 020 7463 2203
E info@waigtd.com
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