Slightly expanded edition.

Gather.com is getting into the literary world in a couple different ways. They’ve created a group for Borders customers to discuss movies, music and such. The partnership will get considerable in-store promotion that encourages people to connect with others and discuss what they’re reading, watching and listening to. The social network is also letting unpublished authors put the first chapter of their books online for people to check out. A round of voting determines which ones get to publish the second chapter and then more voting and so on until a couple of Simon & Schuster execs decide which final five to check out in full.

The authors of Eater.com are honking off the public officials and restaurant owners of New York City. Their blog deconstructs the hype that the restaurant industry feeds on and into by passing on the news tips and opinions of ordinary diners in the city. The site isn’t about the food – it’s about the industry and has become a popular web destination for not only every day readers but mainstream media types who report on what’s being said there.

Josh Hallett does his best to remind all of us that it’s not enough to just tally up the number of blog mentions in spreadsheet. It’s the people and what they’re saying that really makes social media important and if you take that out of the equation you lose pretty much all the perspective and potential insight that might be gained by monitoring it.

So much time is wasted and frustration is gained because it’s not easy for people to find information within a corporation. One of the things that I try to do is put just about everything that crosses my desk into our internal wiki in an attempt to solve this problem. It’s not perfect but it’s a lot easier than trying to figure out whether a particular document is on my hard drive or maybe it’s still just in email or maybe I saved it somewhere else.