Metrics from the O'Reilly Bookworm release

By Liza Daly
February 12, 2009

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This is the kind of web usage report that makes site managers ecstatic and software engineers cringe, and as I'm playing both roles in this case I'd describe it as a feeling of giddy terror. Bookworm has been online since July 2008, but usage to date could not compare with the onslaught in the wake of the O'Reilly partnership. We're already making performance improvements that should address the hiccups some users experienced when trying out the site.

There's some other interesting data in the analytics report:

Although Bookworm provides a full ebook-reading experience on a computer, it also allows readers to access their content on a web-enabled mobile device. Bookworm Mobile will work on any capable mobile browser, but it's particularly nice when used in concert with Stanza to enable offline reading.

Because of this integration, iPhone and iPod Touch users account for 10-20% of all visitors to Bookworm on any given day (but a far smaller percentage of total page views, as most of those users take advantage of the Stanza export feature rather than reading within Bookworm Mobile).

Since the O'Reilly migration, more than 400 ePubs have been transferred between Bookworm and Stanza.

The release announcement was made at the Tools of Change conference in New York City, which caused a massively disproportionate number of visits from conference attendees, with visits up more than 1,000% from the New York metro area over the previous week. This is an effect worth considering if you have multiple location-based CDNs and are making a product release at a public event.

Projects

Bookworm

The free platform for reading EPUB books online from any device.

Integrated with O'Reilly Labs 02/09/09.

First translations added 03/11/09.

Feedbooks integration & one-click addition added 07/29/09.

Beta Projects

Open Feedback Publishing System (OFPS)

Participate in collaborative community feedback to help refine in-progress, open manuscripts like Building iPhone Apps with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript or the published Programming Scala.

Released 05/20/09.

O'Reilly Product Metadata Interface (OPMI)

Want to know all we know about an  O'Reilly book? Give us an ISBN and we'll let you in on our (RDF) secrets!

Released 02/09/09.

Open Source

DocBook-XSL 1.74.3 with Improved ePub Output

Keith Fahlgren (O'Reilly Media) helped release the stable 1.74.3 release of the open source DocBook-XSL project and improved the EPUB generation stylesheets. Paul Norton (Adobe) and Liza Daly (Threepress) provided very helpful patches.

Released 02/17/09.

DocBook-XSL 1.74.0 EPUB Output

Paul Norton (Adobe) and Keith Fahlgren (O'Reilly Media) have contributed code to the 1.74.0 release of the open source DocBook-XSL project that generates EPUB documents from DocBook. An alpha-quality reference implementation in Ruby was also been provided.

EPUB is an open standard of  the The International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF) and something O'Reilly is trying  to help gain wider adoption.

Released 06/02/08.