is a social cataloging
website. Shelfari users build virtual bookshelves of the titles they own or have read, and can rate, review, tag
, and discuss their books. Shelfari was launched on October 11, 2006. In February 2007, Amazon.com
invested $1 million in Shelfari, and moved to acquire it a year later in August of 2008..
Shelfari has received bad press for its "Invite Friends" page. Jesse Wegman, writing in The New York Observer
in October 2007, complained that because he had "accidentally failed to uncheck the approximately 1,500 names in my Gmail address book that Shelfari had helpfully pre-checked", the system caused invitations to be sent, contrary to his intentions but "ostensibly" from his own address, to his entire network of contacts. In November 2007, Shelfari was accused of astroturfing
by Tim Spalding, the creator of LibraryThing
, a competing social networking book site. In a comment on another blog critical of Shelfari (primarily critcizing the "invitations" system), Josh Hug, the CEO, blamed the astroturfing on an intern not knowing better, and said that it had stopped.