October 29, 2008, 12:00 AM

Barnes & Noble shoppers now can create ‘literary identities’ online

Barnes & Noble’s online consumers now can create their own personal profile pages online to share books they are reading, along with their favorite music and movies. Free personal profile features include a pen name, an avatar and a virtual library.

Bill Briggs

Senior Editor

Barnes & Noble Inc. has launched “My B&N;,” an integrated web service on BarnesandNoble.com that enables users to create free personal profiles around their life in books, music and movies.

Customized profile pages include a pen name and avatar to represent the user, a virtual library, new and upgraded list-making tools, expanded customer review and ratings features, and updates on local store events.

Users first create a profile page by choosing an online pen name and selecting an avatar from a collection of characters. On their profile page, users can create a virtual library to highlight what they are “Reading Now.”

Through My B&N; users can create and manage personalized lists that can be e-mailed to friends and family, shared on social networking web sites such as Facebook and Digg, or secured with a password. The new listing features enable users to identify their favorite titles, genres and contributors. They can build up to 25 Wish Lists to identify products for gift giving or receiving. And with the launch of a new feature called EssentiaLists, consumers can create up to 100 customized lists on any topic or theme, the company says.

Along with the rollout of My B&N;, BarnesandNoble.com has expanded its customer review and ratings tools, enabling users to rate products in greater detail and write reviews that link back to their profile pages, the company says. They also can rate the “most helpful” customer reviews and lists, which then become more prominent on BarnesandNoble.com, No. 38 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.

“Through My B&N;, book lovers everywhere can create their literary identity, connect and share insights with other readers, discover and rate new products, and keep up-to-date on events in their local Barnes & Noble store,” says Tom Burke, executive vice president of e-commerce for BarnesandNoble.com. “My B&N; provides a virtual space where customers can linger and explore their varied interests, as they would at our stores.”

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