Eat More Words was going to be a logophilia site (that is, devoted to devotees of words), with online access to the O.E.D., a community blog, and so forth. Membership was inexpensive, and it was being started by some cool people (for example, Caterina). So I joined.
Today comes news in an email that the O.E.D. was not going to let them provide online access, so the venture is a bust.
Although it’s too bad the site didn’t work out, I have enjoyed my brief membership anyway. The entire venture was classy, intelligent, good-natured, and optimistic, from start to finish. For me it represented the best of what the web has to offer: building something simple but useful, bringing people together, offering infinite variety, and making the world just a little bit more interesting.
The final email asked what I would like them to do with my membership fee (refund it, refund it minus PayPal costs they incurred, or donate it to a bookish charity). Something about the middle choice brought home the non-business aspect of this endeavor, and underscored for me how it was really just a small group of interested people trying to bring something new into the world.
BTW: if you’re interested in sampling the cool intersection of books and blogs, take a gander at Weblog Bookwatch and All Consuming. Each automatically scans recent blog postings for mention of books or other media, and compiles lists of popular titles.