Exploring the Storyverse – Checking out Small Demons

I followed a link from Twitter (via @danbri I think) at some point over the weekend to a new website – pretty much just based on the ‘strapline’; Welcome to the Storyverse.

Small Demons is an interesting (and very beautiful) website that aims pull out all those ‘real world’ details from your favourite novels and stitch them together – so you can find out about a characters favourite nightclub (and where it is) and see what other characters have drank there. Track which of your favourite musicians are mentioned in novels (Otis Redding for an example).

I don’t know how interesting this is to most people but I think it is brilliant. One of the things I’ve always wanted to do is visit the cities of some of my favourite characters and walk in their footsteps a little. Authors like Pelecanos with Washington and Lehane with Boston have left particular impressions on me (and I hope to do the DC trip in 2012 combined with Wikimania if I can convince work to send me to the conference!).

From a technical point of view what is also cool is that the site is built on a foundation of open content. The site uses Freebase to make the right connections and much/most of the copy is reused from Wikipedia. On top of this it is adding a layer of user contributed content to give it a personal touch and build a community.

At the moment it does feel a little ‘thin’ but I get the impression it is early days and the site seems a little unresponsive at times as well (but never so slow as to be a problem.) They clearly have big plans for the future and I’ll keep watching with interest.

Here is a slick little video explaining the concept (they are based in LA!)..