Building Shepherd - Updated topic system is live!

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Shepherd is reimagining book discovery online. Book buying should be less like buying toothpaste and more a magical fun experience!

Summary: May 30th to June 10th 2022
Updated topic engine is live :)
The developer switched the updated topic engine on Tuesday and we crashed the last of the severe bugs yesterday (before he heads out on vacation for a month).
What does this update do?
  • Improve the accuracy of the system.
  • Add data from the Library of Congress.
The result?
  • The bookshelves will be more accurate.
  • The breadcrumb link on book lists will be more accurate.
  • Over the next 3 months, I will add 1,000+ new bookshelf pages and clean up the topics further. I have a big backlog that I am working on. Once the developer is back in July we will be adding a few more tools for me.
I wrote a long breakdown of how the topic system works if you are interested. This system runs the bookshelves, recommendation system, search, and a lot more.
Here is an example of the system I see for a book like The Three Mothers (by Anna Malaika Tubbs):
Example of the system in action...
Example of the system in action...
What have I been working on the last 2 weeks?
I got sick for a whole week, just low energy and meh. So a lot of the last week has just been catching up and mapping out what comes next.
What have I been working on?
  • Working with the designer on the upcoming book celebration page and books-like pages. Those are coming in Q3. I hope to have images I can share in a few weeks.
  • Catching up on tickets/emails.
  • Working on the roadmap for 2022/2023 and starting to work on early specs for some of those features to see how they might fit together. I am trying to map out the highest impact items that take the least amount of dev resources as we work toward financial sustainability.
What is going on outside of Shepherd?
We are in France and getting settled here. This is our last stop before we head home to Portugal. This stop is a bit more frantic as we are looking at a few cities to possibly move to. Lovely food and lovely people as always.
I saw my first wild hedgehog which has been on my list for a long time!
My son enjoying the zoo :)
My son enjoying the zoo :)
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Ben Fox

Follow along as I build the Shepherd book discovery platform (updates every 2 weeks).

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