My “recommended for” list is too long for its field: for all passionate and competent people who would like to create another site similar to the best...moreMy “recommended for” list is too long for its field: for all passionate and competent people who would like to create another site similar to the best Goodreads had to offer, all business people and people who teach business students, all readers, all writers, all people who care about freedom of speech, everyone who cares about valuing other human beings, all current & past & future members of Goodreads and other social networking sites
Even though I thoroughly enjoyed this book, I’m resentful that I stayed up half the night reading it and that I let my buddy read book languish. I’m feeling irked that there was a need for this book to be written and published.
Thank you to the author(s) for publishing this book!
Goodreads has meant the world to me. I’ll always be grateful for friendships I’ve made and books I’ve found to read. And I can’t help it, even as I read this book, a part of me still loves Goodreads. That attitude also shines through in some of the writing. Most of this is not bashing; it’s people caring. If the contributors didn’t care, they’d have simply walked away. It took passion and zeal to write this material. These are people who deeply care, or cared at some point.
I was incredibly dismayed when the Amazon buyout was announced. I let my feelings be known, on the site, to the head honcho PTB, and everywhere. I stopped recommending the site (previously begging and bullying people into joining) at that juncture.
I became a bit less active on the site for that reason, and had also actually become a bit less active for other reasons. But I’m still considered an active member. 10,000 books, nearly 4,000 ratings, over 2,200 reviews. The second most frequent poster in the Feedback group (where I regularly used to spend hours a week helping people and the site), still #11 all time U.S. librarian (for a long, long time the #1 librarian, spending even more hours there, really it was like an unpaid part time job, but I loved Goodreads when it was an independent site with a “mom & pop” feel), regularly on the top lists: reader, top reviewer, best reviewer as well as top librarian; I think I’m still on the all time U.S. lists. Of course, it means nothing to me now, given that many of my friends and other members who frequented those lists are gone, either absent entirely or with all content removed. I’ve also moderated quite a few groups, including a couple “big” groups, that also took a lot of my time. User input also apparently means very little to Amazon-Goodreads. Against my better judgment I have stayed. I used to love to help out. Not so anymore, at least not usually. When I was very involved on the site, I loved every second of it, all time given freely and happily, and part of it was I felt as though I was giving back to site that gave so much to me.
I used to be a huge Amazon customer, even though I didn’t like many of their business practices and continually considered boycotting them. I spent many thousands of dollars there (not just on books or things that can be purchased in bookstores as I’ve always preferred the library and independent bookstores) starting in 1997 (I think) and until earlier this year. After deleting all the many addresses I’d had things send, and my payment information, I deleted that account.) But I’m still here. For now at least. And I know what seemed like a big deal to me, meant nothing whatsoever to Amazon. I’m fine with that. Amazon is just a store.
Then the September fiasco happened. I was so numb I could not do what this author group did. I was so stunned (not surprised, but dismayed) that I for the most part stopped posting. By the time I started to read the “huge thread” there were hundreds of posts, and it took me all day to catch up because hundreds more kept pouring in. By the time I’d almost caught up, finally, I decided not to post for 2 reasons: 1. It was obvious that Goodreads did not care and was not going to respond, and 2. The many brilliant members had said everything I’d have wanted to say. I felt I had nothing further to offer. I then went on to like reviews, blog posts, etc. of the protestors, followed them as best I could as they moved on. Against my better judgement, I’m still here. This disaster has brought out the worst aspects of my personality: resistance to change, avoidance and fear of loss, and other similar things I won’t bother to go into in this review. (I’m determined to work on this part of myself!) I’m in awe of what many of my old and some new Goodreads friends have done managing this catastrophe. However, in some ways it’s all the more depressing to have witnessed what’s been done to such valuable members.
I feel sad and infuriated. Reading all the sections in this book, it’s so obvious Goodreads doesn’t get what they’ve lost, what they’ve ruined. Even if they do, the place is still ruined. I know some don’t care and some think such statements are an overreaction, but I care and I don’t think what I’m saying is hyperbole.
What’s kept me going on the site are my friends and groups, and members like the creator(s) of this book. So many members have kept me from falling into despair with their posts, reviews, etc. I’ve laughed out loud at the absurdity that’s happened on this site. So many members (including all this book’s contributors) are brilliant thinkers, writers, and thankfully comedians too. They remind me of why I so adored this site, and give me reason to appreciate what we had. It’s a tragic situation because in my opinion there were viable alternatives to keeping Goodreads the respected and highly enjoyable place it once was. I rarely am able to write in an amusing manner, but I’m sure capable of appreciating those who can see the humor in the sorrow, as I am of reading people’s expressions of all deep emotions, and since I care greatly about Goodreads and what it offered, it’s all the more poignant to read all these pieces.
As I said above, I was never attached to Amazon, but Goodreads used to feel like my online home. I do care about what we’ve lost on the Goodreads site. It was an incredibly special, one of a kind place. So, going from what it was to what it’s boecome (and what I’m afraid is coming) is a huge loss.
While I’d love an alternate site that appeals to me more than the current ones, to tell the truth, I’ve lost all trust in online sites. Perhaps I never should have trusted. It’s the internet after all. But Goodreads felt so different, so exceptional.
So, I wanted to wait to read the paperback edition of this book, but I bought the PDF, and I decided I couldn’t wait. (I have my reason(s).) I will still read the paperback. The PDF was difficult to read on my computer. For some reason it was “jumpy” and it was hard to go page by page, making it hard not to skip through parts of the text, though thank goodness for the hyperlinks. The file was easier to read on my phone, but then kept freezing.
I’d previously read much of the included material in other places, and appreciated it just as much during this reread. I skimmed quite a bit since I know I will be reading the paper edition and since I felt I’d pretty much already read it. That said, I’m so glad it’s in “legitimate book” form, down for posterity, along with many professional articles, blog posts, reviews, etc.
The contributors here are intelligent, thoughtful, written beautifully, and the book is put together nicely. I thought I was keeping up with what was going on, but I learned a few new details.
The only reason I gave it 4 and not 5 stars is I wanted more. Over the weeks and months I’ve read a lot more, and I noticed the absence of other writing I’d read of these and other members and others expressing their feelings about the changes that have taken place. I missed what wasn’t included, particularly all the pieces by members who made me laugh out loud, even when I was most sad. My only other quibbles are the amount of blank white space, and also what I consider too much blaming of the messenger. Some highly visible people on Goodreads are not the ones who make the major decisions about how the site is to be run.
I’m grateful and honored to be a part of this community. To the author(s): I and so many others greatly appreciate your efforts, and it’s perplexing why Goodreads is not in your/our corner.
I always want to be able to read your writing and I’m spreading myself wide in order to stay in touch. Unfortunately, no place (for me) comes close to measuring up to the old Goodreads. My hope is that passionate readers will start a site just as wonderful, and programmed so any loss of internet neutrality will not adversely affect interested users. I doubt I’ll ever feel truly comfortable in any new site; my confidence in online places is greatly diminished. (I had a bad experience a couple decades ago at AOL which I’d kind of forgotten until all this happened, but AOL always felt impersonal at the top, and Goodreads felt genuinely comfy.)
Thank you for this book and leaving me wanting more. Thank you for expressing your thoughts and feelings, ones I can identify with, particularly since even some of my most treasured Goodreads friends do not feel as I do, and do not understand, and I think are getting understandably tired of my grumbling and obsessing about what I want to do with my online reading life. I’m a tad bitter. It’s hard to feel torn in opposite directions. Reading this, it helps me deal better with my feelings but it also reactivates all my sadness, disappointment, and fury.
And I’m eagerly awaiting the paperback so I can reread it in a format more comfortable for me. I have no money in my budge allotted for books right now, but it’ll be my pleasure to make an exception for this book.
What’s saddest?: Goodreads used to be a place where its content had huge value and its reviews were for the most part trustworthy. That’s pretty much over. That’s the real calamity. What a shame! And all due to greed and an overreaction. It’s almost funny.
Sorry for the rambling. I guess I’m still in the venting stage. And those who know me well know how sleep deprived I am, which is always a handy excuse. At least I was on topic. I’m always on topic. Apparently I suffer from a deplorable lack of imagination.
By the way, the Goodreads Choice Awards for 2013 is currently taking votes in the first round of voting. This book is eligible for write in votes in the Nonfiction and the Debut Goodreads Author categories. I sure wish there was a Business category and maybe some sort of social-cultural category too. I voted for this book in both Nonfiction and Debut Goodreads Author categories. I’d be especially delighted for this book to move on to the next round in the latter category. Having that happen is a long shot, but it would make me very happy. Currently there is a way to download the book for free and it can also be purchased from Lulu for only.99¢. I think this book and its author(s) is worthy of the award. This is as “Goodreads” as it gets.(less)