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Introductions > Comprehensive How To Use Goodreads + Tips Of The Day

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message 1: by Mandapanda (last edited Sep 11, 2010 09:12PM) (new)

Mandapanda | 2032 comments Getting around Goodreads can be daunting at first. Here are some tips: This is the the link to the help page on Goodreads.

CHANGING FONT AND STYLE
Most GR users want to know how to make text bold, italics, underline or strikethrough. It's easy. To make text bold type < then b then > before the text. At the end of the text type < then / then b then > Substitute the b with an i, u or an s respectively to achieve the other effects.

ADDING AN AUTHOR OR BOOK LINK TO YOUR COMMENTS
To add a link to an author or book title or display a book cover in your comments, click on "add book/author" which is located just above the box you write your comments in. Once it's open you will see at the bottom you can choose "cover" instead of title if you prefer to display a picture of the book. Adding links instead of just typing the title will link this topic to the book's home page and increases the profile of the book and our group.

HOW TO ADD PHOTOS TO YOUR COMMENTS
Another popular question is how do I add photos to my posts. Google "photobucket" (there are many other sources but that's a good place to start). Select the photo you want and to the left you'll see a box that has the "html" text that will allow that photo to appear on other sites. Copy the text and paste it into your post. Preview your post and you will see that the picture appears, not the text.

BECOMING A GOODREADS LIBRARIAN
It's very easy to become a librarian on Goodreads. But it shouldn't be taken lightly. Be very careful that you search for books by name, author AND ISBN before you decide the book doesn't exist. Some books can only be found by ISBN.

HELPFUL LINKS
Feel free to ask me any questions but you can also also ask the experts at the Goodreads Feedback group or the Goodreads Librarians group. Individual requests for help can be sent via the help page.

Add your Tips of the Day to this thread. You never know, it may be just the advice someone is looking for!!

Good Luck!


message 2: by Cheryl (last edited Aug 23, 2010 02:25PM) (new)

Cheryl (cherylllr) At first? I've been an extremely avid user since March and I still discover neat new-to-me stuff almost every day.

But you're right - using the tips in your post will help a lot of us. Thank you for posting it.

Let me add - there is a "search groups" box. Before posting a request for help in either the goodreads librarians or the goodreads feedback group, please search to see if your topic has been brought up before. There have been lots of threads about 1/2 star ratings, how to use swap, and goodreads chat, for example.

One tip I just learned is to check for links. Lots of what looks like plain text on your monitor is actually a link to more information about that topic.

I'm open to questions, too.

And I'd love to hear from GR members who have discovered 'hidden' features or unpublicized ways to use all the database powers that are on GR. Thanks for the topic, Mandy!


message 3: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl (cherylllr) We've started a topic in the goodreads feedback group that resembles this but will get a wider readership. You don't have to be a member of feedback to read, but you do to post. Mandy I'd love to see your post over there!

http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/3...


message 4: by Mandapanda (new)

Mandapanda | 2032 comments Cheryl wrote: "We've started a topic in the goodreads feedback group that resembles this but will get a wider readership. You don't have to be a member of feedback to read, but you do to post. Mandy I'd love to..."

Thanks for the link Cheryl, Ill check it out!:)


message 5: by Mandy (last edited Sep 11, 2010 07:29PM) (new)

Mandy What a great idea this thread is, so warm and welcoming!


message 6: by Tracey (new)

Tracey Alley (TraceyA) | 485 comments This is a fabulous idea - I've been struggling with using this site almost since I started - however I'm persevering :)


message 7: by Jan (new)

Jan (Auntyjan) | 200 comments I don't even know how to put stuff in italics like 'Cheryl wrote...' in message 4 above.


message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

Did Mandy's tips help Jan?


message 9: by Mandapanda (last edited Sep 12, 2010 12:59AM) (new)

Mandapanda | 2032 comments Jan wrote: "I don't even know how to put stuff in italics like 'Cheryl wrote...' in message 4 above."

WHY DO SOME COMMENTS BEGIN WITH PREVIOUS MESSAGES IN ITALICS
If you want to respond to a particular message so it's clear that is what you're talking about then just click the word 'reply' at the bottom right of their message. Hope that helps Jan.:)


message 10: by [deleted user] (last edited Sep 20, 2010 02:18AM) (new)

When watching YouTube videos.

Mandy wrote:Tip of the Day - If the video goes into 'buffering' mode a lot just press the pause button and do something else for a while. When you come back it should be fully loaded and play right through.


message 11: by Jan (new)

Jan (Auntyjan) | 200 comments Thankyou so much!


message 12: by Mandapanda (new)

Mandapanda | 2032 comments HOW TO CONVERT YOUR PERSONAL PHOTOS SO YOU CAN POST THEM HERE

Step 1. Sign up at Yahoo. It's quick and easy. You need your user name and password from Yahoo to move on to the next step.

Step 2. Go to the Flickr website. Sign up to Flickr following their simple steps. Flickr is a place where you can search for images and also store and share your own images.

Step 3. Click on 'Upload Your First Photos'. Click on 'Choose Photos and Videos'. This will open the 'My Pictures' folder of your computer. Select the photo by clicking once on the image then click 'Open'.

Step 4. This takes you back to the Flickr screen and your photo will be listed. Scroll down and click on 'Upload Photos and Videos'. Click on 'Add a Description'. You can add a Tag if you want. (That helps other people find it.) Otherwise go to the bottom of the screen and click on 'Save'.

The picture is now saved. Click on it again. At the top right of the picture you will see the words 'share this' and a small arrow down. Click on that arrow. Click on 'Grab the HTML/BB Code'. Copy the code that appears then paste it into your Goodreads message. It looks like text but when you preview or post the message you will see that the photo appears. Magic, huh!

Happy posting!

P.S. This is the photo I was practicing on to create this tip.;)
teen poster


message 13: by Paul (new)

Paul Daniels (Mrpld) | 155 comments Aaah, I love that poster.


message 14: by Velvetink (new)

Velvetink | 136 comments Thanks for these tips Mandy.. I wondered how people were posting images in their reviews etc.


message 15: by S. (new)

S. Burke (Soooz) | 7 comments Ahh...at last, "how to do this" information that doesn't require me to have a black belt in IT. Thank you Mandy.

Soooz


message 16: by Mandapanda (new)

Mandapanda | 2032 comments Soooz wrote: "Ahh...at last, "how to do this" information that doesn't require me to have a black belt in IT. Thank you Mandy.

Soooz"


Thanks Velvetink and Soooz. I struggled to learn some of the basic things on Goodreads so I figure others might as well. Plus I believe that Goodreads is such a great site for people my age and older but we are not so au fait with computers and the internet!!


message 17: by Jan (last edited Sep 16, 2010 03:00AM) (new)

Jan (Auntyjan) | 200 comments I'm clueless, blonde and 54, but fortunately I have a resident teenager(any spare posters?) who helps me out from time to time. Otherwise I wouldn't have all those lovely pictures of my granddaughters to show on my profile.


message 18: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl (cherylllr) On the right side of each book's page there are several lists of books that are related in different ways. That page has been redesigned lately, but last time I checked the lists would show up semi-randomly - which means if you refresh the page you should see new lists.

Finding new friends based on similar libraries is something they're kinda working on, and it is often discussed in the group Goodreads Feedback. But for now we're finding people by exploring the whole site.

For example, I looked at the page of a book that I really liked (that isn't popular among 76 million people) and looked at the reviews for that book. Then I clicked on the profile of each person who wrote a positive review for it, and looked at their shelves. When I found a 'library' (aka 'my books') that I felt sympatico with, I became a 'follower' of that person. Sometimes I even send that person a friend request.

Or I join groups that read books in genres I like, and read posts until I 'meet' someone interesting. Or I look at the people who have favorited one of my favorite authors.


message 19: by Mandapanda (new)

Mandapanda | 2032 comments Goodreads is a social networking site for booklovers. It has just as much in common with Facebook as it does with Library Thing. Recommendations primarily come from the 'friends' you make on the site.

When I first joined GR I joined groups that focussed on my preferred book genres. Gradually I identified people whose reviews corresponded to my tastes. I sent them 'friend' invites so that their comments, reviews and books added appeared in my updates. In the friend request there is an option to give a short message. I used this option to compliment their book preferences and reviews and explain why I wanted them as friends. People are very receptive to genuine requests like this.

My "Updates' section is where I look for new ideas for books. To find the updates section, at the top of the screen click on 'home' then you will see two tabs, 'updates' and 'groups'. Click on 'updates'.

Especially since I've been a moderator, I've received plenty of 'friend' requests. I accept them all (except the ones with few books and hundreds of friends!) but there is an easy way to filter your 'friends' list so that only those whose opinions you value appear in your updates.

In the 'Updates' or 'Groups' screens click on 'friends' which is located to the right of the screen under 'My Profile'. Click on 'Edit Friends'. Place ticks in the boxes of the people whose reviews etc you like. Return to the updates screen by clicking 'home' then 'updates'. Just under the tabs with 'updates' and 'groups' you'll see 'showing: everyone' and a little arrow down. Click on the arrow, select 'top friends' from the drop down box, and click 'apply filters'. Now your updates will be a best place to find recommendations.

Here is a short interview with Otis Chandler talking about Goodreads:

http://nigelbeale.com/2009/06/06/shor...


message 20: by Mandapanda (last edited Sep 23, 2010 05:34PM) (new)

Mandapanda | 2032 comments Polk wrote: "Thanks for the replies.

I thought that would be the case (getting recommendations from friends; having to look through profiles yourself for people with similar libraries). I just wanted to be su..."


I'm also working on an idea for a discussion group here on Aussie Readers. The folder would be 'Recommendations' and the discussion thread would be titled 'If you like..., you'll love...!'
In this people could give the name of a foreign author/genre they love and we (moderators and members) could suggest Aussie authors with similar writing styles/genres. We could also suggest (e.g.) 'If you like classic Aussie sagas from colonial times, you'll love Peter Watt'. Or 'If you love Twilight, you'll love The Ghosts of Ashbury High'.

I would really appreciate any feedback on this idea Polk (or anyone else in the group!).:)


message 21: by [deleted user] (new)

Mandy wrote: "The folder would be 'Recommendations' and the discussion thread would be titled 'If you like..., you'll love...!'"

Carmel has asked a related question in the introduce yourself thread...msg 279 I think there is a need. (I haven't replied to Carmel as yet. Can anyone? I think the answer would be yes.


message 22: by Mandapanda (new)

Mandapanda | 2032 comments Gail "cyborg" wrote: "Carmel has asked a related question in the introduce yourself thread...msg 279 I think there is a need. (I haven't replied to Carmel as yet. Can anyone?..."

Yes I think it would be useful but we would certainly need lots of group members to take an interest as well cause You, Paul and I won't be able to make recommendations on every question. And sorry no I can't help with Carmel's question either!!:(


message 23: by [deleted user] (new)

How are you going to find out without the 'suck it and see' approach?


message 24: by Mandapanda (new)

Mandapanda | 2032 comments Gail "cyborg" wrote: "How are you going to find out without the 'suck it and see' approach?"

I don't get it??!! LOL What is that approach?


message 25: by [deleted user] (last edited Sep 23, 2010 06:11PM) (new)

Ummmm. It's the try it and find out approach.

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define...

The first explanation. I thought it was a common expression. (I love the urban dictionary by the way.)


message 26: by Mandapanda (new)

Mandapanda | 2032 comments Gail "cyborg" wrote: "Ummmm. It's the try it and find out approach.

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define...

The first explanation. I thought it was a common expression. (I love the urban dic..."


It probably is common - I'm just out of touch!:D Yes that urban dictionary is getting saved to my desktop straight away...


message 27: by Jan (last edited Sep 24, 2010 03:46AM) (new)

Jan (Auntyjan) | 200 comments Polk wrote: "Thanks for the replies.

I thought that would be the case (getting recommendations from friends; having to look through profiles yourself for people with similar libraries). I just wanted to be su..."

Polk, I had a look at your bookshelves and you seem to have read very widely. It takes a while to find the people you have most in common with. I wonder if it might be of interest to people to share which groups we are in and why?
I hope it's OK to share this info here...if not, moderators please say the word and I shall come back and delete. Here are my groups and the reasons.
1. 1001 Books you must read before you die. I already had the book, and the idea of reading them all before joining GR. So when I saw that thousands of other people had the same idea, I had to join that group!
2.Classics and the Western Canon. Now I love the classics, they'd done some I was interested in and had in-depth discussions. Then they started Milton's Paradise Lost, which I didn't go for, so I'm waiting for them to get on to something I like. Meanwhile, I noticed...
3. The Victorians! which focuses on literature from 1837-1900. It doesn't include Jane Austen but more recently I joined...
4. The Readers Review: Literature from 1800-1910, which covers a wider period and has in-depth discussion of both prose and poetry and also plans to do non-English writers such as Russian and French!
5. The Short Story Contest and Company...this is a group where you can contribute your own short stories, poems and essays. You don't have to be brilliant...a lot of contributors are quite young...a fun group where you can practise!
6. Aussie Readers...there's no place like home...and it's so good to have our own place to chat!
7.Language and Grammar...sounds boring, I know, but as well as being fascinating, there are word games and some seriously funny people!
8. James Mason Group...(the title is longer but that will do)the moderator, Rick, invited me to join this one, explaining that it's all about books, not about James Mason. There you will find all kinds of readers and all kinds of books...a large, active, diverse and very friendly group.

If I had time, I would join the Constant Reader, but I'm already having trouble keeping up with all my groups and all my reading...and please don't mention the housework!
Hope this was helpful.


message 28: by [deleted user] (new)

Jan I don't have a problem with the way you have presented your groups. I quite like it. You aren't pushing anything, just presenting good information about what's available.


message 29: by [deleted user] (last edited Sep 24, 2010 03:33PM) (new)

Be careful Polk it becomes a bit addictive.


message 30: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl (cherylllr) I would try to participate in a Recommendations - if you like.. you'll love..." kind of thread. I would definitely read it. Just don't ask me why because I already have more books on my to-read shelves than I'll ever get around to!


message 31: by [deleted user] (new)

Cheryl we will aim to bump a couple of those books lower in the order. :)


message 32: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl (cherylllr) heh


message 33: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl (cherylllr) btw, I assume the thread will be set up so we can request recommendations, not just tout books we've liked - is that the plan?


message 34: by Mandapanda (new)

Mandapanda | 2032 comments Do you have your own blog or website? You can add a little Aussie Readers Goodreads 'button' to your facebook page to show your friends that you're a member of Goodreads!

Just go to the Aussie Readers home page and scroll down until you see the words 'group widget' on the right of the page. Click on the diagram below that says 'show off your group widget'.

Adjust the settings to suit yourself and your reading tastes. I suggest choosing:
In 'Select Shelf' choose 'read'
In 'select sort' choose 'random'
In 'select number of books' choose '6'
In 'select cover size' choose 'medium'
In 'select title' write 'Aussie Readers on Goodreads'

Copy the HTML code and paste it into your webpage.


message 35: by Mandapanda (last edited Oct 04, 2010 01:47PM) (new)

Mandapanda | 2032 comments Don't have a Goodreads profile picture? Don't want to use your own photo. Here are a couple of sites with free 'avatars' (cute pictures you can use on your social webpages) that might interest you. Simply copy the avatar and save it to your 'My Pictures' folder in your computer.

http://www.free-avatars.com/k-funny-8...

http://gdpit.com/avatars_pictures/nat...

http://www.1avatars.com/icon-avatar/A...

Go to your Goodreads profile page then click on 'edit profile' next to your name at the top left of the page. Follow the instructions to add your photo.

Here are some samples I found!

aavatar3 avatar1 avatar2 avatar4 avatar6 avatar7


message 36: by Jan (last edited Oct 04, 2010 06:13PM) (new)

Jan (Auntyjan) | 200 comments Why don't people use their real photo? I feel I can relate to them better if I can see what they look like...I'm a very visually oriented person. Also why do people join groups then never make any comments at all? In every group there are people with zero comments and you wonder why they bothered joining if they had nothing to say.


message 37: by [deleted user] (new)

Some of us are shy Jan. Besides I like my shadow avatar, it is me after all. :)

I am not sure why people join without commenting either but everyone wants something different I guess. Me, I like to chat. :D


message 38: by Mandapanda (last edited Oct 04, 2010 09:52PM) (new)

Mandapanda | 2032 comments Jan wrote: "Why don't people use their real photo? I feel I can relate to them better if I can see what they look like...I'm a very visually oriented person. Also why do people join groups then never make any ..."

I can answer both those questions from my own point of view Jan. Firstly I enjoy the freedom, creativity and privacy using an avatar gives me. I can choose something that inspires me, makes me laugh or an image of myself that I want to show to the world.

Secondly I love lurkers! I am more than happy to ramble on about things that interest me on this site and people who enjoy it are welcome to read without feeling under pressure to make a response. As Jerry Seinfeld once said: "A study once showed that what frightened people the most was public speaking. That means we are more afraid of standing up in front of an audience than of dying!!"

Writing your thoughts in a public forum is similar to public speaking and it takes time for people to get used to it. I'm a member of lots of groups where I don't contribute, just enjoy reading the fabulous conversations of others.

I have heard of some groups where the moderators delete members who haven't made a contribution at the end of each month. That sounds very militant to me and not really in the spirit of a fun, easy-going online book club like Aussie Readers!:)


message 39: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl (cherylllr) My avatar is more representative of 'me' than a photo would be. And while I can't keep my fingers off the keyboard sometimes, I can empathize with those who just want to read & learn.

So, iow, ditto what Mandy said.


message 40: by Jan (new)

Jan (Auntyjan) | 200 comments Imagine getting deleted if you hadn't made a comment for a month! You couldn't even go on holiday!
By the way Cheryl and Mandy, I like both your avatars and your silhouette, Gail. I just like to see people, that's all. My first profile photo was a black and white one which in the small size just gave a suggestion of me, but I decided to go for a new one when I got my haircut. But someone in another group has complained about the sunlight shining on my hair, saying it looks like a white hat. So I guess that illustrates the problems of using a photo. I did think about using a glamour shot I had done for my fortieth, but since that was fourteen years ago,I felt it would be deceptive.
My definition of Cheryl (based on avatar):Rainbow girl radiating peace,love and happiness.


message 41: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl (cherylllr) Tx - I do like photos when they're done well. I like yours Jan. It is hard to see on my netbook, but on my husband's big laptop it's fine. You look kind, strong, patient, and usually cheerful. I bet you're a good friend to some lucky people.

Gail, yours is so artistic, and it makes me feel free and peaceful and alive whenever I see it.

Mandy, the details of yours don't show well for me as is, but I love the bright blue. When I enlarge it I see excitement and courage and strength.

I do love all the variety of avatars we can see here. Some are so detailed and poorly posted that even when we go to the profile to check out the full-size version we can't see what's going on, which is a shame, but otherwise it's amazing how each one is so different, even if it's 'just' another photo.


message 42: by Jan (new)

Jan (Auntyjan) | 200 comments If you go to my profile, Cheryl you can see the black and white photo I used previously, as well as some of my family and my granddaughters. As well as my own teenage daughter I have a niece and her baby staying with my husband and myself, and I'm very involved in my sister's family...so I guess you summed me up pretty well...must be a kindred spirit.


message 43: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl (cherylllr) Lovely photos - thanks for sharing, Jan!


message 44: by Mandapanda (last edited Oct 12, 2010 09:31PM) (new)

Mandapanda | 2032 comments GOODREADS FREE BOOK GIVEAWAYS

Have you checked out the Goodreads Giveaways page? There are hundreds of books that authors have listed that you may receive if you register your interest. In return the author would appreciate that you write a review on Goodreads. But don't be put off, no-one expects a long, highbrow discourse, just your plain and simple impressions of the book.

It depends on how many people apply, so if more register than the number of books available they do a draw (see the terms of the draw on the page). Go and have a look...:)


message 45: by [deleted user] (new)

Great link Mandy thanks.


message 46: by Jan (new)

Jan (Auntyjan) | 200 comments I thought that was only open to US residents?


message 47: by [deleted user] (new)

Nup.


message 48: by Mandapanda (new)

Mandapanda | 2032 comments Gail "cyborg" wrote: "Nup."

I only entered for one book but it said it was open to Aussie participants. Perhaps we should check for each book!


message 49: by Velvetink (new)

Velvetink | 136 comments Mandy wrote: "Gail "cyborg" wrote: "Nup."

I only entered for one book but it said it was open to Aussie participants. Perhaps we should check for each book!"


Not all books are avail to Australians.


message 50: by Mandapanda (last edited Oct 13, 2010 01:16PM) (new)

Mandapanda | 2032 comments In fact I just checked the Giveaways page again and every single book I saw is available in Australia. I checked the first page of each of the four tabs 'ending soon' 'most requested' 'popular authors' and recently listed' (total of 160 books).

Underneath the 'Enter To Win' button there is a line that reads Countries available: US, CA, and GB more. If you run the cursor over the word 'more' it lists other countries and AU will appear.


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Books mentioned in this topic

The Ghosts of Ashbury High (other topics)
The Picture of Dorian Gray (other topics)
On the Banks of Plum Creek (other topics)
Frankenstein (other topics)
Peter Brock: How Good Is This: The Real Story (other topics)
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Authors mentioned in this topic

Peter Watt (other topics)