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Goodreads acquires Discoverreads

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Jill (Jillybeans) | 4474 comments This article was on the GR Facebook site linking to the NY Times.

Need Advice on What to Read? Ask the Internet
By CLAIRE CAIN MILLER
Netflix uses a software algorithm to recommend movies and Zappos uses one to recommend shoes. Now Goodreads, the social network for book lovers, is introducing an algorithm to recommend books.

Goodreads was started in 2006 for people who wanted to talk about books online. Its 4.6 million members load their virtual bookshelves with books they’ve read, are reading and want to read, rate and review them, and discuss them with friends and others on the site.

On Thursday, Goodreads will announce that it has acquired another start-up, Discovereads.com. It uses machine learning algorithms to analyze which books people might like, based on books they’ve liked in the past and books that people with similar tastes have liked.

Otis Chandler, Goodreads’s founder and chief executive, says the site has been an online version of walking into a friend’s living room and scanning the bookshelves to get recommendations. But readers need more than that, he said, particularly now that libraries, bookstores and some newspapers’ book review sections are disappearing and e-bookstores are inspiring more self-published authors.
“This will give the casual reader a quick answer to ‘What should I read first?’” he said. Once people have rated 10 books on a scale of five stars, Goodreads will be able to suggest books they might like.

Determining people’s tastes is a lucrative business, as Netflix has demonstrated by giving $1 million to the first team to develop a better movie recommendation system than the one it was using.

For books, Amazon.com already has a robust recommendation system. But Mr. Chandler said Goodreads’s recommendations will be better because Amazon considers books a customer has browsed or bought, so buying a gift for a child could throw off the recommendations, for instance.

Goodreads will also use the recommendations to help authors and publishers advertise their books to readers who are most likely to be interested in them. Seventeen thousand authors, including James Patterson and Margaret Atwood, use Goodreads to advertise.

In addition to advertising, Goodreads, which has raised $2 million from investors including True Ventures, makes a small amount of money from commissions when someone clicks from its site to an online bookstore to buy a book.

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Karendenice | 528 comments I think this is awesome. Do we know when it's going to start?


Jen - At Random (JenLR) Interesting...I think this a good step for Goodreads


Susan I can't wait!!!


Candice (candydulce) | 74 comments Excited


Linda Boyd (lboyd5900attnet) | 114 comments very cool and exciting!


Rachelle (Awaken80) | 278 comments Sounds awesome!


ErinBeth | 350 comments That problem you mentioned with Amazon can apply here to...for instance, I tried to add all the books I can remember reading to my read shelf, and that includes books from when I was a kid and teen, so if goodreads was using those to recommend books to me they would be way off as my tastes have changed. But still, sounds like an fun idea, I like the one they have on Netflix for movies


Natalie (bebe33075) | 9 comments this is great but it's a separate site from goodreads and I'll have to re-list all my books there, or will it work along side goodreads?


Sarah (goaway) I think they are working to integrate it, Natalie. I saw he said it'll be in the upcoming months so it's still a bit away, but I'm excited.


Natalie (bebe33075) | 9 comments well if that's the case great!


message 12: by Mary (Marbear), Founder (new)

Mary (Marbear) Blackburn (mbeth45) | 9130 comments Mod
Hi all. Thanks for the info Jilly. Hopefully they will combine the two sites.

Marber


Linda Boyd (lboyd5900attnet) | 114 comments Hopefully this is not a crazy question - but has/does anyone here use Discovereads?? If you have used it - how do you like it??


Jill (Jillybeans) | 4474 comments I had never heard of it Linda.


Lindsey | 118 comments Linda wrote: "Hopefully this is not a crazy question - but has/does anyone here use Discovereads?? If you have used it - how do you like it??"

Never heard of it either. But, I guess this merger will save me a trip from jumping over to amazon for book suggestions.


Rachelle (Awaken80) | 278 comments I've noticed that a lot of people on this site use Amazon for book suggestions. Can someone explain to me why that is, when goodreads has info on all books as well as reviews? Maybe there's something really good going on on Amazon that I need to know about!


Judi/Judith Riddle (judipatooti) | 1270 comments I have never heard of it either. Is this a plus for GRs or is it going to complicate things? I hope no one gets offended at this question but it is the first thing that comes to mind.


Jill (Jillybeans) | 4474 comments Hi Judith. I think it's a new feature you can choose to use or not. So it shouldn't complicate things.

Rachelle, if you are book shopping on Amazon, it will recommend books based on books you have bought or looked at by comparing those to other shoppers who also bought those books and bought others. These show up at the bottom of the page while you are searching and looking at books. DiscoverReads, as I understand it, will resolve the issue of not including gifts you might have bought for others which would not be your taste. For example if you purchased a book for a child. They have a different manner for figuring how to recommend books and will also only compare to your Read list.


Rachelle (Awaken80) | 278 comments Thanks Jill! I've seen those recommendations at the bottom of the page while searching through Amazon, but never thought to use them to get book ideas. I don't need any more of those, lol! Can't wait to use DiscoverReads though! I'm really happy goodreads is incorporating that service on this site. :-)


Linda Boyd (lboyd5900attnet) | 114 comments I will probably try it out, since it will be a part of Goodreads. I am not a Amazon shopper, my only online book shopping is done thru Barnes and Noble, otherwise I am in the bookstores.


Merty Great news about Goodreads!


Kit★ (xkittyxlzt) This'll be great! When I first signed up here on GR, I was hoping for a sort of recommendation system that would analyze my books like Netflix does for my movies, and looks like now we'll get it :)


message 23: by [deleted user] (new)

Interesting - unbiased recommendations.


Ellie (EllieArcher) | 1626 comments Will I be able to click on books on GR & get their availability & cost from Amazon? That would make my life a lot simpler-though, probably, more expensive as well.:D


ErinBeth | 350 comments You can already do that....if you click on the book there is a button for "buy book", and it shows you the prices of amazon as well as other venders you can buy it from


Ellie (EllieArcher) | 1626 comments Oh wow-thanks. I'll check it out right now.


Marilyn Belleghem (Marilyn_Belleghem) Sounds like a great addition to Goodreads.

Ellie you can set the retailers you want prices compared to on your settings on your account here as well as check libraries I believe. I've tried it a few times and notice different shipping terms too.


Ellie (EllieArcher) | 1626 comments Oh that is a great piece of information! Thanks. The other info was also a great help, altho it did lead to a sharp increase in my book buying :}

This could really help when I buy paper books. Thanks again.

I love GR: where else would I learn such vital (to me!) info!


Rachelle | 6 comments This sounds cool. Can't wait to see how it works out.


Danielle (dani_duda25) | 40 comments I can´t wait for this to start. Sounds awesome!!!!!


Susan (NY) | 36 comments This sounds really good!


Noel (nlee11) | 6 comments I can't wait to try it out!


Sera | 181 comments Yay! Finally - I've been waiting for this. Sounds very cool...


Karendenice | 528 comments Has anyone heard about when it's going to start? Or has it already started and I missed seeing it? :)


Shay | 491 comments If you go to the GR page for an individual book, like Hawaii. On the right, near the bottom is a section labeled, "Readers also enjoyed". It'll have books that people who liked, say, Hawaii also liked. It's not necessarily in the same genre or time period or country. More "obscure" books- that aren't rated by a lot of people, might not have any books listed. Whether this is it, or if they'll eventually do more, I don't know.


Monica | 26 comments That section that says "Readers also enjoyed" is deadly! I get caught in a loop...finding new books to read! I've found some great new authors this way.


Karendenice | 528 comments Thanks Shay. I'm going there now to check it out.


Jill (Jillybeans) | 4474 comments Hi Karendenice. I am not sure. I saw this posted on Facebook and shared it. Goodreads doesn't actually communicate with Marbear and I. I just got back from vacation and all my work is piled up, but as soon as I can get my balance, I will try to do some research and let you know.


Karendenice | 528 comments Thanks Jill. I appreciate your help.


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