New feature: Listopia

Posted by Otis Chandler on July 28, 2008
Goodreads has a new way to explore books, which we are cleverly calling Listopia. Listopia is basically a whole lot of lists of books, each one being ordered by members votes. Each member who votes on a list can order their individual votes, which are then used to generate the order of the master list.

We think this will be a great new way for members to share their favorite books with others, and create some really great content around books. Already there are some great lists being created, such as Best Books Ever, and its antithesis The Worst Books of All Time.

But the best lists are the more focused ones: Best utopia, dystopia, and other world fiction, Best Young Adult Novels, Best Historial Fiction, or The Movie was better than the Book.

The New York Times bestseller list can show you what books are selling well at Barnes & Noble. But only Listopia can show you what books people like in any imaginable genre.

Listopia was inspired by two things. The first was Michael was picking sci-fi books to read off a "Best Science Fiction books" site he found online. That didn't seem right - Goodreads should have that kind of data! The other was after I spent a little time on Digg and Mahalo. Digg uses members to determine what news is hot, and Mahalo is a "Human Powered Search Engine". And it seemed obvious that we needed a "Human Powered Book Recommendation Engine". Listopia is version one of our HPBRE.

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message 1: by Roos (new)

Roos Wow...Cool!

message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

yeah except that i already knew about his before it announced it.

message 3: by Joan (new)

Joan Guldin sweeet!

message 4: by Nenangs (new)

Nenangs Pretty cool feature!

message 5: by ExistenGuy (last edited Jul 28, 2008 11:22PM) (new)

ExistenGuy Interesting...hopefully it won't be like the other user-generated lists where all the top books are by Ayn Rand.

message 6: by Eva-Marie (new)

Eva-Marie I had found this feature earlier this month when I first signed up and thought it was a great idea. I've already browsed through a few lists and found some great to-be-read books and some boos on the "worst" list that I loved! LOL

message 7: by Muthu (new)

Muthu Nice...

message 8: by Sharla (new)

Sharla Excellent. A welcomed addition.

Sharla Shangeling
Author of The Secret of The Sundance Caves

message 9: by Mary Louise (new)

Mary Louise Fabulous!

message 10: by Savvy (new)

Savvy Great Addition!.....Nice work Otis!

message 11: by edifanob (new)

edifanob Excellent. Good job Otis!

message 12: by Conrad (last edited Jul 29, 2008 04:11PM) (new)

Conrad Otis, I think in principle this is a great idea, but there's already vote-stuffing going on. I hardly think that the Goodreads consensus pick for the 4th greatest book of the 20th century is the Book of Mormon (it wasn't even written in the 20th century...) The IMDb deals with people who use their votes as a form of propaganda by weighting votes on something like a bell curve so that votes that rank high on either end of a scale get less credence in the system than, say, lots of high-moderate votes. Hard to figure out how to do this in the context of lists, and realistically, I'm not sure you can circumvent large groups of people who are dedicated to throwing the system off... that's the downside of having user-generated content, I suppose.

message 13: by Madisen (new)

Madisen cool!

message 14: by Wifey (new)

Wifey I agree with Conrad.. there should be a way of removing books that are inappropriate for a particular list. (Like the Book of Mormon in the 20th century list...) Maybe allow Librarians to edit flagged books?

message 15: by ZaBeth (new)

ZaBeth  Marsh very cool way to quickly get people to participate more in Goodreads. it will get people talking to a wider group of friends.

message 16: by Jackie (new)

Jackie Nice addition, thank you

message 17: by Dr.Birdley (new)

Dr.Birdley B okay but i haven't read most of those and who voted on them cause i sure didn't

Jael ~ *~ Syhren ~* ~ How is this a new feature, Listopia has been here since I joined back in May.

message 19: by Devon (new)

Devon sounds neat

message 20: by Dimple (new)

Dimple Hi!

Goodreads is a great website, and this is a great new feature addition.
We recently started a website called the Culturazzi Club , an endeavor that strives to bring people in arts, cinema, literature, music and theater across the world together on a common platform, where they can share their thoughts, opinions, and interact with each other.

Do visit and tell us what you feel about it!

message 21: by Roxanne Hsu (new)

Roxanne Hsu Feldman I would love it if there is a way of "vote off" or "delete" books that are so out of the category. People seem to lump sci-fi and fantasy together, YA and children's together, and do not care when they vote whether they are furthering the lists' functionality or just vote for whatever books they personally like. Sorry for being so critical but I really want this new feature to work beautifully :)

message 22: by Oceanwaves (new)

Oceanwaves Sweet, this will come in handy!

message 23: by Ken (new)

Ken Conrad's points are well taken, though I'm guessing that Goodreads intends this to be lightweight diversion as opposed to serious business.

In addition to the dangers Conrad cites, there's the specter of (duh-duh-DUH!) Goodreads authors, some with hundreds of "friends," others with over a thousand "friends."

Can you see it now? Industrious little GR authors mass e-mailing all "friends," complete with link to Listopia voting page. One can see evidence of it already (I need not name names...).

Ah, well. As I said... as long as it's clear this is just all in fun, no one should much care.

message 24: by adaku (new)

adaku Okeke that's really cool i love to read

message 25: by Myranda (new)

Myranda Actually Conrad, you might be surprised by how many of the current GoodReads users are LDS. So as long as each person can only vote once per book (I presume?), that consensus would have to be an accurate reflection of GoodRead's userbase.

I do agree that The Book of Mormon was not "written" in the 20th Century -- though to be fair, the title of the list doesn't say it had to have it's first publication during that time period - just have a great impact on that century, perhaps? It certainly has been in continual publication for the last nearly 200 years...that's gotta count for something.

OTOH, I am surprised to see both _The Giver_ and _Holes_ on the same list -- Best Young Adult Novels? Holes is teen-fiction at best. My 10yo read it happily, but I don't consider her YA. Looks like a Tween/Teens's book list is in order;-)

message 26: by Conrad (new)

Conrad Myranda, if your argument were true, you could put Wuthering Heights, Middlemarch, The Book of Mormon, Don Quixote, Tristram Shandy, The Divine Comedy, and Tom Sawyer all at the top of the Best Books of the 20th Century list, and that list would make no less sense, just because they're all still influential today?!

Come on. You're really putting the cart in front of the horse.

message 27: by Moira (new)

Moira How do I change or remove a Listopia vote?

message 28: by KIKA (new)

KIKA Moira: I was wondering the same thing

message 29: by Dean (new)

Dean Poppe StevenA Final Glimpse of Love: None: I just finished "A Final Glimpse of Love" I thought it was great. If your fantasizing about getting off the grid, or finding true love; take a look at it. It's characters are real and the story is fascinating.

message 30: by Tim (new)

Tim Butcher I there anyone at Listopia/GoodReads whom I might contact about an ongoing problem. The lists are great from my perspective, an author whose work is showcased on them. But while my books do well, every so often they vanish from a list, all the votes they previously received gone to waste. Might someone at Listopia/GR be willing to help me out on this? With thanks, TimB

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