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Suggestions & Questions > Search by gender of reviewers perhaps?

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message 1: by Charles (new)

Charles | 1 comments Hi there.

I am a newer member of this community and have to say I am thoroughly impressed by what is taking off here.

As a male I have often found that there are books and authors which often appeal to readers of one gender over the other (of course with much overlap).

I would love to be able to search the different bookshelves and see reviews & ratings segregated by the gender of the reviewers if I wanted to do so. Is this currently possible to do and if not would you consider adding this function to the website?

Thank you for your thoughts/feedback in advance.

message 2: by rivka, librarian moderator (new)

rivka | 12269 comments Mod
Not all GoodReads members choose to indicate their gender in the first place.

message 3: by Otis, Chief Goodreader (new)

Otis Chandler | 4184 comments Mod
A cool idea. I think segregating the 'popular shelves' by gender could turn up some interesting results.

message 4: by Ken (new)

Ken ... Like most guys like "guy books" and steer clear of "chick lit," while other books would score equally with both genders.

Also, if studies are to be believed, it would show that women prefer fiction over Dewey's Decimals and men, vice-versa. But I think that might apply more to the nation at large than to a site stuffed to the rafters with read-aholics. Might...

message 5: by Debbie (new)

Debbie Moorhouse Oh goodie, another opportunity for conclusions to be drawn about the different sexes based on inadequate data.

*removes gender from profile*

message 6: by Evan (new)

Evan | 128 comments As much as I'm in favor of more statistical analysis, I have to agree with Squirrel on this one. I think the likelihood of misinterpretation, and vitriol it could inspire would outweigh the possible uses of such a list. I welcome anyone interested in some gender-based preferences to make groups--a Men's Reading group could spur interesting discussions and recommendations, but always with the understanding that some women would be attracted to it as well. I think we should feel free to share our respective genders. It's useful to have a pronoun to refer to Rivka and her[?] excellent commentaries. Certainly we want to encourage interpersonal relationships, and gender is, I think, intrinsically linked to that in our society. But this should stay on an individual level, not a statistical one.

message 7: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (songgirl7) | 107 comments I really don't like this idea. I already get random friend requests from men whose book interests are not anywhere near similar to mine (or no books at all) and who have a friend list with hundreds of girls. I'd really rather not add an opportunity for some of these types of men to find women. This is not a dating site and I fear that some people would use it as such.

message 8: by rivka, librarian moderator (new)

rivka | 12269 comments Mod
Yes, Rivka is a she. ;) (It might help if I tell you that "Rivka" is simply the original Hebrew for "Rebbecca.")

And I entirely agree with Squirrel.

message 9: by Ken (new)

Ken A tepid idea, then...

message 10: by Jessica (new)

Jessica | 99 comments I agree with Rivka, Sara, Evan, Squirrel... not an idea I'd like to see implemented.

message 11: by bsc (new)

bsc (bsc0) | 82 comments I like the general idea of being able perform searches based on all the optional profile data, including location, age, sex, etc. I think it would be interesting and useful information. Could it be abused? Maybe. Is it worth the effort? Eh, probably a ton of more important features and tweaks I'd put ahead of it.

message 12: by Laura (last edited Jan 28, 2008 05:25PM) (new)

Laura (laurahogan) | 228 comments Oh good lord -- what Rivka, Squirrel, et al said. This is just a terrible, terrible idea on every level imaginable. Please don't do it. Please.

message 13: by Ken (new)

Ken Maybe track us, then, by socio-economic data? You know, like the exit polls that keep CNN and Fox in business: 62.3% of Presbyterian, harem-less male GR posters making $50,000-$70,000 a year prefer dead white male writers (no longer making anything a year, except that dust-to-dust stuff, maybe), followed by lively Eurasian female authors, followed by authors named Pat, Chris, and Jess (no telling which team they write for).

OK, maybe not. Terrible idea, also. Where's this Charles dude when you need him? Sets off a melee and then makes like the Cheshire Cat (oops, male author). How about: sets off a melee and then takes his Pride and Prejudice out of here...

message 14: by Jessica (last edited Jan 28, 2008 09:44PM) (new)

Jessica | 31 comments I find this pretty offensive. I'm not going to say for sure I'd stop using this site if this happened, but I might.

If users won't do a little extra legwork to search on their own for "Aubrey-Maturin" or "chick-lit" shelves or whatever it is they're after, I don't think the site should insult the rest of us to make things easier for them. I feel like the point of this is to expand our ideas about books, not restrict them. I will also say that one of the great joys I've found here has come from exposure to reviews by people of different age, gender, location, and political views than my own: people I wouldn't have normally thought I'd have a lot in common with. So I would say that, a.) it's pretty easy already to find people on here with similar reading interests and b.) they might not always have the demographics you'd expect -- and sometimes might love books you'd never touch -- so maybe you should keep an open mind. You might find yourself reading things you wouldn't have read otherwise, and enjoying them.... and hey, isn't that kind of the point?

Anyway, if you're interested in looking only at the pages of a particular gender of person, it's pretty easy to guess, most of the time, based on names and pictures. If you only want to see what men or women say about a particular book, well, I can't help you, but I hope someone can.

message 15: by Otis, Chief Goodreader (new)

Otis Chandler | 4184 comments Mod
Now this thread is what I love about Goodreads. There are smart people here with opinions that they can back up! If all we have to do is listen to what you say, I think we have it easy. Other social networks have to guess what their members want - so thanks everyone!

That being said, we're going to add religion and ethnicity fields to the profiles tomorrow so we can divide the top lists even further.

(just kidding :)

message 16: by rivka, librarian moderator (new)

rivka | 12269 comments Mod
*worried* So is Jewish an ethnicity or a religion? Or both? Or neither?


message 17: by Randy (new)

Randy | 11 comments Don't forget about political affiliations!

message 18: by Debbie (new)

Debbie Moorhouse Please include star signs!

message 19: by rivka, librarian moderator (new)

rivka | 12269 comments Mod
Let's not forget Meyers-Briggs classifications.

message 20: by Ruth (new)

Ruth | 113 comments Maybe we could sort them by hair color?


message 21: by [deleted user] (new)

Fran is cool. The Web is full of adolescent boys or older boys with adolescent mindsets. It's hard to get rid of them. But hostile gender-based harrassment is totally unacceptable. Horny boys gathering sidebars full of women friends, well, that's just horny boys. But let's educate them. Educate the testosterone-fueled boys!

message 22: by Summer (new)

Summer | 40 comments Good one, Rivka!

message 23: by Debbie (new)

Debbie Moorhouse Fran, I'm sorry you were attacked and I'm sorry I offended you by treating this thread as a joke. I only felt able to be humorous once it was clear this wouldn't be implemented.

message 24: by Paul (new)

Paul Duncan (JPaulDuncan) | 52 comments I love it when guys speak about feminism. Like chocolate talking about an ostrich.

message 25: by Debbie (new)

Debbie Moorhouse Besides, you're the one hung up on gender. I don't care which one the doctors assigned you at birth.

Gender isn't assigned at birth. Biological sex is (not always accurately). There's such a huge difference between the two that anyone who isn't aware of that has no credibility when discussing the subject. Zero. Zilch. Nada.

message 26: by [deleted user] (new)

Gorilla is an Internet troll. He posts to get attention or get people angry. Disregard it. Those on the Internet are often obxnoxious.

message 27: by Michael (last edited Feb 06, 2008 03:04PM) (new)

Michael Economy (michaeleconomy) Oh goodie, another opportunity for conclusions to be drawn about the different sexes based on inadequate data.

isn't that what the internet's all about? :D

message 28: by Otis, Chief Goodreader (new)

Otis Chandler | 4184 comments Mod
Hi all,

I removed a few more offending posts. Our policy is to remove any post in which a person singles out and attacks another person. Debate of ideas is encouraged, but viciousness is not.


message 29: by Michael (new)

Michael Economy (michaeleconomy) also fran, we have a block member feature, if you click on the offensive person's profile, then got all the way to the bottom there is a link to "block this member"

I don't think you can block offensive authors at the moment (since they have a different profile page), so we might add that.

message 30: by Debbie (new)

Debbie Moorhouse Michael, I think it became about that some two minutes after its inception, but I think to start with there was some crazy idea about the free exchange of ideas! lol

message 31: by Debbie (new)

Debbie Moorhouse Well, I dunno, trolly-wolly. That word's not in my dictionary!

message 32: by Paul (last edited Feb 07, 2008 12:37PM) (new)

Paul Duncan (JPaulDuncan) | 52 comments Brendan's got it right.

Trolls think insults are signs of higher intelligence and getting a rise out of people by challenging someones views with questions of the posters sexual orientation, hygiene, religion, ability to spell or proper use of grammar, or (of all things) thier choice in username/handle as signs of superiority. Of course, it's easy to feel superior when you're typing anonymously into the void.

In the real world they're likely the ones with a slight case of agoraphobia who'll shy away from a real conversation for fear of being found out to be just average.

message 33: by Laura (last edited Feb 07, 2008 09:34AM) (new)

Laura (laurahogan) | 228 comments Two relevant comments:

1. I think this thread is a pretty good object lesson on why Goodreads really, really, really needs to install a filtering feature. Many other sites on the Web have such a feature installed for, you know, good reason, and we're looking at the good reason right here.

2. Many people seem to be unaware of the "block this member" feature, probably because it's actually rather hard to find even if you're looking for it on a user's page. I think it would be good to make that button more prominent, rather than putting it waaaaay the hell down all the way at the very the bottom of the page, in grey, as it is now. It may look less friendly, but you know, I think that's better than having people leave in droves as the number of users increases, since an increase in users will almost certainly bring an increase in the number of problem users.

message 34: by Anna (new)

Anna | 28 comments I agree with Brendan and Paul.

Trolls thrive on attention, much like some kids in middle school who need all the attention - good or bad - at any cost. They are just not worth the frustration.

message 35: by Otis, Chief Goodreader (new)

Otis Chandler | 4184 comments Mod
I agree that trolls are annoying, and sometimes ignoring them is not enough. This subject has come up before, here.

Today we implemented a feature where if you've blocked someone using the 'block' link at the bottom of someone's profile page, their posts on any discussion thread will be hidden. A message saying there is a post there will appear instead, with a link to view the message if you want. Would people prefer to just see nothing though?

Good points on the difficulty of finding the 'block this member' link Laura. We put it at the bottom because it's a scary sounding link link (what, I need to block people on this site - what do they do?), and because it's not often used so there is no reason to give it prominence. But any suggestions for a better location are welcome!

message 36: by Jessica (new)

Jessica | 99 comments Thank you, Otis, that is a very welcome new tool. It's easy to use (now that I know where to look for the "block this user" button). I like the message that is placed in the thread with a link to click if for some reason you want to see a particular comment. Would it be possible to offer a customizable setting to get or suppress that message when you filter users?

message 37: by Laura (last edited Feb 07, 2008 03:25PM) (new)

Laura (laurahogan) | 228 comments Yes, thank you, Otis! I also like the way it's implemented, because you can simply click on the link to see the post if you need context.

As for where to put the "block user" link, I wouln't have any problem putting it next to the "compare books" link, or maybe right below it. I don't think you have to worry about its being scary, frankly -- I think most people are internet savvy enough these days that they have some idea of what it is. You could also put a hypertext question mark or "what is this?" button next to it, I guess.

message 38: by Debbie (new)

Debbie Moorhouse I was hoping for a "terminate user with extreme prejudice" button myself ;).

message 39: by Paul (last edited Feb 07, 2008 06:51PM) (new)

Paul Duncan (JPaulDuncan) | 52 comments Then we'd have to give them a "come with me if you want to live" button.

- oh, and as far as a better place for the 'block user'? I'd additionally add it next to the 'flag abuse' link on the 'comment'.

For less "scary", perhaps 'ignore user'?

message 40: by Summer (new)

Summer | 40 comments I would love to see a block-this-author button. The same author has friend-requested me four times and I'm getting a little tired of seeing his requests. I understand self-promotion; it just doesn’t sit well with me. I think a friend is someone with whom you have an ongoing dialog and care about. I don’t think friend and fan are synonymous. (Although I think they can be analogous.)

As a side note, I like the compare users feature, bc I am wary of labeling strangers as friends. I guess I haven't yet expanded my definition of friends to include internet acquaintances. I know this doesn’t exactly agree with the current online concept of friends and may sound elitist, but I didn’t join this site to make friends, I joined it to talk about books and I find it suits my purpose fine.

message 41: by Sonky (new)

Sonky | 28 comments I live under bridges and eat goats. Please delete this, as it is a personal attack against myself.

message 42: by Paul (new)

Paul Duncan (JPaulDuncan) | 52 comments Wow. I feel sorry for you.

message 43: by Lisa (last edited Feb 07, 2008 11:05PM) (new)

Lisa Vegan (LisaVegan) | 8939 comments Re what Paul said, I worked for years for AOL as a Community Leader as chat host & cohost, and monitoring the message boards, and we used "ignore" and that seemed to work for those users who wanted that option.

message 44: by rivka, librarian moderator (new)

rivka | 12269 comments Mod
I worked for years for AOL

*GASP!* :O

Well, that definitely settles the being-the-same-person theory. ;)

message 45: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (LisaVegan) | 8939 comments Rivka, you too?! ;-)

At least not just talking to "myself." Ha ha.

message 46: by rivka, librarian moderator (new)

rivka | 12269 comments Mod
I was unclear. I devoutly believe AOL to be demonspawn.

But I'll still talk to you. ;)

message 47: by Lisa (last edited Feb 08, 2008 06:18AM) (new)

Lisa Vegan (LisaVegan) | 8939 comments Rivka, Well, I don't think highly of them either, now. They had really good veggie boards & chats for a few years though.

And thanks for not "disinheriting" me. ;-)

message 48: by Caroline (new)

Caroline | 128 comments I really like the way the block user feature works at the moment. I have a few users blocked on my account because they've spammed me to infinity with friend invites, but I'd rather not have their comments just not appear. It'd be entirely too confusing to follow some topics if they just didn't show up at all.

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