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Suggestions & Questions > Suggestions for Improving Groups

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message 1: by Nick (last edited Feb 19, 2008 08:12PM) (new)

Nick (nickqueen) | 89 comments Hello,

I currently run several groups on GoodReads, among these my SciFi and Fantasy Book Club and my new acquisition, the GoodReads Anti-Spam Initiative. Check them out here:



Over the past few months while running these groups I have been struck not only by their versatility but also by a few limitations that I feel could add to their useful. I will lay these out below:

1. My main group, the book club, thrives on me being able to keep members informed of upcoming books and discussions. Currently to do this I must each month go to each individual member and send them a message personally. This takes time and could be remedied by allowing the mods to send group emails. Take it from me, I hate spam as much (if not more) than others. Heck, I run a pirated Anti-Spam group on this site. Needless to say, this would greatly enhance the groups, especially ones like my book club.

2. This may be hard but I think polls would also help enhance the experience. I currently set-up a survey on my own server to host the polls I need so that members can pick their reads. A local poll will give this process more visibility while reducing my members from having to leave GoodReads (sacreligous!) and then returning.

3. More categories or shelves for books might be handy.

4. A big must is a way to more easily find recent posts. Forums have a Recent Posts link that allows this, including the ability to see what posts that you have responded to or started have been answered. I know on busy groups this is an essential add-on.

5. Internal group recommendations.

6. Group RSS links that will allow members to subscribe to group discussions via RSS Readers and keep more in contact with what is happening in their favorite groups.

I hope this helps in improving GoodReads for all!

message 2: by Nick (new)

Nick (nickqueen) | 89 comments Also, perhaps a link to see what each member is reading in the group currently rather than checking on each individually.

message 3: by Michael (new)

Michael Economy (michaeleconomy) Great ideas!

message 4: by Paul (new)

Paul Duncan (JPaulDuncan) | 52 comments I like #5 -

message 5: by Otis, Chief Goodreader (new)

Otis Chandler | 4184 comments Mod
Those are all great ideas. #3 is coming soon. An RSS feed might be an easy one to hook up. I love the idea of polls. And #4 is also high on the list.

Group recommendations or updates is also an idea I really like! So much to do :)

message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

As the mod on The Haters Club, I may hate several things, but I can't support #1 strongly enough.

Also one of the issues I ran into was when one of 'the haters' deleted another members posts from the thread (leading to quite a bit of internal hating), being able to limit that ability to the admin would be a-mighty keen.

message 7: by Nick (new)

Nick (nickqueen) | 89 comments Oh you haters!

Seriously, how did that happen? I was under the impression that only mods could do this. I shall have to go find some posts to delete :-D

message 8: by Meghan (new)

Meghan Nick - awesome suggestions! I support them all.

As to #1, could you make that a feature for everyone (not just moderators)? I have 3 moderators in one of my groups and in order to ask them any questions directly (rather than posting something publicly), you have to send them individual notes. It would be a lot easier to just write one note and click on who you want to send it to.

I realize that's what email is for but not everyone gives out email addresses.


message 9: by Kathrynn (new)

Kathrynn | 517 comments Nick, you posted some wonderful ideas!

Go Otis, Go Otis, Go Otis...3, 4 and 6!!

When I add books to a group and go to the next page, the link to add books to the group drops off.

message 10: by Kathrynn (new)

Kathrynn | 517 comments As a moderator, I'd like to be able to move a post. Sometimes things get posted under the wrong headings or a discussion really gets going and I'd like to post it all under a New Topic Header. Thoughts?

message 11: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (LisaVegan) | 8939 comments Kathrynn, As a moderator of a group, I think I've moved posts from an incorrect to a proper folder. I think I just clicked on edit and was able to use the pull down menu for folder choices.

message 12: by Sherry (new)

Sherry | 207 comments This works for a whole thread, but not for individual posts within a thread.

message 13: by Bree (new)

Bree (coffeebeanbookshelf) | 124 comments Great suggestions, Nick - I like the idea of polls (in some of the groups I'm in, if you want to vote on which book to read next, you have to send the mod a message, which I'd bet could get cumbersome for them). Polls would be a great solution, and make it easier for everyone.

I also like the idea of RSS feeds for groups, and an easier way to find recent posts. I miss a LOT because they seemed to have gotten harder to navigate since the recent changes (addition of folders).

message 14: by Otis, Chief Goodreader (new)

Otis Chandler | 4184 comments Mod
Only moderators can delete posts in groups. The only exception is you can delete your own posts.

You can move topics around, but not posts - an interesting idea.

message 15: by Tim (last edited Feb 26, 2008 07:38PM) (new)

Tim | 93 comments Grand suggestions again cheers. I just wanted to say that #4 (recent posts) would be wonderful and its great to see Otis already working on this.

A couple of other thoughts re updated posts..

Allow one to subscribe to a particular thread? (notifications in personal feed or inbox (may save you bandwidth instead of email)

As Nick suggests, allow one to RSS feed from a thread or indeed an entire topic? (atm it looks like one can only rss to the overall board which shows only toplevel topic posts and not replies)

Lovin' it!

edit - sorry Otis, just noticed now that you updated your "To do list" post with the idea of marking new/unread posts :)

message 16: by Megan (new)

Megan | 1 comments I think these are all really good additions, but I'd like to throw the bulk of my support behind #2.

I'm considering starting a book group on goodreads, and I have to say the biggest drawback is lack of polls. I may end up hosting it on LiveJournal (!) instead, because an automated voting procedure will save me more grief than automated event scheduling and email digests. It's still up in the air, though! We may end up splitting our attention like Nick's group, hosting our polls elsewhere and the group here.

message 17: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (LisaVegan) | 8939 comments Megan, You could use survey monkey and use a link in your group. Just a thought.

message 18: by Otis, Chief Goodreader (new)

Otis Chandler | 4184 comments Mod
We are hoping to build trivia soon, and as part of that I'm hoping to work polls in. No promises, but if so polls would launch in the next two weeks.

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