Play Book Tag discussion

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Footnotes 2017-2018 > Thinking about 'tags.'

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message 1: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl  (cherylllr) Ok, so here in PBT we have the top 300 'shelves' that are actually genres or sub-genres that we use as potential tags. And that's great. But I think it would be fun to take advantage of the thing about GoodReads which is that the tags are crowd-sourced and can say entirely different things than genres, for example a lot of people have a shelf labeled 'library' which probably usually means 'a book that is available at the library' of the reader.

Now, 'library' as a PBT tag probably wouldn't work too well because enough books are available at enough libraries that would be a huge random list, and the books wouldn't connect around anything discussable.

But maybe we could sometimes play around with a tag like 'giftable' or 'mom' or 'dusty' or 'why' or 'senior' or .... I tested all these and got intriguing & discussable results.


message 2: by Joanne (new)

Joanne (joabroda1) | 8436 comments Cheryl wrote: "Ok, so here in PBT we have the top 300 'shelves' that are actually genres or sub-genres that we use as potential tags. And that's great. But I think it would be fun to take advantage of the thing a..."


I really like this idea-for sharing!


message 3: by Linda C (new)

Linda C (libladynylindac) | 1162 comments I can see where this would be a fun way to try something new. Maybe you or admins can think of a way to work this into a challenge for next year; maybe something like the steps we did last year.


message 4: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6756 comments Thanks so much for re-posting your thoughts here, Cheryl!

Here was my initial response, but will add more based on Cheryl's message above:

Hi Cheryl!

We don't really have a prescribed place for ideas . . .I think putting them in Footnotes is probably the best idea. That way other members will see your thoughts and be able to chime in.

So, the way we select the tags is we take the top 300 tags that truly are either a theme or a genre or a subgenre. There are just way too many tags that are words like: currently reading, books i own, to buy, library, maybe, my books, etc. Each of these tags have well over a million books under them. To my mind, there is really no challenge or common bond to choosing a book from these shelves because any book could easily fall on these shelves.

Now there are other tags with huge numbers of books, but a tag like say "series" is still one where people can discuss their favorite series, make series recommendations, etc. As opposed to "books I own" for instance.

Each year, I recompile the top 300 as the Goodreads top tags do change. It's a somewhat arbitrary process -- I do include the tag "favorites" for example even though that's pretty broad and generic. Some tags are essentially duplicates as well (i.e. wwii, WWII world war 2), and I try to consolidate those.

There's definitely a case to be made for just taking the top tags no matter what they are, but PBT was originally conceived as a way to stretch reading horizons and also for members to help one another try new genres that perhaps they would never otherwise try. I can see how a generic tag now and again might be fun, but our structure isn't really set up to accommodate it.

You can see our list of tags here:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/...

And the top Goodreads tags here:

https://www.goodreads.com/shelf

Other member reactions might be interesting to see! Maybe I'm out to lunch, lo


message 5: by Anita (last edited Jun 27, 2018 02:56PM) (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6756 comments "But maybe we could sometimes play around with a tag like 'giftable' or 'mom' or 'dusty' or 'why' or 'senior' or .... I tested all these and got intriguing & discussable results. "

So these are good specific examples. In the way I compile - - giftable, mom, dusty, and senior would likely be included on my list of tags, IF they were in the top 300. Pretty sure they aren't. I just searched giftable, and that has 181 books on the shelf. The top 300 tags all have hundreds of thousands.

Library and why would not be included.

So, the way we really are dealing with this issue now is by allowing a PBT member to put a tag up for the vote each month. The tag they select does NOT need to be in the top 300. It can be any tag they want.

In my mind, the natural progression for the question is do we want to continue to use the randomizer to select tags up for the vote? Should the tags be restricted to the top 300 or some larger number? Would it be better to include two tags from members and one tag from the randomizer?

We will not make any changes in this calendar year, but each January the administrators revisit these types of questions, and I'm certainly open to member feedback in making the decisions.


message 6: by Jason (new)

Jason Oliver | 2105 comments I like the way it is right now. 300 tags at one a year is 25 years that's not including the tags changing year to year or the number of tags that are chosen by members. The point of Playbook tags is to broaden our reading Horizons and to encourage us to read more. broad tags does not encourage us to broaden our reading Horizons


message 7: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl  (cherylllr) I agree Jason, actually. And that's actually why I think adding a new element might be fun.

Given that the "top 300" tags have "hundreds of thousands" of books shelved, those *are* broad. And those tags/shelves are community-generated, so we get stuff like A Wrinkle in Time being shelved as Magical Realism. So, I'm experiencing that the current system does *not* broaden my reading horizons.

Certainly my specific suggestions aren't the only possibilities. And certainly they won't necessarily call for us to read more broadly. But I think they're worth considering. Maybe not for tags, but maybe, as Linda C. suggests, for side challenges of some sort.

Anyway, it was just a thought.


message 8: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 6407 comments Ultimately it boils down to the voting. If you have a more unusual tag, it's not likely to get voted in, especially if there are (relatively) few books on that shelf. Not every member of PBT wants to broaden his/her reading horizons. And "forcing" people to do so will only alienate members and make the group less friendly / welcoming / accommodating. No one is stopping any member from reading as broadly - or as narrowly - as s/he wants.

Anita wrote: "So, the way we really are dealing with this issue now is by allowing a PBT member to put a tag up for the vote each month. The tag they select does NOT need to be in the top 300. It can be any tag they want...."
I hadn't realized that, Anita. I think it's a great compromise and a way to include some tags that wouldn't otherwise make the randomizer cut. Though, of course, I suppose that the member who recommends a tag might still pick "fiction." LOL

I would not be in favor of having more than one "wild card" member-pick per month, however. I think 300 tags is more than generous for the randomizer (we did only 200 on Shelfari). Allowing the member pick to stray outside that official list gives us the chance for something different. (After all "neurodiversity" was a hot contender for this month's tag.)


message 9: by Joanne (new)

Joanne (joabroda1) | 8436 comments Now that it has all been explained here-I agree with Jason and Anita. Would like to say though, the Decathlon Challenge for July is wonderful. Being a fairly new member, it has been a little hard to "infiltrate"-lol-and the buddy read will help in getting to know more voices!


message 10: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6756 comments Thanks everyone for taking some time to chime in and share your thoughts. It is instructive and helpful as we continue to plan for PBT and try to make it a fun place for members.

Joanne, I appreciate your thoughts about "infiltrating" - - we have never had so many new members before, but I do want all of them to feel welcomed and part of the community . . .this is something worth giving more thought to and working on.


message 11: by Joanne (new)

Joanne (joabroda1) | 8436 comments Anita wrote: "Thanks everyone for taking some time to chime in and share your thoughts. It is instructive and helpful as we continue to plan for PBT and try to make it a fun place for members.

Joanne, I appreci..."


Meant no offense, I can appreciate all the work you do-and how hard it is to keep up and still enjoy your reading! I was hesitant a lot of times to join in a conversation or post a review-just being a newbie-I am feeling more comfortable-watch out...lol


message 12: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6756 comments Absolutely no offense taken!!! I thought it was a great point that you raised, and you stated it kindly. So glad you are here and getting more comfortable!


message 13: by Robin (new)

Robin A Being fairly new I would have to say for myself I like the idea of random picks. One of my main reasons for leaving my previous group was to many negative comments when it was my turn to do the monthly title pick to have people vote on.


message 14: by Jamie (new)

Jamie Zaccaria | 219 comments I like the idea of the tag chooser picking 2 tag options and the randomizer only choosing one. I have so many ideas for unique tags!


message 15: by LibraryCin (new)

LibraryCin | 9082 comments Joanne wrote: "I am feeling more comfortable-watch out...lol..."

LOL! That made me laugh! Glad you're feeling more comfortable now!


message 16: by Jason (new)

Jason Oliver | 2105 comments Remember the "introducing ourselves" thread. Maybe we can find that or start another one. That's was really great for getting to know one another.


message 17: by Jason (new)

Jason Oliver | 2105 comments Book Concierge. By broaden horizons, dystopia is not a favorite by all air even something all of the members read. With that winning, it broadens the books you have read. Next month might be romances or western. Something like giftable, it's the same as saying, read any book.


message 18: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl  (cherylllr) It was me who debated which tags serve to broaden.

The dystopia shelf list has all sorts of things on it that ppl might already read, like horror, SF, fantasy, classics & children's, for example. I honestly don't see how that's broadening. And I'm guessing that Book Concierge would, in a way, agree with me... because the way things stand, we get credit for reading something that we would already read anyway.

"Giftable" is most definitely not 'any book.' It's only books that ppl feel are both *good enough* and *universal enough* to appeal to other readers enough to actually give as gifts. So, the review discussions could mention whether or not we agreed that the book is giftable, whether we think it has a more universal appeal.

Again, I just thought it would be fun to consider other tags than just popular themes. But I'm fine with things the way they are, too, of course.


message 19: by Jason (new)

Jason Oliver | 2105 comments Cheryl, I'm good with challenging the norm. I am good with your suggestion and I am posing the opposite side. I see your point but there are things we are seeing or processing different.

Dystopia has a definition. Some may already read dystopia or similar tags, but others don't and every month that changes.

Giftable is indefinable. I have a friend who reads 99% Dragon books, so to him I'd gift a Dragon book. My grandmother only read romances so if gift that to her. My other grandma loves sci-fi. Though other tags can be open to interpretation, giftable indefinable. Anything technically works. That's my issue. I would pick the next book on my TBS for that category cause I could gift it to someone.

Better might be, a book you have gifted, but most likely you've already read it.


message 20: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6756 comments Jason wrote: "Remember the "introducing ourselves" thread. Maybe we can find that or start another one. That's was really great for getting to know one another."

Yes! Let me see if I can dig that up and perhaps relocate it to a more visible and permanent home. Great thought.


message 21: by Karin (last edited Jun 28, 2018 01:37PM) (new)

Karin | 7481 comments Book Concierge wrote: "Ultimately it boils down to the voting. If you have a more unusual tag, it's not likely to get voted in, especially if there are (relatively) few books on that shelf. Not every member of PBT wants ..."

True, not everyone wants to broaden their reading horizons, but sometimes those of us who do have already read a less popular tag/shelf and have no interest in reading it again.

That said, sometimes if one I don't want to read wins, I can usually find something I am willing to read or even want to read since people sometimes shelve/tag things in odd, imaginative or surprising ways because people define some things differently. However, most of the time I really try to read the tag/shelf with the intent of reading something that fits it. But the book I have for this month's is still sitting untouched while I read some other books for other challenges, doggone it! I really wanted to read it and still may, but I have an entire book to read by Sunday for a discussion. It still might happen, after I finish my book for honouring Denizen (78 percent of the way finished) and a few other things.

But by having a member choose something that doesn't have to be in the top 300 is a great way to get around the top 300 rule, and there are plenty of shelves/tags in the top 300!


message 22: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6756 comments As I originally conceived this group, the idea was to have a book club where we all didn't have to read the same book, but where there would be a common theme to what we were reading to form some basis for book sharing and conversation.

Some of us take it very, very seriously as to whether a book we select truly fits the tag, and we pay little attention to the crowd sourcing because we know that results in a much more broad interpretation. However, what I love about PBT is that there is room for people who truly want to try different genres and types of reads and room for people who mostly want some "guidance" on what to read next from their established TBR. We welcome and accommodate both types of members!

My personal perspective aligns a bit more with Jason's in the sense that reading a book tagged say "dnf" really is a bit meaningless as a book I would dnf probably isn't the same as a book anyone else here might dnf . . .

However, I do like the idea of digging into more unique tags (like the aforementioned neurodiversity) . . .that might have more trouble being voted in because they are a bit narrower.

So this discussion has been productive because perhaps we will try to do something around non top 300 tags as an annual challenge. We always put those up for a vote, so if members like the idea, it will happen!


message 23: by Joanne (new)

Joanne (joabroda1) | 8436 comments Karin wrote: "Book Concierge wrote: "Ultimately it boils down to the voting. If you have a more unusual tag, it's not likely to get voted in, especially if there are (relatively) few books on that shelf. Not eve..."

I can relate Karin-I have been playing catch-up since I joined the group this Feb. This month I swore I was going to read the Tag and Decathlon-both are still on my night stand, barely touched. I will get to them...and put them into "other books"-one of the great things about this group!


message 24: by Karin (new)

Karin | 7481 comments Joanne wrote: "Karin wrote: "Book Concierge wrote: "Ultimately it boils down to the voting. If you have a more unusual tag, it's not likely to get voted in, especially if there are (relatively) few books on that ..."

I am not even doing the decathalon at the moment, but one day I might go and add the reads I've done for it but finished late, etc. I did start off with it. Just been a busy year.


message 25: by JoLene (new)

JoLene (trvl2mtns) | 1532 comments I’m a bit confused as to what you are actually requesting Cheryl. You are correct that all of the tags are crowd-sourced, but the top 300 are not necessarily just genre or sub-genres. Of course, many of them are because genres are typically something that people want to categorize their books by. However, many of the tags are specific years, specific locations or random things like “biker boys” which was in the top 300 and a choice last year.

Depending on the genres you typically read, the tag approach may or may not push your boundaries, but the group also allows reviews and discussions of “non-tag books of the month”. Often those reviews get as many comments as the monthly reads.

The admins are open to feedback, but I just want to understand the request. We do allow one of the voting choices to be determined by a member and from any tag. If we look at voting history, I would also say that the broader tags do tend to win.


message 26: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl  (cherylllr) It's fine. It was just a thought, not worth further explaining given the negative feedback from other members. Tx anyway.


message 27: by Barbara M (last edited Jul 03, 2018 12:58PM) (new)

Barbara M (barbara-m) | 2300 comments Cheryl wrote: "It's fine. It was just a thought, not worth further explaining given the negative feedback from other members. Tx anyway."

Cheryl, I hope you don't think these comments are negative! I like reading all the comments and hearing different viewpoints. The whole issue of the top 300 tags is kind of funny. There seem to be more oddball ones here on GR than there were on Shelfari.

Admins, I personally like the randomizer. I remember back in 2008 when a member was chosen and got to pick a tag. The randomizer for 3 choices and then a vote was good. I like it even better now that the randomizer chooses only 2 and a member throws in a wild card! This is just too much fun and has really stretched my reading and introduced me to some wonderful books. That said, I'm bummed we didn't choose Neurodiversity! :-D


message 28: by Amy (new)

Amy | 9388 comments Why don’t we just let Nuro diversity be tag number 301? If the admin’s like that idea. That way it has a chance to come back in the randomizer, since everyone seems to like it as a choice. Cheryl, I think sometimes it’s hard to assess tone and intent when we write to each other. I hope you know that probably nobody ever meant any offense or any negativity. That’s not the spirit of this group. It’s one of the things I love about this group. How welcoming everybody is. And even if we step on each others toes once in a while, it feels to me that it soon forgotten. It will be forgotten for me the second I press send.


message 29: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl  (cherylllr) "Negative" is just simply the opposite of positive. Of course I didn't take offense. I just read ppl saying that they don't want to change, and that they're happy with the way things are. No problem.


message 30: by Barbara M (new)

Barbara M (barbara-m) | 2300 comments Amy wrote: "Why don’t we just let Nuro diversity be tag number 301? If the admin’s like that idea. That way it has a chance to come back in the randomizer, since everyone seems to like it as a choice. Cheryl, ..."

I don't think we need to make it 301, if I get chosen at any point to choose the wildcard - I'll choose Neurodiversity!! You can too Amy!


message 31: by Barbara M (new)

Barbara M (barbara-m) | 2300 comments Cheryl wrote: ""Negative" is just simply the opposite of positive. Of course I didn't take offense. I just read ppl saying that they don't want to change, and that they're happy with the way things are. No problem."

Good to hear!


message 32: by Amy (new)

Amy | 9388 comments I was fairy tales. Won’t come back to me for awhile....


message 33: by JoLene (new)

JoLene (trvl2mtns) | 1532 comments I know that members have organized “Buddy read” when lots of folks are reading the same book for a tag.

Here’s another suggestion - there is nothing that says that you couldn’t create a “Buddy read” thread in footnotes for a tag. So, everyone disappointed in not getting neurodiversity can still read a neuro-diversity tagged book. You can write your review in the “other books” to get your participation point, but everyone can also link and you can discuss in a single thread in the footnotes section.

This would be something member organized.


message 34: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl  (cherylllr) That's not a bad idea.
I'd be up for a "Buddy Read: Neurodiversity" if anyone else is. Not this month, of course, as it's July 4 already, but whenever it works for you-all.


message 35: by Amy (new)

Amy | 9388 comments Clever and thoughtful, Jolene!


message 36: by Jason (new)

Jason Oliver | 2105 comments I'm always up for group discussions.


message 37: by Amy N. (new)

Amy N. | 256 comments I'd be up for a neurodiversity buddy read!


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