The Extra Cool Group! (of people Michael is experimenting on) discussion

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Off-Topic, but Goodreads-related > GR as a social network

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message 1: by Scribble (last edited Nov 23, 2010 11:27PM) (new)

Scribble Orca (scribbleorca) | 123 comments Michael asks the question 'how are reviews evolving as a genre on social catalogue websites'? Some of the comments in 'Why GR' made me think about this, and wonder whether there is a separate angle here (Michael, Eh?Eh! - if this is redundant or off-topic, please delete).

How is social networking evolving on a book review website and how does that impact the evolution of reviews as a genre?

What are successful/unsuccessful characteristics of GR as a social catalogue/social network website?


message 2: by Michael, Sonic the Hegemon (new)

Michael | 183 comments Mod
Yeah, I think your second question especially is interesting, and it is a different angle from the other thread.

I have made most of my friends through stumbling across their reviews as I was browsing books I was thinking about reading. And, I've made quite a few friends from participating in the same discussion threads. I think the way GR-member reviews are so prominent on the pages for each book emphasizes the social dynamic of the site, as opposed to some other sites I've been to where professional reviews are also available. The emphasis on professional reviews seems to place a higher value on the book as a commercial object, as opposed to a social discussion object. I'm making up terms now, but I hope that makes sense.


message 3: by Scribble (last edited Nov 24, 2010 06:14AM) (new)

Scribble Orca (scribbleorca) | 123 comments "The emphasis on professional reviews seems to place a higher value on the book as a commercial object, as opposed to a social discussion object"

Wow. That went 'bing'! Lots of people have said they join because they feel isolated IRL in terms of discussing and sharing books. Reviews and threads take on a definite social character (witness exchange of information, cross-overs to other reviews, off-topic banter etc) and the commercial aspect only seems to enter when discussing the mega-bucks an author/book as earned. The review as a social discussion object! New lingo emerging....


message 4: by Joanne (new)

Joanne (bonfiggi) Brian, you made me laugh writing about Facebook updates that belong in "Who Cares Magazine."


message 5: by Michael, Sonic the Hegemon (new)

Michael | 183 comments Mod
I hate FB (but I'm on it, so I'm a hypocrite)

Hear, hear. I don't understand how anybody can get hooked on that site. *Continues to ignore essay due tonight in favor of playing on goodreads.*


message 6: by Ryan (new)

Ryan I think that GR is pretty polite in comparison to other places where people gather online. Take any news forum and you'll find some pretty irate people. I can't say that I get a lot of hostility from my facebook network, but there is definitely a shared focus that guides my interactions on GR that is missing from FB.
Ryan


Books Ring Mah Bell In another group I'm in, we have catalouged the lame
"I had toast with strawberry jam!" status updates from FB...

Once, for fun, I had my update read "Just pooped. No corn present."
:)

I love GR as a social network because, well, it involves books, and I love books... and GR surrounds me with other book lovers (and pesky spammy authors on occ.) I was on GR long before FB... and I prefer it.

My favorite thing about GR - I love that a book review can spawn a great discussion/debate or even start an entire group.

It's difficult to do that on FB where you get status updates like, "I love my cat. so cute!" or the cryptic, "I hate my life."

gah!


message 8: by Christy (new)

Christy (christymtidwell) | 18 comments I appear to be in the minority here, but I really do enjoy facebook. I just don't get much about books and reading from it, which is why I love goodreads.


message 9: by Jimmy (new)

Jimmy (jimmylorunning) | 133 comments I'm also a weird case. About half my GR friends (maybe more) are people I know from real life... the other half are people I've met through GR. I guess I know a lot of book readers in real life.

However, some of the most helpful reviews I've read have been from the latter group of friends (that aren't also real life friends). There are a few GR members I've never met who I'll trust with almost any recommendation.

I also use Facebook, but I find it inane and tiring. I rarely post status updates myself. It's useful for some things like keeping up to date with things that are going on (just because everybody else is on there), but you have to sift through so much crap also.


message 10: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (jesstrea) | 231 comments I joined GR long before I joined FB...I guess I've been on goodreads for 3 years and FB just about a year...I held out for a long time, but w/ the constant invites from friends, and then with my students and my son (then 16) spending so much of their waking life on it, I thought I should try it.
I hated it for a long time, and still do in some ways, but have found a way to use it: I like it for the news links friends post, things I might not see otherwise; for the cultural events in my area I'm able to keep up with, and occasional posts from long-lost friends. Interestingly, I like some of my coworkers better on FB that at the workplace...(and others, less). It's odd to have so many people from different parts of my life, aspects of myself, in one place.
But goodreads is so much more satisfying. I've made many friends here, many whom I've met now--in Chicago and NYC; that's been fun and enriches the online experience I think.
But the real relationship is with the books we love and goodreads helps to facilitate/enrich that I think. Although I do understand Eddie Watkins' complaint at one time--his longing for the solitude of himself and a book--and he took a long hiatus from gr as a result. Fortunately, he is back now, as I love his reviews and his choice of reading...


message 11: by Jimmy (new)

Jimmy (jimmylorunning) | 133 comments Wow, very methodical Mike. This is how I decide what to read next: "hmm... I guess this'll do, the cover's purty"


message 12: by Michael, Sonic the Hegemon (new)

Michael | 183 comments Mod
I read books that can't be renewed first. Then, I read books that will be jarringly different from what I'm reading at the moment, whatever that might be. (After finishing the thoughtful The Dispossessed by Le Guin, I started the piece o' shite Crabs' Moon because I was ready for some gore and hilariously bad writing.) Yeah, it's mostly just mood for me, unless I'm compelled by unrenewability or a friend guilting me to hurry up with one of their recommendations.


message 13: by Aloha (new)

Aloha I show a varied aspect of myself depending on my online environment. Since I moved a lot and my friends and family are all over the U.S., I use Facebook to stay in touch with them. Even then, I was bored stiff by the mundane updates, and rarely goes on Facebook.

Recently, I tried online dating for a week since my housemate was heavily into it and using me as a babysitter. I hooked a veterinarian right away when I thought I would only have guys take me out for fun, so I won't be a babysitter by default. He immediately open his Facebook profile for me, showing me his family and professional relationships. That was instant trust for me, since I was wary of meeting a stranger via online. I've been busy updating my Facebook since then because my Goodreads friends became my friends on Facebook, and I renewed contact with my friends and family. It is also a way for me to stay in touch with my vet since we have busy schedules. So Facebook does have its use as a trusted place among family and friends. It's a way to show someone that you're not such a stranger, as the man I'm dating used it for with me.

I love, love Goodreads. I've made the type of friends that I have never been able to find before. These people are witty, intelligent and well-read. I've known creative and smart people, but they don't usually reveal themselves, as a friend from Goodreads would via the written word. It's a way to meet daily with them, have intellectual discussions and lots of irony and laughs. In my PNR forum, I can be lascivious and open about sexual matters and interests, and it would all be okay. In horrors, I can have wonderful intellectual discussions about offbeat topics. My kind of stuff. The few months at Goodreads have strengthened my wit, thinking and writing ability.


message 14: by Aloha (new)

Aloha I forgot to mention that today I received two gifts from my Goodreads friends, whom I have never physically met. One was a beautiful silk scarf from my PNR co-moderator and the other was a huge tome of zombie anthology from a close online horror pal.


message 15: by Michael (new)

Michael Michael wrote: "I hate FB (but I'm on it, so I'm a hypocrite)

Hear, hear. I don't understand how anybody can get hooked on that site."


I think it's a voyeurism type of thing. You open up FB and you can see what all these other people are talking about and doing and you can look at their pictures. Or maybe it's a lazy type of thing because you can do all that without ever having to leave the house or pick up the phone.


message 16: by Michael (new)

Michael Books Ring My Bell wrote: "Once, for fun, I had my update read "Just pooped. No corn present."
:) "


That's too funny and you're pre-approved to be my FB friend anytime you want! So, did anyone comment back to you about your discovery?


message 17: by Michael (new)

Michael Aloha wrote: "a huge tome of zombie anthology from a close online horror pal."

I love zombie movies but I haven't read much zombie fiction. Any recommendations? I tried World War Z and didn't like it and never finished it. I thought Patient Zero by Jonathan Maberry was pretty good although I thought it was more of a techno-thriller than a zombie story. I really liked Bijou of the Dead by Robert Freese.

Bijou Of The Dead


message 18: by Brainycat (new)

Brainycat Kings of the Dead is ok, though I felt it was similiar to WWZ. The Jetty Journals was worth reading, but didn't really break any new ground in the genre. The First Days was terrible, I couldn't finish it. It's not a zombie story as much as a YA heteroflexible romance, without any sex.


message 19: by Aloha (new)

Aloha What Brainy said. He is much better than me in giving zombie recommendations.


message 20: by Jimmy (new)

Jimmy (jimmylorunning) | 133 comments Aloha wrote: "So Facebook does have its use as a trusted place among family and friends. It's a way to show someone that you're not such a stranger, as the man I'm dating used it for with me...."

True, but it can also foster a false sense of familiarity... so that you FEEL like you know someone when, in reality, you don't know them at all, because you've hardly talked. Thoughts?


message 21: by Aloha (new)

Aloha That's when texting comes in. I can't believe how much people prefer texting over picking up the telephone and talking. In dating, I guess if you're juggling a bunch of paramours, you can talk to them all at once without the other knowing. Just don't say that person's name, in case you send the text to the wrong paramour.


message 22: by Aleksandr (new)

Aleksandr Voinov (vashtan) Few things connect the same way as a love of the same books. Same thing if I visit somebody's house for the first time. From the contents of the (real) bookshelves alone, I can tell if we a) have stuff to talk about and, with almost certainty, if b) we'll get along.


message 23: by Randy (new)

Randy Out of 90 something friends I've only met 1 of my GR friends...also a major thrill is conversing with readers from other countries!

The intelligence factor among the GoodReaders is; no topic is taboo; & you people make me laugh...damn, I like that!

Facebook is wanting oats and getting horseshit!


message 24: by Nancy (new)

Nancy Randy wrote: "Out of 90 something friends I've only met 1 of my GR friends..."

I haven't met any of mine yet, but I've had dreams about a few...


message 25: by Avrelia (new)

Avrelia | 8 comments For me the social networking aspect of GR has only recently became important. Before that I was perfectly happy to stay on my LJ to talk about Buffy, life and everything. Or on my parenting blog and talk about babies. Then I realized that I read more and more on GR, and I want to talk here, too. I am way behind on socializing on GR, though. Getting lost on too many networks, I would say.


message 26: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) Brian wrote: "My own GR experience is quite different from my Facebook experience. I was harangued into joining FB by people I already know, so I could "reconnect" with other people I already know but haven't sp..."

You speak well for me, although I joined FB to keep in touch with the kids more. Very different experience, though.


message 27: by Michael (new)

Michael Brainycat wrote: "Kings of the Dead is ok, though I felt it was similiar to WWZ. The Jetty Journals was worth reading, but didn't really break any new ground in the genre. The Fir..."</i>

Thanks, Brainy. Another zombie book I read and enjoyed was [book:The Rising
but it was a long time ago and I don't really remember if it was they were zombies or ghouls. I've had Plague of the Dead in my Amazon cart for a long time. Ever heard of that one?



message 28: by Brainycat (new)

Brainycat I haven't read either of those, Michael. I think PotD is more my style than The Rising, but I put them both on my TBR.

Some time ago I started Motor City Shambler but the formatting was atrocious (thanks, feedbooks) - not entirely the fault of the author BUT the first chapter did absolutely nothing to encourage me to bust open the epub and tidy it up.


message 29: by mark (last edited Nov 29, 2010 07:55PM) (new)

mark monday (majestic-plural) | 77 comments i much prefer GR to FB, which i'm rarely on, perhaps monthly if that. i think it may just be an ageist reaction to the fact that most of my staff appear to be on it 24/7 (or if not FB, then shopping for expensive sneakers) and most of them are 5-15 years younger than me, or at least act that way. it also may be because i think books are more interesting than actual people and i get bored by life updates. but never by book review updates! when online, i prefer to hear about someone's life in a personal way, in an email or in a group conversation, rather than in an anonymous FB blurb re how they're feeling or what they're thinking or doing at this particular moment in time. i mean really, i could usually care less. shoot me an email or give a ring or send me a text instead. and i particularly hate FB party invites because that usually means i hear about the event after the actual event.


message 30: by Nancy (new)

Nancy I loathe FB and closed my account months ago (if you can really close your account). Goodreads is the only place I socialize. Just like in real life, my friends here are different. Some like to share personal stuff in long messages. Others just want to talk about books. Some are active in groups we have in common. Some are quiet and only comment and vote on reviews. It's all good.


message 31: by mark (new)

mark monday (majestic-plural) | 77 comments i've come across these names Caris and Ceridwen often on this site. they must be GR all-stars. or royalty! they are certainly lovely names.


message 32: by Kathryn (new)

Kathryn (kathry) Nancy wrote: "I loathe FB and closed my account months ago (if you can really close your account). Goodreads is the only place I socialize. Just like in real life, my friends here are different. Some like to ..."

Ditto.


message 33: by Jimmy (new)

Jimmy (jimmylorunning) | 133 comments Mike, don't quit now. The Part about Archimboldi is a lot better than the rest.


Books Ring Mah Bell Books Ring My Bell wrote: "Once, for fun, I had my update read "Just pooped. No corn present."
:) "

That's too funny and you're pre-approved to be my FB friend anytime you want! So, did anyone comment back to you about your discovery?



Oh yes, Michael. I got responses about seeds and colors and texture... very mature group of people (myself included)>

:)


message 35: by Mohammed (last edited Dec 02, 2010 04:52AM) (new)

Mohammed  Burhan Abdi Osman (mohammedaosman) | 14 comments Facebook is not so big over here mostly people use it to keep track of IRL friends who moved away,relatives. Dont see why you would need online to keep track of friends you meet daily. The college backround it was created is understandable you met alot of people in college that isnt your everyday friends.

GR is the perfect social network catering to my biggest hobby. Most the friends i have here are people i would like to meet and feel would be my ideal real life friends but cant because of they are on the other side of the world.

Online friends you find interesting but cant meet in real life is why GR is so regular part of my life. Of course not all my 100 friends are people i often talk to,see as regular online friends.

When people talk about the different way of social networks i see GR as the perfect example. Im here most for meeting other interesting GR people really.


message 36: by Djrmel (new)

Djrmel | 4 comments Michael wrote: "I think it's a voyeurism type of thing. You open up FB ..."

This is exactly how I use Goodreads. Over in the "why goodreads?" topic I said that I use Goodreads to see what other people are reading. Facebook is about sharing personal stuff. I could not care less about most people's lives. But give me a chance to see what they're reading and what they think about what they've read? I could peak into those windows all day! Wanting to enter into discourse with a fellow reader is a rare but enjoyable perk of Goodreads.


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