Goodreads must be destroyed

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/09/11/goodreads-delenda-est.html

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I hate goodreads. I pulled off that site a while ago, and I had to go back to see one of my books on there, but I hate it.

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Many now use it purely to track their reading, rather than get recommendations or build a community.

This is me. It’s good for logging what books I’ve read when (and what I thought of them), and for keeping tabs on the people I am friends with IRL and what they are reading and what they thought. Any other interactions with other people on the site have a 70% chance of being a real horrorshow.

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There has to be someone who made some math formula that shows the more users on a platform, the worse it becomes.

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Same here - I use it but pretty much only for keeping a list of what books I want to read or have already read, so I hadn’t known about problematic issues with it.

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I have a GR account that I never use. Because I’m too busy using LibraryThing.

But the one thing both these sites do poorly is track the characters in the books (etc.), which is why (shameless plug) I made WhatCharacter. :slight_smile:

LT is better than GR, because it puts the book cataloging first, but has a great way of being social. Plus, it’s easy to find exactly what you’re looking for without being overwhelmed with Amazonite. It is worth noting, though, that Amazon does have a minority stake in LT, but for the most part it operates like a small business whose owner literally engages the user community regularly to help shape the future of the site.

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Huh, hadn’t heard of LibraryThing, I’ll have to check it out. Speaking of which, I tried Goodreads way back in the day, but gave up because I kept feeling assaulted by recommendations and junk mail. Nowadays, I track what I’ve read in the past by logging into my local library account and. . .seeing my checkout record. Works surprisingly well.

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I honestly didn’t know anyone used it for anything else, really. I vaguely knew there was a review function, but I’ve never given a crap about it.

I see what my friends are reading and maybe what star rating they’ve given a book to decide on a new one to read. For that, Goodreads is excellent.

If you are using it for random user reviews, then what the hell did you expect?! Semi-anonymous reviews/commentary online has always been and always will be, a race to the bottom of humanity.

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replace GoodReads with WithoutABox and its the exact same story. thankfully FilmFreeway came into existence and made filmmakers happy again.

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I was late to GR, but it’s been an OK site to keep track of what I’m reading (this year in particular as I set out a reading goal) and it’s mildly interesting to see what a handful of acquaintances are reading. I have never ‘not’ found a book I was looking for and while it doesn’t have a great UI there are other sites with worse. I like that you can curate your own reviews including editing and deleting replies that are superfluous. I would welcome a different better designed site of course, but same goes for any of the social media ones.
I guess I’m just not feeling the hate .

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Remember when the IMDB was actually useful? Back in ancient times, of course.

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I’ve never had any problems with goodreads. I mainly use it to track books I’ve read and add to my “want to read” list. I’ve never had a problem finding a book. I guess I don’t really care about or engage with the social aspects of the app, which is what the author is complaining about? I don’t get it.

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Direct person-to-person email is fine. So whilst I don’t have any idea what the formula might be, I think it likely it can be expressed as a logarithmic curve starting at ‘number of people = 3’.

I use it and the Amazon reviews as a useful guide to what books might be worth reading. Before the internet the only guides were word of mouth (useless for a kid living in the sticks), newspaper reviews and the book cover itself. Now we approach the democratizing of reviewing and it’s pretty sweet.
Of course, if there are problems with it, Goodreads must be destroyed, because not using the free service is clearly not an option.

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What is your beef with IMDB? Not contesting, just curious.

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While not directly proportional (there’s a number of other variables beside pure network size), monopoly effects do seem to translate to the attention economy…although, since in many commercialized social media graphs the user is more product than customer, a better comparison my might to monopsony (single-buyer).

I don’t think it needs to be that way. But monopoly and monopsony tend to incentivize the companies that make money off them to corral user autonomy into whatever model maximizes engagement and therefor profit, regardless of how that’s accomplished. So toxic behavior isn’t only tolerated, it’s profitable, at least for a while.

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I am with the group that uses it just to keep track of what books I am reading and which I plan to read. I can’t think of a single book I found to read on there, nor do I do reviews. I do stars just for my own sake, remembering how much I liked something. Granted, it’s in the cloud if I lose my HD, but it might as well be offline software the way I use it.

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Personally, I still get my book recs mostly from my mom and it works well. She was part of the notable book council for a few years, and their annual recs are worth checking out for anyone unfamiliar.

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Changed the headline due to too few reading Latin? Or unfamiliar with the speeches of Cato? What kind of heathens are we associating with here? :grinning:

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The best worst kind.

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