Review :: Goodreads

By Maria L Gaycheck
(08/11/2008)

Goodreads is a social network based on what you read. Unlike the more popular sites, Goodreads doesn’t indoctrinate with gadgets or glitter. It is all about books and that is a good thing. Reading books is a solitary activity combined with the simplicity of Goodreads compliments each other.

First thing first, I put a bunch of my comic books and graphic novels into my Goodreads.

What I like about Goodreads

  • Adding a review is very easy, just search for the title and start writing.
  • Your Goodreads are divided into read, currently-reading and to-read
  • Like the more popular sites you can add friends to see what they are reading, then what their friends are reading and so on. It is just like a shampoo commercial.

What I don’t like about Goodreads

  • With all those reviews linking to Amazon it is necessary to have google ads?
  • When writing a review the writer has to know HTML to make anything than just text. Adding a WYSIWYG is not such a difficult thing. Why would the developers leave it out? Just lazy.
  • When trying to do my review of the Serenity Better Days Goodreads only had #2 and I would have to manually add #1 or #3. Even though Amazon does have it in stock, if it doesn’t have an ISBN in the Amazon database (ASIN doesn’t work) the book will have to be manually entered into Goodreads’ database. Not something the average user wants to take the time to do.
  • Goodreads is relying completely on ISBN in Amazon database. Which means, it is a faulty library. This needs to be fixed.

What Goodreads could do better

  • Add bookclubs (local)
  • Add vitual bookclubs – It is very easy to have designated time for online chats, video chats and hire a monitor and leader to make sure the flow is contained (they could hire me to build and monitor).
  • Add local bookclub – This is a good way to produce income. Each member can see next month’s book and buy it via Goodreads.
  • Add zip codes – I would like to add a zip code and see readers, possibly putting together a bookclub.
  • Include ASIN number in search.
  • What about simple graphics for promotion? – I personally do not like the widget options, they take too long to load. Give me a graphic I can store on my site that doesn’t pull information from another site.
  • Allow users to create trivia for the books they review.
  • Monthly Rewards – Even a $5.00 gift certificate to Amazon will make a profit for Goodreads
  • Widget Suggestion – Why not show just the binds of the books, like a shelf. When the user mousovers the title and overview is viewed (Look to Netflix).
  • Link with SocialThing!

Overall Review

It is nice to share what you read and what your friends are reading. But with these changes Goodread could be a strong powerhouse.

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