Dear Goodreads, I am sorry to say I have to split up with you….

Dear Goodreads,

I’m writing this open letter to you because I feel that our relationship in the past year or so has been a tad rocky. It’s just not working. You see, I think we’ve moved apart and we want different things. You want to focus on the author and money aspect, and the data mining, which of course your mummy, Amazon, is behind. And I can understand why. Truly, I do. But I want to focus on being a reader, and I want to catalogue my books the way I want to. Please don’t tarnish me, along with other genuine readers, over recent blow-outs and dramas by a minority have instigated drama from ignorance, or plain good old fashioned cynical ‘bad publicity is good publicity’.

I thought I was loved deeply, especially when you sent me that special email that I was one of the special few, well, the 200,000 members that are the Top Posters, and you thanked me for my contribution. We helped you and the site to be what it is today. Some of my favourite books I discovered on your site, some of my all time favourites, and I truly thank you for that, and for the wonderful people I’ve met there. But your announcement today was literally the straw that broke the camel’s back for me.

I have a confession: I had signed up to LibraryThing *who are laughing behind your back by the way* but I felt their UI sucked (psst LibraryThing, if you can improve it you will definitely get more users, and you can laugh even more).

Goodreads, how can I trust you when you delete shelves and reviews willy nilly and without warning. You tell me the reviews were deleted because they weren’t in the spirit of Goodreads?

What is the spirit? Did some of you drink some bad spirits when you thought this up? Because you’re definitely being possessed by some shortsightedness, and you’ve probably been influenced by Scrooge before he was visited by the ghosts and gained his epiphany.

So it is goodbye. I will still keep my account open but I won’t be posting anymore reviews.

I am going to flirt with BookLikes who looks mighty fine right now, though, things are going slow. I hope you change your mind. If not, I have a list of other sites to use.

LibraryThing, please get your act together on a good UI because we could be making sweet, beautiful magic.

Yours Sincerely,

A very sad use-to-be-a-Top-Poster Goodreader user

And for any readers who are considering to moving to other sites, here are a list of social reading sites. If you have any suggestions, please comment below because I think after today’s announcement, Goodreads is not a trusted place where you can post reviews or catalogue books reliably and safely.

And let’s hope the drama stays there, although I suspect that a lot of members will feel like I do. Goodreads is going to face a similar and slow dying fate like Myspace as long as Goodreads continues to practice their spirit of censoring and deletion of anything they deem will hurt their bottom line in the longterm. Because they need the power users who help made the site it’s today, even if some reviews or posts/shelves may upset some.

Note the above sites are either owned or partially owned by Amazon.

11 thoughts on “Dear Goodreads, I am sorry to say I have to split up with you….”

  1. @Jennifer G.:

    Sadly yep and I got a feeling this wont be the last we hear of the new Spirit of Goodreads and the irony is their success is going to be short lived. I hope it was worth it.

  2. The whole Goodreads thing saddens me. I don’t post many reviews but I do use it regularly. Especially when I am on the fence about whether a specific book is right for me. Now I am not sure of what use Goodreads is going to be for me because this policy makes the info seem less accurate. If a book has nothing but glowing reviews this new policy is going is now make me wonder if GR just got rid of the bad ones. What about rankings, is a 4.02 ranking real or did they just do away with most of the 3 and under rankings?

  3. For those of us–few as we are–not on Goodreads…what announcement?

    And, out of curiosity, what happens to those deleted reviews? Can you post them elsewhere or are there copyright issues with that? (i.e., implied license since they were posted there first, or some such)

  4. @Amanda:

    I think that’s the question because it definitely feels like Goodreads is not a site for readers anymore. It is to cater for authors and that’s fine but it wont be a good thing to generate discussion about books or honest reviews because Goodreads cant make both aspects of authors and readers happy.


    Sorry here’s the detail of the announcement.

    While authors got these notices when they visit the site or check out a review. Notice the language and tone between the changes of the TOS? And you got to laugh at the mixed messages they’re sending about the negative reviews. They use to be reviews are for readers just ignore…. &

  5. I can understand *why* they decided to do it, but I really don’t like how they enforce the new guidelines. So I am leaving. I am already posting most of my reviews at my blog, so it will not be any big change. Except I’ll post more reviews to Amazon and Booklikes instead.

  6. I didn’t have negative experiences so far, but I can see some changes. For me Goodreads is what Facebook is for other people – I have friends that I talk to about lot of different stuff and not just books on daily basis. I won’t go away like you, but I’ll be more careful with my reviews.
    Thank you for sharing links of other social sites – i didn’t know there were so many of them.

    Glass @ Way Too Hot Books

  7. Pingback: Links: Saturday, September 21st | Love in the Margins

  8. Wow your post is the second one about this issue I read, but I absolutely love your tone better, and you are polite and not ranting and raving about it. I only use Goodreads to post reviews, as it helps my authors, but I don’t interact there at all. Not sure what I will do in the future.
    My blog is of course my main review site.

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