Over the past few weeks, I have been pondering, considering what to do with my new BookLikes account; sitting at my laptop, staring at a blank account I had just set up and deciding what I should do with it. I planned on joining for several months, after concerning developments over at Goodreads, which since 2008 or so has been my major reading social network. I used Goodreads, for the most part, to keep a list of the books I read, as well as to review a few of them. I even got an email back in July informing me that I was in the top 1% of the website, which I felt was a little odd since I did little actual social networking on the site. Still, nice! My other main online hangout is, of course, Librarything, having been a member there since December of 2006 (Oh my god, that’s like 7 years!). At Librarything, I keep a database of my own library collection, editing it, probably a little obsessively, as I acquire new titles or weed books from my shelves. Very important and useful as I have way too many books and on occasion forgot what books I even own. I do drop reviews on LT every now and then, but only on occasion.
Since Amazon’s acquiring of the Goodreads site back in April, I think I have been waiting for the other, corporate shoe to drop and rumblings began in September with scandals involving censorship of Goodreads reviews and reviewers who spoke ill of authors and/or their newly marketable e-books (some of which, it seems, are more than deserving of a little criticism). While these events personally remained in the background for me, I guess, since I have not read or reviewed any of the really hot or dangerous genres, these events are nonetheless a matter of concern. It seems the writing is on the wall and Amazon will continue to integrate GoodReads into its algorithms designed to market and sell, well, just about everything at this point. I was kind of wondering if at some point GR might add space for DVDs, music, and video games as well. Still, I read interesting and compelling arguments that support leaving the site; the sweat of the GoodReads users' intellectual brow (reviews, discussions, and analysis of books) are being harnessed without pay or permission, to advertise; food for thought, in any case. In the meantime, I am going to hang onto my GoodReads account and keep all my reviews, content to just wait and see, not effected too much by the status quo. I have put a lot of thought into the site over the past seven years, and I still love the reading statistics that GoodReads keeps of my reading history, so I'll stay put for now and will be quite sad if I have to leave at some future time.
Still, it might be good to have outs, some place to go should the takeover become intolerable. BookLikes and Librarything alike, with what appears to be their more independent policies, have been taking on GoodReads refugees. So, a couple weeks ago I joined BookLikes and have since been trying to think of what to do with this new site. I’m still ignorant of how all this stuff works, but it did take me a month or so to get used to GR and LT as well.
So, what to do in the meantime? Should I add import all of my GoodReads reviews? Or just add new reviews as I add them? Since I’m sticking with GoodReads for now, that might be redundant. Over the past year or so, though, I brainstormed ideas for a combined reading/writing blog, which I thought I could call Reading Raincloud (a little Googling discovered that the name had already been used on the web, though the author only blogged for a month or so four years ago; it think it’s probably safe to poach the name). I never much used the blogging function at GoodReads and I wanted to discuss some of the reading themes I have put together, as well as exploring new ideas in fiction and non-fiction, or, in particular, my favorite combination, creative nonfiction.
Of course, I have been blogging at WordPress for a few years as well, another book blog, Sacred Books Project, where I explore my agnostic reading (I don’t think I could really go as far as “study”) of the sacred texts of various world religions. Still haven’t got past the Bible, but it is a long term project. Yeah, good idea, why not add another book blog when I have not updated Sacred Books Project since September! I had thought about starting up another WordPress page, but there seems to be some elements offered by BookLikes that are quite intriguing. Why not combine goals? So, that’s what I’ll be doing here; discussing some of the reading themes I get up to, and posting, (daily??) some micro memoir, nano-fiction, or even a short story. Really, whatever does not fit elsewhere. Well, I’m excited for a new reading/writing beginning, and I can’t wait to see where I will meander in this blog. Kind of a boring topic for a first blog, I know, but I just wanted to get all this meta stuff out of the way first.