in which I attempt to be a rockstar teacher librarian :)

Here’s the thing, I’m not a technology hater!  I am occasionally a late-adopter. (Okay, all the time). I use a cell phone that doesn’t even have voicemail capabilities, though I’ve realized that’s a little problematic…but haven’t decided to do anything about it. Yet. So, taking IST 611 is really good for me because not only am I being exposed to new technologies, I’m being re-exposed to technologies that I’ve tried and found wanting. I’m a harsh critic, or something.

We’re talking about social bookmarking this week. Diigo, Delicious, and Goodreads, Shelfari, and LibraryThing. I have tried a few of these. I have an account on Goodreads, which I created of my own volition and an account on Shelfari that I created under compulsion. I’m not particularly drawn to either of them. A few quick reasons why I’m just not feeling it:

  • I don’t really care what other people think of my reading choices.
  • I’d rather discuss reading, literature, or interests in person, not on a social network with random strangers. (Ignore the part where this contradicts my like of twitter. Twitter is for ALL subjects, I justify…)
  • I read because… I want to read. Not because I want to necessarily talk about reading. Reading is, occasionally, my escape from people.

Now. That’s a pretty limited list. Your job, dear blog reader, is to convince me that Goodreads/Shelfari/LibraryThing is useful and FUN. Because I’ve tried, time and again, and just not found the ‘fun’ factor. Is the fun factor something I’m missing? Or is it that the social network/social tagging/crowdsourced talk-about-what-we’re-reading stuff just isn’t that great to begin with?

Tell me your experiences. Convince me!

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Comments on: "Someone Convince Me That Goodreads is…Fun." (7)

  1. Well, Goodreads is meant to be a “cataloguing” service. So while you might not dig the additional features tacked on, at its core, it’s meant for you to track (and possibly rate/review) the books you have read, suggest books that might appeal to you, and let you keep a list of differently categorized books that you may read in the future. Being able to interact with authors should be a plus. So did I at least achieve the “useful” part?
    As for fun, well, you can always participate in quizzes and add to lists… and the more you interact with others (responding to reviews, commenting on quizzes, inviting friends etc.) the more involved you get and the feel that you’re “important” increases? As in, you feel influential in the reviews you give out. Come on, we all know that everyone craves attention! Social reading is not for everyone, for example, when using Kobo’s eReaders, there’s the choice of adding your voice to the “Pulse” and sharing passages from the book to Facebook. Friends can then add on, and suddenly reading becomes fun? I don’t know, I don’t do much of that, and neither do I use much of Goodreads.
    It’s always good to give things a second chance, maybe Goodreads underwent an overhaul and changed for the better (fat chance), and you’d get addicted! Or maybe there isn’t meant to be a fun factor… Personally, I don’t feel “fun” when I use things like that either.

    • Thank you for the response! You make some good points. I do want to give Goodreads a second chance — I feel like I should wait until I have the time to really give it a chance, instead of haphazardly logging in and expecting it to be awesome.

      And maybe there isn’t a fun factor. Maybe I just need to figure out if the usefulness of it is enough to attract me, or if I’m incredibly needy and want more. Thanks for your thoughts!

      • Thank you too for sharing your thoughts!

      • Marilyn Arnone said:

        And I think it depends what you’re using it for. Some like to use it as a way to organize and track their own “collection” of books. Ok, to be honest, I don’t find Goodreads that fun either which is probably why I’m not good at updating it. Did I say that????

      • And this, professor, is why you’re so respected. HONESTY!
        🙂 It’s okay. Maybe it’s not supposed to be fun and I’m just supposed to stop expecting it to BE fun.

  2. I use GoodReads mostly to keep track of the books I have read and want to read. I don’t leave excessive reviews or anything but I do rate them. Goodreads is handy for those reasons in my case! I only friend people I know and the occasional random, non-suspicious looking stranger. It’s cool to see what my friends are reading even if its not something I would necessarily read. Hope this helps!

  3. Marilyn Arnone said:

    Something that is turning up as we analyze some data from the summer reading study I’m working on is that social reading is not for everyone. There are quite a few participants that said what you said, that they just enjoy reading for themselves and do not need to talk about it or socialize with it. So, it goes back to individual differences. Don’t worry. . . You’ll find “something” that will be fun to you! 🙂

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