Friday, March 29, 2013

Vintage Reviews: Amazon and Goodreads

No doubt you've heard about Amazon's acquisition of Goodreads.

I mostly use Goodreads for reviews (reading and posting) and as a giant book list. I've tried to be more involved with the communities there, but just never found the time. But I visit the site every few days (at least once a week), and appreciated it, in large part because it wasn't attached to a site like Amazon or Barnes and Noble. It was nice to go to place that was about the books, not making the sale.

My view: Monopolies are not good things. Amazon is damn close to one now, and shows no interest in halting its growth, particularly in regards to the publishing industry. I also don't like the language they've used in regards to user data and potential changes at Goodreads. I hear a lot of "in the short term", for my comfort.

So, what to do?

Well, every few weeks I'll be posting one of my old Goodreads reviews here. I'll pull most of the text on each Goodreads review, leaving a paragraph on the site and adding a link to the post here. I'll be heading them under Vintage Reviews, with the original post date. I started posting links on Goodreads for new reviews this year, but with this merger, I decided to go do my 2011-2012 reviews as well. This way, my Reviews page here will no longer link to Goodreads, I get a little traffic to my blog rather than simply giving Amazon/Goodreads content and hits and I'm still not removing reviews for books I want to support.

I don't shop at Amazon because I don't like their business practices. (Now with more Nazis!) I think they are more-than-averagely mercenary in their pursuit of profit and are too opaque about their operations. YMMV (Seriously, I don't hold it against anyone who uses Amazon's services, particularly self-pub authors. Things are hard enough without cutting out a giant chunk of your potential audience.) My stance on Goodreads is slightly less stringent and I'll continue to post links to my new reviews to help support the books and industry, but I won't be using it with the easiness I did before.

So you'll see a Vintage Review go up now and then until I've minimized my presence on Goodreads.

UPDATE: A couple of links, one regarding Amazon/Goodreads and one about Amazon's business practices.

No comments:

Post a Comment