March 30th, 2013

View from study (sunny)

I don't think much of this at all

Now I do use Amazon (a godsend to those of us who have to drive for nearly an hour to reach a bricks and mortar bookshop of any size) and after a brief surge of enthusiasm, I admit that I have sadly neglected my Goodreads account, but I have a bad feeling about the news that Amazon is to take over Goodreads. The one is a huge multinational online retailer whose only imperative is to maximise profits while the other is an online community of keen readers who want to share their love of books.

Not only could there be conflicts of interest over reviewing policy, Goodread's current support of places other than Amazon to buy books etc etc, but Goodreads will be handing Amazon a huge treasure trove of data on a plate. Which is no doubt why they want it.

I can understand that the people who started it up may feel that they now want to do something else with their lives and they may be having financial problems keeping it going, but selling out to Amazon doesn't bode well for the general reader.

In the announcement, one of the founders says:

"I'm excited about this for three reasons:

1. With the reach and resources of Amazon, Goodreads can introduce more readers to our vibrant community of book lovers and create an even better experience for our members.
2. Our members have been asking us to bring the Goodreads experience to an e-reader for a long time. Now we're looking forward to bringing Goodreads to the most popular e-reader in the world, Kindle, and further reinventing what reading can be.
3. Amazon supports us continuing to grow our vision as an independent entity, under the Goodreads brand and with our unique culture."

To which I say:

Re point no 1: Eternal September. More does NOT mean better. Unless you're talking about potential customers for a product, of course.

Re point no 2: I don't use a Kindle. I read ebooks, but I read them on my iPod. I have no plans to buy a Kindle and thus integration of Goodreads with Kindle is useless to me. More importantly, I wouldn't want any sort of integration even if I did have a Kindle. While some commenters are all gleeful that they can merge their Amazon and Goodreads lists, others are all, "Whoa! No way!" And I'm with the "Whoa! No way!" people. Also, all Nook, Sony, iPad and other ereader uses are deeply displeased about this prospect, based on the huge number of comments about not wanting to be bombarded with advertising for Kindle/Amazon.

Re point no 3: Ha! And if you believe that Amazon will truly allow Goodreads to remain independent, I have this lovely old bridge that I could sell you.

(Thanks to jongibbs for this news. I'm surprised none of my other LJ friends haven't mentioned it, but I know a lot are away in Bradford at Eastercon at the moment and my LJ flist is quiet.)

[Cross-posted from Dreamwidth by way of a backup If you want to leave a comment, please use whichever site you find most convenient. Comments so far: comment count unavailable.]
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