Update: Reviewing Booklikes

About a year ago I started looking for an alternative to Goodreads and came across the very new site, Booklikes.  At the time I wrote that Booklikes didn't quite have everything I was looking for, but that it had great promise and amazing staff.

These days Booklikes is regularly making me happy while I only remain on Goodreads for the forum discusssions of a single book club.  The fall out from the Amazon purchase of Goodreads largely seems that 1. Amazon/Goodreads doesn't care and 2. lots of people have migrated away to other platforms.

Seriously though, Booklikes seems really dedicated to making a platform that its users enjoy, and at having staff that are easily accessible to the users to answer questions and take suggestions.  They have a goal of a new feature ever week, and sometimes release more.  They don't quite have every feature I'd like, but that list is rapidly shrinking as well as introducing features I hadn't really thought about.  They've also publicly declared that what you write is your business.  They will not take your content down off your personal page, the most that will be done is content can be suppressed from feeds.  So that's awesome to me.

Actually, Booklike's stance towards blogger content is becoming even more relevant as Goodreads starts to restrict what people can post in reviews.  Booklikes does support blogging, not just book reviews, which helps support the fact that sometimes when we want to write about books it's not exactly a review, or maybe we want to write a second review to highly changes in our own readings, etc.

On the flip side, Goodreads has started targeting content that addresses the authors rather than the books themselves.  Specifically what can be classified as posts regarding "authors behaving badly" - complementary posts are not touched.  As Booklikes is more of a blogging platform it supports multiple posts on a single book by any member, as well as posts targeting multiple books.  This means if someone wants to write something about, say, Orson Scott Card's politics in relation to his writing, they can.  I really like the flexibility provided and stance of "this is your expressive space."  I pick up on this because I know a number of people who have born the brunt of harassment by authors for posting well reasoned reviews on Goodreads about why they did not like books, and that includes reviews being taken down by Goodreads.

I have begun using Booklikes as more of a social interface than I ever did Goodreads (beyond a book club forum), and have found a number of utterly fantastic reviewers through it.  The site design works better for this aspect of the book review community.  Reviewers also have the option of making private shelves (and reviews), which is nice.  I'm finding it to be a more welcoming environment than I ever found Goodreads (which I started using ~6 years ago).

Some additional reading:
As Goodreads grows up, it can’t please everyone. Should it try?
How Amazon and Goodreads could lose their best readers

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