Discussion: Online Book Communities
Kel Sunday, August 10, 2014 discussionWhat do you look for in an online book community? What are the most important features to you? A lot of online book communities double as social media sites with private messages, forums and commenting features, but at their heart, supposedly, they're all about books.
I recently saw posts about a Kickstarter campaign for "LitRate," a new book site by the awesome Ashley of Nose Graze. What is it? According to the site:
LitRate is our dream for a new website for the literary community. It will essentially be our version of Goodreads—but better. We've seen all your ideas, all your complaints, and all your dreams of new features. We're here and ready to implement them in a new site that we can build together!
When Goodreads was my primary review platform, I used it for everything - reading reviews, finding new books and giveaways, chatting with readers, etc. Since starting this blog and focusing more of my energies here, GR has become little more than a cataloging tool.
I backed up all my shelves and reviews on BookLikes following a certain GR PR disaster, but the Tumblr-like format didn't work for me and essentially would have been a second blog. (I'm not that much of a masochist...usually.)
Then there's Riffle, a Pinterest-style book site, that I use almost exclusively for its lovely lists.
I recently signed up for Literally, which is a personal cataloging tool with graphs and stats on your reading patterns, badges for different site and reading achievements, and an emphasis on personal recommendations from readers you know. It's a bit of a pain updating my reading status on both GR and Literally, but, while I love Literally's limited socializing, I'm not quite ready to quit the "industry standard." That and, love or hate it, you're not worried about Goodreads suddenly disappearing one day, especially after the Amazon purchase. Smaller sites have been known to do that from time to time.
Which brings me back to LitRate. Do I/we really need another book community? I'm considering whether to contribute to the Kickstarter campaign, so it's an extremely relevant question. On the one hand, I already have at least two sites for cataloging my books, I talk to most readers through their personal blogs, and I may have found my perfect match with Literally's emphasis on personal reading and minimal social interactions. On the other hand, I like the sound of of some of LitRate's features, especially the search features. (I'm a sucker for search functions that let me exclude key words, like "love triangle.")
Key featuresWhat do you guys think? I know many of you have already heard about LitRate. Is this something you'd be interested in? Do you prefer to wait and see whether new online book sites make it or die out before investing your time and money? Do any of these features sound appealing? Maybe you spend all your time in the blogosphere and have given up on social book sites? On the count of three...talk! :)