I awoke this morning to various views on Amazon’s acquisition of Goodreads, varying in tone from, “Meh,” to, “OHMYGODIT’STHEENDOFTHEWORLD!”
And everywhere in between.
I tend more toward the “Meh” end of the spectrum myself. Why?
Shelfari. Oh, and a little site you might have heard of called IMDb.
Yeah, I’ll wait while you go over to the IMDb site and scroll all the way down to the bottom to take a look. Go ahead. I’ll still be here.
How many of you even knew Amazon owned IMDb? Show of hands. I, for one, didn’t.
There are other sites they also own that haven’t become Amazon clones. I don’t think Amazon is going to screw non-Kindle owners. Will buy links for other retailers disappear from the site? *shrugs* Who knows. But isn’t the raison d’etre of Goodreads for people to engage with each other about the books they’ve read? If you’re used to buying directly from your device, you can still look those books up on your device and buy them from your retailer of convenience. If you’re like me, with devices of several flavors AND a multi-iPad/iPhone household with various reader apps installed, you might simply buy from a website in whichever format floats your e-boat at the time.
I think, as a few other blogs have touched on, this isn’t a “devour at all costs” kind of acquisition. I think, frankly, it’s a data acquisition. That it’s a convenient *maniacal giggling f*uck you* kind of acquisition in the face of B&N, Kobo (although if they don’t turn off the reviews to Kobo, then no harm, no foul), Bookish, and others is probably just a happy bonus for them. In fact, the Goodreads site itself is actually in a way a competitor to Shelfari. Who knows? They might (this is my speculation only) want to put some of that data to use to help boost Shelfari somewhat.
So don’t buy into hype from either side of the argument. Take a few moments to read a variety of opinions on the subject, and above all, Don’t Panic! 🙂 Just…breathe. I’ve provided you a handy-dandy list of links on the topic for your perusal. (You’re welcome.)
- Why Amazon’s Purchase of Goodreads is a Good Thing (Let’s Get Digital)
- Amazon.com to Acquire Goodreads (Amazon.com)
- Exciting News About Goodreads: We’re Joining the Amazon Family! (Goodreads.com)
- “First do no harm” (PaidContent.org)
- Amazon Buys Goodreads… (Mashable.com)
- Amazon Buys Goodreads. Take That, Bookish! (Forbes.com)
- Amazon Buys Goodreads: Barnes & Noble looks to be the big loser in e-book battle. (NYDailyNews.com)
- Amazon buys social network Goodreads and its growing ranks of 16M book lovers (Geekwire.com)