Lilliput-The Land of the little people
Today, the Lilliputian Congress debates the national budget. The "Big Enders," who wanted the seat next to the Toasters because it goes with their teapot very nicely, Successfully read Dr. Seuss for 48 hours marking the 6th time in 6 years that they failed to pass a budget before the government shut down. This puts hundreds of thousands of workers without paychecks indefinitely and the entire country out of important services until hell freezes over.
Not enough to take 20% of all government employees pay checks for 7 weeks over the summer. Now as debate doesn't continue, with no agreement in sight, all government workers will be locked out of work and therefore will not get paid.
"It's not acceptable that the Little Enders get to pass laws and try to govern when we want to steal money and give it to the people who really take care of us...I mean Oil Companies and the NRA, real Christians like that, not hospital workers, Department of Defense civilians and other free loaders like that... It's not acceptable that they pass laws. We won't stop until all laws passed by Little Enders are deemed retroactive upon our say so, or applicable to those we say they should go to. No, we have no plan on how to do it that will work, but that's not important. The important thing is to make the Little Enders look bad."
In his defiant response to the Big Enders, the head Congressional Little Ender said. "Well, maybe we should let the government shut down and stop paying the hundreds of thousands of families that need the money, then, we'll let the Big Enders have their way and blame it on the voters for not voting them out of office."
In Response to the response the Big Ender Tea Potter Toasterhead said that if the Little Enders try anything like giving us what we want, we'll blame the President!"
To which the Little Ender's Caucus Leader said, "What?"
Then Missy Meanbottom the Big Ender Whips said, "That does it, those unGodly Heathens have gone too far!"
And the debate continues. Meanwhile, those already reeling, already hurt from loosing 20% of their pay, not counting going through the same shut down drill annually for the past 6 years go again without any idea when or if they'll get paid next.
Maybe we should sick STGRB on Congress?
I'm sure all these goodreads posts are of no use to existing booklikes members. And I've seen a few postings from them wondering about all these new followers (please don't blames us -- signing up for a booklikes account makes us initially follow 25 members that booklikes assigns us. We'll eventualy sort it out to only follow others with similar reading tastes or whose posts we enjoy).
Please don't think we all came over here to post offensive, threatening material. Allegations of bullying, rape threats, etc. sure do make good headlines. And good headlines go viral.
Some of us never wrote reviews on goodreads. Or had any shelf names worse than "Western" "Memoir" etc.
We already love booklikes for daily update posts and quick response to comments and email. It's incredibly soothing compared to our experiences with goodreads.
We are booklovers. Avid booklovers. We're the ones who worked tirelessly making goodreads immense database and membership a takeover target for amazon. Now that amazon has our data, they don't want us. Just to market our data to customers buying new kindles and amazon fire. They killed Shelfari who used to be the kindle integrated book site and now are replacing Shelfari with goodreads.
Some of us are here just to protect our book catalogs, as in we seriously have no idea what will or won't be deleted at goodreads. Likely very quiet members at that.
The Book Riot did a podcast last week that brings up the Goodreads controversy regarding author behavior. It's at the beginning, so don't be intimidated by the length of the cast. I was impressed by the thoughtfulness the host brought to the discussion--it sounds like one of them is active on Goodreads, so had a more accurate perspective of what has been happening.
The BookLikes folks are doing their level best to make Goodreads refugees like me feel heard, and feel welcome. I am very, very grateful to them for this.--RMD
How's your BookLikes experience so far? We hope you're enjoying your time here. We're doing our best to create perfect space for readers and authors with your help, of course. Here are several information that we felt you would like to know :)
BookLikes lets you create your own personal webpage ready to customize and fill with your reviews and books. You can also use your own domain with absolutely no fees, to make it happen go to Settings.
We would also like to inform all BookLikes member who already use their domains that we've changed our DNS, please update them to new ones: 18.104.22.168 to make your site work properly.
Recently we've also received many messages, tweets and comments with your suggestions and requests considering further development. Thank you all! We release one new feature every Thursday and they are mainly based on requests made by our community so if you have more, bring them on :-)
The following list presents several your ideas that we'll definitely put online and start working on right now :-)
Exclusive Shelf - then you'll be able to shelve books on a thematic shelf without necessity of selecting reading status (read, planning to read, currently reading), e.g. Books I haven't finished.
Discussion rooms - they will let you create groups and book clubs to discuss your reads.
Export to csv - we want you to feel safe and sound on BookLikes and it refers to your content as well.
PM - you will be able to communicate directly thanks to private messages.
Apps - the fist one is set free and ready to be uploaded (BookLikes Scanner) and more are in progress, including Android and Widows 8.
Synchronization - you'll be able to sync your other platforms with your BookLikes profile.
There's a lot of going on right now but we promise to import all your books, shelves and reviews and to answer all your messages :-)
Commentary on the interaction of behavior and reviews.
For those who can't link (ie Dan):
Book community Goodreads was bought by Amazon earlier this year, part of the impetus for my blog development. Nothing against Amazon as a retailer–I use their services and have a Kindle–but they have strict language restrictions for reviews, even if you are quoting from the text. I think I contributed about four reviews there before I decided their process was too cumbersome and unsatisfying, partly because of the lack of community connection. What makes GR unique is the connection to groups of other readers–it is easy to get to know a particular reviewer, their reading habits and tastes. In addition, Amazon’s indie book reviews are sock-puppet heavy, so I rarely rely on Amazon as a site of information. Incidentally, I also find their graphics visually displeasing. At any rate, the purchase was inevitable, if only to establish Amazon as primary retailer for books and the general collection of market data.
I understand the reasoning, but part of the charm of GR is a very engaged, literate community that largely says whatever it wants, within reason, in their reviews about books and authors. GR has long had a “secret sauce” recipe for promoting certain reviews, but there is an independent ‘like’ system that operates as well. Goodreads recently set its community on edge with a new policy against discussing author behavior in reviews and the unwarned deletion of user reviews and shelving, in an effort that is widely viewed an attempt to promote product and censor reviewers in favor of authors. The fact that reviews referring specifically to an author’s behavior in a negative manner were removed, and reviews discussing positive behavior remain only fuels the suspicion that the connection is about negative reviews and sales, not about a true review ideology. Regardless of their stated or unstated meaning, the idea that behavior does not impact product is the ultimate in capitalist reasoning, and I can’t ethically keep my concerns quiet.
In the sci-fi and fantasy convention community, for instance, there has been a lot of recent publicity about big-name authors sexually harassing women at cons, and having it condoned because, you know, they were big name authors. A number of authors and convention attendees protested. Author John Scalzi even came up with a statement regarding invitations to cons that do not have anti-harassment policies in place and enforced, and a number of authors co-signed. Perhaps not coincidentally, there’s also been recent debate in the Sci-Fi and Fantasy Writers of America about general sexist behavior/statements of some prominent members, ultimately leading to the ouster of people that could not agree to modulate their statements and/or behavior.
Yes, I see the irony.
The flip side is that some authors’ positive behavior also inspires attention and reviews. There’s a couple of authors that I’ve read and, quite honestly, have been only moderately impressed by their books, but I continue to follow them on blogs and promote them because they are good people. You know, struggling to be an ethical human. To make a difference. Using their platform to lead. Although only in moderate like with their books, I keep trying their books because I like them, as people, not just as creators. Clearly, behavior can have a positive influence on reviewing and book sales as well.
The fact remains, behavior is a part of who we are and how others around us judge us. Remember the saying “actions speak louder than words?” One may argue that creations should stand on their own. Perhaps. But I follow the modernist school of thought that believes contextualizing the work adds layers of meaning. You can’t separate behavior from ‘product,’ and I would think of all people, artists would be the foremost in arguing against this artificial division. As Goodreads works to moderate the reviewers and authors who are behaving badly, they need to be cognizant that behavior does not remain separate from the product. To ask that reviewers focus on the books and ignore actions, for better or for worse, is unacceptable. If this was a mere thought schism, say the idea that behavior, good or bad, should not impact product, that would be one thing. But that they specifically allow the positive and not the negative smacks of the corporate influence eyeballing sales. Right, it is their site. We understand that. But they’ve also essentially started to shift their mission to something more profit-focused at the expense of the community that got them there.
Started to import my stuff from (not so) Goodreads......you know why. Not sure what I'm going to do with my new place here, but I thought it best to start moving in.