Wednesday, November 20, 2013

G.R. Reader ~ Off-Topic: The Story of an Internet Revolt

Angst. Hurt. Tears.
Choices, lost friendships, and a broken future.



A cyber war has been going on among us. The reviewers beaten upon by authors and vice versa. And, like in all wars, none of the parties involved are one hundred percent correct, but still, the overall conflict managed to suck in people on both sides that basically wanted nothing to do with it.

To flame the fires, in comes Amazon with taking over the biggest reviewing community online, and implementing pro-author features.

I do understand that authors needed to be protected from random slander. Then again, the brand new flagging process opened up the doors to certain authors to go all cloak and dagger, in order to boosting up their ratings and removing valid reviews. Yes, yes, a small amount of bullies in a crowd of many. Lets face it, you don’t see a classy lady like Julia Quinn going around on rabid rants and flagging sprees. But, even if the numbers are small, it opened up a veritable Pandora’s box, and managed to slaughter the foundation of Goodreads – good relations. On a site that mostly resides on the shoulders of it’s community, the fear and panic that followed did no good. Many of us have lost friends due to this – from authors that are almost afraid to interact with their public to reviewers that are leaving our witty little community and making their own way in the world. Yes, there are a million users on Goodreads, but only a handful writes the massive bulk of reviews. When a non-user or new user opens up popular books, they see repeated names. I see dear friends, many of whom have abandoned ship.

I am not taking sides. It’s too late to say anything. It’s too late to play favorites.
There were casualties. There will be more as time passes.

Off-Topic: The Story of an Internet Revolt by G.R. Reader is a witty recap of the ordinary Goodreads user’s side in this everlasting drama.
It was often stated that the whole ‘Goodreads user(s) revolt’ was just an outcry from a few twated reviewers. I am not going to go in to analizing that statement, but I can safely say - Off-Topic is not about favourites. It is about (sad) facts. And the aftermath.

Do I think it will reap any fruits when it comes to Amazon vs User(s) negotiations?
Sadly, I don’t. But it has brought a smile to my face, for it gave the users a real voice. And humanized many people that were portrayed as devil incarnates.

The end of an era.
Goodreads – the summer/fall of 2013.


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