rant-a-bye baby

This rant started as a comment on Paul Samael’s interesting (as usual) post on the Goodreads/Amazon thing. but then it turned into too much fun for a mere comment, so here’s what I think about Amazon buying Goodreads:

I’m going to go out on a limb and say “boo”. I don’t like it one bit. I don’t like how everything, and I do mean everything, sooner or later gets sucked into somebody’s wallet, and those somebodies always turn out to be a mere handful of people, while the rest of us are falling over ourselves to give them not only our money but our minds and hearts as well. It’s Facebook munching and crunching on our intimate personal lives to serve us up to targeted but undesired promoted posts. It’s Goodreads taking our opinions and recommendations and feeding them into the endless maw that is the Amazon piranha. It’s Google gobbling up every single word and phrase we even seem to be mildly interested in and chucking it into their monster ad-hole in order to surround our emails and websites with links to bullshit we’d never want or need in a billion billion years if we were monkeys with a god damn typewriter. They say that a mere 11% of the reading population recommends 46% of the books that get recommended. Thank you, eleven percenters. No, really. Without you and your four and five stars, whatever would we do? Oh, I know what we’d do. Whatever some giant corporation told us to do. And what they’re going to tell us to do now is exactly the same as before, but our money will find itself redirected ever so subtly into their pockets through their tricky and lovely devices. So let’s keep up the good work and keep using that good ol’ fashioned “word of mouth” in the service of the bottomless pit. You gotta love it. Or at least “like” it.


2 thoughts on “rant-a-bye baby

  1. Hi Tom

    I’m a bit late commenting on this as I’ve been on holiday but I agree that it’s hard to find anything positive to say about the Amazon/Goodreads thing – and your post has made me wonder if I should’ve been a bit clearer about this on my blog. I was certainly bemused by the writer who’s been quoted as commenting that it was like his two best friends getting married. I think it’s more like finding out that the attractive librarian you had many earnest literary conversations with (all the time secretly hoping that she might want to go out with you) has been swept off her feet by a bald rich guy called Jeff who’s into cloud computing and building a giant cuckoo clock in the Texas desert.

    As I suggested in my blog, there may be some grounds for hope that the absolute worst case scenario – which is that Amazon has bought Goodreads in order to kill it off (because it sees it as a potential competitor) – won’t necessarily come to pass. But there are lots of other ways that it could play out – and I can’t think of any which leave readers and writers substantially better off than they were with an independent Goodreads.



    • right. i’m not seeing the upside except for the founders of goodreads who made a bunch of cash, and amazon , who kept it away from apple and google and will likely reshape it to funnel as many dollars to themselves as possible. i can’t see why anyone else would look at it as a good thing .


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