Thursday, January 21, 2016

Shelfari is dead

Amazon is closing down Shelfari, which would be a big deal if Shelfari was still alive.

The writing has been on the wall for years, but it was really driven home about a year ago when Amazon de-linked Shelfari from book pages. It used to be Shelfari could be filled out with relevant book information, and then it would be shown on the Amazon page. It was quietly removed and barely anyone noticed.

Goodreads took over. End of story. When Amazon bought Goodreads, it pretty much put an expiration date on Shelfari. These were two competing book review websites, and one was constantly growing, and the other falling into obscurity. There were no avert plans to merge them, to share data, to anything.

If anything, we'll see old Shelfari features move over to Goodreads. The reviews are on par of importance as Amazon reviews, with none of the nasty algorithm nonsense that affects Amazon. I told some writers in my writing group that Goodreads would continue to grow in importance, but none of them believed me.

I always enjoyed that Goodreads lets me leave a star review without text. I hate writing reviews, they're the worst. Goodreads also had a point, which was utility. There is so much more to do at Goodreads, whether its polls, or groups, or categorizing, quotes, taking part in giveaways, it was a fully featured social media website.

This negatively affects the core users who have taken to Shelfari, but it was going to happen sooner or later.