Grappling with Goodreads: Creating Community (Pt 3) | My Musings

This Month's Foci:

Research Report = Goodreads

Request for Tips = Bloglovin' / Facebook & Google+


I am currently working on non-statistical goals for improving my blog & on becoming a better citizen of the blogosphere. For now that means, learning how to use the platforms/sites I am registered with in order to more effectively: 1) Share my own activities & content and 2) Support other readers & bloggers


The Plan

  • Spend a month learning about a specific site (or group of sites).
  • Spend the following month practicing what I have learned, and researching the next site(s).
  • Continue until complete.
  • Do a monthly post sharing what I've learned.

Report: Twitter Practice


I have been struggling to implement what I learned about Twitter in the past month. I am still working on it, but it will be a longer process than I hoped. I did make the changes to my Twitter profile that I discussed in the previous post. I have experienced a surge in followers, but can't isolate which particular things caused it.


I am in the process of setting up Follows vs Lists. For existing accounts I Follow, I am checking each one and assigning them to a List based on how often I want to check them. I will be unfollowing anyone who doesn't follow me back (this is basically to keep my follower list more manageable), but will leave them in the list if their tweets are of interest. In the future, I will add them to a List when I first Follow. Basically, I don't need to Follow anyone to have access to their tweets, so I will use that as a way to connect with and boost like minded accounts.


I did pretty bad at actually Tweeting this month, both my own stuff and others. The only thing I was diligent about was promoting the CYBILS Awards (which I am helping to judge).


Report: Goodreads Research


Prior to starting this research, the only thing I really used Goodreads for was cross-posting reviews. I'm still not planning to become a power user, but I have learned some good things along with confirming the bad.


What I will be using the most

Friend Reviews: Once I started adding Friends, their reviews started being grouped at the top when I go to a book's page. This is excellent! I rarely read reviews in my RSS feed, since I tend to only read reviews for books I am currently considering (or have already read). And there was no way I am going to go through all my favorite blogs to see if they have reviewed a book I'm interested in. This feature alone makes using Goodreads worth it for me.


**Updated to add the following 2 paragraphs**


Check out my Goodreads Profile if you'd like to be Friends (you can use the "compare books" before you decided). I am especially looking for people who regularly post SFF reviews but don't have a blog (i.e. people I can't follow elsewhere).


I forgot to include the fact that you can choose to add everyone you follow on Twitter all at once (additional options are also available). This is very quick, and bypasses the Goodreads limits on number of people you can follow in a single day. However, it is important to note that it does NOT offer you an opportunity to answer any questions those users have set. So they will assume that you just didn't bother, and may ignore your request.


What I will use somewhat

Groups/discussions: There is a gap in the notifications feature of Goodreads. You either have to receive notifications for the entire Group, which I found too overwhelming and will likely only use for limited time event Groups. Or you can receive notifications for individual threads (which I do intend to make partial use of). Neither of these help when you want to get notifications of all new threads for just a sub-section of a Group. For example, in the Audiobooks group is a subsection where authors etc. can list available review copies. Each listing is an individual thread (which it is pointless to follow once you've read it). I want to follow the sub-section and be notified of new threads for just it.


What I won't be using much

The Home page or Feed: Just too much stuff there, most of which I am not interested in at the time.


Giveaways & Lists: As an exclusively audiobook blogger, these features aren't of much use to me. I use a saved Twitter search to watch for audiobook giveaways, and Audible to find books. The only use I will probably make of the Lists, is to see which sequels are expected in 2017.


Shelves: It turns out that I could import & export my books between Calibre & Goodreads, but I don't see any benefits to spending the time doing so. Calibre is infinitely more flexible and completely private. The only drawback to it (and benefit to Goodreads) is that I have to enter all the books myself (either manually or via importing from my Kindle).


Putting it into Practice: My Goals for October


  • Continue to work on improving my use of Twitter.
  • Watch for helpful reviews and send friend requests to their writers.
  • "Like" good reviews.
  • Identify individual Group threads I am interested in and activate notifications.


Next Up (Request for Tips): Bloglovin' / Facebook & G+


Since I have an RSS reader, I am not interested in using Bloglovin' in that way. But I would like to figure out how to use it for discovery of new Blogs.


I don't like Facebook much, since there are so many things it won't let me do as my Page (rather than using my personal profile). Plus it doesn't always play nice with Booklikes links. But despite the very low numbers it tells me I've reached, Google Analytics tells me that I get a significant number of clicks through it.


I have always struggled to get my mind around the way G+ works and am seriously considering dropping it. If you love G+, please give me tips or direct me to any links that can help me figure it out. I have seen comments about how perfect it is for blogging etc, but they never gave any specifics.


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Creating Community Series

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The 2016 Discussion Challenge is hosted by Nicole @Feed Your Fiction Addiction and Shannon @It Starts At Midnight. “So often book bloggers mean to post more discussions on our blogs, but we just don’t quite get around to it. Well, we wanted to give everyone a little motivation to keep the discussions going, plus give us a place to link up our discussions so that more people will see our precious words of wisdom (or … you know … our GIF-filled rants).”


This week's discussion will also be linked up with the following (hover for descriptions):