Monday, December 22, 2008

Better Goodreads?

I love It's a beautiful site that does a great job of connecting readers with books and with each other. Many of my librarian colleagues and other bookish friends use it. But here's the problem: when I'm reading, I'm rarely near a computer.

When I pick up a book to read, or put down a book I've just finished, I'm in bed, or in the recliner, or at the lunch table at work. I'm almost never at the computer, because when I'm at the computer, I'm using it. For me, (and I suspect, most people) reading and web surfing are mutually exclusive activities.

Now, I do keep track of what I read. I do that with something that's always with me: my BlackBerry. Regular readers of my blog know it's my preferred Web 2.0 device. I'm posting this with it right now, in fact. I use a spreadsheet program called GridMagic to note the start and end times of each book I read, because it's important to me to know how much I'm reading, what kinds of books, and when. I used to post a monthly summary here on the blog, but that doesn't happen much anymore. However, I have begun sharing books with friends by doing a separate Twitter post each time I start or finish. This isn't satisfactory. I hate having to duplicate my efforts.

Of course, the perfect solution would be a mobile Goodreads. And in fact, there is one, but it inexplicably includes no facility for putting information INTO Goodreads. You can query the database to see if something's on your to-read list, but you can't add anything.

The same goes for Shelfari, LibraryThing, and other similar services I've found. This is, to say the least, frustrating.

I have an idea for a webservice that would take my tweets and put the information from them into a database or spreadsheet, or possibly take the information at a central point (like a WAP-friendly mobile site), store it and also make my tweets for me. If it would update my Facebook status, too, that would be epic. But that will take time and coding. Why can't Goodreads just make a mobile site that accepts data? Or at the very least, build that capability into their existing API?

Mobile post sent by yoyology using Utterlireply-count Replies.


Jana said...

Hear, hear!

Otis said...

We hear you. And its coming soon!