A Final Goodbye to Shelfari

Any bookworm who is active online knows that Shelfari wont last that long ever since the owner (Amazon) bought Goodreads in 2013---a worthy, independent, and direct competitor at the time. Only last year, I joined Leafmarks in an attempt to look for a home in keeping track of my book reads and book-reading friends even if discussions were not active and the diversity of reading groups not yet established. After seeing active or rather, hyper updates in my gmail inbox from Leafmarks did I realize that the numbers of refugees are serious as a repercussion of that decision made by Amazon to shut down Shelfari. I can say that this diaspora of forum members who have no home online and do not want to be part of Goodreads is greater than substantial and I am sure that they have something (sad) to say about the move by Amazon.

As I see it, the move will benefit both parties (commercial-vs-independent online groups) because Amazon can now focus promoting everything they have on Goodreads while private readers and authors (including programmers) who choose an independent platform and forum can now help in improving Leafmarks. I sympathize with those who loved Shelfari with all its simplicity and clean-looking UI and I miss those days when we can talk about anything regarding books. One of my favorite discussion was in the Flips Flipping Pages group (a Filipino group) talking about how to protect your book shelf from parasites and I had a lot of real fun in giving my own sarcastic view and also in reading different kinds of wise and intentionally not-so-wise suggestions. The fun part of being a forum member is that you can talk to a lot of interesting characters and personalities and you can also learn a lot from them. Another memorable group was the Sci Fi group where I can always find a worthy sci fi reading recommendation. Those are just my own experiences with Shelfari and I am going to miss them (if not missing them already). I have an account in Goodreads but I was never active in any group I joined and I heard a lot of not so good things regarding trolls, fake reviewers, propagandists, and cyberbullies targeting not just the readers but real book authors themselves. That is so UNcool. I am looking forward for Amazon to improve Goodreads (because I have an existing account there)  and I also hope they stay away from Leafmarks.

October 2008 - January 2016

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