However, I’ve been invited to try a shiny new website born of the ashes of Goodreads, founded and developed by its (former) members. I’ve joined and have been pleasantly surprised at how much better it appears than Libib (well, it is supposed to be GR-like but without the censorship) and yet I’m only the 21st member. As it’s “just out of beta and in the very early stages”, to quote the email I received, I won’t detail it further until I know I have permission to spread the word.
P.S. My cynical self is looking at the burst of optimism in my last paragraph and frowning. Sigh.
When I joined on the 17th December it was still a little buggy, and now that there’s been an influx of new members importing thousands of books at once, the site has been struggling to meet demand.
People may be disappointed at how basic it is right now but I’d urge you all to stick with it for now because when we all migrated to BookLikes the site was over 2 years old, having been founded in June 2011 and opened to the public in May 2013.
And while I’m enjoying the interactivity on BookLikes, I’m missing the cataloguing and user-curated data (librarians) once available on Goodreads.
Leafmarks has the potential to be everything Goodreads was and more.
To quote one of emails from Jacquie Mak Sakata, one of the founders, on December 18th:
Also yes, I plan to add librarian features soon, first probably cover uploading, descriptions, etc. And private message too.
She’s incredibly responsive to feedback and bug reports, once replying just 35 minutes after I hit the ‘send’ button.
Leafmarks is by far the closest you’ll get to the Goodreads experience with a clean and user-friendly interface, missing from the old fashioned LibraryThing, and you can tell just by using it what type of features will be available in the future, given time to further develop the site.
My only concern is that Amazon will turn around and sue Leafmarks for its similarity to Goodreads, the very thing us GR refugees all crave. I suppose this will be determined by how successful Leafmarks will become and how Goodreads fares after multiple public relations and customer care failures.
Only time will tell.
ETA: Given Amazon’s track record, they’ll probably make an offer to buy LM before they’d try to sue. Differences will evolve over time and as Debbie points out, they just need to come up with a few unique features, perhaps ones GR refugees have been longing for.
- Official Leafmarks blog
- Official Leafmarks FAQ
- Leafmarks on Twitter
- Leafmarks on Facebook
- Leafmarks group on BookLikes
- Leafmarks discussion on Goodreads
*Cross-posted on BookLikes