So yesterday I criticized the hugely misleading infographic Goodreads posted on New Year’s day, otherwise known as International Hangover Day, and Lyn’s comment inspired me make some predictions for the site in 2014.
If we follow the pattern, by the end of 2014 there could be 50 million members, or close to it. I do think this is possible with Goodreads integration on the new Paperwhite which will probably be made available to all Kindles and Kindle PC via a software upgrade by the end of the year. However, I do believe activity and time spent on the site will decrease significantly. This is a screenshot of the Alexa rankings for Goodreads taken today, for future comparison.
At least 2.4 million votes will be cast in the 2014 Goodreads Choice Awards. The number of votes seem to increase by about 600,000 every year. There will also be more categories and more books to vote for. And of course, some GR accounts will be opened for the exclusive purpose of voting and nothing more.
Ah, the search function. What’s the likelihood that this will be fixed by the end of the year? Years of requesting just that has resulted in it becoming worse. I doubt any satisfactory improvements will be made.
The only way Goodreads could top the 294 million books added (from Amazon’s databases and creating thousands, if not millions of duplicate records) is if they imported historical book records from national repositories not yet on their source list to represent works now available via Google Books, the Internet Archive, and Project Gutenberg.
However, as gumbywan pointed out, given that GR have yet to clean up the mess from the import which has corrupted data in previously highly accurate records, and the many, many disgruntled librarians (unless Goodreads hire a raft of paid librarians) and fix the search function, the book database is unusable to those looking for accurate data and affliate links to retailers that work based on that data.
I’m not touching the number of pages read as there’s no way to predict it when it wasn’t quoted in 2012’s infographic.
9 million reviews were written in 2013 (29m total in 2013 – 20m total in 2012 = 9m) so it’s possible the total on the site could rise to 38m reivews by the end of 2014. This is highly dependent on how many Kindle customers become active reviewers and how many disenchanted members stop reviewing, although the blog link drop reivews will likely still be counted in the final total.
How many superstar authors do you think GR could nab? People like J.K. Rowling, Dan Brown and George R.R. Martin would be a real coup. On the other hand, as I’ve said before, they don’t usually fully participate by adding books, writing reviews or interacting with other members. So while it’s great publicity for Goodreads, possibly enticing a few poor souls to join GR, it’s not necessarily a measure of success.
Members are look to be on track to like 11.6 million quotes in 2014 (10m in 2013 – 8.4m in 2012 = 1.6m + 10m).
2014 is a make or break year for Goodreads. Ample broken features, site stability issues and irritating bugs on top of the catastrophic corruption of the book database (previously their unique selling point), the controversial policy changes in 2013, the increasing number of trolls and Badly Behaving Authors using countless sock puppets, are things Goodreads are going to have to seriously address to remain a viable option for book lovers with sites like BookLikes and Leafmarks attracting many a GR refugee.
If Leafmarks gets the funding they will soon become a very serious competitor by the end of 2014, if the sign up rate – based on word-of-mouth alone – was anything go by. My own posts on LM have been viewed a few hundred times and it’s only just passed its 1-month anniversary, so there is plenty of interest to justify this prediction.
What do you think? Agree? Disagree? Have anything to add?