Let me just say, I was a fan of the original site. Since this is a beta I'll list what I hope they migrate from the original site:
- “Book deals”: Right away, when I log on to the old site, I notice a spot where I can go to either Amazon or Barnes and Noble for deals on books. Just a simple click away.
- “Recommendations”: Though I am a paranoid person when it comes to websites and other organizations having information on me based off of my habits, when it comes to books, I’ll let them take all the information they need to give me direction for where I should go next. I love reading, however, I hate to start a book and not enjoy it. I’ve had to put a book down and feel unaccomplished before, I feel like I’m giving up on a kid.
- The “Best Books” Filters: I thought this was a novel idea! I loved it. My wife, a librarian, loves to find Newbery Award winners at times and I thought that this would help her. That and I would be able to again, filter out the stuff that I would most likely want to put down. And I could find some classics to read.
- “Currently Reading” Shelf at the home page: On the original site there was a part of the home page with what you’re currently reading. That has carried over (obviously, since this is a book site) but it was on a “shelf” or what accounts for a shelf in the virtual world. It was just a nice piece of eye candy.
- “My Authors” section: I love being able to visually see what books I have by what authors. If there are too many books just listed I don’t know which books I have set aside by my favorite authors. For example, I am a big Stephen King fan. I liked where I could see what books by him I have read, am planning to read, or am reading because he has so many books out there. I would also like to see Booklikes add that feature into my viewable profile so others could suggest other books by an author I’ve read, am reading, or am planning to read.
What I like about this new site:
- I love the woodwork and leather graphics at the top of the pages.
- I’m glad that they carried over the shelves. I think that is what really drew me over to Booklikes in the first place, the graphic display of bookshelves.
- The blog. (I really have mixed feelings about this, but I’ll cover what I don’t care for in the next paragraph.) It is nice to be able to add in my thoughts, in blog form, about books I’m currently reading, or about the state of books and reading in general, or post quotes about reading, or post pictures about reading. But I would hate to see this site turn into anything other than about books.
- More on the blog: I am also enjoying the ease of use to manipulate the writing. It makes adding links, pictures, tags, and editing text a lot easier and customizable for user preference.
- Book reviews I have mixed feelings about. I love how it adds a picture of the book to the side and the blog interface allows me to focus more on the review than any other distractions.
What I’m finding I don’t care for:
- Tumblr-like layout: I have a Tumblr account; I don’t use it. At first I thought it was novel and a good way to blog but I’ve found that all people on there want to do is “reblog” things. Nothing was original and I’d hate to see this site turn into the same thing. In my opinion this site should remain about the books and reading not about posting the latest meme or pictures from Seventeen.
- Book reviews: Like I said, I have mixed feelings about this. I don’t know if I care for having a book review as a blog post. I’m not entirely against it but it seems a bit funky to me. But (here again I’m starting a sentence with a conjunction, English teachers are now burning me in effigy) aren’t most reviews some kind of blog post? Maybe having a section specifically labeled “reviews” would help. This way, if I’m following someone, I would be able to see what they think of certain books away from their blog posts (about books preferably).
- Dashboard: Since this is a site dedicated to books, is there another name that can be chosen other than “dashboard”? I know its picky, finicky even, but when I think of a dashboard I think of vinyl inside of cold hard steal telling me how fast I’m traveling down the highway.
- Dashboard pt 2: For the non-finicky review, I don’t care for continuous stream. It seems a bit cluttered and just too much. I’ll be spending most of my time trying to calm my OCD by reading, reading, reading all of the blogs that I’ve missed since I’ve last logged on. If there was a stop, I would too.
- The site stinks of Tumblr and that makes me weary. (I think I mentioned this once before.)
- Reblogging: I hate this feature. In Tumblr, since that is where I also know this feature from, it is a way for people to not be creative and just steel other people's posts. That is how I feel about it. On that other site, though there is a somewhat of a history listing back to the original author, it doesn't do any justice to who first wrote/posted the piece.
Finally, I’ll reiterate, I loved the first site. I will say though it was a bit cluttered and it is nice to see that they’ve cleaned and organized this site a bit better. Where there was a bunch of information and seeming books scattered all around like a used book store, I find that this is much more easier on the eyes.
I hope that in writing this, I have given the site developers somethings to consider, which is what I figure receiving an invite to the beta version is all about.
I think that is it for now. I’m really looking forward to contributing to this site (via entries and reviews on books) and what the designers of the site come up with. I only see good things in its future.