My Closing Thoughts on the Goodreads Issue.

First of all, thank you.

Thank you all for being vocal and passionate and informed, for being willing to support and debate and speak your minds. It’s probably my favorite part about our community.

This issue began as a remark on Twitter, and blossomed, and for better or worse, regardless of which side you come down on, BECAUSE of this community’s passion.

I want to say that the reason I opened this issue to begin with is because I LIKE Goodreads. It’s a community I am a part of as both an author and a reader, and it’s because of my participation and enjoyment of that community that I discuss things I do and don’t like about it, in the hopes of making it *better*. Nothing is perfectly static, no program, no site, no group.

I also want to make it clear that while this one random rating sparked the comment that sparked the blogger’s post that then sparked mine, this petition was not a result of some personal ego slight, but the interest to, as I said, make something better. Make a system more efficient. Or try.

One of the key factors brought up, both by GR itself and by those in its defense, is that the stars are used not only to rate a book one has already read, but books they are looking forward to reading. As Phoebe said in the comments, and as Goodreads said in its response, it has always been the intention that reviewers could use the stars in a variety of ways.

And that is the simple heart of this issue, that while reviewers may choose to use stars in manifold ways, the ratings are only conveyed in ONE way. The ratings of an already read book are mixed with ratings based on flash judgments, covers, pitches, and any other factor. I take issue, then, more with the lack of distinction, than with the rating of something for a reason other than it being read.

I hope that makes sense.

It was never meant as a call for censorship, only clarity.

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