Goodreads, and the Yelp syndrome

Goodreads is the yelp of the book world. Like yelp, they are the chosen venue for their genre of reviews: they have more than 7 million users and offer a variety of ways to track your interactions with their chosen field: progress updates, themed bookshelves, snooping your friends recent reads, and of course: reviews.

Just like Yelp, read the reviews, and you are are plagued by the problem of no-elected-critic: some people seem to trash a book for personal reasons, some careful cite their opinions and then forget what they were talking about and meander on a different topic,  some arbitrarily nominate their recent read as the greatest book of all time because they happend to be drunk while reading (this last one happens more with yelp than goodreads, but still).

And yet, just like Yelp, I read dozens of these strange strangers’ opinions; squinting as I read, trying to spot their neuroses and discover whether they match mine or not. If you both think slow service is cause for complaint (oh my goodness no. stop reading of this person’s frantic life immediately), or if you both think quirky signage makes it worth the trip (yes!) perhaps you can share an opinion or two.

I liked my friend Kate’s careful specification of what exactly each star means to her (you can click the photo for a close up). Goodreads should adapt her specifications and suggest these boundaries to you as your review. She’s a librarian, so of course we can count on her to guide society towards agreed upon organization.

ps: Here’s my account.

A Kitchen App

Oh man I’ve needed this app for awhile. Thank goodness for friends who share what free + delightful apps they’ve discovered. A ridiculous story: I lost my 1 teaspoon, months ago, and somehow I got it into my head that I should find some beautiful silver or ceramic, or french pottery, or whatever at a flea market and that would replace it. So here I am, months later, (a meticulous measurer, mind you) using my half-teaspoon for everything.

The free and beautiful designed Kitchen Dial app.

Start with the Underwear Drawer

Super savvy pop-culture blogger Monkey See once tweeted this caramel of wisdom:

Perhaps as evidenced by the enthusiastic 93 retweets, this is a very convincing argument for maturity. How many of us have undergarments as old as our high school diploma? How about those persistent ones we frown at every time we open that shiftless and chaotic drawer?

I don’t have much advice for the men in this area, although, like all many men necessities (undershirts, socks, white keds), it does seem that you guys can stumble into any old big box store and find some well made undies in classic designs.

For us girls, my remarkably picky friends say you can’t go wrong with the soft lace and festively colored options of Hanky Panky. And the effusive reviews, coupled with a personal tip from a friend, say this little lacy bralette at Urban Outfitters is cozy and looks great in just the right places.

Boston Jobz tweet and feed

BostonJobz twitter and tumblr tweet photos of businesses that are hiring around Boston. As the telltale Z might indicate, it’s all about the speedy cellphone photo and the gritty upload. And I love it.

From the jumbo Red Sox font to the “Good luck!” at the end of most posts, it’s cheerful, quick, and gets to the point. If you scan job hunting sites for too long it can be hard to see straight, and many of them leave your basic neighborhood jobs off completely.

This is like having a super thoughtful friend who’s all around town, letting you know who’s hiring.

Good job guys!

instagram: the Visual Twitter

an instagramed photo of Joe's dumpster-dived globe. Our new nightlight!

Are you all Instagram fans? It’s an app for sharing photos (and using interesting filters) on iPhones. I gave it a try a couple months ago, and didn’t quite catch on, but these days I’m addicted. There’s something very appealing about seeing tiny little snapshots of other’s daily lives. It’s my favorite app to check when I’m waiting for the T.

If you’re on there, you can find me under girlpolish, and I would love to follow you back!

postscript: Of course NYT wrote an article about it yesterday that I missed. Apparently there are 5 million+ users! I only follow 23…

Goodreads

What do you do with your goodreads account? I like it best used as a clickable and searchable record of what I’ve read. I hate forgetting if I’ve read a book. What could possibly be the use of reading a book when I can’t remember, two years later, if I’ve read it? Yikes! There’s also an incentive to write something true about what you thought of the book, for your friends to read. (I don’t have very many friends on goodreads. Friend me here if you are an active participant.) It is a good feeling when you finish a book and you loved every minute of it, and you want to tell everyone, but the only person in the room is Joe, and you already told him three times, and you can rush on to goodreads and write up a sensible review and tell yourself that everyone is reading it as soon as you’ve sent it off. This, I think to myself, is the life of a book reviewer. Ah yes