What’s Left to Harvest?


So you thought there was a nice comfy safe place on the internet where you could state your opinion in privacy? Ha! Don’t be foolish. Any site we “join” is sooner or later going to be mined for our data and harvested into more profits… Mostly Amazon profits.

Image representing Amazon as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate Amazon as some do. I think they have an incredible business model and a great place a musician or author can get recognition and music and book sales.

But, the Goodreads purchase was little painful, don’t you think? The final figures aren’t public yet, but it looks to be around $55 per Goodreads member.  That’s how much your data is worth to Amazon. They now know every book you have read or reviewed. If you’re unfamiliar with Goodreads, this is their story.

Goodreads Avatar

Goodreads Avatar (Photo credit: minifig)

Goodreads is a free website for book lovers. Imagine it as a large library that you can wander through and see everyone’s bookshelves, their reviews, and their ratings. You can also post your own reviews and catalog what you have read, are currently reading, and plan to read in the future. Don’t stop there – join a discussion group, start a book club, contact an author, and even post your own writing. Signing up is simple — you just enter your name, email, and a password. If you are a published author, take a look at the Goodreads Author Program.

 I joined Goodreads years ago. They were launched in San Francisco in January, 2007 and by the end of that year had over 650,000 members and a listing of over 10 million books.  Now they have over 16 million members, 20 million monthly hits, 30 employees and 400 million books listed.  I’m one of the few members who only browse with a nosy curiosity but have never listed “my” favorite books are any reviews. Something told me that this was a giant data base waiting to get mined. I get enough emails from places now that “know” exactly what I want and what size and color I probably want it in.

I think the red light went on when I discovered “Zappos” for my shoe-loving spouse. She’s loves shoes like I love books. Shoes are a $50 billion dollar per year business and all Zappos wanted was a small mail-order piece.  When I discovered Zappos five years ago, they were already doing over one billion a year. Brand names at great prices with great customer service; sometimes much better than the actual retail experience. One year later….BAM….Amazon bought them for over One Billion dollars. We still do Zappos and the experience is just as good, BUT Amazon has left them operating independently.

Image representing Zappos as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

I don’t think that will be the case with Goodreads.

I will predict two major changes will happen very soon at Goodreads. First there will be “BUY” buttons at every selection. Secondly there will be simple “Kindle “integration to download every selection.

All the hype will start soon about the wonderful online community of book lovers joining the big friendly family of Amazon. It’s kind of like the frog talking nice to the insect

frog catching an insect

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About bakoheat

Writer/Musician
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2 Responses to What’s Left to Harvest?

  1. fiddlrts says:

    I’m all in favor of targeted advertising. At least once they figure out how to make it work right. I still keep getting adds for breast enhancement – so obviously they have no clue about what I need or want. So if it means I get to ogle book ads instead, it will be a positive development…

    • bakoheat says:

      I agree Tim and thanks for writing. The targeted ads I now get from Amazon are scary right on. By the way, I think your breasts are just fine the way they are.

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