Rethinking online presence: Goodreads

I've been rethinking some of the accounts that I have a presence on. I've been thinking about where I've been putting my time and what value I'm getting out of them. One of those accounts that I try to keep updated is Goodreads. Goodreads is a site for both managing books as well as reviewing them. It also has a social component where people share what books they're reading and can comment on books that you're reading. IT can be fun at times, but it also makes reading into a performative act. It can make it where you feel like you need to keep things moving. You can set a yearly goal where you can say "I'm going to read X number of books this year" (which I keep setting to "one" because having the quick win is nice).

Unfortunately it's also work. It's keeping up a list of books that I want to read, keeping page numbers up to date on what I've read, and feeling pressured to review a book when you finish it (even if it's just a 1-5 star rating).

So, why have I kept it?

In some ways it's an avenue to keep up with what some folks have read. Also it allows me to help authors I like by leaving reviews for their books. There's a sense of community.

And why would I like to stop using it?

Frankly their interface is terrible. It's a pain to keep anything up to date. Also there's a feeling of peer pressure and performance there. If I want to read a RPG book for reference I feel pressured to put it up there so I can get some form of credit. When I read a few pages I feel like I need to update Goodreads. Also I feel like whenever I get a book there's pressure to put it on the list and keep the "To Read" list flowing.

Frankly it's costing more mental bandwidth than the benefit it brings.

So what happens now?

I think I'm going to let it go dormant for the time being. I've already removed the "to read" list, and will keep the reviews I have up there for the time being, but frankly I'm not sure what a few good or negative reviews will help for the books I've read.

I'm also thinking that I'll post anything that I'm reviewing or reading up here, not because I have to, but because I want to. No pressure, no promises, and no posturing.

I'm going to think about some of he other accounts that I have a presence on and determine if I'm getting any benefit at all from them, or if they're more work to maintain.