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Old 03-01-2013, 12:28 PM   #46
CWatkinsNash
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Originally Posted by holymadness View Post
I'm surprised at your impression that the core of social reading is shared highlights and notes. My feeling is the opposite; that it's almost entirely out of sight and mind. I wonder if your impression is more acute among Kindle users than other readers.
I only said that it's the aspect that's touted by companies that offer what they call social reading. You'll note that those features are the one mentioned in the OP, so I'm not alone in perceiving this. Caleb quoted http://www.openbookmarks.org/social-reading/ on the previous page. Kobo's Reading Life sounds like Four Square for books. Kindle might have started the highlighting / notes thing, but they certainly aren't alone in defining this type of activity as "social reading". A MR user recently spammed links to another, I think it was called readmill or something like that.

My point was that some of us don't see social reading that way. We're not in disagreement on that - I don't think that these things are the core of what I think of as social reading, but it is what is often advertised as social reading.
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Old 03-01-2013, 01:19 PM   #47
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On a kindle discussion list I follow, we were asked our opinion of social reading. As an introvert, I find the whole concept of social reading to be baffling. I find I don't really care what other people highlight in a book (when I got my Paperwhite, one of the first things I did was turn off popular highlights).

Is all this social reading supposed to make reading more attractive to extroverts ? (Hey, reading is *cool* - you don't have to be a four-eyed geek to like to read!) Is it seen really as a way to sell more books, to hasten new book discovery?
I don't know. All social functions on my Kindle are disabled and will stay disabled. I read books on that thing, not chat with other people or send messages out on the internet.

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Somehow, being an introvert is seen as being un-American, I think. Is it so in other countries?
Nah. In the Netherlands it's quite the same. I'm often derided for not having Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, FourSquare, or whatever stuff is hip at the moment. (And that's even while being a software engineer.)

There are many people over here that are trying to be hipsters and try to "socialize" and "online-ify" everything they do, being constantly busy with their phones or tablets or laptops "checking" things, and often they are extremely social but not with the company they're currently with, but by posting stuff on the internet. I don't feel *any* inclination to be that way.

(I'm going to kill the next person that has to check Facebook or Twitter or e-mail three times in a minute while I'm giving him an answer to a question he just asked himself.)

If I want you to know something, I'll tell you, and if I need to know anything, I'll ask you, not look it up online in a profile. And what I'm reading at this moment and what I think of it at this time, is not one of the things I constantly want to share. Maybe if something is particularly good or bad, I might write a review somewhere and that's about it.

All that "social" stuff is a hype of the times, IMHO. At some point, people will get fed up with it (and realise it's not a good idea to tell everybody everything), and then it'll be gone or a lot less prominent.

edit:

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I hate the modern thinking that seems to be that any activity is worthless unless you let everybody you know that you're doing it. Facebook for your daily movements. Twitter for what you're doing or thinking at that very second in mind-numbing detail, a blog to expand on it all at the end of the day/week, text messaging for inane chatter, Instagram to share boring pictures of it, blah, blah, blah - drives me mad.

And now we can't even enjoy the solitude of a nice read without having to share bits of it?! Well they can all just take a running jump. I'll continue to mention books I enjoyed to my friends, but there is no way I'm going to stop reading to post excerpts that I enjoyed to Facetwitter. Bah, humbug.
I could not have said this any better myself, including your closing remark.

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Old 03-01-2013, 01:22 PM   #48
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I made no such assumption. It's not remotely like using a bullhorn. If I use a bullhorn, everyone hears whether or not the want to. I use facebook or twitter, you only hear if you choose to hear. If you don't subscribe to their twitter feed, you remain blissfully unaware of their tweeting about their breakfast. If you don't like what's in TV, turn the channel. If you don't like what someone tweets about, don't subscribe to their tweets.

Narcissism is an empty buzzword. People are just communicating, the only thing that has changed is the technology.
A word doesn't become a buzzword just because you disagree with it. I used the word 'narcissism' (thanks Catlady) because that's what I believe it to be. Personally, I find the phrase, "People are just communicating, the only thing that has changed is the technology" trite to the point of inanity but that's only my opinion and only because I disagree with you.

I guess we'll have to take opposing viewpoints on this
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Old 03-01-2013, 01:29 PM   #49
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@ Katsunami

Exactly. Add to that "If I want to tell something to a specified subset of people" The most things being trumpeted out are hardly of broad scale interest.
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Old 03-01-2013, 02:17 PM   #50
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I'm surprised at your impression that the core of social reading is shared highlights and notes. My feeling is the opposite; that it's almost entirely out of sight and mind. I wonder if your impression is more acute among Kindle users than other readers.
Highlights and notes are what's being pushed by the sites/apps that offer "social reading." Some sites, like Goodreads, have open discussion on each title... with the result that popular titles have several thousand comments/"reviews" and there's no easy way to have a discussion with a handful of like-minded people. The best way to do "social reading" would probably be a chatroom per title, and more chatrooms for collections of titles; the server load would be ridiculous even if it were only "those titles being discussed right this minute." (Would the chats be archived? Would archives of discussions make sense? Who would moderate?)

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When a reader highlights or annotates a passage, it is always for personal reasons: to remember it later, to note its importance, to mark it as a personal favourite.
I do some highlighting/marking with the intention of posting them publicly because I want to squee at friends about books, or discuss the meaning of some aspect of what I marked. But I do a lot more highlighting for personal use.
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Old 03-01-2013, 03:02 PM   #51
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A word doesn't become a buzzword just because you disagree with it. I used the word 'narcissism' (thanks Catlady) because that's what I believe it to be. Personally, I find the phrase, "People are just communicating, the only thing that has changed is the technology" trite to the point of inanity but that's only my opinion and only because I disagree with you.

I guess we'll have to take opposing viewpoints on this
It's a buzzword because it is used inappropriately. Narcissists are real, but someone posting what they had for breakfast is not a reasonable usage of the word narcissism.

Find it as trite as you wish, but it's true that all we're seeing is a technological change. People may talk about trivial things on social media, but they talk about the same trivial things in person and always have.

I don't use social reading, but I accept that other people may wish to. What I do doesn't have any bearing on what other people ought to do.

http://articles.latimes.com/2011/jan...ssism-20110106

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Old 03-01-2013, 03:23 PM   #52
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I don't have a problem with today's definition of social. I use Facebook, I have a blog that I occasionally post to, and we all know how much time I spend on MR, and these things are actually great for me, because it takes the pressure off - I can participate as I choose. I love interacting with people, but in-person socializing quickly drains my energy, and I prefer to be alone much of the time. The internet is this introvert's dream come true. Best of both worlds.
+1 Wholeheartedly agree with this statement. Could not have said it better myself.
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Old 03-01-2013, 04:02 PM   #53
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I only said that it's the aspect that's touted by companies that offer what they call social reading. You'll note that those features are the one mentioned in the OP, so I'm not alone in perceiving this. Caleb quoted http://www.openbookmarks.org/social-reading/ on the previous page. Kobo's Reading Life sounds like Four Square for books. Kindle might have started the highlighting / notes thing, but they certainly aren't alone in defining this type of activity as "social reading". A MR user recently spammed links to another, I think it was called readmill or something like that.

My point was that some of us don't see social reading that way. We're not in disagreement on that - I don't think that these things are the core of what I think of as social reading, but it is what is often advertised as social reading.
It seems like you're right and I've just been less exposed to that kind of marketing.

I hope that the division between what is advertised as social and what is truly social doesn't lead us to throw the baby out with the bathwater. The complaints about social reading sullying a pure reading experience earlier in this thread remind me of nothing so much as paper book purists who complain about ebooks doing the same thing.
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Highlights and notes are what's being pushed by the sites/apps that offer "social reading." Some sites, like Goodreads, have open discussion on each title... with the result that popular titles have several thousand comments/"reviews" and there's no easy way to have a discussion with a handful of like-minded people. The best way to do "social reading" would probably be a chatroom per title, and more chatrooms for collections of titles; the server load would be ridiculous even if it were only "those titles being discussed right this minute." (Would the chats be archived? Would archives of discussions make sense? Who would moderate?)
I use Goodreads quite a lot and still consider it a failure. Its design clearly betrays its origins as a service for creating an online catalogue of books, rather than as a place to discuss reading with friends and like-minded people. The decision to organize reviews in the manner of article comments, with the "best" comments ranked at the top of the list according to an opaque algorithm, not only stifles exchange but fails to create any kind of sustained community.

Few forms of interaction online can equal the message board, in my opinion.
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Old 03-01-2013, 04:35 PM   #54
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Somehow, being an introvert is seen as being un-American, I think. Is it so in other countries?
Not un-American, more like "un-human"
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Old 03-01-2013, 05:16 PM   #55
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I love social reading. I use Goodreads not that I have many friends there but I have a couple who we reply to each others status posts on books we are currently reading. I sometimes share snippets from something I read that made me go What the......

I don't know if it's the way of the future but I do think it's a great way for fellow readers to come together on books or a genre they love and it makes the experience more richer for everybody.
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Old 03-01-2013, 05:33 PM   #56
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On the other hand, while some readers may be very interested in reading a text annotated by someone whom they respect or find interesting (such as a famous author), Kindle does not allow you to read annotations by individuals. Instead, you get a generic set of all highlights and annotations by the faceless masses, cobbled together using an algorithm that equates popularity with pertinence.
The Kindle seems to allow that. The Public Notes option shows highlights and notes from people you follow on kindle.amazon.com. I don't know how it works since I have absolutely no interest in following anyone.

Fortunately, I can turn all note and highlight sharing options completely off. I wish I could turn off the "tell the world that you just finished this book" or "tell the world that you just bought this book" stuff.
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Old 03-01-2013, 05:51 PM   #57
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I love social reading. I use Goodreads not that I have many friends there but I have a couple who we reply to each others status posts on books we are currently reading. I sometimes share snippets from something I read that made me go What the......

I don't know if it's the way of the future but I do think it's a great way for fellow readers to come together on books or a genre they love and it makes the experience more richer for everybody.
IMHO, using Goodreads and forums and such to talk about books and reading is something completely different to having Facebook, Twitter, and in the future who knows directly integrated into the device, nagging you to post this or that when you start, fininsh, or buy a book.

That's not social reading. That's just free advertisements for the company/author in question.
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Old 03-01-2013, 06:52 PM   #58
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IMHO, using Goodreads and forums and such to talk about books and reading is something completely different to having Facebook, Twitter, and in the future who knows directly integrated into the device, nagging you to post this or that when you start, fininsh, or buy a book.

That's not social reading. That's just free advertisements for the company/author in question.
Goodreads and Facebooks are integrated. If I post a status on GR it's posted on my timeline. I don't use Twitter...I'm too long winded.
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Old 03-01-2013, 07:17 PM   #59
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Goodreads and Facebooks are integrated.
But you have the option to untether them. I did this almost immediately, as it was posting to Facebook every time I did an update.
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Old 03-01-2013, 07:33 PM   #60
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But you have the option to untether them. I did this almost immediately, as it was posting to Facebook every time I did an update.
Yeah you could do that but I use my one account just for Goodreads. I have friends who don't use it but like my reviews and recommendations on books. It doesn't post to your newsfeed anymore just timeline.
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