I've just joined another social media site. Its for readers to recommend books to each other. Its a beta and it has a lot of promise. But I'm wondering whether I've not already got involved with too many of these. Between goodreads, Bookdrum, facebook, twitter, ning, cheezeburger.com and the several for fiber arts, current events, entrepreneurs, bloggers, and and and... there are more than I can visit every day--more than I can even remember as I sit here. And for most of them I mostly lurk.
This might not sound like a rave recommendation for Custom Reads but I did just spend an hour browsing on it and ordered two books from the library which I encountered on there for the first time and that's added to the two hours I spent on it last night. So it is obviously something worth taking a look at and a viable player in the 'survival of the fittest' game playing out on the web.
One of the things Custom Reads has got going for it that is different from most similar sites is that recommenders get a commission off sales made when a user clicks over to one of the booksellers from their recommendation and makes a purchase.
One of the things I might change about it if I had any say would be the ability to keep a list of the titles that interest me. The only options given are 'I want to read' which sends you to the links to the stores, 'I have already read', 'Not interested' and 'Skip for now' which takes you to the next recommendation.
Also, and this might be related, they keep stats for the percentage of likes you've registered for certain themes and for reccomenders and yet the only apparent way to register a 'like' is to make a purchase. Even someone with discretionary income in this economy--which I have none--is not going to buy enough books in a month to make any kind of percentage meter go up over 1% anytime soon. I think the fact that I was sent racing over to my local library catalog tab to look for four titles in half an hour should count for something.
Still and all I'm probably going to be lurking on Custom Reads and soon will be making recommendations myself. I was upgraded to recommender immediately after signing up but I'm not sure if that was because I'd been issued a special invite via email because of my blog or anyone signing up gets the same upgrade.
At any rate, i recommend Custom Reads as worth a look for anyone looking for the next book they'll love.