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Raven

Section Suggestion

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This is something I've been thinking about on and off for a while now, but we have a lot of different places on this forum where people recommend books (in their reading blogs, when people ask for recommendations in the genre threads and in the recommendations section itself etc), but most of these are often short one or two line comments. 

I'm wondering if there is scope for a more in-depth recommendation section, where posters are expected to explain in more detail what they like about a certain author, book or genre etc.

I've helped run a forum in the past that had a reviews section that was similar to what I'm thinking of, where people were expected to make more of an effort and post something a bit meatier.  The section was under post moderation for new threads and reviews were only approved (by the mods) if the poster met the criteria for the section (which were content and length based).  Once approved people could comment in the thread and ask questions in the usual way.

A similar section here for recommendations could help to inspire more readers to try new/different books and I’m reasonably confident that there are enough people amongst us who would be willing to contribute to it.

 

If the above needs any clarification, please ask!

Edited by Raven

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Yeah - I know what you mean - I used to offer something similar where I'd summarise a book/series in a short paragraph, just quickly explaining the premise and why it's worth reading.

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My biggest concern here is exactly how we decide what is acceptable content, and how to deal with people who disagree with our decision and start getting upset?

 

It's also another job for the mods to take on (I've already had mods leaving because they're too busy with 'real life' to help out enough) plus would it take away from our review blog?

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As a shy and quiet book reader, I'm happy to say I Like a book on my own thread but, A Book Review isn't my job.

As We Can't Promote Books, wouldn't this provide a platform for Publishers.

I found it hard to produce a decent review for Dexter and I named myself for him.

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As We Can't Promote Books, wouldn't this provide a platform for Publishers.

 

 

I guess that's where the moderation comes in - we would review, and not let publishers post. I'd probably make it for those with a certain number of posts as well.

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I know it would be another thing to do for the moderators, but it hopefully shouldn't cause a lot more work. 

 

When I suggested the thread be put under post moderation it was to weed out the two line "I like Jane Austin because she writes nice words" kind of posts.  The criteria for an acceptable post would be one where someone has obviously put some effort into recommending whatever it is they are writing about.  For example, I've been thinking that one I could write would be "Why I like John Wyndham" and it would be a piece that goes into what I like about his stories, what they are about and might give some recommendations for people who are new to him as an author for books to try.  I would expect that to take at least a couple of paragraphs and that's the sort of effort I would hope people make. 

 

For reference, the section could have an example post at the top showing the sort of thing people are expected to post (I'd be willing to do the Wyndham article for you if that helps!).

 

I also see this as being something that would compliment rather than compete with the review blog, as it wouldn't be straight reviews of books, it would be more personal testimonies from people about why they like their chosen subject.

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Is that not something which could be done in the existing sections? 1 sentence posts would soon drop off the first page, and promotional ones picked up as usual.

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I don't think it would be as effective, because the current sections don't actively encourage people to put a lot of effort or thought into their posts (that's not to say that people don't!).

I think having a dedicated section would help to focus people's minds when they are writing and actively encourage them to post about authors, books or genres that they like.  My guess is, at the moment, that after the initial posts members make about what they like when they join the forum most people generally only tend to post about what they are currently reading or respond to topics that they are interested in when someone else raises the subject. 

In this section people would hopefully be encouraged to use their whole reading history to draw subjects from.

I could almost see this becoming a resource, of sorts; a section of the boards with threads that are all worth reading because when you open a topic you’ll know that it won’t be a one line comment.

I fully concede that this might not work, or that after an initial flurry of posts from interested people it might stagnate, but I think it could be interesting to give it a try.

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There's absolutely nothing to stop people doing that in the existing sections, e.g. John Wyndham in the sci-fi section, Jane Austen in the classics section etc. I think having a specific section just for recommendations of this sort would be kind of pointless when we have those sections already in place. Members basically have the run of the place to post the content they want to post, so if you would like to do something like that, please do feel free to make those posts and encourage others to do so, but in order to not create more work for the staff, I personally feel it would work best within the existing sections.

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Kell is backing up how I feel really. It is a valid suggestion, and I appreciate the thought you've put into it, but I would rather see the sort of post you mention being posted in the existing sections... either in the relevant genre section, or maybe more appropriately in the 'book search and recommendation' section. Hopefully if others like your post, it will encourage them to do similar. If it takes off, and becomes popular, then a sub-section may well become relevant, but I don't see the need for one at the moment.

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I've already said why I don't believe the current sections work for this, so I won't repeat them again, but I thank you for considering the idea.

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Well, you say people aren't encouraged to put thought into their posts, so why not be a good example - I still don't see why you need a special section for it. 

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