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Good Reads: The Social Network for Readers

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Good Reads is the social network to go to if you're an avid reader (like me). I found it by chance, actually, whilst browsing through the list of companies funded by GigaOM founder Om Malik, through his startup venture capital company, True Ventures (I highly recommend you check out some of their other, quite interesting startups too.)

Good Reads is very easy to navigate around, and you can easily connect with your friends right after registration, as the site links to Facebook and your Gmail contacts, amongst a few others.

Interestingly, Good Reads was started and funded privately (before True began backing them, after they began taking the web by storm) by Otis Chandler.

Once you're all signed up, you can begin adding books to your virtual "shelves". You have a total of three shelves: Read, Currently Reading, and To Read. You can then go about searching the site for titles to add to these shelves. Subsequently, you can also rate books on a five-star ranking system.

But the magic really happens when you share your shelves with others: Good Reads has an intelligent "connection" tool that assesses what books you're into, and finds friends with compatible tastes, who can then automatically recommend good reads to you (and vice-versa).

What's also great is that you can purchase books in your "to-read" shelf via Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and a few other online retailers. (Unfortunately for South African users, Exclusive Books is not partnered with Good Reads.)

You can also write and read reviews on books that you're interested in, and join reading groups and discussions to really get into the books you like, and to get diverse opinions on what other like-minded readers have to say about your "good reads".

And finally, a cool feature is the ability to update your friends on your current status on the book(s) you're currently reading — that is, to give a "live" page-count of where in the book you currently are.

Visit Good Reads at www.goodreads.com.


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