Anne-Mette Bech Albrechtslund on Goodreads

A balancing act: Putting up bookshelves on a social media platform

Join us for this week’s CuSPP Seminar

Thursday 12 September, 1pm, Milgate Room, AD Hope Bldg, SLLL

This talk concerns the interplay between social media and contemporary reading practices as seen from a qualitative, discourse-oriented perspective. The popular social book cataloguing site Goodreads is used as a starting point to examine and discuss the dynamics of a developing digital reading culture, focusing on the use of so-called ‘bookshelves’ on the site. While Goodreads has been successful in creating the kind of participatory culture which may directly influence the publishing communication circuit, it has also become increasingly clear in recent years that there are strong economic and strategic interests tied to the platform’s business model. Suspicions and worries about Goodreads’ increasing commercialization have often been aired among users, not least in the continuing discussions on the site about the purpose of bookshelves, and the policies relating to them certainly seem to be an indication of that. In this talk, I will present examples of these discussions and discuss how these can be seen part of an appropriating strategy where users claim ownership of the online space they inhabit and act as literary curators and critics in their own right.

Anne-Mette Bech Albrechtslund is a Danish researcher in the fields of media and information studies with a background in comparative literature. She is currently a Visiting Fellow at the SLLL. Her published research focuses on digital reading culture, gaming communities, internet research methods, and more.

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