BookLikes has been my Internet Home for some years now. It was the only Social Media that I found to be truly social. A community built itself there, bringing together people from many backgrounds and many countries, brought together by their passion for books.
BookLIkes let me shelve my books, keep track of how far I’d gotten with each book and how my reading challenges were going. Most importantly, it let me run a blog and read other people’s blogs and exchange comments.
We were fortunate to have a few energetic, well-organised members who set up games based around reading challenges that were fun, widened the range of books I’d read, offered some creative tasks and helped me get to know people a little. We played Halloween Bingo during September and November, 24 Festive Tasks over the holiday season and bookish version of Snakes and Ladders and Monopoly at other points in the year.
When the pandemic hit and we were all locked down, BookLikes gave me a place to share the experience and the worries.
In the background, BookLikes itself was failing. The new owners left it to run itself, failing to recognise or not caring that that wasn’t possible. Functionality began to fail – for example, you couldn’t enter a read date against a book in 2020 – and the performance became so slow that it was effectively inaccessible from mobile devices and using my MacBook was like being back in the early days of dial-up modems.
The only thing growing in the site was the spam accounts. As of today, I had 9192 followers on BL All but a couple of hundred are spammers offering me the joys of Keto, the services of prostitutes in Mumbai and Dubai and the services of plumbers, mechanics and software engineers across the US.
This year the site started to crash for hours and then days at a time.
So we started to look around for another home. GoodReads turned out to be our nearest port in this storm.
I miss BL but I’m energised by the resilience and energy of the people I met there and who are now connecting through The Outpost.
You’re welcome to come and join us.