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Sheenagh Pugh
02 August 2012 @ 04:12 pm
This is a post for fellow Goodreads users who, like me, are fed up with the nuisance of unsolicited emails saying "be my friend on Goodreads" (and I know there are such users because they've been complaining on the same forums I've been using). I use Goodreads to put book reviews on. Sometimes I read those of others, but it's possible to "follow" people's reviews without doing the whole friending thing and I was never into that - FB and Twitter are enough. A few people I knew well became friends, and that was fine. Now and again someone else would ask - again, mostly folk I knew. At least one, whom I didn't know, turned out to be a colossal bore who was only on Goodreads to promote her own work, but that could happen anywhere.

Friends requests were not a pest, because they were rare. Suddenly they are anything but - on a bad day I'll get half a dozen emails and I know others have been finding the same. I got in touch with a nice lady at customer services called Claire. She advised making sure the account wasn't associated with any other, like Facebook, and setting a "secret question" that potential requesters had to answer. I duly did all this, but unfortunately the "secret question" only applies to anyone who doesn't already know your email address, and mine needs to be public for work reasons. So it's made no real odds. I also tried saying on my profile that I didn't do the friends thing and would ignore all requests. That didn't work; people clearly don't read the profile before firing off their request.

I'd asked Claire if there was any way of just opting out of all friends requests. There isn't but she gave some hope that they might think about it. After another slew of emails, I've asked her again if there's any likelihood of this. If she comes back and says no, I'm going to delete the account. That'll mean all the reviews go, but most are elsewhere, either on my blog or on Amazon.

I'd be sorry to do this, because the more reviews are out there, the better for writers, and most of mine are, deliberately, of stuff that isn't getting much reviewed elsewhere. But it won't be worth the hassle unless they can make it possible to opt out of these requests. Since I know there are others having this problem, I'll let you know what response I get from Goodreads. In the meantime, if you too want a way out of this nuisance, I'd suggest emailing and telling them so, because they do seem to listen and reply.