While most of the questions center around the API issue, Mr. Piaskowski explains that this shouldn't be an issue. His explanation to solving the bully problem is that all one has to do is report potential bullies (or trolls) to his staff and they will be "investigated" to determine their "bully" or "troll" status. Take a look.
While that all seems well and good, a couple of my questions would be, if you already know about STGRB and you're responding on their blog, and you already know that STGRB is legitimate, why would you need people to report the "trolls"? Why not just save yourself some time and go through the bully list that STGRB has already provided and start watching those people and catching them yourself? Why do you need others to report these people to you? Couldn't you just utilize that list STGRB provides and watch the hard core violators yourself?
STGRB already recommends that everybody stay away from these trolls. I'm sure most people do. So in essence, most people are not going to go looking for the people listed on STGRB's list on Booklikes. Heck, many "legitimate" readers may not even join because of the trolls. But Mr. Piaskowski and staff could use that list and go look at these people's posts and make a commonsense determination from that to decide if any action is warranted. They could also send a clear cut message that this kind of adolescent abuse of their site isn't going to be tolerated.
Another question that comes to mind is, why not just delete the offensive material? It doesn't take a genius to know who these people are and what their intentions might be. They've made themselves obviously clear. Their blatant disrespect for the rules stands out like a sore thumb. Forget the API concerns for a moment and let's just concentrate on basic human decency.
When Mr. Piaskowski says these people and their BL account / blogs will be labeled as "troll", does this mean anytime someone goes to their blog there will be a label of some kind that will appear and say "TROLL"?
Something just isn't clicking here, and I got to thinking, (something of which I may do way too often) but what if, and this is just a "what if", but what if Mr. Piaskowski is going to try and pull an Otis Chandler?
By that I mean, how do we know that Mr. Piaskowski isn't going to use the bullies to move BL up the website rankings and haul in the big bucks that surely would accompany it? Then, once you get to a certain height, start addressing the issue?
Otis Chandler and Gooodreads made their money at the expense of bullied authors. The financial loss of all authors who were attacked, along with their books, on Goodreads was Otis Chandler's gain. He knew it then while it was happening and he knows it now in hindsight. Who is to say that Mr. Piaskowski and Booklikes aren't now taking that same approach?
You either condone what the bully trolls are doing, or you don't. If you allow them to get away with what they have been getting away with for so long on Booklikes as they have on Goodreads, then in my eyes, you condone that behavior.
Make no mistake, what GR is doing now to address the issue is only because they have nothing to lose. Otis already made his money, and now he gets to look like some kind of Saint for finally attacking the issue. The truth is, by allowing it to go on for so long as he did, he clearly doesn't have a problem with fraudulent ratings and reviews, and if Mr. Piaskowski is going to allow the same thing to happen on BL, then he hasn't a problem with these trolls either.
Well, not until he makes his money, I suppose.
While I can appreciate what Mr. Piaskowski is trying to say and do, the best course of action is usually the most logical, and that is, nip it in the bud. Delete the abusive content right from the start and or delete the abusers. Earn your money the right way, not off the sacrifice of Indie book sales by allowing these bully ratings and reviews on your site to begin with.
This is "man up" time right here, not three years from now when you pocket millions of dollars after selling out to the next Amazon.
I'm Carroll Bryant .... and this is The Looking Glass.
Things We Learned Today:
* You know what you learned today