So I just signed up to the new book cover sharing site, Rifflebooks.com. I think the name lends itself to the notion of riffling through books. Kind of interesting, though somehow still a strange name. Reminds me of a gun rifle.
I’m not one to complain, but I dislike when companies launch products that aren’t ready for use. The site is slow and wonky, and because of that, irritating to use. However, this issue may be due to a large number of people flooding the site during launch.
Riffle is a bit like pinterest, as far as I can tell, only you can’t yet add your own images. You have to use their database, unfortunately. And I’m having trouble finding my own books, which for other authors such as myself, I’m sure, feels like being left out of the party. Actually, many books seem to have been left out of the launch database. Either that or the search option doesn’t work so well at the moment. This doesn’t bode well for Rifflebooks, because that’s almost the only thing you can do on the site, aside from making lists. To get an idea, see my first list here.
Every site, these days, seems to find it necessary to focus on building a community. I realize that make for good business sense, but it’s starting to feel a little forced and can be off-putting. Already on Rifflebooks, there’s an emphasis to acquire “influence”—meaning getting followers, or doing other things on the site. The goal obviously being to make users feel the need to aspire for as much influence as possible, and getting a number assigned to you for your efforts. I dislike these sorts of cheap tactics to force user interaction. If the site is good on its own, users will naturally interact.
Additionally, I don’t see any options where you can upload pics of your personal book stash, or anything like that. It is a book sharing site, after all. I’m sure there are slews of book lovers who would love to show off their favorite books with the antique looking covers and worn-out spines—not to mention different versions of book covers. Perhaps that option is soon to come, who knows.
All in all, I’m not sure how much time I’ll be spending on Rifflebooks. I guess we’ll have to wait and see how they mold the site to make it a little more interesting.