While browsing through my Twitter feed I discovered an article on Flavorwire about I Dream Books – a site that attempts to be to books what Rotten Tomatoes is to movies — a consensus of all the reviews. The first comment on the above article was someone saying, “HEY! This exists! Check out THIS SITE!”
So I did.
Both ARE similar, but the first thing I noticed: both are NEW sites. Competition makes everyone better!
The look: IDreamBooks has cute fluffy clouds and a very clean, Pinterest-like first page. The Critics & Writers site has a lot more happening on the first page, but it isn’t unappealing, it’s more traditional website than the simple iDreamBooks page.
The critics: Who are these critics?! It seems that both pull reviews from newspapers AND book bloggers. Where the reviews come from were a little easier to find on the iDreamBooks page, but Critics & Writers does let you take a closer look at each individual reviewer (theoretically — I could only seem to look at Ron Charles’ critic info when I clicked on Critics. Ahh, beta is fun!)
My question really comes down to this: are these sites necessary? It is nice to see a consensus from “professionals”. I also like perusing non-professional reviews on Goodreads, BN, and Amazon to see what people are thinking, but even Book Riot has a “Review GPA” feature. Perhaps these sites are filling a gap that I didn’t know existed. If I’m honest though, I don’t want to have to sign-up for another site no matter how cool and useful they might be (to “thumbs up” a review or “follow” a writer, critic, someone — you have to sign-up). When I sent the link to a co-worker, her reaction: Can’t you just go to Amazon? Interesting response, no?
Another question: Did some media congommerate develope these sites or are they new & independent?
Definitely cool sites and I’m interested to see what happens with both. (But can we get a single sign-on so I can try both without creating MORE usernames and passwords?)
What do you guys think? Necessary? Cool? Which do you like more?
Update: There’s also a lifehacker article.