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Prevent Shelfari - Goodreads Merger

This petition had 204 supporters

Recently, Amazon has announced its plans to merge the much loved website Shelfari with another of its similar sites, Goodreads on March 16th 2016. This news was made public very suddenly on January 12th 2016, with little signs of warning beforehand. The site has listed no reasons for this sudden merger other than: 

"Both services share the same mission - helping readers find new books and share their reading - so it makes sense to merge them and create a great experience for readers on just one platform: Goodreads."

However, although the sites list this as being a 'merger', it is really simply an excuse to shut down Shelfari. Since Amazon took over the site a few years ago, there has been a clear decline in quality, as it seemed that Amazon was not particularly interested in the well-being of the site, and glitches and problems with the site have become abundant, and those who manage currently manage Shelfari have made no clear effort to fix them, despite many requests to do so from members. Instead, it seems that Shelfari is simply an extra load on Amazon's back and that, since it was less well known than its counterpart, there was no reason to maintain it.

Whilst Goodreads maintains many similar features to Shelfari, and has some added ones as well, it is a relatively more complex version than the latter, and those who have grown used to the structure and easy-to-navigate layout of Shelfari may potentially find it rather difficult to navigate their way through these new mechanics. 

I myself have been a member of the Shelfari community for over seven years, and can express how much this site has grown to mean to me over that time. Like many of its users, I use Shelfari more for its groups than for anything else, and the friendships I have formed through these groups are ones that I know I will maintain for many years to come; the stories I have created in them are ones I shall always treasure; and the adventures I have been able to have are ones that I would never have been able to have anywhere else.

Excuse me if my story sounds clichéd, but sometimes the truth ends up sounding like exactly that. When I was only ten years old and practically obsessed with creative writing I came across this website thanks to a friend's recommendation, and this strange concept of creating new stories alongside other people, and playing the roles of tens of different characters fascinated me. It wasn't long before I was hooked to the idea, and soon Shelfari became my favourite website out of them all.

Over the years, Shelfari is one of the places I have turned when the world just wasn't working out for me. I've gone through many things in the past seven years, and the friends I made on Shelfari were often able to be there for me even when those I knew in real life weren't available, and that's something I shall be eternally grateful for.

Sure, it's not perfect, and it isn't all that popular compared to some of the larger websites out there, but it is the place that has been there for us for so long and where many lasting friendships have been made, and these qualities are what makes it particularly special. Larger sites simply don't have the same close-knit community that a site such as Shelfari possesses, and this, aside from its simple and easy to understand structure, are what really makes this website special to us.

This is why we implore you to sign this petition, in the hopes that you can assist us in maintaining the site that we have cherished for so many years, and that - honestly - has helped to shape us into the people we are today. 

Thank you.


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