In 2007, we wrote about book discussion hub Shelfari when it first launched. In 2008, we covered its sale to Amazon. The service has apparently come full circle now, as Good EReader reports Amazon will be closing Shelfari down and merging its content with GoodReads.
Good EReader’s Michael Kozlowski puts Shelfari’s failure down to launching too early, before e-books became really popular, and never following up e-books’ popularity with a better user interface or mobile apps. This enabled GoodReads to steal its thunder when it launched at the height of the e-book era.
Shelfari members are unhappy about this move, as Amazon is only giving them two months to migrate all their data over to GoodReads and they don’t feel that’s enough time to shift as much as 9 years’ worth of content. They are also disappointed that Goodreads still doesn’t have some of the features they find most useful about Shelfari, such as nested discussion trees.
I’m a little surprised Amazon waited this long to close Shelfari down. It seems like making the move even a few years ago would have been easier since there would have been less content that needed to be ported over. But perhaps they felt Shelfari was doing well enough at the time. I wonder what might have happened to change their minds?