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2013-04-02 07:03 pm (UTC)
hey, this is Lance from TheReadingRoom.com. Not stalking! Responding only 'cause you linked here from your tweet. You have a lot of great comments and they are all well-received. Let me respond to some of your "Cons".
> I find the home page a bit cluttered, despite being a fairly standard three-column layout.
Yeah, I want to fix this, too. We have new designs (wireframes) done that are dynamite, IMO - and are based on a 2-column layout like you say ... it's just taking time to get them implemented because we're a startup. Meanwhile, our devs are making incremental changes to the site all the time. But they won't be dramatic and likely won't quickly address this "cluttered" issue.
> The home page content also seems a bit generic... I'd rather have it off to the side,
> Indeed, what I'd really adore is the ability to move these boxes where I want them, much like the recently-departed iGoogle.
That would be pretty cool, but realistically, it's not going to happen anytime soon.
> I can't say that the site's UI and color scheme matches the name, in my opinion: I find the blue, white, and charcoal grey combination to be visually cold.
The redesign will keep the basic palette, but I'm hoping it will feel warmer. When it launches, would love your - and anyone's - feedback on whether we did well or not.
> I was able to swiftly import my Goodreads data to my bookshelf, but it wasn't a perfect transition. I have 778 books listed over on Goodreads, but only 650 came over.
Hm. Weird. I'll send this to the devs. Integration is always kooky.
> A bigger problem with the import comes from having to manually go back and flag the books I've read: this status and my accompanying ratings were not imported.
Does the GR export CSV contain a flag that clearly designates "has been read"? I see the "date read" field, but I'm not sure that's universally populated. Not having been a GR user myself, I'm asking in earnest. I don't know!
> Other: I'm not sure how I feel about the fact that purchasing options seem to be so limited. The "Buy a print copy" section includes Amazon and IndieBound, and that's it.
We are working to launch sales of physical books ... maybe by midyear, not sure. If we sold it at a price that was comparable to Amazon's ... would you buy from us? Or would you prefer Amazon (and if so, why?)?
> If the book's page includes a link to purchase an e-book, The Reading Room seems to provide a storefront for various publishers,
You must be coming in from outside the US. We sell eBooks directly, now, in the US ... for use with our eReader app (for iOS and Android). We will expand to UK, CAN, ANZ ... hopefully later this year. But as you can tell just from this post ... we have a ton of work to do. Only so many days in the week. Where's my magic time-stopping gold watch?
> The Reading Room does offer an app for Android and iOS, but it seems to be an e-reader for content you've purchased from their site and for sideloaded books. It didn't appear to provide
> access to either the social features of the site or a goals list.
yeah, another thing that's in our queue. As of right now, the free ereading app is just for downloading and reading ebooks you bought from us, with a little bit of "suggested reading" baked into the reader. but no social, or goals, etc. that's all "roadmap" stuff, and I can't even estimate a date.
I am totally serious when I offer to you -- or anyone else -- to respond to any/all questions/criticisms. Just email me at lance@ (our domain). Or tweet to us @thereadingroom_ or to me at @lanceellisor
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