I finally got around to joining Goodreads, the social network for readers. If you’re a member, please send me a friend request. Here’s my author page.

Hard to say yet how I’ll use the site, but I don’t want to use it just to promote my own books. That would be really lame. So I’ve taken the time to add some favorite books to my virtual shelves there, identify a few favorite authors (some of whom, by sheer coincidence, also happen to be friends or fellow bloggers), and I hope to link to all my book reviews here at Via Negativa going forward. (It’s no longer a good idea to cross-post the full content of anything to multiple sites — the latest Google search algorithm penalizes that kind of behavior.)

I also imagine I’ll be using my Goodreads author blog from time to time to post stuff directly relating to the site or to my books. In fact, I have a post there now announcing that Breakdown: Banjo Poems is due out in September. As publication time nears, I’ll probably do a giveaway with a few of my 50 (!) free author’s copies. Pre-release book giveaways are apparently a pretty big deal at Goodreads, and they seem like a much cooler way to promote a new book than (for example) paying for an ad on the site.

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Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).


  1. It’s no longer a good idea to cross-post the full content of anything to multiple sites — the latest Google search algorithm penalizes that kind of behavior.

    Hmm, I didn’t realise that, although you can see the logic behind it. Annoying.

    I miss the idea of just having your own personal website where you just post all your stuff, instead of having to juggle it around Facebook and Twitter and Goodreads and whatever. Or at least, I do actually quite like some of the social networks, it’s coordinating it all which is a pain: even more so if Google is going to start penalising you for it. Ho hum.


    1. Well, they say it’s not a direct penalty, but what happens is that the site they deem to have priority will be indexed, and the derivative sit won’t be. so theoretically cross-posting full content to Goodreads shouldn’t hurt the ranking of one’s home site. I tested this hypothesis with one blogger who reposts all her content from her original Blogspot site to a blog column on a fairly popular and widely linked to US literary/culture magazine (New Inquiry). Google searches for the titles of her columns turned up ONLY the Blogspot instances. Matt Cutts says in a video somewhere that curation does add value, and they don’t want to penalize sites that do it well, but…


      1. Perhaps I should just accept that I’m unlikely to build up a world-conquering media empire by posting reviews of out-of-print Madagascan poetry, and stop worrying about what Google wants.


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