startling banals

23 October 2007

Shelfari - horrible!!! Stay away from it!

This website is a cheat! It will send emails to your yahoo/gmail addressbook contacts in your name without asking you. I created an account just for the sake of curiousity and now it has taken a life of its own. Instead go to if you want to.


Hi Anish,

You've obviously had some frustration with Shelfari, which is really too bad. Let me see if I can help. On the page that listed all of your friends to invite, you are given the option select who to choose. When you click invite, it sends an invitation to everyone checked on that page, and to no one who is unchecked. We also send a reminder email a few days later.

Since it sounds like you invited more people that you intended to, send me your Shelfari user name so I can cancel that reminder email.

I hope you're able to test out Shelfari despite the rocky start. It's an incredible community of readers and authors.

Blogger daverino, at 23.10.07  
Hey, thanks for the comment. Since "Dave" has responded, I (the founder of LibraryThing) will too!

1. LibraryThing has the same feature, but you *choose* to do it. You don't get it automatically and you certainly don't end up spamming everyone you've ever corresponded with just because you're trying to skip past an annoying screen.

2. By default everyone is UN-selected, not selected. Who exactly wants to tell everyone they've ever corresponded with about their books? Your attorney? Your doctor? All the email groups you ever belonged to?

3. We had and then removed a "check all" box. If you really want to send an email to 200 people, you'll have to check a lot of boxes.

4. Shelfari's "mistake" has been the subject of dozens of similar blog posts. It happens all the time, and they benefit from the exposure. We hope that it catches up with them eventually; thanks for doing your bit to make sure that happens.

Hey, send me a note over there (timspalding) and I'll send you a free premium account.
Blogger Tim, at 23.10.07  
@ Dave:
Thank you for explaining things but
I was really really pissed off.

I understand that there is an option to unselect all email addresses - I avoided it this first time - but it is in a font smaller than the 'friends already on shelfari' email ids - so it's very easy to miss if you are in a hurry - it seems that we are being conned.

That should be taken care of by shelfari or you are sure to lose credibility among us. Also sending a reminder email is a very annoying feature.

I will still give it a try and I am not yet giving up completely on shelfari - i won't delete my account.

Thanks again for the effort to explain.

@ Tim:
In fact I got an email from someone shelfari had spammed in my name (Vishwas) suggesting that I try librarything instead.

It definitely seems to be for people who actually like to read and are not looking for just another 'social networking' site like orkut, facebook, hi5 etc.

Great work!
Blogger anish, at 23.10.07  
I was amazed by the responses. So people are scanning the blogosphere regularly. Good work and prompt actions, I must say. BTW Tim; would you please send me that free premium account of ? My user id is wishwas and I have also listed a link to my bookshelf on my blog:

Thanks in advance,

Thank you Anish.
Blogger Wish, at 24.10.07  
Well, illuminating to say the least!
Blogger Anil P, at 25.10.07  
Thanks a lot for recommending my name to Lindsey. He has indeed offered me a free premium account! I assure you I will be using it quite regularly and judiciously. BTW Some of the advantages of that I have already noticed are :
You can also add books manually. This is very useful for adding the Marathi & Hindi books in my collection. And BTW it seems they are using unicode, so I am able to enter the book names etc. in Devnagari script. They have forums and the quality of participants as well as the discussions is also quite good. They have a number of authors as members!
Blogger Wish, at 30.10.07  

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