Tuesday, August 21, 2007

you wanna go on a shelfari with me?

a couple of weeks ago a friend invited me to shelfari. it looked like a fun way to keep track of other people interested in reading and find new books. so i joined, invited my bookclub, and some other friends. i was fiddling around on the site one day and was asked if i would like to "find friends" using my gmail account. i thought it would scan my contacts and see who else was on shelfari. well it deceived me: shelfari invited EVERY SINGLE PERSON i have ever emailed.

the damage is extensive. every old boyfriend, boss, chief of staff of HHS, CDC researcher, landlord, all of my friends kids, are now invited to join my shelfari. "do we like the same books?" and AS IF THAT WASN'T BAD ENOUGH, shefari keeps sending reminders to people to join my thing.

here are some examples to give you a feel of how horrible and madcap this is:
  • recently my ex-boyfriend clement and i were having a brief email exchange that abruptly ended when his live-in girlfriend wigged out and threatened to leave him if he didn't tell me we could never communicate again. he obliged, and i got this horribly sad email from him, with his girlfriend cc'd, telling me that i can never email him again (with some subtle apology for his girlfriend's insecurity). they are now both being invited to shelfari a couple times a week.
  • someone joined who i did not know. she said she enjoyed the site and wanted to use it for her own bookclub but wondered who i was. i finally figured out that she was one of the women lindsay and i had talked to about adopting paulette when we were looking for a home for her. it was really nice to be reacquainted.
  • friends from frisbee, former interns, friends' 8 year old daughters, and other friends that i had fallen out of touch with have joined.
  • the chief of staff of hhs is getting annoyed with all of my email invitations to join... this is my great grandboss wondering what in the world i am doing at work all day.
  • anne garrels
  • tom szaky, ceo of terracycle
  • the wife of chris dodd, presidential contender
  • my landlord, who is a struggle at best joined. maybe we are supposed to be friends now?
anyway, the list goes on and on. i got an email from a colleague at the cdc asking me if i had sent this to him. i felt so ridiculous.

but now i am thinking maybe this is a chance for a community to start. we have all been brought together by this random event and maybe the best thing is to become friends with each other by exploring our tastes in literature. maybe people will fall in love via shelfari, maybe we can be a new version of the concord, ma in the 1850's? we will all become philosophers and, though not transcendentalists, we will create a new way of thinking. and it will all be because of this freak accident when i invited everyone i have ever emailed to join shelfari.

maybe it was fate and not an accident after all?


chuck said...

It's more likely that this will spark an event less like 1850's Concord and more similar to 1600's Salem; and all your friends and everyone you've ever emailed will shun you or brand you with a scarlet "SPAM".
Nice thought though, way to be positive.

k8 said...


i was going to email you and say that I actually joined GoodReads and it didn't send spam to all my friends.

hilarious though.

KamilahNYC said...

so funny, i thought that you were really persistent about it...! Well, I totally joined and can't wait to start "choosing the next book you read."

Snowbunny said...

I just thought you liked me.


Ann Garrels... HAHAHAHAHA