Amazon Buys Shelfari

Posted on September 7, 2008

Amazon Buys ShelfariPublishersWeekly reports that Amazon.com has acquired Shelfari, a social networking website for readers that has about 1 million users. Amazon.com also has a stake in Shelfari-competitor LibraryThing and as the Seattle-PI notes there is no love lost between the two book social networking sites.
There's no love lost between Shelfari and LibraryThing.

LibraryThing founder Tim Spalding has called Shelfari a "bad actor" for engaging in what he called a massive campaign of "astroturfing," the practice of planting positive comments about a service on blogs.

Spalding said he came up with more than 50 examples, writing in a blog post that "it's icky to ... go on and on about how much you 'love' Shelfari without mentioning you're paid by them."

In another post, Spalding accused Shelfari of being an unethical spammer. Shelfari apologized and fixed the problems.

It is unclear what Amazon.com plans to do with its equity stake in LibraryThing.
There's a post about the deal here on the Shelfari blog. There's also post about Amazon's Shelfari acquisition here on LibraryThing. It notes that Amazon only has a minority stake in Shelfari and that LibraryThing will now be competing against Amazon.com.