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In Redux

By Elizabeth Wroten


On 28, Jan 2013 | In Redux, Research | By Elizabeth Wroten

I recently came across a post on The Digital Shift about the book sharing website GoodReads. I was very surprised by this quote:

“You may not have heard much about Goodreads, and the public at large hardly knows it exists, but this site has a devoted following among book lovers.”

Really? I guess I know what they say about assuming. I just really thought librarians at least were aware of the site. I highly suggest reading the post, it does a great job of making the case for signing up for the service.

Personally I’ve been on it for just shy of two years and find it invaluable. Originally I began by using for readers advisory; as a way to catalog all the books I had read. I am able to give my review or thoughts on the book and place it in any number of “shelves”. I tend to group my books by genre, but because the “shelves” are flexible I can place one book on several.

I quickly discovered that it was also a great way to do some digging about whether it was worth reading a book or not. As much as I want to read every book I read a review for, it’s not possible. By reading through a mix of reviews (e.g. good, bad, and middle of the road), I find it much easier to make the call on whether or not to add it to my to-read list.

I also recently transfered over my Amazon wishlist (which was really just a bunch of titles I wanted to read) and revamped my lists of books to read. Again the flexible “shelves” were very helpful in creating these lists. I had kind of started out only tracking my YA read and to-read lists, but now I have everything from parenting titles, to personal non fiction selections, to YA on there.

If you haven’t already checked it out I suggest hopping over there and signing up. You may find it to be really helpful. You can also check out my profile and lists if you want to see how I’ve been using it.


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In Research

By Elizabeth Wroten

Research: Charitable Giving

On 26, Dec 2012 | In Research | By Elizabeth Wroten

‘Tis the time for charitable giving. Many people are either more aware of those in need at this time of year or they are trying to get the last tax-deductible donation in by the first of the new year. Either way, the question of who to give your money to may come up. To answer the question of how to get the most for what you give there are a couple good places to look.

I was recently listening to NPR and they had an interview with a moral philosopher who had started an organization dedicated to giving a significant portion of income to the most effective (and affective) charities. Giving What We Can has evaluated charity effectiveness based on case studies, control trials, statistical evidence, etc. You can read about Giving What We Can on their website. The arguments for giving and giving to their top three charities is very compelling and very interesting. You can listen to the interview with the founder Toby Ord here.

If you want more comprehensive information about more charities (including ones that get poor ratings) you can also visit another charity evaluator, this one based in the US, Give Well. They have three top charities, but include information about others. If there is a particular type of charity you want to give to (microfinance, health, etc.) they can give you suggestions for good recipients as well as steer you clear of any charities that are ineffective.

My own family will be giving this year and in the coming year and I will be relying on these sources to help my money go further.

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