PaperBackSwap Blog


Posts Tagged ‘Book Ratings’

Dear Librarian: Facebook Share, too many email alerts, those little stars

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

Dear Librarian – The “share” thing on Facebook has me confused.  I thought books were always ordered in the order in which they were posted.  Are you saying that if Joe Blow shares his book on Facebook it will jump ahead of mine that I have had posted for a month now?  That’s not fair!  – Worried in Weehauken

Dear Hawk,

We understand why this seems confusing, but don’t worry  – your book isn’t “knocked out of position” by a Facebook-shared book posting.  If Joe shares a book after posting it, then if any of Joe’s friends clicks that link on Facebook, Joe’s copy will be the one requested.  However, anyone else searching the database for the same book will get the earliest-posted copy.   Yes, Joe can “jump the line” for his friends to order from him.  Although this may not seem fair, we know that members often want to request books from their friends, and this is no different than “advertising” your Bookshelf in the Book Bazaar Discussion Forum, or recommending books on your Bookshelf using the Suggest a Book feature on the site, or just telling a friend to order directly from your Bookshelf.   So if a Facebook-shared book “jumps ahead” of your copy in line it may reassure you to know that the member who requests it from that link might not have requested that particular book at all without having seen the link from his or her friend.

Again, anyone searching the database for a book (instead of using that specific link) will still request the earliest-posted copy of that book first.  So FIFO is still the backbone of the swapping system, as it always has been.

Dear Librarian — I want the audio CD version of a specific book, because it’s going to be a great one to listen to while I am commuting to and from work.  I have the audio CD version on my Wish List.  I am getting a lot of notices telling me that other versions are available, but I don’t want other versions!  I usually love those emails because I can get wish list books so easily that way.  But I don’t want these emails for this book.  How can I stop getting them, and ONLY get notified about the audio CD version of this book?  — feeling Bombarded in Boston

Dear Bossy,

Thanks for writing in about this!  It’s actually really easy to control these alerts.  You can do this from the links **within the emails themselves.** An overview of the different options you have:

(1) If you do not wish to receive any alerts about a certain book at all, and you don’t want the book, just remove all versons of that title from your Wish List.

(2) If you are wishing for specific versions (ISBNs) of all of the titles on your Wish List, and you do not wish to receive notifications about any other versions of any of your Wish List books, you can opt out of this category of email alerts. To do this, just click that link in the alert email, OR adjust your email settings on your Account Settings page.

(3) If you want to block alerts about alternate versions of a specific title only (but you want to get those alerts for other books on your Wish List), you should click the link in the alternate version alert email to opt out of alerts for that title only.  There is no way to do this from the account settings – that option is available only from the email.

So in your situation, Bossy, you would want to use option #3 – click the link in the alert email that will let you opt out of alerts for alternate versions of this title.  That should cure your bombarded feeling. 🙂

Of course you can read more about managing your PBS emails in the Help Center.

Dear Librarian – I just posted a book and the stars next to it on my Bookshelf are grey!  What do the grey stars mean?  – Puzzled in Pataskala

Dear Pat,

The stars to the right of the book are grey because no one in the club has yet rated the book. If the stars were blue that would mean other people (but not you) have rated the book. If the stars were yellow it would mean that you have rated the book.  If you have read the book, you should definitely rate it!  Those little stars do a lot to tell browsing members what books they might want to request.  If every member rated just the books on his or her Bookshelf, it would be really helpful to the whole club!


The Last Word:

As always, don‘t forget to start your Amazon shopping from the link at the top of the PBS site – when you do this, a small percentage of your purchase amount comes to us.  Please note that if you are an e-book reader, it used to be that e-book purchases at Amazon did not count to support the PBS site, but now they do! So be sure that whenever you plan to purchase on Amazon, that you start from the Amazon link at the top of the PBS site. It’s an easy, free way to support the club!

NEWS: Newsletter – November 2008

Thursday, November 6th, 2008

All books have 5 star member ratings…. or read the latest book reviews.

If you can’t say something nice… Of course not all of our members will get along all of the time, but that’s no reason to lament!   You can tune out any “forum voice” that bothers you very easily, by clicking the Ignore this member link on the bottom of any forum post.   This action will apply to every past and future post by that member.  You can ignore as many people as you like; the member(s) won’t be alerted if you do this, and it is easy to undo if you have a change of heart later.   Read about how the Ignore feature works by clicking the What’s New link at the very top of any page on the site.

It’s back…and better than before! The Similarity Index wasn’t functioning as smoothly as we wanted when we first launched it.  So we retooled it and streamlined it, and now it’s working great.  We even expanded it–now the Index works not just for Buddies, but for ANY member who has a viewable profile – you can see the % similarity whenever you look at a public profile.  You can read more about this feature, why you might want to use it, how to use it, and what you can do to make it more accurate, by clicking the What’s New link at the very top of any page on the site.

Number the stars: Ever wondered how many ratings those stars under a book represent?  Now you can see the number of members contributing to the club’s average star rating, shown right next to the stars!  This tells you if a 5-star rating was one person’s opinion, or a consensus of dozens of people.

PBS Store News:  The PBS Cookbook is in the final stages.  We are just checking over the recipes to be sure everything is original (not copied from any bound or online source–recipe instructions can be copyright-protected).  So if you receive an email from us asking you to confirm that your submitted recipe is original, please reply to that email as soon as you can!  We want to get this book out as much as you all want to receive it.   Thanks to all who have been so patient about this – we think it’s going to be better than you even expect!  Anyone who wants to get a pre-order in can do this in the Kiosk.

Reach for the Stars. Newsletter – August 2008

Wednesday, August 6th, 2008

Upgraded feature. The first time you go to your Books I’ve Read list after the site changes go into effect, you will see the BIR conversion page which will ask you to star-rate every book there, before you can access the list itself.  If you have been using that list a lot, you may have a lot of clicking to do!  Think of it as public service, for the good of the club.  Star ratings really help other members by giving them an at-a-glance notion of whether they will like a book.  The more people who contribute stars to a book’s rating, the more helpful/representative it is.  Star ratings also contribute to the Similarity Index (read below) and make it a lot more powerful.  So get a-clicking!  Read more about the Books I’ve Read List Conversion Page here.

Rate Those Books and Shoot for the Stars! Newsletter – September 2005

Thursday, September 1st, 2005

With all of the books in the club it is sometimes hard to tell which books other members liked from the ones they didn’t. Well, with the latest improvement to the book rating system you will be able to rate a book easier than ever!

Any time you see stars next to a book on the site and you are logged in, you can just click on the stars to give it your rating. All ratings will be combined to provide an overall Member Rating for a book. Also, a new page has been added to your account so that you can see all of the books that you have rated. We’re counting on all of our members to ‘shoot for the stars’ at PaperBackSwap!