PaperBackSwap Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Discussion Forums’

Musings, Memories and Miscellany from our MoM’s

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

We are starting a new tradition on the PBS Blog.  We will be sharing musings, memories and miscellany from our MoM’s past and present.

Today our featured Member of the Month is Marilyn (NellieBly).  She was MoM in February 2011.

This is Margaret, Marilyn’s oldest daughter, replying on her behalf.  We asked her to share about her experiences at PBS and this is what she said:

I have been a PBS member for more than five years although I was never as active as my husband was. We heard about PBS on public radio and did not think such a wonderful idea could possibly be workable. I haunted the website for several months, decided it could work and took the plunge. Several months later my husband, who was retired, joined also and PBS became one of the joys of his life.

The impact was immediate and pleasing. We lost some of our old cherished books over the years to fire and flood and were able to replace them here, sometimes with the exact edition and cover art. We found good homes for books we cared to read only once. We found ourselves ordering books outside our usual comfort zones, stretching a bit and enjoying our new finds.

We also enjoyed finding books for friends who were elderly or ill. One memorable occasion: my husband let it slip that we were obtaining books for a dear friend who was on her third trip through chemotherapy. Immediately people gave credits and posted books directly to us so that she could have good books to while away the uncomfortable hours.

That is the kind of generosity of spirit one finds only at PBS.

If you have any nominations for Member of the Month, submit them to us here.  Your nomination will not “expire”–anyone you nominate will have a chance at getting Member of the Month if enough nominations accumulate over time. Each month the person who has the most votes accumulated when the Newsletter goes to press gets to be Member of the Month and gets a newsletter mention and a nifty MoM icon to wear on profile and forum posts with pride.  So go for it! Tell us who’s helped you in the Forums, who’s been a great swapper, who in your opinion is a credit to PBS.  We are keeping a list of all the nominated members.  Who knows–one of them might be YOU!

NEWS: Newsletter – January 2009

Tuesday, January 6th, 2009

We have heard your cries! Yes, the chant (What do we want? Printed Postage for Box-O-Books! When do we want it? Real soon!) has finally been answered.   All you Boxers can give your vocal cords a rest because Printable Postage for Box-O-Books is now available!  (Yay, Team!) You can read about the Box-O-Books service here.

New Forums! Yes, we have lovely new icons in the Discussion Forums, if we do say so ourselves…AND new Forums to boot!  Check ’em out:

Health & Fitness Forum

Going Green

Money Saving Tips

Postal Rate increase. NOT for Media Mail or First Class mail, folks, which are the only rates we recommend using here!  But for those of you who sometimes use Priority Mail, here’s a heads -up from USPS:  On January 18, 2009, prices will change for Express Mail, Priority Mail, Parcel Select, Parcel Return Service and some international shipping products. Overall, shipping services prices will increase an average of 5 percent. The new prices are available at http://www.usps.com/prices  (click “New Shipping Prices” box). Don’t worry if you are a typical PBS member who uses Media Mail or First Class mail – this change won’t affect you.

Thank you! We appreciate how many people have given credits and/or money to become Friends of PBS.  We applaud your generous spirits, and please know that with each donation you are helping PBS stay strong and grow better!  Members can give here, and see the list of local and recently-added friends here.

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.

DEAR LIBRARIAN: Newsletter – April 2008

Tuesday, April 1st, 2008

Dear Librarian–I ordered books from a member in a 2 for 1 deal advertised in the Book Bazaar: I ordered one book from her bookshelf, and she was supposed to include a freebie.  But then I got only one book, no freebie, and when I sent a Personal Message to the member she said she was never running a deal at all!  What the heck happened?  –Feeling Bamboozled in Boston

Dear Bossy,

One of two things could have happened here.  (1) You could have requested the book from the wrong person; or (2) your request was passed along from the original person to a new sender.

(1) means that you were not on the specific member’s page when you submitted the request.  You have to click Order This Book on the specific member’s bookshelf (nowhere else) in order to be sure that request is submitted to her.  You can read more instructions in the Help doc How do I direct my request for a book to a specific member? in the Help Center.

(2) means that you submitted the request to the correct person, but if you had Requestor Conditions the book didn’t meet, she may have declined your request.  Or she didn’t mark the book mailed in time, and the request canceled.  In both cases, your request would have passed to a new sender, who could not know that you had arranged to get a “freebie” book from the other member.

To prevent (1) from happening, be sure to follow the instructions in the Help doc linked above.  To prevent (2) from happening, you can make your Requestor Conditions clear when you discuss the “deal” in PMs before submitting your request, or simply toggle your Requestor Conditions to “off” (and click Update) in your Account Settings before submitting that request.  It is harder to make sure the sender marks the book mailed in time (that is up to her), but you can remind her by PM if you are concerned, and also keep an eye on your “deal” requests on your My Account page.  The deadline to mark a book mailed is 2 days after the mailby date that shows in the Request Details (or 5 days after the accepted date, if that is what shows in the details).  If a “deal” book is not marked mailed by the deadline (if you do not get an email telling you it was mailed before then), you should be sure to cancel the new request that takes its place on your My Account page, because that new request will be with a new sender.

The system wasn’t designed for “unofficial” deals like this; deals were something that the members created themselves.  We are considering making some changes to the request process purely for those who make “deals” on the site, because they have become so popular! Stay tuned.

Dear Librarian–I got a book and read it, but it didn’t survive the read.  The book looked okay when it arrived, and it was a great read, but now that I am done with it there are pages falling out. I can’t repost this book–should I ask for my credit back from the sender?  –Surprised in Santa Rosa

Dear Rosa,

Sounds like this book was on its “last read” when you got it.  Books do have a lifespan, and eventually if read enough will wear out.  I don’t think you should ask for your credit back–you say the book looked fine to post, and the sending member was able to read it without it falling apart.   And you did get to read it before the book gave up the ghost.  Books do need to meet the Book Posting Guidelines as described in the Help Center, and the vast majority of books will stand up to many, many reads.   If the book meets the guidelines (and any requestor conditions on the request) the sender can’t be faulted for posting and sending it.

So now it is time to retire it from PBS bookshelves: you can’t repost it (not even if you are good at repairing books–there are members who offer simple repair tips in the Discussion Forums, and you can consult them if a book is not too far gone), but (if all the pages are there) you can offer it as a freebie incentive with an order from your bookshelf in a post in the Book Bazaar Discussion Forums.  If it is just done, you can simply recycle it.

We  know it is disappointing not to be able to repost this book.  But remember, this won’t happen very often to any one member.  It will probably happen once or twice to some; and some members will never encounter this. If it happens to you, enjoy the read and know that it won’t happen again for a long time (if ever).  Yes, the book cost you a credit, but that’s a lot less than buying it from most used bookstores, and the book served a lot of readers well.  We are glad you enjoyed the read.  Tell that book to rest in peace.

My Account / Discussion Forums: Newsletter – June 2007

Wednesday, June 6th, 2007

My Account To Do List: If there is a checkmark on the right side of the toolbar at the top of the page when you login, that means you have things on your To Do list. Place your cursor over the checkmark to see a menu of alerts drop down: pending requests, pending Wish List offers, transactions that need to be marked mailed, unread Personal Messages, new Box-O-Books offers, books to mark received when they arrive. You can access this menu from anywhere on the site and click any item in the list to be taken to the corresponding area of the site. The checkmark will NOT appear if you have nothing on your To Do list (no active transactions, unread PMs or new Box-O-Books offers).

Genre Discussion Forum Lineup: After much feedback, many suggestions and much monitoring of how the different Discussion Forums were being used, the lineup was changed on 5/31. Some unused forums were cut, some were renamed, and some were added. Those that were renamed may be in a different place alphabetically than before, but all the previous topics were preserved. Check out the lineup on the Main Discussion Forum page.

Calling all Book Clubbers: Newsletter – December 2006

Monday, December 4th, 2006

If you belong to a group that gathers periodically to discuss a book, please look in the Members’ Thoughts Discussion Forum for the sticky topic asking for your input on how PBS could be improved for book discussion groups. We know you’re out there, and we want to hear from you! The Discussion Forums are accessed by clicking the link in the left menu of any page on the site.

TIPS & TRICKS: Newsletter – May 2006

Friday, May 5th, 2006

For all you (temporarily) who are out of credits, — and you just have to have some more books, you can STILL order books without credits! If you are subscribed to the Box-O-Books feature, you are able to conduct one-on-one “creditless” swaps. So, if you are a Boxer who runs low on credits, you can search for your books in the Box-O-Books area (instead of the regular Search). If any Boxers have the books you are looking for, you can offer to swap your books for theirs. Click here to learn more about this great program.

Banish those bugs with Firefox! If you have intermittent trouble navigating (or even logging into) the PBS site, the problem may well be your browser. Not that there is anything wrong with other browsers , but it’s just that there’s so much right with Firefox. It is the most stable, bug-free browser Robert could find, and it is free! You can download Firefox at www.mozilla.com. There are versions for PC and Macintosh (Mac owners should be sure to get the LATEST version, so that they are able to post to forums), and you can even import your bookmarks from your other browser if you like. Firefox users get to see some features of the PBS site that users of other browsers (ie, Internet Explorer) never get to see. So download Firefox, and improve your PBS experience today!

Just the Books, Ma’am! We have had a “rash” of inappropriate postings to bookshelves on PBS—DVDs, computer games, music CDs. We have even had some topics offering non-book items for credits in the Discussion Forums. This is a gentle reminder that PBS is a bookswapping site only—the kind with pages, and the audio kind (originals only, on cassettes or Audio CDs). Other items will be removed as we discover them. If you notice an inappropriate item being offered for credits on a bookshelf or in a Forum topic, please report it in the thread in the Questions about PBS Discussion Forum at http://www.paperbackswap.com/forum/view_topic.php?t=9603.