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Topic: Did anybody else feel like they got slapped with the BIR change?

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Subject: Did anybody else feel like they got slapped with the BIR change?
Date Posted: 8/23/2008 12:29 AM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2008
Posts: 562
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If I'm not mistaken the BIR page is somwhat a duplicate of the books I have posted, I went to my BIR page today and can't see it until I "rate" 200 books, (I would assume that page has a 200 book limit) I have over 1,000 books posted, want to make a bet I have to rate all of them before I can see my list?


BIR list conversion page

Implemented August, 2008

The BIR (Books I've Read) List conversion page is a one-time conversion of all the books you have read from "unstarred" to "starred".  This is the easiest way to rate all the books you have read by applying star ratings to them, from 1 star (hated it) to 5 stars (loved it!!).

Why do you have to do this?

  • Well, you don't have to, but...you won't be able to see your BIR list until all of the unrated books on the Conversion page have been rated (or marked Not Read, if you never did read them).
  • Once you have applied Star Ratings to the books you have read, this will not only help other members to have an at-a-glance notion of whether or not they might like a book, but will also
    • help your Similarity Index (read more about this in Bookshelf Upgrade) and
    • make the Book Browser ability to search for highly-rated books more useful and more accurate!

To use the BIR Conversion page to convert your BIR list to all rated books:

  • go to your Books I've Read list, under My Lists in My Account
  • The books currently on your BIR list that have not been rated by you will appear on the page.
  • Choose the number of stars under each book shown, or click  on the right if you didn't read-- or don't remember how much you liked-- the book. Clicking the NR button will delete the book from your BIR list, and this cannot be undone.
    • To choose stars, just drag left to right, or click the rightmost star of your rating.  For example, if a book is 4 stars, click the 4th star from the left, and all of those 4 stars will fill in with gold to show you have rated the book 4 stars.
  • Your rating will be shown in gold stars (replacing the blue "club rating" stars).
  • To clear your star rating, click to the right of your rating.
  • When you have rated the books on the list, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click Done.
    • You can of course do this in several 'sessions' if you have a lot of books to rate
    • Remember to scroll down and click Done before leaving the page, to apply the ratings you have set.
  • When you have rated or removed all books on your BIR list, from then on you will not see the BIR Conversion page.  Going to the Books I've Read page will show you the list of books you have read.

Note that whenever you have an opportunity to add a book to your BIR list, you will be asked to star-rate it.  In fact, this will be required in order to add a book to your BIR list. 

Star ratings that appear on book listings will also now show how many members contributed to the rating.  This will help browsers know how "solid" a rating is!



If I'm not mistaken the BIR page is somwhat a duplicate of the books I have posted, I went to my BIR page today and can't see it until I "rate" 200+ books, I have over 1,000 books posted, want to make a bet I have to rate all of them before I can see my list?

Date Posted: 8/23/2008 1:50 AM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,805
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yes - sseveral of us felt that way too   How Does Everybody Feel About The Change To The Bir List?

Date Posted: 8/23/2008 3:51 AM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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I did it but I only had the 200 to rate - my pre-PBS books I've read aren't all on here.  And I couldn't remember most of them in detail..  So I basically estimated and rated 3.5 to 4.5 for them depending on whether I ended up liking and looking for the author again.  So all these ratings I'm betting won't help produce an accurate group rating until we are all rating current reads.  I really wish I had rated all my BIR as I went along.  The main reason I didn't is that the old ones that I marked as having read were very old ones and I didn't want to skew the results with a guess rating.  So there you go. If you really want to rate them or gain access to your BIR you can do what I did - it doesn't take long.  If you know you read it too long ago just delete it because you'll remember it on your own.


Date Posted: 8/23/2008 7:23 AM ET
Member Since: 12/21/2007
Posts: 1,642
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I'm wondering how accurate the ratings will be even with the mandatory rating. For me, I've decided I just won't use the BIR list any longer. I don't want to be told I have to rate something, and I suspect many folks aren't going to really take time to determine if the book was a 3 or a 4 or a 5. They'll just click wherever their cursor happens to be.

Date Posted: 8/23/2008 7:54 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,603
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Didn't bother me, I never use that feature here. I'm sure I have a bunch of books on there, but it's not very accurate. In fact, I should just delete them all and save a bit of drain on the system. :o)  I have all my books read catalogued at LibraryThing as well as on my Book Bag program on my Palm Pilot and those are what I keep up to date.


Date Posted: 8/23/2008 8:10 AM ET
Member Since: 5/29/2007
Posts: 13,347
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I just rated them wherever my cursor was.  How much more effecient the rating system would have been if users had been given a choice to either skip that process or not.  Based on what I've read, a number of people hated the process and just rated them wherever their cursor was, but then I saw that some  people enjoyed the process and didn't mind appropriately rating their books.  A small percentage of appropriately rated books are much more helpful than a large group of randomly rated books because folks just rated as quickly as they could to get thru the process.

Last Edited on: 8/23/08 8:18 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/23/2008 8:47 AM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2007
Posts: 2,696
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I didn't feel "slapped" by the change to the BIR system...there was an email coming out saying there would be changes implemented.  I rated I think 428 books and it didn't take that long and I paid attention to how I was rating them.  Keep in mind you don't have to do them all in one sitting and then each time you add a book to it you rate it then so, no more piling up.

Date Posted: 8/23/2008 1:20 PM ET
Member Since: 2/14/2005
Posts: 1,075
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I have ~1600 on my list & I don't mind.  I've just been doing a few at a time, as the mood strikes.   

Date Posted: 8/23/2008 1:40 PM ET
Member Since: 5/29/2007
Posts: 13,347
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It wasn't a time issue for me.  I didn't want to do it. 

Date Posted: 8/23/2008 2:02 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I had 482 to do and I just hit the 5th star on all of them.  A lot of people have admited to just hitting a star to get it done because they want to keep the BIR.  So now the star ratings will be meaningless.  I didn't pay attention to them anyway.  I like having the BIR list because I tend to forget that I've read a book until I reorder it and then have dejavu when I'm start readin it again.

Date Posted: 8/23/2008 6:18 PM ET
Member Since: 1/14/2008
Posts: 346
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There should be an option to not rate. Like what Netflix does 1-5, not interested, and no rating.

Date Posted: 8/23/2008 9:19 PM ET
Member Since: 4/20/2006
Posts: 5,763
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I guess I'm confused about the problem with the BIR page, because I never put anything on my BIR page EXCEPT for, well, books I've read.  When you post a book, there's a box or something that you check (or uncheck...I can't remember) if it's a book you've read.  I suppose it would be a pain if you never cared about the BIR section and just ignored it before.  But I guess I'm wondering, if people ignored their BIR section before and didn't use it for keeping track of the books they had read, why worry about using it now?  I had a couple hundred books in the BIR section, but I didn't have to change anything.

It just seems to me like the problem is mostly stemming from people who were mis-using the BIR feature.

Date Posted: 8/24/2008 2:45 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2005
Posts: 2,390
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Amanda: That (*#%* box on posting is checked by default and there is no way to change the default (that I've ever found).

I don't use the BIR list, I don't want to, and I post mainly books I haven't. I tend to post books en masse as well, and I don't always get that stupid box unchecked.

Yes, I will continue to ignore it, but I'd rather they just make it so the books didn't go there in the first place. 

I get nervious if they are making changes to lists I've ignored & I have things on them. It stems from getting 400 books on my main shelf when the Books To Repost was combined with the Bookshelf.   I am glad to see warning this time!

Last Edited on: 8/24/08 2:50 PM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 8/24/2008 3:38 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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The only time I paid attention to my BIR list before was when I was looking at someone's shelf and saw the note that is was on my BIR.  I have no real interest in reviewing and rating books.  I never know what to say on them and generally I like all the books I read.  I really don't want to have to decide how many stars to give them.  I never really look at my BIR.  There are books in there that I didn't read but posted on here.  I just like seeing that BIR when I'm looking at shelves because I've been an avid reader for 30yrs now and can't remember what I've read.  I didn't even notice I had 2 copies (dif ISBN) of the same book in my TBR pile until I was unpacking book boxes and noticed 2 of them.