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Topic: New here & need help regarding details of traded books

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Subject: New here & need help regarding details of traded books
Date Posted: 1/5/2011 3:15 AM ET
Member Since: 10/9/2010
Posts: 2
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I'm very much new here.  I belong to another trading site, but I wanted to try this one out since it's just books.  It's taken me a while to get started because simply put...this seems to be a very confusing site!  One main thing I wanted to know was is there a way to see details of the conditions of the books being traded?  I just listed a whole bunch of books and it never asked me to describe condition like other sites do.  I don't get that...how do you know if you're trading a new book for a very used book?  I know there are books you shouldn't post if they are in VERY bad shape, but I still think you should be able to see conditions on both sides before accepting any trades.  Did I miss where to do this somewhere? 

I'm still unsure of many other things...like the credits and things like that (especially the free book thing), but the condition question was my main concern.  Thanks in advance for any help on this!

Date Posted: 1/5/2011 3:25 AM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,398
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All books must meet the guidelines.  There is no details about the individual book.  But there is a way to mark a received book if it does not meet the guidelines. (AKA RWAP, Received With A Problem)

From help:

When you Post a book, you are asked to confirm that the book is "in good condition, and not excessively worn".  It is impossible to list all of the ways in which a book might be considered excessively worn, but the criteria below are as comprehensive as we have been able to make them.

If you feel your book falls into a "grey area", you can either post the book and send a Personal Message to the requestor, or not post the book.  We have delineated what we can, and we expect members to follow these guidelines, and use their common sense in cases that are unclear.  If you would not mind "paying" a credit for a book you are considering posting, then it is probably okay to post.  However, book condition can be a subjective matter.  Keep in mind that a pattern of sending out poor-condition or inappropriate books will jeopardize a sender's membership.

These Guidelines are not suggestions.  They are criteria to which all books Posted here MUST comply.

All of the information below apply both to swapping for credits and Box-O-Books swapping.

General remarks:

  • This is a used-book swapping site; books are not expected to be in like-new condition.
    • Older books may have some page yellowing or spine-creasing or dogeared pages; these are all OKAY.
    • Decirculated library books may have various markings and/or stamps inside or outside or on the page edges of the book; this is OKAY.  These may not obscure text.
    • BookCrossing books may have stickers or stamps or markings on the outside or inside covers or page edges of the book; this is OKAY. These may not obscure text.
    • Hardbacks do NOT have to include their dustjackets.
    • Audiobooks MUST be the original cassettes/CDs, but do NOT have to include the outer "box" that held the set.
    • Audiobooks must be playable and have all the CDs/cassettes.
    • Books that require batteries to work do NOT have to have working batteries.
    • "Playaway" books must include working headphones.
    • There is an exception to general condition guidelines for textbooks; see below.
    • There is an exception to general condition guidelines for cookbooks; see below.
    • There is an exception to general condition guidelines for travel guides; see below.
  • We do NOT have a place for members to describe the condition of a particular copy of a book.
    • ALL books on PBS are expected to be in "good, not excessively worn" condition
    • Books are requested in FIFO (first-in, first-out) order
  • If you would like your books to be in "better-than-PBS" condition :
    • You are responsible for setting Requestor Conditions on your account.

Guidelines:                                                                                                                                       

Overall Condition:

  • No damage at all from water or other liquid
  • Not soiled
  • No stains (exception for cookbooks--see below)
  • No mold
  • no highlighting, underlining or writing on text pages (exception for Textbooks/Workbooks and travel guidebooks --see below)

Dust Jacket:

  • The DUST JACKET (this is not the same as the cover of a book) does not have to be included with a book at all, unless the requestor had this in their Requestor Conditions. 
  • So DUST JACKET condition cannot be considered as part of the condition of a book, unless there were Requestor Conditions on the request specifying that the dust jacket be included.
  • If the Dust Jacket was to be included as specified in the Requestor Conditions on the request, the Dust Jacket must meet the same conditions as defined for the cover, below.

Cover:

  • Must both be present (front and back)
    • note that a paperback missing its front cover is  usually an illegal, unsold copy
    • "cover" does not = dust jacket.  Hardcovers do not need to include their dust jackets to be swapped here.
  • Cover not water damaged (there may be no water damage to any part of the book)
  • Cover not torn or chewed/gnawed
    • some used book stores cut out a small part of the cover; if the amount missing is less than 1 square inch, this is OKAY
    • a small rip (less than 1 inch) in the cover is OKAY
    • yes, that does say "chewed/gnawed" above.  That means no pet-chewed (or human-chewed) books.
  • A bookplate inside the cover or on the flyleaf is OKAY

Binding:

  • Must be intact, with no separation on the inside or outside of the book
  • If the book tends to open at a particular page, this is OKAY
  • Small amount of fraying or denting at top or bottom is OKAY

Pages:

  • No torn or chewed/gnawed pages
    • yes, that does say "chewed/gnawed".  That means no pet-chewed (or human-chewed) books.
  • No loose or missing text pages
    • for travel guide books - maps if designed to be detachable may be detached, but must be included.
  • Cover not water damaged (there may be no water damage to any part of the book)
  • No writing or highlighting or underlining on text pages
    • a signature or note on the flyleaf or inside front or back cover is OKAY
    • an author's signature on the title page is OKAY
    • writing or highlighting or underlining on the text pages is NOT OKAY
      • Exception: if it is a textbook or workbook, these are expected to have highlighting/underlining/writing
        • if you post a textbook/workbook, the condition must be described to the requestor in a Personal Message
        • AND the described condition MUST BE AGREED TO in a reply PM before the book is sent
        • This is the one of the ONLY three cases in which a PM exchange about a book is required before the book can be sent (the others are for travel guidebooks and cookbooks--see below).
      • Exception: if it is a travel guide (not a picture book but a guide, such as Fodor's or Lonely Planet), some writing on text pages could be expected.  All maps must be present and included with the book - if detachable it is OK if they are detached, but they must not be missing.
        • if you post a travel guide that has writing in it, the condition must be described to the requestor in a Personal Message
        • AND the described condition MUST BE AGREED TO in a reply PM before the book is sent
        • This is the one of the ONLY three cases in which a PM exchange about a book is required before the book can be sent (the others are for textbooks/workbooks and cookbooks--see above and below).
    • No staining

      • Exception: Cookbooks may have some mild staining, since these are used in the kitchen and while cooking, and some minor degree of staining could be expected in a used cookbook.  Also a small amount of writing in cookbooks could be expected
        • HOWEVER, if you post a cookbook and it is stained and/or written-in, the condition must be described to the requestor in a Personal Message
        • AND the described condition MUST BE AGREED TO in a reply PM before the book is sent
        • This is the one of the ONLY three cases in which a PM exchange about a book is required before the book can be sent (the others are for travel guidebooks and textbooks/workbooks--see above).
    • this exception applies to the covers of cookbooks also.
  • Page edges: remainder marks are OK.  A name written on the page edges is okay (if it does not bleed in and obscure text on the text pages)

Audiobooks

  • Audiobooks must be originals--not copies!
    • Copies are illegal.  Swapping illegal materials here will get you expelled from the club.
    • burned audio downloads are not permitted on the site--these could be legal (being the only copies you made), but since there is no way to verify this, they are not permitted.
  • Audiobooks do NOT have to include the box that enclosed the individual cassettes/CDs
    • The audiobooks should be packaged well if the box is missing, to prevent damage by USPS en route
    • Audio CDs must be shipped in CD cases/DVD cases, to protect them from scratching, if the original box is missing
  • Audiobooks must be playable to be swapped here, without more than two (minor) skips.
  • "Playaway" audio books must include the headphones (batteries do NOT have to be included).

Interactive books

  • These include popup books and children's books that have interactive functions (LEDs, sounds, etc).
  • The functions must be working (popups not torn, sounds/lights functional etc).
  • If these items have replaceable batteries, these do NOT have to be included.

Supplementary/Accompanying Materials:

  • Books that require supplementary Media materials MAY be posted -  the supplementary Media materials MUST be included.

    • supplementary Media materials include CD(s)/CD-ROMs/DVD(s)/VHS tape(s)
    • if the book originally included supplementary Media materials, the supplementary materials must accompany the book for the book to be postable.
    • The supplementary materials cannot be posted alone - both the book and the supplementary media must be included in the posting.  
    • These combination listings are valued at 1 credit.
  • Books that require non-Media supplementary materials MAY NOT be posted

    • an example would be a book that requires a decoder or craft materials
    • these items cannot be sent MediaMail
    • These items cannot be posted here - because a used book cannot be expected to have original accompanying NON-media items, and if the book is not usable without the non-media items, the book must not be posted.
  • Books that originally had accompanying non-Media materials that are not required to read the book (ie, jewelry) MAY be posted.
    • The extra material does not have to be included, and if it is included, the book must not be sent using Media mail rate.
  • Books that require batteries to work do NOT have to include the batteries, but the books MUST be in working condition.
  • The member who sends a book that requires batteries must test the book before posting it, and again before sending it.  The batteries do not have to be included when it is shipped (although they can be), but the item must have been tested and working before the item is sent.

 



Last Edited on: 1/5/11 3:26 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/5/2011 3:36 AM ET
Member Since: 10/9/2010
Posts: 2
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Thanks for the quick response!  Sadly, it doesn't look like this is going to be a place for me.  It's way too confusing and I like knowing conditions of books before I get them.  Also, I just got a request for a book I just put up.  But I'm not getting any book in return...something else that confuses me.  I thought this was a swapping site?  But according to the email I got, I would get one credit to give someone else the book.  From what I read somewhere, you need 10 credits to get a free book.  So does that mean I'd have to ship out 10 books just to get one??  Seems a bit unfair.  I don't get the credit thing at all.  I like my trades one for one, and knowing what I'm getting and what I have to trade for it at the time of transaction. 

I just spent all this time adding books, but I'm going to have to cancel now.  It seems this site works for some people otherwise it wouldn't be here, but I just don't get it.  =/ 

Date Posted: 1/5/2011 4:33 AM ET
Member Since: 2/26/2009
Posts: 35,637
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The site is actually very easy to use.

When you send someone a book, you get 1 credit.  Then you can use that credit to request a book. Everytime you send someone a book, you will get 1 credit.

You get 2 free credits for joining the site once you post 10 books.  Depending on the books you post. some may be ordered immediately ( especially if they are wish list), but others may sit on your shelf for a while.

I have been a member for about a year and a half,  99% of the books met the book condition guidelines.  When they don't, you can mark it a rwap-  and ask for the credit back-  sometimes you will get it, sometimes you won't. 

Date Posted: 1/5/2011 6:35 AM ET
Member Since: 5/15/2005
Posts: 1,328
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I just spent all this time adding books...

Just a tip should you decide to stay: if you click on the Post Books tab, then Post Multiple Books, you can add up to 100 books at a time by entering each ISBN in the little boxes. I've tried a few different bookswapping sites before choosing this one and it really is the easiest and quickest as far as adding books goes. 

Also, if you want books in a condition over and above the site's minimum requirements, you can add a Requestor Condition under the Settings tab.

Date Posted: 1/5/2011 7:03 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I'm not getting why you start offering books for trade without reading up on any of hte rules and such.  When I joined, I took a few days to read the rules and help docs before I posted and sent out any books. 

I find this site much, much easier to use then bookmooch.  The forums there suck and it's hard to find any information over there. People don't always list the flaws of a book, there's no posting guidelines so nothing you can do if you get a crappy book.  And with no lines for book it can take forever to get a WL book there.

Date Posted: 1/5/2011 7:11 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I wouldn't do the multiple book posting at a time without investigating if they are WL or not.  Unless you can afford to mail out half of them in a week.  I personally can't afford to have 100 credits tied up in a book trading site.  Not many people can these days.  I know from personal experience that if you just start posting large quantities of books w/o checking their status first, you can end up mailing 20 or 30 books a week for awhile.

The upside of doing a site where you get pts or credits for your books instead of doing a book for book trade-is that you don't have to wait to find someone who has a book you want to move yours out.  You can send them out and then use your pts on a book you really want.



Last Edited on: 1/5/11 7:13 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/5/2011 9:04 AM ET
Member Since: 7/22/2009
Posts: 2,617
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Welcome to PBS, Kimberly. While I can't tell you whether or not you should stay, I can say that I (like many others) enjoy this site, and find it quite easy to use.

Because this site operates on a first-in, first-out (FIFO) basis, a description of book condition is irrelevant. What this means is that books that are posted first are sent out first. So if you are posting the 10th copy of a book, orders for that book will go to the 9 members who have posted that book before you -- then it's your turn. When you order a book, your order goes to the member whose copy of the book was posted before any of the other available copies.

As indicated above, posted books must meet certain criteria. If you want books that exceed those criteria (e.g., hardbacks must have dust jackets, no books from smokers' homes, etc.), you are welcome to add a requestor's condition (RC). If you receive books that do not meet the basic criteria or your RCs, then you mark them RWAP (received with a problem) and may ask for your credit back -- which may or may not happen depending on the circumstances and the sender. Personally, almost all books that I've received have been in very good to excellent condition.

As Adrienne noted, for every book you send out, you get one credit (audio books are worth two credits). When you join and post your initial 10 books, you are given two credits as a "welcome" gift which you may then spend on available books.  If you want books that are not available, you can put them on your wish list (WL) -- which operates on a first-come, first-serve basis.

As Mary suggested, it would probably be worth your while to read through some of the help documents and the Questions about PBS Discussion Forum, especially the Tips for New Members thread.

Happy swapping!



Last Edited on: 1/5/11 9:05 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/5/2011 9:46 AM ET
Member Since: 2/23/2009
Posts: 96
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Welcome to the site! I'm sorry you are finding the site confusing, but I hope you hang in here. I've tried a couple of other swapping sites with not much success. I like being able to send a book and get the credit to order something else. I use site postage so I get my credit upon mailing. I'm surprised you didn't read up on the posting guidelines and swapping before posting anything, but before getting discouraged I hope you give it some time. The site has pretty good posting restrictions and you can also add requestor conditions as someone stated above. I have no books from smoking  home (due to allergies) and dustjackets on hardcovers. I have been here almost 2 years now and have had very good success here. I also joined swapadvd (sister site) and I like that I can transfer credits among the sites too.

I had a lot of trouble getting swaps approved on another site and a lot of hassles, but I have been very happy here. I hope you will be too.

Date Posted: 1/5/2011 10:03 AM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2008
Posts: 15,690
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From what I read somewhere, you need 10 credits to get a free book.

This is NOT TRUE. You need only 1 credit to get a book (2 credits for audiobooks).

Like others have mentioned, I suggest you spend some time reading the rules of the site - you can find everything you need to know in the Help Docs. This site is relatively easy to use but you may be confused because you are thinking of the way other swapping sites work which is different as to how PBS works. Just don't compare PBS to other sites, read the rules and once you understand how things work, then you would be able to make an informed decision as to whether PBS works for you or not.

I hope you'll find the site useful and you'll stay!

 

Date Posted: 1/5/2011 10:16 AM ET
Member Since: 7/12/2010
Posts: 4,177
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Don't give up so easily.  Take a few moments to look through the help topics; and you'll be on your way to swapping books in no time.  Once you get the hang of it, it is very, very easy.  Plus, the majority of folks around here are more than happy to help out. Heck just look, in about 7 hours you got 10 responses to your post.

Welcome!
-RD



Last Edited on: 1/5/11 10:18 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/5/2011 10:24 AM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2009
Posts: 2,469
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Welcome Kimberly, If you stay and see how it works, it will all make sense. One credit for one book. As for condition  beyond what others have said, obviously a well read  10 year old paperback may show more wear than a  newer less read hardback of poetry. Here it is more about finding the books you like to read and share. They still need to meet postability guide lines and some books you receive are like new, but it is not guaranteed. If you like to read, you will like it here.  Stay for awhile and give us a chance.

Date Posted: 1/5/2011 11:56 AM ET
Member Since: 6/13/2009
Posts: 503
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I have say...most of the books I have received are in awesome like new condition....you should give the site a chance before you leave
Date Posted: 1/5/2011 12:30 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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As you've seen, the site has basic conditions the books have to meet before anyone can post books. I hope you'll read the conditions carefully, because it could cause problems if any of the books you've already posted don't meet the basic requirements! So I'd go back and check them to make sure. If not, you can remove them from offer to the club. That's why you should always read a site's rules before actually doing anything. All sites have different rules, and you want to make sure you're following all of them before joining in.

If you want books in better condition than the site requires, you can fill out a "Requestor Condition" and when ever anyone gets an order from you they will see the extra conditions you're asking for. It could be that you don't want books from a smoking household. You can request that they not come from one. Then the person who gets your book request can accept or deny your request. If they deny and there are more books in the system, your request will go to the next person in line.

You have to remember that the site works on the FIFO system. First In, First Out. So the books you post will wait in a line and they'll be requested when the books in line first have been ordered. Showing the condition of every book would slow the site down, because you're not going to see a whole list of people with the book you're looking for. You'll just see the first person in line.

That's why the site has basice requirements on book conditions. You know you should get a book that meets basic standards, and you can request anything above and beyond that and let the system find the right book for you.

Date Posted: 1/5/2011 2:33 PM ET
Member Since: 5/15/2005
Posts: 1,328
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I wouldn't do the multiple book posting at a time without investigating if they are WL or not. 

Good point Mary.

Date Posted: 1/5/2011 2:37 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,171
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Well said Cindy!

Welcome to PBS Kimberly, I hope you give PBS a chance (or at least become familiar with the guidelines) before you make a final decision.

Oops - Kimberly's account is showing suspended/closed.  So apparently she waited a couple months before looking at the rules then left in a couple hours.



Last Edited on: 1/5/11 2:41 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/5/2011 2:53 PM ET
Member Since: 1/20/2009
Posts: 2,680
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Wow, she could have at least given it a fair chance, instead of just having wrong assumptions (ten credits per book, for example) and leaving based on those. She didn't even really try to figure it out first. :-( It's not confusing at all after the first couple transactions you do. It's only the first time that it can be a little confusing figuring everything out.

This is why I wish people would read the Help Docs before leaping right in and posting books and everything. I read a good portion of them first, to see what I was getting into, before even joining the site. That way, I could make sure the books I posted were in acceptable condition. Then, when I got my first request, I could jump right in, because I knew what to do and how everything worked. I don't know why people make a commitment to something like this without knowing what they're agreeing to.

Sianeka - ,
Date Posted: 1/5/2011 3:15 PM ET
Member Since: 2/8/2007
Posts: 6,630
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She's gone before I even got to this topic!  Bummer, I wanted to tell her about Tour Guides to help her navigate the site and clarify anything she didn't understand from the Help Center...

Date Posted: 1/5/2011 5:48 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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Well, at least there's TONS of excellent advice here for other newbies.  It is a shame, though.

Date Posted: 1/5/2011 5:57 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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That's why I think there should be something more than just jump in and get free books. I know it's changed since I joined, but there just isn't any incentive to look for and find the rules and read them. But lots of incentive to just list books to get free credits.

I think in some way that every newbie should have to go through the rules and maybe answer a simple test at the end before getting their credits. Nothing too hard, but enough to say that 1) They've had all the rules in front of them and had a chance to read them, and 2) understood enough of the basics to have answered some questions correctly.

I think it's just too simple to jump in and post books without having to actually have read any of the instructions. Too many people don't even seem to know there are rules.

Date Posted: 1/5/2011 7:14 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I always wonder why people don't just use common sense and explore the site before they just jump in and start postng books.  When I joined, before I posted my first book, I looked to see if there were books I wanted listed, what the rules were etc..,  It's not hard to find.  You can find the answer to almost any question abotu PBS in the Help Center which is easy to find.

Date Posted: 1/5/2011 8:04 PM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2009
Posts: 2,469
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 I looked everything over before signing up because I did not want to commit to anything like the " Book of The Month Club" LOL   And if I can navigate this site anyone can. I was only confused by the alphabet of terms I kept seeing that everyone seemed to know: RC , DC, MM, PO,etc..LOL

Date Posted: 1/5/2011 8:56 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,463
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I always wonder why people don't just use common sense and explore the site before they just jump in and start postng books.  When I joined, before I posted my first book, I looked to see if there were books I wanted listed, what the rules were etc..,  It's not hard to find.  You can find the answer to almost any question abotu PBS in the Help Center which is easy to find.

I could not agree more Mary!  I do not understand how someone just signs up and starts posting books and THEN they start asking basic questions that they should have taken the time to read up on before joining or at least before posting books for swap.

I've looked at other swap sites too.  Not signed up for any of them, but I've spent time looking at how they work to determine if their system would work for me.  I spent a while reading up on the basics of PBS before I joined and even after I signed up so I'd know what I was doing.

Date Posted: 1/5/2011 10:27 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Me too. I looked at every book trading site out there before I picked PBS.  Then I learned the basic rules before I spent any money on postage. 

Date Posted: 1/5/2011 11:27 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,722
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Well, when I first joined I found the help docs very hard to find in the first place. And then hard to search to answer questions. I still think they are very hard to search unless you already know the wording that you are searching for. (I work in technical documentation, so I have a lot of opinions on the usefulness and organization of the help docs. I won't bore you guys to death.)

But I spent probably 8 or 10 hours reading this forum before I joined. And, that pretty much told me everything I needed to know. From that I figured out roughly how active the site was, how it worked, what kinds of problems people run into, and how they get solved. I was very favorably impressed by the forums, and that's basically why I joined.

I don't blame people for not wanting to read those help docs. I personally think there should be a big button right on the PBS home page that says "How Does This Site Work?" instead of burying that in a help menu.

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