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Topic: New Members - ought to be a quiz before they can post/order books

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Subject: New Members - ought to be a quiz before they can post/order books
Date Posted: 5/12/2009 11:12 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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I noticed a book on my TBR shelf was WL'd here and since I really didn't care to read it I posted it.

well it was accepted and then the receiver sends me a PM to not send it if the book isn't in VERY good condition?  huh?  there are no RC's and it appears maybe this person is relatively new and doesn't realize PBS doesn't work like this.

I was rather irritated and decided to step back for a moment and see if I could determine how new they might be to PBS, it looks like under 2 months. 

so I sent back a message saying that PBS doesn't work this way.  They could either take my book that meets (and probably exceeds basic PBS rules) or cancel and add the book back to their WL.  I would have cancelled but there is someone else wishing for the book that would probably like to have it.  I also told them how to set up RC and where it was and if they wanted to put conditions on their request that they must fill that out.  that they can't do it in a PM.

and here I was hoping to get the book sent out before I left the country tomorrow.....no telling how this will play out!

oh and my title is because I think when you sign up you should have to read the rules and then take a quiz about the basics of the site!

Date Posted: 5/12/2009 11:17 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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wow, that member must have been online because the book was no longer pending.  of course I had to take my account back off of vacation hold so the book would go to the next person!

ETA and the book has been requested.  cool, I can mail it on my way out of town!



Last Edited on: 5/12/09 11:20 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/12/2009 11:40 PM ET
Member Since: 9/13/2007
Posts: 2,520
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Glad it worked out for you! I hope that person took your advice about setting up RCs.
Date Posted: 5/13/2009 12:44 AM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2009
Posts: 262
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I agree that the person should have read the Help docs a little more.   When I first joined, I spent lots of time there, but still had many questions, and sometimes something will come up that I hadn't thought of, and have no idea how to find it in Help.   I have had more help here than reading those alone.  Plus the forums are just WAY more fun!   :)   D. 

Date Posted: 5/13/2009 2:26 AM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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I've thought this as well, and I've posted about it.  A simple 5 question quiz could be given when they first post books - or when they first send out books.  They could get a quiz upon trying to get the address to send to.  But apparently that isn't what TPTB want to do.  Most of my WL books in the recent past have all come from brand new or fairly new members.  Fortunately, I only had problems with one.

Ruth

Date Posted: 5/13/2009 7:29 AM ET
Member Since: 8/31/2008
Posts: 2,608
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There were posts in the forum a while back about someone order ing a book from (I presume) a new member and the sender wanted the book back as she did not realize that this was not a "lending" site.  I thought that was pretty funny. 
I have had no problems on this site with folks newer the the site.  

Date Posted: 5/13/2009 9:19 AM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2009
Posts: 227
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I think a quiz would be great.

When I joined I got 2 PMs from my TG for the first few days.  I don't know if they were "form" like.  No matter. They were just helpful.  I could have used a few more.  Maybe it would bother people....But,  a new PM for the first 4 days with a new helpful hint might be nice.  For example, one that mentions book condition (acceptable as well as unacceptable).  Another that mentions book wrapping hints.  Another about what to expect when you accept or decline or don't respond at all to a request.   They would be friendly, brief, hit the must know points and include the link to the detailed explanations.

When I decided to check this site out, I read the "How to send Books" tutorial.   It showed how easy PBS was and definitely eased any concern about their being a catch.  It was perfect.  So, I got started .  Since joining, I know that the tutorial doesn't even come close to touching on the fine details.    So, if the majority of new folks leave it at just reading that,  there will be bumps in the road. 

I read the help docs, the forums and after 3 months,  I haven't experienced every situation to be able to say I know it all first hand.  So, I can't imagine not doing additional research.  Anything to get folks to read a bit more would definitely help.  A quiz before receiving the first 2 credits sounds like a cool idea.

 

 

 

 

Date Posted: 5/13/2009 12:34 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2009
Posts: 2,016
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I'm sorry that Leslie the OP had such an experience, and I'm glad that it got sorted out, but I'm not in favor of a quiz for perspective new members.

When I joined, I spent a few weeks reading all the help documents before posting any books. I would be insulted if I had to take a quiz in order to join the club. Moreover, taking a quiz doesn't necessarily guarantee that people would retain anything, especially if they can cut and paste, or just read to find the answer.  I recently was following a thread about the new WL, and many people stated that they would not have joined if PBS operated under the proposed new system. Likewise, I think fewer people would join if there was a quiz.

I think the quiz was suggested because it would help minimize the number of clueless members out there, but I think there are better ways, such as PMs from tour guides or help from the forums.

Date Posted: 5/13/2009 12:50 PM ET
Member Since: 2/11/2007
Posts: 808
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I agree with Sophia - it would be insulting. The system nagging to reminding one to mail a book, etc. is bad enough.

Date Posted: 5/13/2009 1:29 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
Posts: 166
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I think a quiz would be kind of annoying, but I also think people should know what they are doing before posting and sending out.  I think it's pretty easy to understand and didn't have too many problems.  Even with a quiz someone would still post unpostables and all of that stuff.  Unfortunately, there is no fool-proof way to stop it. 

Date Posted: 5/13/2009 1:39 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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Sophia, you are part of the smaller percentage of members (new and old) that have read the help documents.  many do not, hence why I suggested (tongue in cheek) the quiz.

Hopefully the person that had originally requested the book did set up RC if they wanted books in a certain condition.  I made sure to explain why I would not cancel the request and that they had to do so if they didn't want to "take a chance" on my book.  I would have most likely turned down her request if the RC were turned on because VERY good is subjective.  I think the book was in very good condition but they may not have.

Date Posted: 5/13/2009 1:47 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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If it ever came down to choices, I'd rather take a quiz than get informative inbox messages myself.  I  think people who can't be bothered to read the help docs wouldn't be any more likely to read those either, and the people who do read them would just have this extra flood of site mail to sift through.  And I think TGs do enough as it is without putting something like that on their plates as well:P  As far as a quiz being insulting goes, if it helped to weed out some of the people who don't understand how the site works & show no interest in learning, it wouldn't bother me in the least.

Date Posted: 5/13/2009 1:49 PM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2007
Posts: 2,508
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I actually didn't realize that there were book condition guidelines when I joined, and ended up having to return a credit on one of my very first trades. I can definitely see the argument for having some sort of "guidelines for books to be posted" interactive thing before one posts their first books.

 

Date Posted: 5/13/2009 2:13 PM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2006
Posts: 11,985
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I can definitely see the argument for having some sort of "guidelines for books to be posted" interactive thing before one posts their first books.

They already have this in place.  Every time you post a book the following "reminder" screen pops us to make sure the book you're posting is within PBS guidelines.

Please remember our club is based on honesty and integrity about our books. Books swapped at PaperBackSwap must be in good condition. In order to post this book it must meet the conditions below:

  1. My book is not missing its cover.
  2. My book is not an Advanced Reading Copy (ARC).
  3. My book has no water damage of any kind.
  4. My book has no writing, underlining or highlighting on text pages.
    (There is a textbook exception.)
  5. My book is not excessively worn, and it is in good condition.


Last Edited on: 5/13/09 2:13 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Amy
Date Posted: 5/13/2009 2:37 PM ET
Member Since: 3/11/2008
Posts: 1,716
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I've also had thoughts like this before, but I was thinking something along these lines: How about for the first two weeks that you're here, you're only allowed to post 15 books. Once that time is up, go crazy!

I can't tell you how many times I've come to the forums and seen new members post about how they think the system is unfair, how they've sent out 20 books and haven't even received one.

I don't know how feasible that is or even if it makes sense to others, but it's something I have thought about multiple times.

Date Posted: 5/13/2009 2:52 PM ET
Member Since: 1/19/2009
Posts: 2,054
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I found this website by accident when I first signed up. I had never heard about it. I was very leary as it was when I joined. I think that if I had of had to take a quiz I probably wouldn't have joined. I read all the help documents without being told because that just seems like the right thing to do. Lol. I wanted to know all the "fine print", rules and stuff to make sure the site was legit. This is a book club for readers, you'd think people that signed up here would automatically read the stuff on the site. As a tour guide, when I get a new member the first thing I tell them is to READ the help documents.

Geri (geejay) -
Date Posted: 5/13/2009 4:30 PM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2008
Posts: 9,094
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Lori, those guidelines are there and this is a site for people who read - but how many read that?

When I first started to get books I received a total of six RWAP's and I didn't realize they were!  The books I sent out were all read only once or twice so I know they were in - that relative term - good condition.  If I went by Amazon standards they be classified as fine.  I still have people that write thank you notes asking if I sent them an unread book.

Date Posted: 5/13/2009 4:51 PM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2007
Posts: 2,508
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  1. My book is not missing its cover.
  2. My book is not an Advanced Reading Copy (ARC).
  3. My book has no water damage of any kind.
  4. My book has no writing, underlining or highlighting on text pages.
    (There is a textbook exception.)
  5. My book is not excessively worn, and it is in good condition

I think these were recently revised. It was #4 that I didn't know about (and the credit was refunded as soon as I learned). But, I think that the numbers were 1, 2, and then that the binding matched - am I right?

Date Posted: 5/13/2009 5:16 PM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2007
Posts: 13,134
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I took the OP to be tongue-in-cheek, not that she really was wanting PBS to institute such a quiz.   I do wish that all members took the time to read the rules and actually follow them before they posted, whether they are newbies or not.  Truth be told, the RWAP books I've gotten (which are in single digits compared to a strong triple-digit Total Received #) came from "old timers" (members from 2005-2007).

Date Posted: 5/13/2009 5:23 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
Posts: 166
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Truth be told, the RWAP books I've gotten (which are in single digits compared to a strong triple-digit Total Received #) came from "old timers" (members from 2005-2007).

Thanks for saying that, as a newbie I hate always being in the group that makes the mistakes, when in fact some of the "old timers" send out unpostable books also.  It's not just the newbies that post them, some of the "old timers" think they can get away with it when in fact they should know better.

Date Posted: 5/13/2009 5:33 PM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2006
Posts: 11,985
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I think that the numbers were 1, 2, and then that the binding matched - am I right?

I am pretty sure  the only refinement to these rules is #5.  The others have been the same since I joined almost 3 years ago.

Lori, those guidelines are there and this is a site for people who read - but how many read that?

If they want to keep their account in good standing, they should be reading and abiding by it. You're agreeing to abide by the TOU when you click ok after that pops up.  And I'd have to say it's more like people  ignore them rather than not read them.

Date Posted: 5/13/2009 5:34 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2009
Posts: 227
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Like Lori mentioned...I tend to be "leary" about joining things.  So, my focus when I got started was making sure I wasn't going to find myself in some sort of mess.  I was quickly put at ease with the simple directions, friendly PMs from the TG, etc.   I think its only after you get rockin' and rollin' do you really start to dig into the details - if you so chose.  Some probably don't bother as it all seems simple enough and it is.

I took Leslie's quiz suggestion as a half-serious fun idea born out of frustration.  Some PBS dude pops up, asks a few questions (right or wrong, you are encouraged and "pass" along to the head of the class)  I have a kooky sense of humor.  Never took Leslie's suggestion as some hard core method that marks someone fail and out of PBS they go. ;)

In any event, I don't think its all about new folks. I am a 2009 member and I think I am pretty darn good at swapping. :)   Its probably about people in general that don't want to read, conform and just do the right thing.   I probably spend too much time on this site.  Is there help for people like me? A quiz to determine the level of my PBS addiction. :)

Date Posted: 5/13/2009 5:35 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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"When I first started to get books I received a total of six RWAP's and I didn't realize they were!"

That happened to me - I think it happens to a lot of people.  Learning the help docs doesn't happen in one reading, and if there's anyone around who read everything in there in one sitting - and remembered all if it - they must be superhuman:P  There's a bit of a learning curve here.  This forum wouldn't be so busy if there wasn't.  Which is why something like quizzes or even the idea of regular little inbox reminders with site tips or help doc "highlights" - as silly or insulting as that may initially sound to some people - don't seem like such a bad idea to me.  I can't see how something geared toward helping new people learn to navigate the site & follow the correct procedures can possibly be a bad thing.  If anyone feels as though their intelligence would be somehow insulted by something like that, I don't mind pointing out that a lot of people who send out RWAPs get pretty insulted when they're informed of that as well:P 

Date Posted: 5/13/2009 10:02 PM ET
Member Since: 12/18/2008
Posts: 166
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I didn't realize that the first book I received was most definitely a RWAP until recently. I needed the book for a class so I didn't really notice until I read it for that class and noticed it was written in all over and extremely worn. I didn't know at the time that I could mark it as RAWP and the member that sent it was an older member so I thought that it was just me overreacting. I gave them the credit but wish I would have mentioned something to them because it wasn't a textbook and shouldn't have had writing in it. But I had waited too long to look inside it because I was just excited to have the book for class. Now I know better and flip through the book to look for any damage or problems before marking it read. A lesson learned I guess. So, I agree that it would be nice if people actually read the help docs before sending things. out.
Date Posted: 5/13/2009 10:26 PM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2007
Posts: 2,508
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I am pretty sure  the only refinement to these rules is #5.  The others have been the same since I joined almost 3 years ago.

I'm pretty sure the water damage and underlining ones are new too.

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