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Topic: The New Wish List - If it isnt broken why fix it?

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Subject: The New Wish List - If it isnt broken why fix it?
Date Posted: 1/24/2008 11:04 AM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2006
Posts: 19
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I totally hate the new wish list ranking thing thats coming soon.  Why overcomplicate what was working and was nice and simple!  :(  This is going to be a pain for me since I run the wishlist for my whole family!  I cant wait to have to decide which person gets their book as number one on the list and who gets theirs 4th.  Anyone else feel the same way? 

Date Posted: 1/24/2008 11:13 AM ET
Member Since: 11/11/2005
Posts: 5,238
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Janice,  I'm not too fond of the idea of ranking my wishlist books either, but the problem is that the current wishlist system IS broken. First come first serve simply isn't working anymore because of the number of new members.   The most popular books always have wishlists in the hundreds - a few in the thousands.   That's pretty discouraging to any new member.  

Plus many members will join, put a book on their wishlist (especially those new popular books), and then just forget about PBS and go inactive.  That means that their wishlists need to be "cleaned out" unfortunately.   When their wish is fulfilled, it will go through the 48 hour waiting period.  And then when they don't respond the book is taken off of the non-responding members wishlist.   Yes, putting all wishlist requests on auto request would solve this problem, but IMO there are many reasons why PBS shouldn't do that.

So that's two problems that will be helped by the new system, hopefully.  So I'm willing to give it a try.

One thing that I really wish R&R would do though, is to put inactive members' shelves and wishlists "on hold" after a certain period of time - say 2 months.   Has there been any talk of this?

Date Posted: 1/24/2008 11:25 AM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,554
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I'm willing to give the new system a try also.  Nothing we can do about it anyway, it's coming and that's that.

You can let the system auto-rank your books for you if you don't want to do it yourself.

Subject: Programming
Date Posted: 1/24/2008 11:27 AM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2006
Posts: 19
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Its hard when theres a long line for a book, but at the same time - when I see that, if I want it that bad... I just buy it or get it from the library.

As for inactive members it wouldnt take much to write a script that checks for last login time and sets them to hold. 

Sigh.. I use the swap sometimes to get books for my hubby to use in his research papers for school.  Its annoying that now Im going to have to figure out which of those go before the ones I actually want to read.. and then theres my parents wish lists on top of that.  We all want ours first!  I dont rank books like I do for dvds- I want them all equally.  I've used the list on swap-a-dvd and it makes sense if you're using it for a netflix replacement, but I just dont feel the same about the books swap.

Obviously theres nothing I can do about it, but thats my opinion on the matter.  I think they could resolve these issues in a much simpler way. 

Date Posted: 1/24/2008 11:38 AM ET
Member Since: 11/13/2005
Posts: 511
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As for inactive members it wouldnt take much to write a script that checks for last login time and sets them to hold.


Yes, but I think the logic should be tuned a little bit more.  For instance, a member who has their wishlist on autorequest and has credits should not be put on hold.  A member who has credits should only be put on hold if they fail to respond to a request.

 

Obviously theres nothing I can do about it, but thats my opinion on the matter.  I think they could resolve these issues in a much simpler way. 

One much simpler way would be random selection.  Whenever a wishlisted book was posted, a random member from the set of members who had it wishlisted would get it.  Whenever a book in the system was requested, a random member who had it on their shelf would be selected to send it.



Last Edited on: 1/24/08 11:41 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/24/2008 11:47 AM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2006
Posts: 4,110
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The most popular books always have wishlists in the hundreds - a few in the thousands.

I think this argument drives me the most nuts, there will always be long lines for new releases and popular books, just because a new member can rank one book #1 doesn't mean there still could be 50, 80 or a hundred folks in front of them doing the exact same thing, not gaining that newbie any thing.  Also I am told that if I have a popular book on my WL now, say I've been waiting 6 months and I am still 15 away, I'm gaining points now, so when the new system goes online no way can a newbie get in front of me.   And new releases are not always the popular books I have several books on my list at least 20 yrs old that I am somewhere near #20 in line with almost that many folks behind me as in front!  that means at least in theory if even only a third have this book ranked at #1 that will still be leaving a newbie in the dust and waiting forever even if they rank it #1 and chance on waiting even longer something else not ranked as high.

Plus many members will join, put a book on their wishlist (especially those new popular books), and then just forget about PBS and go inactive.  >edited<   When their wish is fulfilled, it will go through the 48 hour waiting period.  And then when they don't respond the book is taken off of the non-responding members wishlist.

Actually the new system will be worse for this problem IMO, right now the cap is at 200, the new system the amount of books on a WL is unlimited, and nothing keeping folks from just putting 200, 300, 900 books on their list, ranking them and forgetting about them, "letting the system take care of it" to quote a few of the new system advocates have said.  The new system still has a 48 hr wait option, and those same folks who don't respond now will definitely not respond then, only difference is now they can do it to an unlimited amount of books.

The facts are you either love it or hate it, makes no difference because it is a done deal.  My main concern now is how are they going to actually convert the existing lists,  I am curious as to how the "system" will rank the books already on my list, I have about 70, of which I think possibly 55 or 60 are unique titles the rest are duplicates in other versions.  I've started checking my WL daily for fear that I might go as long as a week or two and find books at the bottom of my list (ranking) that I am closer to #1 at and losing points.  I mean how are they going to actually convert the existing lists? 

One much simpler way would be random selection.  Whenever a wishlisted book was posted, a random member from the set of members who had it wishlisted would get it.  Whenever a book in the system was requested, a random member who had it on their shelf would be selected to send it.

oi geez... sounds like bookmooch, which I joined as a back up for my WL... trouble is everyone on the WL gets sent an email when a book is posted, so whom ever has the fastest server, doesn't work,  or is up all night gets the book.  So far all my WL books there have been posted in the weeeee hours of the morning, lovely. 

If anyone has found a site similar to PBS which has a FIFO WL system please pm me with the info.  I doubt I'll leave here but I may do my wishlisting else where.



Last Edited on: 1/24/08 11:51 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/24/2008 1:23 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I think people are stressing way too much about a book trading website.  It's not like we're standing in line waiting for a life saving organ transplant.  It's books.  I love books, I want my WL books too.  But I refuse to stress out over how fast they get to me.  I get them when I get them.  Now, selling a house, moving, job hunting, personal finances, health etc.., These are things to get worked up over on occasion. But book trading shouldn't be one of them.

Date Posted: 1/24/2008 1:45 PM ET
Member Since: 11/26/2006
Posts: 221
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**I think people are stressing way too much about a book trading website.  It's not like we're standing in line waiting for a life saving organ transplant.  It's books.  I love books, I want my WL books too.  But I refuse to stress out over how fast they get to me.  I get them when I get them.  Now, selling a house, moving, job hunting, personal finances, health etc.., These are things to get worked up over on occasion. But book trading shouldn't be one of them.**

Well said Mary!

 


Last Edited on: 1/24/08 1:46 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/24/2008 2:34 PM ET
Member Since: 1/15/2008
Posts: 204
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The new rule doesn't bother me because if I request a book and see that there are 1,000 people in front of me, I'm going to buy it for about $5-$10 on Half.com.  It takes long enough to get a book with only 2 members in front of me. 

I love book swap sites, and I find what I want 80% of the time, but I'm not waiting years and years to get a book I really desire to read.

I'm thinking this new rule should benefit those who are requesting a book that is wanted by only a few other members (let's say 10). Say in the old system you are 10th, wouldn't you move up considerably in the new system if you and only one other person ranked that book #1 on your wish lists? I haven't read the parameters for the new rule, but this seems like a possible benefit.

Date Posted: 1/24/2008 2:53 PM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2007
Posts: 13,205
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It doesn't bother me either - if I want the book that badly that it's going to cause me a tizzy (and there are a few that do!!! lol) then I either  buy it at the used book store or Borders or where ever, or get it at the library.  I've done both and then there are several that I've been on the wishlist for for several months. I'm inching up slowly - those are the ones that I can wait to read.

Date Posted: 1/24/2008 3:08 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,800
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I so agree Mary.  And IF someone told me I could buy any 3 books I wanted today, you can BET I'd find which three I wanted MOST.    That is the way I rank my books now - if I can't wait through the wishlist, I buy them.    That is ranking THOSE books higher than the others on my wish list.

I am all for giving it a fair trail.  Say 6 months to a year, to get all the bugs worked out.  NOTHING is perfect in the beginning.

Date Posted: 1/24/2008 3:22 PM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2006
Posts: 4,110
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 think people are stressing way too much about a book trading website

Actually I think "stressing" is probably an inaccurate description, voicing displeasure or disappointment about a change that a lot of folks don't like and frankly don't understand or want to work that hard at swapping books.

The new rule doesn't bother me because if I request a book and see that there are 1,000 people in front of me, I'm going to buy it for about $5-$10 on Half.com.

It doesn't bother me either - if I want the book that badly that it's going to cause me a tizzy (and there are a few that do!!! lol) then I either  buy it at the used book store or Borders or where ever, or get it at the library

Sad thing is if people find they are buying more books from other sources, I think they are going to be less inclined to post them here.  Plus you can't trade a book here you get from a library now can you.  So now your vying harder for books that are less available

Date Posted: 1/24/2008 5:15 PM ET
Member Since: 1/10/2008
Posts: 345
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I'm new and am not looking forward to the change.  I'm just glad I don't have much time or effort invested in the site, so not using it anymore won't be a big deal for me, but I can see how long time users would be unhappy. 

I don't know what the conversation has been about the problems with the current system, but I just don't see that giving someone 48 hours to decide if they want a book or not is asking too much.  When I entered my initial list, I had about ten books that were on wish lists and one book, in particular, took about a week to filter down to someone who responded and wanted it.  But at least I know they really wanted it, and it wasn't automatically selected for them. 

I don't like any automated things happening in my life -- for instance, not in my checking account.  I also don't belong to any book clubs because I don't like things automatically mailed to me. 

Most of the arguments in favor of the new system don't make sense to me. 

If the long wish lists for some books are discouraging to new members, I don't see how this system will fix that.  If there are hundreds of people waiting for a book, how will this new system make it more likely that someone new will get it?  Seems to me buying it is the only way to solve that problem. 

But it does seem that there are a lot of people who are unhappy and no one is listening to them.  I know it's "just books" but it's frustrating for valid concerns to be minimalized this way.

But like I said, I'm new -- I guess I just don't get it. 

 

 

Date Posted: 1/24/2008 5:22 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2005
Posts: 2,357
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Cozette: Those of us on SwapACD have ALREADY used the new system.    I really like being able to put  wishes on hold, but that's about the only thing I am thrilled with.  

I HATE the fact they removed the RL and really hope they don't here.  They could implement the new WL and leave the RL alone. Please?   Just because I can put books on hold doesn't mean I want them on my WL--my RL is full of books that will probably never go on my WL and I don't want them cluttered together.

I ignore my WL here.  Hooray!  That's what I loved about this site!  I can ignore my WL and still get books.  I thought the point of limiting the WL to 200 was to help newer members.  That didn't bother me--it kept it simple. I just had to occassionally go in and add books when my WL dropped down.

On SwapaCD I discovered by ignoring my WL I was going BACKWARDS on CDs that more users than just me wanted.  So I keep having to check & reorder to maintain ground.  Pain!   And I only have 40 or so CDs on my WL there (and then a bunch on hold that I didn't ever want on my WL in the first place but have nowhere else to put them to remind me about them).

And duplicate editions--they take up 2 slots. So a CD I'd rank as, say #10--now is #10 and #11. So I'm penalized by being less picky.  It pushes every other CD down as well.

It doesn't fix the time-out issues, as someone else said.  I don't know if it will make them worse, but I don't see how it will help. The idle members will still be sitting there, and at least it's claimed will eventually be #1 (and if they never get to be, then the system has other big problems).

As for having multiple people's wishes on my list, if I discover my SO is going backwards with his books on my WL, I'll just have him open his own account.  He can then rank them #1, #2 and jump ahead!

Date Posted: 1/24/2008 5:25 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,201
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"If it isnt broken why fix it?"

And therein lies the disagreement. R&R apparently sees it as broken. Or at least not running at the level they want it to run and their fixes will make it run the way THEY want it to run. Their site, their perog. They seem to do whats best for the site, obviously they are not thinking - lets f with the wishlist system and see how many people we can tick off. They saw a problem, and they a fixing what they saw. Traffic flow is much better assessed from above than from one person sitting in their car steaming cause they are in a hurry and not getting where they want to be. Why not let R&R, from their better vantage point, do what they think is best.



Last Edited on: 1/24/08 5:27 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Sianeka - ,
Date Posted: 1/24/2008 5:30 PM ET
Member Since: 2/8/2007
Posts: 6,630
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I love this site, and so, because I have no choice, will be giving the new system a try. 

But it seems to me that it penalizes the long-term valued site members in order to gain a very dubious benefit for newcomers.  I understand wanting to encourage new folks to join and stick around, but I think this is a poor way to go about it.

I'm against the new system, but it's a done deal already.  I love PBS and the folks here, so I'm going to grin and bear it.  But IMO, FIFO was one of the best and most fair things about this site and I'm so sad it's going away.

Date Posted: 1/24/2008 5:51 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2007
Posts: 8,139
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If the long wish lists for some books are discouraging to new members, I don't see how this system will fix that.  If there are hundreds of people waiting for a book, how will this new system make it more likely that someone new will get it? 

The key is whether the person makes progress in advancing up the WL. Have you ever put something on your WL to see if the line is moving at all? Many new members do this. (I know I did!) If they don't make a visible amount of progress in moving through high-volume books (current best-sellers), they won't stick around. Their WL will probably be fairly short to start with, and they'll earn many points for those books and make progress on them. If they see progress, they'll stick around. If they see little, if any, then they won't.

A lot of people seem to expect new members to post their copies of Kite Runner, A Thousand Splendid Suns, and Water for Elephants and expect them to be happy ordering a Grisham in return. ("There are plenty of books for them to order!") But that just won't fly. They don't expect to be first in line, but they do expect a reasonable chance to get newer books in exchange for theirs. When 300+ longtime members added the not-yet-released book to their WL's 8 months before the book was even released, it kind of stacks the deck against them.

I love this place! I never found anything I was looking for at my local UBS's, and I could only trade at a 3-to-1 ratio. I wasted hours trying to find what I was looking for! And the FOL sales were picked over before I could even get to them. And I rarely get to go to garage sales, and those were picked over before I got to them, too. So I was spending a fortune at the book store. I'm seriously saving a bundle here, even with all the postage costs AND still buying some of the books that I don't want to wait in line for. And I've even banked some credits for a rainy day! And how about these great forums, where R&R actually participate sometimes! (What a concept!) 

I'm more than willing to wait longer on some of my WL books if it means that newer members will join, post their WL'd books and (most importantly) become active on the site. This site is far more important to me than any single book on my WL.

Now sit back, relax, and have a margarita on me! ;)

Date Posted: 1/24/2008 6:05 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2005
Posts: 253
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I have used the ranking feature on Swap a CD and I HATE it.  It is too confusing.  I like putting a book on my wish list and knowing that as the people before me get their copies, I automatically move up in the line. 

Date Posted: 1/24/2008 7:17 PM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2006
Posts: 4,110
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R&R apparently sees it as broken

Now I don't remember anyone quoting them as saying that.  What I believe they said was just that this would be better.  You know like coke vs new coke.  Which if memory served sucked horribly.

And I forgot totally about them adding the RL to the WL when the new system comes online, many are in the system and I don't want to use up credits if the system decides to order them automatically during the switch over. 

And I still want to know just how they are going to acomplish that with out losing our places in line and will it automatically rank everything for us until we change it?  I think the initial change is what bothers me the most.  Some of these books I've been waiting for quite awhile and am getting close under  5th for many some at 1st, with 10 or 20 behind me.



Last Edited on: 1/24/08 7:19 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/24/2008 7:26 PM ET
Member Since: 1/23/2006
Posts: 353
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" The most popular books always have wishlists in the hundreds - a few in the thousands. "

And it will still be so - only in a much more complicated and less intuitive fashion.

Anyway, there's no point arguing or worrying about it any more; it appears to be a done deal. I'm not a fan of the idea and don't like it on SaCD where there have been numerous bugs in its implementation (the worst resulting in long periods of time where I was completely unable to edit my WL) but R&R's minds are made up, so I'll just file it for reference and hope for the best.

R&R's coders work hard and their work is appreciated, but I sure hope they get all the kinks in the system ironed out before bringing it here.

Date Posted: 1/24/2008 7:26 PM ET
Member Since: 5/29/2007
Posts: 13,347
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Last Edited on: 1/2/12 4:38 PM ET - Total times edited: 4
Date Posted: 1/24/2008 8:31 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,201
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You know like coke vs new coke.  Which if memory served sucked horribly. - I believe "new coke" became Coke and old coke became Classic Coke and then just went away and no one remembers how it differed. 

Date Posted: 1/24/2008 9:09 PM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2006
Posts: 4,110
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I believe "new coke" became Coke and old coke became Classic Coke and then just went away and no one remembers how it differed.

That would be wrong I definitely remember when this happened but to double check I went to Wikipedia

New Coke stirred up a controversy when it replaced the original Coca-Cola in 1985. Coca-Cola Classic was reinstated within a few months ( July 10, 1985.)

Public reaction to the change was devastating, and the new cola quickly entered the pantheon of major marketing flops.

*edited because for some reason am having trouble with both swap sites tonite.... took 3 tries and only posted the first line of my reply... this is try #7



Last Edited on: 1/24/08 9:14 PM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 1/24/2008 11:44 PM ET
Member Since: 12/23/2006
Posts: 12
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As far as I can tell, the proposed new wishlist will mean that I will *never* get some of my lower priority books.  People moving forward on a list means other people will be moving backwards.

For instance, I like Christopher Moore, I've read 3 of his books, and if I decide I want "The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove" I can add it to my wishlist.  Currently there are 61 people waiting for it.  If I add it, I'll be #62, and maybe in a year or so, I'll get a copy.  But with the new change, as it is unlikely I'll rank it in my top 20 or so, and there are enough Christopher Moore fanatics out there that there will always be some people who have it as their #1 wishlist, I will likely never gain enough points to get to the front of the wishlist line, as someone will always be getting there before me.

If the site owners would like to revamp the system, I would suggest changing the system to get heavily wishlisted books posted more often to the system, instead of letting new users skip ahead in line.  For instance offer a higher credit reward for popular books, say 1 extra credit per hundred users wishlisting a book.  If there are 250 waiting for a book, when the sender is creditted, he or she gets 3 credits (1 normal plus 2 for being a popular book). 

Note that I am *not* saying the requester pay those extra 2 credits, rather that the site give them as a bonus for posting a popular book. 

That would be likely to get long lines moving faster.  For that matter, if I see a very popular book for sale for $4 at my local used book store, I might even be willing to buy it and post it (without even reading it myself) if I knew I would be getting 2 or 3 credits for my trouble. 

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