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Topic: Position in FIFO Queue

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Subject: Position in FIFO Queue
Date Posted: 12/15/2011 11:08 AM ET
Member Since: 4/24/2008
Posts: 310
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I know I can see where I am in the queue to receive a book but is there any way to know what position I am to send out a book.  I know one book I posted yesterday I was the 10th person.  In a couple of months from now how can I know what position I am in since people will be requesting books and posting books at the same time so that number 10 spot can change depending on those factors?  I wish I knew if there was a way we knew how fast books are moving.

Date Posted: 12/15/2011 11:22 AM ET
Member Since: 6/6/2011
Posts: 558
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I don't believe there is any way to know where you are in the queue.  Only how many copies are in the system like you mentioned

Date Posted: 12/15/2011 12:48 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,365
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What Lanamila said yes

Here's the longer explanation from the help center:

How can I tell how many copies of a book are in the system?

If you want to know how many copies of a book are currently available in the system you can do a search for that book and put it onto your Reminder List. On your Reminder List, beneath the title, you can see the number of copies currently available in the system.

If you plan to use this information to guide you in posting books, you should know:

  • If you Post the book quickly after checking the Reminder List, yours will most likely be the next one in line.
  • However, knowing what 'FIFO number' your book is in the system would not be very helpful in predicting how quickly it will be requested.
    • You would need other information about the dynamics of that particular book on the site.
      For example, if you have an obscure book that is the only copy in the system, it could take months to be requested. If another book you have is #33 in the system, but the book is requested very often, it could be requested in just a few days.

      If you knew only these FIFO numbers, you might misinterpret them and take #33 off your shelf and donate it, while keeping #1 on your shelf, when you really should do the opposite. this information would not be terribly helpful, and could easily be misinterpreted to mean that a low number would 'move quickly' and a higher number would linger on your shelf, which is often not at all the case.
  • We are working on a 'popularity index' which will better indicate how likely a book is to be ordered within a certain timeframe. It is on our long list of ToDos. We hope to have it available to the membership soon!
mistie -
Date Posted: 12/15/2011 1:50 PM ET
Member Since: 9/27/2007
Posts: 2,024
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Sadly Kay, there is no way of knowing where your posted book lies in the FIFO queue.

This is one on my pet "peeves" on the PBS site - actually about the only one :-)

I feel it would be very easy for this information to be shown, and I feel members would appreciate it being available.

But, as has been discussed previously, many think PBS does not want us to have that information, in some way it would be "bad" for the site. For example, if you look at a book you posted 6 months ago, and it is still no. 26 out of 28, you may re-consider whether you want to hold onto that book on your shelf, rather than donating it, or taking to a local book store etc, and that this would reduce the number of books on the site - which wouldmake it appear less successfull. But, IMHO, any feature that improves user satisfaction, which this feature would, can only be good,

Last Edited on: 12/15/11 1:54 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/15/2011 10:55 PM ET
Member Since: 7/28/2006
Posts: 4,985
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  • We are working on a 'popularity index' which will better indicate how likely a book is to be ordered within a certain timeframe. It is on our long list of ToDos. We hope to have it available to the membership soon! 

That particular sentance has been in there for awhile now, so I still wouldn't expect to see it any time soon.

Date Posted: 12/29/2011 10:51 PM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 1,262
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And your position in the FIFO line doesn't necessarily mean the book will sit there forever, either. 

Someone might order a book from you and then look through your shelf and decide to request another book they've been thinking about ordering, one that has lots of copies in the system, one of the books that you might be way down on the FIFO list.   I was pleasantly surprised about an order where that happened to me recently - 2 times recently, as a matter of fact.  So, you never can tell what the next order will bring - multiple copies in the system or not!  :)

Date Posted: 12/30/2011 7:54 AM ET
Member Since: 10/23/2005
Posts: 7,719
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And now with the advent of Gold Key, there are even more factors to consider. One thing about PBS though, books do move. Some faster than others but it has always been a pleasant surprise of what gets ordered. And what gets offered. I have sent out books with hundreds listed because someone ordered directly from my shelf or used the Order More From Member feature.

Date Posted: 1/1/2012 12:45 AM ET
Member Since: 10/14/2010
Posts: 577
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yes mistie,

There is are two thing with an obvious solution that I would fix on this site and that is allowing us to know our place in FIFO.  I know that some books do NOT move (example, I recently used a book I had previously posted on the site for a craft project, BECAUSE it was one of two books in the system at the time I posted it, later as I learned how to identify more things from the site I looked at when the person in front of me had posted his book, it had been sitting in the system since 2005). Although there are some other books I have removed from the site (books that become dated over time like a few books about how to relate to teens or about drug abuse that were written in the 70s), it would be nice to know which other books have never moved since the site began.  Unfortunately I can see why it would be considered bad for the site trying to obtain new members.

The second is some way to actually sieve out the inactive members.  Unfortunately this is something I also don't think they will do for the same reason listed above.  If we were to suddenly find out that 1/3 or 1/4 of the members on the site were inactive then their numbers would not look so good.

To this ends for any of TPTB that look here I will point out that being honest about what books are actually here and how fast certain books are moved might reduce the number of members who sign up, then get disgruntled within a month and leave causing the rest of us to be a bit disgruntled at the number of inactive accounts there are; I will admit that this could just be me being optimistic about the mob intelligence of online users though.

I would also like to see a way to identify & catalogue books that either have no ISBN or which even though they have an ISBN don't have the ISBN printed in the book (example is the hardback for Dan Simmons "Hyperion" off the top of my head, note the 5 short ISBN listings for a single ISBN), unfortunately as not everything gains a library of congress identifyer (or has it printed in the book), I don't have a solution for this myself.  So I place it in the pipe dream category, but bring it up in threads like this in case someone else has a plan.

Last Edited on: 1/1/12 12:48 AM ET - Total times edited: 1