5 Things You Need to Know About the BookObsessed Forum!
1. We, the mod team, want everyone to join in and have fun with us, whether its playing in our swaps, or organizing an exchange, or being introduced to new books in one of our Virtual Book Boxes (VBBs). That said, however, we realize how easy it is for new (and old!) players to become overwhelmed by the number of books they have committed to other people. The desire to not miss out on the chance for a wishlist book may cause us to offer up books still waiting to be read, rather than something that may already be available. While we dont discourage people from using TBRs, we ask that people remain cognizant of the amount of TBR books theyve promised to other people, and to try not to over-commit themselves by offering more TBRs than they can read in a reasonable amount of time.
2. In the same vein as #1, we also know that for each VBB/swap/exchange/trade book received, one must also be sent out. Its very easy to rack up a hefty monthly postage bill. We know that everyone has a budget of some sort and every spare dollar cant be spent on rolls of stamps, nor can every spare moment be spent trotting out to the post office. However, by joining in our fun, youre making a commitment to send out the books youve offered. Therefore, we expect you to honor your commitments and mail out those books in a reasonable time. As of June 1, 2008, 'a reasonable time' is defined as 6 months. (see #5) We, of course, understand that at times everyone has unexpected life changes that may impact their ability to send out books in a timely manner. Should this happen, we ask that you keep the mods aware of your situation, so that we can assess how to address your particular needs. If the mods feel that the number of books you need to mail has become excessive, we may ask you to refrain from playing in any of our games until you can get caught up.
3. Building on #2, we have set up a database to keep track of the books each person on the site has offered and is owed. Our goal is to prevent anyone from falling so far behind that they begin to feel overwhelmed. To help maintain oversight, we ask that people register their books on Bookcrossing.com and provide links to the books they offer. These links will be monitored for status updates. You can help us by keeping us updated on the status of a book via Journal Entries and by utilizing the status indicators provided by BookCrossing. You should also post the status of the book in the relevant thread. When the book is received by the recipient, that person should journal it and post a receipt in the appropriate thread. For secret exchanges, monthly exchanges & sweeps it's not essential to register books prior to sending but then both parties should be extra vigilant in making sure that any discrepancies can be resolved in a way that will not cause a member to violate the 6 month rule. Even if you are sending a book to someone via a 3rd party you could always register it and send the recipient the BCID.
4. Please note this change in policy will go into effect February 1, 2009. While generally, everyone here is a happy, friendly person, sometimes personalities can clash. If someone writes a post somewhere on the boards that you find offensive, please utilize the report button provided in each post. The mods will receive notification that a post has been flagged and will deliberate to determine what should be done. There is no need to PM the mods to further explain why you felt the post was offensive - you will have an opportunity to do that when you send in the report. Please note: The mods will no longer attempt to mediate disputes between members. In administering warnings, we will consider only posts that have been flagged and reported to us.
The warning system will work as follows: we operate on a 3 strikes, then banned policy. Each warning will count as half of a strike, and as follows, 2 warnings will equal 1 strike. The mod team will have the discretion to decide whether to issue a warning or a written pre-warning as we determine is appropriate. The decision by the mod team will be final; complaining to us or about us may result in another warning. The duration of a warning (and by extension, a strike) will be determined by the mod team; however, the mod team will indicate an estimated duration when giving the warning. Please note, it will only be an estimate; both positive and negative behavior following the warning may be used as a mitigating factor in determining the actual duration. Should a member reach their third strike (and we really hope no one ever does!), the mod team will inform the member whether the banishment will be temporary or permanent. In either case, the mod team will provide their reasons for the ban, and in the event of a temporary ban, the mod team will give an estimate of how long the ban will last. Again, this will only be an estimate positive and negative behavior will again be taken into account in determining the actual duration of the ban.
We know that at times tempers can flare, but we truly want to keep BookObsessed a fun and fun-loving place. It is our belief that the 3 strikes policy we have developed will serve to keep the peace, but in order for it to work we need people to abide by it. It should be noted that all members, mods, and admins of this site are subject to this policy.
5. Effective June 1, 2008, there will be a "6-month mailing rule" applied on the BookObsessed site. The majority vote of our poll clearly indicated that our members would prefer to have something like this in place:
All books should be mailed within 6 months of the swap or relay date. When alternate arrangements have been made (such as books being held to be delivered at a personal meetup or something similar), an explanation must be written in the Note field on the database and a moderator can put the book into "On Hold" status if required. Books being mailed to an mbag recipient must be mailed to the mbag organizer within 6 months and a comment must be put in the Note field stating the book has been mailed to the mbag organizer. This moves the book off the Owed list. These books will not be marked Received until the mbag recipient actually receives the mbag.
The easiest way to keep track and to check on length of time books have been owed is to use our Owed Books Database:
http://creator.zoho.com/cheriepie/booko ... owed-books
Here is a link to the thread explaining and discussing the database:
The dropdown menu on the database includes an option for "6 months" which will display everyone's books that are owed past the 6 month timeframe. Swap hosts should check this list prior to starting their swap OR contact one of the moderators to have the info checked prior to the start of the swap.
It is expected that the majority of members will self-monitor, meaning you will keep track of your own books owed and will stop participating in further play if you fall behind the 6 months. For those who choose not to self-monitor, the moderators will be checking the list and contacting members as necessary.
Everyone who has been reading the swap forum, and particularly those who participated in the poll, has been aware for some time now that this was coming, but we are still waiting until June 1 to "officially" put it in motion. If you haven't already sorted out your mailing obligations, please take a look at the database and get things up to date by June 1. All moderators are happy to assist you should you require help with the database - just PM one of us.
Effective June 1, 2008, anyone behind more than 6 months with their mailing obligations should cease participation in swaps, relays and VBB's until they catch up to an acceptable time period.
Questions and Clarifications of the BookObsessed Guidelines
I read the Guidelines and now Im not sure if I can keep offering TBRs. I offer TBRs because they help me decide what to read next/I dont have many AVLs/etc.
oIn general, we dont have a problem with anyone offering TBRs; we know lots of people encourage others to use TBRs, and thats fine. This Guideline was developed to address those of us who might offer more TBRs than they can really read in a reasonable amount of time. We wouldnt want someone to end up having offered 35 TBRs when they know they can only read 3 books a month; it would take them about a year to get through all of those TBRs assuming they didnt sneak in anything else along the way (and that never happens!!). However, if the same 35 TBRs were offered by a person who reads much faster, 10 books a month, for example, it would only take them 4 months to get those books out, which is more reasonable. Really, all we want is for people to use their best judgment, and if for some reason real life starts to get in the way, we just ask you send one of us a quick PM to let us know so that we dont start to worry.
If I offer a TBR in a swap, I immediately change the status to RES is this okay? I dont want to leave it marked as TBR because I might forget its promised elsewhere!
oWe know everyone has their own method to marking books. Some people mark books as reserved, even if they plan on reading it, the minute they register them because they also plan on offering it in a swap. Others will mark a book as traveling long before it ever makes it to the post office. Still others dont bother with any of it because their shelf is just too big! What were asking is for people to do their level best to keep others informed. This may mean that instead of changing the method youve already developed, just supplement it by making a journal entry on what you plan to do with the book.
Its not that I dont trust you guys, but how do I know that warnings wont be passed out like candy by a mod gone mad with power?
oGood question! For each warning given, the mods will discuss the situation (extensively because were a chatty bunch!) and if we decide a warning is necessary, it will be a unanimous decision. To be clear, if one (or more) mod feels strongly that the person in question does not deserve a warning, that person will not be warned. It should once again be noted that all members of this site, mods and admins included, are subject to this policy. Should another member lodge a complaint against a mod or an admin, that person will not take part in the discussion of whether or not to issue a warning nor will they have a vote. We sincerely hope, however, that instances of this policy in action will be far and few between.
Added link to the owed books database to point #3 above.
A full thread announcing the database, it's procedures for data input, current security permissions, etc. has been posted here. That thread is open for questions and discussion.