Owed Books Database

CheriePie
Beyond Obsessed
CheriePie
Beyond Obsessed
Joined: 5:53 PM - Apr 24, 2006

11:24 PM - Mar 01, 2008 #1

The BookObsessed Admin and Mod team has put together a comprehensive database to help keep track of owed books from the numerous swaps held here. :tada:

BookObsessed Owed Books Database

We realize some people may feel the implementation of such tracking is overly restrictive, especially since this site has always been such an open and unstructured place to play. However, we really do feel it'll serve the greater good on numerous fronts.

Many of you have been using and appreciating Shaunie's Swap Site and the swap data she collects there each month. Well, think of this database as the natural evolution of that data. In addition to just a static table, you can sort and filter the lists by what you owe or what others owe you, search by a book's title or author to see if you offered it to anyone else in another swap, and you can even edit the records in which you're either the Sender or Recipient to mark them mailed or received. (You'll need to register for your own Zoho ID to edit records.)

A final goal, as mentioned in the site guidelines, is to prevent anyone from falling so far behind that they begin to feel overwhelmed. Hopefully keeping track of the swap data will help each member to keep it all in perspective. We all know how easy it is to get carried away here!


Overview

At first glance, think of each tab as a different view into the data. The Owed Books tab contains only books that are still outstanding, but not yet mailed. The Mailed Books tab contains those books currently in transit or with an m-bag organizer. From here, we can easily spot thing that get lost in the mail and add them to our Pay It Forward thread. The Received Books tab shows only books that have arrived at their destination, while the All Books History tab will show all the books that have been entered into the system, except private transactions, no matter what the Status. You might want to use this tab when Searching as it'll bring up any book without regard for it's Status.

The overall process is as follows: At the end of each swap, the data detailing who sends what to whom is consolidated by the swap host and then imported by one of the mods. All the books for a given swap are grouped together on the Owed Books tab, sorted in reverse chronological order. Each entry in the list will show the Sender and Recipient of that book and if entered, will link to it's BookCrossing journal page. The Record Summary button (next to Edit) shows additional detail for this transaction including links to both Sender and Recipient's BookCrossing profile page, any additional detail entered in the Notes field, as well as the last user to modify the record.

When a book has been mailed, it's status should be changed from Owed to Mailed, a date will be entered, and the book will automatically move over to the Mailed Books tab. A similar process happens when a book is marked Received, a date is recorded and the book is moved over to the Received Books tab. (It's possible for a book to go right from Owed to Received, in which case it's not necessary to enter the Mailed Date in addition to the Received Date.)

Filters, Searching and Sorting work the same on all tabs, with the obvious exception that you'll only get books still outstanding on the Owed tab, those still in transit on the Mailed tab, etc. So if, for example, you wanted to Search for how many Neil Gaiman books have been swapped recently, no matter what their current status, you'd want to do that from the All Books tab.

The Filter list, at the top left of each view table, allows you to see a subset of the data based on distinct criteria: by Sender or by Recipient (and now 6 month overdue filter as well). If you've registered for your own Zoho ID, you can also EDIT any records for which you're either the Sender or the Recipient so using the Filters dropdown list is an easy way to get to these records. In addition to marking a book as Mailed or Received, you can edit any of the other data such as it's URL, or even change the book itself if you've sent a different one in its place.

And now, with the latest enhancement allowing all members to enter their personal swaps and trades too (details here), the BookObsessed Owed Books database really is a useful tool to track all your owed books in a single place.


The Finer Points

What do we need from you to make this run smoothly?

For starters, we'd like to ask all swappers to include a link to their book's BookCrossing journal page in their reveal post. Particularly for those members who aren't going to be updating their own data in the database, these links will need to be checked by the moderators from time to time to determine a book's status, when it's been mailed, received, etc. So please keep those journal entries and status indicators current for books that you've used in swaps.

If you're unable to register your book(s) before the swap starts, we encourage you to do so at your earliest convenience so you can add the BookCrossing link to your reveal post and the URL can be uploaded along with all the others at the end of the swap. If the swap has ended and the data already uploaded for that swap, you can also enter the information yourself if you've registered for your own Zoho ID (or PM it to one of the mods if you haven't).

If you are so inclined and have been doing so already, you may continue to post status updates in either the Mailed Books or What books did you buy or receive today? threads in Book Talk. One of the mods may pick up on information given there for members they know aren't using the database, and that way it'll get marked more quickly instead of waiting for the next random sweep of URL clicking. (No guarantees though as some stuff might be missed from time to time.) You can also PM your updates to one of the mods. Of course, any deletions would have to go through a mod anyway, but usually you should just be editing books to reflect something else sent in its place instead of deleting them outright. And as always, the quickest way to ensure your info is most current is by registering for your own Zoho ID and keeping it up-to-date yourself. It's easy peasy.


For the Swap Hosts, we ask that when your swap is finished, you summarize and post the final results in the following format for easiest import into the database:**
wrote:Swap Name, Swap Date <--- replace these with the name and official start date of your swap
Book Title, Book Author, Sender, Recipient, BookCrossing URL <--- leave this line (or change order to match data order if necessary)
Horrorween, Al Sarrantonio, Gothamgal, wss4, http://bookcrossing.com/journal/5201002 <--- example only, remove and replace with your own data, one line per book
There's also an optional Notes field you can use for any data which doesn't fit into any of the other fields. If you wish to use Notes for any of the transactions in your swap, simply add the Notes to the end of the line, separated from the previous data by a comma.

Here is an actual example, taken from last year's Halloween Swap, which is using the optional Notes field. I will explain each item in more detail below.
wrote:Halloween Swap, 10/30/07
Book Title, Book Author, Sender, Recipient, BookCrossing URL, Notes
Horrorween, Al Sarrantonio, Gothamgal, wss4, http://bookcrossing.com/journal/5201002

The Book of Skulls, Robert Silverberg, Luckaye, SciFisstrs, , Book not yet registered. Will be sent directly to Sci via 3rd party seller.
Monster Mission, Eva Ibbotson, catsalive, PepperVL, http://bookcrossing.com/journal/3944749
Glass Houses, Rachel Caine, CheriePie, Gothamgal, http://bookcrossing.com/journal/4528925
Autumn Castle, Kim Wilkins, PepperVL, Luckaye, http://bookcrossing.com/journal/4217835
Hallow's Eve, Al Sarrantonio, Wss4, Terra57, http://bookcrossing.com/journal/4129651
Sex and the Psychic Witch, Annette Blair, Terra57, blackadder75, http://bookcrossing.com/journal/5454426
Blood Red, Heather Graham, blackadder75, CheriePie, http://bookcrossing.com/journal/5201651
For the Sender and Recipient fields, please use the exact usernames that members are using here at BookObsessed, i.e. fantasy221 instead of fantasy, as that's how they're entered in the database. Exact capitalization isn't important but you must include any digits after the username in order for the names to import correctly.

The Book Author and BookCrossing URL fields are optional though we hope you'll fill in both for as many of the books as possible. (Since you must visit the reveal thread to get the URLs, it's just as easy to grab the Author at the same time.***)

I used the Notes field in the example above to indicate that for luckaye's book, Book of Skulls, she doesn't have a registered copy on her shelf and will instead send the book directly to Sci via a 3rd party seller. You could also use Notes in instances where you have a 2fer and want to list the individual book titles or a 2nd URL. If you don't have any kind of special circumstances like this, you don't need to use the Notes field at all. As I said above, it's a completely optional field and you can choose not to use it at all if you don't need it. Notes can just as easily be entered into the database later as well.

If you need to leave a particular field blank, like I did for the BookCrossing URL field of Book of Skulls, and it's not the last item on the line, then leave a blank for it your Final Results table too. (Notice how there's an extra comma and a blank space following SciFisstrs name on the Book of Skulls line above.) Otherwise things might end up in the wrong field.


Finally, the above line order is not set in stone. If you prefer, you can shuffle it around if you find it easier to summarize your data differently. For example, some of you are used to thinking of things this way:

CheriePie receives Blood Red by Heather Graham from blackadder75
~ which would translate to: ~
CheriePie, Blood Red, Heather Graham, blackadder75, http://bookcrossing.com/journal/5201651
~ and you'd rearrange the top line with the field label names to be in this order: ~
Recipient, Book Title, Book Author, Sender, BookCrossing URL

So long as the order you list the fields on the top line matches the order the data is presented on each successive line, it's all good. :cool:


How do I get my own Zoho ID so I can edit my own data?

You can register for your own Zoho ID from the Zoho Main Portal, go directly to the Create a Zoho Account page, or by clicking the Sign In link in the top right hand corner of the page while you're viewing the BookObsessed Owed Books database.

If possible, you want your Zoho ID to match either your BookObsessed username or your BookCrossing username since the Books Owed database already knows these two ways of identifying you. However, if that isn't possible and you need to use a different name, you must let one of the Moderators know the username you chose so it can be added to the Alias field in your account. Once that is done, your Zoho username will be associated with you as well.



*In addition to owedbooks.bookobsessed.com, booksowed.bookobsessed.com will also work. I found myself constantly getting the 2 mixed up so I made sure either address would get you there.

**If you're collecting and summarizing the data outside of the forum, you may want to use tabs instead of commas, especially since info copied and pasted from a spreadsheet such as Excel or Google Docs automatically separates each column by tabs when it's copied and pasted. The import process can handle tabs just as easily as commas so feel free to substitute if it's easier for you. (Unfortunately, semicolons are NOT recognized.)

***Besides, we felt that including the author allowed for a more user-friendly database where, for example, people could search for how much a particular author of interest is being swapped; or use it to help locate the name of a particular book they'd been interested in from a recent swap but couldn't quite remember the title.
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CheriePie
Beyond Obsessed
CheriePie
Beyond Obsessed
Joined: 5:53 PM - Apr 24, 2006

11:24 PM - Mar 01, 2008 #2

*'``'*:-.,♦,.-:*'``'*:-.,♦,.-:*'``'*:-.,♦,.-:*'``'*:-.,♦,.-:*'``'*:-.,♦,.-:*

BookObsessed Owed Books Database Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) updated 25-Sep-08

Q: Is there an easy way to see who still owes books from over 6 months ago? Over 9 months ago?
A: Yup, we recently implemented a new filter to the Owed view which does exactly that. Simply choose either 6 mo. overdue or 9 mo. overdue from the list of Custom Filters at the top of the Filter dropdown box and voila. (You must be on the Owed tab for the overdue filter to make sense.)

UPDATE: ON HOLD books (those owed to Obsessors who are no longer active or MIA) are no longer included in the OWED view. In order to see these ON HOLD books, you must use the ALL BOOKS tab (which can be easily broken down using the Filters and Search tool).

Q: One of the owed swap books listed for me is incorrect. I sent (or am planning to send) a different book in its place since they'd already read the one I offered. What can I do to fix this?
A: Only the mods can DELETE records. Therefore, if something is showing as OWED, either to you or from you, and you didn't choose an alternate from the sender's shelf (or they didn't choose an alternate from yours), then you should PM one of the mods to delete the record for you.

However, if a different book was sent in it's place, or even if the initially offered book was RABCKed to someone else at the request of the intended recipient, you should simply EDIT the record and enter the new information instead. You can change any of the book's title, author, and URL field to reflect the substituted book, and add an optional note to the Notes field. Or else just enter a note alone to say that you asked that the book be wild released and chose not to accept anything else in it's place. In the latter case, you could immediately mark the book Received as well. And you can do all this without Moderator intervention if you've got your own Zoho ID.

Q: Are you planning to eventually track Relays and Virtual Book Boxes (VBBs) through this database as well?
A: Relays are now being tracked! (Thank you chambejd, our new Relay Coordinator.) But since each VBB currently has it's own Out of Play thread, we weren't planning to add those. However, you can also add any of your own transactions as private transactions (see below).

Q: Can I enter my own personal swaps and trades data in here?
A: You can now. See the announcement here. That info will eventually be more fully integrated into the opening announcement as well.

Q: How far back does the data go?
A: We've pulled in data all the way back to January 2007, when we first moved into our current forum from BookRelay, using the data from Shaunie's Swap Site.

We realize that some of that older data may be a bit out-of-date, especially if you had a lot of book substitutions or things not sent. So you may be asked by one of the moderators to work with them in getting your data current and up-to-date; if you do not, you may be restricted from playing in future swaps.

Q: How are the books held with m-bag organizers reflected?
A: Books held with m-bag organizers will appear on the Mailed tab and include a note in the Notes field that says something like "mailed to KathyB for Amber's m-bag". (Click the Record Summary button next to Edit to quickly view the Notes field.)

One of the mods may later change the "mailed to" to "with" if they notice it's been received by the m-bag organizer, but it should still remain on the Mailed tab until it arrives at it's final destination so the Note isn't really that important, and the m-bag organizer shouldn't need to do anything with these books so long as they notice they are in Mailed status.

Q: How about books sent directly to the recipient via a 3rd party?
A: These can be handled in a couple of different ways. I've had a few myself recently where I registered a BCID for the book being shipped directly, and then emailed/PMed the BCID to the recipient so they could label the book themselves when it came in. And then the BookCrossing URL I entered for that transaction reflected that new BCID.

There's a number of times when you may not have the BCID ready beforehand and that's fine. If you need to update the record after the swap data's been posted, simply edit it yourself if you've got your own Zoho ID or PM it to one of the mods who can edit it for you.

If you're not planning to register a BCID to send to the recipient, simply ask them to let you know when the book arrives, as you probably would anyway. Then either the sender, recipient, or one of the mods can mark it received with an appropriate note added to the Notes field if necessary.

Q: What if I can't get a Zoho username that exactly matches my BookObsessed username? When I try to register, it says that username is unavailable or already in use, or that it must be at least 6 characters.
A: If possible, try registering with either your BookObsessed or BookCrossing username (if different) since the Books Owed database already knows these two ways of identifying you. If you can't use either, or get one of the above errors, then find a username that you can use, and then let one of the moderators know the username you chose so it can be added to the Alias field in your account. Once that's done, your Zoho username will now be associated with you as well.

Q: How secure is this? Can anyone add or delete stuff, or modify my books?
A: Security Permissions for BookObsessed Owed Books - 27-MAR-2008
PUBLIC (no login):
View only of the following tabs: Mailed, Owed, Received, Private, All Books, Enter Swap Data; and use Filter, Search, and Sort tools. Cannot Add, Edit, or Delete.

ANY LOGGED-IN ZOHO USER:
Viewable tabs same as above. Can also use Filter, Search, and Sort tools. Can EDIT Public records in which they're either Sender or Recipient. Cannot ADD or DELETE Public records, or EDIT Public records other than specified above. Can ADD, DELETE, and EDIT own Private records, which are viewable only on their own Private tab.

MODERATORS (usernames: cdnbluerose, cheesygiraffe, cheriepie, gizangel, fantasy221)
All 6 tabs previously mentioned plus Swap Participants (SuperMods only). Can ADD, DELETE, and EDIT all Public and Private records. (Users' Private records are only accessible via a special view to SuperMods and are not integrated with main data for day-to-day use. It's available only available for administrative purposes or special situations, or in case certain private transactions need to be promoted to public at the user's request.) In addition, username cheriepie is also Creator and as such, can bulk import data and edit the application. All Moderators have been given the Creator username and password to use as needed.
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Xeyra
Exceedingly Obsessed
Xeyra
Exceedingly Obsessed
Joined: 12:55 PM - Dec 23, 2005

11:41 PM - Mar 01, 2008 #3

CheriePie wrote: Q: What if I can't get a Zoho username that exactly matches my BookObsessed username?  When I try to register, it says that username is unavailable or already in use.
A: If that happens, try registering with your BookCrossing username if different, and then let Cherie or one of the mods know.  The database knows about your BookObsessed username, and your BookCrossing username.  Anything else, and it won't know how to match up your username with your records unless special accomodations are made.  (I hope to be able to build in some additional aliasing functions later on down the road, but it's not yet there for the time being.)
It also doesn't accept names with less than 6 characters.

(which means I can't use Xeyra there... :cry: )
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CheriePie
Beyond Obsessed
CheriePie
Beyond Obsessed
Joined: 5:53 PM - Apr 24, 2006

11:44 PM - Mar 01, 2008 #4

Xeyra wrote:
CheriePie wrote: Q: What if I can't get a Zoho username that exactly matches my BookObsessed username?  When I try to register, it says that username is unavailable or already in use.
A: If that happens, try registering with your BookCrossing username if different, and then let Cherie or one of the mods know.  The database knows about your BookObsessed username, and your BookCrossing username.  Anything else, and it won't know how to match up your username with your records unless special accomodations are made.  (I hope to be able to build in some additional aliasing functions later on down the road, but it's not yet there for the time being.)
It also doesn't accept names with less than 6 characters.

(which means I can't use Xeyra there... :cry: )
Ahhh good to know. Something we didn't come across during testing, and that wasn't mentioned anywhere I could see. :whip: I'm sure there will need to be a few things needing to be ironed out at the beginning, things that didn't show up in our own limited beta testing (such as 5 character usernames). :lol:

So in your case, let me know what ID you ended up registering with. I created an alias field and should be able to work around such restrictions using that. :)
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Xeyra
Exceedingly Obsessed
Xeyra
Exceedingly Obsessed
Joined: 12:55 PM - Dec 23, 2005

11:48 PM - Mar 01, 2008 #5

CheriePie wrote:
Xeyra wrote:
CheriePie wrote: Q: What if I can't get a Zoho username that exactly matches my BookObsessed username?  When I try to register, it says that username is unavailable or already in use.
A: If that happens, try registering with your BookCrossing username if different, and then let Cherie or one of the mods know.  The database knows about your BookObsessed username, and your BookCrossing username.  Anything else, and it won't know how to match up your username with your records unless special accomodations are made.  (I hope to be able to build in some additional aliasing functions later on down the road, but it's not yet there for the time being.)
It also doesn't accept names with less than 6 characters.

(which means I can't use Xeyra there... :cry: )
Ahhh good to know. Something we didn't come across during testing (and that wasn't immediately made apparent anywhere I could see.

I'm sure there will need to be a few things needing to be ironed out at the beginning, things that didn't show up in our own limited beta testing (such as 5 character usernames). :lol:

So in your case, let me know what ID you ended up registering with. I created an alias field and should be able to work around such restrictions using that. :)
I ended up going with XeyraBC. Simple and easy to remember. :)
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EllyMae58
Exceedingly Obsessed
EllyMae58
Exceedingly Obsessed
Joined: 3:49 AM - Oct 15, 2006

11:53 PM - Mar 01, 2008 #6

Was it really necessary to post that Please Read post in every darn section? That was overkill to me, and annoying as heck!

Okay, that was my :2cents: and now I'm outta here....
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CheriePie
Beyond Obsessed
CheriePie
Beyond Obsessed
Joined: 5:53 PM - Apr 24, 2006

11:57 PM - Mar 01, 2008 #7

EllyMae58 wrote: Was it really necessary to post that Please Read post in every darn section? That was overkill to me, and annoying as heck!

Okay, that was my :2cents: and now I'm outta here....
I didn't post the initial ***Please Read!*** notice. I simply added the follow-up post to each of the existing threads since it was referenced there that this would be forthcoming.
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HoserLauren
Exceptionally Obsessed
HoserLauren
Exceptionally Obsessed
Joined: 1:07 AM - Apr 25, 2006

12:12 AM - Mar 02, 2008 #8

What happens if a book isn't stolen and it is agreed on to send another book through PMs? Obviously the swap mod isn't going to know about that.
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AceofHearts
Beyond Obsessed
AceofHearts
Beyond Obsessed
Joined: 10:13 PM - Dec 23, 2005

12:15 AM - Mar 02, 2008 #9

What about when a book is changed due to it never being stolen. Usually this is between the 2 people involved , what should happen now?
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cheesygiraffe
Beyond Obsessed
cheesygiraffe
Beyond Obsessed
Joined: 2:16 PM - Dec 23, 2005

12:17 AM - Mar 02, 2008 #10

CheriePie wrote:
EllyMae58 wrote: Was it really necessary to post that Please Read post in every darn section? That was overkill to me, and annoying as heck!

Okay, that was my :2cents: and now I'm outta here....
I didn't post the initial ***Please Read!*** notice. I simply added the follow-up post to each of the existing threads since it was referenced there that this would be forthcoming.
We wanted everyone to see it 'cause some people only look at one forum not all of them. It may be annoying but it's catching everyones attention.
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