Pinhead3, I won't be attempting to add any more pins either. I was actually really excited to start adding pins and contributing to this community of Disney pin lovers, but the process is just way too difficult and incredibly user-UNfriendly to newbies like me. There are literally no instructions on the Add a Pin pages/forms. The process might be second nature to many users who have been adding pins for years, but as a someone trying to add pins for the first time there are surprisingly no instruction on the Add A Pin page. So now I’m just resigned to waiting around for someone else to eventually submit the pin I’m looking for.
When I went to add my very first pin I expected there to be some sort of "how to" instruction link on the very first Add A Pin page, and was shocked that there was absolutely nothing. So my next stop in my search for detailed instructions was the Forums. The PinPics Pins forum, with its description of “Questions, comments and problems with PinPics listings” seemed the obvious choice, but I couldn’t find any instructions there. I also searched through the New Member forum, no luck there either.
So, with literally nothing else to go on I used existing pin pictures and descriptions in the database as my guidelines. But after I finally heard back from a staff member about my submission (I’ll get to that a little later in this post), it is clear the requirements have changed over time. There are a lot pins currently in the database who pictures were taken on their cards (with various backgrounds), yet that was one of the reasons given for the refection of my submissions. Now you have to take a picture of the pin on plain white printer paper, but how was I supposed to know this?
I invested a lot of time on the 6 pins I submitted - taking pictures, resizing, cropping, watermarking - only to learn after the fact that pictures with background would not be approved (and all of my pictures had a background of either the card or cork from a pin board). If instructions had been readily and easily available, I could have saved myself a lot of time and stress. It would also save the staff members time as well, I’m sure its frustrating for them to receive submissions that clearly cannot be approved under the current requirements. From my perspective this is a problem of their own making by not providing detailed instructions on the Add A Pin page.
I was also told by the staff member that my descriptions were inadequate, although my descriptions were very similar to pins already in the database, since that is what I was using as my guideline. The staff member who replied to me also basically said that the original cost, release date and SKU fields cannot be left blank. There was no red star by these fields in the online form, so I assumed that meant they were not mandatory. But since there was no description anywhere of what the red star by a particular field even meant, I had to “guess” what it meant since there was no detail provided. If a field is mandatory then make it mandatory for submission of the form. Most websites will not allow you to submit a form unless all mandatory fields have been completed. For example, if a message had popped up telling me I needed to complete the SKU field before the form could be submitted, that would have been incredibly helpful and I would have known this was a requirement on the very first pin. But instead it let me “successfully submit” the form without a SKU. So following this logic I assumed it was okay to submit my 5 other pins without SKU, which again turned out to be a total waste of time since a blank SKU field results in non-approval.
So, I had waited almost a week from pin submission, but my pins had still not shown up in the database. I also had not heard from any staff member that there was a problem with my submissions, so I really had no idea what was going on. I filled out the online Contact Us form, but that function appeared to be broken since a blank page popped up with no confirmation that my message had been sent. Mominator was nice enough to post a direct email address to reach a staff member. But this highlighted another problem with this website – The Contact Us link should also include direct email addresses depending on your type of question. There should be more than one Contact Us option available, at the very least to serve as a backup for any technical difficulties that might arise on the website (which has happened a lot as of late).
A staff member did reply to my email, but I’m also about 100% sure that if I hadn’t reach out directly no one would have contacted me about the problems with my pin submissions. When your Add A Pin request has been “successfully submitted” they state that a staff member will contact you if there is a problem. But from my experience and what others have said in various posts/threads, this doesn’t happen. It seems like non-approved requests just go into a black hole somewhere never to be heard from again. If the staff has no intention of following up with users on non-approved pins, they shouldn’t make a statement that they will follow-up. This leaves users sitting around waiting and wondering what in the world is going because their pin is not showing up in the database but they also haven’t heard from a staff member that there is a problem with their submission.
The staff member did send me a link to a post entitled “How to Have YOUR New Pin Submissions Approved Instantly/Submission Listings Criteria”. This is exactly the type of link that should be front and center on the very first page of the Add A Pin link. How in the world was I supposed to know that detailed Add A Pin instructions were in the Ambassador Forum of all places??? This entire experience has been so incredibly frustrating!
To anyone who has made it this far in my post, thanks for taking the time to read it! I know this was a long post and certainly was written in part to vent my frustrations. But I also hope any moderators or staff members who read this will take it as constructive criticism and an opportunity to improve the website. I’ve actually created and modified databases and forms, and adding links (like to instructions in a PDF document or in a separate webpage) and making online form fields mandatory are both quite simple tasks. Three easy improvements staff members/IT could and should make immediately:
1. provide a link to How to Add A Pin detailed instructions to the tops of the Add A Pin page and PinPics Pin forum page,
2. don’t allow the Add A Pin online form to be “successfully submitted” if the mandatory fields aren’t completed, and
3. add relevant email addresses to the Contact Us link.
In addition to the tons of time I wasted submitting pins that it turns out had no chance of being approved, it was also very time consuming writing up this post. But I feel like the time I took to write this post will have been worth it if some positive changes are made to the website and add a pin process as a result.