New Rules

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New Rules

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1supertalya
jul. 18, 2008, 3:32 am

What are the opinions on bookcrossing with limiting members that are not members-plus?

2SqueakyChu
jul. 18, 2008, 12:48 pm

I followed the frenzy on BC over the past 24 hours. What a zoo!!

I feel that, like any business, it cannot continue to offer all of its services for free. However, I think there should continue to be free basic services.

I don't think services in place already should have been or should be revoked from active, long-time, participating members. I also don't like major changes happening without a warning to the general membership.

I think that a Members Plus program is a great way to fund BookCrossing. Those of us who use it more and are more involved should be willing to pay a modest fee to keep it running.

When I got the announcement yesterday morning, the first thing I did was sign up for the Members Plus program.

3LyzzyBee
jul. 18, 2008, 2:02 pm

I think they did the announcement awkwardly and will pay for that. Apparently only about 1000 of us are winged (members plus) so I can see their point. But I didn't like them saying that the home produced labels damage their income - there is marketing as well as direct income involved...

Anyway it all seems to have calmed down now, i am just waitint to see what they will do for OBCZ owners who will lose the profiles on OBCZs with company info unless they wing them... I can't afford wings for me and my 3 obczs!

4lilithcat
jul. 18, 2008, 2:13 pm

> 3

I believe they have announced that OBCZs will be winged.

Yes, just checked. Here it is

(Of course, the whiners have found something to complain about with this, too!)

5LyzzyBee
jul. 18, 2008, 3:51 pm

> 4 cheers for the heads-up - and I have posted a big thank you to them!

6supertalya
jul. 18, 2008, 8:42 pm

I can't check the bookcrossing forum as often as this one because my work blocks it. Wow, I missed a lot. The rules kind of remind me of one of those online dating sites.

7k00kaburra
jul. 19, 2008, 11:35 am

I was amazed at the vitriole and flouncing "I don't like the new rules so I'm taking my toys and leaving" attitude in many of the posts. I wasn't a fan of some of Scott's changes (I can understand limiting forum posts and think 100 a month is fine, but then I don't use the forum even 30 times a month. But why limit PMs?) but I sent him a PM and tried to provide constructive posts, not just whining and wailing. I really feel sorry for the management team after all they've been through the past few days.

A lot of BookCrossers, it seems to me, have no concept of the costs behind running the site. I mean, it's a huge website with an ever-growing database. Since there was never a huge banner splayed across the front page I never really thought about their financial situation, but thinking back now it must be crazy-expensive. Just hosting the forum archives and bookcrossing journals must take tons of storage space! Of course the site can't maintain all its services if growth continues as quickly as it has in the past, but incoming funds aren't increasing. There's a lot of people complaining that they can't afford to support the site, which is fine, but I would like to hear their proposals for keeping the site running since it is not free to keep going!

On the forums I suggested some sort of fundraiser with a tracking bar on the top of the page to show how much money BookCrossing still needs. Would an extra $500 a month cover costs?

I dunno. It's been an interesting couple of days in the community.

8SqueakyChu
Editat: jul. 19, 2008, 12:10 pm

I, too, feel sorry, for the management and developers at BookCrossing. Many of the most outspoken critics on the Announcement page over the past 48 hours have been people who feel an entitlement to something for nothing. Perhaps it's a result of our general ability to access so much free information on the Internet.

Yes, Bookcrossing has to have a level of free membership or no books would ever be journaled by finders. However, having people who want better features pay for them is not wrong, in my opinion.

The bottom line, though, is that Bookcrossing is a business as any other business. It tries to provide a free service to many people, but is limited by its inability to sustain sufficient income to maintain and grow its services. I really don't understand why more people are not willing to pay a small amount of money regularly for BookCrossing membership. Like any other hobby, Bookcrossing has its costs. People are free to leave if they like or develop other (less expensive?) hobbies.

In my opinion, BookCrossing is great. As long as their fees are not exhorbitant, I have every intention of supporting them as best I can.

9lilithcat
jul. 19, 2008, 1:56 pm

> 7

I was amazed at the vitriole and flouncing "I don't like the new rules so I'm taking my toys and leaving" attitude in many of the posts.

What really amused me, in a cynical sort of way, was that someone who had flounced off the forums a few weeks ago came back, apparently specifically to complain about the changes.

10TheBentley
Editat: jul. 19, 2008, 3:47 pm

Okay, I know there's a scandal going on, but I can't find the original information on what all the flap is about. After hours wandering around the forums, all I've figured out is that under the new rules (which have now been postponed?), wingless members are limited to a certain number of forum posts and personal messages and they're limited in the length of their profile. How limited, I haven't been about to find out. Have I got it right? Apparently, it was all done "in the dark of night," as it were, and the site manager was a little rude about it.

Unless I'm missing something, which is highly likely, it doesn't sound like that big a deal to me except in the manner it was done, but admittedly, I'm not that active. None of it seems to affect the free use of the site for what it's intended for, which is to release and track books, right? Are they charging for that?

11LyzzyBee
jul. 19, 2008, 4:00 pm

I think mainly it wasn't the pricing thing that people were upset about, but the marketing aspect of how it was announced, ie only the "good" bits were announced in a rather ad hoc fashion (by someone who made a mistake, but has been made to flay himself publicly on the site in apology - that was even less fair). I think 10 PM limits are a bit low as there are lots of people who do bookrings and rays who don't have wings. And the OBCZ thing did bother people, but that was addressed satisfactorily.

Scott did make comments which suggested the user-generated downloadable labels were removing a revenue stream from the site - a) I don't think so, as I don't choose to print those out using expensive inks if I want fancy labels, but instead buy the site ones b) they are forgetting the revenue stream that comes from the marketing potential of these lovely labels in books. He was obviously tired and cross at being called a coward, and did withdraw the comments and apologise later.

What I'm saying is, if it had been handled better from a marketing/PR perspective, there wouldn't have been this outcry.

Oh well, seems to have calmed down now!

12onyx95
Editat: jul. 23, 2008, 12:25 pm

Wow! I didn't know anything about all of this. I used it last night to journal a couple of books and didn't notice much of a difference. I will have to go back now and look at the new stuff. Thanks for the heads up. I am not as active as I know some of you are.

I have to add, I just got a new BC e-mail alert for the releases in my chosen areas, I like the new set up for that.

13overthemoon
jul. 23, 2008, 2:49 pm

I was away during all the hue and cry; by the time I came back most of the unpopular changes (restrictions of PMs and forum posts) had been retracted. However, you now have to spend 30$ in the store to get free wings, though you can buy wings for a year for $29.50 (and for a month at $5, I believe).

A new feature that I really like is the wishlist - as you can easily see if anyone else is interested in books you have available.

14SqueakyChu
jul. 23, 2008, 9:54 pm

I bought the wings for $29.50 as I've had so much fun with BookCrossing and consider it my favorite hobby. I don't mind paying a reasonable annual fee. I think $29.50 is more reasonable than $50! :)

I think that the hullaballoo online was rather unfortunate. I was sorry to see all that ranting and raving when the head honchos are in the process of only trying to improve BookCrossing and grow a profitable business. It *is* a business so I see no problem with having a premium level of service to help the site grow.

Matt did a dynamite job on the Wishlist. That must have been quite a feat to import all of that information from Cliff's site and integrate it so well into Bookcrossing.