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Russ Ellis
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PostPosted: Mon 10 Oct, 2005 10:10 am    Post subject: Okay about the book section...         Reply with quote

Okay, this is probably something really simple that I should have figured out on my own, but how does one go about rating the books in our reading list and writing reviews for them? Do you have to go to Amazon and do it there or is there an interface in this forum?

Thanks

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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Mon 10 Oct, 2005 10:12 am    Post subject: Re: Okay about the book section...         Reply with quote

Russ Ellis wrote:
Okay, this is probably something really simple that I should have figured out on my own, but how does one go about rating the books in our reading list and writing reviews for them? Do you have to go to Amazon and do it there or is there an interface in this forum?

Thanks


Russ,
You search for a title using the the Search page in the bookstore. Then you click the button to add it to your reading list. It then gives you the opportunity to rate the item and write a review. it has to be on your reading list to be rated by you and reviewed by you. The interface is all here.

To review or rate something already on your list, go to the "Your Reading List" page. For each item there is the option to remove the entry or edit it. If you choose edit, you can rate/review.

Happy

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Russ Ellis
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PostPosted: Mon 10 Oct, 2005 10:17 am    Post subject: Re: Okay about the book section...         Reply with quote

Chad Arnow wrote:
Russ Ellis wrote:
Okay, this is probably something really simple that I should have figured out on my own, but how does one go about rating the books in our reading list and writing reviews for them? Do you have to go to Amazon and do it there or is there an interface in this forum?

Thanks


Russ,
You search for a title using the the Search page in the bookstore. Then you click the button to add it to your reading list. It then gives you the opportunity to rate the item and write a review. it has to be on your reading list to be rated by you and reviewed by you. The interface is all here.

To review or rate something already on your list, go to the "Your Reading List" page. For each item there is the option to remove the entry or edit it. If you choose edit, you can rate/review.


Thanks Chad! Tried it out and it works exactly as advertised!

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Steve Grisetti




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PostPosted: Tue 11 Oct, 2005 4:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Russ - don't forget to read the book, first Laughing Out Loud
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Russ Ellis
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PostPosted: Fri 14 Oct, 2005 6:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, the ones I review I've read first, Happy the others are sort of a Christmas list of things I intend to read and my wife can come on here and figure out which books she wants to get me for Christmas and birthdays etc. Is everyone else only putting on books that they've read? Blush
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Aaron Schnatterly




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PostPosted: Fri 14 Oct, 2005 7:04 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Russ Ellis wrote:
Is everyone else only putting on books that they've read? Blush

To date, everything on my list is a book in my library. I have a wish list on Amazon - I started that so I could kind of keep tabs for me of books that I think I just might like to snag some day. I have a few books that aren't available through Amazon, though... but most people won't have access to them anyway, being a couple hundred years old and all...

I don't buy a book, then immediately toss it up on here... I at least have enough time spent with it to be able to give it an approximate star rating. I don't review a book until I have a very good sense of it. I own a few books that I have not posted.

I don't think your approach is wrong, mind you... but this is what I've adopted to be my practice.

No matter how books are posted, I've found the bookstore here to be a killer resource for letting me know what else is out there - and this community really knows quite a bit about what is or isn't worth my time.

-Aaron Schnatterly
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Russ Ellis
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PostPosted: Fri 14 Oct, 2005 7:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hmm sounds like a good system... perhaps one that I should emulate... it may be that my book list here is about to get shortened a bit...
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Aaron Schnatterly




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PostPosted: Fri 14 Oct, 2005 7:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Russ Ellis wrote:
it may be that my book list here is about to get shortened a bit...

Seemed logical to me, Russ...

... oh, and I don't know that you need to nuke anything... certainly, over time, you or your bride will pick these up... You can never have too many books, you know?

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Russ Ellis
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PostPosted: Fri 14 Oct, 2005 7:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Exactly. I think it's probably helped my work a bit to have a better understanding of the overall period and gear that I'm working to.
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Fri 14 Oct, 2005 7:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

My list is all books I own. Ones I've actually read (or read recently enough to remember if they were any good) get rated and reviewed. The rest will get rated and reviewed when I have time to read them.
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Fri 14 Oct, 2005 1:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think the reading lists are most useful as tools for book buyers looking to purchase specific items. So I would think you wouldn't add a book until you've at least purchased it. Knowing how many of our members have purchased a particular item and seeing any rating or reviews they may have posted has already helped me make purchases. To think that its popularity is based more on people's wishlists than on actual purchases and reviews limits its value to me.

Nathan obviously would be the best choice to answer this.

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Aaron Schnatterly




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PostPosted: Fri 14 Oct, 2005 2:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chad Arnow wrote:
Knowing how many of our members have purchased a particular item and seeing any rating or reviews they may have posted has already helped me make purchases.


I've really started looking again at these stats and reviews as well... found a few books that look like they just might be "the ticket" for a couple of gaps or where I want to increase my at-hand resource stash. The written reviews have generally beeh pretty helpful to me. Knowing who wrote them is also nice, since I have been able to PM or email a couple of folks for more info.

One such book is Codex Wallerstein - seen it, flipped through and read enough to know I want it, but not on my list, simply 'cause I don't own it yet. It is high on my Amazon wish list, though...

Also, I have a few books that are waiting at the house right now in a sealed UPS box... won't add them until I can at least check them out and give them a stars rating. I'm trying to add useful written reviews when I can - won't hen-peck something in just to make a review...

-Aaron Schnatterly
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Fri 14 Oct, 2005 2:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

When I made the bookstore tool, I chose the name "reading list" carefully so that it could be used in a number of ways. I avoided calling it a "recommended reading list" or a "wishlist" for example.

Many people will add books that they intend to purchase to their reading lists. This would serve as a "wishlist" functionality. These items would, of course, remain unrated and without a review. Seeing books in people's lists that are unrated and without a review may spur us to ask questions about the title or find the same item in other people's lists and fuel some research about that book.

Items that the member decides to rate and review are likely amongst his own library, or at least have had a chance to have been read by the member. Ratings and reviews serve us all as a guide to expanding our own libraries.

I don't know: I tried to build it to be flexible and hoped each member would find something about it that could be potentially useful to them.

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Russ Ellis
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PostPosted: Fri 14 Oct, 2005 9:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Cool, I will probably leave it as is then... I do however need to work a little harder at making those reviews a little more useful... I'll see what I can do.
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Steve Grisetti




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PostPosted: Mon 24 Oct, 2005 7:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Aaron Schnatterly wrote:
Russ Ellis wrote:
Is everyone else only putting on books that they've read? Blush
To date, everything on my list is a book in my library. I have a wish list on Amazon....

Russ - I apologize for my poor attempt at humor Blush with my earlier remark . My sense of humor gets a little obscure at times. My earlier remark reflected that I have seen reviews in some places (not here!) where it seemed obvious that the reviewer had not actually read the book! I actually follow a practice very similar to Aaron's and Chad's. If I have the book, it is on my list here. I dont' plan to provide any sort of rating until I have read the book cover-to-cover. Books that I don't have, but am interested in acquiring are on my wish list at Amazon (if I have found it listed there).

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Russ Ellis
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PostPosted: Fri 04 Nov, 2005 6:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Steve Grisetti wrote:
Aaron Schnatterly wrote:
Russ Ellis wrote:
Is everyone else only putting on books that they've read? Blush
To date, everything on my list is a book in my library. I have a wish list on Amazon....

Russ - I apologize for my poor attempt at humor Blush with my earlier remark . My sense of humor gets a little obscure at times. My earlier remark reflected that I have seen reviews in some places (not here!) where it seemed obvious that the reviewer had not actually read the book! I actually follow a practice very similar to Aaron's and Chad's. If I have the book, it is on my list here. I dont' plan to provide any sort of rating until I have read the book cover-to-cover. Books that I don't have, but am interested in acquiring are on my wish list at Amazon (if I have found it listed there).


Sorry Steve,

Just saw this. Not to worry I understood what you were saying. I was mostly concerned that I was using the system improperly and aggravating people who were using it properly.

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Stephen Hand




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PostPosted: Fri 04 Nov, 2005 11:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dear Nathan,

Is there any way to rate a book without having it on your list? Having a book on your reading list is a recommendation of sorts (look, this book is on 20 people's reading lists, it must be good!). There are books that I might like to comment on, but wouldn't want to recommend, even obliquely.

Cheers
Stephen

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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Fri 04 Nov, 2005 11:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Stephen Hand wrote:
Dear Nathan,

Is there any way to rate a book without having it on your list? Having a book on your reading list is a recommendation of sorts (look, this book is on 20 people's reading lists, it must be good!). There are books that I might like to comment on, but wouldn't want to recommend, even obliquely.

Cheers
Stephen


Have you looked over the reading lists in detail Stephen? If you do I think you'll find that not all of the reviews are positive recommendations. Mine aren't. Simply having a book on your list is hardly a recommendation, that should be apparent to anyone who actually reads the reviews. If people add books to their lists they really should limit it to books they've actually read, as well as taking the time to write a short review. You're welcome to give your opinion in a review be it good or bad.


Last edited by Patrick Kelly on Sat 05 Nov, 2005 12:06 am; edited 1 time in total
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Sat 05 Nov, 2005 12:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Stephen Hand wrote:
Dear Nathan,

Is there any way to rate a book without having it on your list? Having a book on your reading list is a recommendation of sorts (look, this book is on 20 people's reading lists, it must be good!). There are books that I might like to comment on, but wouldn't want to recommend, even obliquely.

Cheers
Stephen


Check out my thoughts in this post regarding the whole "reading list thing". I was careful not to call it a "recommended reading list" and whatnot for this very reason. I wanted to keep it as simply a list of books. I wanted to be able to group titles together so that we can discuss them: which of course means that we're able to rate them (high and recommmended, or low and not recommended) or even have them unrated and waiting to be bought. I wanted this to be flexible.

Being on a list just means it's tagged for discussion, really. Sometimes that discussion is bound to be a bad review. But that's the idea: to get peope talking about books.

That's the thought, anyway.

You'll see on Amazon.com's site that their listmania feature often has people making lists of bad books and books "not to buy" as well.

I understand the concern with a passive recommendation simply by having a title on a list. Perhaps there's a disclaimer header or something I could add to the top of any display of lists? Really, I hadn't though this was necessary since the rating really tells people immediately what one's thought is: positve or negative.

Your ideas are welcome.

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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Tue 13 Dec, 2005 6:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've been thinking of Stephen's comments, above, for the last several weeks. My last post, above, asked for some suggestions on how to improve this but I didn't get any, so I tabled the issue and moved on.

Then Bill Grandy and I were discussing it and we came up with the idea to be able to optionally mark items in book lists as "RECOMMENDED" or "Not Recommended" to make it obvious to everyone. While I think the system was pretty clear before, with its ability to give zero to five stars and a text description, I have to completely agree that many people simply don't read and it certainly can't hurt to be able to add a big tag that makes it abundantly clear!

A new feature I just added, too, is the ability to mark an item as being on your "WISH LIST" so that it's also clear that you do not yet own the title but want it.

Check out my own reading list for an example ofhow these marked items appear. You're all welcome to go edit your lists and add thee to your listed titles should you wish.


I've tried to make the system flexible and usable in multiple ways. I want it to be a list of books that you all can use to communicate with others, whether it be to suggest to others that they read them, suggest that they avoid them, or suggest that they buy them for you.

Cheers.

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