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My open letter to the site

I have PM'ed this to Heather and also to Bruce............


Reaching out to you as there are some serious concerns among members regarding the site.
It seems as the years go by, things break and don't get fixed and things such as a Newsletter are a thing of the distant past.

I wanted to ask whether there plans for there being updates on, or even acknowledgements on the Bugs that are frustrating members currently?
Namely the lack of Journal Alert emails.

The main thread was started 3 months ago in "Bugs and Broken Bits Reporting" forum, and is currently at over 100 posts.
https://www.bookcrossing.com/---/547640

Other than Moem's attempts to keep matters calm in the thread, there is no word from those "in charge" as to what us happening with this glitch and that fundamentally, without this feature working, makes the site less attractive to both existing long timers, as well as new members.
Member's frustration is coming through in posts stating the site “being a leaderless spaceship that has been given up by its owners “ as well as “What's the matter that this site gets worse instead of better?”

There is also some understandable frustration that members who have made offers of technical / IT help are being ignored.
This would be understandable if fixes were in hand, but it seems they are not.

I appreciate that the site relies on donations from members, and personally as someone who hosts a Support the BC Store Sweepstake each year that directly puts money into BC, its disappointing that there is just silence right now.
It would be appreciated if there was a little more transparency of what is actually going on, and if popular speculation about finances being the reason for current technical glitches, is actually correct or not.

I hope you can take the time to reply, or action some kind of general response to member concerns somewhere in the forums.

Members WANT to help.
WE just don't know what the issues are.

Best wishes
J4shaw

Complete Thread

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I have PM'ed this to Heather and also to Bruce............


Reaching out to you as there are some serious concerns among members regarding the site.
It seems as the years go by, things break and don't get fixed and things such as a Newsletter are a thing of the distant past.

I wanted to ask whether there plans for there being updates on, or even acknowledgements on the Bugs that are frustrating members currently?
Namely the lack of Journal Alert emails.

The main thread was started 3 months ago in "Bugs and Broken Bits Reporting" forum, and is currently at over 100 posts.
https://www.bookcrossing.com/---/547640

Other than Moem's attempts to keep matters calm in the thread, there is no word from those "in charge" as to what us happening with this glitch and that fundamentally, without this feature working, makes the site less attractive to both existing long timers, as well as new members.
Member's frustration is coming through in posts stating the site “being a leaderless spaceship that has been given up by its owners “ as well as “What's the matter that this site gets worse instead of better?”

There is also some understandable frustration that members who have made offers of technical / IT help are being ignored.
This would be understandable if fixes were in hand, but it seems they are not.

I appreciate that the site relies on donations from members, and personally as someone who hosts a Support the BC Store Sweepstake each year that directly puts money into BC, its disappointing that there is just silence right now.
It would be appreciated if there was a little more transparency of what is actually going on, and if popular speculation about finances being the reason for current technical glitches, is actually correct or not.

I hope you can take the time to reply, or action some kind of general response to member concerns somewhere in the forums.

Members WANT to help.
WE just don't know what the issues are.

Best wishes
J4shaw
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Bugs and Broken Bits Reporting

I don't usually visit the Bugs and Broken Bits Forum, so I had no idea this was an issue. I have been receiving BC Alerts of all kinds all along, and even had to make and move them all to a special folder because they were taking up so much space in my inbox...until my Wings ran out a month or so ago. ; ) I hope to be placing a supply order this coming week, so I'll see if anything has changed once I have new Wings. ; )
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until my Wings ran out a month or so ago. ; )

Yes, the individual alerts for Wings members works. It's the other sort that doesn't!
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Yes, the individual alerts for Wings members works. It's the other sort that doesn't!
Very true, NuKnees, as even without Wings, Summary Alerts that used to come, are also absent now. Crossing fingers...and toes...that all will be resolved soon. ; )
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I've sent the link in an email to those it concerns, just in case the PM doesn't reach them.
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I've sent the link in an email to those it concerns, just in case the PM doesn't reach them.

THANK YOU, Moem...for always being present, available, and supportive...no matter who...or what the agenda. You are greatly appreciated!!! ; ) Our incredible BC Staff...also greatly appreciated...has some difficult and serious decisions to make regarding this wonderful site that has been an important part of many lives for many years. I haven't walked in any of their shoes to know what their life's challenges are, but I'm certain they are not taking any of these matters lightly.
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I support the letter! No news, no newsletter, and with this very grave fault in the system... these are worrying times in the bookcrossing world! Yes, I also miss the newsletter. And without journal alerts what is the point really? One only has to ask...
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the whole site seemed to go down.

Anyhow, the lack of journal alerts is what most concerns me as it's the tracking of books that seems to actually define the site. Most of us who have been here a long time can figure out a way of looking at our books to see if there have been journal entries made that we may have missed. But if we release books and someone finds them and wants to join? Doesn't it kind of defeat the purpose of attracting new members if the promise of tracking books doesn't work?

And yes, I miss the newsletters, too (I wrote a couple of articles, myself, back in the day) but the JEs are what concern me the most.

I look forward to some answers, hopefully sooner rather than later.
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I have also been worried about the site, and I think this honest and respectful letter is a really good idea. I hope you get a reply.
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I understand bugs happen, previously working links can be broken, I can live with those, but what bothers me is that, the thread on Bugs and Broken Bits Reporting forum has been up for 3 months. Moem did her best, but for three long months nobody from BC show up to say anything. It's the equivalent of CEOs locking themselves in the room.

BC is a big part of my life. Has been for many years, and hopefully will continue to be till the day I cannot read anymore. BC is like a tree that can continue on and grow for many years, but it is lacking some nutriment now... is it soil? sunshine? we want to know so we can help keep it growing.
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I really, really enjoy Bookcrossing and since I get the individual journal alerts those work for me but the lack of current involvement of the founders/owners of the site is a cause for concern. Back not that long ago Reno(?) reappeared to take over some IT items that really needed work, but with some personal issues they are gone and a lot of the same issues are still here.
We do appreciate the new server upgrades but it seems many members are still having problems with slow speeds.

There are many people who are members who are willing and able to tackle some of the IT problems and other issues if only we were informed what they all are and how we can help.

Is it just money issues? Tech issues? Time issues? If the powers that be would let us know so that we can help that would be fantastic. If they will not the site will die a not so slow death as more and more issues crop up without fixes.

The long time members have been and are still patient for the most part but if I was coming across the site as a new possible member I would think twice about joining due to difficulty joining and understanding how this all works and the seriously lacking in this day and age of a BC app.

Please we ask you to let us know how we can help YOU, and we will do our best to swing into action.
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Please we ask you to let us know how we can help YOU, and we will do our best to swing into action.


This sums it all up! We love BookCrossing, and are here for the site.
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Well said. I really hope you get a response.
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We have all been holding our breaths and hoping things would improve ever since Reno burst back onto the scene a couple of years ago and then almost immediately disappeared. I only see Moem trying to keep the ship afloat these days.
I am one of many whose life has been changed by this site- my reading, my friendships and my travel have all been greatly enhanced and I dread the thought that Bookcrossing is failing.
If finances are the issue, please shout out so we can help. This site gives so much joy to to so many and I believe many of us would be prepared to help. Maybe the time is coming when we do have to pay a monthly or yearly subscription (with a free period for new members?)
Until and unless we hear from official sources, rumours abound, more technical problems occur on the site and more members drift away.

Thank you for raising the issue J4shaw, and let’s hope for a positive outcome.
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I totally agree with you, I feel frustrated with the lack of word from the people from the top, when we make it know that there is a problem/ broken bit they just in my opinion ignore it such as the end of the day daily journal alerts which was reported 3 plus months ago.
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Thank you for posting this letter.

I totally agree with you, to me it feels like the BC-ship is going down and it's not a good feeling.

Hopefully there will be a reply soon!

Meanwhile: Moem, thank you so much for your calm presence, availability and quick responses, even when there's lots of things you don't have a solution for.
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Thank you for posting this letter.

I totally agree with you, to me it feels like the BC-ship is going down and it's not a good feeling.

Hopefully there will be a reply soon!

Meanwhile: Moem, thank you so much for your calm presence, availability and quick responses, even when there's lots of things you don't have a solution for.

All said in this post! Thank you!
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I completely agree with you!
It would be appreciated if there was a little more transparency of what is actually going on,

I wonder if there is anything going on at all.
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Well said. I’ve contributed quite a bit in wings memberships and stationery purchases over the years. Despite all the broken things I’m making more use of the site than ever as I recently set up an OBCZ. But I do feel frustrated that things no longer work. The site is looking quite dated and need a refresh to help attract new members.
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The site is looking quite dated and need a refresh

I don't think the site is looking dated - I find it easier to navigate than facebook - but it would be nice if things were fixed and we were kept up to date with what is happening behind the scenes.
Another volunteer run site I use is kept up-to-date and the users regularly informed what is happening, such that this year they were short of money to pay for where the site is hosted, as a long term big donor is no longer doing this. I was then able to send some money, as I am sure many others did too. Also, a couple of years ago they advertised for programming help among the users, setting out what qualifications were needed. It's very inclusive of members.
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It’s fine for regular users but not easy to navigate for new users and not at all friendly on a small screen. To survive it needs to attract new users.
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It’s fine for regular users but not easy to navigate for new users and not at all friendly on a small screen. To survive it needs to attract new users.

When I was new to this I little difficulty navigating the site and was soon doing so. Using Facebook as a comparison, I am still struggling with that, in a way I never did with this site.
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Maybe websites were similar back then. People nowadays are used on completely different interfaces and formats.
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I was not very familiar with many websites back then, so not sure what most others were like. I just never had great difficulty with this one; initially the old site and then this one.
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It’s fine for regular users but not easy to navigate for new users and not at all friendly on a small screen. To survive it needs to attract new users.

This. The site is near impossible to use on a smartphone. Even for someone used to the site. If you're new, it'll scare you off. And that's apart from how useful it would be for releasing on the go if you could make release notes on a smartphone.

A LOT of browsing is done on smaller screens like smartphones and to a lesser degree on tablets. From april 2016, excerpt from an article on extremetech.com ( http://bit.ly/2tXiR7c )

"mobile use is up dramatically with more than one trillion total minutes of activity last month. comScore’s report estimates that mobile accounts for 65% of digital media time, and apps make up 56% of it. By far the most startling statistic from the comScore data is that one in five millennials (defined as being aged 18-34) don’t even use desktops anymore."

Now that's about how much time is spent on devices. Here's the market share in february 2018 (source: statcounter. http://bit.ly/2viBnSV )
Mobile 51.95%
Desktop 43.98%
Tablet 4.07%

But in a way, adjusting the website to modern standards might not even be the highest priority now. The highest priority may be to just get it working again. Either way, it costs money.

Personally I am very much in favor of donation drives. I've seen them used with success in so many places. For example, for server fees, or for site development. You could have a look at Patreon to get a somewhat stable stream of income. Maybe link the wings program to a Patreon tier. Also, bring back the affiliate links. Tell us how much you need, and see if we're able to pick up the tab.

You still have a strong, loyal, willing and able membership. They are a source of knowledge and income. Tap into it. Use the Force ;)
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This. The site is near impossible to use on a smartphone. Even for someone used to the site.


Impossible? I use it on a smartphone all the time. How could I have missed that it's actually "impossible" :D Honestly now, I guess most of us agree that the site is past its prime, full of bugs and probably will scare off everyone younger than about 30, but let's not exaggerate quite that much...

As for the actual topic, I'm not surprised to see that the only reactions to this post come from other Bookcrossers, while the ones it's addressed to keep silent. I've been here since 2012 and in that time have no recollection of any characters who are "running" the site - apart from much-hyped appearance of someone called Reno, who I guess disappeared just as quickly, I don't really know what happened with that? Anyway, over these years I've seen several posts that deal with these same issues but no comments from the owners (or what should we call them, I'm not sure), so my assumption has always been that the owners/management stopped caring a long time ago. While I'd love to be wrong about it I'm also not holding my breath that things will get better, so am just enjoying the ride while it still lasts.
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Personally I am very much in favor of donation drives. I've seen them used with success in so many places. For example, for server fees, or for site development. You could have a look at Patreon to get a somewhat stable stream of income. Maybe link the wings program to a Patreon tier. Also, bring back the affiliate links. Tell us how much you need, and see if we're able to pick up the tab.

I agree. I think I speak for all loyal BookCrossers when I say that I would chip in as much as I can to help fix all the bugs.
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I find that even more troubling
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My thoughts exactly.
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I've been wondering, too. Moem, do you know if the powers that be have even seen this thread?
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Moem, do you know if the powers that be have even seen this thread?

I know that they have and also that Bruce received the PM. I'll nudge him, even though I feel that I shouldn't need to.
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This was a reply from another internet site I belong to, after an appeal for help for money to run the site. (I gave a donation, along with many others.) This site does not have paid membership. I only mention this last detail for interest; not to suggest we shouldn't have paid membership, as I believe we should.

A few weeks ago we asked the ------ community if they could help the site by buying something from the shop or making a donation.
We are very pleased to say that the response has been overwhelming with the webhosting costs being covered for the next year and even a little left over for the following year.
From the (people) running ------- we would like to thank the--- community for their generous donations and purchases from our online shop, your actions have ensured the continued presence of ------ throughout Australia, New Zealand and worldwide.

This site is also regularly updating.
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disappointing that, after 2 weeks since this thread was posted, there is still silence. I guess we have to accept that bookcrossing is what it is and this is the way forward. Until it collapses altogether. I surely hope that doesn't happen but it doesn't appear that anything is going on to address issues - and without any communication, we have no way of knowing, one way or another - and one can only assume that without response, perhaps no one is there. Perhaps we just drive this vehicle until we run out of gas and then, we're done.

:-(
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Perhaps we just drive this vehicle until we run out of gas and then, we're done.

Yes, I suspect we're living through the BC death throes :-(
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Yes, I suspect we're living through the BC death throes :-(


If this is really the case, surely it would be better for the owners to sell it on to someone who will fix it up and make it profitable, since it's starting to seem that they aren't interested in doing that?
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Yes, I suspect we're living through the BC death throes :-(


If this is really the case, surely it would be better for the owners to sell it on to someone who will fix it up and make it profitable, since it's starting to seem that they aren't interested in doing that?

It would!
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Yes, I suspect we're living through the BC death throes :-(


If this is really the case, surely it would be better for the owners to sell it on to someone who will fix it up and make it profitable, since it's starting to seem that they aren't interested in doing that?

It would!


Bookcrossing has been an important part of my life for many years and I am most grateful for it. Although I had to withdraw a bit due to numerous private problems, I would miss it a lot - but this scenario of Bookcrossing being sold might even be worse for me, depending on to whom it would be sold.
If it would follow for example the same route Goodreads sadly did some years ago I would be grateful if we would get at least the chance to delete every book we ever registered if we wish so. For I don't want to support a company I thoroughly hate and that has accumulated already far too much power in this world which is making it more and more dangerous.
Of course, even if the books are deleted, finders would still go to the website and try to enter the BCID... So Bookcrossing being sold to a certain company or to a company like LibaryThing owned at least partly by the same company would be a horror scenario for me...
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Wonder how much they would want for it? Moem can you give them a push to answer us. I know you have tried before.
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Moem can you give them a push to answer us.

I have, but there's only so much I can do.
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I can’t believe that they don’t care as they just spent money to upgrade the servers. I think I will write a snail mail letter to them and see what happens. Maybe if others do that as well we might get a response. Who else is behind the scenes with BC, besides you?
There use to be several people doing IT and other things.

There might be interest in GoFundMe or a donation drive or other fundraisers but if funds are not the issue(they were in the past) we would need IT people. I personally can’t do that but am willing to help in other ways.
We appreciate you doing what you can Moem.
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It's true that the server upgrade is a good sign.
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I just spent some $$ at the BX'ing supply store. 'Hope I get my stuff ok, but more importantly, I really hope we are NOT in the death throes of Bookcrossing! That said, a yearly fee (reasonable) wouldn't be a terrible thing. Does anyone have any idea how many active, supportive BX'ers we have here? 'Must be in the thousands.
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'Hope I get my stuff ok

I'll make sure that you do. No worries about that, please. I've been packing and sending stuff out today and I'll be doing it again tomorrow.
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Thanks, Moem. 'Looking forward to the new supplies. 'Keeping my fingers crossed everything will turn out OK in the big picture.
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I already do pay a yearly fee, for wings.
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do I bother registering and releasing books any more? I mean, if someone actually finds and wants to journal them, will it eventually just be doing so into a void? If we get no responses to these questions, I guess we have to make our own decisions....

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I feel quite sad about this. I check in on this Forum thread every day hoping for good news, but we are all speaking into a void. ..and Australia is currently preparing a bid to hold the 2020 convention. Who knows if we will even exist by then! So many of us love this site and would help in whatever way is needed to keep Bookcrossing alive and growing.
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I don't get as many catches as in previous years but that is because I have returned home. My city is still in rebuild mode after major earthquake damage which is a big reason for the reduced catch rate. I will continue to bookcross and I will continue to go to as many conventions as possible.
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could it be being held off until after the Convention in France, so as not to ruin that?

I also worry about what might be happening in the owners life, which might be a reason we are not getting an answer to this.
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I'm not aware of any negative news coming up for the site, or of anything bad going on in the owners' personal lives. I don't want to stifle or direct the conversation but I also do not believe the situation is especially dire right now.
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I don't want to stifle or direct the conversation but I also do not believe the situation is especially dire right now

I'm with you.
That is how rumors and speculation starts which nobody deserves .
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I don't want to stifle or direct the conversation but I also do not believe the situation is especially dire right now

I'm with you.
That is how rumors and speculation starts which nobody deserves .

My apologies if my grumpy comment has been given a weight and a meaning that I didn't foresee and certainly never intended! I was feeling rather pessimistic at the time - but I'm not always that way :-) I love BookCrossing and have done for many years!
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I'm not aware of any negative news coming up for the site, or of anything bad going on in the owners' personal lives. I don't want to stifle or direct the conversation but I also do not believe the situation is especially dire right now.

You are right, let's keep calm and hope for the best. I have a very bad conscience that I have not bought any wings lately, I hope to be able to do it next week to show my support and gratefulness.
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Thanks for your reassurance Moem. Let’s hope for the best.
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I'm not aware of any negative news coming up for the site, or of anything bad going on in the owners' personal lives. I don't want to stifle or direct the conversation but I also do not believe the situation is especially dire right now.


Thank you Moem, I was pretty disturbed by how quickly this escalated from I didn't get an answer to a letter to maybe my order won't even be delivered or we're going to be sold to an evil company.

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I'm not aware of any negative news coming up for the site, or of anything bad going on in the owners' personal lives. I don't want to stifle or direct the conversation but I also do not believe the situation is especially dire right now.


Thank you Moem, I was pretty disturbed by how quickly this escalated from I didn't get an answer to a letter to maybe my order won't even be delivered or we're going to be sold to an evil company.


My apologies for panicking so quickly. Maybe I should explain my reaction: it was triggered by a conversation on Chit Chat (http://www.bookcrossing.com/forum/5/550845) - I just wanted to say that not all bookcrossers would be as enthusiastic about bookcrossing being sold as these are.
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Just FYI

That I also haven’t received any form of reply from Heather or Bruce from my PMs
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To whom it may concern:

Under "Information/About Us" one can find the following text
Who are BookCrossers?

They tend to be the most generous, innovative, earth-friendly, good-hearted, whimsical, fun and educated people on the face of the planet.

Please prove that you are good-hearted rather than whimsical (Hornby: "unusual and not serious in a way that is either amusing or annoying").

I am personally very annoyed about the fact that the community of fans and users is so blatantly ignored.
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Well,

it certainly is puzzling
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RE: Yes!

Yes it IS puzzling. Recently, Jessibud and I exchanged JE's on two separate days (picking books we were both connected to and adding minor comments...). We held our breath, we crossed our fingers. Alas, neither of us has received any JE's. With the convention coming up, and closer to home, a Toronto meetup, I truly hope things will be resolved before April 1st. I want Bookcrossing to be part of my life 'til the day I "check out".
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or if they couldn't they will appear on video conference.

I find it rather hard to believe that it could go so long without even an acknowledgement, let along a proper response.

That said, I don't feel that the community itself is any less lively than what it as years ago. Or maybe I am slow in reading the signs.

With wings, I can easily check the latest journals on my books, so I don't miss the email notification much, though I know the majority of members, especially newcomers, do not have wings and not getting notices about journals means missing out a big part of the BC experience.
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wings

We should ALL have wings, to show we are willing to support the site.
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wings

We need to know that it's functional and responsive, before we invest in it. I'm even feeling some reluctance to buy more supplies, since I don't get notices any more.
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We need to know that it's functional and responsive, before we invest in it. I'm even feeling some reluctance to buy more supplies, since I don't get notices any more.

I have a completely different attitude. The site needs money to run and we should all support it. What if the site owners have your attitude and are saying let's see first how many people support us? That's stone walling.

If you don't want to pay for a year, you could pay monthly or quarterly.
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I have to admit a waited a long time before I invested into wings, cause the lack of response is confusing me.

I simply had to think about wether I want to invest in a system that may crash tomorrow (or in a year or in five years...).

I still think that the community could find a solution if she know what the problem is (money, time, motivation ...)
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RE: wings

since I don't get notices any more.

You'd get alerts with wings. I do!
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since I don't get notices any more.

You'd get alerts with wings. I do!


You can't get the daily digest and you only get notified of certain types of update, not of any book being journalled.
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since I don't get notices any more.

You'd get alerts with wings. I do!

You can't get the daily digest and you only get notified of certain types of update, not of any book being journalled.

I've never chosen digests, I much prefer individual alerts and I haven't missed any journal entries.
Release notes are a different matter and always have been as far as individual notifications are concerned. Being winged and having my bookshelf in order of most recently journalled, I can keep an eye on books being rereleased again in other places.
The ongoing problem with journal alerts hasn't made any difference to how I BookCross!
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I've never chosen digests, I much prefer individual alerts and I haven't missed any journal entries.
Release notes are a different matter and always have been as far as individual notifications are concerned. Being winged and having my bookshelf in order of most recently journalled, I can keep an eye on books being rereleased again in other places.
The ongoing problem with journal alerts hasn't made any difference to how I BookCross!


Ah, it must be release notes I'm missing.

Personally I much, much prefer the daily digest.

Although I'm unhappy with the lack of response, similarly it hasn't changed my level of bookcrossing activity. :)
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Although I'm unhappy with the lack of response

It's very worrying!
similarly it hasn't changed my level of bookcrossing activity. :)

Quite :-)
I'm able to find my way around the site myself but I still think journal alerts should be restored as a matter of priority. I don't know how anyone negotiates the site without wings - and that, of course, includes all newcomers!
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I haven't had wings in ages and I still used to get Journal Entries but haven't I quite some time, probably since all this mess began. Also, as far as navigating the site, nothing has changed for me in that respect but then, all I do is visit the forums, and register books. I haven't had any journal entries in ages, not even from the friends who pick them up from our meetups, where I know there should be JE alerts.
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Hi there. I have had wings for a while, but I still receive no JE's. Hmmmm.....I miss those JE's! Anyone else with wings, not receiving JE's?
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Hi there. I have had wings for a while, but I still receive no JE's. Hmmmm.....I miss those JE's! Anyone else with wings, not receiving JE's?


I'm getting them but I had to sign up for Individual (not just Daily) Alerts. I think some don't make it but wings means I can order my bookshelf by "Most Recently Journalled"
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Hello Poodlesister: How does Individual vs. Daily Alerts work? Just curious. I have changed my status to Individual. Hopefully that will allow me to get JE's now?
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Hello Poodlesister: How does Individual vs. Daily Alerts work? Just curious. I have changed my status to Individual. Hopefully that will allow me to get JE's now?


You should get an alert every time your books are journaled
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I don’t know if this particularly means anything or it means that we are getting a site update/bug fix (and I hope that Bruce or another staffer pm’d J4shaw and/or Moem what’s going on with the site), but this was posted on FB yesterday: https://www.facebook.com/---/1611016385613320
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I don’t know if this particularly means anything

It means that we're getting a new product for sale in the Store. But not today, I'm afraid, because I have the flu. :-(
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I don’t know if this particularly means anything

It means that we're getting a new product for sale in the Store. But not today, I'm afraid, because I have the flu. :-(



Feel better
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I don’t know if this particularly means anything

It means that we're getting a new product for sale in the Store. But not today, I'm afraid, because I have the flu. :-(


I hope you feel better soon.
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Oh bad. I hope you get over it quickly.
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But not today, I'm afraid, because I have the flu. :-(

Poor you! Hope you'll feel better soon.
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Get well soon Moem!

So you think you might have bagged it!
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So you think you might have bagged it!

Oh no no no. I'm totes not falling for this. Y'all can just have a little patience until I feel better.
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Oh no no no. I'm totes not falling for this. Y'all can just have a little patience until I feel better.

Good things come to those who wait. : D The long and short handle is that I am wishing you a speedy recovery from the flu, Moem!!! : )
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Thanks for the good wishes! No worries though; this is something I have to shoulder for the moment, but I have a good grip on it.
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Thanks for the good wishes! No worries though; this is something I have to shoulder for the moment, but I have a good grip on it.


You are clearly suffering from pun-itis, for which there is no known cure.
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Thanks for the good wishes! No worries though; this is something I have to shoulder for the moment, but I have a good grip on it.
Happy to know you are hanging on while being down with that nasty flu that makes one feel as though they are carrying the weight of the world, Moem. : D

You are clearly suffering from pun-itis, for which there is no known cure.

HAHAHAHAHA!!! : D Laughter is ALLLways the best medicine, mojosmom. ; )
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I can't get rid of the feeling that a good deal of what is discussed here falls into my responsibilty, too.

When Matt left as a more or less full-time developer many years ago (he has to earn the living for a full family and BookCrossing simply wasn't able to provide a reasonable professional income, though he stayed loyal as long as he could) the keys were handed over to me.
The idea was that I'd do a half to full time job with maintenance and especially further development etc. for a rather low rate - until BookCrossing's financial situation would leave dire straits behind.
For a while this worked rather well. But soon certain things in my life and in my personality accumulated and the productive time I could spend for BookCrossing continiously went down - to a point that I'm merely doing pure maintenance stuff.
So it clearly was my task to bring the website and technology forward - and those who know me from these times can probably well imagine I had a good bunch of ideas and perspectives - but then "circumstances" on my side got in the way.

That much for now on my part.

Bruce and Heather at about the same time had difficulties of their own. Bruce - a trained veterinarian - had just taken over the management of a vet clinic "a thousand miles away from home" (North Dakota, while Heather stayed at the family home in Idaho). It was pretty much a full new start (they had to build new premises, find new staff etc.), which took years, of course.
He certainly was happy that someone (me) was running the business sufficiently. (And I was happy I could do my work without much interference from HQ ;-> )

And both of us aren't great communicators. You could write a short story from that. He's often not quick to respond. - And when I'm not feeling well I can easily hide in the (virtual) woods for weeks without even regularly checking email. Our communication is a constant game of hit and miss.
Ask Moem. She has *all* my contact details and still sometimes cannot get a reply from me (except if the BookCrossing server is completely down. Suddenly I'm there ...)

== quote (from this thread): "I suspect we're living through the BC death throes"

When I stayed at the BookCrossing HQ for a few months in 2010 Bruce and I had quite a few beers and some long talks. He believes in the BookCrossing idea, I think, and is quite attached to it (though he isn't a "real" BookCrosser himself ... :-X ). I have no evidence that selling BookCrossing to a third party, namely to one of those "big players" was ever considered to be an option. - Of course, I cannot rule it out (for lack of information), but it would take even me by big surprise.
I also have no evidence that BookCrossing would be shut down at any forseeable time. In the distant past I had such fears, too, knowing that the costs constantly were significantly higher than the income. I believe (I don't know the full figures) BookCrossing still is somewhat in the red figures, in fact I'm rather convinced it is. But I don't expect it to shut down anytime soon. Again, that's just my personal assessment.

== Personal perspective

I had plans to again ramp up my BookCrossing development activities beginning February this year to a point that at least *some* significant progress would be visible well before the Bordeaux convention. Once more this thing called "real live" (or sometimes rather unreal ...) stepped in between and is knocking me out until about end of April. For some time I was unsure I'd even make it to Bordeaux ...
My current plans are to start getting back into service in June/July (I'll certainly need May to recover).
On the other hand, to quote Friedrich Dürrenmatt: "The more detailed my plans are the harder reality hits me into the face."

== Journal Alerts

I consider this the most urgent issue currently (along with fighting the spam).
Since quite a while I have looked into it every now and then, when my resources permitted, but so far I couldn't figure out what's the problem.
I have the strange feeling the tiny tip of a toothpick got stuck somewhere in the mechanics and once it's found and removed everything will suddenly run smoothly again.
I just haven't yet found that spot.
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Thank you for your time, energy, dedication, and honesty, ardik. ; ) When I mentioned "life's challenges" in a post way above here, somehow others seem to have interpreted that as something "bad". Life's challenges do not always fall in that category. Good things are also challenging...and time consuming, too!!! ; ) By the way...I have personally received a Journal Alert in March, and one or two already in April. I will go back and check to see if there's some sort of pattern when I am able. Given my limited participation at the moment...I thought 3-4 JE's were quite monumental!!! : D Stay strong...challenges (of all varieties) help us grow. ; )

As I always say...Have a GREAT DAY, and...HAPPY BOOKCROSSING!!! : D
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Thank you Ardik! For your personal comment, but most of all for your time, the effort you put in BC and that you aren't giving up.
For most of us, disapearing because of life's challenges (good or bad) is an option. But when life gets in your way, you're still on call. Always, 24/7. I admire you for doing that. But I can imagine it is too much at times, or often.
Apart from the orders we place at the store, is there a possibility to share some of the tasks (and responsabilities) with people (members) who know their way around websites and/or other technical areas that are part of your job? Then you'd have a person to talk to & exchange ideas when you have ideas or get stuck. It may also limit the feeling that everything is on your shoulders only.

Thank you for all your hard work! Wish you a good recovery and good health.

Best wishes!
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Thank you, ardik, very much, for responding. We appreciate all you do.
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Thank you very much for your reply, and for all the work that you do.
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I can't get rid of the feeling that a good deal of what is discussed here falls into my responsibilty, too.

When Matt left as a more or less full-time developer many years ago (he has to earn the living for a full family and BookCrossing simply wasn't able to provide a reasonable professional income, though he stayed loyal as long as he could) the keys were handed over to me.

Been thinking about this part of Ardik's post, and can't help but wonder.......what happened to the return of Reno? Why is this all on Ardik's shoulders?
Reno posted maybe a year ago that he was back and we all clapped and felt joyous. Then he vanished.

Reno has informed Support that he's currently away from home to deal with some health-related issues in his family; he has, however, brought his computer with him. But he will not be fully available today, or possibly over the next couple of days, as we're sure you'll understand.

Let's send him some of those famous BookCrossing vibes, we all know they can work wonders!


Please only post a response to this if you actually know.
This thread took a dive into some pretty dark speculation already, which is not what it was intended for.
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Reno posted maybe a year ago that he was back and we all clapped and felt joyous. Then he vanished.

He is alive and working, or at least making plans, with Bruce. That is what I know. I have no indication that he personally is having health problems.

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