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Site usability

I haven't been here for months, and now notice that when I log in a number of cosmetic changes have been implemented. However, it appears that none of these changes make the site more user-friendly.

When I went into marking 33 books for release last night, of which about half had to be freshly registered, I ended up taking more than 3 hours for this job and was reduced to weeping with frustration.

Why can't I get the ready-numbered labels any more?

When I want to journal a book in my possession that has already been inserted into the BC database maybe even years ago, why am I faced with the stupid "where did you catch this book" sequence? I don't know. I probably picked up these books at some BC meet years ago and didn't find the opportunity to journal them at the time. All I want to do now is to shift them!!! If I am forced to fill in this information each time, I will probably just end up throwing the books in the bin rather than bookcrossing them further.

When releasing books, why do I have to go through the painful country, region, county business? Why can't I simply search on the city/town/village of the release spot? If I travel round the UK and release things at random, I often have no clue in which county I am. However, this site forces me to choose a county before giving me the opportunity to pick a town/village. It is even more difficult when I try to release books abroad. I have no idea of what counties operate in Greece, Spain, Egypt or wherever.

I have in the past simply given up with trying to register, because I really don't know whether Much-Binding-In-The-Marsh happens to be in Gloucestershire, Somerset, Herefordshire or wherever. The book has ended up unregistered and unjournaled, in the nearest bin.

Why are you making bookcrossing into such a painful and penitential process? I really find myself losing will totally to carry on with this.

Bookcrossing is supposed to be an enjoyable hobby, not a bureaucratic nightmare.

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I haven't been here for months, and now notice that when I log in a number of cosmetic changes have been implemented. However, it appears that none of these changes make the site more user-friendly.

When I went into marking 33 books for release last night, of which about half had to be freshly registered, I ended up taking more than 3 hours for this job and was reduced to weeping with frustration.

Why can't I get the ready-numbered labels any more?

When I want to journal a book in my possession that has already been inserted into the BC database maybe even years ago, why am I faced with the stupid "where did you catch this book" sequence? I don't know. I probably picked up these books at some BC meet years ago and didn't find the opportunity to journal them at the time. All I want to do now is to shift them!!! If I am forced to fill in this information each time, I will probably just end up throwing the books in the bin rather than bookcrossing them further.

When releasing books, why do I have to go through the painful country, region, county business? Why can't I simply search on the city/town/village of the release spot? If I travel round the UK and release things at random, I often have no clue in which county I am. However, this site forces me to choose a county before giving me the opportunity to pick a town/village. It is even more difficult when I try to release books abroad. I have no idea of what counties operate in Greece, Spain, Egypt or wherever.

I have in the past simply given up with trying to register, because I really don't know whether Much-Binding-In-The-Marsh happens to be in Gloucestershire, Somerset, Herefordshire or wherever. The book has ended up unregistered and unjournaled, in the nearest bin.

Why are you making bookcrossing into such a painful and penitential process? I really find myself losing will totally to carry on with this.

Bookcrossing is supposed to be an enjoyable hobby, not a bureaucratic nightmare.
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...you'll see an explanation of the major site changes, which kicked in at the end of May and which are still very much a work in progress. The Beta forum is being used to track ongoing problems, including former features that aren't back yet. Many things have been fixed/restored over the past couple of weeks, with more in progress, so please be patient!

Re registering books: I don't know what problems you were encountering, but I've seen posts suggesting that (a) entering the ISBN *without* hyphens may help in the lookup process, and (b) remembering to select a category, even if one appears to be selected by default, may help smooth the registration process. If you're running into problems registering books and if these suggestions don't help, please post your issues in the Beta forum so the tech folk can look into it.

The prenumbered-label feature is still here, but at present I think you can only get the sets of BCIDs; you can't print the labels yet. (You could use those BCIDs in hand-written or custom-printed labels if you wanted, but that doesn't save as much time.)

The "where did you catch this book" fields appeared on new JEs even on the old site, but the fields should default to your profile location, so that shouldn't involve any extra steps - unless you're having trouble editing your profile, which might be a separate issue. I've seen posts about problems there, many of which have had fixes done, but there may still be some issues. I believe that if you use the "Manage profile" link under the "home" tab, you might have better luck editing your profile, and if you have location info then your new JEs should default to that, and won't require you to add anything.

The release-note process uses the same location lists as before, so I'm not sure what you mean by being able to search just country/city/zone - there's always been a "state/province" selection in between the country and city selections. If you have a shortcut list, you should be able to select a previously-used zone from there and click on the "select" button to make it fill in the rest of the fields for you, but if you don't have any shortcuts visible and have to start by selecting a country, then the state/province level does have to be selected, just as before. Even in the pre-changeover days it could be tricky finding the right location, especially in areas you're not familiar with; I've often resorted to checking the "go hunting" pages to see which locations were active, and/or used Google to look for suitable county/state/province names. But you can always just make a release note to a general location - many lists have a "somewhere in..." kind of entry - and add the specific info to the text. Or skip the release notes completely and just make journal entries; if the books are found and journaled, you'll get credit for a catch just the same, and it could save you some headaches while the new site's kinks get worked out.

I'm sorry you're having trouble with the site; the new site does suffer from some growing pains, and you aren't alone. But many people have been able to use it successfully, so the problems aren't universal, and perhaps you can find some workarounds that make the site less frustrating. And if you give it a while longer, I'm sure that many more of the current problems will be fixed - there are regular announcements in the Beta forum of bug-fixes and feature-restorations.
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a number of cosmetic changes have been implemented

Actually, it's a whole new site. It's been rebuilt completly, which may help to explain why somethings are different; also, it's not quite finished yet, which is why some features are currently missing.

Let's see how we like it when it's ready, shall we?
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Why are you binning books? If you can't register them, give them away. People, charity shops, coffee shops, hostels .... The thought of perfectly good books being binned makes me ill!
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I am totally unable to alter my profile to insert my location. I have made numerous attempts to do this.

The site therefore continues forcing me to fill in a mass of detail on where I caught the book each time I try to make a journal entry, even for books for which I have already made journal entries saying I received them.

The OBCZ at which I released 33 books yesterday does not show up in my list of release locations today.

I had hoped that changes to the site would make it easier to choose a release location, for example, by integrating with Google maps rather than working on a gazeteer principle. At times when travelling around, I like to leave the motorway and drive along minor roads, following my nose. Theoretically, it would be fun to drop off books in small places on route, but if I don't know where I am with respect to county boundaries, it is pretty well impossible to log such releases with the system as it stands.




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...are affecting lots of people, and are probably why you're getting prompted to add location info repeatedly. It's being worked on, and I hope it's fixed soon, as it is causing headaches for a lot of people - and we certainly don't want to put people off of the site!

Not sure why your OBCZ release-zone isn't in the shortcut list; perhaps it's at the bottom? Or else there's a problem with the location list itself - we've seen a few of those lately too. If you'd like to post a note in the Beta forum about it, with a link to the release zone in question (or to one of the books you released there), it might help.

Re choosing release locations from map info: that's been suggested in Feature Requests in the past, and the previous site did have a fair amount of map info associated with the locations, although the current site isn't displaying that yet. Whether the new site will include an option to select a release location from a map or not I couldn't say, but it would not be very useful to me personally; I find it simpler to use location info such as "Rest area on I-90 (see text for details)", to include all possible releases along that highway, than to have to find the location on a map or take my GPS with me on all release trips. But it would be entertaining to have both options, and perhaps we'll get there eventually. [I think it would be more helpful to users if the hunting pages used maps, even if the precise locations aren't accurate. It'd make it easier for people to see release locations near them without having to check specific state/city combinations. But I imagine any features like that will have to wait until the basic functions are working properly again.]

Anyway, I hope you'll be patient a while longer. Since the new site came up, we have had books caught and new members sign up, so at least some aspects are working...
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Why are you making bookcrossing into such a painful and penitential process? I really find myself losing will totally to carry on with this.

Bookcrossing is supposed to be an enjoyable hobby, not a bureaucratic nightmare.

If you are finding it this bad, but want to continue leaving books for others to read, a competitor has set up "born free books". This is mainly UK based, and the website seems much easier to use.

http://www.bornfreebooks.com/

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