Recommended Books

December 22, 2008

This Christmas the Scottish Book Trust has reviewed 16 books that they recommend for Christmas presents. Some fantastic books on this list, including one of my favourites “Day of the Triffids”.

The list can be found at the URL below.

http://www.scottishbooktrust.com/adults/books/recommended-reading/book-of-the-month-christmas-special

Great list and some great stocking fillers if you’re stuck for an idea.

And also to all our swappers we hope you have a Merry Christmas  and a Happy New Year.

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DESIGN

As you’ve probably noticed, we’ve changed the design and layout of the site. We’ve removed the 4 tabs from the top of the screen “WESWAP”, “HOWSWAP” etc. and replaced them with an easier to use drop down menu. We’ve also replaced the menu on the left with more of an interactive menu allowing you to get access to the Fiction and History section pages faster. We hope these changes make the site a more enjoyable experience.

The site is also more cross browser friendly now. Layout problems that existed in FireFox should have been fixed, we’re still ironing out some of the issues but we think we’ve got the majority of them.

HELP

You may also notice on some pages now, we have a small question mark in a speech bubble. Clicking this image wherever it appears will open a help popup that will explain the page. These have been added around the site along with a new and improved help section, available from the top menu. We added these to help explain some of the issues some of you were encountering on the site.

AWARDS

Some of our swappers have proven themselves to be great members. They add interesting books and send your book to you promptly. Using the site myself I know that there are some swappers I can depend on to get their book to me quickly. So how do we award these swappers…awards.

The swappers who go above and beyond will now be rewarded by assigning them awards. We have awards starting at white award (to signify more than 5 completed swaps with positive feedback) all the way up to gold award. We’ll be assigning these to some of our members in the next few days, I’ll drop an email to let you know if you’ve been awarded an award.

If you don’t get an award this time round please be assured this does not mean we view you as a bad swapper, bad swappers we ban. So if you don’t get an award please don’t be down hearted, we still value you as a swapper.

FORUM

A small change we’ve made to the forum is email notification. Now if you post a reply or start a discussion in the forum you can receive an email whenever any replies to your thread. We’ve also fixed some small bugs and layout issues with the font.

We would encourage all of our swappers to go the forum and introduce yourself, also have a look in the Book Wanted forum…you never know, you might have the book someone is looking for.

ADVERTS

We hope these don’t detract from your enjoyment of the site. Thing is that the site does have expenses (promotion and hosting costs), so to counterbalance these expenses we have had to incorporate more adverts in the site. Again, we don’t think these will get in the away of your enjoyment of the site.

FEEDBACK

We’ve tried to make it more noticeable in your member section when you have to leave feedback for other swappers. The % score beneath other swappers names is a percentage of how much of their feedback left was positive feedback. If you don’t leave feedback for other swappers then we are left with a score that is not a true representation of that persons worth to the forum. So please, if you haven’t left feedback for a book you have received please do it now. Thanks.

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We hope you enjoy all the changes we’ve made to the site. In January we’ll be sending out a newsletter and we’ll be announcing detail of our first competition. That’s right, our first competition so keep your eyes peeled for that.

In the meantime if you’d like to leave any feedback or ask a question on the site changes, then please leave feedback and questions either here on the blog or here on the forum and I will answer them as quickly as I can.

So this is Christmas

December 11, 2008

Being a patron of Royal Mail, and I know most of you other swappers are as well, thenI thought I would post the usual Christmas update from Royal Mail.

For more Christmas info from Royal Mail, click here

By the way quick update on the new site. I plan to start moving the new site over to the live server this weekend. I realise I’ve been pushing the new features but I think you’ll notice the new design more than the new features. Some of the new features include swappers awards, a January Competition, a tidied up member and help section and next year I plan to add email alerts and being our USA site.

Browsing through the Scotsman website when I found their recommends section and in it, some book related lists so I thought I’d post some links to the ones I found the most enjoyable.

Best Scottish Author : A bit disappointed not to see Rankin on here but then I’ve never read Burns, maybe if I had I would understand. RLS the best author from Scotland and I would say certainly in the top 10 of worlds best…but then being Scottish I’m biased.

Best Scottish Children’s Author

Best Football Book : Glad I found this list, “A season with Verona” just jumped to the top of my “have to read” list.

Best Book Scottish Location : Don’t really get this one but enjoyed it all the same.

Best 2nd hand bookshops in Scotland

Sorry for anyone outside Scotland who wanted more than Scottish book lists but then I think you can understand why The Scotsman would concentrate on those in particular.