Hi, Monica! You make a good point. I wholeheartedly agree, and I'm sure
that most of the other volunteers agree with you as well. However, just to
clarify, while Jake is a very active volunteer, he is not a member of the
Bookshare staff. Because we have some very knowledgeable volunteers, I can
see how it could be confusing at times, especially to new volunteers.
<Smile> However, I do hope that your feedback will get into the right
hands. Take care, and thanks for joing the Bookshare team!
P.S. I'm not a staff member either, just a list monitor. <Smile>
Hi, Jake. I'd like to comment on something you said here, and I'm not sure how to do it without sounding overly confrontational. My aim is to give direct feedback rather than to assign blame anywhere. I am new here, so I know that I don't have the same background as many of the people on this list.
On Sunday 1/8/2006, you wrote:Yes, getting more people involved is a big goal for 2006 I think at least. That not only means more volunteers, but more subscribing members.
I would like to respectfully submit that the process for gaining volunteers is not working. I think Bookshare would get more help from its members if the process for signing up as a volunteer were standardized. I have spent the past 2 weeks trying to get a response regarding my application to volunteer and have not seen any response at all. For all but the most persistent of people, this would be enough to cause potential volunteers to spend their time and efforts elsewhere. The application for volunteer approval dumps members with an error message about not being able to apply because we're already members. The email address does not acknowledge receipt of email, and there has been no response there either. For growth to occur, these issues need to be addressed so that there is no confusion about a person's next step and the status of their application.
The web site needs to be fixed to detect that a current member is filling out the volunteers' user agreement and leave them at a submission page at the end instead of taking them onto the new member form as it seems to now. If the approval process takes time to complete on the Bookshare side of things, it may be helpful to send new applicants a confirmation email, perhaps a template-style email notifying them that their application has been received and will be processed during the next week or month, however long it takes. These 2 steps could improve the rate of volunteering among current members and help new members become active in the community as soon as possible.
Again, please understand that I am not writing this to blame anyone. I believe that problems have to be defined before they can be solved well. I hope my feedback is of some use.
Sincerely, Monica Willyard
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