[bksvol-discuss] Re: Step 1 Issues (was Re: very confused)

And which of these technical advisors actually makes changes. We keep hearing the tech staff is too small or overworked to make the kinds of changes volunteers have requested for well over eighteen months now, long before John or Jennifer came on board.

E.
At 01:32 PM 10/21/2006, you wrote:

Bookshare.org was sending us all that stuff about hiring Jennifer and what
an impact her hiring would have on tech problems, but I fail to see that she
has done anything.

Sue S.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Gerald Hovas" <GeraldHovas@xxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Saturday, October 21, 2006 12:15 PM
Subject: [bksvol-discuss] Re: Step 1 Issues (was Re: very confused)


Monica,

The Tech Advisor group also includes Kelly and Carrie who you know from the
list and Debbie Stein who's not on the list.  Allison Hilliker, who I
believe used to be on the list, is supposed to be joining us.  Then there's
Jake, Rui, Guido, and myself.  So the group is well balanced, including a
mixture of less technical people to go along with those of us with technical
degrees.

As Jake mentioned, the problem seems to be that Bookshare has done a very
ppor job of prioritizing their needs.  They tend to focus on their strategic
goals and overlook fixing known bugs and minimal effort high impact requests
despite asking for help identifying them.  We're hoping this will change
with the hiring of a new product manager for the literacy programs, which
includes Bookshare, along with Route 66.  Hopefully we're be hearing on the
list soon that they've hired the new product manager and will be doing
something about the problem.

In the mean time, I'd suggest sending complaints like this to John since
he's the advocate for volunteers, as well as being the Customer Support
Manager.  That way the staff will be hearing about the problem from more
than just the few of us in the Tech Advisor group.

Gerald

-----Original Message-----
From: bksvol-discuss-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:bksvol-discuss-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Monica Willyard
Sent: Saturday, October 21, 2006 10:59 AM
To: bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [bksvol-discuss] Re: Step 1 Issues (was Re: very confused)

Hi, Elizabeth.  You're right about control end, and thanks for
pointing it out to us.  The thing is that new books and kicked back
books are appearing in the middle of the list, not just at the top or
bottom.  I'd be happy with either the top or bottom, but not this
randomization and reshuffling every couple of days.  If one of my
books is kicked back, I'd like to have a reasonable idea of where to
look to find it so I don't have to browse through the list each time
I visit step 1.  I want to know, for example, that I should be
watching the bottom third of the list for kicked back books.  I also
want to know where the oldest books are because I make a point to
take at least one each week to validate.  This new system is making
my work more difficult and wasting time I could be using in more
productive work for Bookshare.

The thing that bothers me most is that whoever made this change to
the system seems remote and anonymous so that I feel like I'm talking
to a brick wall.  Explaining it to John doesn't seem helpful because
it won't change the thinking of the person making these kinds of
changes.  Complaining without reaching the stage of understanding is
just unpleasant for everybody involved.

I'm curious about something related to this.  The Bookshare advisory
group is supposed to represent our needs to Bookshare.  From what I
understand, the group is made up of several fine men with a lot of
computer skills.  I wonder if there are any advisors who are women
and/or who are not programmers.  I'm wondering about this because I
believe that women and men process information and use computers
differently because of how our minds operate.  This isn't an issue
where I think one is better than the other.  I do wonder how things
might be designed if women and our usage patterns were represented in
the development of Bookshare.  Maybe they would be different, or
maybe they'd be the same.  I don't know.  What I do know is that the
interface between volunteers and Bookshare staff does not appear to
be working very well because several of us have expressed feelings
about not being heard or understood by the developers at
Bookshare.  Since most of the people expressing these feelings are
women, I am wondering if that is where part of the disconnect is
taking place.  I can easily handle a disagreement, a difference of
opinion.  It's the belief that I cannot be heard or understood that
drives my frustration.  I want to give Bookshare my best efforts and
believe in our mission.  This disconnect between developers and users
in an area that, if dealt with effectively, could allow Bookshare to
grow well without adding more strain to the system.

Ok, I'm done now.  I'll climb down from my soap box.  Please give
what I've said some thought.  If you know of a way to improve this
situation, please share it.  I want to make things better, not tear
anyone down.


Monica Willyard

At Saturday 10/21/2006 08:14 AM, you wrote:
>Control-end takes you to the bottom of the list quickly.  Hope this is
useful.
>
>E.

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