The mystery is solved, thanks to help from the friendly people at OCLC. If you read this blog last week, I expressed my frustration over not being able to submit my book reviews to Open WorldCat. The user-submission service had been working fine, but suddenly it seemed as though it was not working at all. I now know that it was never down. The problem stemmed from what and how I was submitting. Let me explain.
Through October I would occasionally submit a review to Open WorldCat, according to the instructions I wrote for the Library Success wiki. The length of my reviews varied, and I at times used Internet Explorer at home and either Internet Explorer or Firefox at my library. I never counted the number of words in my reviews. The Open WorldCat recommendation is that reviews be between 75 and 300 words. I could not imagine that I would ever hit 300 words. All my reviews submitted without error.
On Novemebr 2, I tried to submit my review of Peace is the Way from home using Internet Explorer as my browser. I pasted the review into the submission form, clicked the submit button, and watched while nothing happened. I assumed there was a temporary disruption of service. Still at home, I tried again several days later. Again it did not work. I thought that maybe something was wrong with the item record, so I tried another review. Same problem. I tried at work a couple of days late, probably using Internet Explorer. Same problem.
When I look at my review of Peace is the Way at Open WorldCat , it does not look long to me, but it is 377 words, well beyond the recommendation. When Judy from OCLC called me at the library on Friday, November 11, I happened to be using Firefox. She asked me to try submitting the review again so she could watch from her end. I pasted in the review and clicked submit. It worked right away. I loaded several more. They all worked.
On Saturday at home, I was using Internet Explorer and found I again was unable to submit a review. Remembering that Judy had asked what browser I was using, I loaded Firefox onto the computer and tried again. It worked.
On Monday, I sent a message to Judy and she replied that OCLC has found that Firefox will allow longer submissions than Internet Explorer. The OCLC staff is studying the situation. When I got home, I submitted some shorter reviews using Internet Explorer without problem, verifying what she said.
This seems a good time for an apology. I regret that I ever suggested that OCLC had let the service go down without even noticing. I learned from Judy that staff is actually reading every submitted review at this point. (Hey, I have captive readers!) They would notice if nothing was being submitted. I apologize.
I hope the episode does help OCLC in the design of the service and the writing of reviewing instructions. We are all learning as the project progresses.