Friday, November 11, 2005

Open WorldCat User-Contributed Content Pilot Problem

I have been frustrated by the Open WorldCat User-Contributed Content Pilot recently. It worked well for me in October, but I have not been able to add any reviews in November. I am able to find the Open WorldCat records, login with my user name and password, and compose the book reviews, but the process grinds to a stop when I click “Submit Review.” Nothing happens.

Update 2:30 p.m. Friday: Judy from OCLC called. We tried again. It worked. She is checking to see if the service was down.

Since I first noticed the problem, I have tried to submit from three different computers. I created a second account in case there was a problem with my first account. I am still unable to do what was so simple last month.

I assumed that there was a temporary problem when I first experienced the problem last week, and I was too busy with other things to inquire. When I tried again early this week and found I still could not contribute, I sent an email through the OCLC feedback system. Four days later, I have heard nothing from that inquiry. Yesterday, I left a voicemail and sent another email. This morning I got a reply to the email saying that my request for information was being assigned to a specialist. I am hoping that I will hear later today or tomorrow why I can not submit reviews.

Maybe I am being impatient, as it is a pilot, but the episode leaves me with some questions.

If the pilot was down, did anyone at OCLC notice? If they did, why didn’t OCLC post a notice on the webpage describing the pilot that the service was disabled? Why would OCLC continue to let contributors login and compose when there was no chance the submit button would work?

If anyone has trouble with submitting reviews, call OCLC right away. With few people submitting at this point, they might not know there is a problem.

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