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Welcome to the Help Desk message board!
Board: Letterboxing Help Desk
Oct 31, 2004 9:13pm
Thread
This is the board where you can ask anything! If you aren't sure where to ask a question, if you're afraid of asking a 'stupid' question, if you're a newbie and nervous about posting, or whatever your reason, this board is a safe haven. You can't make a mistake posting to this board! (Well... spam, porn, racial slurs, etc. are still off limits, of course, but you know what I mean!)
posts on the "wrong" board?
Board: Letterboxing Help Desk
Nov 11, 2004 8:34am
Thread
What should I do when someone posts a message to the "wrong board"?? Should I email them privately and direct them to the proper spot for their topic? Should I post a reply and point out that there is another board especially for their topic?

Am I obsessing too much? I don't want to get too anal about it, but hey, talk about HH's on the hitchhiker board, and Road Trips on the "On the Road" board.

--Amanda from Seattle
waiting for a post on the 'on the road' board and wishing I could go on a road trip!
Re: posts on the
Board: Letterboxing Help Desk
Reply to: #639 by Amanda from Seattle
Nov 11, 2004 9:43am
Thread
What should I do when someone posts a message to the "wrong board"??

Do whatever seems right at the time. *shrug* If it's a thread that gets off topic, I'd probably let it slide. If it's a thread that was posted to the wrong board initially, I'd probably suggest another one saying there's more likely to be helpful people on the other board.

Right now, I think if I tell someone to post to some other board, they'll likely be all by themselves due to the small number of people using the boards at the moment. *shrug*

So, in a nutshell, it just depends. =)

-- Ryan
Recording Letterbox Finds
Board: Letterboxing Help Desk
Jan 8, 2005 6:20am
Thread
Hi,
I'm a new member to this website. Just had a question about entries on the logbook page. It seems I can only record found boxes that are already registered on the website. Is there anyway to record others that are not?
Thanks,
Hoosier Honey Bee
Re: Recording Letterbox Finds
Board: Letterboxing Help Desk
Reply to: #1679 by Hoosier Honey Bee
Jan 8, 2005 9:18am
Thread
Wow! Someone has actually used the Help Desk! Thanks for posting your question here! =)

Anyhow, to answer your question, there is currently no way to record boxes that are not yet listed on Atlas Quest. For now, at least, the best I can suggest is simply asking those who planted the boxes you've found to list their boxes on AQ to you can mark them as finds.

This is one of the most common requests I get, however, and I'd like to fix it so it'll work someday. It's not as easy to do as you might think, though!

Happy trails!

-- Ryan
Re: Recording Letterbox Finds
Board: Letterboxing Help Desk
Reply to: #1681 by Green Tortuga
Jan 8, 2005 8:37pm
Thread
Ryan,

I've been thinking about this...

What if we had a simple form to fill out?

The fields could be:
- Name of Box (no link)
- Placer (optional; no link)
- Nearest City (+ state + country, if necessary)
- Date planted (optional)
- Date Found
- Comments (limited to 300 characters?)

Top it off with a little checkbox like you have on the Record Find page for listed letterboxes (that's what activates the entry in the logbook, correct?).

Have a 'boxin' new year!

SteveS
Re: Recording Letterbox Finds
Board: Letterboxing Help Desk
Reply to: #1691 by BrewHiker
Jan 8, 2005 10:41pm
Thread
Quote The fields could be:
- Name of Box (no link)
- Placer (optional; no link)
- Nearest City (+ state + country, if necessary)
- Date planted (optional)
- Date Found
- Comments (limited to 300 characters?)


Is this really a good idea, listing letterboxes that the placer hasn't chosen to enter on AQ? The comments suggestion is especially disturbing. This is exactly what annoyed me most about another database in the past. Errroneous remarks were published in regard to a couple of my boxes and I had no option to remove them!

If the creator of a box hasn't chosen to list it here, I don't think it's right for any of us to take it upon ourselves to do so. If they want to do it, grand (!) but if they choose not to, noone should force them to. This proposed format is much like that found on the geocaching site. I have watched the comment sections on some entries there and have noticed spoilers published as comments.

The very lack of a comments field is the thing I like most about AQ's 'last found' option. I don't mind folks listing that they have found one of my little babies but I really don't want them doing anything more. Give it time... many more letterboxes will find their way here all by their lonesome. Funhog
Re: Recording Letterbox Finds
Board: Letterboxing Help Desk
Reply to: #1693 by Funhog
Jan 9, 2005 10:52am
Thread
Is this really a good idea, listing letterboxes that the placer hasn't chosen to enter on AQ? The comments suggestion is especially disturbing. This is exactly what annoyed me most about another database in the past. Errroneous remarks were published in regard to a couple of my boxes and I had no option to remove them!

I too have some problems with listing letterboxes that haven't been listed by the placer. The function Ryan has chosen to report finds is certainly okay since no written report other than that which the placer receives seems to work similarly to the"Contact the PLacer" at LBNA. I do not believe that it would be appropriate to start listing other finds for those who haven't joined AQ.

Don
Little Box
Board: Letterboxing Help Desk
Jan 9, 2005 10:56am
Thread
Hey Ryan,
How do I put that little box around the copied and pasted insertion from another message? See Funhogs post then mine for an example.

Don
Kernville whiner.
Re: Little Box
Board: Letterboxing Help Desk
Reply to: #1696 by Don and Gwen
Jan 9, 2005 1:51pm
Thread
Hey Don here's the link to mastering the message boards

http://atlasquest.com/boards/help.html

You can do a couple different things to change the looks of your posts.

Boxdn
Re: Little Box
Board: Letterboxing Help Desk
Reply to: #1698 by BOXDN
Jan 9, 2005 3:15pm
Thread
Quote Hey Don here's the link to mastering the message boards


Thanks.
Don
Re: Recording Letterbox Finds
Board: Letterboxing Help Desk
Reply to: #1695 by Don and Gwen
Jan 9, 2005 6:53pm
Thread
<squote>Is this really a good idea, listing letterboxes that the placer hasn't chosen to enter on AQ? The comments suggestion is especially disturbing.

I think all we need of a Find Record is the name and place of the box. Keep it simple, no comments. Authors who don't want their clues on AQ cannot complain if all we do is list the name and place of the box.

I think it would be doable to have a separate database of "unposted boxes" for "find marking". It would work likthis:

Marking Finds
1. Check if box is posted on AQ. Yes? Mark. Done.
2. No. Check Unposted box listsings. Yes? Mark. Done.
3. No. User makes a new record themself, listing only box name and place. Mark.

Q. What if someone accidently makes duplicate Unposted listings?
Q. What if the box is eventually posted by the author?

A. Doesn't matter. Individual's Logbooks still contain a perfectly useful list of the names of the boxes they found and how many. It just doesn't matter if the master unposted list database is a little messy because it isn't important. It would only be used for logbook tracking, not for box searches.

What problems do y'all foresee with this method?

Scarab
Re: Recording Letterbox Finds
Board: Letterboxing Help Desk
Reply to: #1704 by Scarab
Jan 9, 2005 7:36pm
Thread
Quote What problems do y'all foresee with this method?


I don't have any comments to add as of yet--I'm just reading to see what you all like or dislike. =) But I would like to know what others think about this method, so I definitely urge you to post your opinions.

One question I do have is about how you imagine handling the counting of finds in this instance. Let's say a user marks a unposted box as a find, then the author of the box eventually lists the box on AQ. The user would want to mark that box as a find so it won't show up in search results anymore, but then it would be double counted.

Is this acceptable? For counting purposes, should I only use officially listed boxes? I suppose I could allow the owner of a box to "resurect" it from the officially unlisted boxes and turn it into a listed box, but there's no guarantee they would do that. Perhaps it would be prudent to also include the name of the box's owner so they can find their unlisted boxes easier?

For the record, creating a comment field is very likely in my book, mostly because if someone has a comment to say about a letterbox, there are already boards they can do so on like is already done today. No sense adding extra work for myself when the functionality is already available! =)

Happy trails!

-- Ryan
Re: Recording Letterbox Finds
Board: Letterboxing Help Desk
Reply to: #1705 by Green Tortuga
Jan 10, 2005 10:43am
Thread
I suppose this subject depends on the goal of this website. Is the goal for those to list as many finds as possible to display their numbers or is the goal to attract new people?

If the goal is recording numbers then you must add a feature to allow everyone to record unlisted boxes (at least 75% of my finds are unlisted boxes, including hitchhikers, word of mouth, and other websites).

If the goal is to attract as many people to this website as possible then you must leave it as is and pass the word out to come to the site and list their boxes. Listing the boxes of others while excluding their owner just for the purpose of racking numbers just doesn't seem to be in the spirit of this site.

I found this site because it was in Amanda from Seattle's letterbox. I enjoy this site not because I record large numbers of boxes (this is obvious from my logbook) but because I enjoy seeing the people that visit my boxes. I really can't travel much but I get to see others travel through my boxes. Others will come either with the goal of numbers (though let's keep it as is and make the numbers legitimate for those people) or watching other people visit their boxes.

If you want people to record their boxes here, then invite them here. Advertise it in the boxes that you plant or on the website that you posted your boxes. I put this site in www.letterboxing.org under "status" on my boxes to let people know that they can come here to record their find as well as check the active status and see when it was last found.
Re: Recording Letterbox Finds
Board: Letterboxing Help Desk
Reply to: #1705 by Green Tortuga
Jan 10, 2005 10:45am
Thread
Quote One question I do have is about how you imagine handling the counting of finds in this instance. Let's say a user marks a unposted box as a find, then the author of the box eventually lists the box on AQ. The user would want to mark that box as a find so it won't show up in search results anymore, but then it would be double counted.

Is this acceptable? For counting purposes, should I only use officially listed boxes?


I say it is up to the user to go back to the unposted marking and delete it. When an 'old' box is finally posted in AQ the user would know that they were marking an old find. They would realize that they probably already marked it as an unposted listing and need to go delete that. The users could also sort their finds by name and look for duplicates. If it ends up being double counted that is not the webmaster's problem but the user's.

Since users can lie and mark boxes they never found, we are 'already' relying on the user to keep an 'accurate' logbook.

Maybe your system should count posted boxes and unposted boxes separately:

You have found - 132 AQ posted letterboxes
27 unposted letterboxes

Please Note: It is possible to double count a letterbox by marking it in both the AQ posted sections and the unposted section. Please check your markings for duplicates and delete them.

I think the logbook is a tool for us users and we should not worry if someone messes it up a little.

Scarab
Re: Recording Letterbox Finds
Board: Letterboxing Help Desk
Reply to: #1713 by The Wolf Family
Jan 10, 2005 10:52am
Thread
Quote I suppose this subject depends on the goal of this website. Is the goal for those to list as many finds as possible to display their numbers or is the goal to attract new people?


I, personally, am not intersted in marking unposted boxes for the count. I do not have another way to keep track of which boxes I have done, so I don't try them again. The count is nice but it is the list I am looking for.

If people know they can track all their finds here, I think that would be a big draw. It think the log feature would draw more finders than not listing them would draw placers.

Scarab
deleting boxes
Board: Letterboxing Help Desk
Jan 11, 2005 4:49pm
Thread
I have one box listed twice and another box because I picked series when I shouldn't have that I would like to delete, but I don't see that option. It wouldn't be so bad, I could just "retire" them, but it obviously messes up my all important "counts". Trail Mail Junkie
Re: deleting boxes
Board: Letterboxing Help Desk
Reply to: #1731 by Trail Mail Junkie
Jan 11, 2005 5:58pm
Thread
Quote I have one box listed twice and another box because I picked series when I shouldn't have that I would like to delete, but I don't see that option.


Funny you should mention that, because I was worrking on a FAQ that answers just that question. =)

http://www.atlasquest.com/aboutlb/faq/aq.html#15

Happy trails!

-- Ryan
Posting Postal Letter Boxes for logging
Board: Letterboxing Help Desk
Jan 18, 2005 6:24pm
Thread
I was going to post a PLB just so people could log it if they wanted to but I got nervous at the "how many people can sign up for it" page. How does this work? If I list it like this does it send a note to the PLB board or something?

Scarab
Re: Recording Letterbox Finds - idea #3
Board: Letterboxing Help Desk
Reply to: #1715 by Scarab
Jan 18, 2005 8:24pm
Thread
What about letting people track unposted letterboxes just like exchanges. Just a list in their own logbook that doesn't relate to any other databases.

Scarab
who just can't let go of this feature :-)
Re: Posting Postal Letter Boxes for logging
Board: Letterboxing Help Desk
Reply to: #1835 by Scarab
Jan 18, 2005 10:32pm
Thread
Quote I was going to post a PLB just so people could log it if they wanted to but I got nervous at the "how many people can sign up for it" page. How does this work? If I list it like this does it send a note to the PLB board or something?


No, it doesn't notify anyone. Just allows you to select the maximum number of signups you're willing to take for for the postal box, though you're free to ignore it as well. It's meant so people can keep track of others who want to get receive the box, but if you'd rather not make use of the feature, just put one (it won't let you put zero, though I should make that an option!) and ignore it. =)

-- Ryan
Re: Recording Letterbox Finds - idea #3
Board: Letterboxing Help Desk
Reply to: #1836 by Scarab
Jan 18, 2005 10:33pm
Thread
Quote who just can't let go of this feature :-)


Don't worry, I'll do something about it eventually. For now, I'm working on less controversial ideas, but it'll happen eventually. =)

-- Ryan
Problem recording a found box
Board: Letterboxing Help Desk
Jan 21, 2005 1:16pm
Thread
Hey Ryan,

I had a problem recording a find on a postal letterbox I received a little while back.

On the Record Find page, I selected that I found it in December, and then I selected the 7th, but when I try to select 2004 from the year button, the only selection is 2005.

How can I resolve this problem?

Thanks for any help you can give,
Raellyn
Team Tired Feet
Re: Problem recording a found box
Board: Letterboxing Help Desk
Reply to: #1885 by Team Tired Feet
Jan 21, 2005 1:44pm
Thread
Quote On the Record Find page, I selected that I found it in December, and then I selected the 7th, but when I try to select 2004 from the year button, the only selection is 2005.


That's *usually* because the person who "planted" the box lists the plant date as the day they entered the box into AQ.

So there's not a long list of years, AQ only lists the years since the box was planted. (After all, you can't find a box in 2004 if it wasn't planted until 2005.) Sometimes, if someone gets lazy or makes a mistake, the default shown (the date it was when the user listed the box) is accepted.

So check the listed plant date for this box and see if it was listed as being planted in 2005. If so, that's the problem.

Let me know which box it is and I'll be happy to correct it to the correct year. Or the person who listed it can update the correct plant date as well.

Happy trails!

-- Ryan
Re: Problem recording a found box
Board: Letterboxing Help Desk
Reply to: #1886 by Green Tortuga
Jan 21, 2005 1:55pm
Thread
Thanks, Ryan.

They listed the plant date as today. I've made that mistake before, too. Thankfully I caught it before anyone logged the box though.

The box is The Snail Mail Postal Letterbox by Erfellie.

Thanks again for the help!

Raellyn
Team Tired Feet
Unlisted boxes
Board: Letterboxing Help Desk
Jan 22, 2005 6:33am
Thread
I really like the idea of having a place in my logbook for unlisted boxes, like Scarab suggested. Then if the placer puts the box on the list, I can delete from one and add to the other.

JudithandSparky
can't let it go either
Chiming in on Unposted Letterboxes
Board: Letterboxing Help Desk
Jan 23, 2005 7:58am
Since I started the lasted dialog on this subject, I'd better respond after reviewing all the recent messages.

I agree with Scarab's suggestion of a separate database for unposted boxes. As long as there is no mention of the placer or clues, I can't see where we would be violating a boxer's privacy. I think we need to be careful about listing the location if it's a mystery box. Maybe just the state in those cases.

Since some boxers, like Legerdemaine, prefer to distribute clues by word of mouth, then an interested boxer could contact one of the finders off list for the clues.

Each member would be responsible for deleting an unposted box from his logbook once a box was officially posted on AQ by the placer.

For me, the big draw of this website is the logbook feature. I work in a clinical laboratory in a hospital; so accuracy and detail are my life.
Where to Log Event Stamps?
Board: Letterboxing Help Desk
Jan 23, 2005 6:49pm
Thread
I am about to add to my Logbook a placed traveling event stamp. But I don't know where to put it. Since this is a traveling event stamp it would be fun to hear from people who log into it.

Usual event stamps don't travel and only are available for one day. I think those could just be placed as a normal box and marked retired.

Traveling event stamps could be normal too and just use your home town or the orginal gather location where it was launched.

Thoughts?

Scarab
Re: Where to Log Event Stamps?
Board: Letterboxing Help Desk
Reply to: #1912 by Scarab
Jan 23, 2005 6:57pm
Thread
I have posted "Time Magazine Cover" as a hitchhiker. Even though it is to be a traveling event stamp I think it will work as a hitchhiker. Not sure how it gets counted though.

If the event stamp is posted as a normal box, though retired, the finder of Time can log it as having been found at the event stamp.

Scarab
Re: Where to Log Event Stamps?
Board: Letterboxing Help Desk
Reply to: #1912 by Scarab
Jan 23, 2005 7:30pm
Thread
Quote I am about to add to my Logbook a placed traveling event stamp. But I don't know where to put it.


It is my intention to create loggable events eventually. Roving events stamps don't really quite fit that scheme, however.

I'm more inclined to say they'd be better off listed as personal travelers than a hitchhikers. A hitchhiker is hidden in others boxes, while personal travelers stay on a person (or group of persons as the case may be).

-- Ryan