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rethinking the way smogon is operated.

Discussion in 'The Suggestion Box' started by Umbreon Dan, Nov 6, 2011.

  1. iDunno

    iDunno

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    Please clarify what does not make sense lol. I'm running a pretty high fever so I don't really know what I'm typing. XD

    All I'm pretty much saying is that simple things like these shouldn't be so hard to do and the fact that they are is a sign of an inefficient system. (efficient being defined as overall lack of waste and not as just speed).

    Can't SCMS just be open for analyses for past generations or something? It would help distribute resources for C&C and raise efficiency for lesser populated tiers.
  2. eric the espeon

    eric the espeon maybe I just misunderstood
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    I never disagreed with this, if you think I did you misunderstand the direction of my frustration in my post. But whether or not the VGC mods wanted to wait for tabs, asking users to put this much into work which will either not be used, or used long after it is most relevant, is indefensible. Of course they were desired to be put up, just not enough to risk clogging up the more highly played tiers, or to add to normal SCMS pages, evidently.

    Any sourness is not directed at the mods or the people working, but at the incredible wasted effort, due primarily to the lack of technological support for a better system. The personal attack does not help (lol@"PO mentality", I have held strong open-contribution views long before PO was even started, and am clearly not the only Smogonite to feel the same way), but I understand you think I'm blaming people who are doing the amazing work to keep Smogon running. I'm not. It just sucks that Smogon is unable to get a better system, and you know full well from your work on wishmkr that its far easier to work on an incomparably better CMS. I don't blame the mods or writers, it's honestly stunning how much you're (and I was, I pretty much wrote the guide to SCMS :p) able to do and how streamlined the process is, given the unnecessary obstacles placed in your way.
  3. Aldaron

    Aldaron wu tang clan ain't nothin to fuck wit
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    po mentality isn't an attack; it's a statement of fact ( a fact not meant to be an attack). po has open contribution through its wiki, which you (obviously) support.

    lol why would you think po mentality is an attack -_-

    the sour record comment refers to the constant issue of "wasted" efforts, which we're always actively trying to reduce, and we are reducing.

    as for idunno, i am incredibly confused by your post. there are only two things to consider:

    1.) the vgc cc mods didn't want them uploaded until tabs were implemented. this doesn't have anything to do with any systemic process...it's just a personal preference FROM THE VGC SIDE

    2.) if other vgc people wanted them up in spite of those two vgc mods...they could have lol. note uu and uber tags.

    the only issue here is if there truly was a desire from all the other vgc people other than alaka and cosmic to get them up...why wasn't this desire translated into the actuality of getting them up? trust me...just doing it isn't difficult. there are a ton of vgc related members who have badges, and all it takes is a badge to upload an analysis, and the c&c staff is active enough to be reached multiple times a day on irc.
  4. evan

    evan I did my best -- I have no regrets
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    just saying, vgc analyses get a lot of use even just on the forums.
  5. eric the espeon

    eric the espeon maybe I just misunderstood
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    "stop perpetuating your propaganda" and "you're pushing your PO mentality here, but seriously, stop sounding like a sour broken record" is not a personal attack? And, to explain, PO has a wiki because I asked for a wiki. That's my mentality, my vision of how a contribution system should work, based on what works best on other parts of the internet and personal experience here/elsewhere. I'm not sure why you would call that PO mentality. And, it's good you want to reduce it, have made some progress, but I don't see it as possible to reach a reasonable level of waste without a significant shift in the way the contribution system works, one which the C&C mods and writers are unable to make because of the technology we're based on. I don't think it's wrong of me to say there is waste when there is four pages of wasted VGC analyses and countless others, along with hundreds of not thousands of missed opportunities to get contributors involved. It is not just a minor issue to sweep under the rug by saying you're dealing with it. I'm glad you seem to actually support at least testing what I'm arguing for, more open contribution, on IRC.
  6. iDunno

    iDunno

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    That's kind of what I was trying to get at. There's no real pressure to get anything done so it all ends up being procrastinated to the point of never getting done at all. I don't really think "personal preferences" should be able to completely nullify a communal effort. Just because something looks ugly doesn't mean it shouldn't happen. If you don't to put something up because it would look ugly, then it's your responsibility to find a solution with a clear, close by execution date. Otherwise you just have to deal with it. That is how things should work. If this site is supposed to be a group project, then the public should be able to know when they are being treated like trash off the side of the road and when what they want literally cannot be done. This would at least let people know when they should be angry at being snubbed instead of being treated like cattle like they are now.

    Being a mod/badged member has kind of become a "social status" and less of an actual responsibility. People should be obligated to do what they are supposed to do if they want to have the luxury of modship/badgeship (I'm not talking about infractions). I mean really, there are some cases where people just stop contributing completely once they get their contributor badge lol.

    EDIT: Lol I just realized there are like 13 different mods that have posted in this thread, alone.
  7. andrea

    andrea /me cresselias

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    Glad I could humor you...???
    ^

    . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    I'm rather intrigued by the fact that all it took was one post to get everyone to get fired up about some VGC analyses. Many have pointed it out that this should have been addressed 2.5 years ago, yet it never was, and now the blame is being shifted to Alaka and cosmic because they didn't want the analyses uploaded.

    I love both these guys but is it really necessary to base adding the entire Smogon VGC section to the site on the preference of two users? How many people have posted in this thread already suggesting that something be done with this? Its this kind of elitist theory that makes pages of completed analyses go unnoticed. Asking only two people about their opinion really won't help assist plenty of people who search the web for vgc help and obviously don't find it here. They have no voice because they don't sign up and because we don't easily provide the information they need. (We just lost hundreds of potential Smogon members, guys.) I guess badgeless people don't have a voice either, because we base this entire section of the site on two mods.

    I'm not exactly sure how badgeless people like me are supposed to be in charge of this. Even if we nagged about adding tags (and they were implemented) how am I supposed help add to that section of the site? We don't have access. With all the heat I'm getting about making the first post, I really don't feel the desire to ever bring up something major like this again if this is the reaction I get.

    Honestly its kind of ridiculous that I keep getting crap in pms/irc for making this post in the suggestion thread. It's something that seriously needs fixed and the op kind of posed an alternate method that may solve the rotting vgc analysis problem. That was really the only reason I brought this up in the first place. =/
  8. Firestorm

    Firestorm I did my best, I have no regrets!
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    I don't think the issues with VGC analyses going up and this topic are really too related. It'd be better if we moved away from that example and talked about the benefits of what's in the OP. The only argument I've seen levelled against seems to insinuate that it would be too easy to vandalize even though Wikipedia probably has more regular vandals than our entire active userbase combined. I don't think the proportion of idiots to regular people is too different on Smogon compared to the rest of the internet.
  9. Aldaron

    Aldaron wu tang clan ain't nothin to fuck wit
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    thanks !! I'm kidding. I wasn't laughing at you, I was laughing at the ignored analyses. I apologize if you thought I was being snarky with you lol (I wasn't).

    I didn't say you said c&c people; I just said c&c. You directly stated here
    That is pretty much implying there is a problem somewhere in c&c. The purpose of my post was to explain, at least with the alaka / cosmic situation, that it had nothing to do with c&c or any systems involving c&c.

    We're telling why, at one point, the analyses weren't uploaded. If they weren't uploaded previously to alaka / cosmic decisions, then that is another issue that deserves revealing. You're more than welcome to explicitly state why and how they weren't uploaded. Note I say explicit; I don't want standard talking points about c&c red tape or badgeless users not having voice or whatever. Who and what specific issue prevented those analyses from being uploaded? Answering that can help us prevent this in the future.

    If these two users are the ones representing vgc in c&c...then yes it is necessary. Why would we do something the leaders of a section don't want us to do?

    People have posted SUGGESTIONS. No solutions (solutions defined in your words, as "something that can be done"). Why? Because we have no idea whether or not open editing will work. I've already stated I'm down for a controlled beta test of it, but until its viability is shown, it is simply a suggestion.

    I concur. But note, we weren't limiting it to these two. They simply said something and we adhered to that, because we're not responsible for those sections. The ones who are would be whoever plays it and writes for it (you guys). If someone else said otherwise, we'd look at it then. The crux of this problem, and there is a problem, is that for some reason vgc people did not simply upload the analyses. Like I said before...there are plenty of vgc people with badges who aren't alaka / cosmic. Why didn't they just upload these analyses using uu / ubers tags?

    Even if for some reason you feel you don't have a voice (which is silly to me, because we have plenty of policy decisions in #pokemon that are suggested by badgeless users), I know you specifically are friends with a lot of ducks, a lot of whom have badges. If these analyses weren't up, and you didn't agree with alaka / cosmic in waiting for tabs...why didn't you just tell those people to tell us?


    I'm sorry if you feel like you're getting heat lol. When I said your post was amusing me, I meant the content your post was directing to (the "ignored" vgc 2011 analyses). It was extremely humorous to me that finished stuff wouldn't be on site, because when I used to write, I used to force people to put stuff up. I just did it. I have never felt otherwise. I worked within C&C guidelines sure, but I made sure my stuff was up.

    Btw, badgeless people like you can easily post a set in the vgc section on c&c, and then just nag someone to throw it up. Sure, it isn't as direct as open editing, but until that is shown to be viable, it is still a way to do it.

    Wanna out whoever is giving you crap? Doesn't make sense to me. Your post may have been slightly off topic but it was still a legitimate point. I just wanted to clarify that there were non c&c related reasons for why those analyses weren't uploaded, and I wanted to clarify, using myself as an example, that should they have been desired to be uploaded, they easily could have been.

    Note, the op wants open editing . You posted in support of that. That is fine (and obviously shouldn't take heat). The issue is that all of your stated grievances with the non uploaded vgc 2011 analyses weren't due to anything c&c personal / system related...it was purely technical THEN a statement from vgc guys themselves.

    I know you're saying you want the technical issue to be resolved via open editing, but you have to realize that that's simply a suggestion (note suggestion box thread). We can (and have) acknowledged the point, and I wouldn't be surprised if we decide on a controlled beta for it sometime in the future. My concern was regarding what spurred you to consider changing the technical side.

    There is no reason anything that truly needs to be on site cannot be on site relatively quickly. In fact, were you to tell me to do, I'd have 5 people on the job getting them on site within 2 days. If you were to convince sds / greatsage / whoever to do it...they would do it. It may not look pretty and may be non optimal, but I promise you that all it takes is a simple pm and some reasoned logic and people will be more than willing to help you get stuff up on site.
  10. zarator

    zarator Credits to Mos-Quitoxe for the cute sprite^^
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    Quite frankly, I don't get why all of a sudden the entire discussion has been derailed by VGC. Yes, ok, VGC had this problem in that it still lacks a proper on-site placement. So what? Is this an argument in favor of what the OP promotes? Not at all. At best, what I could reply is, "yes, ok, the VGC is kind of an issue. Let's get a VGC tab on the Smogondex and everything will be fine". This entire problem doesn't require any kind of action remotely close to the ones suggested by the OP.

    So far, all of you failed to prove in some way that the new system proposed by Dan would be better than the current one. The only cohesive arguments I heard in favor of it are Dan's own one and Eric's.

    Dan says something along this lines (correct me if I'm wrong):

    As far as the GP goes, this is why we have the Small Objective Changes section. Personally I never posted in it, but I doubt it'll take more than a day or two for the staff to implement the proposed edits, should they be actually required. This system and the free edit one allow just the same level of quality in prose, with the only difference the former exchange 24-48 hours of wait for an edit (just assuming, IMO it could be shorter) in favor of not having to continually check the site to see if someone made bad edits.

    As for the QC, I have two issues with the critique. On one side, which kind of assurance we may have of the quality of an article or an analysis? Currently we have the 3 QC stamps, but what can replace them with? You may say "good players in general", but to be frank, if they're actually that good they would be on the QC team to begin with, and if they're not, then I seriously doubt they could see something that not a single QC member could. I'm still waiting for you to bring me proof of a case - even one! - which saw the QC team being wrong in regards to the viability of a Pokémon set. And don't tell me "it may happen in the future". If it never happened, I don't see why we should change to such a controversial system just because the QC may be wrong in a (distant?) future.

    Now, Eric's point is pretty much this one (again, correct me if I'm wrong):

    Well, as a premise, I'm not English motherlanguage. So I don't think it's impossible for a non English person to make decent, cohesive contributions. But even then, let's consider this 14-year non-English kid you may or may not talk about (sorry for stereotyping, it's just to get the message across). My question is: is it worth to change the entire system just to allow him to contribute with the 2-3 lines his poor language (battling?) skills allow him to? My answer is pretty much no, for two reasons. On one hand, chances are we'll find a more experienced player to make up for it. The analyses are already reserved at a blistering pace, and there are also quite a good number of articles in progress. On the other hand, this 14-year kid we're talking about is very likely to offset his little, albeit acceptable, contribution with one or more bad edits somewhere else. And don't bring it into a moral argument - we have no ethical compelling reason to sacrifice the entire system just to allow the kid to make his tiny contribution. Let him grow up, then he will contribute (maybe). It's not as if the site actually lack contributors in the first place.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    In conclusion, I'd like to point out one last thing for both. Currently, Smogon system is structured in a way which ensures that, if something is on-site, then it is of good quality, necessarily. With the new system, we no longer would have such an insurance. How would you supposed to know whether the analysis you're reading just incurred a bad edit from the 14-year old kid or it is at its best? On Wikipedia, you do have citations in case you want to verify the quality of an article on your own, but on Smogon? The closest thing we have to an objective authority in matter of quality is the Quality Control team. So, we'd have to constantly refer to them to be sure a certain analysis is currently OK or not. Then, I ask: why not stick to the current system? We get the same level of quality, for little to no time cost. The only cost, if any, is that we won't get the 14-year old kid to give in his contribution. Geez, how shocking.
  11. TheBaron

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    Just open up the Policy Review and that is all the change we need. Speeding up Contributions & Corrections would be nice too. (They cleaned up the BP oil spill, we can clean up C. & C.) Please stop comparing us to Wikipedia. We are a specialized site, not an ocean of knowledge. My solution for C. & C.: Hire some Silph Co. tax attorneys to clean it up.
  12. capefeather

    capefeather no shit
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    I just had a thought. What if articles and analyses *were* cited? A set could link to something like an RMT (it would probably be an RMT most of the time) so as to demonstrate that someone has used quite successfully. I guess we can't cite everything this way, but citing the sets could be worth looking into.
  13. Lanturn314

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    OK, so, if you guys were going to make it a wiki, who would clean up after all the random noobs putting up Charizard sets with Flamethrower/Fire Blast/Ember/Blast Burn? You say you have about 200 badged members, but not all of them are necessarily well-versed enough in pokemon to know what's viable and what's not (I know the example I gave doesn't look viable to ANYONE with half a brain, but I'm talking about more borderline cases). Seriously, though, a lot of the badges aren't even pokemon related: art badge, IRC-related badges, mods related to social forums... even battle server mods and researcher badges and smog contributor badges don't really guarantee any special knowledge of the metagame. So there would actually be a lot less than 200 badged members who would be both interested and able to make sure that no scrub sets were posted. And there will always be a LOT of noob edits, because a lot of people think they know Pokemon a lot better than they really do. This will be a bigger problem than dealing with vandals, because it will happen more often and probably be more difficult to detect. Do you guys really want to have to deal with that?

    The reason we differ from wikipedia, I think, is that wikipedia is a lot more general in scope. If you look at some of the more highly-specialized articles, they are not nearly as comprehensive as the more general articles, and people mostly use wikipedia for the latter. If you're trying to use wikipedia as a specialized source for a research paper, you are doing something wrong; it's fine to look at those specialized articles and see what is cited and then look at the sources themselves, but no one wanting deep knowledge on a topic would go to wikipedia alone.

    Smogon, however, was designed to give people deep, specialized knowledge on competitive pokemon at a high level. When people go to smogon to check sets, they are expecting high-quality, trust-worthy material to be in all the articles and write-ups they read. And who better to write up high-quality articles than people who actually know what they are talking about?

    The way C&C is set up right now still allows random users to post write-ups of pokemon, which is great. But what makes it work is that people actually check to make sure that whatever goes on-site IS of high quality. And that's the way it should be. No one would be happy with having a wiki-style approach to Science or Nature, and smogon is kind of like the Nature of pokemon... sort of.

    Now, to those who think it is too inefficient and that it is ridiculous to expect everyone who wants to write anything to have to push things through QC and GP and all that stuff, and who wish it could be more of a collaborative effort... you guys have a point, too. Scientific publications have to go through peer review, but they almost never have just one author; scientists work together on experiments and on write-ups. Similarly, highly-qualified people should have the ability to collaborate on analyses.

    And so here is my proposal: WYNAUT give QC members project mods on whatever subforums they specialize in checking? You trust them to ensure that the sets are of the highest quality possible, so why not trust them to directly edit the write-ups? Of course there would have to be systems set in place to make sure that newbies to C&C would have the chance to see what changes were being made to their analyses, and to hold the QC members accountable for whatever changes they made. Perhaps they could post in the thread if they made any major changes so that people could debate them if needed, and stamps would also have to be posted still. I don't know, you guys can work out the kinks if you actually think this is the start of a good idea, but that's just my two cents.
  14. FlareBlitz

    FlareBlitz This was never a story that would have a happy end
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    As a member of the 4th gen UU QC team and someone who is currently active in 5th gen UU CC, I am strongly opposed to allowing analyses on-site without any oversight process. In my experience, even the most experienced members will have their analyses slightly modified before it is uploaded...and an analyses submitted by the average is often very extensively modified. I really don't think it's a good idea to make mods have to deal with things like Red Card Donphan when the current C&C process is perfectly fine. Granted, there is a longer turn around period for analyses whose uploaders are not actively following up on them, but that's something that should be solved by a sharper response to inactive analyses, not by turning the entire thing into the equivalent of bulbapedia.

    I don't have much to say about the other stuff, except that it really does seem like Policy Review is pretty redundant...
  15. Glen

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    a wiki system is practical when you want the result to be an aggregate of facts. there is no grey area and no 'skill' is required, so you can expect the general public to keep it under control; if anyone sees something that is demonstrably false, they can remove it. while competitive battling is based on facts, it is more about the often-complex application of them. that is something that, unfortunately, you cannot expect the public to handle.
  16. TheBaron

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    Smogon should not become a wiki.
  17. Curtains

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    shit might as well count me out then.

    But yeah glens last post is spot on. Pokemon battling is a complex system that requires accurate writing. Most things also are common knowledge like history is on wikipedia. A new user may look at a haxorus as a defensive pokemon because its big and want to put that on the site. Its just a big waste of time. the current system is slow and methodical and thats how most things should be or you get a clusterfuck like other sites.
  18. capefeather

    capefeather no shit
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    wait what
  19. Curtains

    Curtains

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    typo
  20. Tayla

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    Maybe I'm reading this wrong, but if the two mods in charge of VGC analyses neglect to put all of that hardwork on site somehow simply on the basis of "it'll look crappy, should they be in charge? I'm not faulting anyone, I'm just trying to get clarification. Sites other than Smogon have mods on subforums to manage it to the best of their ability. I've written analyses for other sites, one "competitive", several not. Always on these sites, complaints are forwarded to the mods of your forum. They know best about the forum, why would the users writing analyses need to go to an admin or mod not affiliated with that forum? After all, they're in charge because they've shown they know how to work the subforum, and want what's best for it.

    I think it's a shame those pages of analyses simply rotted. All because "it wouldn't look good on site".

    As for the OP, open editing might be a good idea for non-badged members, but only with checks in place to prevent spammers and vandalism. The badge itself is kind of like a "check", though I suppose something like account age, or the like could be used. Or perhaps have an application form, where people who want to be able to contribute more easily could apply to do so. Someone or somebodies could possibly be in charge of that. A badge holder, or a specific mod(s) on a subforum.

    Point two, like others have said, if you want your contribution on site quickly, you can accomplish that. Most rotting articles, besides the VGC, are articles the original author abandoned. Chou brought up a good point in shifting responsiblity to another author. It wouldn't be that hard to do.

    Point three.. I'm kind of on the line about this. Some users simply don't know how Smogon works internally, myself included. I can give advice on certain things, but I'm not the best at competitive / coding / etc. Perhaps if PR was opened, it could have a similar, or related, application like free-editing. Though badges are, again, kind of like an app in of itself.

    On to the Smog, I completely disagree with this. Magazines don't release their uncompleted articles. What would be the point of reading the completed magazine if you've already read the articles in their final phases? Why produce art, what would motivate artists like Nastyjungle, Chou, and others to contribute when no one would bother to read it?
  21. Umbreon Dan

    Umbreon Dan 〉λ=
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    stop fucking saying this, everyone. i've heard it a million times and i've already explained why it's bogus. there are real arguments to be made against this suggestion, but this is not one of them.

    the smog is not a traditional magazine. unlike the new york times, it does not have a budget. it does not have shareholders. it does not have customers. the smog was never created to get millions of readers. when the smog was in its planning stages, not one person said, "think of all the readers it will have!"

    what actually was said was, "let's make something fun and informative".

    what does this mean? the smog does not care if anyone reads it before or after the release date. the smog was created for its own sake. all the smog community wants is to create the best source of pokemon-news on the web.

    if that results in having millions of readers, cool. but getting millions of readers was never the point. the point is to make something amazing that smogon can be proud of.

    the point is to make the smog every bit as great as it can be, and i believe transparency is the path to achieve that.

    like i said, there are serious arguments to be made against my stance. if you think transparency will lower the quality, i'm interested in hearing that. or, if you think transparency will make writing for it less fun, i'm open to that too. but please, don't tell me people will stop reading the smog - you are missing the whole point.
  22. Firestorm

    Firestorm I did my best, I have no regrets!
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    Because you can't logic your way into everything. People prefer presenting a finished product at the end of a development cycle. I think it's important for Smog editors to do some outreach if they need certain articles and for writers to consult the right people if they need expert advice on their articles, but otherwise I don't think transparency does much for it at all.

    It's not about maximizing readers. It's about maximizing the reader experience. I believe this provides a better experience for both the reader and writer than having people having access to it throughout the process.
  23. Umbreon Dan

    Umbreon Dan 〉λ=
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    i don't really agree that publicizing the smog's development would affect the reader experience, but thanks for posting what is probably the first reasoned counterargument (to that suggestion) in this thread.
  24. tennisace

    tennisace
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    6,975
    Once again, you are 100% wrong. The Smog is meant to be released like a traditional magazine. Interestingly enough, I'm not sure you know what a magazine is, since you have compared The Smog to Wikipedia and now the New York Times. So lemme break it down for you:

    Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia. It is meant to be a database of knowledge that is easily editable. It contains only facts that can be cited and verified.

    The New York Times is a newspaper. It is meant to be a daily summary of news events that happen either locally, nationally, or globally. Most articles contain some mix of fact and opinion, but don't go in-depth and just report on the subject.

    A magazine is supposed to contain in-depth articles containing fact mixed with opinion on a subject. The person writing on the subject needs to be knowledgeable on the subject they are writing on. The Smog is, in fact, a traditional magazine.

    I really don't understand this quote, taken from the first page:

    All Smogon users are more than welcome to PM an idea for an article to someone who is working on The Smog. If they show ambition, they will be allowed to write the article with few questions asked.
  25. Tayla

    Tayla

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2008
    Messages:
    702
    Firestorm's point is the same as the majority of users going against your suggestion. Revealing unfinished articles to the public, revealing every step from scratch to polished, will lessen the reader's enjoyment and basically make the magazine pointless. It's like reading articles on site, or in the forum. You get to see the whole editing process.

    If you had read closely, you'd see these posts were doing just that, but not using the word "transparency".

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