Would you guys maybe consider eliminating the threshold of 5 points to display Similar Artists on the main tab, and just showing any band with at least +1 net votes? I feel like the feature is being underused because most people probably don't know that you can click the "edit" button and see suggested bands who have <5 votes. (I'd imagine most people who don't make efforts to maintain the database haven't even pressed that button, thinking that it serves some sort of administrative purpose.) The page is already designed to where, if a band has too many similar artists, it'll only show the top 20 by default...if that system's already in place to keep the list from getting too long, then there's no need to filter it further by excluding bands with only 1-4 votes.
I'd like to see the Similar Artists system work as a tangible web between the bands on the website, but it's not as effective for more obscure bands simply because the odds of five people looking at a band, thinking of a similar artist and having it coincidentally be the same band five times in a row are slim. Here's an example: take one of my favorite underground BM bands, Grand Mood
. Grand Mood are on the same record label as a band named Eunuch
, and if you listen to both bands it's heavily implied that Grand Mood share, at the very least, a vocalist with Eunuch, to say nothing of Eunuch's similar sense of riffcraft and composition. The problem lies in that, with the current system, I doubt many people would even think to make the connection between those two bands, because this requires them either 1) being aware that the "edit" button lets you see bands with fewer votes than 5, or 2) aware of their similarities to the point where they automatically think of Grand Mood when Eunuch comes to mind. Were these two bands more well-known, their similarity would be openly acknowledged in the same way that Mercyful Fate's similarity to King Diamond is
, but they currently have a score of 2. Looking at Grand Mood's tab without clicking "edit", MA says they're only similar to Cirrhus (and that was only because a moderator voted on them). I don't think they - or any other band - should be penalized like that merely because they're not famous enough for five people to have come to a consensus on their similarity. Hell, maybe if you made the similarity public, someone who was aware of Grand Mood but not Eunuch would discover Eunuch from there, listen to them, concur with the two bands' similarity, and add another vote to the total to make it 3!
In short, the current system is kind of biased towards larger bands, and I think the playing field could be leveled for more obscure bands by not holding them to the "you need at least 5 votes to show up on the main tab" rule. If you put them out in the open, more people will vote on them, which will not only give bands that are more underground than, say, Cannibal Corpse a chance to have similar artists, but it'll refine the voting system by allowing more people to downvote bands before they get to 5 net votes. You see this happening a lot, where a band will sit at 4 for a long time, then someone will finally upvote it to 5 and it'll be displayed on the main page, then someone will downvote it, and it'll repeat that for a long while in some pathetic sort of 4/5 limbo. This won't happen (at least not as often) if you don't obfuscate that band as an option the moment they go below 5.
Thoughts and feedback on this idea would be appreciated.