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MutantClannfear
Metalhead

Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 12:12 am
Posts: 2373
Location: United States
PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 5:38 pm 
 

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.

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Zodijackyl
Lazy Wizard

Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 5:39 pm
Posts: 5030
Location: United States
PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 8:24 pm 
 

A potential problem with this is that it is much more likely to display incorrect or poor information. There are some users who otherwise contribute nothing on the site but have thousands, even tens of thousands of band rec votes, many of them seemingly poorly chosen. The problem here is that I would likely trust one vote from forum/site regulars who I know are competent, but I have also come across quite a few atrociously awful band recs for local and other little known bands. It seems that the most active voted similarities can be poorly biased towards bands that have some relation - shared members, labels, or from the same scene/area - but aren't necessarily the best recommendations. I think excluding any users from the process removes some of the point, but it would also be an unnecessary pain to try to manage any more complex point system than the current one, though I wouldn't oppose giving knights 2-3 points per vote.

The main problem I forsee with making every rec vote visible is that we would probably get some confused reports from bands about awful recs people made. I also tend to notice that I think a few users follow others around and vote with/against nearly all of their votes. Unfortunately it's an imperfect system that can be tough to balance.

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Metantoine
The XVI, dominar to over 258714 subjects

Joined: Sat Jun 21, 2008 5:00 pm
Posts: 8969
Location: Québec
PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 8:45 pm 
 

I like the idea of Yodajackyl, giving knights 3 points would be cool.

Perhaps the system is biased against more underground bands but hey, if a troll decides to go a on recommending spree, it's gonna be way more obvious. I guess it's too bad for small bands but eh removing the 5 points threshold is a risk I'm not willing to take. The system is not perfectly balanced but it would be hard to fixed... Maybe we could make a thread to incite forum members to vote and discuss the similarities of bands, perhaps a sticky?
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MutantClannfear
Metalhead

Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 12:12 am
Posts: 2373
Location: United States
PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 11:40 pm 
 

I can't really say I'd mind the idea of having a bit more voting ability for the similar artists. :D I understand what you mean about trolling/vote spiking and other methods of abuse, but on the other hand I thought that was something that the mods could combat since their votes count for 5 apiece. If people's votes are really inaccurate, a couple of mods chiming in can boot it down to 0 again and that'll be the end of that, and if they are adequately placed votes, then... well, then obviously it's okay for them to be there. I agree about the sort of mindless upvoting, though, and that may be one of the bigger downsides to integrating something like this. It seems like a lot of times, if something becomes visible on the tab, people will upvote it just because it appears there. But then again, I've seen lots of stuff get downvoted a lot soon after it becomes visible, so I doubt it would be overwhelmingly one-sided and lead to totally inaccurate bands listed as similar. When that *does* happen (I think the biggest example is probably Immolation/Incantation) it's just sort of an inevitability, and short of cutting the democracy out of the voting system whenever the mods disagree (which doesn't seem like a great idea) it'd just be something you have to live with either way.

But yeah, this post isn't exactly 100% about removing the cut-off for votes with a total of less than five. My main point is that bands with less than five votes kind of get the short end of the stick, and finding some way to get around that (whether that's by making the less upvoted bands more visible, getting more people involved, or letting more people have weightier vote abilities) would be appreciated to make it a more comprehensive and helpful addition to the database.

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