Reply to "Shopping vs online shopping - a Tribunal appeal question"

Brian Lenz posted:

Hi @Malkazoid,

I can see where you're coming from here. I think this is a matter of standards vs. best practices. The Tribunal (and community!) really should only be rejecting niches based on the criteria set by the system: unique, no profanity, no misspellings, English, and complies with the TOS. I don't see imperfection (or lack of perfect consistency) as a standard that must be upheld. There is gray area and margin for error. Some niche descriptions are sub-optimal and may not follow best practices, but that doesn't mean the niche should be rejected. I would agree that mentioning exclusively "online" shopping isn't ideal for a general "Shopping" niche, but I also see it as a very minor issue that isn't sufficient grounds for rejection. I think people will easily understand the "Shopping" niche by the name alone.

Now, if we're talking about a Politics niche that exclusively mentions sports (as one absurd example), we'd have a stronger argument for rejection.

Ultimately, I don't see this as a contradiction. Molly's post simply refers to best practices when creating a niche to ensure optimal efficiency for a niche's success. Not abiding by those best practices won't be grounds for a rejection, however.

Does this help explain the reasoning? As always, we appreciate your level of engagement and thoughtfulness!



Thanks Brian - that does help me understand your process.

You did leave out one of the rejection criteria that is available to voters: "The niche name/description is unclear/incorrect."  This is grounds for rejection, and it describes the current issue very well.

I'd like to make a recommendation.

I agree whole-heartedly that rejecting the niche is not optimal.

But I feel equally strongly that leaving it in its current state is undesirable.  More so than rejecting the niche.  After all, if rejected, it just gets suggested again in a better way.  If left as is, Narrative inherits a flawed niche.

I would urge you to view the macrocosm here, rather than just this one niche.  It might seem relatively harmless, but multiply it by the dozens, perhaps hundreds of niches that will end up flawed if the current policy continues, and we have more of a significant problem.  Remember we have set ourselves up to be synonymous with quality.  Allowing, systemically, these sorts of incoherences belies that aspiration.  It is sloppy, to be honest.  

If we were talking about something that is peripheral to the network, it wouldn't be so important.  But niches are central.

So if for some reason, you don't want to reject these sorts of niches, empower the tribunal to fix them.  Contact the niche suggester and give them 48 hours to change the description to remove the word "online". 

Or do it for them, and contact them to let them know that if they do not opt out of the new description within 48 hours, it will become the description of the niche.  If they choose to opt out, then the niche gets rejected.

I just don't think we're going about this right if we just let these problems sail on past us.  If we do, it will all add up to a less than optimal launch.  Once the platform is live, the @Narrative Network Team is going to have its hands full with bug fixes, systemic issues, and further development, as it is.  Why add deferred quality control to the pile, when these things can be fixed here and now?  People are catching the issues for you now, in the present.  Choosing not to act on them in some way is a waste of the QC energies of the community, and of an opportunity.

I'm just putting forth my best understanding of things: there is no time like the present.  Make the criteria strict and enforceable, and you will end up with a clean, clear, solid-feeling mesh of niches at launch.  If you don't, you won't.

I will refrain from submitting appeals until there is communication that the rejection criteria offered when we vote on niches are the same criteria that will be consistently applied by the tribunal.  It is bad enough that I'll get a rep hit for this appeal - I'd like to avoid it happening to me more than once.