Hi all, I've been reading the recent threads about the niche review/voting process and a potential fix occurs to me.

Why not have a simple function for niche proposers to withdraw their submission?

When suggesting a niche, it seems to me that the person suggesting ought to automatically be set to follow that niche proposal. That way, they will get auto notifications when comments are left. If the comments make a clear enough case, the proposer can simply withdraw the proposal. They could then submit a new one. 

Example:
1. There is currently a suggested niche in the ballot box, called Biophelia.
2. This is a simple misspelling of Biophilia.
3. I left a comment to that effect. 
4. Proposer should get notified of my comment
5. Proposer withdraws submission. 
6. Proposer submits Biophilia. 
7. Community votes in favour
8. Happy days all round

As an alternative, that process can go on for days and/or require tribunal etc, THEN a new submission can be made. 

I know which I think is easier. What do you think?  

Original Post
Mark Horler posted:

Hi all, I've been reading the recent threads about the niche review/voting process and a potential fix occurs to me.

Why not have a simple function for niche proposers to withdraw their submission?

When suggesting a niche, it seems to me that the person suggesting ought to automatically be set to follow that niche proposal. That way, they will get auto notifications when comments are left. If the comments make a clear enough case, the proposer can simply withdraw the proposal. They could then submit a new one. 

Example:
1. There is currently a suggested niche in the ballot box, called Biophelia.
2. This is a simple misspelling of Biophilia.
3. I left a comment to that effect. 
4. Proposer should get notified of my comment
5. Proposer withdraws submission. 
6. Proposer submits Biophilia. 
7. Community votes in favour
8. Happy days all round

As an alternative, that process can go on for days and/or require tribunal etc, THEN a new submission can be made. 

I know which I think is easier. What do you think?  

This makes perfect sense.

It is the most clearly expressed of many suggestions that have been put forth to try to fix this.

I really hope we don't wait for an indeterminate period of time before addressing this.  My prior experience of actively developed software is at least weekly builds with changes pushed into situation so they can be tested in the battle field.  We don't seem to have that structure with Narrative - there seems to be no schedule of making subversion updates.  

There may be a good reason for this but it has been inadequately explained so far.  All we've been told in one instance is that they are waiting for the next 'version' to roll out the change we were discussing (making comments more visible).  The problem is, the Community doesn't know what that means.  What is the next version.  Is it the Beta version of Chaucer?  Is it an iteration of the Alpha version, and if it is, when is it to be released?  I'm hoping the @Narrative Network Team will find the time to communicate clearly about these things.

There is no bug/feature request list for the community to contribute to.  We are being under-utilised, and the development is not benefitting optimally from a high frequency feedback loop that should exist during the testing phase.  Optimally, fixes would be being pushed constantly, with a constant dialogue between the dev team and the testers.

 

Thanks for the suggestion, @Mark Horler! It's definitely an interesting idea. The current reasoning is that the niche suggester should do their due diligence before suggesting the niche to avoid this scenario. I think if we took the approach you are suggesting, there would have to be some conditions in place to prevent abuse since your system would give the niche suggester more power than they have now. As one example, a determined Narrator could repeatedly suggest and withdraw a niche idea and effectively "black hole" the niche so that it could never exist on the system. To combat this, the suggester probably should only be able to withdraw the suggestion once a minimum number of votes have been reached and the majority of them are downvotes. That would prevent "black hole" abuse, but at that point, I'm not sure what it would achieve that the current system doesn't. Something to think about, anyway!

@Malkazoid, our development team is doing bi-weekly development sprints, so our release cycle will likely be at least every two weeks in the future. Having said that, we are in the process of building the beta right now, so we aren't doing many incremental updates to Chaucer. I don't foresee making any changes to the niche voting process (including comments) in the near future, but we'll definitely be reevaluating along with your feedback as we move towards the beta.

I also just want to reiterate that we are listening to all of the feedback we are receiving. @Malkazoid, you in particular have shared a wealth of ideas, which is awesome! While we can't take immediate action on every idea (and some ideas may never be implemented), the collective feedback the Narrative community provides is definitely having an impact on the process of building the platform. We welcome, encourage, and appreciate any and all feedback

We will be announcing more about our development roadmap in the next few weeks, so stay tuned for more updates!

Hi @Brian Lenz, thanks for coming back on this. It seems to me like the black hole problem you mention could be easily resolved. 

At present, any given person can only suggest one niche per day. A similar control on the withdrawal of a niche, ought to pretty much fix it I think. Could be set to one withdrawal per week, say. Or an absolute maximum number of withdrawals, after which both the ability to suggest and to withdraw are removed from that user for a set period of time.

Something like that?      

Yeah, that's another option if we went with the withdrawal approach. One other feature consideration that plays in here is whether you'd need to pay to suggest a niche, which is being discussed here.

One advantage of encouraging users to be more diligent about niches they suggest up front is that niche suggesters could potentially pass the responsibility to the community. If I know the community will do the research or have the information about whether this is a valid niche or not, I may be willing to suggest new niches without doing any research. As long as I have the ability to withdraw a niche suggestion if it's not valid in my hip pocket, there's less incentive for me to "get it right" the first time. Because of that, if Narrative was to support suggestion withdrawals, there may still need to be a reputation hit to the suggester. Regardless of whether it's voted down by the community, voted down by the tribunal, or withdrawn by the suggester, it's a niche that shouldn't ultimately have been suggested.

You know, I started writing about the reputation system with regard to this, but I just couldn't quite put my finger on how exactly to make it work, so I left it out in the end. I think you've nailed it there! 

People *should* get it right first time. They won't so a practical solution is required. But they should, so a reputation hit incentivises getting it right before that mechanism needs to be used. Best solution first, practical fix as a backstop. I like it. 

 

 

p.s For the record, I would be against making people pay for suggestions though. 

This misspelling issue was mentioned by @Emily Barnett a  couple of months ago as well (see this post), and we have been thinking of options to improve things since then.  We have some improvements we will add in the future and will post the details here on the community soon. With the changes, there will be more flexibility in fixing typos/errors, which should improve the flow of things quite a bit.

Ted posted:

This misspelling issue was mentioned by @Emily Barnett a  couple of months ago as well, and we have been thinking of options to improve things since then.  We have some improvements we will add in the future and will post the details here on the community soon. With the improvements, there will be more flexibility in fixing typos/errors, which should improve the flow of things quite a bit.

Really looking forward to this.

I am the proposer of the specific niche in discussion here. I realized I misspelled "Biophilia" when I checked on the status of the ballot. At the same time, I saw Mark Horler's comment. I've left a couple of comments myself admitting my error and suggesting that the misspelling "biophelia" be rejected so that I, or someone else, could propose the correcting spelled niche. I even voted it down. 

As a freelance environmental writer, I've written about the idea of biophilia for years. In this instance, I'd argue that this is not due to a "lack of diligence" but simply a mistake and poor editing on my part. 

In any case, I think this niche is an important one and I hope it makes it to an auction. But it needs to be spelled correctly or the credibility of discussion is mute. I'm willing to take some sort of penalty or whatever should happen to maintain the integrity of this process. I realize I made one of the mistakes repeatedly warned against.

I hope to get a chance to resubmit the niche, but if not, I hope someone else will. 

It would be nice if I could simply withdraw the suggested niche. 

Thanks,

Tom

Brian Lenz posted:

Yeah, that's another option if we went with the withdrawal approach. One other feature consideration that plays in here is whether you'd need to pay to suggest a niche, which is being discussed here.

One advantage of encouraging users to be more diligent about niches they suggest up front is that niche suggesters could potentially pass the responsibility to the community. If I know the community will do the research or have the information about whether this is a valid niche or not, I may be willing to suggest new niches without doing any research. As long as I have the ability to withdraw a niche suggestion if it's not valid in my hip pocket, there's less incentive for me to "get it right" the first time. Because of that, if Narrative was to support suggestion withdrawals, there may still need to be a reputation hit to the suggester. Regardless of whether it's voted down by the community, voted down by the tribunal, or withdrawn by the suggester, it's a niche that shouldn't ultimately have been suggested.

Makes sense but would be great to have a warning before suggestion, especially if this may impact on my reputation. Maybe it's already there, but I didn't notice and discovered later.

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Vico BiscottiMalkazoid
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