Editing: Making MusicBrainz better

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Editing: Making MusicBrainz better

Kuno Woudt
Hello,

For those of you who have not seen Rob's blog post today, please read
it!

http://blog.musicbrainz.org/2015/01/09/editing-making-musicbrainz-better/

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Re: Editing: Making MusicBrainz better

pankkake
On 2015-01-09 21:03, Kuno Woudt wrote:
> Hello,
>
> For those of you who have not seen Rob's blog post today, please read
> it!
>
> http://blog.musicbrainz.org/2015/01/09/editing-making-musicbrainz-better/
>

Those complains are supported by people who don't actively edit the
database and don't deal with those users. Users who instead of actually
participating on the edits, resort to lies and moreover do it covertly.

This isn't the first time I've seen this attitude of complaining
elsewhere while providing only half the information.

If you want to alienate your editors: fine. Keep in mind MusicBrainz and
its database are open and editors can always decide to abandon you for
an organization that isn't so easily swayed by liars.

For example, this is a lie as the edit was incorrect, and fixed by others:
http://chatlogs.musicbrainz.org/musicbrainz/2015/2015-01/2015-01-08.html#T15-28-11-855569

This is a good example of refusing to deal with a mistake and
complaining instead:
http://chatlogs.musicbrainz.org/musicbrainz/2014/2014-01/2014-01-04.html#T21-46-05-2307
By an editor that has a wide history of insulting other editors, no
less. (also lol at this:
http://chatlogs.musicbrainz.org/musicbrainz/2014/2014-01/2014-01-04.html#T22-43-17-63759)

I've dealt with a lot of new users, and many of those became regular
editors; some are now auto editors. You just have to understand that not
everyone cares about the database, and some users have to be contained.
Just this week I as spent an extra hour fixing edits of a new user. I
don't complain about it, because I knew the user would be receptive and
I was somewhat interested by what he added. Still, please understand
what this entails.

I also do vote No on some users because I *KNOW* they will very likely
not respond at all, and this happens way too often; I wonder if it is
because they use throwaway e-mail services.

There is a clear lack of voting nowadays. Guess what will happen if you
bully voters even more?
By the way, 6% of total votes are No, while mine are below 2%. I'm
totally abusing my power and thinking of myself as a God.

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Re: Editing: Making MusicBrainz better

Robert Kaye
Administrator

On Jan 9, 2015, at 9:36 PM, pankkake wrote:

On 2015-01-09 21:03, Kuno Woudt wrote:
Hello,

For those of you who have not seen Rob's blog post today, please read
it!

http://blog.musicbrainz.org/2015/01/09/editing-making-musicbrainz-better/


Those complains are supported by people who don't actively edit the
database and don't deal with those users. Users who instead of actually
participating on the edits, resort to lies and moreover do it covertly.

Wow, thats quite the accusatory opening statement. And it already goes against what I wrote in the blog post. :( May I remind you to please tone down your accusatory speech and be polite?

Those complaints came from numerous active editors and your name, among quite a few others,  has been cropping up a lot lately. Your harsh response makes it clear that you feel spoken to.

This isn't the first time I've seen this attitude of complaining
elsewhere while providing only half the information.

You haven't seen the information that was provided to me. How can you say this?

If you want to alienate your editors: fine. Keep in mind MusicBrainz and
its database are open and editors can always decide to abandon you for
an organization that isn't so easily swayed by liars.

Again, please temper your speech. And I think you are doing a greater job of alienating editors than I am. After I posted this blog post I got a storm of private feedback thanking me for posting it. And it was re-tweeted on twitter several times. Clearly the post has hit a nerve because the community has a bit of a problem. If you feel that this blog post nudges the community in the wrong direction, then you're free to exercise your rights and "abandon us".


By an editor that has a wide history of insulting other editors, no
less. (also lol at this:
http://chatlogs.musicbrainz.org/musicbrainz/2014/2014-01/2014-01-04.html#T22-43-17-63759)

I find it funny, yet sad that you sent this link along. In the linked edit you display a ton of negative/inappropriate behaviour. I'll ask once again: Please be polite.


I've dealt with a lot of new users, and many of those became regular
editors; some are now auto editors. You just have to understand that not
everyone cares about the database, and some users have to be contained.

What? Users need to be contained?? I find that thinking offensive. Users need to be helped, guided and mentored. Not contained.

Just this week I as spent an extra hour fixing edits of a new user. I
don't complain about it, because I knew the user would be receptive and
I was somewhat interested by what he added. Still, please understand
what this entails.

I'm quite aware what this entails. I suspect that new editors do a terrible job when they are "being contained" and not mentored. 

To give you some context, here is what Wikipedia thinks about this:


You are doing exactly the opposite. Please stop.

I also do vote No on some users because I *KNOW* they will very likely
not respond at all, and this happens way too often; I wonder if it is
because they use throwaway e-mail services.

People using throw-away email services are just trying to sock-puppet to get around editors who are "containing" them. If we mentored newbies and helped them, they would not need sock-puppet accounts.

There is a clear lack of voting nowadays. Guess what will happen if you
bully voters even more?

I'm not suggesting to bully anyone -- those are your words. I'm interested in reminding people to be nice. And if some people don't like that, fine, they'll stop voting. That will leave room for people who are nice to step in and vote again, because the overall tone has gotten more friendly.

By the way, 6% of total votes are No, while mine are below 2%. I'm
totally abusing my power and thinking of myself as a God.

When a no vote is considered a last resort and you're checking your no vote percentage, then there is clearly something wrong.

You've been around a really long time -- such a long time that you've seen the community change quite a bit over the years. I challenge you to look back 10 years or so and reach back to that age and be more polite while you're editing and voting. Furthermore I challenge you to not use no votes. Leave no votes for those cases when someone is clearly trying to destroy data.

What do you think?

--

--ruaok        The answer to whether or not something is a good idea should not be taken as an indication of whether I want to do it.

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Re: Editing: Making MusicBrainz better

pankkake
On 2015-01-10 12:00, Robert Kaye wrote:
> Wow, thats quite the accusatory opening statement. And it already goes
> against what I wrote in the blog post. :( May I remind you to please
> tone down your accusatory speech and be polite?
There is nothing bad about saying that you are not qualified about
writing about the issue: you are not interacting with the users, while I am.

> Your harsh response makes it clear that you feel spoken to.
I know I am spoken to, as well as a few others. Because you made a
passive-agressive blog without citing any name does not make it better:
it makes it worse.

> You haven't seen the information that was provided to me. How can you
> say this?
I know at least you're taking information without checking it.

> Again, please temper your speech.
There is nothing bad in my speech or my tone. There are no insults here.
If you feel hurt by the content, it's your own fault.
I hope we can be adults and discuss about consequences instead of feelings.

> After I posted this blog post I got
> a storm of private feedback thanking me for posting it.
Private feedback and "twitter" is convenient. Why aren't people coming
out in the edits or at least here instead? Who are you trying to satisfy
here, people who do not contribute, or random complainers?
Do you realize that when someone is wrong on an edit, complaining
elsewhere is not the way to do it?

> I find it funny, yet sad that you sent this link along. In the linked
> edit you display a ton of negative/inappropriate behaviour. I'll ask
> once again: Please be polite.
What if every time this kind of user came, I sent a complaint to you?
How would you like it?
Did you see the concerned edits, or only the complaints made behind my back?

> I find that thinking offensive. Users
> need to be helped, guided and mentored. Not contained.
Again you show that you have no experience welcoming users here.
You selected only what you wanted of what I've said: I've welcomed many
users who are now regular editors and even auto-editors.
But, there are users with zero interest in collaborating, and that will
make wrong edits again and again.
And make no mistake: they will complain!

> I'm quite aware what this entails. I suspect that new editors do a
> terrible job when they are "being contained" and not mentored.
You're confusing the cause and the consequence, and this is downright
dishonest.

> To give you some context, here is what Wikipedia thinks about this:
>
>    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Assume_good_faith
>
> You are doing exactly the opposite. Please stop.
This is a straw man; I do assume good faith. If you checked actually
checked my votes, you would know.
But there are time the editors are not of good faith; this is exactly
what happened lately and what my point.
Otherwise, need I remind you that Wikipedia is losing editors every year?


> People using throw-away email services are just trying to sock-puppet to
> get around editors who are "containing" them. If we mentored newbies and
> helped them, they would not need sock-puppet accounts.
No, they don't, this is a very rare occurrence. Especially since limited
users cannot vote; this requires a lot more dedication nowadays.
And you're deflecting the real issue: there are editors who never reply.

> I'm not suggesting to bully anyone -- those are your words. I'm
> interested in reminding people to be nice. And if some people don't like
> that, fine, they'll stop voting. That will leave room for people who are
> nice to step in and vote again, because the overall tone has gotten more
> friendly.
Do you think bullies use the word bully? No, but that what's you are
doing. Since complaining elsewhere is totally the new thing to do
instead of improving yourself, why would voters dare do anything?

> When a no vote is considered a last resort and you're checking your no
> vote percentage, then there is clearly something wrong.
What are you trying to say here? I just pointed out that I have a lower
percentage, but given my sheer number of votes it's obvious I'm going to
get more complaints.

> You've been around a really long time -- such a long time that you've
> seen the community change quite a bit over the years. I challenge you to
> look back 10 years or so and reach back to that age and be more polite
> while you're editing and voting. Furthermore I challenge you to not use
> no votes. Leave no votes for those cases when someone is clearly trying
> to destroy data.
I was "welcomed" by No votes without explanation (something I never did
to anyone by the way).
Yes, I know something about it.
And again as I pointed out, I use less No votes than the general
population; I don't need to be "challenged".

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Re: Editing: Making MusicBrainz better

KRSCuan
In reply to this post by Robert Kaye
On 10.01.2015 12:00, Robert Kaye wrote:
> Those complaints came from numerous active editors and your name, among
> quite a few others,  has been cropping up a lot lately. Your harsh
> response makes it clear that you feel spoken to.
>
>> This isn't the first time I've seen this attitude of complaining
>> elsewhere while providing only half the information.
>
> You haven't seen the information that was provided to me. How can you
> say this?
If you don't address this to the one accused and allow them to respond,
how do you know that information is accurate? How is this supposed to be
fair?

I'd also expect to be spoken to directly if someone complained about me.
Most things can be talked out.

>> By an editor that has a wide history of insulting other editors, no
>> less. (also lol at this:
>> http://chatlogs.musicbrainz.org/musicbrainz/2014/2014-01/2014-01-04.html#T22-43-17-63759)
>
> I find it funny, yet sad that you sent this link along. In the linked
> edit you display a ton of negative/inappropriate behaviour. I'll ask
> once again: Please be polite.
Assume good faith has its limits too. When you are dealing with someone
who has already insulted two auto-editors (interestingly, one of which
seemed to be on his side on the issue) and concludes this with "your
daddy didn't abuse you today.", I wonder who's displaying
negative/inappropriate behavior. Though the whole thing is not entirely
unlike the pot calling the kettle black. And more importantly, it's a
thing of the past.

>> I've dealt with a lot of new users, and many of those became regular
>> editors; some are now auto editors. You just have to understand that not
>> everyone cares about the database, and some users have to be contained.
>
> What? Users need to be contained?? I find that thinking offensive. Users
> need to be helped, guided and mentored. Not contained.
Problem is that the "making the database" better argument is also loved
by editors who like to make half-assed edits, not read their mail and
never enter any fixes. Does clicking "import to MBz", guessing some
artists and leaving most other fields empty while ignoring style
guidelines and then uploading some crappy low-res cover art when they
are a click away from the original/higher-res option, with three minutes
spent on the whole release, make the database better? Do 110,000
unsupervised bot edits in a single month, which will probably never be
completely fixed, make the database better? Is it reasonable to expect
other editors to clean up their mess?

>> By the way, 6% of total votes are No, while mine are below 2%. I'm
>> totally abusing my power and thinking of myself as a God.
>
> When a no vote is considered a last resort and you're checking your no
> vote percentage, then there is clearly something wrong.
You can't just take numbers without context. Otherwise, you should also
point out that something is wrong with kuno's extraordinarily high 21%
no votes. But if you look into the edits themselves, most of them will
probably be justified. Same for pankkake.

With the contested vote extension, no votes have become less destructive
as well. So when I come across a release add that is completely ignoring
style guidelines and more than a matter of minutes to fix, I point the
editors to the relevant documents and tell them I'll change my vote and
approve the fixes when they're done (and they'll have at least three
days to do so). No votes don't have to be a last resort, they can also
have an educational effect if used correctly.

Editors who learn from mistakes are far more welcome to me than those
who just go on, complain about being persecuted and insist that they're
in the right, anyway.

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Re: Editing: Making MusicBrainz better

pankkake
On 2015-01-10 15:39, KRSCuan wrote:
> With the contested vote extension, no votes have become less destructive
> as well.
I forgot this change, it indeed was one of the most significant
improvements we ever had. This always give some time to respond. You can
even use it to simply request more feedback (prevents the edit from
being closed if no one voted).
If anyone has similar ideas… :)
Remember there was even a time you were not notified of No votes!

> Editors who learn from mistakes are far more welcome to me than those
> who just go on, complain about being persecuted and insist that they're
> in the right, anyway.
Of course.
By the way, I have no beef with the editors in the examples I've
previously linked (and I would like to avoid giving other examples), as
they are positive contributors or on the way to be.

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Re: Editing: Making MusicBrainz better

Robert Kaye
Administrator
In reply to this post by pankkake

On Jan 10, 2015, at 12:50 PM, pankkake wrote:

On 2015-01-10 12:00, Robert Kaye wrote:
Wow, thats quite the accusatory opening statement. And it already goes
against what I wrote in the blog post. :( May I remind you to please
tone down your accusatory speech and be polite?
There is nothing bad about saying that you are not qualified about
writing about the issue: you are not interacting with the users, while I am.

You're wrong that I am not interacting with users. I'm on the support@ mailing list and I see plenty of end user comments/questions and gripes.

Your harsh response makes it clear that you feel spoken to.
I know I am spoken to, as well as a few others. Because you made a
passive-agressive blog without citing any name does not make it better:
it makes it worse.

I hardly think that blog post is passive-aggressive.


You haven't seen the information that was provided to me. How can you
say this?
I know at least you're taking information without checking it.

I think we have a communication problem here. You think this is an issue about whether or not and edit is correct or not. To me, that really isn't the issue -- to me it is HOW people talk about edits. If the talking isn't polite, it is out of place.

Now, my blog post was intended to remind people that we expect people in our community to be polite to each other. 

I intentionally did not single out people and call them on their behaviour. This is not a witch hunt. 

There is nothing bad in my speech or my tone. There are no insults here.
If you feel hurt by the content, it's your own fault.
I hope we can be adults and discuss about consequences instead of feelings.

I'd like that. 


After I posted this blog post I got
a storm of private feedback thanking me for posting it.
Private feedback and "twitter" is convenient. Why aren't people coming
out in the edits or at least here instead? Who are you trying to satisfy
here, people who do not contribute, or random complainers?
Do you realize that when someone is wrong on an edit, complaining
elsewhere is not the way to do it?

Again, this is not about being right or wrong on edits. Also, this is not a witch hunt where I publicly flog the people who I think the perpetrators are.



I find it funny, yet sad that you sent this link along. In the linked
edit you display a ton of negative/inappropriate behaviour. I'll ask
once again: Please be polite.
What if every time this kind of user came, I sent a complaint to you?
How would you like it?

It happens constantly. In fact all I ever hear are the things that are wrong with this project. If something is working people don't go out of their way to tell me. When it is broken, they tell me and in not so nice terms. You are being quite presumptive about my inbox.

Did you see the concerned edits, or only the complaints made behind my back?

Yes I did. I've looked at a lot of edits and I've seen a lot of rude and entitled behaviour.

I find that thinking offensive. Users
need to be helped, guided and mentored. Not contained.
Again you show that you have no experience welcoming users here.

Really? I started this project and thus I bootstrapped this community. I would think that that gives me an idea as to what it means to welcome new people.


And make no mistake: they will complain!

That is the only constant in the universe. People will complain. I'm used to it.


I'm quite aware what this entails. I suspect that new editors do a
terrible job when they are "being contained" and not mentored.
You're confusing the cause and the consequence, and this is downright
dishonest.

And you are not looking at the bigger picture.

A smaller happy community will be more productive that a larger unhappy community. I'm hoping to shape this community into a community that is happy and respectful to each other. And if that means that some people don't like that and will leave, then so be it. 


Otherwise, need I remind you that Wikipedia is losing editors every year?

Yep, that is part of life of an open source project. The communities are transient.

And our own stats show that our editors over the last 3 years has been effectively constant:


I should note that the massive spike around 2006 is mostly people dealing with trms/puids. If we discount that, the line is much flatter.


I'm not suggesting to bully anyone -- those are your words. I'm
interested in reminding people to be nice. And if some people don't like
that, fine, they'll stop voting. That will leave room for people who are
nice to step in and vote again, because the overall tone has gotten more
friendly.
Do you think bullies use the word bully?

Yep. You're the one who said that people need to be contained. In my book that is tantamount to bullying.

 I don't need to be "challenged".

Ok fine. Don't be challenged. All I ask is that you're polite.

--

--ruaok        The answer to whether or not something is a good idea should not be taken as an indication of whether I want to do it.

Robert Kaye     --     [hidden email]     --    http://mayhem-chaos.net


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Re: Editing: Making MusicBrainz better

Paul C. Bryan
I haven't been involved with the community for years, so please take what I'm saying here with a grain of salt.

For what it's worth, the principle I have tried to adhere to when participating in the MusicBrainz community: “It's better to win than to be right.”

Winning means to me: a) database content is tending to improve, b) personal conflict is avoided; if it does occur, it is mediated, c) the editor community is tending to grow, and d) the product of our work is continuing to increase in value.

Of course, I'd like to win and be right, but sometimes I have to choose between them. When confronted with such a choice, I try to choose to win. This inevitably means accepting things I don't agree with.

Paul
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Re: Editing: Making MusicBrainz better

Rupert Swarbrick
In reply to this post by Kuno Woudt
Kuno Woudt <[hidden email]> writes:
> Hello,
>
> For those of you who have not seen Rob's blog post today, please read
> it!
>
> http://blog.musicbrainz.org/2015/01/09/editing-making-musicbrainz-better/

I'd just like to speak up quickly in support of this blog post. I
confess that I read it and immediately thought "Oh crap, is that about
me?", but I'm hoping not :-)

Anyway, my experience is that, as Pankkake has mentioned in other
places, it's sometimes sensible to put in a No vote. Since an edit that
has zero non-abstain votes gets applied when it expires, if you see an
edit that adds a release with nothing but a badly speled track list, it
probably makes sense to make sure it doesn't appear without changes.

That said, I think it's really important how this is done. I try to
write something following this framework:

  - "Welcome to MusicBrainz" (after checking this is a newish editor: it
    usually is).

  - "I'm voting no on this edit because ..." List major problems with
    it, mention the style guide, and explain why I can't personally just
    fix them. (Maybe I don't know enough to do so)

  - "Please make edits fixing these and/or leave enough information here
    that I or someone else can do so"

  - "If you amend stuff to fix the problems, drop another note here so
    that I see it and can change my vote to get your changes applied"
    (This is probably the most important bit)

Obviously, I'm sure I don't always manage to do this, but I think an
comment of this style is unlikely to turn away prospective editors, or
make them more agressive.

A personal note: I distinctly remember the first feedback I got from
MusicBrainz. It was from gswanjord and basically said a polite version
of "That's nice, but you've made a complete mess of...". As a result, I
spent an hour carefully cancelling edits and fixing stuff up, trying to
get it right. That was definitely a positive experience, and I try
reasonably hard to make sure my interactions from a position of
authority (Hah! As if...) strike a similar tone, both on MusicBrainz and
when commenting on bug trackers elsewhere.



Rupert

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Re: Editing: Making MusicBrainz better

Robert Kaye
Administrator
In reply to this post by KRSCuan

On Jan 10, 2015, at 3:39 PM, KRSCuan wrote:

Problem is that the "making the database" better argument is also loved 
by editors who like to make half-assed edits, not read their mail and 
never enter any fixes.

This is a very valid concern -- thanks for bringing that up. Right now when someone complains that a user is doing stupid shit, we remove their email address. This is currently the only mechanism we have for stopping someone from editing. Clearly that's inadequate and needs some fixing.

I would love to hear your suggestions for what could be done to improve this.

A "report this user" button? A "this edit requires a response"? How might that work?

If we can remove some of the frustration that people are experiencing, then we can it might be possible for all of us to be a little more polite. :)

--

--ruaok        The answer to whether or not something is a good idea should not be taken as an indication of whether I want to do it.

Robert Kaye     --     [hidden email]     --    http://mayhem-chaos.net


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Re: Editing: Making MusicBrainz better

Robert Kaye
Administrator
In reply to this post by Rupert Swarbrick

On Jan 10, 2015, at 9:28 PM, Rupert Swarbrick <[hidden email]> wrote:

> That said, I think it's really important how this is done. I try to
> write something following this framework:
>
>  - "Welcome to MusicBrainz" (after checking this is a newish editor: it
>    usually is).
>
>  - "I'm voting no on this edit because ..." List major problems with
>    it, mention the style guide, and explain why I can't personally just
>    fix them. (Maybe I don't know enough to do so)
>
>  - "Please make edits fixing these and/or leave enough information here
>    that I or someone else can do so"
>
>  - "If you amend stuff to fix the problems, drop another note here so
>    that I see it and can change my vote to get your changes applied"
>    (This is probably the most important bit)

Thank you for posting this -- I think you're giving a great example of how to be a good citizen. Working with editors to get them to improve their edits and generally having a conversation around the edits is exactly the sort of behaviour that we're trying to encourage. And yes, sometimes a no vote is warranted. But, they should be used with caution.

We're not prescribing how to do any of this and we're encouraging everyone to find their own way of doing this -- as long as we're being polite. :)

Thanks!

--

--ruaok        The answer to whether or not something is a good idea should not be taken as an indication of whether I want to do it.

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