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Old 07-17-2014, 01:02 PM   #1
baxissimo
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Moderation for tabs is terrible. I give up.

I have a lot of tabs that I've collected, created, and improved over the years.

I thought it would be nice to give back a little and add a bunch of those to UG for the benefit of the community.

But after 4 experiences with the UG moderation process, I give up.
Most often I have just gotten "Rejected: lack of formatting" with NO hint whatsoever as to what the moderator thinks is insufficient. I am following the guidelines as far as I can tell. In fact, my formatting must be ok, because I've appealed them with basically no change and got them mostly accepted.

Except for this last one, which was initially rejected as "lack of formatting" with no explanation, and then finally rejected for "better tabs exist". The whole reason I submitted it (http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/contribution/submit/approval?id=1502572) was because there were errors and omissions in the best tab out there (http://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/s/strokes/barely_legal_crd.htm). I added the tab for the solo bits, made a few other minor corrections, some of which have been suggested in comments on that tab, made the rhythm for the break a little clearer, removed extraneous quotes, and so on. The original poster doesn't seem to be interested in making corrections to his tab, so I posted a new one.

It's a waste of my time. It's a shame, because it seemed like such a nice prospect to be able to contribute some of my collected knowledge from 20 years of guitar playing, and at the same time have a nice way to access my tabs from the UG app. I guess I'll just have to find another way to get my tabs on my phone.

UG folks: I urge you to overhaul your moderation process. It is terrible, and serves to drive away would-be contributors who are generating the very content your business is based upon. For instance, require moderators rejecting because of "lack of formatting" to highlight exactly what would need to be changed for the tab to be accepted. Really that's true whatever the rejection category. You shouldn't be able to reject a tab without explaining what exactly was wrong with it (e.g. if better tabs exist which one is it? and what's better about it?). Also it seems that there is basically no accountability for moderators, so they can reject things on whim, not explain themselves, and just continue to go on like that with no repercussions. Maybe opening up a way for users to vote on whether moderators decisions were correct, and penalize moderators who are at odds with the public too often.

But something needs to be done.

Also the submission form is super buggy and frustrating. But that's another discussion.
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Old 07-17-2014, 07:21 PM   #2
Joshua Garcia
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Dude, chill.

Let's start off with a few facts.

1.) Lack of formatting IS a reason. Before you registered, it used to be they can reject a tab without saying even that much, but now it's a requirement. It's too much work to list out EVERY single detail to deny a tab considering they have to go through LITERALLY hundreds of tabs a day. Be considerate.

2.) I'm not sure if you are aware of this, but mods aren't the only one's who vote on your tab. Users can vote to deny your tab as well, so don't pin it all on the mods. In fact, the first denial on your tab (lack of formatting) came from a user. Not a mod. And...

3.) Instead of complaining about it, how about you actually look into it? These problems are supposed to be posted and are usually resolved in the WTF? Where is my tab?!?! thread (which is personally run by a tab mod). Simply explain yourself and your tab and it will more than likely be approved. If not, they'll explain to you that extra detail I mentioned earlier. Instead of making threads like these, go there next time.

Don't get discouraged after a few failed submissions. UG obviously appreciates your efforts, you just have to clarify things with them sometimes. It does NOT mean their moderation is terrible (again, see fact #1), it just means they're only human and make mistakes sometimes too. I'm sure UG would appreciate it if you became an active contributor, but you have to be more understanding.
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Old 07-17-2014, 08:20 PM   #3
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First of all -- thanks for taking the time to write the lengthy reply.

And in response,

1) "Lack of formatting" is not actionable feedback. It's pretty useless. Yay, I'm glad things have improved to where at least one is given that much indication, but it's still pretty useless. Sorry but my job is writing code, so I guess I'm spoiled by having a functional reviewing system where reviewers can point out the actual lines where things are wrong and tell you exactly what needs to be fixed. I think in large part this is a problem that has technical solutions, like getting such a better reviewing system. Heck, just use github as the data repository and that would fix tons of problems. That would provide a robust underlying system for tracking changes and for letting users suggest changes, and for back and forth reviewing before going live.

2) Thanks for that info. I was not aware that regular users could vote and cause a rejection. That seems like a bad idea to let one single negative score from a random joe cause a tab to get rejected.

3) So you're telling me the process for submitting a new tab is actually a) submit tab, b) appeal initial rejection c) post complaint on "WTF where is my tab"? Haggle back and forth there until someone finally sees the light?

I'll give that a try, but overall I find that workflow sub-optimal.

Last edited by baxissimo : 07-17-2014 at 08:22 PM.
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Old 07-17-2014, 11:49 PM   #4
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I'm not a tab moderator that can approve/deny with one click, but I am a very active user that votes on tabs on a daily basis so I can maybe shed a little bit of light on the other side?

Firstly, I personally would not have rejected that Strokes tab because of the explanation you gave on the solo. That said, we do receive many submissions that are identical to another version (sometimes with a very minor change or just transposed.) Sometimes, we take a quick glance, say "this is too similar to Version X," reject, and move on to the next one. And in your case, I think the mod overlooked your explanation in the comments section. I am curious to see what the other one was that you got rejected.

When we choose to reject a tab, we have a list of multiple choice options to choose from. Some of these are "Better and more complete tabs," "Lack of formatting," Lack of Accuracy," "Duplicate," and a couple of others. They are kept vague so they can be used for a multitude of reasons, but honestly I think the wording can be worked on a bit. We aren't necessarily saying we think there are better tabs out there, we are just choosing the only multiple choice option we have that says your tab is too similar to another one. Like I said - I wish the options were worded differently.

I prefer choosing the "other" option and writing an explanation, but it definitely slows me down. It's kind of an interesting balancing act between giving some sort of quick feedback yet still getting through the list in a timely manner so the contributions don't start piling up. So far the multiple choice reasons have been the way to do it, but it's not perfect.

I suggest you appeal your rejection and wait for the next round of votes. The mod that rejected your submission in the first place can't reject it again, it has to go to a different mod or to voters like myself. Don't forget also that anyone who's submitted a tab can vote. We are supposed to adhere to these guidelines: http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/cont...n/help/tabGuide but not everyone has taken the time to sit and read them, unfortunately.
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Old 07-17-2014, 11:53 PM   #5
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Oh and to clarify on your "regular joe" comment - one single vote from a regular Joe cannot get you rejected automatically. You need a score of -5 points to get rejected. Mods get 5 point votes so they can reject you right away. Joe Schmo with one tab of his own is only worth a 1 point vote. Someone with 10 or more tabs is worth a 3 point vote. So it takes at least two Joe Schmoes to reject you; more depending on what their vote is worth.
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Old 07-18-2014, 12:01 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baxissimo
3) So you're telling me the process for submitting a new tab is actually a) submit tab, b) appeal initial rejection c) post complaint on "WTF where is my tab"? Haggle back and forth there until someone finally sees the light?

I'll give that a try, but overall I find that workflow sub-optimal.

Yes, of course you do, because you are only seeing it from your side of the process. If you had to sort through all of the fraudulent / poor tab submissions you would want a way to weed out the junk without creating tons of extra work for the small number of people who do it.

For example - it takes you a few extra minutes to correct and resubmit a tab. That's a bit inconvenient for you, but it makes the entire process go a lot faster than if every rejection had to come with a personalized letter of apology and a statement of deficiency.

For example, if I submit a tab that just says "Sweet Home Alabama is in C," should I be able to waste everyone's time by demanding an immediate appeal and answer and a second and third opinion automatically? Or is it ok to bounce it back right away and let me put some effort into improvements before wasting more admin/mod/community vote time when there are dozens more tabs in line behind me?

I'm sorry it's a bit of an inconvenience for you, but the system is set up to make you spend a few extra minutes appealing in order to prevent a massive backlog for the people who have to approve tabs.
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Old 07-19-2014, 11:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roc8995
Yes, of course you do, because you are only seeing it from your side of the process. If you had to sort through all of the fraudulent / poor tab submissions you would want a way to weed out the junk without creating tons of extra work for the small number of people who do it.

For example - it takes you a few extra minutes to correct and resubmit a tab. That's a bit inconvenient for you, but it makes the entire process go a lot faster than if every rejection had to come with a personalized letter of apology and a statement of deficiency.

For example, if I submit a tab that just says "Sweet Home Alabama is in C," should I be able to waste everyone's time by demanding an immediate appeal and answer and a second and third opinion automatically? Or is it ok to bounce it back right away and let me put some effort into improvements before wasting more admin/mod/community vote time when there are dozens more tabs in line behind me?

I'm sorry it's a bit of an inconvenience for you, but the system is set up to make you spend a few extra minutes appealing in order to prevent a massive backlog for the people who have to approve tabs.


Yes, I understand all that. It's just that I've been trying to get this tab corrected for a few weeks now. Starting with posting corrections on the original tab. Waiting for that to have some effect. Then, when it didn't, posting the corrected version myself. Waiting for response. Getting rejected for vague reasons. Appealing with what I hoped would fix the supposed "bad formatting". Waiting again for responses. Getting rejected again. Complaining here. Being told I should appeal on "Where's my TAB?!". Trying that. Watching for responses there. Being told I have to resubmit because they can't approve a definitively rejected tab. Resubmitting, and currently waiting again. So it's not just a couple of minutes we're talking about here.

I understand that curating tabs with volunteer effort is difficult. But it definitely feels like there must be a better process for it than this. Particularly with respect to maintaining and improving tabs that have already been submitted. I've posted suggestions in the site feedback topic.

In the mean time I'll be looking for an app/website that has a mechanism for private tabs that would let me make my corrections for myself. I have a notion that it might be possible to build something like that using the Google Drive API, which would allow storing (and editing) tabs in your google drive, and then using Drive's sharing mechanism to allow band mates to see (and collaboratively edit) them.
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