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Should VGC Have User Submitted News Articles?

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spemanig said:
Machina said:

 

To the first point, I understand all of that. What I'm proposing is that anyone submitting a news article to the site be equipped with guidelines fully detailing just how these news articles must be done, with the warning that no articles that fail to adhere to these guidelines would be selected. I'm not suggesting that users copy-paste news articles and submit that. I'm suggesting that more passionate users would go to this terminal, submit a news article that adheres to the guidelines, and then have these editors sort through that. I'm definitely not trying to imply that writing a news article doesn't take time and effort, I just think that it would be much easier to have news posted in a more timely manner if it were done this way. Maybe I'm just an idealist, but I have faith that, when presented with a clear set of rules and guidelines, most of the content submitted will be of a high quality.

To the point about editors, maybe editors was a poor choice of word. They are primerily curators. They are meant to be a middle-man between the users and you. Their primery job would be to select good articles in the first place. Their job is to read through the articles, select the first one of a high quality that adhere to the rules and guidelines effectively, edit that, and then submit the curated articles to you for the more rudementary edit. Again, I'm not trying to say that anyone isn't doing their job correctly, but I understand why the writing staff can't feasibly be awake 24/7 to write an article on every single piece of breaking news as it happens when they are freelance, and I think it's clear to most of us that many of the news articles written here are done one after the other in quick succession as a means of catching up with what was missed for the day. This is just a proposition to alleviate that. The idea is that if 20 members each submit one good article as soon as it breaks, each of those articles will be posted faster than the way it's being done now and there will be less articles to make up for at the end of the day.

To the third point, that is my biggest concern. Like I said, I can only speak for myself here. My idea came from how active the Game DB was, and specifically how Trucks (this is Will, right?) said that the reason this was so successful was because users would rush to post and update game information on their favorite games/games they were interested in as soon as it came out. My thought process was pretty much the same for this. The articles submitted would therefore come from a user's want to post news about a game they're excited for or a console they have an affinity for, but as for the longevity of such a system, I don't know. I do think that it should award badges and Gamrpoints as an incentive, but again, I'm basing much of the potential success of such a system on heresay from the days of the Game DB.

And to the final point, I also don't know. I didn't really consider that the approved editors might not actually be active in doing the job they applied for, so that would obviously be an issue. The three-tier system I outlined would help alleviate some of that workload, as well as the guidelines for the writers, but I really don't have a concrete answer for that, as it would really depend on everyone doing what they're supposed to. Again, ideally the mod approved editor-curators would pick the articles they need to do the least work editing, edit that, and then submit those to you or any other "real" editors for final approval. But as for how reasonable of work that would be, I can't say.

Trucks = http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/profile/5918/truckosaurus/

Trunks = Will = http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/profile/11871/trunkswd/ = guy who does most of the news.

The GameDB was fairly active, yeah, and when a major new game was announced there usually was a rush to be the first to get it added. It really was a great system because most of the content was easy to add even if you knew little-to-no English, it kept major entries' info up-to-date which saved staff time (for example nowadays Will and I have to check upcoming release dates every week because almost no one actively adds that data anymore), and we had some great admins/curators who'd work through the submissions accepting/rejecting them.

I do think articles is a different beast though. I like the idea in theory - because more articles submitted by more people is a good thing and the current system is very flawed - but either hardly any would be accepted because too many mistakes were made (like I said, even current writing staff often forget a bunch of the guidelines and I have to edit them to correct them) or the curators/editors would end up having to make significant edits and the job would be quite an undteraking.

Maybe it could work - if we had plenty of people wanting to be curators and to submit news. I'm honestly not sure about this one, whereas I really am convinced of the need to redesign the front page now, so if we were to have Trucks take on a big project I'd rather it was that or fixing the actual database.



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@ Machina

If ever there was a database again I do not think editing user articles attached to the games would be a big deal. Since it is not on the front page you do not have to worry about it being perfect. You just have the game admins verify it is what it says it is and devoid of improper language. Then have a mod option to lock the article if it causes problems as well, but if I remember correctly, game admins had some minor mod options as well, so that would not be a problem.

OF COURSE ...this is all still contingent on having a GDB again. Unlike metacritic and n4g you would not want it on the home page of the site. Maybe a users home page it could be an option though.



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I'm against the idea simply due to the forum section suffering even more. It already took a hit on number of threads when the sub bases were created. This would stop the news threads as well because people would just make articles instead.



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Ka-pi96 said:
spemanig said:

Well what the Editor admins are doing isn't what Machina does at all. There job would be to look for good articles, not edit everything. They'd be the middle man between a poster and Machina. They'd pick the first well-done news article on a specific subject, edit what they think needs to be edited for final review, and submit that.

Machina himself wouldn't be reading through all of the user submitted content. He'd just be reading the editor-approved content. If they are doing their job correctly, it should be no different for him on his end than it currently is now. By the time the article reaches him, all of the curation and 99% of the editing will have already done.

As for the articles being written, there would be strict guidelines being placed on how the article should be done. Users would go in knowing that the more stictly they adhere to these guidelines, the more likely their articles will be chosen by an editor for publishing. If you're a user wanting to break news before anyone else, you're insentivised to write your article with the utmost quality, because if you don't someone elses article will be selected over yours. I use the word "editors," but what they really are are curators. Their job is primerily to chose the best articles and discard the others - It's not to edit everything. That would be unreasonable.

If there are a dozen really badly done articles submitted about some division news, none of them will get picked. It's quality over quantity. The "editors" are just their to sift through the nonsense and find the quality. The easy to understand guidelines on top of the inate competition formed from wanting your article to actually get chosen would be what naturally raises the general quality of these user submitted article.

One could say that being a mod or Game DB admit are "thankless jobs" too, but people are still happy to do it.

Which would still mean things wouldn't be posted straight away, as I mentioned before articles are often up for publishing before the threads go up. I don't really see how this would change that.

Would it really incentivise people to make high quality articles? Some people, yes. But I've no doubt there would be some people routinely submitting low quality ones too. Chances are only a very small number of people (let's not forget that only a small number of people bother with thread making too) will put in the time and effort needed to make a good attempt at an article. In which case why not just make them writers in the first place?

Exactly! This is what I meant by an editing bottleneck.

If you ask me, a better method of getting instant news on the front page would be to have latest topics there instead of hot topics



#1 Amb-ass-ador

I see it both working and failing.I see it failing if the objective of this project is to keep VGC up to date to news in general.I mean, people will soon get bored to make a long article due to the simple fact that making a thread/posting on the forum is much, much easier and faster.That IS the reason why news appear on the forums hours before the writing team can make an article about it.

But if this project is more complementing the news, in the sense that it was to make articles about something more complex, not just flash news, and giving the writing team some help in making either opinion articles or news in general, I can see this working.But it would need to have some rules in place.The first one would be the one you described, some users elected by the mod team to curate the articles made by the community.The second rule that I think it would be essencial would be to stablish a minimal number of time/posts/points that a user needs to have to be able to write articles, be it 6 months or 5000 points or something of the like.That would prevent people from making a profile just to spam troll threads and overload the curating team, or to have enough time to determine if the new user is not a troll/fanboy war-inducing user that would not add anything to the article other than flamming or trolling.And third reason would be a reward system, much like the DB one, to stimulate users to keep making articles.

Would be a nice incentive to make our community even stronger.Make this site differenciate from others, by having a community that can shape the potential of the site and making a name for yourself in the process

Edit.Read through most of the posts and thought of addicional rules.If you make an opinion article for example, you should be limited at minimum of 1 per month/1 per 2 weeks, so that users cant spam articles left and right with no quality.And as you grow in popularity, or in other words, as your articles gets "thumbs up"(I suppose a system can be put in place to quantify how many thumbs up you received across all articles), you are allowed to posts more articles/opinion articles, since you have more credibility, and the curator team have less worry about looking for quality articles/troll articles.That would also give more meaning to the thumbs system, and also give an extra incentive to the people that subscribe to the supporter program.(though I can see people abusing this to bully writers they dont like.But I believe the community we have now is a great and fair one)The only downside of all this system is that:1. We need good curators/editors.The users and potential interest is something I think we have.That is all there is left.And the time to implement the system of course.



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Machina said:

Trucks = http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/profile/5918/truckosaurus/

Trunks = Will = http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/profile/11871/trunkswd/ = guy who does most of the news.

The GameDB was fairly active, yeah, and when a major new game was announced there usually was a rush to be the first to get it added. It really was a great system because most of the content was easy to add even if you knew little-to-no English, it kept major entries' info up-to-date which saved staff time (for example nowadays Will and I have to check upcoming release dates every week because almost no one actively adds that data anymore), and we had some great admins/curators who'd work through the submissions accepting/rejecting them.

I do think articles is a different beast though. I like the idea in theory - because more articles submitted by more people is a good thing and the current system is very flawed - but either hardly any would be accepted because too many mistakes were made (like I said, even current writing staff often forget a bunch of the guidelines and I have to edit them to correct them) or the curators/editors would end up having to make significant edits and the job would be quite an undteraking.

Maybe it could work - if we had plenty of people wanting to be curators and to submit news. I'm honestly not sure about this one, whereas I really am convinced of the need to redesign the front page now, so if we were to have Trucks take on a big project I'd rather it was that or fixing the actual database.

That's fair. Honestly, I'm wasn't as sure either. I only thought of the idea a few days ago as I was thinking about how a new layout might expose the problem with not having a constant stream of timely news articles.

Even if my suggestion were to come to pass, I would agree with priotizing doing the database, a potential layout change, and many of the other fixes first. No point in having a steady stream of articles coming when the page isn't layed out to take advantage of it or if people weren't used to contibuting to the site in a less demanding way yet.



Well, this is new.

Read.

This was once a thing here, believe it or not VG Chartz use to be one of the most up to date video game news websites. They use to have user submitted news articles, it was great because you got a lot of points for it so the people mining for points were all over it, we frequently had submissions going out.