Friday, February 02, 2007

I love ccM/I hate ccM/I love ccM

last few weeks have been a bit depressing wrt quality, then there's THIS


teru said...

"last few weeks have been a bit depressing wrt quality"

wtf? No it hasn't. Stop being so emo.

*don't really know what emo means but I wanted to sound hip. ;)

Gurdonark said...

I haven't been depressed about mixter, but I did like the song. Thanks for the reminder to me to tell the artist so. The darn AOL half-browser never shows the security codes, so I'll have to firefox over and review it.

Anonymous said...

well it would be nice if i could rate a song without having to write a review for it.

fourstones said...

"well it would be nice if i could rate a song without having to write a review for it."


Ratings are going off completely, soon and forever.

fourstones said...

wtf? No it hasn't.

sorry, you're right, the usual gang of suspects have been uploading amazing stuff, truly, but it just felt like there hasn't been a 'star' arrive in a while (hey, I was getting spoiled ;))

Chris Rininger said...

"Ratings are going off completely, soon and forever."

And this is the guy goosing us all to help get his record to number more numbers?....sounds fine to me, although I will miss twiddling with the stars, strobing them on and if I could just find a little time to record the two songs I have done & put 'em out there... (busy getting ready to move again - ugh - at least it's only across town and a body of water this time)

teru said...

RDD - Good luck with the move. : )

teru said...

Oh and I don't think the ratings decision is Victor's alone. He's just trying to make everybody else happy.

Everybody want ratings & reviews just not the bad ones. ; )

fourstones said...

what I'm going to say is going to sound defensive but I guess, since this is a public blog I should not assume every one else is in my head or knows the full history...

My inbox has been overflowing with requests to tie reviews to ratings for months and months. Finally, when enough regular and "important" contributors made the case I flipped the switch - to be honest, mainly to stop the noise and as teru said to make others happy.

The absolutely predictable results have come 100% to fruition: we are getting a fraction of the ratings we were getting and the average ratings is upwards of 4.8 with less than 5 (out of 100s) being 3 or less --- and I gave 4 out of those 5.

So basically, we have a thumbs-up ratings system, not a gradated on I'll be codifying this into the site so people will simply be able to say "thumbs up" to any upload and that's it -- probably not tied to reviews, maybe even allowing anonymous 'thumbs up'.

Now, the Magnatune chart position thing is related but certainly nowhere near the implication above. The goal for me is to help music consumers discover great Open Music (ratings on ccM) and then building an economic environment where the artists are materially supported --
Being on the front page/top 10 of Magnatune means MONEY being funneled to the +30 artists involved in the project. So Begging for folks to help put thing on the front page is a question of financial inertia in support of them. Yea, it's a numbers game -- but in this case the numbers are counted in dollars.

Heap on top of this an Anonymous Coward's comment about wishing for the good old days when reviewing and rating were unbound and we're back to just noise.

Break out the


jack said...

tying ratings to reviews isn't a bad thing in and of itself. yeah, the number of reviews may go down but it doesn't necessarily mean the number of listeners will. it might mean that the quality of the votes may go up, as they are tied to a reason so the voter is somewhat accountable. thats not a bad thing.

your efforts to respond to this are admirable victor, but i doubt there is a solution that will please everyone. i've got ccmixter remixes i've pulled because of low ratings without a given reason, and i'll probably continue to do that for my own reasons.

i mean, sure i can give that crappy, suck-ass, out-of-synch mix a 2 and tell them it sucks but then i risk all kinds of grudge voting against me. or i could listen to it, think it sucks, and move on to the next mix without an opinion. so i'm not sure if we are "heavy on the positive" but to me, i generally will comment and vote on things i like and pass on the things i don't, unless i can offer constructive criticism, which i still think has gotten me into trouble. and i think for the most part, people that review are pretty civil and respectful, so there's something to be said for that.

teru said...

Q:If there are no more ratings. Does that mean no more listener's picks? Or will it be based on a thumbs up/down total?

*the following is just my 2 cents.

Personally I like the five star system for one reason only and that is that it is the same as sites like YouTube, hence an unofficial internet standard. It's easy to understand.

Also IMO rating systems based on public voting are doomed to fail. The star rating was created for editorial articles by consistent authors (accountable experts). I think ccMixter's rating system was incredibly good considering. Anyone who thinks otherwise needs a reality check.

jack said...

maybe the star system can be driven by some other performance parameter (such as downloads or plays) other than subjective, similar to what webjay uses for their star system.

either way, i don't have a problem with the way things are, or were before.

Anonymous said...

"Heap on top of this an Anonymous Coward's comment about wishing for the good old days when reviewing and rating were unbound and we're back to just noise."

whats wrong with being anonymous? at least im not the one screwing up a website that USED to be cool...

teru said...

Things cease to be cool when they don't cater to your every whim? Umm.. OK.

FYI - It's the same people that were "screwing up" the site when it "used to be cool". Who are trying to make the community a better place for everyone.

Commenting anonymously is OK when you're respectful. Cheap attacks are cowardly and a waste of everybody's time. Also coincidentally the very problem the rest of here are trying to address.

Bugger off.

Anonymous said...

from what ive read, a LOT of people are unhappy with the changes here. and i agree cheap attacks are a waste of time, makes me wonder why victor (sorry, "fourstones") continues to be such an arrogant prick

teru said...

If you can get over your selective understanding of the situation you would see that the changes were made because a LOT of people were unhappy with the old system. So as a trial ccMixter tried a different way.

Oh and way to contradict yourself by adding another cheap attack.

Gurdonark said...

Whether one has anonymous ratings or one does not seems to me to be beside the point, to some extent. Under both regimes, ratings which do not necessarily "meet the case" arose, but that's going to be true of any rating situation. Anonymous ratings encourage honesty from shy people but also reward the kind of trollishness that arises in any well-visited site like this one. Public ratings run the risk of cheerleading among regulars.

Yet the real test of mixter,it seems to me, is whether people listen and whether people use the materials. The reality is that people do download and people do sample and people do use the samples in podcasts, films, video games, and personal websites. That's more revelatory, to me, than whether one of my odd things gets a 1 or a 5. I'm not saying I'm immune to the usual ego-sensitivites--I'm still amused at how I felt once that I got more "1"s than anyone, and Victor kindly showed me that my ratio of 1s was very low indeed. It helped re-teach me how little this stuff matters.

I therefore prefer ratings-tied-to-reviews because in the long run I think that reviews matter more than ratings, and I think stars increase reviews, because people like to give stars. But it's all such a side issue.

I've often thought that on this topic Victor handles things just right--see what works, hang in there with innovations for a test period, and then watch and listen to what people want and what people don't want.

When I see someone I really like like MC Jack in the Box react to anonymous ratings with discouragement, I can understand the reaction. But I also think that paying any real attention to ratings gives one or two or three individuals too much power to impact one's choice to post at the mixter.

Instead, look at what goes on here--people listen and use and podcast and share and sample. Watch the counts for the mixters. Watch the podcasts. Watch the videos and websites using the things. Watch how people remix each other.

For me, mixter has been one key component in taking me from selling a few CDs here and there of my somewhat silly work to giving me the impetus to get listeners, make friends, and even get a netlabel launched which has exceeded my initial expectations. That's more than any other music site I can think of could have done.

My hope is that other mixters, both more talented and more listener-mainstream than I am, will now launch out and market into success. In the endeavor, stars matter far less than the listener footprint we are making.
It's that footprint, and not the silly stars/thumbs up systems, that make all the difference. I am as senstive as the next guy, and a poor rating will make me depublish something from time to time. But it's often that I agree with the rating that does it, not my worry about the stars.

What is before everyone now is not to worry about the stars or about anonymous comments---good or bad--but to focus on getting the word out, and on seeing that y'all great mixters get your due. No ratings will make any difference about that process.

We keep watching imaginary stars in some ratings planetarium, when the real sky is the limit, and people are launching into it.

fourstones said...

fwiw I wasn't actually calling you a "coward" -- "Anonymous Coward" is common term of endearment.

The rest of your post(s) seem on the emotional ranty side (probably because you're not familiar with the AC term?) so you can forgive me and/or forget it if I continue to classify them as noise.

I have been a little concerned lately that some of my quicky-late-night snarky posts and reviews could turn some people off to the site and the music and that would exactly counter what I claim my goals are wrt ccM. Thanks for your input Mom, see ya Friday night.

Chris Rininger said...

Victor, my post was just an (apparantly insensitive) attempt to rib a little - I get the difference between the sales-based MagnAtune top 20 and the flawed ccM rating system. I totally respect what you and those guys did with the record. Re: ccM, is there any way to systematically derive a "top 20" that is based on a for ccM? Maybe based on number of downloads or listens by unique logged in users (maybe...uh...leaving out anonymous)? Even that could be gamed, I guess, dammit. Maybe a set of links to anything that has been used offsite (like we're sort of starting to compile on the blog, although not in a dedicated spot - the lonely girl tracks and all the stuff Teru's been pointing out)? Bob mentioned it too - the real highlights are the songs that have the escape velocity to be used in things off the site. Maybe implement a wiki-like thing where ccM users can point to anything they run across from ccM that has been used somewhere else (including ones own stuff)? I pay attention to the ratings, but I agree they are & have been flawed, for the reasons Bob mentioned (assholes rating very low either just because they can or because of idiotically extreme genre bias, friends rating friends higher than the work really merits, etc., etc.). My kicks from ccM are hearing people sample me and sampling others. And I do love to hear about ccM music used off site, especially if the artist got paid.

Chris Rininger said...

revision error - meant to say,

[...systematically derive a "top 20" that is based on something other than peer ratings.]

fourstones said...

no worries rdd, I was trying to be explicit and give a fuller history for the more casual drop-ins -- apparently with somewhat, er, limited success lol

I know the 5 star thing is common, but I'm seeing more and more sites use the 'thumbs-up' method and I think it's worth a try. That is what we effectively have now.

playlists will be on the site by the end of the week. combine number of daily plays, number of includes in playlists, thumbs-up and I think we're on way to decent discoverability.