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As another month goes by the moderation team has been discussing a list of topics to hopefully improve user experience within the community. The topics for this month includes:

  1. A plan to deprecate music id-requests and what we're planning to do with similar "help me" style questions.

  2. A barebones proposal for a bounty board system in order to collect and push topics the community would more likely enjoy having.

  3. Some organizational work with site policies, specifically about how we plan to categorize existing policies, deprecated one, and propose new ones moving forward.


The road to music id-request deprecation

The topic of id-requests are much maligned across many Stack Exchange communities including ours. The basic sentiment seems to be that these questions are very localized to the individual and don't really provide anything for other people.

A common adjective people within the SE communities use to describe these questions is "vampiric". They leech resources and attention from elsewhere that could be applied elsewhere. The frequency of these questions are a turn-off to many and overtime has been one of many factors contributing to users becoming disengaged with the community.

We will now be deprecating these types of questions starting with music identification requests as we feel that don't provide anything meaningful for users to return to.

These questions typically contribute to an "one and done, ask and leave" type interaction that paints the community as more of a help desk than a Q&A site.

We'd like users to stick around and use the site as a resource to not only help themselves but help others, but these types of questions typically just result in short one line, and/or link only type questions that don't provide much context on why the answer maybe correct.

For now we are only moving to deprecate music id-request questions due to their prevalence but we will also be looking a similar questions of the same style. Some examples (but not limited to) would question like "where can I find/watch/stream/buy X merch/show/disc set" type questions and merchandise/cosplay/itasha id-reqs.

We will be implementing the following procedure:

  1. Making a note in the help center and tour of the off-topicness

  2. Provide a policy post noting and explaining the reason like we did with regular requests

  3. Providing a [feature-request] for the CMS historical lock all current and older questions. Either deleting all unanswered music id-request questions and/or post with removing low question/answer score

  4. Edit the existing close reason for id-requests to include a mention and link to the policy about music requests

The post here is to solicit feedback, comments, or objections about the proposed depreciation, with action expected to be taken a month from now, if there are no major objections. Any chances otherwise to the procedure will be made iteratively. Please leave your thoughts and comments as an answer to this post.


A proposal for a bounty board system to find questions the community would like to see more of

The bounty board system is an attempt by the moderation team of this community to seek a focal point where users can propose types of topics for questions they like to hear and also provide a rep bounty reward for those who provide good and interesting questions and answers. The intent is in part to gather ideas and gauge interest on potential topics to ask and also spread the site ripe amongst the community to grow the active user base and give more users access to the tools to help with moderation of the community.

This is still very much a work in progress and might not be feasible in the long run but it's and idea we'd like to float and try out.

Proposed format:

Bounties change ever month.

Moderation staff will look at providing a base set of topics for bounties each month. Staff can provide 2-3 topics per month, along talking points examples to get started.

All normal user to contribute bounties on specific topics related to anime and manga. Can suggest topics can be series or genres they want to see more of or hear about.

Users band together and pool rep for bounties to find answers to existing questions as well.

Bounty rep minimum: 100-300 rep minimum, up to 1000 rep for staff bounties. Bonuses for great questions and answers.

Bounties must be elected by the user that takes them. They can do so by post a reply to the bounty board with intent to post or link to their question.

Users have about a week to make a post related to the topic. Users may withdraw but they need to explicitly make notice within a week’s time. No penalty for withdrawals. A bit like a contract.


A suggested system to better tag and organize site policies

Since the inception of the site from Area 51 thru our graduation, and design graduation, there have been a lot of changes to policies, new, old, and now deprecated. We realize that we haven't really done a good job in keeping track of what policies are where and how up to date they are. The typical process has been just to search and trudge thru the results for the one you're looking for. We find this process to inefficient and a bit tedious.

We're looking are ways to better tag questions based on what the community has been accepted. There's also been some ambiguity in what is policies are generally accepted by the community and what's still disputed or just up in the air. We're looking to implement clearer guidelines for what is accepted and what is not.

For policy tagging, we are looking to implement the following procedures to new and existing posts.

Retagging post with accepted policy with for community accepted policies.

New tagging for proposing future policy for new policy suggestions.

For policies that have no-consensus (a proposed criteria will be explained below) .

For rejected policy suggestions posts

For policies that needs clarification or an update , including old policies that are a bit dated due to changes within the network

For policies that are old and or outdated

As a catch all for other policy post that don’t fall under any of the above categories

We'll be doing categorizing and tagging existing posts based on this manually so it may take a bit of time to get things all in order due to the amount of meta posts that currently exist.

Acceptance criteria for policies moving forward

I'd like to propose using using vote score on the policy proposal, at least 5, ideally 10 vote score to secure consensus and be considered accepted by the community.

Policy proposals (in the question body or in an answer to a clarification question about a policy) should be given at least a week's time for review (more if it is a major policy change, at least a month) before they are regarded as accepted, regardless of the amount of votes on the post.

If there are objections or concerns that need to be addressed, they should be upvoted (be it an answer or comment) to bring attention to them. A policy cannot be considered accepted until these concerns or objection are at least address in a satisfactory manner. If the concerns or objections were made without reasonable merit, an explanation must be made to address it.

If a policy cannot reach a consensus (at least 5 vote score) cannot be made within a months time, the policy will be regarded as "disputed" (<5 vote score, with up and down votes or low amount of upvotes), or "declined" (0 or negative total vote score) and regarded as not accepted (set as or ). Revisions can still be made and can be open for re-review at a later time (will need to readd to the post).

Examples:

Are "Identify this" questions on-topic?

Policy Suggestion: Applying series continuity and franchise tags globally on this site

Feedback from the community on the such a proposal would be appreciated. There are likely quite a few kinks and wrinkles that need to be worked out and ironed out, so will take all reasonable feedback in considering as we look to implement such a process.


Anime Tidbit of the Month:

Ever what wondered if the iconic anime/manga glare (¬_¬) had a name? It does. It's called a "jitome" (ジト目) it comes from the Japanese onomatopoeic expression for staring (じと~っ) which is from じっとり (damp, as in clammy feeling). It's typically used as a negative expressions of contempt, suspicion, rebelliousness, amazement, or plotting. It's differentiated from the typical glare (睨む) by having the nuisance of being more of piercing glance than a typical glare, depicting clear hostility or dissatisfaction. Aside from the realm of light novels along with anime and manga, this term is not often used in the literature.

ジト目

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    Why would the second example be policy-deferred? It fulfils the vote criteria and the consensus of the answers also seems to be in favor of it. – Turamarth Jul 8 at 19:15
  • Apologies the wrong link was referenced. The correct link has been edited in. – кяαzєя Jul 15 at 8:35
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Re: Music identification questions

As someone who's answered a good chunk of these types of questions, I wanted to weigh in a bit with my perspective.

Back when I was a fairly new user to this site, I remember looking for a way to get enough rep to do basic things like type in chat and other things, and I remember zeroing in on music identification questions in the "not answered" category as something I actually had a shot at answering. In other words, answering music identification questions was how I first started getting more active on this site :3

a screenshot from the beginning of my "actions" history on this site

Here's an breakdown of the Naruto music ids I've answered over the years:

  • Released track: 1, 2, 3
  • Variation of a released track (e.g. with a certain instrument removed, etc.), with a link to an unofficial fan-spliced version: 1, 2, 3, 4
  • Unreleased track, with a link to an unofficial fan-spliced version: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7,

Answers with:

  • 3 upvotes: 1
  • 2 upvotes: 1
  • 1 upvotes: 5
  • 0 upvotes: 7

Some random thoughts, in no particular order:

  • Most of the time, the users who asked the question don't even come back to accept or upvote the answer. But that might have been because I was necrobumping a bunch of really old questions.
  • It's really awesome when you go to the profile of the question asker and the "last seen" timestamp is more recent than the "question asked" timestamp. That means they're checking back at the site and there's a chance they'll engage more later on!
  • It's really rewarding if the question asker actually comes back and upvotes and/or accepts your answer.
  • Some songs end up being asked more than once. In particular, the unreleased "Minato saves Kushina" track shows up in a lot of these questions. And that's because it's a really good track. The feels ;_;
  • YouTube & copyrighted music. Hmmmmm 🤔. In any case, I was careful to avoid directly linking to any of the actually released soundtracks in my answers.
  • Naruto Shippuuden OST III was released in 2016, 7 years after OST II. So you never know when new soundtracks might come out.

Personally, I don't particularly mind music identification questions. It's not a particularly large time investment to try and answer one of these. I just load up the appropriate timestamp, and then I either know the song or I don't. If I'm not familiar with the series, I just ignore the question, like any other question I don't know the answer to.

Though obviously, as an occasional contributor on this site, my perspective will differ from the heavy-usage moderators who likely have to go through a lot of low quality content every day in the queues.

It's not like I'd particularly miss music ids either, since I don't answer them that often anymore. It's just that I don't see the need to explicitly disallow them either.

Slightly off-topic rant

Like, every time I see a new user ask a question and it's downvoted and closed for being off topic, I feel kind of bad for them. Like, some people may think "oh, they were probably a help vampire who wouldn't have checked back for replies anyway". But they might not have been. Downvotes are a huge turnoff.

It's bad enough that there are no clear guidelines for what you can ask on this site and what you can't. "But what about the tour?" No one reads the tour. If you were to install a new IDE and it prompts you if you want a tour of the interface, would you go through with it? I mean, it sounds pretty optional to me. "Nah, I can figure it out." I think many of us would think like this.

"But on-topic". It's buried behind multiple layers of links. And hidden behind really optional sounding language like "Find more information about how to ask a good question here". If a new user finds their way to the "Ask Question" page and there's no clearly labeled "Rules" section on the same page with the ~5 most salient points to know, including the thing about identification requests (the user shouldn't have to click away into a new page), then that's a UI/UX failure imo.

A lot of these types of questions/closings feels too reactive. Like, "Can I ask this" "No you can't". It'd be better if this site were better designed towards proactively informing the users ahead of time to prevent off-topic questions in the first place.

"But users won't read" Then make it more concise. No one's going to read a wall of text, and it's unreasonable to expect them to. At the very least, it should more clearly link to the "on-topic" page as a "these are the expectations of you" so that I'd feel less bad for the user if their question gets closed. So that for the new user, it's less of a "did I do something wrong??" and more of a "oh, right, that, ok".

But anyway, that's probably a bit out of scope for this question -_-;; This is more of a general Stack Exchange-wide design grievance.

Back to music identification questions

Idk I think overlegislating is harmful but at the same time it's not like I would particularly miss music id requests or anything. There are far better and more active places to ask these types of questions, anyway.

tl;dr Neutral response.

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I'd like to propose using using vote score on the policy proposal, at least 5, ideally 10 vote score to secure consensus and be considered accepted by the community.

Policy proposals (in the question body or in an answer to a clarification question about a policy) should be given at least a week's time for review (more if it is a major policy change, at least a month) before they are regarded as accepted, regardless of the amount of votes on the post.

Having a policy be accepted by the question's score seems like bad design.

  1. When upvoting a question it is unclear if you're saying "yes I agree" or "yes this should be discussed".

  2. Lumping all these votes together can cause policies that shouldn't be accepted to be accepted.

    "Should we X?" which is upvoted to 20, but there is no clear winning side in the answers.

  3. If you decide on a policy saying all votes on a question should be counted as "yes I agree". This can cause policies that should be discussed from not getting a score high enough to hit the community bulletin, under Hot Meta Posts. And may not get the score they need to get tagged correctly. (disputed vs declined)

This can be solved by just measuring answers.


Some of the suggested policy seems incomplete or undefined. Who deicides what is "a satisfactory manner"? If everyone wants the policy to be accepted, but there's a conflict on something small what happens?

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    The core is intended to be a general consensus vote of yay or nay by those that vote, it's intended most as a means to gauge how ppl feel about a particular topic. In the means of a tie with high votes and no clear winner, although rare, it would be up to the moderators to find a compromise between the two and represent the proposal for a new vote. – кяαzєя Jul 7 at 16:31
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    It would probably be clearer to require all proposals to be a meta answer to be voted on instead of policy proposals in the meta question. Votes on the question would be counted as "this should be discussed", votes on the answers will be counted as "this should be accepted". How does that sound? – кяαzєя Jul 7 at 16:31
  • @кяαzєя (In response to your second comment) To me that sounds right. – Peilonrayz Jul 7 at 16:52
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When posting proposals, poster should put some (agreed upon on meta about this workflow) template text at the top which very clearly says something like:

Upvote/downvote the wiki answer (anchor link maybe) under this question to vote for or against this proposal.
Upvote/downvote this question if you think it is a valid, clear proposal worth voting on.
read more on how to vote on proposals here (link to a meta post explaining everything in detail)


Below this proposal, a template wiki answer with the agreed upon neutral descriptive text about how to vote should be posted for users to cast their vote upon.


I think it would be worthwhile to implement a network-wide system for this, but since we can't expect such attention from SE developers, this system will have to do. It's a bit tedious but meta users can make it work.

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