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Old 06-11-2013, 11:58 AM   #51 (permalink)
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One thing I've noticed since Trollheart has started this thread, is the upsurge in people doing journals, not just starting them but maintaining them as well. I can remember when I first used to submit a journal entry, it would normally occupy the first few places until I submitted the next entry three or four days later. If I do the same now, my journal is usually about ten places down. If I didn't do it for more than a week then I'd probably be off the page!
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Old 06-11-2013, 12:09 PM   #52 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zer0 View Post
Hey thanks for the showcase Trollheart!
You are of course very welcome, or perhaps I should say "is failte romhat" (is that right? Can't remember, been so long)
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Batlord View Post
Gimme a break. I'm from Virginia.
Jeez Batty! I wouldn't have thought you'd have anything to do with the word "virgin"!
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Originally Posted by Unknown Soldier View Post
One thing I've noticed since Trollheart has started this thread, is the upsurge in people doing journals, not just starting them but maintaining them as well. I can remember when I first used to submit a journal entry, it would normally occupy the first few places until I submitted the next entry three or four days later. If I do the same now, my journal is usually about ten places down. If I didn't do it for more than a week then I'd probably be off the page!
Indeed. When I suggested this thread idea there were two aims: one, to get people reading journals again, two, to have journals regularly updated as the writers realised people were (shock! Horror!) reading them and three, to encourage others to start.

Three. Three aims. And to promote the best journals. Four, four aims.
Among the aims of this thread were...

Glad to see it seems to have succeeded beyond my wildest dreams. Keep it up people! The journals section is no longer only a place for lonely bastards who have all the social skills of an alsatian after a headswap operation, like me...
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Old 06-12-2013, 05:35 PM   #53 (permalink)
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In an expansion of what US said about this thread seeming to encourage people both to update and start journals, I've decided to throw in two new sections to the update thread, make it a bit more interesting, fun and perhaps even give people something to shoot for.

The first is a league table. Still working out the details but it won't be just based on views, as that would be unfair to new journals. I'm working something along the lines of views, updates, type of updates and will assign a number for each then add them up. Look, I said I was working on it, ok? It'll be in place by Sunday. Oh, and my journals will be featuring but NOT the Playlist because that would just be unfair. Not saying that to be conceited but it's a fact that I have the highest views of any journal, so I want to give others a chance. I also don't want anyone thinking I just did this to show off how great my journal is. I'm not doing that.

So hopefully it'll give people an incentive to update more, and put more into their journals as you'll get a higher score for, say, an album review than just a YouTube with a few lines and a higher score for a full article than an album review, and so on. This means that (or should mean that) people who have low view counts but work really hard on their journals should be able to rise up the chart as easily as, or easier than, someone with a lot of views who only throws in the odd update. Anyway, we'll see how it goes.

The other thing is the Roll of Honour. No, it's spelt honour! Anyhoo, this is going to be a growing list of all the members who have started journals since I began doing this update. That will include those who started when I was still using the "What's happening" thread too. So if you started a new journal in the last few months, you're in.

Just a few more little things to try to pay tribute to those who put time into making their journals, and maybe encourage others to try their hand at it.

And to prove I have way more time on my hands than any man should. Although really, I don't...

Watch for all this on Sunday.
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Old 06-13-2013, 07:24 PM   #54 (permalink)
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Okay, further to my post about a league table, here's how I intend to run it.

There will be four main categories. These will be Views, Posts, Updates and Comments.

Views:
this is where those of us who have been at this a while will get a bit of a legup. I was going to do this on a basis of so many views per day/week but that would require way too much work on my part, so instead I'm setting targets. As you reach each you get a score. Here's how they break down:

500 views or less --- 1 point
500 - 2000 views --- 2 points
2000 - 5000 views --- 4 points
5000 - 8000 views --- 6 points
8000 - 10000 views --- 8 points
Over 10000 views --- 10 points

These are NOT cumulative, so you don't get points every time you reach another 1000 views. As you reach each milestone you are awarded the points, but in beween, nada. So if say you reach 1000 points this week you get 2 points. If you only hit 1500 next week you get nothing until you get to 2000, when you then get 4 points. Obviously that's added to your total: nothing is subtracted. I just mean you don't get points for every time you reach say another 2000 points. It's once up to 2000 and then you don't get any more points till you hit 5000, and so on. There are at the moment no plans for anything above 10000, but I may add a special extra bonus if enough people reach this target.

But that's just people viewing, which you in general have little control over. I mean, you can write the best journal ever but if nobody reads it why is that your fault? It's not, but to address that we have the other categories, the first of which is, not surprisingly, Posts.

This system rewards you not for how often you post (that's later) but for WHAT you post. This asks what sort of effort are you putting into your journal? Are you simply throwing in a YouTube video, a short album review, a comment or are you going deep into someone's discography (oo-eer!)? Here's how we look at that:

YouTube video(s)/Few lines written/Comment (by author) --- like maybe in response to what someone has posted --- 1 point

Short album or other review (few paragraphs, not too detailed) ---- 2 points

Long album or other review (think Big Ears, Anteater, me) ---- 3 points

Short, or relatively short, feature or other item that is not a review --- 5 points

Longer article that is not a review --- 8 points

In-depth series, collection, feature which runs over more than one post ---- 9 points

The post which begins a series like the above
---------------- 10 points

Unique or different posts
(like Pedestrian's art or scripts, Po's art and Urban's kitchen article) --------------- 20 points

That covers the content, but how often do you update? Sure, you may do a great Pink Floyd discography or whatever, but if you only update once every six months do you deserve your place at the top of the tree? Well, to balance that out we have a score for, you guessed it, Updates!

These are fairly simple and don't rely on anything special being done. You could, theoretically, log in, post "I am great" every day and get the daily post score, but of course a) such posts would not or should not be approved and b) what would be the point? Nobody's looking to out-clever anyone here. It's all about showcasing and taking pride in your ability as a writer and a lover of music. So anyway these are the scores you can get.


Daily ... ...........................10 points
More than twice a week .... 8 points
More than once a week ... 6 points
Weekly ............................. 4 points
Fortnightly ........................ 2 points
Monthly or less ................. 1 point

If you can't undestand that my cat Richie will be glad to go through it with you...


Finally, there is Comments. No, that's not bad English (this is Bad English!)

because the section is called Comments. So it's singular, not plural. Anyway, what do you know? Oh yeah...?

Moving swiftly on, Comments reflects the amount of comments you get on your journal, ie who posts other than yourself. So if someone responds to something you said in a review, for instance, or asks a question, or just puts in a smiley or a message of encouragement, or even has something bad to say, they all count. Naturally, you can't control who comments on your journal --- if you could, mine would have thousands of comments, but it doesn't. But this just shows how either popular or at least how much interest your journal is creating. A journal without any comments is no less a journal, but one with a few or many is starting to make an impact.

So, the scores:

Oneoff/one-liner ------ Somone who comments once, says little and doesn't comment again. Of course, I can't predict when/if anyone is going to comment more than once, but generally speaking you can tell by the nature of the comment whether or not they're likely to be swinging your way again. So for one of these ---- 5 points

Ongoing discussion. Someone begins engaging you in a conversation, you respond and perhaps draw others in, making a sort of mini-thread. ------ 10 points

High praise. What it says. Someone says something really complimentary about your journal, the moreso if it's from a respected member. ------ 20 points

Oh and finally, to get those more interesting journals a leg-up, there will be one, and one only, seriously, never to be repeated, one-off, one I say Special Award, as below.

One-off awards

Something different. A journal that is more than just album reviews or "I like this music". Something that goes a little beyond the basic format. --- 500 points
Something very different. Something that really makes you sit up and take notice and think that's a good and interesting idea! --- 1000 points
Something unique/clever. A journal whose format is such that you think damn! I wish I had thought of that! --- 5000 points

The league table will run every week, with positions obviously changing and if there are enough journals I may emulate the British Football League and have different tiers, so that you can be relegated to a lower division if you don't keep up the quality or updates of your journal, and of course you can rise from the lower tier if you're really good. Might be interesring. Might be too much work. We'll see.

Obviously, and I'm sure I don't have to mention this (so why am I?) points are only awarded week-on-week, so if you do a lot of work week 1 but nothing week 2,3 and 4, you won't get any points for week 2,3 and 4 and when you come back you may find your position has slid drastically. Or not, depending on how much work others do. But there are always those who update like crazy, so you'll need to keep on top of your game. Dispensations will be allowed for things like holidays, lack of internet access and emergencies --- nobody's going to penalise you because you had to fly to Florida to your aunt's funeral, or whatever --- but give me as much notice as you can. In the case of sudden departures being required, you can appeal any slide down the table on your return.

Last of all, my decision in all cases is final. I am God and if you should incur my wrath.... look, just accept my rulings ok? I won't have time to be debating points or positions. If you have a real beef and think you have been unfairly treated you can PM me, but you'd better have a solid case, is all I'm saying....

So with that in mind, I'll put together the first league table and publish it on Sunday. Could be fun. I certainly hope so!
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Old 06-14-2013, 09:12 AM   #55 (permalink)
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Congratulations, Trollheart! You've come up with a journal rating system that is more complicated that Elo's notoriously complex system of ranking international chess players.

I like the fact that quality as well as quantity matters to you. But don't be surprised if some ambitious journal writers attempt to game your point system to get larger ratings pay-offs.

Aside from evaluating functional literacy, the measurement of a good or even great writer is completely subjective. It's impossible to assess a writer's creative vision or the authenticity of a writer's conversational voice with a point system. However, I do applaud your noble efforts capture lightning in a bottle.

From my perspective, your short and concise summary critiques of journal articles are a better evaluation tool than any sort of point based rating system. I also think it would be helpful if your dared to critique the shortcomings of some of our journalistic efforts. I am constantly encouraged by editors to develop and leaner and more concise style of writing. The mastery of a large vocabulary is more often than not, an impediment to good writing.

I've noticed that many Music Banter journals are bold and daring conceptually, but the quality of the journalist's writing doesn't quite live up to the journalist's visionary promise. For those writers it's simply a matter of developing an authentic literary voice, which comes about through the rather monotonous process of sitting alone and writing for extended periods of time. The reason writers spend so much time talking about writing is it avoids the unpleasant but necessary task of sitting quietly and writing.

I must say I envy some of the younger Music Banter members who are far better writers than I was in my younger days. At age 21, I simply didn't possess the artistic discipline to maintain journal that required a well composed essay, 3 or 4 times a week. I was too busy having fun to sit in solitude and write down my thoughts.
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Old 06-14-2013, 11:31 AM   #56 (permalink)
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Thanks man. It is a little complicated yes, but I wanted to do all I could to make it a fair system, both for established, grizzled journal writers like me and for the younger upstarts who think they can steal my thunder... er, where was I?

No, I just wanted to make sure that just because you had a huge viewcount or write one big article and then nothing else for months didn't mean you had an advantage over someone who slaved over their work every day and wrote smaller articles but that got fewer views. This way I think both makes it fair and throws down a challenge to those whose journals may not make it onto the table to up their game.

I also made a point of excluding one of my journals, the main one, as I didn't want the reason for this table to be seen as self-aggrandising or self-congratulatory. I have allowed my three other journals in though, as I don't think my writing should go unrecognised.

I've completed the first table (pending any entries tomorrow or late Sunday) and it's interesting to say the least. I'll be back later with yet more clarifications and one or two slightly tweaked points.

Thanks for the comment and encouragement. It's nice when real writers get involved, and by that I simply mean I really enjoy your writing, not that anyone else's is no more valid or interesting.

Shee! Terms and conditions apply,huh? Disclaimer and so on...
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Old 06-14-2013, 03:12 PM   #57 (permalink)
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Right then, finally before I publish the first league table on Sunday, a few more points/possible answers to questions that haven't yet been asked:

POSTS
I'm instigating an extra modifier, as it were, for posts which are of any type --- long, short, album review, comment, whatever --- but which are clever, witty, different. An example of this is the Batlord's recent review read by Hitler. For any post like this (must be made by the author him, her or itself) I'll add a special extra 10 points, so you'll get the requisite points for that post PLUS 10.

UPDATES
In reality, looking back at it now, the idea of following updates that are monthly or whatever won't fly. It's too much hassle and impractical. So I'm revising the Update Points system thus:

Daily --- 10 points
More than twice a week ---- 8 points
More than once a week ---- 6 points
Weekly (ie once a week) --- 4 points
Anything else ---- 0 points.

So in order to qualify for pointage on the Updates you need to put in a new entry at least once a week. Not asking too much, I think?

COMMENTS
First I'd like to qualify what I said about the lowest possible score, 5 points, which is awarded for a "one-off comment". This does NOT have to be a one-off, never repeated one nor does it have to be from someone who is unlikely, on the face of it, to comment ever again. What it means is that a small, offhand or short comment --- by anyone --- that does not contribute to, or instigate, a conversation earns you five points. Now, if a comment like that leads to a conversation within the same week, then the individual comment scores are removed and you get the points for a conversation. Clear? No? Tough.

Mind you, I've noticed that this could be a mixed blessing. If for instance you have six small comments, not linked, that gets you 5x6=30 points but if they become a conversation you get knocked down to 10. Hmm. Hardly fair. So to tackle this I'm upping the conversation score to 100, and that being the case then High Praise has to be increased, so that will become 150.

Oh, and the phrase "respected member" is at my discretion, but would obviously include mods, people who have been here a long time, people who post a lot and are generally known. And me of course. Though not in my own journal. Yeah. I thought of that. You can't give High Praise to your own journal. Nice try...


One other thing I'd like to mention. When you see the table, some are going to jump for joy, some are going to nod smugly and some are going to start looking for the box of cartidges they put away in the attic. Please understand that this table is running from, and concerned only with, this week. So even if you've written some amazing articles in the past weeks or further back, you can't get scored for that. It's only articles and posts made from Monday June 10th, and will cover up to late-ish Sunday June 14th (anything posted after that will go into next week's table); I don't want to put anyone's good work down but I can't seriously be expected to go trawling through, in some cases, years of updates and score them all. It also wouldn't be fair to those who have just started.

Basically, if you're upset your journal isn't in the table then do something about it. Start updating. I only went as far as page 2 of the section, but of course everything after page 1 gets zero for anything except views, as these have not been updated in the past week, so can't be included. Move your journal up by writng something in it, otherwise watch in impotent envy as others claim the glory.

Monster? What monster? I've created no monster....
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Old 06-15-2013, 06:09 AM   #58 (permalink)
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Gaaahhh! Sometimes an idea sounds great but when you look at it in the cold clinical light of day it's, well, not.

I initially thought the concept of Special Award points was a good one, give the younger journals a leg-up. However I now see, looking at the table in its current incarnation, that what it actually does is not level the playing field but stack the odds unfairly in favour of the younger journals. I mean, say someone gets 5000 points as a Special Award: they go probably to the top of the table. How long before an honest, hard-working, normal journal member who's been here years can ever hope to match that? It's an unassailable lead.

So I'm rethinking this and dropping the idea. I mean, i want to help out the young 'uns, encourage them and all, but realistically, you don't get a promotion on your first day at work do you? You have to work for it. So everyone is now going to be treated the same. There's no reason why a good rising young journal can't climb the table, but you're going to have to make it on your own merits. I think that's fairer.

Hope everyone agrees with that. If not, tough: it's my system and I really think this is the fairest way to ensure everyone has a decent crack at the top spot. Sorry for any confusion, but before I published the first table I wanted to have the bugs ironed out, and this is one bug that needed killing.
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Old 06-15-2013, 10:11 AM   #59 (permalink)
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Great idea Trolheart. Music journals might not be explicitly competitive, but a little healthy competition might be good.

Oh, and the journal section has been taking off in recent weeks, but in the last week, or even the last few days, it seems to have blown up. Updates are happening within the hour or even ten minutes after a post. Actual conversations are starting. Bizarre.
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Old 06-15-2013, 02:52 PM   #60 (permalink)
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Yeah, I noticed that. It's pretty incredible. I'm watching them on about an hourly basis as I make amendments and updates to the table, and it's mind-blowing how often people are updating, and not just with one-liners. I'd like to think I can claim some credit for that; before I even started this thread I think a lot of people didn't even know the journals section existed, or if they did, didn't know what it was and thought maybe you had to be some sort of brainbox to have one. You and I have proved that not to be the case...

But seriously, seems like everyone is starting, resurrecting or updating a journal in the last few weeks, and it's great. I think the idea of the table has people, hopefully, a little excited and as you say the competitive nature of some people will definitely lead to more effort and a real push to better the other journals in their climb to the top.

Lot of work for me, of course, but great fun and I think in the end very much worth it.
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