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Subject: Revisioning system for parodies, here's an idea that addresses "editing"

Written By: ChuckyG on 08/26/05 at 8:28 am

For ages, people have been asking to edit parodies once submitted.

I have refused!

While in the bathroom (where I do my best thinking) I gave it some more thought. 

My basic objection to allowing authors has not been technical, I'm a software engineer, I can figure out how to solve any kind of programming problem given enough time and motivation.  The biggest reason is to prevent abuse.  If someone submits a parody and people comment/vote on it, and then the author changes the parody, will the comments still apply.  An author could write a parody bashing Bush, wait for all the lefties to come in an praise the author, and then totally change it around to make them look bad.  Granted, this can be prevented by allowing for a reviewer to approve it a second time (like I didn't have enough work already).  However, even if the person isn't trying to be a pain in the rear, what if the changes improve the parody?  Should the old votes be invalidated? Should people re-vote? Should it re-appear on the front page of the site? 

How about a system, where instead of allowing changes to the existing parody/votes/comments, a newer revision can be created to replace the original, and links at the end of the new one can provide a list of the original revisions so people can see progress?  They won't re-appear on the homepage, but maybe the parody section could have a list of the most recently updated parodies (on an opt-in basis, if you want people to know).  I'd probably still have to re-approve the newer changes though to prevent abuse.  Maybe a limit could be imposed to the number of revisions an author is allowed as well.  Changes to the title, author name, etc would also be out of reach.

This would be much more interesting, since it could allow people interested in the writing process to see the improvements made to a parody.

However the password system is the major current flaw in this idea.  There's very little to prevent older parodies from being ripped off (since there is no password in place for them).  I don't want to have to spend a lot of time assigning passwords to people.


Subject: Re: Revisioning system for parodies, here's an idea that addresses "editing"

Written By: Stuart McArthur on 08/26/05 at 8:49 am

it may be just me, but I don't like the idea.  I'm sure the Beatles came up with heaps of retrospective improvements for Abbey Road Side 2 (or Sgt Pepper), but no, it was down on vinyl, and c'est la vie - and it still stands as a masterpiece (and you can substitute 200 other un-retouched masterpieces instead of Abbey Road, to strengthen my point)

if it's alright for the true artists to submit and not retouch, it should be okay for us parodyists of THEIR work to submit and not retouch.

and I know that if I knew I was allowed to improve the parody a week down the track, I'd probably be tempted to submit weak first drafts, just to test the reaction, and then put serious work into the ones that had received a good response - so there'd be a raft of inferior work (and twice as much) hitting the "New Submissions" page each day

The beauty of not being able to retouch is that it's an unknown quantity - you know you only have one go for a good response (really only  twelve hours, in fact) so you polish the parody so much that when you put it aside and come back to it, a day later, and you don't want to alter a word or a comma - then grasshopper, it is ready....
(or patently unready, as my most recent submission proved - and that's the unpredictable beauty of the game :))

Subject: Re: Revisioning system for parodies, here's an idea that addresses "editing"

Written By: ChuckyG on 08/26/05 at 9:02 am


it may be just me, but I don't like the idea.  I'm sure the Beatles came up with heaps of retrospective improvements for Abbey Road Side 2 (or Sgt Pepper), but no, it was down on vinyl, and c'est la vie - and it still stands as a masterpiece (and you can substitute 200 other un-retouched masterpieces instead of Abbey Road, to strengthen my point)

if it's alright for the true artists to submit and not retouch, it should be okay for us parodyists of THEIR work to submit and not retouch.

and I know that if I knew I was allowed to improve the parody a week down the track, I'd probably be tempted to submit weak first drafts, just to test the reaction, and then put serious work into the ones that had received a good response - so there'd be a raft of inferior work (and twice as much) hitting the "New Submissions" page each day

The beauty of not being able to retouch is that it's an unknown quantity - you know you only have one go for a good response (really only  twelve hours, in fact) so you polish the parody so much that when you put it aside and come back to it, a day later, and you don't want to alter a word or a comma - then grasshopper, it is ready....
(or patently unready, as my most recent submission proved - and that's the unpredictable beauty of the game :))




I totally agree with that view too.  It was actually one of the things I used to tell people, basically at some point you have to let it fly and see the reaction.

Maybe I could do this idea as a seperate section?  I thought about this after I hit the submit button (Oh the tyranny of the submit button! all my best thoughts come after I hit you.  Curses!) 

Instead of stuff in the main index being touchable, it could be used as a section for authors struggling through a tough parody?  Or a collabrative type of thing, where someone posts the rough outline of a parody and acts as the editor.  People then leave comments with new verses or improvements to existing ones, and the "author" is really more of an editor.

Subject: Re: Revisioning system for parodies, here's an idea that addresses "editing"

Written By: bobbypags on 08/26/05 at 9:07 am

I disagree with both of you.  Neither argument is addressing it from the writer's point of view.  Who cares if the comments don't match the work once it's revised?  There probably wouldn't be too many times when a revised work differs that much from the first submission.  Do we really believe that someone would totally change a parody around to make all the lefty praisers sound bad?  Highly unlikely.  And if they did, wouldn't there be a backlash against that author?  Grounds for banishment?

To some extent, preventing revisions is restricting the creativity of the author.  Hell, if we have comments for feedback purposes, why shouldn't we (as writers) be able to use it to our advantage?  Posting here is not copyrighting, so it's different than the Abbey Road on vinyl example.

I understand and accept the arguments that allowing revisions could lead to multiple draft submissions.  As a reader of the site, that would be annoying.  And this is your best argument for not allowing revisions.

But, I think the idea of allowing revisions to a posted work - but perhaps limiting it to two revisions after the first posting - would be a welcome addition to the site.
bob

Subject: Re: Revisioning system for parodies, here's an idea that addresses "editing"

Written By: Stuart McArthur on 08/26/05 at 9:50 am


so bobbybags, your point of difference with me is that I'm saying no to revisions, while you're saying no to third revisions 

you're really agreeing with all my points but suggesting allowing a second and third chance only

why not just bite the bullet and submit the final product like all other creative artists (novelists, journos, musicians, painters, sculptors, comedians) have to do, and pick and choose from the valuable feedback to improve your NEXT parody - instead of being tempted to circle inwards trying to please everyone by fine-tuning a parody already submitted, that might have one negative comment or subjective suggestion - and end up with a parody that will be a pathetic contrived dog's dinner, with not even a claim to spontaneity or freshness

Subject: Re: Revisioning system for parodies, here's an idea that addresses "editing"

Written By: bobbypags on 08/26/05 at 9:59 am

You know me, I hate limits.  Personally, I highly doubt that I would take advantage of the revision system - maybe to correct a typo or perhaps if I cut the wrong line from a draft and pasted it into the final product.  Generally, I don't do more than two drafts at home - if it doesn't work, I toss it.  Like you, I guess, I am more challenged by putting something out there and that's it.  However, I don't think that you or I should be putting limits on somebody else's work, that's all.  (It's my par'dy and I'll write how I want to, write how I want to.)

So my point of difference with you is that I'm saying no to restricting an author from changing his/her own work, while you're saying no to allowing an author to change his/her own work.

Subject: Re: Revisioning system for parodies, here's an idea that addresses "editing"

Written By: ChuckyG on 08/26/05 at 10:06 am

There really isn't a restriction in place though from preventing an author from throwing out a parody and submitting a new one to take it's place.  People can always ask me to remove a parody and then submit a replacement.

It certainly is easy for authors to endlessly revamp work.  I've read interviews with people who have always said they want to go back and change this or that with a work now, that they know better or they think it sounds wrong now.  Typos and little tweaks like that can easily be handled in the comments section in my opinion. they shouldn't detract that much from the work.

Subject: Re: Revisioning system for parodies, here's an idea that addresses "editing"

Written By: bobbypags on 08/26/05 at 10:19 am

Artists change their work all the time - how many concerts have you been to that have sounded like what's on the vinyl - my guess is not many.  The Stones didn't use the "who killed the Kennedy's" line up in Boston recently - I don't see the big deal in them using it, but it was their choice.  That's all my point is.  If you don't think that comics are tweaking their acts from venue to venue based upon the prior audience feedback, you're kidding yourself (or they're not any good).

I happen to agree with you on deleting the post and reposting.  If necessary, I would use that option.  But the reasoning for both arguments was that authors would do this or might do that . . . so be it.  Again, they're the artists, let them change, tweak, delete or whatever they want to with their own work.  There could be a suggestion in a comment that improves something - great. 

I'm just saying, if you don't want to institute a revision system, then don't.  And don't do it because it would be a pain in the ass or some other reason.  But to use the reasoning that it's bad because authors might improve their work is a ridiculous argument from a site that allows and encourages (thankfully) creativity.

Subject: Re: Revisioning system for parodies, here's an idea that addresses "editing"

Written By: ChuckyG on 08/26/05 at 10:40 am


Artists change their work all the time - how many concerts have you been to that have sounded like what's on the vinyl - my guess is not many.  The Stones didn't use the "who killed the Kennedy's" line up in Boston recently - I don't see the big deal in them using it, but it was their choice.  That's all my point is.  If you don't think that comics are tweaking their acts from venue to venue based upon the prior audience feedback, you're kidding yourself (or they're not any good).


that's a little different though.  The work is already out and established.  They aren't going to replace all the copies out there.  Posting to a website is different.  If your new version replaces the old one, well, it's going to take detective work (archive.org anyone?) to see what has changed.


I'm just saying, if you don't want to institute a revision system, then don't.  And don't do it because it would be a pain in the butt or some other reason.  But to use the reasoning that it's bad because authors might improve their work is a ridiculous argument from a site that allows and encourages (thankfully) creativity.


oh, it'll be a pain in the butt to implement.  That's not the issue for me.  If I do it, I'll do it for one of a few reasons:

1) it fulfills a need on the part of the users of the site
2) it generates new users for the site, that wouldn't normally use the site
3) it provides something, other sites can't

#1 is probably the case if people feel their work as submitted is never adequate

#2 is probably the case, for people who might want to do a parody colaberation, or need help with the writing process

#3 is harder for me to gauge.  There aren't a lot of sites that host parodies.  fanfiction.net is the only one that comes to mind (aside from messageboards).  I haven't used fanfiction.net because I don't write it, and can't stand reading it, but I believe they have an edit function of some sort.  There are some filk sites out there, but I've never seen one that does what amiright does either.  Maybe someone can answer the question of what those sites do. 

If I can provide something people can't get elsewhere, it encourages them to come here.  I like people to come here.  The more the merrier.  That's really the main goal behind new stuff being done to the site this month and last.  Improve or stagnate.  If you stagnate, people will stop visiting, and eventually someone will develop a better site that does what you should be.  If I want the site to continue to exist, it needs new visitors who check out ads, otherwise the costs of running the site become too great and it all has to go away.  It's like a shark, it has to keep moving it or eventually it dies.

So really, that's the reason behind this "brainstorming".  People have asked for edit capacity.  I need to know why they want to edit in order to know what is needed.

If the majority of it is for typos and minor stuff, than a revision system is overkill.  I can develop a "replace" system, where people submit a new version, and once approved, supercedes the old one.

The case of a seperate system where people can brainstorm parodies together.  I'm not positive about that, since the messageboard can be used to collaborate on a parody, and not many people seem eager to do that.  Stuff designed by committe can tend to be bland.  Maybe though the messageboard isn't adequate for that and that's why no one does it?

There's also a case that can be made, that some authors could see the process of how one author builds a parody and learn from it.  That's probably of limited appeal to the majority of site visitors though.

what we should do, is get to a point in this thread where I understand the different reasons people want an edit system, and then I can run a poll next week about what people think they will use.  I can always run off and just start coding something, but I don't like to waste time developing things if people can say up front they know they're uninterested in it.

Subject: Re: Revisioning system for parodies, here's an idea that addresses "editing"

Written By: agrimorfee on 08/26/05 at 10:45 am

I have no need to totally throw out a submitted parody and revise it or start from scratch. I never have put up anything I wasn't remotely proud of (except one piece of juvinilia that I put up more for its historical value). But it would be nice to fix simple misspellings and the like.

Subject: Re: Revisioning system for parodies, here's an idea that addresses "editing"

Written By: bobbypags on 08/26/05 at 11:03 am

Gotcha.  Then my position is much like Agrimorfee - I personally have no desire to change things except for typos - once it's out there, it's done for me.  Or, I would ask for a parody to be pulled altogether.  Frankly, a feature like this, while I feel could be creatively stimulating, will have no affect on where I post. 
bob

Subject: Re: Revisioning system for parodies, here's an idea that addresses "editing"

Written By: Red Ant on 08/26/05 at 1:34 pm

Perhaps a spell-check feature or the like could be added along side or in conjuction with the "preview" screen.

That would grammatically clean up parodies submitted from now on anyway. I know I could use it.

Red Ant

Subject: Re: Revisioning system for parodies, here's an idea that addresses "editing"

Written By: tmayfield on 08/26/05 at 5:08 pm


Perhaps a spell-check feature or the like could be added along side or in conjuction with the "preview" screen.

That would grammatically clean up parodies submitted from now on anyway. I know I could use it.

Red Ant


I like the idea of a spell checker if you can link it to the votes..  Like, if it finds two misspelled words, you lose 20% of your vote.  And if you have no misspelled words it launches a minesweeper game or something.  Just a thought...

Also, if you are going to allow revisions, you should have a checkbox that they select.  That way you could alert the commenters as well that this submission has been set as 'updateable'.

Subject: Re: Revisioning system for parodies, here's an idea that addresses "editing"

Written By: Red Ant on 08/26/05 at 5:31 pm


I like the idea of a spell checker if you can link it to the votes..  Like, if it finds two misspelled words, you lose 20% of your vote.  And if you have no misspelled words it launches a minesweeper game or something.  Just a thought...//



*prepares to lose votes*

Yeah, dumb idea. I could always buy the software to spell-check. My noob mind thinking again....

Subject: Re: Revisioning system for parodies, here's an idea that addresses "editing"

Written By: PRobinson on 08/29/05 at 11:42 am


that's a little different though.  The work is already out and established.  They aren't going to replace all the copies out there.  Posting to a website is different.  If your new version replaces the old one, well, it's going to take detective work (archive.org anyone?) to see what has changed.

oh, it'll be a pain in the butt to implement.  That's not the issue for me.  If I do it, I'll do it for one of a few reasons:

1) it fulfills a need on the part of the users of the site
2) it generates new users for the site, that wouldn't normally use the site
3) it provides something, other sites can't

#1 is probably the case if people feel their work as submitted is never adequate

#2 is probably the case, for people who might want to do a parody colaberation, or need help with the writing process

#3 is harder for me to gauge.  There aren't a lot of sites that host parodies.  fanfiction.net is the only one that comes to mind (aside from messageboards).  I haven't used fanfiction.net because I don't write it, and can't stand reading it, but I believe they have an edit function of some sort.  There are some filk sites out there, but I've never seen one that does what amiright does either.  Maybe someone can answer the question of what those sites do. 

If I can provide something people can't get elsewhere, it encourages them to come here.  I like people to come here.  The more the merrier.  That's really the main goal behind new stuff being done to the site this month and last.  Improve or stagnate.  If you stagnate, people will stop visiting, and eventually someone will develop a better site that does what you should be.  If I want the site to continue to exist, it needs new visitors who check out ads, otherwise the costs of running the site become too great and it all has to go away.  It's like a shark, it has to keep moving it or eventually it dies.

So really, that's the reason behind this "brainstorming".  People have asked for edit capacity.  I need to know why they want to edit in order to know what is needed.

If the majority of it is for typos and minor stuff, than a revision system is overkill.  I can develop a "replace" system, where people submit a new version, and once approved, supercedes the old one.

The case of a seperate system where people can brainstorm parodies together.  I'm not positive about that, since the messageboard can be used to collaborate on a parody, and not many people seem eager to do that.  Stuff designed by committe can tend to be bland.  Maybe though the messageboard isn't adequate for that and that's why no one does it?

There's also a case that can be made, that some authors could see the process of how one author builds a parody and learn from it.  That's probably of limited appeal to the majority of site visitors though.

what we should do, is get to a point in this thread where I understand the different reasons people want an edit system, and then I can run a poll next week about what people think they will use.  I can always run off and just start coding something, but I don't like to waste time developing things if people can say up front they know they're uninterested in it.


I would like to have the option to revise parodies, but I can see where it could be a big headache to adminster and could be abused.  Yes, I am one of those people who might endlessly make small changes if it was really easy AND it would get re-posted so people would see it...if I didn't think it would turn me into a more major pain-in-the-ass than I can occasionally be...kind of a balancing act.  But I would be very much in favor of some sort of "once-only" per parody revision system and maybe a limit on how often an Author could do revisions.  As to whether they should be re-posted as though new...I honestly don't think they should in most cases.  My point in making the revisions would be to make them coincide with what I consider a much better or improved version that I have in my own personal files, not to make minor changes all the time.  Why do I feel like I'm debating this within myself right now? 

Anyway,  "Yes" but in a limited way to prevent overuse and abuse (if that type of policy is possible)...

Thanks for offering up the idea, Chucky  :)

pr

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