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Modifications to Approved Categories

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There are currently a couple of discussions taking place that touch on issues related to changing the requirements or 'character' of previously approved categories. I thought it would be a good idea to open up a discussion on the subject.

 

As currently implemented, there is no built-in mechanism which prevents category managers from modifying the detailed description of an approved category, either before or after it is listed in the directory.

 

1) Should a group (or the category owner) be allowed to make major changes to a category without going through a community re-approval process?

 

2) Are minor changes ok?

 

3) Should there be a requirement (or built-in mechanism) to document changes someplace on the category page?

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I have noticed that. Once a category is approved, the owner could completely change the direction and requirements of the category or even change it into something else, though the name would stay the same. This could be used to circumvent the peer review process.

 

The peer review may bring up minor issues that should be fixed, so minor editing should be allowed. I have a couple of categories that I want to flesh out the description with images and better references.

 

Seems like it is an honor system to keep the category the same once it has passed peer review. I suppose that is where the other officers come in to keep a check on changing the category beyond recognition, unless they are in on the change.

 

Maybe some kind of second peer review for categories where the text has changed more than 50% from the original description or at least an officer vote?

 

Additional Edit:

The same goes for approved waymarks. Once they are approved, the owner can change them around without a notification to the category owners potentially making it look like they approved an inappropriate waymark.

Edited by TerryDad2
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I don't think a change in focus for the category should be allowed at all. The peer review process is the key issue. Users entered new categories for peer review should be informed that their category should be totally ready to go when entering the process and major modifications to the category will not be allowed after the category is approved through the peer review process. If rejected, you could retool the category and possibly attempt it again.

 

If a category changes after being listed, the waymarks already listed do not reflect the category any more. If you want to modify the category, submit a request for a new category. That keeps the old category *and* its associated waymarks properly documented.

 

I think spin-offs could occur. They should truly be spun-off though, and they should go through the peer review process to see of the spin-off is something the Waymarking community wants.

 

The same goes for a change in the listed waymark, unless the target is damaged/destroyed. Then you should modify the waymark to show the history of the original waymark but the focus would still be on the original idea/target that was listed.

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a busy few days in the Waymarking world. forum threads are entwining themselves......

 

in geocaching, if you change the coords for the cache beyond a threshold, you must seek permission.

 

how is this monitoring of categories to happen? the number of words/character spaces changed?

 

what type of changes are acceptable? for waymark criteria, i would hope that the category intent can mecome more described through statements and examples. in the case of the art cars, one of the first available on WM.com (an original LC transfer), some consideration can be made. and in this case, a category solving the discrepancy could be created in the games section, with the transfer of such existing marks from the original category.

 

example: a few months ago you could post a tank (in front of some military based building) as a military installation; i have a few i own. the description stated 'all things military'. how more military than a tank can you get. so, recently i tried posting a VFW with a tank & a mortar out front. through disussions with a group moderator (the last denial notice came from a 'TPTB' member, so they said.) it was decided that it must be the site of 'current military occupation'. the existing marks in the category have been grandfathered in, for transfer when an appropriate location is found.

 

the modification of variables is necessary to allow the waymark descriptions to become more informational--to help in variable searching. variables, set by the group, cannot readily influance the category description beyond the approved format.

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I can see that this will be an issue in the future when the number of categories exceeds that which can be monitored "by hand". The big problem, however, is that we really have no way of doing an automated check to see that 50% (or whatever) of a description has been edited. The only two choices right now are 1: Allow all edits, and 2: Disallow all edits. Speeling and grammar corrections need to be made sometimes frequently, and at the least after a Peer Review, so number 1 is the best choice.

 

We're considering a "history" page that will track changes to a category over time. That way you can compare the two (or three, four) versions for obvious departure from the original intent. "Report this category" may be a helpful addition. Right now we have confidence in the honor system. It's worked well so far.

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This was brought up before. Back when concept of Groups was proposed.

 

If a Leader decides to alter the category, and goes too far from the original intention, the Officers will band together to 'Evict' the Leader. Another Leader would be promoted and they could put things back as they should be.

 

However, in the very unlikely chance, the whole Group is acting to create some subversive category, someone is bound to notice and report it to Groundspeak. Groundspeak would step in and crush it, as they should.

 

:blink: The Blue Quasar

 

edit: typo

Edited by The Blue Quasar
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This was brought up before. Back when concept of Groups was proposed.

 

If a Leader decides to alter the category, and goes too far from the original intention, the Officers will band together to 'Evict' the Leader. Another Leader would be promoted and they could put things back as they should be.

 

:blink: The Blue Quasar

 

edit: typo

 

fine & dandy, but how would you know of the changes? a record needs to be kept. this could also show the evolution of a category--as the Recovered US Benchmark category begain with a very basic submittal form but now has a quite complex set of variables.

 

the 'god' category has even added some new check boxes recently......

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I would guess that when Officers review the categories they belong to.

 

For example, when I said

If a Leader decides to alter the category, and improves on the original intention, the Officers will band together to 'Support' the Leader. The Leader would be praised and they could put things more accurately as they should be.

 

Wait, is that what I said?

 

Nope... I said

If a Leader decides to alter the category, and goes too far from the original intention, the Officers will band together to 'Evict' the Leader. Another Leader would be promoted and they could put things back as they should be.

 

But if I tried to sneak the first version through, you would probably say "Wait a minute, that doesn't sound familiar"

 

Major alterations would be noticed. Like if I changed the Libraries category to say "Any place where kids use crayons in colouring books", or "Locations that sell books for profit"

 

Minor things like adding "What is the overdue charge on books?"... who would really care if that was added?

 

:blink: The Blue Quasar

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I would guess that when Officers review the categories they belong to.

I wonder how often officers really review the categories they belong to? I bet I could make some fairly important changes to my categories without anyone noticing right away. The problem is that the most likely point at which the changes would get noticed would be when there was problem.

 

Category managers will always need the ability to make minor modifications to their categories. But I like the idea of record keeping that will allow the review of the progression of changes.

 

I think it would also be a good idea to have any click of the Update button on the category edit page result in an automatic notification email to all the category members, or at least the officers. Maybe add a free form field for providing additional information about why the category page was updated, in the same way that you can type in a few descriptive words when doing an Accept/Decline on a waymark.

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cache_test_dummies

post Today, 04:50 PM

 

I think it would also be a good idea to have any click of the Update button on the category edit page result in an automatic notification email to all the category members, or at least the officers.

 

That would be cool. When the category gets updated, an Auto-Email is sent to the Officers. The only thing that might not be so great is that sometimes it takes many little updates to get it to look right. I updated Libraries about 10 times today... that'd be a lot of email, that people would delete unread likely.

 

It would probably be a lot of code, but it would be great to have a "Clone Category for Updating".... you could work on the rough re-write in an unseen area till you like the new version, and when you are done you would submit it. The system would notify the Officers of the update. The Officers could then vote to keep the update or original. Since both are retained, there could be HTML links to both versions for referrence.

 

And just like Peer Review... 2/3rd majority to accept the update. If the update is accepted, the system simply swaps the update for the original. Groundspeak could save the original for whatever time period they feel is necessary.

 

With the 'Simple URL' structure we have... www.Waymarking.com/category.html, could have www.Waymarking.com/category/clone.html for a workspace.

 

:wub: The Blue Quasar

Edited by The Blue Quasar
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That would be cool. When the category gets updated, an Auto-Email is sent to the Officers. The only thing that might not be so great is that sometimes it takes many little updates to get it to look right. I updated Libraries about 10 times today... that'd be a lot of email, that people would delete unread likely.

I understand what you are saying, but the adopted categories like Libraries are kind of an anomaly. The weren't subject to peer review, and some have needed reworking by the group that adopted them. I can see why some of these might require a fair amount of tweaking at some point.

 

But if a traditional peer-reviewed-and-approved category is updated 10 times in a day, as an officer in the group, I'd sure like to know what was going on, even if it meant getting lots of emails.

 

I do like your Clone Category idea. It would be great to have a convenient place to allow others to review the work in progress.

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cache_test_dummies

post Today, 04:50 PM

 

:( The Blue Quasar

 

 

both of you have good points. currently the only notifications sent out are:

1) waymark confirmation (you submitted one)

2) a confirmation of waymark

3) approval/denial of waymark

4) when someone logs/note one of your owned marks.

 

there are a lot of notifications that need creating.....

-new category went live

-a new waymark has been created within XXXXXXX distance of your current origin.......

-you are a officer in the XXX category, which has been updated.....

-you are watching XXXXX category, which has been updated.....

- - and more that i have not thought of at this moment in time - -

 

but there needs to be a way to manage this tidal wave of notifications....similar to PQs, you could set how these are sent to you...(daily digests)

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OpinioNate must just 'love/hate' us :laughing:

 

We are building either quite the workload for the Lackey Pool, or fantasy site in our imaginations.

 

Almost like we are saying "Well, if I owned Waymarking.com, here's what I'd do...."

 

While we are on that topic, hey Nate! Proposal 17 - Chapter 3 is almost ready :laughing:

 

Kidding! I'm a kidder!

 

:laughing: The Blue Quasar

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Well, I guess this is similar to what came up in the garden thread. The people in the botanical gardens were having problems with submissions, because we got a conservatory submission, which sparked conversation within the group. And then we realized the any of the garden categories were not very organized, and then that led us to wonder if we should allow arboretums, which would mean a major change to our category. Then we were thinking, how do you do that? Do you start a thread asking for permission to change?

 

Fortunately, that thread popped up and everyone decided to just have more garden-type categories. But it's really something to think about....how far do you go, without confusing people? What if we had added arboretums and then later someone submitted a category for arboretums because technically there is no category for that, and then there would be a duplicate category, basically.

Edited by Ambrosia
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A wikipedia-style audit log might be a good thing. There might need to be a process to appeal a change though.

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I can see that this will be an issue in the future when the number of categories exceeds that which can be monitored "by hand". The big problem, however, is that we really have no way of doing an automated check to see that 50% (or whatever) of a description has been edited. The only two choices right now are 1: Allow all edits, and 2: Disallow all edits. Speeling and grammar corrections need to be made sometimes frequently, and at the least after a Peer Review, so number 1 is the best choice.

 

We're considering a "history" page that will track changes to a category over time. That way you can compare the two (or three, four) versions for obvious departure from the original intent. "Report this category" may be a helpful addition. Right now we have confidence in the honor system. It's worked well so far.

I can certainly see the problem here. Disallowing edits is not appropriate because changes are sometimes needed when submissions create issues that weren't previously thought about. At the same time, however, category leaders and officers do need to be accountable for their changes. There is the danger in the future of categories being changed radically without notice, perhaps having nothing to do with the original approved comment.

 

So, not to make things to cumbersome perhaps a multi-stage process needs to occur.

Stage 1, any edit forces a group vote that must be 100% before going to the next stage. If not 100% that edit stops there. If 100% it goes to stage 2.

Stage 2, edited categories go to a cue asking for a yea/nay vote open to all waymarkers on whether this category needs peer review. If Nay then no peer review is needed and the edit is passed and is implemented.

Stage 3, peer review with full category approval being involved. A failure here reverts the category to its current description and a yea changes the description.

 

JDandDD

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