Sign in to follow this  
Followers 1
Benchmark Blasterz

Add Discussion Forum review BEFORE submitting to Peer Review

14 posts in this topic

Forgive me if this has been discussed before, but is it time to consider requiring new categories be vetted through the discussion forums here?

 

Waymarking is growing now, especially in Europe. THIS IS NOT A BAD THING!!! :D However, we are seeing several new categories being proposed directly in Peer Review by new waymarkers without coming through the discussion forum for some feedback and shaping, and those new categories have some issues.

 

Some of these proposers have been receptive to coming with their proposals back to the Forum, and agreeable to making some changes. But if they don't want to, they don't have to.

 

While the enthusiasm and desire to participate that these newcomers are bringing is GREAT FOR Waymarking as a hobby, the POLICY question is, Has WM broadened in appeal to the point that all new category proposals should be required to come through the discussion forums BEFORE being submitted to peer review?

 

If so, then (1) how would that change in the submission guidelines be accomplished, and (2) what would the limitations be? For example, I would not support the discussion forum being a final veto over a category idea.

 

BUT -- it might be appropriate to require that a recommendation from the WM community on a particular category AFTER it had come through the discussion forum be appended to the submission BEFORE the category idea gets put out there in peer review.

 

Sort of like a staff report to a city council on an applicant's zoning case: An applicant brings a reqest for a zoning change to city government staff. Staff looks at all the variables (the historic land use, the request's compatability with current zoning, and the comprehensive plan, the request's impact on nearby uses, etc etc) before presenting their recommendation to the city council. Council is free to accept, modify, or reject the staff recommendation, and council's decision is final.

 

In this case, the applicant is the category proposer, staff are the folks here in the forum, and the council is the community.

 

The recommendation of the forum would not be binding, but it might encourage submitters to consider and incorporate suggestions made here into their category before throwing ill-conceived or overbroad categories out there for the community to vote on.

 

What my political experience has taught me us that people are good-hearted folks by and large, and they like to vote YES. It's why ballot initiatives are written the way they are, and why VOTE NO! campaigns are so loud. The NO supporters know they have to get the attention of casual voters who will see a question and vote yes without having paid a lot of attention to the issue. We have an innate human social desire to get along, and the politicals writng the ballot initatives know that.

 

oh - and only category owners or officers would have a vote on the recommendation. That leaves mere waymarkers like me on the sidelines, but also prevents recruiting for positive votes in the forum from the ranks of the non-category-owning or -supporting waymarkers. We see that in peer review, where cachers get their buddies to vote yes. Again, as a political I see nothing wrong with turning out your voters, but I think there needs to be some level of experienced review in the categroy-proposal process.

 

I love creating waymarks, but I am not ready for category duties yet. If that means all I can do under this structure is throw in my 2 cents (a bargain at twice the price) then so be it. When I want a vote on the recommendation, I know what to do :)

 

If this idea for a forum recommendation is accepted, its language should be very standard, such as "This idea has been reviewed in the discussion forums, and the consenus of the participants is that this category should be recommended for approval" or "After consideration in the discussion forum, it is the consensus of the forum participants that this category should not be recommended for approval." -- something generic and NOT overly critital, or personal. General objections might be appropriate: "not global," "not prevalent" "redundant with [category]" -- but no judgemental objections like "not interesting" or "not significant".

 

Caches get reviewed before being published (although by a different process where a cache owner can be refused the ability to place a cache by TPTB -- which is NOT what I am advocating for WMs here).

 

Why shouldn't WM categories have some structured review process too? Wouldn;t that make foir healthier categories and therefore a stronger hobby?

 

Thoughts?

 

PS -- Don't anybody shoot me. I am NOT trying to stifle anybody's creativity or pass negative judgement on anybody's proposals, whether accepted in peer review or not. I am just seeing the same "didn't come to the discussion forums" objections from WMers I respect in the peer review, and I find myself voting to deny otherwise worthwhile categories for that reason also.

0

Share this post


Link to post

Just my personal opinion, but I don't think a forum discussion should be a requirement for submitting a category to peer review. It is an invaluable tool, and anyone considering starting a new category should take advantage of a forum discussion, but I don't think it should be a requirement.

0

Share this post


Link to post

Just my personal opinion, but I don't think a forum discussion should be a requirement for submitting a category to peer review. It is an invaluable tool, and anyone considering starting a new category should take advantage of a forum discussion, but I don't think it should be a requirement.

 

Hi Max and 99 -- You obviously you have thought about this issue. Can you please share your thinking on it a little more? Your input might shape my thinking on this. :) After all, I do not hold a corner on wisdom (or so my teenager tells me, every day) :lol:

 

I admit that I wonder sometimes if folks AVOID the forums because they don't want to hear ANY criticism of their idea, even when it is intended to be CONSTRUCTIVE. Therefore, a requirement to come here first might intimidate or discourage folks from the hobby. Does the discussion forum have a reputation as a brutal place? I think we all try to be helpful. Has that factored into your opinion?

 

I respect your judgement and opinions. I also appreciate discussion as I seek both to understand, and support, this fun hobby.

0

Share this post


Link to post

My thoughts:

 

Waymarking can require someone to post on the forums, asking for feedback on a proposed category. But Waymarking cannot require anyone to participate in the discussion (including the OP), nor put any value in the suggestions or feedback. What if a category officer posts his idea, and no one discusses it or has much to say? Or what if the category officer posts his idea on the forums then never again reads the thread?

 

I totally agree that it is a VERY good idea to discuss your idea on the forums first, but I think we can only highly encourage it, not require it.

 

Just my opinion. :rolleyes:

0

Share this post


Link to post

I participated in peer reviews more than a year before I even realized the forums were here. Even though we have the forum button atop every page and even though many peer review comments refer to forum use, I suspect many waymarkers never visit the forums. I now see the great value in forums. Their use, and existence, should be promoted.

0

Share this post


Link to post

Only a small minority of all waymarkers vote in peer review and an even smaller one uses the forums. It is a fact that hardly ever a new category was accepted that was not discussed and well discussed topics have usually made it, but it is each one's free choice to try another way. Some forum participants may be more experienced than other waymarkers, but I do not see any benefit in giving them any additional powers, not even only advisory ones. They are not elected. I think we can live well the way it is. It is not perfect and will never be; but it's the people and their commitment that make the spirit of Waymarking (and peer review and the forums), not formal guidelines or technically enforced rules.

 

I do not think anybody has ever willingly avoided the forum before going to peer review, they are usually beginners who just don't know about it. It's peer review that has a reputation as a brutal place, but that's also something they don't know. :blink:

0

Share this post


Link to post

I wouldn't like to see forum discussion become a requirement for category creation, but what I would like to see is a simple rewrite of the Category Creation Guide (which is where I assume most would-be category creators who are new to Waymarking begin) in order to put more of an emphasis on the importance of discussing the category in the forums before submitting the category to Peer Review. I think that if the Category Creation Guide began with a suggestion along the lines of "Starting a forum discussion is the first step towards successful category creation!" rather than "Step 1: Form a group", the process of creating a category would be easier and less frustrating for those new to Waymarking.

 

I think it would also be helpful if there were links to a few examples of prior forum discussions that led to the successful creation of categories so people new to Waymarking could see how the discussion process works, without feeling threatened by it.

 

Also, a forum discussion for a proposed category is a great way to recruit officers to fill out the group. In the existing Category Creation Guide the discussion group isn't even mentioned in the step-by-step instructions until AFTER the group is formed and the category written - this seems out of order to me.

0

Share this post


Link to post

I wouldn't like to see forum discussion become a requirement for category creation, but what I would like to see is a simple rewrite of the Category Creation Guide (which is where I assume most would-be category creators who are new to Waymarking begin) in order to put more of an emphasis on the importance of discussing the category in the forums before submitting the category to Peer Review. I think that if the Category Creation Guide began with a suggestion along the lines of "Starting a forum discussion is the first step towards successful category creation!" rather than "Step 1: Form a group", the process of creating a category would be easier and less frustrating for those new to Waymarking.

 

A sensible approach to this issue!

 

Yes, this topic is a perennial issue that creeps into our discussions. While I've stated in the past that this seems like a good idea, there is really no way to implement it. How would this requirement be verified? How long of a discussion period would be necessary? Should bringing a category proposal to the forum be obligatory in all cases? Might there not be occasions when this could be skipped?

 

I don't know why people bypass the forum when creating a new category. If it is really out of ignorance, then maybe that is a good idea that they haven't bothered to learn enough about Waymarking.com to lead a category group. Maybe they don't want to be bothered, or are afraid of negative comments, or maybe there is a language issue.

 

I've also suggested that the whole peer review process is flawed in some serious ways. Most notably, it allows people with NO experience or interest in Waymarking to vote. It has been apparent in some cases that someone has recruited his geocaching friends to vote in order to push through a category idea that is weak and in danger of not passing. Again, there is no real way to prevent this sort of power play. I've also suggested that a person should meet a minimum of experience before being allowed to create a new category or serve as an officer. Well, that ain't going to happen either, and probably shouldn't. There are certain imperfections in the system that we have to live with.

 

So, rewriting the guidelines as suggested here is about the best we can do. No one could plead ignorance then. And, they would meet their fate in peer review.

0

Share this post


Link to post

 

So, rewriting the guidelines as suggested here is about the best we can do. No one could plead ignorance then. And, they would meet their fate in peer review.

 

Ha! Yep, that'll teach 'em! :rolleyes:

 

I completely agree with cache test dummies that a rewrite of the Category Creation Guidelines would be the best solution.

0

Share this post


Link to post

 

So, rewriting the guidelines as suggested here is about the best we can do. No one could plead ignorance then. And, they would meet their fate in peer review.

 

Ha! Yep, that'll teach 'em! :rolleyes:

 

I completely agree with cache test dummies that a rewrite of the Category Creation Guidelines would be the best solution.

 

This discussion has been VERY INFORMATIVE and ILLUMINATING! I think rewriting the guidelines is the way to go. BRILLIANT!!

 

Now -- what is the process to get that done?

0

Share this post


Link to post

What? Now you actually want to get things done? Don't know. We can suggest to the PTB, but they've got their hands full with Geocaching.com which puts the bread on their table. If we can just convince them that Waymarking.com is their butter and jam, maybe we'd have a chance. :smile:

0

Share this post


Link to post

Perhaps we can work it out and please our friends at Groundspeak to load it up. :grin:

0

Share this post


Link to post

Flu has laid me low for 10 days -- yuck!

 

I agree with Andreas that we should probably write up the language and then ask a lackey to help us get it added to the process. Maybe CheckMark can help us?

 

When I get fully on my feet I will be able to think more clearly about this. In the meantime, I will drink more fluids, sleep more, breathe more turmeric-infused steam, take my meds, eat soup, and try not to kill off all my brain cells with cable "reality" TV.

 

How many TV shows does Gordon Ramsey star in??? I lost count -- and I like him! Ha

0

Share this post


Link to post

Laura, get well soon!

Gordon Ramsay? Never heared. Try Gerhard Polt on youtube, :laughing:

0

Share this post


Link to post

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 1