11 September 2013 @ 05:16 pm
Explantion of 'tag bloat' issue  
Given everyone's concerns about limiting nominations further and the suggestion on the earlier posts, we have decided to leave it a 4 fandoms, 4 characters each this year, and instead change the numbers of requests and offers.

Requests: 4 required, 5th and 6th optional

Offers: 5 required; allow 10 (1 of which can be a bucket offer).

We understand that not everyone will like this and it will not solve the issues with the overall fandom list, but we hope to address that by looking closely at borderline fandoms in the nominations approvals.

We've been asked a lot about this issues that we are trying to resolve with the issues of 'tag bloat'. To try and make the issues clear astolat has written the following description of the issues:

Just to make this a bit more clear.

The problem we are trying to solve is the size of the fandom list. Last year with 3 noms apiece and 1995 participants, we had 2940 fandoms nominated (with only 1600 fandoms written). Many of these fandoms weren't even requested by anyone; many more weren't offered by anyone; many weren't requested/offered by enough people to make a match at all likely.

In the last few years we've had serious increases in the number of people who can't be automatically matched -- last year it was roughly 50 people IIRC, and that is a massive amount of manual work. This also hurts the overall fandom diversity of the collection. People end up getting matched on the big fandoms that they offer more frequently, because the lack of overlap hits the smaller fandoms more.

So that is the background here. We really need to get this list down so we increase overlap in requests/offers and improve matching.


The question is how. We have limited options to try. Last year we tried cutting noms from 4 to 3 -- that didn't work. We could try to cut nominations even further, down to 2, but requiring 2 nominations per fandom sounded better to us all and like a better bet for achieving the ultimate goal of increasing overlap.



Second, the size of the list these days means that your odds of having a truly miniscule fandom "spotted" and offered and matched-on are low. If you can pimp a fandom enough to get it offered, you can almost certainly pimp it enough at this stage to get it nominated by someone other than you.


That said, ANY solution we find here will eliminate SOME fandoms -- that is in fact the idea. We have to get this list trimmed down.

We're sorry that we have to do this -- we're sorry we have to have a constraining nominations process at all! But there are practical limitations on matching, and we are hitting them. We are already sending out more pinch hits right after assignments than the total size of many gift exchanges.

And just to remind everyone, there are and have ALWAYS been constraints on this challenge to make auto-matching feasible. Yuletide does require flexibility to participate. We would love to be able to get and assign everyone a story in their one ideal fandom, pairings, with a perfect prompt. We can't do that and we've never been able to do that. That's why you have to request and offer multiple options, and why prompt details are 100% optional.

If we can get the list down to 2000 fandoms, that will STILL be a gigantic list of fandoms from which we hope nearly anyone who wants to participate can find something. But we hope that will increase overlap substantially and make matching work a lot better. And if it doesn't -- then again, we try something else next year.


Jenn & hh will try to answer questions in the comments, but astolat will not be tracking this post
 
 
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( 226 comments — Leave a comment )
vtncosmicdancer on September 11th, 2013 04:48 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I'm extremely happy with this outcome and I really appreciate the mods' patience and hard work in coming up with something that could work for everyone. I'm feeling really enthused about participating this year.

A couple of questions, just for clarification:
-The message from astolat mentions the 2-nominations-per-fandom rule, but I assume that it was from earlier and does not mean that the 2 noms rule is back in effect, correct?
-Will nomination approvals be occurring at the end of the nomination period instead of throughout?
jenn_calaelen: coffee beansjenn_calaelen on September 11th, 2013 04:51 pm (UTC)
Thank you!

mentions the 2-nominations-per-fandom rule, but I assume that it was from earlier and does not mean that the 2 noms rule is back in effect, correct?
-Will nomination approvals be occurring at the end of the nomination period instead of throughout?

The two nomination rule is not happening.
Yes - all reviewing of nominations will happen after the end of nominations.
(no subject) - cosmicdancer on September 11th, 2013 04:53 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - jenn_calaelen on September 11th, 2013 05:02 pm (UTC) (Expand)
debirlfan: pendebirlfan on September 11th, 2013 04:49 pm (UTC)
It would seem that there should be a way to program the software so that the least requested fandoms would be matched first. If that could be done, it would have to cut into the problem of people ending up with no one to write for. Authors not having anyone to write for would be a bigger problem than recips not having an author, right?

And my offer to handle the pinch hit list for you still stands. :)



Edited at 2013-09-11 04:53 pm (UTC)
jenn_calaelen: coffee beansjenn_calaelen on September 11th, 2013 04:57 pm (UTC)
I believe it starts with the people with the fewest possible matches, but I am not an expert. Yes, authors having no possible recipients is the bigger problem.

Thank you :)
At the moment we are looking at ways to reduce the work for each pinch hit, and we'll be seeing what the work is like and everything as it goes this year and what we'd like help with and everything.
(no subject) - debirlfan on September 11th, 2013 05:06 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - jenn_calaelen on September 11th, 2013 05:41 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - debirlfan on September 11th, 2013 05:55 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - tptigger on September 11th, 2013 09:55 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - deathsblood on September 11th, 2013 06:13 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - debirlfan on September 11th, 2013 06:21 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - deathsblood on September 11th, 2013 07:06 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - goldjadeocean on September 11th, 2013 06:52 pm (UTC) (Expand)
accidental zombi(e): Lennethaccidentalzombi on September 11th, 2013 04:53 pm (UTC)
I have a question that I would like to ask privately of the mods -- whom should I write? Thank you.
jenn_calaelen: coffee beansjenn_calaelen on September 11th, 2013 04:59 pm (UTC)
The best way is to email: yuletide@yuletidetreasure.org
Number One Spoon: natsume- yep!herongale on September 11th, 2013 04:54 pm (UTC)
Well, a big problem as I see it is that non-participants can nominate. If the situation was such where if you nom fandoms but don't participate, your ability to nominate is revoked for the following year, then I think that would also help.

/has been guilty of nominating without participating once myself, so there's no judgement here
jenn_calaelen: coffee beansjenn_calaelen on September 11th, 2013 05:01 pm (UTC)
That is an interesting idea. However, I don't think it is technically possible at the moment (we don't see who has nominated fandoms and I don't think there is any way in the system to ban people from nominating), but it could be something to add to our (long) wishlist for future AO3 improvements.
(no subject) - trobadora on September 11th, 2013 05:11 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - jenn_calaelen on September 11th, 2013 05:21 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - trobadora on September 11th, 2013 05:24 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - jenn_calaelen on September 11th, 2013 05:42 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - herongale on September 11th, 2013 06:00 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - jenn_calaelen on September 11th, 2013 06:12 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - darthfox on September 11th, 2013 05:45 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - jenn_calaelen on September 11th, 2013 06:27 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - debirlfan on September 11th, 2013 06:43 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - herongale on September 11th, 2013 05:59 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - trobadora on September 11th, 2013 06:01 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - tptigger on September 11th, 2013 09:58 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - jedi_penguin on September 11th, 2013 07:26 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - trobadora on September 11th, 2013 07:35 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - kerrypolka on September 12th, 2013 10:56 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - jenn_calaelen on September 12th, 2013 10:57 am (UTC) (Expand)
let's get the seven lines.: pic#88389468bookshop on September 11th, 2013 05:15 pm (UTC)

I feel like I'm missing something when you guys are talking about "tag bloat," because to me, if you allow more fandoms offered/requested, that means an increase in the number of tags you have to deal with. Are you just not including freeform tags in the list of tags that you're worried about because they don't make it into the Yuletide algorithm? I feel like we've always been able to freeform the nominated fandoms but it's sounding like that's probably wrong???
jenn_calaelen: coffee beansjenn_calaelen on September 11th, 2013 05:27 pm (UTC)
I'm not entirely sure what you are asking, but I'll try to answer.

The issue is with matching - increasing offers and requests will give more opportunities for people to match. The fandom list being long is another issue, because it is hard for people to find fandoms in the list.

What tags are used when posting works is not a concern - people are free to tag with whatever tags, as many as they like :)
(no subject) - bookshop on September 11th, 2013 05:34 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - jenn_calaelen on September 11th, 2013 05:37 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bookshop on September 11th, 2013 05:48 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ali_wildgoose on September 11th, 2013 05:58 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bookshop on September 11th, 2013 06:11 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - jenn_calaelen on September 11th, 2013 06:17 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bookshop on September 11th, 2013 06:59 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - xmarisolx on September 12th, 2013 09:16 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - debirlfan on September 11th, 2013 06:14 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - jenn_calaelen on September 11th, 2013 06:24 pm (UTC) (Expand)
L'Ignota: Musiclignota on September 11th, 2013 05:21 pm (UTC)
Thank you for communicating with us and letting everyone know what the issues are. :) This sounds like a workable compromise.
jenn_calaelen: coffee beansjenn_calaelen on September 11th, 2013 05:30 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
kangeiko: geekkangeiko on September 11th, 2013 05:23 pm (UTC)
Speaking from a position of absolute ignorance about the process - is there a way to strip out all non-requested fandoms when doing the matching, at least initially? Surely it doesn't matter if someone has offered 84 fandoms, if only 1 of those has been requested; they'd be matched on that fandom. And so taking those fandoms out of the list would reduce the tag bloat...? Or have I misunderstood the process? (Entirely possible!)

It never occurred to me that people who weren't participating were nomming fandoms. Hmmm.
jenn_calaelen: coffee beansjenn_calaelen on September 11th, 2013 05:31 pm (UTC)
Speaking from a position of absolute ignorance about the process - is there a way to strip out all non-requested fandoms when doing the matching, at least initially? Surely it doesn't matter if someone has offered 84 fandoms, if only 1 of those has been requested; they'd be matched on that fandom. And so taking those fandoms out of the list would reduce the tag bloat...? Or have I misunderstood the process? (Entirely possible!)
I really don't know how the matching works (apart from by magic), but will try and get you an answer
(no subject) - xmarisolx on September 12th, 2013 09:33 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - jenn_calaelen on September 12th, 2013 11:01 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - desert_vixen on September 13th, 2013 03:42 pm (UTC) (Expand)
The Elf ½: Yuletideelfwreck on September 11th, 2013 05:27 pm (UTC)
As much as I thought the "2 noms per fandom" would destroy Yuletide As I Know It, by shifting from "tiny fandom of the heart" to "fandoms you have found a buddy to coordinate with," I am happier with ANYTHING that keeps Yuletide going than having to stop the fest because it's become too unwieldy.

Adding more requests and requiring more offers sounds *awesome.* I've always loved the randomness of not knowing what fandom I'd be matched on; increasing that sounds wonderful. I know some people struggle to find 3 fandoms to request and 4 to offer, and I'm sympathetic, but... I love the bucket list, and shifting a couple of those to main offers won't bother me at all.

I agree that one way to cut down the nom tag frenzy would be to require nominators to participate. Even if they're allowed to default without penalty, announcing that nominators are *expected* to participate might cut them down somewhat. If there's no policing of it whatsoever, just saying, "hey, don't be a jerk; the board is pretty big already, so don't add pieces if you know you're not going to play," would likely reduce them.
jenn_calaelen: coffee beansjenn_calaelen on September 11th, 2013 05:34 pm (UTC)
Thank you

If there's no policing of it whatsoever, just saying, "hey, don't be a jerk; the board is pretty big already, so don't add pieces if you know you're not going to play," would likely reduce them.

I believe it has been said in the past and will talk to the other mods about putting it in the noms post.
(no subject) - darthfox on September 11th, 2013 05:47 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - tptigger on September 11th, 2013 10:08 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - wendymr on September 12th, 2013 01:02 am (UTC) (Expand)
Lutra Chai: woman in headphones gazes out the windowteaotter on September 11th, 2013 06:05 pm (UTC)
Thank you for explaining the issues you're facing and the problems you're trying to solve. I hope that the larger number of offers and requests helps!
jenn_calaelen: coffee beansjenn_calaelen on September 11th, 2013 06:20 pm (UTC)
Thank you.
Sandrine: seeing redsandrine on September 11th, 2013 06:14 pm (UTC)
Will the four required requests all have to be in different fandoms, or is it okay to request a fandom twice with different characters/pairings?
jenn_calaelen: coffee beansjenn_calaelen on September 11th, 2013 06:20 pm (UTC)
Four different fandoms. (the system does not allow us to specify that one request could be in the same fandom as another, as was possible on the old site)
(no subject) - sandrine on September 11th, 2013 06:22 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - smirnoffmule on September 11th, 2013 06:22 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - heeroluva on September 11th, 2013 06:32 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - jenn_calaelen on September 11th, 2013 06:32 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - smirnoffmule on September 11th, 2013 06:45 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - lonelywalker on September 15th, 2013 06:52 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - jenn_calaelen on September 15th, 2013 10:49 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - lonelywalker on September 15th, 2013 10:51 am (UTC) (Expand)
Swan Tower: Clearbrookswan_tower on September 11th, 2013 07:03 pm (UTC)
<head explodes>

I spent all this time figuring out which four requests out of my list of possibles I wanted more than any other. Now I can have five! or SIX! . . . except that I don't want to add things just for the sake of adding them, and am I really as excited about those others, given that they didn't make the cut? Decisions, decisions . . . .
jenn_calaelen: coffee beansjenn_calaelen on September 12th, 2013 11:20 am (UTC)
Good luck :)
seekingferret: vampire ferretseekingferret on September 11th, 2013 07:09 pm (UTC)
I'm wondering how we would measure the success of any change. If 50 automatch failures is too many, what is the target number of failures that would let you deem this experiment a success?
jenn_calaelen: coffee beansjenn_calaelen on September 12th, 2013 05:42 pm (UTC)
Less than last year - ideally of course, everything would match perfectly, but that is not something we'd ever expect to happen.
(no subject) - florahart on September 13th, 2013 03:17 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - jenn_calaelen on September 13th, 2013 01:03 pm (UTC) (Expand)
entropy_house: Lurkingentropy_house on September 11th, 2013 07:19 pm (UTC)
I'm not participating because I don't like enough qualifying fandoms to make the minimum offers (and I'm not good at learning a new fandom just so I can fic it.) So I'm not nominating. It's only fair.

But I'm curious- is there any record of how many fandoms received multiple nominations last year, and how many only got one? It would be interesting to see if a 'two nom minimum' would have really cut down on the clutter appreciably.
...and the stains drip between fingers...: Canon necrophiliablueinkedpalm on September 11th, 2013 07:46 pm (UTC)
Sometimes I've found that I knew more fandoms than I thought I did, after the nominations period was over and someone else had nominated a story I like but hadn't thought of for Yuletide. There are also often some five-minute fandoms - ad jingles on YouTube and the like. There'll probably be a nomination spreadsheet at yuletide to give some of the total nominated list as a sneak preview.

Good luck either way. :)
(no subject) - jenn_calaelen on September 12th, 2013 11:23 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - heeroluva on September 12th, 2013 03:54 pm (UTC) (Expand)
personally victimized by cassie sandsmark: [pr] RALWAYSdudski on September 11th, 2013 07:19 pm (UTC)
the size of the list these days means that your odds of having a truly miniscule fandom "spotted" and offered and matched-on are low

I'm sure it's different for everyone, but my odds on this have actually been 50/50! In the last four Yuletides, I've written AO3's first or second fic in two fandoms, and I've received AO3's first fic in two fandoms. All of those have been through matches, not treats.

Of course, I also offer what's presumably a higher than average number of fandoms, and that was somewhat discouraged last year. I guess with the size of the exchange, things are a bit unwieldy no matter how you slice it.
astolatastolat on September 11th, 2013 08:15 pm (UTC)
FYI, that's not the issue being described there! Yes, it is very possible to match on very rare fandoms. The issue here is that people often hope when they nominate a super-rare fandom (which were the ones that people feared nobody else would second if 2+ noms were required) that someone is going to spot that super-rare fandom in the list of fandoms, think "hey, I remember that!" and then they will offer it.

This of course DOES happen -- but the odds of it happening for any one particular rare fandom are seriously hurt by the overwhelming size of the list, since the vast majority of participants don't read through anything like the whole list. And because the list is bloated with so many fandoms that people never request, even when it does happen, it often ends up being a wasted offer, because if nobody requests a fandom, no one can match on it.

So that's the issue there.
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - myr_soleil on September 11th, 2013 10:16 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - nestra on September 12th, 2013 01:56 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - astolat on September 12th, 2013 02:11 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - carbonel on September 11th, 2013 09:07 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Ellen Fremedon: illuminationellen_fremedon on September 11th, 2013 07:30 pm (UTC)
I've got a question about offers-- where it says 5 required; allow 10 (1 of which can be a bucket offer)-- does that mean ONLY one offer can be a bucket offer?

If so, is it possible to manually offer every character in a fandom, or will there be a limit on how many characters can be offered in a non-bucket offer?
Ellen Fremedon: illuminationellen_fremedon on September 11th, 2013 08:10 pm (UTC)
(To clarify-- will there be a way to offer 'Any' without doing a bucket offer? Or does this mean we can only offer 'Any' in one fandom?)
(no subject) - jenn_calaelen on September 12th, 2013 11:25 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - melannen.dreamwidth.org on September 11th, 2013 08:14 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - darthfox on September 11th, 2013 08:24 pm (UTC) (Expand)
entropy_house: Lurkingentropy_house on September 11th, 2013 07:35 pm (UTC)
Would it help if you were *asked* (not required or punished if you failed to do it) that if you nominated fandoms, that you offer to write in at least one fandom you nominated?
Swan Tower: Clearbrookswan_tower on September 11th, 2013 07:47 pm (UTC)
I can't speak to its effect on organization, but I nominate things I want to request, not the ones I want to write. And I frequently avoid offering the same fandoms I'm requesting, because I don't want to end up with overlap in my own personal Yuletide.
(no subject) - ellen_fremedon on September 11th, 2013 08:09 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - swan_tower on September 11th, 2013 08:17 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - berryhunter on September 11th, 2013 08:05 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - entropy_house on September 11th, 2013 08:17 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - jenn_calaelen on September 12th, 2013 05:46 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - entropy_house on September 12th, 2013 06:40 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - jenn_calaelen on September 15th, 2013 03:23 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - entropy_house on September 15th, 2013 03:59 pm (UTC) (Expand)
lost_spook: rainlost_spook on September 11th, 2013 07:55 pm (UTC)
I just wanted to clarify something - there's been a lot of talk in various posts about being stricter on borderline fandoms etc. and I wondered exactly what that might mean.

It's been said several times that mods will be stricter about allowing borderline fandoms and that double the no. on one site may mean automatic exclusion - but I'm also assuming, because of common sense, that if the fandom has double (or treble or even slightly more) the limit on AO3 but is significantly under the limit on ff.net (say 500 or less), it would be generally still likely to be okay this year (other factors notwithstanding, of course)? (Because double the limit on ff.net = 2000 1000+ word fics, double the limit on AO3 is only 500 1000+ fics and that's a lot less fic available in the fandom.) And, yes, I do know of a few odd fandoms where this is the case.

That should probably go without saying, but it's been troubling me. And obviously, I know even if the answer here is yes, it doesn't guarantee anything getting accepted at this point!
Evil Plotbunny: hippohhertzof on September 11th, 2013 09:30 pm (UTC)
The double the limit rule will be applied with caution and we are aware that some fandoms are now bigger on AO3 than on ff.net, and will look at those very carefully before applying it.
...and the stains drip between fingers...: Canon necrophiliablueinkedpalm on September 11th, 2013 07:57 pm (UTC)
Thanks for this post. This all seems exciting to think of increased requests/offers this year!
jenn_calaelen: coffee beansjenn_calaelen on September 12th, 2013 11:26 am (UTC)
yay :)
(Deleted comment)
Swan Tower: Clearbrookswan_tower on September 11th, 2013 08:35 pm (UTC)
If you aren't willing to put in the kind of work that is required in order to make a small fandom exchange work, then maybe you shouldn't volunteer to do it.

Wow. I really don't have the words to describe how incredibly offensive this is. When all is said and done, everybody involved in Yuletide -- mods and participants alike -- is donating their time because they want people to have fun. If things hit the point where the mods said "fuck it, this is too much work now, let's just give up," that would be sad for all involved. So they look for ways to make it manageable. Why is that such a problem?
(no subject) - tigerbright on September 11th, 2013 08:55 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - carbonel on September 11th, 2013 09:17 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - tptigger on September 11th, 2013 10:33 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - killing_rose on September 11th, 2013 10:55 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - myxginxblossoms on September 11th, 2013 10:58 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - duckgirlie on September 12th, 2013 12:25 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - fabrisse on September 12th, 2013 05:37 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - fabrisse on September 12th, 2013 06:06 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - mollyamory on September 12th, 2013 02:03 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - nestra on September 12th, 2013 02:05 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - snacky on September 12th, 2013 07:48 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - xfdryad on September 13th, 2013 03:11 am (UTC) (Expand)
Tiger Lily the Ginger Cat: just me - gingertigerbright on September 11th, 2013 08:54 pm (UTC)
I see what you're saying. I've been guilty of not requesting, say, The Dark Is Rising, because I know it'll get 5 or 6 requests at least and there will still be stories for me to read. :) So it may be that I'll focus too much on obscure things.
Meretseger: Mass Effect: Tali Black and Whitefifmeister on September 11th, 2013 08:56 pm (UTC)
I hope I can continue to participate this year with the increased number of offers required. :\ Even in past years, I've sometimes had trouble finding enough fandoms that I feel comfortable writing to meet the minimum number of requirements. I wish I were the type of writer who could pick up a new fandom and write an awesome fic in a short period of time, but unfortunately I am not. Particularly when it's for a gift exchange--I don't want to screw up someone's Yuletide and leave them feeling disappointed because I offered a fandom I wasn't familiar enough with to write well.
96 tears: standninety6tears on September 12th, 2013 05:57 am (UTC)
Yeah...I understand the problems, but I was excited to try to participate for the first time this year and now I don't really know if I'll be able to.
(no subject) - jenn_calaelen on September 12th, 2013 05:54 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Rachel M Brown: Autumn: small leavesrachelmanija on September 11th, 2013 09:25 pm (UTC)
This seems like a good compromise, thanks. Personally, I'm excited to be able to make 5-6 possible requests!

Since the problem seems to be the work-load of unmatched people having to be individually contacted and matched, would it help to get more volunteers to help with just that?
jenn_calaelen: coffee beansjenn_calaelen on September 12th, 2013 01:26 pm (UTC)
Thank you!

Since the problem seems to be the work-load of unmatched people having to be individually contacted and matched, would it help to get more volunteers to help with just that?
At this stage, I'm not really sure. We are looking at ways of reducing the work for each pinch hit (by seeing if there is a way to use a script to help extract the info from the signup to a good form for the email). Bringing in more people to help would be complicated under the current setup, because of wanting to make sure that people aren't duplicating effort etc. Ways of splitting the load are something that we are considering for the longer term.
Who shot AR?: princessmyxginxblossoms on September 11th, 2013 10:07 pm (UTC)
I think this is a good experiment to try, and I hope it works.

A thought that I hope the mods will take to heart: I think there are two things that caused major heartache this year.

1. Keeping participants in the dark as to the difficulties leading up to the 2-nom decision and the reasoning behind it.
2. Beginning this discussion in September, as opposed to January, February, March, etc. The issues with last year's Yuletide have been known since last December. Why were they only discussed publicly nine months later?

It's been mentioned over and over that there are 2000 participants in this exchange. Hundreds, perhaps over a thousand, people see what you write here. Dozens have already suggested potential solutions over the past couple of weeks. If you had explained these issues to us and solicited our feedback months ago, we might have been able to help hammer out ways the problem might be solved. Instead, nine months of potential planning time and literal thousands of people's intellects have been wasted.

There's always the possibility that you'll run into people rending their shirts and wailing, but that's a danger no matter what you do--we saw that when you instituted the 2-nom rule in the first place. By actually telling us what's going on instead of making unspoken assumptions (which, as noted by saving_cap here, is still going on) about our ability to help make Yuletide a viable festival, however, I think there'd be less wild speculation as to what the situation is.

In the future, please take advantage of the fact that hundreds and hundreds of people want this fest to run as smoothly as possible. Please consider treating us like a community of like-minded fellows, not a kindergarten class.

Edited at 2013-09-11 10:55 pm (UTC)
jenn_calaelen: coffee beansjenn_calaelen on September 12th, 2013 05:56 pm (UTC)
We are hoping to start discussion early next year, looking towards next Yuletide. However, we are already trying to listen to all your feedback and there are always going to have to be decisions that not everyone is happy with.
(no subject) - myxginxblossoms on September 12th, 2013 06:05 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Swan Tower: Clearbrookswan_tower on September 11th, 2013 10:15 pm (UTC)
Thinking about this some more -- and pretending for the moment that I'm a sociologist, which I'm really not -- I'm curious what the data has to say about the "tag bloat" half of this problem (which is to say, the part where there are a lot of fandoms that get nominated but ultimately go unused). We've got the numbers for last year; can we get the numbers for previous years? That would let us try to judge what's driving the issue, and knowing what's driving it would help with suggesting solutions.

Obviously anything built on the basic Yuletide system (nominate fandoms, make requests and offers out of that set, match people accordingly) is going to end up with some "wasted" fandoms, just because of the vagaries of matching. The fact that Yuletide focuses on small fandoms probably makes the waste percentage higher than the minimum, because you need a large number of options in order to have a prayer of matching people. So here's the question: how has that percentage changed over time? If 54% of the fandoms got used last year, is that in line with how it was two, three, four, five years ago? Does it track evenly with the size of the participant pool? If the waste percentage has gone up, how has it increased? Linearly? Exponentially? Is there a point along the curve where it ticked up dramatically, and if so, did something change that year which might explain the shift?

None of this is stuff I expect answers for right now. It isn't even really something that would be useful to answer right now, when there's, y'know, Yuletide to actually gear up for. But it might be worth taking some time in February or March to sit down and crunch data -- maybe with the help of volunteers -- so that you can plan for what changes might be helpful in the future.

(And, of course, all of this is separate from the matching issue, which doesn't really have to do with tag bloat directly, except insofar as cramming everybody into a smaller pool makes that easier. But expanding the number of requests and offers may also fix that, without the same issues, so it's certainly worth a shot.)
Ellen Fremedon: illuminationellen_fremedon on September 12th, 2013 02:16 am (UTC)
I would volunteer to help crunch that data in a heartbeat.
(no subject) - jenn_calaelen on September 12th, 2013 06:01 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on September 12th, 2013 06:26 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - jenn_calaelen on September 12th, 2013 06:39 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - jenn_calaelen on September 12th, 2013 05:58 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Lady Mercury: Elementaryladymercury_10 on September 11th, 2013 11:07 pm (UTC)
Thanks for explaining this and for all your hard work as mods!
jenn_calaelen: coffee beansjenn_calaelen on September 12th, 2013 11:34 am (UTC)
Thank you
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