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Is it just me or is GDNet getting a flood of articles?


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#1 Alpha_ProgDes   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4692

Posted 09 July 2013 - 03:14 PM

First, congratulations (again) on the success of the articles! I don't think there's been a week where there hasn't been an article up on the site.

 

Second, has the deluge brought any (serious) talk of an Article Tribunal (for lack of a better phrase)?


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#2 MarkS   Prime Members   -  Reputation: 887

Posted 09 July 2013 - 03:34 PM

Second, has the deluge brought any (serious) talk of an Article Tribunal (for lack of a better phrase)?

 

Articles are peer reviewed. There is a select group of members that peer review the articles.



#3 Code Fox   Members   -  Reputation: 1807

Posted 09 July 2013 - 05:06 PM

I'm a bit afraid anything I would write would be too obscure ...


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#4 Servant of the Lord   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 20998

Posted 09 July 2013 - 05:27 PM

 

Second, has the deluge brought any (serious) talk of an Article Tribunal (for lack of a better phrase)?

 

Articles are peer reviewed. There is a select group of members that peer review the articles.

 

Not only are articles peer-reviewed, aren't you (@Alpha_ProgDes) part of that peer-reviewing group? Your name has the Crossbones+ label next to it. Does the Crossbones group not actually approve the articles?

 

And by "flood" of articles, it seems like they have been very careful to only allow 1 new article every 24 hours, so as to not push new articles too quickly down the pile. I enjoy reading most of them, even if they aren't directly related to my areas of interest. Very few (maybe three) I felt were not worth reading. But that's out of about twenty or so I have read, or at least skimmed. Even with only one a day, they still come slightly too fast for me to invest time in reading them all, but I wouldn't suggest slowing it down (or speeding it up) any more than it already is.


Edited by Servant of the Lord, 09 July 2013 - 05:33 PM.

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#5 swiftcoder   Senior Moderators   -  Reputation: 10364

Posted 09 July 2013 - 06:17 PM


Very few (maybe three) I felt were not worth reading. But that's out of about twenty or so I have read, or at least skimmed.

Hmm. Maybe I'm overly critical, but I've felt that only a handful I have read were actually *worth* reading (ignoring those outside my areas of expertise).

 

The peer review process seems to work well enough at preventing spam and truly incorrect articles, but it's not really peer review in the sense of confirming accuracy of the information presented. And it's not clear that we have a broad enough range of specialists on hand to perform real peer review.

 

Ideally I'd like to add a second layer on top off the current system for peer review. The current system would still be enough to approve articles onto the site, but we'd add an optional tagging system, where, for example, one of our DirectX MVPs could come along and tag a give GPU-related article as being "validated" by a subject-expert...


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#6 Cornstalks   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 6991

Posted 09 July 2013 - 06:56 PM

We have gotten a flood of articles, which I think overall is a good thing, but I've got mixed feelings on them.

 

Some of them are great. Some of them are meh. And some of them have great content but poor formatting or structure.

 

I feel like there should be an extra distinction for the awesome ones.

 

Also, how would people feel about pagination so it's not a wall of text? I have mixed feelings on it; a part of me hates clicking, but a part of me loves the focus pagination brings.

 

Also, I swear I'll get around to writing one someday...


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#7 Squared'D   Members   -  Reputation: 2257

Posted 09 July 2013 - 07:00 PM

I like many of the articles, but I find some are much too short to provide any real useful information. Good articles don't have to only be about how to program a certain technique. They can be commentary, reviews, interviews, and opinions as well, but when they are really short, they feel more like blog post.  If there was a way to enforce articles to be more than 400 - 500 words (not including code), 400 words is not a lot. Swiftcoder's post above is over 130 words already.

 

(Edit)  I haven't counted, but just by estimate, the really good articles seem to be over from 500 words to over 1000 words long.

 

And not often, but sometimes the titles don't match the content.I think the quality would increase a lot.


Edited by Squared'D, 09 July 2013 - 07:02 PM.

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#8 Servant of the Lord   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 20998

Posted 09 July 2013 - 07:52 PM

Very few (maybe three) I felt were not worth reading. But that's out of about twenty or so I have read, or at least skimmed.

Hmm. Maybe I'm overly critical, but I've felt that only a handful I have read were actually *worth* reading (ignoring those outside my areas of expertise).

I guess I should've said, "entertaining" to skim through. Alot of the ones that are 'entertaining' for me to read are about subject matters I don't have experience with, and so am not able to critically judge. The actually useful ones are the ones in subject matters I am able to judge, and are explaining or clarifying things I didn't know. Which number far fewer than 20.

Just to be clear, I'm not arguing against more peer review. I definitely agree continual improvement of the quality of the content is a good thing! Stricter peer-reviews would help ensure that I (and other users) don't have to critically judge subjects we don't have any experience in. Which is good.
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#9 jbadams   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 19350

Posted 09 July 2013 - 09:01 PM

Great feedback guys, please keep it coming!  We're pretty happy with how our new publishing initiative is going so far, but we do of course want to keep improving it so that we can provide the best possible resources for everyone!  Any and all feedback is welcome and encouraged, even if you're just throwing out an idea that you think is too "out there" for us to use -- we'll consider everything, and even if we don't end up using a particular suggestion it might lead to a similar idea we do use.

 

 

For anyone not already aware of it, this is all part of our Game Developer Library Project to try to collect as many great resources on as many (relevant) topics as possible.  As the collection grows again we then want to do our best to filter that content for the best quality and that which is most relevant to any given user.  All articles have a very basic editorial review before being approved for the site, but this is just to look for obvious formatting errors or typos and to filter out blatant spam or completely irrelevant topics before they reach the community.

 

 

We then currently provide three methods of providing feedback so that we can filter by (or improve) quality:

  1. The current peer-review system allows selected users (currently Crossbones, staff, and moderators) to either mark an article as peer reviewed, with the following prompt: "Does this article meet the quality standards to be presented as a peer reviewed article to fellow GameDev.net members?".  It takes three votes in favour for an article to receive peer review status, which suggests at least a minimum level of quality and confers a reputation bonus to reward the submitting author.  Perhaps more importantly, those with peer review status can also vote that an article does not meet those minimum quality standards, choosing a main general reason from a brief list of options.  An article which reviews three of these votes will be removed from public view into a special category so that the author may try to improve and re-submit the article if they wish.
  2. We allow any registered user simple up/down voting on articles, in the same way you can vote on posts in the forums, and the total is displayed at the top of the article.  A significant number of up-votes generally indicates lots of people found an article helpful or at least interesting, whilst a significant number of down-votes potentially indicates some problem.
  3. You can comment on articles to offer your own commentary, suggestions or corrections.  In a number of cases already this has resulted in edits to the original article to correct mistakes or add additional helpful information or links.

Obviously this still isn't a perfect system, but it's very simple to use and seems to provide a good starting point for filtering out the worst articles, identify the best articles, and to provide a feedback loop for improvement of any article.  We think it's a great starting point to build from.  You can read a little more about the process in "how to publish on GameDev.net".

 

 


Second, has the deluge brought any (serious) talk of an Article Tribunal (for lack of a better phrase)?

The site used to have an "editorial review board" that examined every article before approval, and whilst this did result in a higher minimum level of quality it a) created a lot of work for quite a few people, and b) introduced some problems of it's own, including:

  • It was a much lengthier process for an article to be posted to the site, with authors sometimes having to wait weeks (or in a few cases even a month or more) before their articles were published, and we weren't able to accurately judge this lead time in advance.  Along with other factors, this contributed to author frustration and discouraged future submissions.
  • We didn't always have an expert on a given article topic.  This meant either holding the article while we found someone, or having someone do a non-expert review.
  • A lot of articles were just swallowed up by the process and never saw the light of day, as the ERB would suggest some small changes but the author would sometimes never bother to re-submit.

 


I'm a bit afraid anything I would write would be too obscure

If it's relevant to game development we're happy to have it -- you just might find that over time a significant number of people find a more obscure article helpful, and for more unusual topics there tend to be less already written materials available.

 

 


I wouldn't suggest slowing it down (or speeding it up) any more than it already is

We would actually like to speed it up, but only if we'll a) still be able to provide a steady stream of content rather than bursts of faster articles, and b) able to better filter the content so you only see the best and/or most relevant stuff.

 

 


Ideally I'd like to add a second layer on top off the current system for peer review. The current system would still be enough to approve articles onto the site, but we'd add an optional tagging system, where, for example, one of our DirectX MVPs could come along and tag a give GPU-related article as being "validated" by a subject-expert...

This is something that's been suggested a few times and that we've discussed quite a bit, and we're considering implementing some variation on it.  The biggest challenge is to ensure that we can accurately identify exactly which subjects someone qualifies as an expert for and only allow them to tag those articles.  Ideally we would also try to find a way where we don't have a constant stream of potential "experts" to be vetted and to remove barriers to the vetting process, as this would be yet more work someone would have to do.



#10 Alpha_ProgDes   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4692

Posted 09 July 2013 - 09:14 PM

Second, has the deluge brought any (serious) talk of an Article Tribunal (for lack of a better phrase)?

 
Articles are peer reviewed. There is a select group of members that peer review the articles.

 
Not only are articles peer-reviewed, aren't you (@Alpha_ProgDes) part of that peer-reviewing group? Your name has the Crossbones+ label next to it. Does the Crossbones group not actually approve the articles?
 
And by "flood" of articles, it seems like they have been very careful to only allow 1 new article every 24 hours, so as to not push new articles too quickly down the pile. I enjoy reading most of them, even if they aren't directly related to my areas of interest. Very few (maybe three) I felt were not worth reading. But that's out of about twenty or so I have read, or at least skimmed. Even with only one a day, they still come slightly too fast for me to invest time in reading them all, but I wouldn't suggest slowing it down (or speeding it up) any more than it already is.


I am part of the current editing process as you have so correctly noted. However, I'm not an expert on many of the topics that the articles have covered. Also, I'm not an actual editor of any sort. So the most I can do is look for glaring mistakes and decide if the article seem like bollocks. I don't know how many other Crossbones are in the same boat as me. That's why I asked about an ERB. A group of people who have a certain level of expertise and can really give an article a thorough review.

Also, the articles have seem to be moving as a fast clip and it's nice. There's always something to read and learn about. Which is good thing because you don't want the well to dry up.
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#11 Servant of the Lord   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 20998

Posted 09 July 2013 - 09:36 PM

How many articles are approved and waiting for their turn to appear?

That is, if everyone suddenly stopped submitting articles, and you posted one article a day, how many days worth of articles do you have?


It's perfectly fine to abbreviate my username to 'Servant' rather than copy+pasting it all the time.
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#12 Michael Tanczos   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 5450

Posted 09 July 2013 - 09:40 PM

How many articles are approved and waiting for their turn to appear?

That is, if everyone suddenly stopped submitting articles, and you posted one article a day, how many days worth of articles do you have?

 

http://www.gamedev.net/page/reference/authorcp?do=queue

 

We always need more..  it would be nice if we could post 2-3 per day.   The main reason is that the huge array of topics lends itself to having little depth in a particular area.



#13 jbadams   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 19350

Posted 09 July 2013 - 09:45 PM


I like many of the articles, but I find some are much too short to provide any real useful information.

We actually wanted to encourage the idea that articles don't have to meet any particular minimum length.  In some cases you're right that an article could have used more explanation, but in some cases a brief explanation of something very specific might be all you actually need.  I think, rather than a minimum length for all articles we need to encourage articles that have the correct length for their focus and topic; it's ok for an explanation or helpful code-snippet on a specific technique to be short, but ideally a broader article shouldn't feel like there's more content missing.

 


And not often, but sometimes the titles don't match the content

This is probably something we can address if you raise specific examples for us.

 

Just spit-balling here, but what if we had a customised "report problems" feature for articles that allowed you to select from a list of options, and perhaps could be dealt with by cross-bones (or some other vetted group) of members rather than just moderators.  Users could then mark an article as containing typos, having a misleading title, or whatever, and the next available user with appropriate permissions who checks the list of reports could review the report and potentially either make changes directly (only if the users are definitely well vetted), mark the report for staff attention, or perhaps even have a simple way of forwarding the feedback to the author to make changes.



#14 3Ddreamer   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3165

Posted 10 July 2013 - 12:20 AM

Somebody please help me understand:  What is an article?  Did the O.P. mean thread?  There are tons of new threads every day. I don't understand really the purpose of the question.

 

 

Clinton


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#15 slicer4ever   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3981

Posted 10 July 2013 - 01:44 AM

Somebody please help me understand:  What is an article?  Did the O.P. mean thread?  There are tons of new threads every day. I don't understand really the purpose of the question.

 

 

Clinton

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#16 3Ddreamer   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3165

Posted 10 July 2013 - 01:53 AM

slicer4ever ,

 

Okay, thanks for that, but what is the difference between a tutorial and an "article"?  They look like the same type of thread to me.

 

 

 

Clinton                 


Personal life and your private thoughts always effect your career. Research is the intellectual backbone of game development and the first order. Version Control is crucial for full management of applications and software.  The better the workflow pipeline, then the greater the potential output for a quality game.  Completing projects is the last but finest order.

 

by Clinton, 3Ddreamer


#17 jbadams   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 19350

Posted 10 July 2013 - 02:16 AM

They aren't a thread at all in the typically sense of referring to a forum discussion -- although they do allow the posting of comments.  An article is... well, the normal English definition.  Some of them tutorials, some are interviews, some are commentary, etc.



#18 Thomas Wiborg   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1090

Posted 10 July 2013 - 06:25 PM

I love it :)
Some are realy great!



#19 Gaiiden   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 5274

Posted 10 July 2013 - 07:07 PM

First, some of this discussion like article length and what an article is I discuss in more detail in my recent staff journal post.

 


The peer review process seems to work well enough at preventing spam and truly incorrect articles, but it's not really peer review in the sense of confirming accuracy of the information presented. And it's not clear that we have a broad enough range of specialists on hand to perform real peer review.

 

Now that we are a few months into the use of the new system we can begin to assess things like the effectiveness of the peer review system. Given the number of articles that are still listed as Under Review I think we definitely have some work cut out for us to improve things moving forward. But again, we had to wait a while to gather some information.

 


Also, how would people feel about pagination so it's not a wall of text? I have mixed feelings on it; a part of me hates clicking, but a part of me loves the focus pagination brings.

 

We used to paginate all the time back in the day, but people who didn't like the pages could always click on the printer-friendly version of the article and get it all in one shot. If you try to do this on the current site (there's a printer icon with the social buttons on the bottom-left of an article) you end up with absolutely no page formatting. Then too, there were actually some bugs with the pagination of articles that prevented us from using the feature and all the articles imported from the old site were from the non-paginated versions so overall I just decided to leave out pages. I also don't like how they can be over-used as a way to increase page view numbers, and while a reader might skim a full article, most will generally stop at page 1 if it hasn't captured their attention by then.


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#20 swiftcoder   Senior Moderators   -  Reputation: 10364

Posted 10 July 2013 - 07:35 PM


Given the number of articles that are still listed as Under Review...

Do we have any idea roughly how many of those are duplicates, junk or spam?

 

I see 8 copies of "3D Solar System with C#" on the first page alone...

 

Edit: just realised I am looking at drafts, not the review queue. d'oh.


Edited by swiftcoder, 10 July 2013 - 07:37 PM.

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