The way you like

posted on #1
Posts: 2080
Joined: 30.12.10
Hey folks,
I am currently working on the next update, including a lot of things that have been proposed here.
When designing and developing new functions, I always try to foresee user reaction as good as that is possible, and maybe some of you are willing & able to advise me on some ideas - one of them being "the way you like".

Let me explain question & my ideas really quick, then it's your turn to give some feedback if you like.

The situation:
Right now, we have the "Thumbs up"-button to like tracks. As we have noticed and discussed many times, these "likes" are a very vague statement, because they may represent quite a lot of different intentions, p.e.:
- I actually really like listening to this track because that's my kind of music
- I am having fun practising to this track
- I like the uploader and would like to leave a signal that I've checked his recent track
- I can tell the uploader has improved his or her playing or recording ability; that doesn't really mean the track is great, but I give a thumb of encouragement
- the track is in some way funny, has a great title or some special intention to it which I like (p.e. Songs about wikiloops or recent life events...)

I guess the list could be extended, but these are some ideas to start with.

The motivation:
To be able to present visitors the kind of tracks they are likely to enjoy, it would make my life a lot easier if it was possible to distinguish these like-types - if I could seperate the "social likes" from the "great backing for playing along"-likes and the "awesome track, put it on the radio"-likes,
that would indeed be a lot more accurate than what I can do now.

possible solution:
We could offer alternative ways of "thumbing" a track, either by adding a few more options next to the thumbs up button, or by offering thumb-specification by displaying choices after a user has given the "standard" like (this is what Facebook recently added, too, btw)
Since I will have to translate all labeling and explanation about this feature, and since interface space is not unlimited, I have been thinking that it would take good icons to make this easy and intuitive to understand.
Right now, I feel the "show extra optional like variations after user gave thumb" solution might be best, to keep the number of offered buttons reasonable (mind we'll have to add the "watch" button, too).

This whole feature is totally useless if people do not start to give these extra-ratings... so the buttons need to have something motivating about them.
A button displaying the text "click here to indicate you believe this is an excellent practise track which you would like to recommend to other [choose instrument] players" would solve my needs, but no one would use that :)

Please let me know which sub-thumb buttons you feel would be cool,
ideally the suggestions should include an icon-suggestion and a one-or-two-word summary, like this:
[bouncing smiley] = "Fun!"
[diamond] = "a gem!"
[students hat] = "learned something here!"

does that sound any good so far?
or does that sound like one of those too-tacky things the average wikilonian is wary of?
let me know, and a great wikiend to you :)
"Sorry - had to do it!" - Les Claypool

yes, you are looking at the administrators signature.
posted on #2
Posts: 48
Joined: 18.01.16
Hi Dick,

Many thanks for the way you run this for the loopers... :)
Just a feedback here about my use of the "thumb up"...
When I listen to a track and I like it, I make a comment and I "thumb up"... Both. In a systematic way... Sorry ^^
I know this is not a productive feedback around your ideas, but that's the way I use that tool...
What would be cool is that idea to "click" on a button to suggest an instrument add to others to a track.
A bass player, a keys player, etc..., could check out a list of tracks rated by "your instrument is needed on this"?
posted on #3
Posts: 2080
Joined: 30.12.10
This is really quite difficult - you have to try to imagine how people would use such a feature, and your idea of "suggest this to the XY players" is good BUT very likely to get heavily abused.
Give some anxious musician a chance to declare what he feels his track would be worthy of, and he'll go right ahead and suggest his latenight guitar take to ANY kind of instrument out there, hoping to catch at least some extra attention this way... sorry if this sounds a bit like evil-thinking, but i'm trying to avoid such features, which also have the downside that you'll quickly feel like "this don't work", if you suggested an add and nothing happened.

i've had another idea in the meantime, still thinking along the buttons/icons theme outlined in my initial post:
[watering can] = "I'd like to see this grow" (idea is to "water the remix tree")
and (maybe alternative to the gem)
[radio] = "put this on the radio!"

the watering-can could be used to filter tracks with many "watercans" but few remixes, which could then be suggested to people looking to collaborate (quite similar to what you suggested, if you apply a "without instrument X" filter on top of that).

just brainstorming here...
"Sorry - had to do it!" - Les Claypool

yes, you are looking at the administrators signature.
posted on #4
Posts: 30
Joined: 04.09.12
Hey Dick, love where you are going with this. Since you are brainstorming perhaps a good idea might come from another idea. How about something that shows when a track is playlisted...playlisted for practice/jamming and playlisted for listening.

I like the idea of I learned something here and ready for radio. What about the option of having some category that the poster can use to ask for feed back in a specific area of there addition. I am mostly a vocalist so for me it would be things pertaining to lyrics, melody/phrasing and overall how it all blends together.
Well that's my 2 cents worth...I hope it helps move things along. If not, it's all good. I have no plans of leaving the loops.
Have a great day and thanks for allowing all of us to be part of what you do.
posted on #5
Posts: 102
Joined: 24.03.14
Hey Dick,

awesome ideas. I like the idea that you like a track than are prompted to pick an icon...(you should have to click one, so people will do it). There probably should not be to many icons, keep it simple and straight to the point. Would 3 be enough? I think the icons should be fun and relate to music...for example:

1.Gold Record = I like this song. Promote to the radio, (we talked about radio songs being complete songs if possible, maybe you can let people know that when you update).

2.Star = a thumbs up for the performer because you like them or this particular add.

3.Music note = suggest people add to this template/grow, same as your watering can.

4.comedy/drama faces = an interesting, funny or artistic song


rp3 (Raymond)
posted on #6
Posts: 25
Joined: 03.12.14
I know nobody will agree but as I have said before I think the best option would be to get rid of it all together - the whole thing still depends on how many friends you have following you or how many you follow and a lot of new users with few followers will be disadvantaged ! I know for a fact that I would only get to hear about 3 to 5 percent of the jams posted and that would be made up of mostly those that I follow and that follow me ! I really can't see how any thumb system is ever going to give you accurate information ! Yes we all like to see thumbs on our posts that is an ego thing and hey there is nothing wrong with that but to try and use that as statistics ! Good luck with that !
posted on #7
Posts: 48
Joined: 18.01.16
Dick Wrote:
"The motivation:
To be able to present visitors the kind of tracks they are likely to enjoy, it would make my life a lot easier if it was possible to distinguish these like-types - if I could seperate the "social likes" from the "great backing for playing along"-likes and the "awesome track, put it on the radio"-likes,
that would indeed be a lot more accurate than what I can do now."

Is the aim to help "visitors", not especially wiki-members to discover some tracks?

In my mind, every click from a wiki-member is a social click. (As far as it's not an anonymous one) whatever is the button called.
I don't like the idea that a track could be rated or ranked by a number of social clicks (that's not what you said... I know it...).
It won't be pertinent in regard of how the track is good or not.

Can the visitors "thumb up" a track ?
posted on #8
Posts: 2080
Joined: 30.12.10
Funkystan wrote
Is the aim to help "visitors", not especially wiki-members to discover some tracks?

Yes, I see several different groups of users, and they have quite different interests.
One should not forget the large group of people who come here to find practise tracks, and who do not engage in the collaboration game at all.
These people are interested in different tracks than the collaborators may be, and are focusing on other aspects (like presence of chord descriptions, for one).
Then again there are people who don't actually want to play any instruments, but who'd love to find some awesome collabs results. Different idea of good search results again.

What I'm concerned about is to guide people in a simple way to the tracks they are after,
which is not all simple if you don't want to interview them to find out.
It is and has been happening all the time - its not like the track search results were totally random, and I'd even go as far as saying most of you would not have signed up here if they were.

So, to clarify that, my intention was to find out if the described change to the rating system sounds like enough fun that you'd start to use that, while I'd be interested in using those ratings to seperate the good practise tracks from the listener-friendly finished collabs.
There certainly are different ways to do that, and they do not necessarily require active participation from the community - I would preferr to have the community support the concept of active and somewhat democratic distinction of tracks for certain purposes,
to me, the end-user experience is most important.

@Lairdy - sorry if I don't say much in reply to your post, I get your point of view, it just does not solve my problem here in any way :)
"Sorry - had to do it!" - Les Claypool

yes, you are looking at the administrators signature.
posted on #9
Posts: 92
Joined: 24.07.14
Vorrausgesetzt das ich alles halbwegs verstanden habe finde ich es gut das man den Daumen splitten und gezielter einsetzen kann. Bei Gesangsstücken würde ich es geil finden wenn man einen Daumen für die Lyriks vergeben könnte, da steckt oft auch sehr viel Arbeit und Herzblut hinter ;o)
Friedrich Nietzsche: "Ohne Musik wäre das Leben ein Irrtum."
posted on #10
Posts: 990
Joined: 16.10.11
I like the whole idea you have put together can't wait to try them out.
posted on #11
Posts: 25
Joined: 03.12.14
Hi Dick one idea I thought of that could work would be a rating where you rate the track from 1 to 10 then the total number is divided by the number of listens ! Of cause no system will work unless people actually use it ! You would also probably need to wait several months befor you would have a true indication ! Mate whatever you do you have those who will like it and those that don't ! The other old saying that comes to mind is if ain't broken don't fix it ! I guess the question is does it need fixing ?
posted on #12
Posts: 181
Joined: 01.02.14
Mag sein das ich altmodisch bin. Ich bin 2014 hier hingekommen, weil ich es klasse fande, das man hier seine musikalische Ader zeigen, sich inspirieren lassen und eventuell anderen seine Freude an Musik zeigen konnte. Das alles scheint verflogen zu sein! Warum muß ich jemanden im Detail sagen wie gut oder wie gut gewollt sein Beitrag zu einem Track ist? Ich bin absulut dagegen, daß man sagt: Gold, Silber oder Bronze! Für mich geht das hier zu weit! Lasst uns allen den Spaß an der Musik.

Gruß Adu
Rockin´ in a free world !
posted on #13
Posts: 102
Joined: 24.03.14
I think it's more of a tweaking than fixing! As the site gets more popular with more users it needs to adjust. And what other site asks for your feedback for upcoming changes? uh, none!

rp3 (Raymond)
posted on #14
Posts: 2080
Joined: 30.12.10
more clarification needed it seems...

I have not been thinking to allow a "copper / silver / gold" or 1-5 Stars rating - that would be identical to "thumbs down", and we really don't need that IMO!

So, instead of allowing "not so good!" ratings, the new variant shall only offer positive ratings (like we only have the positive thumb right now).
Please understand the offered options as an addition to saying
"I like this track" and then adding "because of the quality specified by my choice of icon".

What appears relevant is to make sure the offered options do not collide with each other in any way, which would lead to confusion when picking the right one.
If we offer a "great performance" rating AND a "put it on the radio" as Glenn suggested,
one might actually be confused because both may apply to the same track -
if we only offered a distinction between "great practise track!" and "put it on the radio!", there is much less collision, because practise tracks are rather unlikely to be good radio contributions.
Other options are difficult to use for my aim of classifying tracks - we could basicly "fill the space" with more options that are simply fun to use, like the "laughing" icon for funny tracks, a "heart" or "flower" or other emoticons, which have no deep meaning but may be fun to use.

I'm not so sure about the "watering-can" concept, that was intended to represent "I'd like to see this collaboration grow" - the statement here is pretty much identical to hitting the "watch" button (a different concept, discussed [url=]here[/url]).

So much as explanation and to calm any thought of "he's going to implement the end of friendlyness on WL" :)

Now, for those really brave ones among you who can stand a creative brainstorm, let me add some words about the alternative solution(s).

As Glenn adressed, one might as well analyze some other data to distinguish the "for listeners / for practice / for collaboration" factor.
Glenn proposed checking "on how many playlists is this track?", and of course I can do that.
The main problem here is that I wont be able to tell if a user created a playlist for listening or practise or whatever other use!
To work around this problem, I could possibly change the "add to playlist" dialog, like this:
Imagine you are a new user with no playlist so far, then any playlisted track will go onto your "custom playlist", untill you choose to create a different one. That's how it is now, maybe some of you still remember that moment ;)
Now, we could offer two "custom playlists" right from the very start, and let the new user pick "save to my practise playlist" and "save to my listening playlist", and of course "create a new playlist".
When ever a new playlist is created, we could ask again wether this is going to be a practise or listening collection, and we'd be very good to go analyzing these playlists afterwards.
Maybe this is the better alternative. Maybe we should just do both :)

Keep thinking out loud, and a nice sunday to you :)
"Sorry - had to do it!" - Les Claypool

yes, you are looking at the administrators signature.
posted on #15
Posts: 469
Joined: 07.01.13
the additional thumb types sound awsome to me ! i would have gladly used a "worth a real mix" icon many times ;)

as for the practice/listening sorting needs why not go every way possible ? the more info you can get and the better you can put that to good use ;)
clusters Clusters CLUSTERS !!!!!!
posted on #16
Posts: 245
Joined: 19.08.13
In meinem Verständnis ist Wikiloops ein neuartiger Musikverlag auf dem Weg der Suche nach einem tragfähigen Geschäftsmodell.

Ich würde die notwendige Lektoratsarbeit nicht per "Thumbs" delegieren.

Persönlich interessieren mich nur glaubhafte, zielführende Kommentar. Ein Thumb ohne Kommentar bedeutet: "Sorry, ich habe nicht bis zum Ende gehört" :)

Die Daumen haben sich bewährt. Weniger als 10 Thumbs auf einen Track bedeutet: nächster Upload bleibt in Warteschleife. Thumbs sind kein Qualitätskriterium, egal in welcher Farbe. :)

Never change a running system.

Dem Verlag wünsche ich viel Erfolg, vielleicht wollt ihr mal teilen. Von den imaginären neuen Usern spüre ich bislang nichts - der Zirkel ist recht überschaubar.

Klare Gedanken erkennt man an klaren Worten. :)
Was born in an analog world.
posted on #17
Posts: 335
Joined: 25.03.12
I can see a possible problem here, the same as with emoticons. That is that there is no real consensus on the meaning of different symbols. If that can solved it is a very useful idea.
Pure fingerstyle
posted on #18
Posts: 2080
Joined: 30.12.10
I agree, Nilton, and as I have been experimenting with visual solutions, the problem became quite obvious, so i ended up combining a symbol/emoticon plus a statement to give some guidance what the symbol is supposed to state. I'll let you guys have a preview once I'm back from my current tour.
I'll not comment on Neronicks post, everyone may make up their own conspiracy theories about wikiloops, tho they do not necessaryly help us with the topic discussed here :-)
"Sorry - had to do it!" - Les Claypool

yes, you are looking at the administrators signature.
posted on #19
Posts: 238
Joined: 20.01.14
The current thumb system has a simple elegance that is pretty much universally understood. Trying to introduce qualitative aspects into the rating system is likely going to be more confusing to users than that it will extract usable information - you will probably find that people either click no thumbs, or all of them, if you choose to allow this. If you allow only one thumb-type to be selected, this will likely lead to long discussions about how the various thumbs are to be used in rating-based lists - I cannot see any real benefit fit in this either way. So I'm in the 'if it ain't broke, don't fix' it camp here, I see more of a downside than a real upside to these types of adjustments.
Edited by jmrukkers on 14-05-2016 08:40
posted on #20
Posts: 113
Joined: 31.03.15
Luckily I am learning that my opinion is probably misguided lol. I have confidence in Dick to make the correct decision with the help of people more reasonable than I am LOL. I am in the camp of i'm sure it will work out for the best no matter what.
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