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Choosing a good collaboration title - and what to avoid
Dear friends of the loops,
If you have been sent here for a read, please do not feel offended, there was certainly nothing "wrong" about any title you chose, I just feel that its necessary to point your attention at something - i beg your apologies for doing it with a little humor:
Titles like "track 54321 + Bass", or "UserA+UserB+UserC+Me" really pull my leg, let me tell you why.
I have spent MONTHS on coding a system that will:
+ keep track of the connection between templates and remixes, so naming any track ID-referrences in a tracks title is absolutely not necessary
+ even worse: "track 54321 + Bass" will let people think, "54321" was the ID of the track they are listening to - but thats a remix of 54321 that has an ID of its own! So the user will see two IDs displayed and get confused how this works!
+ well, the "+ Bass" information is also part of wikiloops ordering system - wikiloops knows and displays that you added bass, there really is no need to have that in the title. It feels like a Movie called "Motion picture with actors"... I hope you know what I am trying to say here.
+ same goes for lists of participants - just have a look at the front page or the search results, how tracks are offered there:
TRACK TITLE XYZ
"Dick on Bass jamming with Oli, Frank and Adam"
there really is no need to have a title like "Adam+Frank+Roy+Bass added" above that, is there?
OK, now some may say: Choosing a great title for any remix is hard to do, and its good to have titles that also show a session is part of a certain jam - maybe the first template supplier chose a great title ("Dr.Benways night out", or something), and you feel it would be cool to have that title mentioned in remixes of the template. I understand that, and I wouldn't object to a remix named "Dr.Benways night out Part II" if you really cannot come up with anything else.
+ last, let me tell you why this matters:
I am regularyly scanning the internet for recommendations and reviews on wikiloops on other sites, just to get some feedback on how we are doing. There I found some people saying: "It seems to be a cool place, but half of the tracks are named: "I tried to add..." or "bad mix needing..." or "54321 + bass", and that does not leave one with the impression the stuff is any good!"
We do have a free-text-search tool on wikiloops, think about people using that to find a track. I can remember "DrBenway" easyly and find that right away. But "54321 + bass" will give me
a) the wrong session as a result and
b) around 5.000 tracks containing a bass... if you want to be found and listened to, a good title is something of value to you!
BTW, most of the above is true for the "Sounds like"-Tags as well. It does not really add value to label a track you upload as Bass into the Blues segment with the tag "Blues Bass", people looking in the blues category and filter for tracks with bass will propably not be surprised the tracks they find there are Blues and contain Bass - to inform them the track also "sounds like" Blues and Bass is a bit like offering the movie "Action Movie with Sly Stallone" with the sub-title:"a movie full of action featuring sly stallone" - well, yes...
So, whats a good title, then ?
"9am in norfolk"
"Mamas Marmelade" - these are some examples of titles people will remember... come on, you are a creative person, arent ya?
Sorry for ranting on a little... I hope you understand the point of this
Tagging a track on wikiloops
Wikiloops offers a free text-search on the track database. To provide the searchers with some really good results, you may now add custom tags to your tracks. This article covers some helpful hints on how to choose the right tags for a jam.
Tags are meant as additional keywords that enrich the information thats already there - do not repeat the track title, the chosen style or the instruments mixed in your tag, that information is already there and does not need to be repeated.
Dont write a book, just give some descriptive and short one or two word hints on what your track sounds like.
Some tags might be really useless:
For example, "music" is a tag that wont help much, for it applies to anything on wikiloops, or "Rock" is also a tag thats not going to stand out from the mass of rock tracks on wikiloops.
Also, please be aware that people will not like being mislead by tags.
Tagging a random jam with "christmas carol" will not give you a lot of happy listeners if they can not relate why your hardcore punk track is in their christmas search results.
Also, do not include numbers in the tag, for searching for numbers will lead you to the track ID instead of the tag-search results.
A good tag is something people might actually search for, like the name of their favorite band or musician (p.e. "beatles" or "miles davis"), known songs that are somewhat alike to your jam ("funky cold medina") or subgenres like "speedmetal" or "bebop".
If you have added a special kind of sound that people relate to, a tag like "rhodes" or "hammond" makes sense, too.
"Wikiloops brings musicians from around the world to my home. How would we otherwise ever have the opportunity to play with all of these great musicians? "