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[Event Proposal] Review Blitz

Which point system would you prefer?

  • A point system that has some point bonus given based on review word count.

  • A point system that has no point bonus given for word count.

  • Other (please specify in thread or ask me to add)


Results are only viewable after voting.

kintsugi

golden scars
Pronouns
she/her/hers
Hi all! Been throwing around the idea in the discord for a review blitz event, but crossposting stuff here to keep things in a centralized place + allow for more structured discussion.

LONGFORM POST FOR PROPOSED RULES/REWARDS

TL;DR
  • What/Why: the main goals of this are to 1) encourage reviewing and 2) encourage reviewing things more than once. I will be relying on humanity's natural desire to be in first place. This is an event that assigns point values to reviews posted in a given timeframe and uses those points to incentivize those who are not in first place to become first place. That being said, the true friends are the reviews we made along the way.
  • Duration: this would be a fixed-time limit event (compared to things like Review Tag, which have unlimited timelines). The exact timeframe is TBD, but it's scientifically proven that having a deadline is 150% more likely to light a fire under your butt and end procrastination.
  • When: TBD. Initial proposed time was from December 1 - December 31 to align with people having more free time over holidays + to snag the holiday theme, but this might interfere with other events. Unclear.
THOUGHTS?
It is very likely that you have thoughts outside of these questions, but for the sake of opening up discussion here are some things I'd also appreciate feedback on. These are just the first things I thought of, so please answer more if you have anything:
  • Timeframe: when should this happen/how long should it be?
  • Content/Complexity: the rules page outlines two versions: 1) a basic version that just has vanilla point values based on number of (repeat) reviews + wordcount, and 2) a more in-depth version that gives points based on the twelve ways of kroadsmas categories that might help reviewers engage with an author's work on a deeper level. Do you prefer one over the other?
  • Point Values: the point values are currently pretty arbitrary. For the vanilla point values, I just wanted to vastly prioritize repeat reviews; for the complex version, I wanted to put more weight on topics that usually require more thought/engagement to address. Should these values be adjusted?
  • Rewards: "I can promise literally nothing of value"
  • Title: I do not have a title for this event yet and am open to suggestions.
  • Other: ???
 

Negrek

Ever Onward
Staff
This is great! Thanks a lot for taking the time to put this together. I was actually going to solicit ideas for events for December, and I've wanted to do some kind of review-related thing for a while, so this works out perfectly. As far as your questions:

- December works perfectly. The only thing you might want to consider is that a lot of people will be coming right off NaNo in November, so they might not feel up to jumping straight into another big event. Consider giving a week+ between the end of NaNo and the start of your event so that people can relax a bit and get hyped about diving into something new. If you wanted to keep it at a full month but shift it back so it starts in December but runs into January, that's fine, too.

- I think a combination of basic points per chapter and bonus options works well. I think having twelve bonus categories is kind of overwhelming, though, both for someone trying to gather them while reviewing and to whoever has to check the review afterwards. Personally, I would suggest limiting the number of bonus categories to, like, five? That doesn't exactly fit with your Christmas theme, but I think it would be easier to work with. Alternatively, you could do something like rotate bonus categories so there's a different four or whatever each week, which might add some nice variety. I'm also not sure that the "being specific" category would get a lot of use with all those bonus categories in there... Like, what are people going to write lots of words about that can't be classified as "plot," "worldbuilding," "dialogue," etc.?

- For point values I might split it 1/3 or 2/5 instead of 1/5 for initial vs repeated reviews. This is something that's really tough to balance; if everything's the same, people tend to review one-shots or pop in for just the first chapter of long fics; if you give more for multi-chapter/repeat reviews, people pretty quickly start to ignore one-shots and shorter fics. I don't know that those are optimal point values, but my instinct is the values should be a little closer together. I'm not clear on why the bonus categories give varying point values... Like, why is talking about worldbuilding worth 3x talking about the plot? I would tend to favor having the bonuses be all the same point value to reduce complexity, and rely on having a variety of bonus categories, possibly rotating, to provide structure and encourage reviewers to branch out into talking about different things.

- I can't personally guarantee much in the way of prizes... Usually for an event like this I would tend to offer reviews as prizes (MOAR REVIEWS) but in this case I don't think I'll personally be able to. You could try reaching out to other staff members or members of the board to see who might be willing to offer one or two reviews to people who do well, or if there's anyone who'd be willing to do fanart. One thing I can do, if people are interested, is something like custom styling on user names/titles, so like if someone wanted their username to sparkle or whatever, I could do that. Could probably decorate the avatar frame as well. We also will have a badge/achievement system, but it won't be up and running by the time of this event, so any prize awarded there would be retrospective. I can think of other options for this.

- You have some great event names in your doc already; nothing else particularly springs to mind for me right now.

Thanks again for bringing this idea forward! Were you looking to run this yourself, or would you want staff help with it? Outside of help running the event, is there anything you'd want or need from me (this would probably apply more to a different kind of event, but e.g. if you had something team-oriented, you might want special boards set up that only members on a particular team could access)?
 

kintsugi

golden scars
Pronouns
she/her/hers
Thank you thank you for the feedback so far! Also just putting it out there that I'd love to hear thoughts from anyone + everyone; I haven't really run something like this in a while, so if anyone has anything at all to say, this is your time to make the event into what you want.

If you wanted to keep it at a full month but shift it back so it starts in December but runs into January, that's fine, too.
Yeah, this seems like a better play. Perhaps moving the start date to December 6 (a Friday) and running until January 5?

- I think a combination of basic points per chapter and bonus options works well. I think having twelve bonus categories is kind of overwhelming, though, both for someone trying to gather them while reviewing and to whoever has to check the review afterwards. Personally, I would suggest limiting the number of bonus categories to, like, five? That doesn't exactly fit with your Christmas theme, but I think it would be easier to work with. Alternatively, you could do something like rotate bonus categories so there's a different four or whatever each week, which might add some nice variety. I'm also not sure that the "being specific" category would get a lot of use with all those bonus categories in there... Like, what are people going to write lots of words about that can't be classified as "plot," "worldbuilding," "dialogue," etc.?
General feedback from the Discord chat suggested that more simple = more bettah, so I think this is valid! I love the idea of rotating categories weekly -- dunno which 4 I'd actually pick since, like you say, a lot of a review is hard to quantify/subdivide out. I'll rethink on this one a bit more.

For point values I might split it 1/3 or 2/5 instead of 1/5 for initial vs repeated reviews. This is something that's really tough to balance; if everything's the same, people tend to review one-shots or pop in for just the first chapter of long fics; if you give more for multi-chapter/repeat reviews, people pretty quickly start to ignore one-shots and shorter fics.
Yeah, I'm thinking 1/3 or a similar ratio would be good. I'll try to crunch some numbers over the weekend and see where standard review distributions normally stand to get a better idea on this.

Like, why is talking about worldbuilding worth 3x talking about the plot? I would tend to favor having the bonuses be all the same point value to reduce complexity, and rely on having a variety of bonus categories, possibly rotating, to provide structure and encourage reviewers to branch out into talking about different things.
There is literally no reasoning behind this point distribution haha. :')
Bonus point categories TBD -- upon further thinking + based on the above, I think they should be worth less than what a review baseline is. Will revisit this shortly.

- I can't personally guarantee much in the way of prizes... Usually for an event like this I would tend to offer reviews as prizes (MOAR REVIEWS) but in this case I don't think I'll personally be able to. You could try reaching out to other staff members or members of the board to see who might be willing to offer one or two reviews to people who do well, or if there's anyone who'd be willing to do fanart. One thing I can do, if people are interested, is something like custom styling on user names/titles, so like if someone wanted their username to sparkle or whatever, I could do that. Could probably decorate the avatar frame as well. We also will have a badge/achievement system, but it won't be up and running by the time of this event, so any prize awarded there would be retrospective. I can think of other options for this.
Haha and ironically, depending on participation, people might've already gotten a ton of reviews already? Custom user titles would be really cool!

Thanks again for bringing this idea forward! Were you looking to run this yourself, or would you want staff help with it? Outside of help running the event, is there anything you'd want or need from me (this would probably apply more to a different kind of event, but e.g. if you had something team-oriented, you might want special boards set up that only members on a particular team could access)?
I think this one is pretty straightforward and wouldn't require extra boards/threads, but correct me if I'm wrong + past experience suggests otherwise. I think the easiest setup would be to have one thread where users post/claim points, with the OP of that thread having the current leaderboard. I was also considering keeping the leaderboard in gdocs since that's my go-to for tabulating things atm, and could be shareable with multiple team members in case it turns out that we need multiple team members to keep things up-to-date.

I'd be willing to do fanart/review rewards, if applicable.
Ahhhhh! <3 Thank! You are a saint.
 

Umbramatic

The Ghost Lord
Location
The Yangverse
Pronouns
Any
I think a combination of basic points per chapter and bonus options works well. I think having twelve bonus categories is kind of overwhelming, though, both for someone trying to gather them while reviewing and to whoever has to check the review afterwards. Personally, I would suggest limiting the number of bonus categories to, like, five? That doesn't exactly fit with your Christmas theme, but I think it would be easier to work with. Alternatively, you could do something like rotate bonus categories so there's a different four or whatever each week, which might add some nice variety. I'm also not sure that the "being specific" category would get a lot of use with all those bonus categories in there... Like, what are people going to write lots of words about that can't be classified as "plot," "worldbuilding," "dialogue," etc.?
I agree wholeheartedly with this and might suggest slimming it down further but other than that things look good.

I can also contribute reviews, interviews, pretty much anything else writing based, and (bad) character art
 

kintsugi

golden scars
Pronouns
she/her/hers
Sorry, really dumb/short post because I gotta head out, but I really liked the rotating theme idea! Here's a draft of a simplified version w/ weekly theme bonuses:

Week 1 - review an author, fic, or genre you've never reviewed before
Week 2 - review a genre that that you have reviewed before, but haven't reviewed recently for one reason or another
Week 3 - review an author/fic you have reviewed before, but haven't reviewed recently for one reason or another
Week 4 - review a fic that you've reviewed during this event!

I think the revised/simplified point system for the entire event would be:
  • Base / All reviews posted during this time = 4 points
  • Per 100 words of review = +1 point (stacks with the base, so a 105 word review would be 5 points, 205 would be 6 points, etc).
  • Adherence to weekly theme = +5 points
Note that the bonus can only be earned once per author/fic/genre -- i.e. if you review a fic that you haven't reviewed recently to qualify for the week 2 bonus, reviewing that fic again will not give you the week 2 bonus a second time, but will instead just be worth regular points. This closes the loophole of subsequent reviews of chapterfics being worth twice as many points as other reviews.

"Genre" can be as vague as you want it to be tbh -- fics that are dark, fics that are set in the medieval times, PMD fics, slice-of-life, journeyfic; is whatever. the goal is to encourage some tastebreaking + reward returning to your reading roots. if there's a more natural split for categories I'd be down for that as well.


I think this still captures the intent of the event (catching up on older stuff + encouraging long-term feedback) while still giving people an opportunity to read one-shots/first chapters/shorter fics without losing points.

Thoughts?
 
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Adamhuarts

Active member
Pronouns
He/Him
I really like the plans you've got going here Kintsugi. One question though, would making quotes in your review count towards the hundred words count or is it solely what you yourself write excluding it?
 

kintsugi

golden scars
Pronouns
she/her/hers
I really like the plans you've got going here Kintsugi. One question though, would making quotes in your review count towards the hundred words count or is it solely what you yourself write excluding it?
Nah, quoted work wouldn’t count. From doing a few word-based review systems I’ve gotten good at double-checking that so I’m happy to help out with counting that!
 

Chibi Pika

Stay positive
Staff
Location
somewhere in spacetime
Pronouns
they/them
omg hi i exist finally

Timing: Starting midway through December sounds good to me! Alternatively, if anyone feels strongly about confining it to a specific month, January is good.

Duration: Like you said, one month is almost always better than perpetually-running, not just because perpetual event fizzle out, but because it’s easier to get prize support! I’d be interested in us having things like this roughly 2-3 times a year, maybe?

Bonues: I really like the idea of having extra points for getting analytical in a review, but I’m in favor of keeping it as streamlined as possible. I think there should just be a flat bonus of +X or whatever for spending minimum X sentences talking about speculation, or character development or worldbuilding or whatever. Keep them all the same point count, and not require counting words spent on specific topics, because I know I am way too lazy for that. xD; These “deep review” bonuses could last the whole event, or could perhaps rotate with the week? Either way seems fine, depends on what sounds more fun to people.

Flat +1 per 100 words overall seems fine though. It was the itemized wordcounts per topic that had me going “ack.”

The “genres/authors you have reviewed before but not recently” has me scratching my head a bit. ^^; I honestly have no idea how I’d even come up with anyone for this, and as a participant, I would probably just end up skipping these bonuses. Puzzlingly, it tends to punish both consistently active reviewers and brand new reviewers, favoring an odd middle ground. I do like the idea of “incentivize returning to the same fic” rather than spamming 80 hit-and-runs, which tends to happen in a lot of review events. But maybe there could just be a flat bonus for “review a fic you have already reviewed” that lasts the entire event. The exact ratio is tricky, like Negrek said, but 1/3 sooouuunds good? (I guess the base score for a short vanilla review would have to be 3 then.) We might need to run through some samples to make sure this isn’t too over/underpowered. Also, if it’s only 1/3, then I see no reason why it couldn’t be earned multiple times a fic. We’d still be avoiding the “multipliers for additional chapters” that I’ve seen spiral out of control in other events.

Prizes: I can offer prize support in the way of art! Would prefer to keep it limited to a small number of pieces though. How many winners do we think should qualify for art rewards?

tl;dr my proposal:

X pts per review
+X for repeat review
+X per X00 words overall
+X for weekly theme

(actual numbers tbd for balance)
 

qva

wouldn't know my face if you all were me
Location
florida
Pronouns
her/hers
gonna throw in my two cents here and piggyback off chibi's post format for convenience.

timing: midway through december sounds Epic to me because that's when finals end/winter break starts. not sure how universal that is but i'm thinking pretty universal. for me winter break ends early january but the beginning of the semester is always pretty easy so that timeframe coincides nicely for the span that i'll have a ton of freetime. as that movie guy once said, i give this Two Thumbs Up.

duration: the stuff other people are saying sounds pretty good to me. a month is the ideal length for an event like this imo, and i think the output is better when they're fewer and further between. doing this even three times a year sounds like kind of a lot to me although i wouldn't really protest it.

bonuses: gonna be real witchu chief i don't really like the idea of adding points based on the length of a review. i suppose longer reviews seem better but honestly, in my eyes anyway, the value of a review doesn't really have anything to do with how many points it makes or how long it prattles on but rather how deeply it engages with the content. i'm sure i could write paragraphs about surface-level stuff (and have often done this in fact!) but i don't think that really makes for a very Good Review on its own and if there was an incentive to longer posts, i think i'd be more likely to slip into doing this.

i guess with any kind of incentive to anything, you have to kind of ask yourself: what kinds of behaviors/qualities do these points actually incentivize? in the case of incentivizing post length, i don't think you're actually incentivizing anything that makes posts "better," per se; to me it seems like this would pretty much pan out to people just saying More Stuff which i think is neither good nor bad but it definitely results in clutter and overall i'm not sure it's something i think is good to reward.

on the other hand i really like the idea of cycling themes. it sort of forces you to look for things in a fic that you might not have otherwise paid attention to, which increases your attention to the fic's detail as well as broadens your scope for later, non-event reviews in general. pretty keen on this aspect tbh. however in this case i don't think that "a fic you've reviewed before" or "a genre you've reviewed before" are particularly useful here, for the most part because it's poorly defined but also because, as chibi says, it's going to result in a different net point yield depending on how much reviewing you've already done, which is unideal.

i agree that repeat reviews are good, in order to avert the classic "I Have A Thousand Reviews On My Prologue And None On Chapter Two" syndrome, but also think that reviewing new stuff is good... so what i'd suggest here is a large bonus for your first review on a new fic, and a smaller (but non-negligible) bonus on fics you've already reviewed before. what counts as "reviewed before" can either be a) reviewed since the start of the event, or b) reviewed since ever, so i guess that's a matter of discretion, but. to summarize i think a small bonus on stuff you've already done is a sufficient incentive to keep reading, and a larger one-time bonus on stuff you haven't done before ought to pull people into branching out, too.

boy! see what i mean about making a lot of words and saying basically nothing? this is pretty much my superpower.

prizes: i'd be down to throw in some art too if that's something people are open too. my art isn't really as polished/neat as like... MOST of the other artists here, so idk if it's really good as a high level prize, but. it's there if you want it, hahaha.

anyway yeah, tl;dr (because i really get it if you didn't read all that):
  • mid december through mid january is perfect imo
  • not really liking the sound of awarding points based on word count personally
  • cycling themes is good although i think they should be about content, i.e. worldbuilding, character development, etc. etc., rather than genre/whether you've reviewed the fic before
  • give a medium one-time bonus for reviewing a fic you've never done before, and a smaller but recurring bonus on fics you have reviewed before in order to incentivize both branching out and reading persistently in a balanced way
  • sorry i'm so verbose it's hard and this is why my current chapter is doomed to never release, god help me
 

Umbramatic

The Ghost Lord
Location
The Yangverse
Pronouns
Any
Moot of my points are gonna piggyback off of Qva's post:

bonuses: gonna be real witchu chief i don't really like the idea of adding points based on the length of a review. i suppose longer reviews seem better but honestly, in my eyes anyway, the value of a review doesn't really have anything to do with how many points it makes or how long it prattles on but rather how deeply it engages with the content. i'm sure i could write paragraphs about surface-level stuff (and have often done this in fact!) but i don't think that really makes for a very Good Review on its own and if there was an incentive to longer posts, i think i'd be more likely to slip into doing this.

i guess with any kind of incentive to anything, you have to kind of ask yourself: what kinds of behaviors/qualities do these points actually incentivize? in the case of incentivizing post length, i don't think you're actually incentivizing anything that makes posts "better," per se; to me it seems like this would pretty much pan out to people just saying More Stuff which i think is neither good nor bad but it definitely results in clutter and overall i'm not sure it's something i think is good to reward.
Yeah wordcount points punish people like me who are better at shorter, snappier reviews and reward theoretical people who spew ten thousand words on a whole lot of nothing or even toxic feedback OR spew ten thousand words on a whole lot of nothing or toxic feedback in order to get points. So emphasizing other things in reviews might be better

on the other hand i really like the idea of cycling themes. it sort of forces you to look for things in a fic that you might not have otherwise paid attention to, which increases your attention to the fic's detail as well as broadens your scope for later, non-event reviews in general. pretty keen on this aspect tbh.
Yeah if we could do stuff like. Get PMD fic people to read other genres and vice versa or get people who are not normally into darkfics to try those (and again vice versa) and stuff like that that'd be great

i agree that repeat reviews are good, in order to avert the classic "I Have A Thousand Reviews On My Prologue And None On Chapter Two" syndrome, but also think that reviewing new stuff is good... so what i'd suggest here is a large bonus for your first review on a new fic, and a smaller (but non-negligible) bonus on fics you've already reviewed before. what counts as "reviewed before" can either be a) reviewed since the start of the event, or b) reviewed since ever, so i guess that's a matter of discretion, but. to summarize i think a small bonus on stuff you've already done is a sufficient incentive to keep reading, and a larger one-time bonus on stuff you haven't done before ought to pull people into branching out, too.
"I Have A Thousand Reviews On My Prologue And None On Chapter Two" syndrome is what happened to Rude Awakening on Serebii and to the first FFnet incarnation of Heroes After All, so I'm keen on avoiding it for other people. Qva's solution seems good.
 

Persephone

Well-known member
Pronouns
her/hers
I cannot art but I can offer commissioned Alola Dex chapters as a prize.

Everything else looks good that's all I have to add here.
 

Negrek

Ever Onward
Staff
Looks like you've had plenty of great feedback already... Just had a couple responses to your earlier post. Look forward to seeing this event soon!

Yeah, this seems like a better play. Perhaps moving the start date to December 6 (a Friday) and running until January 5?
Works for me if it works for you!

Custom user titles would be really cool!
Sure, I'd be happy to make those a thing, then.

I think this one is pretty straightforward and wouldn't require extra boards/threads, but correct me if I'm wrong + past experience suggests otherwise.
Nah, I expected you'd be fine as is, but I figured I'd offer in case you had other plans. I think the setup you're describing using Google Docs should work well. But if you change your mind and think you might need something from the staff, just let me know!

At this point you've gotten plenty of feedback on scoring, so I think anything I was to say in that area would only make things more confusing, heh. I don't have any super strong opinions in this area.
 

kintsugi

golden scars
Pronouns
she/her/hers
I’ve added a poll at the top of this post; please vote!

Solid feedback so far — when I have a real computer with internet back I’ll loop back for the details in everyone’s posts; just wanted to keep the ball rolling + I’ve been meaning to reply to this for a while already.

There’s been some discussion back and forth in the Discord about the word count points vs no word count points that has been really informative, but we still seem up in the air.

A really really short tldr building off of the posts above:
- A system that has some points based on review length is intended to put a bonus for quality/effort. Quality and effort are hard to quantify and word count is a shorthand to do so that doesn’t become overly subjective—it does over-reward “fluff”, but at the benefit of having some sort of reward for quality. Specific point values can be tweaked to change the weighting.
- A system with no points based on review length is intended to reward all reviews equally under the premise that most reviews already have similar quality/effort. Word count is not inherently tied to quality/effort; long reviews can be useless and short reviews can be very valuable. A word count metric may be intimidating to those who prefer shorter reviews.

If you have the chance to familiarize yourself with the full Discord convo, please do so or post further here, and vote above.

Also, if you volunteered previously to give prizes and are still up for it, please like this post and I’ll reach out separately!
 

The Walrein

Active member
If it's not too late to volunteer, I could offer reviews or commissioned short stories. Also, I voted "No point bonus for word count", but I'd favor having an explicit word count minimum for a review to be able to score points; maybe somewhere between 100 to 200 words.

Edit: Actually, changed my mind (and my vote) after reading the Discord discussion: I favor review bonuses based on wordcount rather than per chapter now, mostly to avoid headaches regarding how to classify reviews covering multiple chapters at once, and also I feel like it's better to have an imperfect measure of reviewing effort rather than none at all.
 
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Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
My workload is pretty full, so I probably won't be able to help with any of the official duties unless a spare hand is absolutely needed... but I'll gladly participate once the full thread is posted!
 
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