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2011 roadmap

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albummaster
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Gender: Male
Location: Spain
Site Admin

#1 | Posted: 12/03/2010 09:02 | Post subject: 2011 roadmap Reply with quote
Earlier this year, we had a discussion which concluded with what we saw as the next major steps for BEA. This roadmap took on board some common feedback from site visitors and also looked to expand the scope of the site.

An enormous amount of preparatory work has been carried out in 2010 to ensure that we introduce these features in a way that expands the concept of the site *without spoiling it*, and that we also do this in a sequence that allows the site to function 'normally' whilst the features are introduced.

We thought it would now be a good time to publish our intentions for the following twelve months. The 'end-game' is to allow bigger charts and multiple charts per user. In broad terms, our main milestones for 2011 are as follows:

1. Moderation system
2. Larger user charts
3. Charts by 'tag'
4. Multiple charts per user

So, to flesh out the above sequence of steps:

Moderation system (ETA Spring 2011)
To allow bigger, or multiple charts per user, before a moderation system is in place, would lead to problems maintaining the data properly. At the moment there is a bottleneck in keeping up to date with all of the new albums that are added to the site. We don't want the data to suffer (and the quality of the site as a result), if we increase the size of user charts.

So, the first target of ours is to release a moderation system. This will allow site visitors to contribute their own edits to the underlying database that drives this site.

The types of edits that we have in mind are helping to ensure that album titles, years of release, artwork, track-listings, artist nationalities and so forth are factually correct. This might also involve helping to identify and consolidate any duplicates that may exist across the site. (This is all activity that currently happens 'in the background').

Once the moderation system is in place, it will mean that we can introduce the main features that people have been asking for.

The moderation system will use a 'karma' based system. We will award positive karma points for correct edits and negative points for an incorrect edit. Once a user has earned enough karma points, they will be allowed to moderate edits by other users. More details will be issued when this feature is released, but the main purpose of introducing a karma system will be to protect the site from data-vandalism.

Larger charts (ETA Spring 2011)
Once the moderation system is in place and has settled in, we will allow users to create larger charts of up to 100 entries (a very popular request).

The additional volume of albums or bands added to the site will be processed by the moderaton system so that data-quality can be maintained. As stated above and to make this absolutely clear, we cannot introduce larger charts until we have the moderation system in place to handle the amount of new data that would be added to the site, and this is why we haven't done this sooner.

Charts by 'tag' (ETA Summer 2011)
Alongside the above features (but partly dependant on the moderation system), we will develop and release a tagging system. I think most people will be familiar with this concept from other websites, suffice to say that this will allow people to 'tag' any of the albums, bands, charts or tracks with anything that you deem appropriate

For example, you could tag Pink Floyd with 'progressve', 'rock', 'art rock' etc, or anything else that you choose (within our terms of service). This will allow charts to be generated for any tag e.g. show me the best albums tagged 'art rock'. You could also tag a song such as Strawberry Fields 'psychedelic', 'classic rock' etc. There are some great possibilites for this feature.

Of course, to protect the site from vandalism, spam etc (unfortunately, there are some naughty people around!), we will allow our data moderators to delete inappropriate tags (e.g. unnecessary profanity, or spam used as a tag etc).

The weight of a tag will be used to determine its relevance e.g. if Britney Spears was assigned 25 'pop' tags and one 'death metal' tag, she would appear in a chart for artists tagged 'pop'.

Multiple charts per user (ETA Summer 2011)
Once the above features are in place, we will then allow people to create multiple charts.

Our current plans are to allow people to submit a year or decade list (for any year or decade) in addition to their 'best ever albums' list.

  • An album appearing in your 'best ever' list will count towards the overall chart and ALSO the relevant aggregated year or decade list (as now).
  • An album appearing in your 'decade' chart will count towards the relevant aggregated decade list AND also the relevant aggregated year list.
  • An album appearing in a 'year' list will soley count towards the relevant aggregated year list.

That is to say, all rank points will filter *down* the funnel from biggest to smallest scope.

Once we have year, decade and overall lists we may then decide to allow other types of charts. We have yet to decide the precise mechanics, but the end goal is that we want all charts on this site to *mean something* in terms of the aggregated rankings, so when you are surfing this site, there are no charts for the sake of it. They all count.

So, to sum up the above:
The first steps have been taken in the background, but the moderation system has to come first.

The site takes up an enormous amount of time to develop, promote and MAINTAIN.

BEA is not a profit-making entity, the little income it does receive from advertising helps to pay the hosting fees. The developer of this site has a day-job outside of BEA that provides living expenses.

We've given an estimated ETA based on our current estimates. Being able to deliver 'on time' depends on other commitments outside of BEA. That is the caveat with these timescales and therefore we cannot make any promises, although we will do our best to honour them.

There will continue to be the usual tweaks and updates that have been happening regularly for the last five years.

In addition to the above, we have side projects planned which are less important than the above but will help to improve our presence on the social networking sites e.g. chart 'widgets' to share your chart on Facebook, MySpace etc. These are not really part of the main roadmap as they don't affect the structure of the site as such, but they will improve our presence elsewhere on the web and help drive more traffic to our site.

There are also a few other ideas which we are keeping under wraps for the moment. We want to keep some nice surprises for people and we don't want to divulge too much before these features are completed.

I hope people will find the above informative and any feedback is welcome.

albummaster


Last edited by albummaster on 10/05/2012 13:38; edited 1 time in total
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RFNAPLES
Level 8


Gender: Male
Age: 70
Location: Durham, NC, USA
United States

#2 | Posted: 12/03/2010 13:43 | Post subject: Reply with quote
Great ideas, ambitious plan, good luck!
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Wombi





#3 | Posted: 01/06/2011 19:17 | Post subject: Reply with quote
I've only just read this after the link from the new update. It sounds exciting but also it sounds like a massive undertaking. Greatly appreciate the effort your putting into this site.
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cartoken
The Seer


Gender: Male
Age: 34
Location: Paris
France

#4 | Posted: 01/13/2011 12:06 | Post subject: Reply with quote
very exciting road map !

but i'm asking my self, how this site will be working if it attracts more user, which is the main goal of some upcoming improments, knowing that it had a lot of difficulties to work correctely and quickly with the ancient members.

improving the rapid access once for all to this awesome website should be one of the main points in the 2011's road map. being as easy to acess to as rateyourmusic.com for exemple, would be great .

Finally i'd like to thank you for all the improvements in 2010 ! which already improved the quality of the website greatly.
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albummaster
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Gender: Male
Location: Spain
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#5 | Posted: 01/13/2011 13:23 | Post subject: Reply with quote
hi, thanks for your feedback.

cartoken, I'd be very interested to know if you are referring to problems you've had recently (say, in the last few days) or whether you are referring to problems a few weeks ago when we definitely did have an issue struggling with the amount of traffic.
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cartoken
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Gender: Male
Age: 34
Location: Paris
France

#6 | Posted: 01/13/2011 20:06 | Post subject: Reply with quote
it's true that during the few past weeks this problem reached a superpeak , but i'm actually talking in general (since i joined this website). i actually have to wait each time some seconds (from 2 to 8 seconds) before the homepage starts to show up. and very often i can simply not access to the website. of course my internet connection is not the problem (i have a 20mo)
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RFNAPLES
Level 8


Gender: Male
Age: 70
Location: Durham, NC, USA
United States

#7 | Posted: 01/13/2011 20:16 | Post subject: Reply with quote
Similar experience, but then, we tend to remember the bad times more than the good. Crying or Very sad
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Kiki





#8 | Posted: 01/13/2011 21:51 | Post subject: Reply with quote
cartoken wrote:
it's true that during the few past weeks this problem reached a superpeak , but i'm actually talking in general (since i joined this website). i actually have to wait each time some seconds (from 2 to 8 seconds) before the homepage starts to show up. and very often i can simply not access to the website. of course my internet connection is not the problem (i have a 20mo)


2 to 8 seconds? Surprised That's not slow at all.

I haven't had any problems with the speed of the website. If there are is anything to do to make it faster then that's great but I don't have a problem with the speed as it has been.
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albummaster
Janitor


Gender: Male
Location: Spain
Site Admin

#9 | Posted: 01/14/2011 09:21 | Post subject: Reply with quote
Everyone's feedback is useful because it helps to identify improvements and I'm grateful for honest feedback, whether it's good or bad.

Personally, for me the site definitely had a few problems coping a few weeks ago. In particular, there was a point over Christmas where the site was simply overloaded by the number of visitors, which resulted in downtime.

Since then, we've spent a lot of time identifying and fixing the underlying issues and have made improvements behind the scenes to make the site more efficient. The result is, the site now handles twice the amount of traffic it was receiving last year and serves these pages faster.

We've also identified further areas where performance can be improved and these enhancements will be phased in gradually alongside the more visible functional changes.

... but the main point of this thread was the roadmap. So, the answer to cartoken's query is yes, the site will be able to cope with more traffic once the roadmap is completed and we are actively working on improving performance alongside these changes.
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Norman Bates



Gender: Male
Age: 46
Location: Paris, France
France

#10 | Posted: 01/15/2011 10:31 | Post subject: Reply with quote
Great plans for 2011, good luck in implementing all that ! Definitely looking forward to what this site will become in months to come, thanks for the great job.
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