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Feedback Friday! (2020-03-13)

Owner
BGA

For those who are new, this is a weekly post where you can share your praises/complaints/wish features for our forum, game pages, content, etc. So, have at it and let us know your thoughts!

And as promised, I will share some of my thoughts on our giveaways since there have been lots of feedback over them in the past months.

First, I'll start off by listing the most common questions raised, address each one of them, and then present my suggestions/ideas afterwards:

Questions & Answers

Q: What type of contributions are counted toward entries?

A: You currently receive 1 entry every time you comment or make a post (this is specified in the giveaway rules).

Q: Shouldn't contributions to the game pages give you entries?

A: It should, definitely. I'll go more into this below. And for clarification, this used to count in the way way older giveaways. 

Q: How about giving different weight to each type of contribution? (e.g. articles get more entries over others).

A: It's certainly something I've thought about in the beginning. But, there are issues to consider. (1) I won't go into the specifics but giveaway laws are a big headache and difficult to interpret. Uneven distribution of entries is one of them. (2) There's a bit of a... "social contract" element to this, where there should be an agreement among the community on what a proper article is. Here's a list of some issues to consider:

  • Weight - How much more value does an article have over a regular post? Is it assumed that articles are inherently better?
  • Length - How long should it be? Should there be a cutoff in terms of minimum number of words required?
  • Content/Quality Control - Besides length, is the content quality material?

I'm sure there are more but I hope it gives you a picture of the potential problems that need to be considered. Free games are undeniably attractive and while the giveaway has been great for stirring up great discussion, the appeal of going after the big entry methods may lead to questionable content. But, it's definitely not out of the question and it should be up for discussion on how we should treat this.


Lastly, here are my thoughts:

  • First, make game page contributions count toward entries. No questions there.
  • We should entertain the idea of doing themed giveaways, where every month or two, the entry methods will get changed to something along the lines of: "Bounty Hunters" (entries only from adding game info), "Everyone's a critic" (entries from review posts/articles & writing reviews on the game pages), logging your plays, participating in polls for top games of 2020, etc.
  • I'd also like to address the issue of opportunity for newcomers. I'd like to maintain a system where the most active users who build up BGA are rewarded for doing so. But, I also want to encourage new users to participate by giving them better chances. Because of this, I will hold additional giveaways with smaller prizes (in value) where each user will only get a single entry by participating (equal chances for everyone). I will be deciding which prizes I should consider, but for now, we currently have a decent supply of MtG playmats and board games designed by Trent from his previous business ventures. Any other suggestions?
  • Prizes - I will be looking into the option of working with other online stores to buy e-gift cards in bulk at a discount. If it's promising, I may consider using these as rewards so that the users themselves will be able to make the order, except they would need to cover shipping expenses. This may be a good option to save shipping costs on our end for international users (especially once the community grows) while also allowing us to potentially run more giveaways than even now.

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10 months ago

I think there needs to be more discussion about limiting self-promotion. There are accounts that only exist to post links to their site or channel or promote their Kickstarter. This is fine at the level it's at right now, but if left unchecked, the forums will be drowning in self-promotion as BGA becomes more popular. There are a number of ways you could go about it. And there are definitely content creators who are contributions positively to the site and forums beyond simply posting their links, which is great! I feel like that should be the goal.

I'm just thinking of subreddits that don't have strict posting rules - they often become littered with self-promotion.

Supporter10 months ago

I agree. The self-promotion really does clog up the forum. The Meeple Mountain incident really torpedoed the forum for a while. 

10 months ago

Yeah and it's not just that. I really don't mind seeing creators post links to their stuff once in a while, but if they're just doing that and not contributing to the community aside from that, it just feels like they're using BGA for free advertising, which is bad for a community and doesn't make Phil and Trent any money, haha.

Supporter10 months ago

True story and good point!

10 months ago

It's really hard to say what will and will not work. Personally, I'm in the camp that weighted content has potential, but could also devolve into something we don't want. I'm not worried about @Skurvy5 winning all the giveaways, simply because he's always engaged. But word count is risky, because then you have to determine if that long post is from my freshman years of college or last year in grad school. One is full of fluff and the other is actually relevant. Whoever the judge of that will be will certainly have a doozie of a time convincing the original poster that they get zero points because the post was soft enough to use as a pillow. There are inherent issues with that method.

Perhaps certain things about adding to the game pages could count, like adding useful descriptions. I can go in and add "ages 14+" to game after game and, while accurate, doesn't really add much to thee listing. Maybe a set collection of 1 point for every 4 "little" additions, as those can still add up quickly.

I think friend referrals could count as more points, since that could help motivate people to invite others to this site. Or, more points for referraks that stick around for x amount of days. Quality over quantity type of thing.

Just some thoughts. Whatever you decide, though, I'm sure we'll let you know if it's working or not :) 

In regards to other prizes, gift cards are always welcome by practically anyone. Even a smaller denomination is useful to a new game acquisition.


Supporter10 months ago

Am I a problem? I don’t want to be a problem. :(

Supporter10 months ago

I don't think that engagement is a problem. At least I hope not. 

Supporter10 months ago

Oh ok. Maybe I misread the part where he mentioned me. 

10 months ago

Definitely not a problem! Sorry if it came off that It was. I think your input and engagement here is fantastic and a real benefit to the community. I meant I have no problem with you winning giveaways all the time because, for lack of better words, you deserve it. I like to see good thing happen to good people, and from what I’ve been able to put together from months of forum talk, you’re not just good, but great! I definitely did not mean anything bad or that you were a problem in any way. Quite the opposite! But I can see how my scattered thoughts could have come off that way, so I apologize. 

Keep on keeping on. You’re doing great haha

Supporter10 months ago

No, my mistake. I misread that section. Thank you for the kind words!

10 months ago

Glad we’re all still friends :) 

Supporter10 months ago

But of course! I plan on winning again tomorrow, so buckle your seat belt!

10 months ago

Haha I’m braced and ready for impact!

Supporter10 months ago

I agree with this.... 

Supporter10 months ago

Thanks Chris! You guys are great as well. 

10 months ago

  • I LOVE the offers of the secondary giveaway that's more friendly to newcomers. That's great because it will give people more of an incentive to stick around even if they feel like they don't have the time or want to commit the time to give themselves a decent chance to win the other giveaway.
  • A gift card is a very natural choice for a prize. Would make things much easier for you guys, I think.
  • On your concern over weighted entries and content quality - that makes sense and I hadn't considered that. You guys don't want to have to be approving every article that gets posted.
  • One more idea I had for weighted entries: posts and articles still get 1 point each, BUT they can get an extra HALF POINT (or some other faction) for every comment on the post. What this accomplishes is still rewarding the user for creating content that increases user engagement, which is what you want, while also theoretically giving lower rewards for lower quality (less community response). People are still incentivized the comment, as they get their one point whole giving OP half a point. You could also do points for upvotes.

Supporter10 months ago

I think the most fair solution is the current one. It’s part of the social contract within the contest but it’s manageable and fair. 

10 months ago

I just think with the current one it's too easy to make a bunch of low effort comments that don't really contribute everything to the community. The whole point of the contest for Phil and Trent is to drive engagement and attract and keep users. A bunch of people going "heh" in a comment doesn't help them.

Anyway, it's just my opinion about it. If they're not bothered by it, then I guess it's fine, haha.

Supporter10 months ago

In all seriousness though this is part of the social contract that Phil was talking about. No matter which system you pick you will have people gaming the system. The goal is to try and design something that isn’t labor intensive or subjective to monitor. A simple point per comment system is fair and relatively self-monitoring. 

10 months ago

I feel like we're missing each other a bit on this, but whatever. Don't really want to keep typing from my phone lol. If Phil and Trent are satisfied with the current system, I'm cool with it.

Supporter10 months ago

Heh 

10 months ago

SON OF A

Supporter10 months ago

Lol. Couldn’t resist. 

Supporter10 months ago

Heh, heh, heh.....

10 months ago

Oh I forgot about the game contributions. How do you guys plan to ensure the quality of the contributions? I could see that being abused as well, with people making some minor change to a game and then undoing it for 2 points. I myself did this by accident a few months ago, making a change to a game that I then learned was incorrect, and changing it back a few minutes later. This would've gotten me 2 points, and it didn't make the site any better.

Supporter10 months ago

I entertained the idea of themed GAW's as well. I think that I still like the idea, though the concern of @Skurvy5 does resonate some with me. I think that you would need to be very careful to define well what counts and not.

About the equal opportunity GAW, I like that idea. I think that the ideas for prizes you have are good. I did wonder to myself how many review copies that you get. If you get enough that you are looking to get rid of some,,, you could maintain a list of those that you have, and let them pick from that list. I don't know that you get enough review copies to make that worth it.... but just a idea.

Supporter10 months ago

Oh and I support the idea of gift cards as a prize. 

Supporter10 months ago

Some good thoughts here regarding giveaways. I would definitely agree with adding game page contributions to entries. That makes sense. 

The idea of an equal opportunity giveaway sounds great also - no concerns on that front.

I would hesitate to change much beyond that, however. 

Adding extra entries or weight to certain types of content is a slippery slope that I don’t think BGA should travel down.

I would personally avoid any kind of themed giveaways because that could possibly encourage a tsunami of low-effort content for each theme. 

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