What to do about abandoned projects?
Abandoned/inactive projects, especially those which have been abandoned by the English teams, are a problem. Volunteers tend to seek the excitement of new shows, possibly on-air ones, with popular actors. Moreover, shows made before 2014 are often very old-fashioned, crudely made and boring.
What to do?
Viki's proposed solution is to use an automatic machine-translator, the infamous Vikibot. We are proposing now some different solutions, hoping you'll take them into account.
(based on the input of many volunteers in Discussions and elsewhere)
- We don’t want the bot on on-air dramas where people are translating.
- We don’t want it to over-write already done subs. Only missing ones.
- We don’t want to edit the bot subtitles. It's tiresome, frustrating and time-consuming.
- We don’t mind if you use it for truly inactive channels.
Check the English team first. Make sure it’s not the English team which is stalling, thus forcing Other Languages to be inactive. Then do something about that before bullying those Other Language teams or unleashing the Bot.
Write to the CM and give him/her a deadline, for instance one month. “If you don’t start a lively activity, it will be taken over by the bot”. If it's not the English team's fault, send this message to all the moderators of this drama.
We need an effective project finder. A page with a list of unfinished channels in need of volunteers (either mods or subbers) can be listed, with details of the language needing help. CMs and mods could post vacant positions, or positions someone wants to leave. It would be very useful to all volunteers and especially to newbies. Make those needy channels accessible to the teams, though. It makes no sense that a drama from 2008 that very few people want to watch or sub is restricted for the few who do want to. Nowadays it's very hard for a newbie to find a project to start on. This page can be done on the basis of the existing one. It now has two tabs, one for the subbers and one for the CMs. Add two more tabs for mods and segmenters. Inside each tab/page, just add another subdivision: new and unfinished channels. Of course the "unfinished channels" page will have more filters. Not just country and language, but also percentage of completion, number of episodes, type (film, drama, documentary, reality).
We need an effective volunteer finder. The one available is pitiful. For some reason, the only names found there are people who have stopped volunteering years ago. The information (filters) are also inadequate. We can only sort people by language. Instead, we should be able to sort them by
- language (s)
- years active on viki
- last active on
- number of subs
- whether they have vikipass plus
- also editor (since there's not special category for that)
- availability now (the subbers are responsible for updating this)
- preferences (country and type of drama)
There should also be an option to delete their own name from VF if they want to and put it back again when they want to start contributing again.
Establish a deadline for projects. It should be adapted to the number of episodes, of course, and longer if it’s an old drama. When the deadline is not respected, the moderator should be changed. The channel manager will be responsible for this task. If the CM doesn’t respect it, Viki will inquire. Against inactive managers, check with him and with the team of moderators during the year by sending a message.
Lift restrictions to increase volunteer numbers. The reason so many dramas suffer from slow or no subbing, much more than in the past, are regional restrictions. By lifting them for QCs, more subbers will be available and translations will be done faster.
If you can’t do it for all QCs, at least do it for those on the drama’s team. And you could make the requirements for the "geo-free QCs" stricter: not 500 subs every six months but 2000 every six months.
Eliminate hoarder mods and CMs. The reason many dramas linger abandoned are hoarder mods. There is no limit for “library” (i.e. “old”, non on-air) dramas. There should be one as well. And there is no limit for moderators. There should be one. Only then new people would be given the chance to work and dramas would get done more quickly. Get rid of the mods who hoard more than 20 dramas they haven’t touched, or where they have done only episode 1. Take away all the dramas they have taken a long time ago and they haven’t touched for months.
- A limit in on-air shows for moderators similar to the one for CMs. With attention being given to the number of episodes of each project. If it’s a film or a short web drama, of course it won’t count as a regular or long drama.
- A limit on library shows (no more than 5), and before being assigned another show, they should first finish their language in an existing one.
- Monitor CMs and Moderators with too many unfinished projects.
On every user’s Contributions Page, there should be a way for everyone to see at a glance whether the moderator is a hoarder, whether s/he is a person who finishes or not the projects. If that page were better organized, it would be much easier to spot hoarders.
- added to the team date
- first worked on (with an option of Nul, if the person hasn’t touched the episode),
- last worked on,
- language (of the particular user)
- subtitle/segment completion %
- number of episodes with 97% or more
- released to All Languages (yes-no)
And give the possibility to sort by each column (also a choice between decreasing and increasing order). So that we can sort the projects to see first the older ones and see their completion. Or the ones where the completion is less and see how many they are. Or the ones the user hasn’t even touched.
Of course moderators don’t always do subtitles nor always double as editors, so their sub count may be zero; however, they are responsible for the subbers doing the job, that’s why the completion percentage is important.
In case of CMs which language shall you choose? Let’s say the English. Although the CM is also responsible for all the other teams, at least if the English is complete AND released (thus presumably edited), you can say the most important part of her/his job is done.
Lure more Korean-English and Chinese-English subbers. These are the most needed and the most rare. The lack of these native subbers delays all other languages. Shouldn’t we encourage them by giving them a Vikipass early on, even without 3000 subs so that they are motivated and able to help right away? Or a "temporary pass" if they are put on a team, to be removed when they are removed from the team? This of course needs some checking. The moderators should collaborate and remove from the team whoever, by the middle of the drama, has not contributed more than a certain number of subtitles - say an average of 50 subs per week in an on-air show. Sometimes a subber may have a problem on one week, but if by the middle of the show it's still a no-show (and hasn't discussed it with the mod), then s/he should be removed from the team. And with the removal, the special Vikipass should be automatically withdrawn.