Wind Lane
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Back in November I was trying to figure out how I could get some bag so I could get an avatar and some accessories to spruce it up with. Since I don't get to game all that often session reports and reviews are harder to come by and I don't really own any obscure games that I can take lots of pictures of. In my search for ways to make a little coin I found GeekModding.

So, at about 10:30pm PST on November 11th of this year I started geekmodding. Since then I've earned over 100 and here's what I've learned doing it.

Images

First, my stats as of earlier today:
Of the images you have moderated:
Your Matches for Approval: 4921 out of 5347 (92%)
Your Matches for Declined: 541 out of 937 (58%)
Overall Percentage: (87%)

My worst success rate for knowing what should and shouldn't be declined, but it's largely because I go into modding looking to approve things - since I want to see the site grow more than I want to see my bag stash grow. The keys for images seem to be the following:

1.) Know the guidelines for acceptance. One of the things that gets overlooked I believe. The number of photos that show game rules and charts (a violation) being a strong indicator of this.

2.) Check the category. Not only does it help make sure images get sorted correctly (could you imagine trying to find a picture of the game box for the latest Space Hulk if you couldn't select Game photos and had to sift through all those painted minis pics?) but it also gives you help on whether a person is overdoing it with a run of photos. Two or three shots of you and your friends playing Tichu is PLENTY.

3.) Look through the photos the game already has. A number of times while geekmodding I'll find somebody trying to submit yet another shot of the box, the cards, or some other game bits photo that gets accepted because modders didn't look past the first or second page of photos already there.

4.) Remember to thumb. Some of the photos that come through are for games I don't think I will ever get, but some of the photos put through the system are beautiful examples of quality photography - don't forget to give a thumbs up to those photos that you enjoy.

The RPGG difference: For geekmodding on the RPGG side it is important to remember that there are much stricter guidelines for photo submission. Make sure you've read and understood them before geekmodding.

Articles

My stats:
Of the articles you have moderated:
Your Matches for Approval: 550 out of 559 (98%)
Your Matches for Declined: 51 out of 94 (54%)
Overall Percentage: (92%)

This is the only category where I've skipped modding something. It was the first article I ever tried to mod and I skipped it thinking I could go back and mod it later since I was unsure about it at the time. Skip doesn't work that way I found.

The keys to article modding:

1.) Actually read the article. If all you look at is the way it is visually arranged or how large it is - you're doing it wrong. I will freely admit that I don't read every word. We're not proofreading these articles, we're seeing if they're worth having on the site, so I read the first paragraph and skim read the rest. This gives me the full flavor of the article without being bored out of my mind hearing about what ten cards someone was using for Dominion on their fourth play through of the night. However, I read short articles, in their entirety, every single word. I think this is important because the shorter the article, the more likely it is to be declined PURELY BASED ON SIZE. This is a mistake in my mind. The reason we should be wary of short articles is because they often don't really pass along any information. But some do, so actually do some reading.

2.) Have a system for deciding how much you think the article deserves. I tend to pull towards three for most articles as I consider that the default amount to give. I move towards one if the article is short (but acceptably so), overly long (war games get an exception here as the game is designed to go long), or not written as well as it could have been (spelling, grammar, and knowing when to start a new paragraph problems). I move towards five if the article is exceptionally well laid out, very well written, entertaining, or moving. Your system can be completely different, but make one and stick to it.

The RPGG difference: Because the RPGG side is dealing with role-playing games, the articles tend to be long since the game itself is all about story telling. What's considered a long article on the BGG side is not a long article on the RPGG side. Keep that in mind.

Data Fields

My stats:
Of the datafields you have moderated:
Your Matches for Approval: 879 out of 892 (99%)
Your Matches for Declined: 28 out of 50 (56%)
Overall Percentage: (96%)

My best overall category. Picking what image should represent a game is pretty easy. Here's some suggestions to make it even easier:

1.) Keep it fresh. A game's representative image should generally be the most recent English version. Most recent because that's the image more people, especially those newer to the site, are going to associate with the game. English because this is an English speaking site even with the large number and vast variety of non-native English speakers.

2.) Don't leave it blank. If a game doesn't have any representative image whatsoever, that one pic in its image gallery is going to have to do. A visual of some sort that was good enough to get through the modding process as an image is good enough as a placeholder representative image till something better comes along.

The RPGG difference: Role-playing books actually do things the opposite way. The first printing is the best representative image. It's also important to know that every version of an rpg will be listed and logged. Don't be surprised to see what looks like the same book coming up multiple times.

Image Links

My stats:
Of the image links you have moderated:
Your Matches for Approval: 610 out of 631 (97%)
Your Matches for Declined: 44 out of 54 (81%)
Overall Percentage: (95%)

My best category for knowing when to decline. Image links are wonderful - one picture gets uploaded and then shared between every game entry it's valid for. Here's my helpers for these guys:

1.) Look closely. Take a good look at the image to make sure it belongs with the game it's being linked to.

2.) Decline the spam. Some people take a photo of their game shelf and then try to link that pic to every game in the shot. That kind of a shot is absolutely worthless like that.

The RPGG difference: Expect every single picture you see that goes through the images geekmodding process to go through the image link pipeline as well. If you don't know why it would do that, you need to be a lot more familiar with the RPGG geekmodding guidelines.

Some general guidelines for modders:

1.) Know the guidelines. If you don't know what's acceptable and what isn't, you shouldn't be geekmodding.

2.) Explain your declines. If the box you checked on the decline side doesn't really get the point across, write in what's wrong under the "Other" option. The "Other" option doesn't even have to be selected for that text to be displayed. For example, I always put what category a picture should be in when I decline it due to it being in the wrong category.

3.) Know your philosophy. When people are modding, they're either seeing if they can approve everything that comes through or they're seeing if they can decline everything that comes through. I tend to be the former, which gives me higher percentages in my approvals. However, if you were to switch the percentages in my approvals and declines I'd only lose six . So either method works fairly well if all you're looking to do is raise some coin.

4.) Checking often is the only way to earn quickly. When I'm on the site I'll pop into the BGG geekmod section about every five to ten minutes and I check the RPGG geekmod section about every fifteen to thirty minutes. If you check more often than that you'll miss less, but (obviously) it also takes up a lot more of your time.

5.) Average one geekgold. What I mean by that is, when you look at your geekmodding history it displays twenty-five items per page. I like to skim down the first page of each category to see how I'm doing. If I've gotten all my modding correct then I'll have above my one geekgold middle line because some of those hundred entries (25 entries from the first history page of four categories) will be declines. Another way to put it is as you go down the page subtract one for every entry you got wrong and add four for every decline you got right. That number, plus one hundred will give you the number of geekcents you're averaging right then. Keeping my average at or above the median means I'm doing well.

Some Helpful Links and Blurbs

Howto BGG - What is GeekMod?

Quote:
From the bottom of the image geekmodding page - only seen when there's something to geekmod.

Image evaluation guidelines

Please evaluate each picture and accept or reject it based on the criteria given. In particular, the following are not reasons for rejecting an otherwise good image:

Image contains modified components.
Image is only tangentially related to the game (an image of people playing the game, etc).
The game already has enough images (unless this image submitted is very similar to one already in the gallery).
If you find a picture to be exceptional, you can approve it and recommend it (equivalent to giving it a thumbs up).

For comparison, on the left are all pending images from the user who submitted the image in question. On the right are all images in the image gallery of the game in question.

If your vote for approval results in an image getting approved, you will receive 0.01 geekgold. If your vote for rejection results in an image not getting approved, you will receive 0.05 geekgold.

Use your own judgment; if a particularly good picture violates one of the guidelines, it is OK to approve it.


For the RPGG Side of things:

Start Here! - The RPG Geek User Guide

Quote:
From the bottom of the RPGG mod pages, only seen when there's something to mod.

Guidelines for RPGG Image Approval

RPG Geekmoding is a bit different than BGG Geekmoding. In particular, we have a few special rules which must be followed:

* For cover scans the resolution must be between 50dpi (for the typical 8.5" x 11" book this is roughly 400 x 600) and can be no more than 150dpi (for 8.5"x11" books, this is roughly 1300x1700). Anything else and we assume the user didn't scan the book himself and culled it from elsewhere. This is really important to reject these.
* We ask submitters to limit to one sample page from the interior of the book at 150dpi or less.
* Images must not show any maps or table/charts unless properly obscured so they can't be used in actual play (if the uploader has written permission included as part of the Moderator Notes - this is acceptable. Also, tables/charts/maps that are part of the outside packaging of the item such as on the back cover is also acceptable)
* For box sets which have many components, just an overall picture of the contents will do. We do not want a scan and upload every component.
* We are not allowing scans of counter sheets. Counter sheets may appear as part of the overall content picture of a box set only.
* Images that bear a watermark from another site (RPG.Net, etc) are forbidden - decline these!
* Be wary of uploaders using the same image (especially the logo) across multiple RPGs. This is against our rules - only one copy of the image needs to be uploaded and can be linked later across multiple RPGs or items.
* At the [item] level, we want the front cover of the book (for non-book items, a general picture of the item is fine).
* At the [rpg] level, we want the logo for the game.
* At the [family] level, we want the logo for the most popular version of the game.
* At the [series] and [setting] levels we want to see the logo for the series/setting.

And because the RPG side has a concept of versions (same item, different printing, artwork on cover, foreign language, etc) you must understand this:

* Images that appear to be duplicates need to be examined closely and the notes attached to the image need to be read. It is possible there is only some subtle difference in the cover (such as different ink shading). Please be diligent here and don't decline simply because it 'looks the same' unless you feel it really is representing the same thing.
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Quote:
Your Matches for Approval: 4921 out of 5347 (92%)
Your Matches for Declined: 541 out of 937 (58%)
Overall Percentage: (87%)

My worst success rate for knowing what should and shouldn't be declined, but it's largely because I go into modding looking to approve things - since I want to see the site grow more than I want to see my bag stash grow.

Wrong conclusion. In this case your Approval rate should be worse. Your figures show that you decline quite a percentage of images that other Geekmodders approve.
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I think everyone who's geekmodded for more than just a short time has a number of horror stories about The Stuff That Got Through. Duplicates, datestamps, dark or ruddy blobs, board and component shots for games that have 30+ pages of images, cats in boxes, boxes on babies, cats eating babies, babies eating cats, and images the submitter quite obviously didn't create themselves.

As for articles, I must admit I tend towards the lower end of the scale: 1-2 GG for sessions and 2-3 for reviews (with exceptions for exceptionalities). The reasons are roughly as follows. I haven't been at BGG for very long, but I've contributed a number of minor corrections to the game database, such as fixing misspelled names, cleaning up typographic mishaps, adding publication years, adding or removing categories and mechanics, adding variant titles and publishers, and so on. Most of the time you get 0.25 GG for this. Sometimes you get 0.5 or 1. Granted, this feels like quite a lot compared to geekmodding (or for that matter, compared to proposing over two hundred representative images for games that didn't have them, which earned me a total of 0.01). On the other hand someone can submit half a dozen pictures of the latest blockbuster game in progress and earn 6 GG just like that. So the idea that someone should then submit a quarter-page session report that boils down to "So anyway, I beat my brother at Space Hulk again" and get 3-4 GG for it, well...



Topper Harley wrote:
Wrong conclusion. In this case your Approval rate should be worse. Your figures show that you decline quite a percentage of images that other Geekmodders approve.


No, he's right. The rating for declined reflects the images that got declined, not the ones that he wanted to decline.
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Wind Lane
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Right, I was talking overall percentage.

I know there are plenty of others that have seen the bad stuff get through otherwise some games would have triple digits in pages of photos, like M:tG.

But those horror stories is one of the reasons I wrote this. The best way to combat that kind of thing is through instruction. Though looking up at the size of this thing I don't know if the people who seem to blindly accept yet another box cover shot for Settlers of Catan would read this any more than they would the articles that went through the system.

And the session report being worth less than a review makes complete sense to me, so stick to that system.

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Wind Lane wrote:
But those horror stories is one of the reasons I wrote this. The best way to combat that kind of thing is through instruction.

I agree - instruction is key. On the RPGG side, the admins try to hit the image approval queues at least once but preferably twice per day (as things are much slower on the RPGG side geekmod-wise that usually is sufficient). We have a few people who are REALLY good at rejecting images that don't meet the strict Guidelines for RPGG Image Approval but it's not always enough to reject the image. When I see a number of declines (mostly due to scan-range problems - usually indicative of web-culls) these can be double-checked and rejected and those that voted to APPROVE can be contacted and gently instructed as to what they geekmodded incorrectly. This instruction, in theory, produces better geekmodders for the next day. Lather, rinse and repeat.

-Dave
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I like your summary, it's great.
However, I think still too much is accepted. (as quoted "horror" stories)
The level for accepted images is possibly too low.

For example, this recent addition:
 

This image is good, IF the top part with the glare is cropped, and the bottom black stripe, leaving just the monopoly street.
However, the submitter maybe didn't know how to do that, and now we have yet-another-bad picture, which could be good with an investment of 5 seconds and 2 mouseclicks in free tools such as picasa.
I also want to see the page grow, but very simple changes by submitters can make a huge difference for the database.

Just my 2 cents.
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I completely agree - which is why I usually give some tidbit on what could be done to improve the item under review when I decline it.

Like most things in life, clear communication is the key to improvement.
 
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Kaffedrake wrote:
I think everyone who's geekmodded for more than just a short time has a number of horror stories about The Stuff That Got Through. Duplicates, datestamps, dark or ruddy blobs, board and component shots for games that have 30+ pages of images, cats in boxes, boxes on babies, cats eating babies, babies eating cats, and images the submitter quite obviously didn't create themselves.

As for articles, I must admit I tend towards the lower end of the scale: 1-2 GG for sessions and 2-3 for reviews (with exceptions for exceptionalities). The reasons are roughly as follows. I haven't been at BGG for very long, but I've contributed a number of minor corrections to the game database, such as fixing misspelled names, cleaning up typographic mishaps, adding publication years, adding or removing categories and mechanics, adding variant titles and publishers, and so on. Most of the time you get 0.25 GG for this. Sometimes you get 0.5 or 1. Granted, this feels like quite a lot compared to geekmodding (or for that matter, compared to proposing over two hundred representative images for games that didn't have them, which earned me a total of 0.01). On the other hand someone can submit half a dozen pictures of the latest blockbuster game in progress and earn 6 GG just like that. So the idea that someone should then submit a quarter-page session report that boils down to "So anyway, I beat my brother at Space Hulk again" and get 3-4 GG for it, well...

Topper Harley wrote:
Wrong conclusion. In this case your Approval rate should be worse. Your figures show that you decline quite a percentage of images that other Geekmodders approve.


No, he's right. The rating for declined reflects the images that got declined, not the ones that he wanted to decline.


I wish there were a 0.25GG button for session sand reports...
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salish99 wrote:
I wish there were a 0.25GG button for session sand reports...


If they're that bad or really uninformative, I simply decline them.
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salish99 wrote:
I like your summary, it's great.
However, I think still too much is accepted. (as quoted "horror" stories)
The level for accepted images is possibly too low.

For example, this recent addition:
 

This image is good, IF the top part with the glare is cropped, and the bottom black stripe, leaving just the monopoly street.
However, the submitter maybe didn't know how to do that, and now we have yet-another-bad picture, which could be good with an investment of 5 seconds and 2 mouseclicks in free tools such as picasa.
I also want to see the page grow, but very simple changes by submitters can make a huge difference for the database.

Just my 2 cents.


I wonder: will there ever be (or was there, once) a feature which allowed users to submit a bad picture to be removed if enough voters approved the removal (say, 30, 50 or 100 or so)?
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