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18 February 2007 @ 02:37 am
The AMV Feedback Project: Reaching New Heights of Obsession!  
My annual bout of vid-meta came on early this year. Also, it's another feedback project. And, further, it's on a topic that's not going to be of great interest to many of you.

There is a specific person to blame for this, and that person is not me. I'm a totally innocent party, here. (As you will see, I fought this whole thing like - well, kind of like a first-level magic user who doesn't know how to cast Magic Missile, but I tried, is my point.) That person (the Party You Should Blame) is Scintilla, aka scintilla72.

See, many moons ago I made a post about anime vids for media fans, and in it, I sort of vaguely implied that you don't need to leave feedback on anime vids, and in fact it might be better not to. Actually, let's just revisit my exact words, okay? They're kind of key to this whole thing. I said:

You don't need to leave feedback. [Ed.'s note: the writer was lying up above when she said she only implied this.] That's kind of a controversial statement, but - anime vidders seem to want, and get, very detailed opinions from other fans, and by "detailed" I mean "you need, at minimum, a master's degree from a reputable film school in order to give them." If you have such a degree, I encourage you to go check out ZeWrestler and Iserlohn's Guide to Opinions. Everyone else, well. My advice is to just use the star ratings on AMV, and concentrate your actual written feedback on live-action vidders. You don't need an eight chapter guide to do that.

Scintilla found this post eight months later, and said: not so.



Scintilla's position statement was, basically:
  1. AMV makers want to hear from the people watching their vids.

  2. Yes, even if the opinions are not Guide to Opinions-worthy.

  3. Yes, even if these viewers do not make vids.

  4. Yes, even if they are media fans rather than anime fans.

  5. Yes, even if they just leave "I liked it!" type comments.

  6. Basically, they want to hear from the people watching their vids whether those people are from the Great Secret Inner Circle of Ceremonial Anime Vidders or from the Outer Reaches of the Fannish Darkness.
And I thought, Huh. I've heard that kind of thing before.

But, okay, see - let me confess. I didn't want to leave opinions on AMVs. I found the opinion form intimidating, the community confusing, and then there was the Great Fannish Divide: they're anime vid makers. I'm a fan fiction reader. See? Massive chasm of total difference that cannot be crossed by mere mortals! Also, I've got the visual interpretation skills of naked mole rat. Obviously AMV makers do not want to hear from me.

And then I had a conversation with That Voice. You know, the one that tells you, grimly and firmly, "You'll be sorry later" when you decide one more drink won't hurt you? The one that tells you that yes, you do have to get a wedding present no matter how much you'd rather not? Basically, the voice that tells you stuff that you actually do know but would prefer not to. We had a little three-way chat, in fact, me and the Voice and Scintilla. (For the record, it was basically Scintilla and the Voice working in close concert against me, and they don’t even know each other. Not that I am bitter.)

Voice: That's what you said about live-action vidders. You said, and I quote, "They don't want to hear from me." You were wrong.
Me: Well, but. Anime vidders are very different than live-action vidders!
Voice: ...How could you possibly know that?
Me: You can just tell.
Voice, disapprovingly: Ah. (Yes, sometimes my Voice does sound like Benton Fraser. I don't know what to do about it - I mean, exorcise it? Rent it out to other fangirls? It's a tough call!)
Me: Also, look at the Guide to Opinions. Don't even tell me I could do that.
Scintilla: Actually, no one uses that anymore. I think you're the only person who even knows it's there.
Voice: Any other excuses, wimp girl?
Me, grouchily: Scintilla doesn't speak for everyone. Maybe he wants to hear what I have to say, but that doesn't mean anyone else does. Also, he could be insane. Also, we don't even know for sure that he exists.
Voice: Well, if you aren't willing to take his word for it, possibly you should investigate further.
Me, triumphantly: I can't! There's no cultural norm of response to emailed feedback in AMVs, and thus I can't possibly redo the Vid Feedback Project!
Voice: You know, someone else might believe that you'd never heard of minor adjustments to methodology, but I was there for advanced OChem lab, sweetie. I know better.
Scintilla, possibly intending to be helpful: You could post to the forum! Or you could just leave opinions; creators can respond to those, and I think they mostly do.
Me, bitterly, speaking to Scintilla and the Voice both: I hate you. So much.

So, Scintilla had basically handed me a workable method on a platter. All it meant was - eeep - braving the animemusicvideos.org forums, where I had never spent a second's time. And then - eeep! Eeep! EEEEEEP! - leaving some actual opinions.

I started with the forum post, on the grounds that it was the less scary of two scary options. For further safety, I excised all my personality from the post, on the grounds that if you start acting like a human and not a robot there's no telling what will happen. People might talk to you, and then what excuse will you have for not proceding with the project? (As it turns out, they talked to me anyway; the robotic tone was perhaps a miscalculation on my part, since anime vidders are nothing if not exceedingly comfortable with robots.) My question, summed up in non-robot language: Hey! Um, folks? What do you want? From, you know, viewers? When it comes to feedback?

The answers, in rough order of popularity:
  1. A reaction. Any reaction, really. I'm not picky.

  2. Anything that helps me make better vids. Like, even an emotional response or two. Or you can be negative, if you give good reasons. Just...you know...something. Constructive stuff.

  3. Anything I don't have to ask for. (This needs explaining. In the AMV world, there's a thing called "opinion exchange" - you leave an opinion on mine, I'll leave one on yours. There are also sometimes forum threads where people offer opinions to whoever asks.)

  4. Nothing.

  5. Sex.
In short, the anime vidders were starting to sound like live-action vidders; I mean, the only real difference is that when live-action vidders are asking for blowjobs, usually they want them for their characters. Otherwise, seriously, pretty much the same stuff. It was time for another round with the Voice.

Voice: I guess you'll be starting to leave opinions now, huh?
Me: ...Scared.
Voice: You had palpitations the first time you sent email feedback to a live-action vidder. I swear I heard you muttering about probable cannibalism. That turned out okay, as I recall. Nice people! No one got eaten! At least not in any bad way.
Me: Anime vidders are different.
Voice: You know what? You don't get to say that anymore unless you have actual proof.
Me: Also, I have no idea what to say.
Voice, grimly: Oh, trust me. Once you start typing, you'll come up with something. You always do.
Me: ...

[Best Beloved emerges from the living room just as Voice and I enter our fortieth round of mental fisticuffs, and sums up the situation with a single disgusted look.]

Best Beloved: Oh my god. Just do it already.
Me: EVERYONE IS AGAINST ME. This is very unfair.
BB: I'm just telling you to do what you actually want to do.
Me: EVERYONE IS AGAINST ME AND WILL NOT LET ME MAINTAIN MY DELUSIONS.
BB: ...You know, some people would call that being for you.
Me, resentfully: Fine. I'll do it. And I'll start with Scintilla. If I do it wrong, well, it's all his fault anyway, so he'll be in no position to complain.

And that is what I did.

Procedure


But I couldn't stop with Scintilla, since he's only one person (that I am aware of, anyway). So I was faced with the question: how do I pick my subjects?

The obvious answer was "Click the "random AMV" button 30 times."

As is so often the case in this life, the obvious answer was also a massively fucking stupid one. I mean - 30 random AMVs. I have a delicate constitution. It might very well kill me. Plus, the odds were good that I'd end up watching at least 15 Naruto and Evangelion vids. Of those, 5 would be set to Linkin Park. This kind of thing makes me cranky and despairing.

So, in the end, I assembled a subject group not selected even remotely at random. They consisted of:
  1. Forum Folk. In other words, everyone who responded to the forum thread I posted. Presumably these people were interested feedback, or why would they have commented? Plus, if they were in the forums, they were still in the fandom, which meant they'd be more likely to see the actual feedback. (As far as I know, you only find out about opinions left when you log in; you aren't sent email or anything. So those folks I left opinions for who haven't logged in since then haven't seen them.)

    In this category, I tried to pick the latest AMV people had made. If there were several recent ones, I chose the one I thought I'd like best, based on the source, song, theme, whatever. (Or I watched all the recent ones and then picked the one I liked best or had the most to say about.) And I didn't use any multi-editor projects or sequences from MEPs released as separate vids. In my opinion, people edit differently in those than in their main AMV projects, and I didn't want to muddy the waters.

    Exceptions: people who said, in the forum thread, that they wanted feedback I couldn't provide. I mean, I have it on reasonably good authority that I give awesome blowjobs, but I think Best Beloved would have voted against the "oral sex as feedback" route. Also, my jaw would've been pretty pissed at me after a while. Or, as another example - one person said he wanted opinions that were short, and I have never in my whole life been known to write anything short. (Okay, I wrote a drabble once, but it nearly killed me. I can still feel the ache in cold weather.) My style, such as it is, can pretty much be summed up as "meandering and loquacious." Short was right out.

    Otherwise, I think I got everyone in this category; it would've been wise to make a spreadsheet and check people off, but I didn't, because it would have made excellent evidence against me during the committal hearings.

  2. Favorites. These were the people who made the AMVs I had listed in my favorite vids list. After all, these are the AMVs I love the most. I should remark upon that fact, yes?

    Exceptions: AMVs three or more years old. AMVs with more than 100 opinions. This was based on things I'd been told in the forum:

    • Don't review older vids. (I also learned this with live action, actually - I mean, you can, but it's generally preferable to pick a more recent one.)

    • Don’t participate in a deluge. (This is a strictly AMV rule, as far as I can tell; I've never heard anyone complain about a deluge in live-action vidding.) Some people get flooded with opinions on a single vid. (Oddly, most of my favorite vids aren't in that category, which bewildered me. I expected all the ones I had on there when I started to have 100+ opinions; in reality, only 3 of them hit that. Or, technically, four; one was just at 100 when I reviewed it, I think, but I went ahead anyway.)

    In practice, the two exceptions ended up eliminating more than half my favorite vids, mostly for reasons of being too old. What can I say? I love the classics.

  3. Hikaru no Go Vidders. I admit it. I am a slut for Hikaru no Go; anything to do with it at all makes me happy. If I was going to be doing a lot of re-watching for reviewing purposes, well, I figured, why not pick footage that comes with a built-in happiness kick?

    Exceptions: There weren't really any. If there was a Hikaru no Go vid on my hard drive, I opinionated on it, even to the extent of hitting one vidder twice, which I otherwise didn't do.

How the Vidders Responded


Here's what you need to know about animemusicvideos.org: it is awesome for doing studies of this kind. It's like they just want you to. Or else like the site was designed by someone as obsessed with numbers and tabulated data as I am. Whichever.

See, when you do opinions, you get a list of everything you've done, sorted by your score or how recently you gave the opinion. And opinions the creator responded to are in pink. And you get your average score in each category and the global average in each category over on one side.

Seriously, these people are obsessed. With. Numbers. It is awesome.

Well. Except for how it kind of leads to the Numbers Game. But we'll get to that.












Type*
N
Responded
Didn't
N%N%
Forum171271529
Favorites6350350
Hikaru no Go73434*57
Total3018601240


*Some vids qualified for multiple categories, and some vids from the forum section made my favorites list after I'd seen them. In each case, I counted multiple qualifiers with the category that comes first - so a forum vid that was also a favorite would only be counted in the forum category.

So. I was leaving fairly harsh opinions - mixed reviews, constructive criticism, lower numbers than people were used to seeing on their vids. Out of all of my responses, I got precisely three that were neutral or mixed - i.e., people seemed confused, people seemed unhappy with the score but still pleased that I'd left an opinion, whatever. Otherwise, it was all positive; even people whose vids I ranked, um, really low - they still thanked me, still seemed happy to hear from me.

Also note this weird thing: I lowered virtually everyone's averages; I think there are three vids in this whole list whose averages I mostly improved. (Not counting the ones where mine is the only opinion.) Almost everyone still thanked me.

Conclusion? The opinion itself - the contact with an audience member - is more important than the content of the opinion, as long as you follow the basic rules of internet manners. (So, don't say, "This sucked ass." Say, "You know, I had a really hard time following this because of the visual quality, and also I think your decision to use only clips entirely composed of noses in profile kind of undermined your overall theme of the angst of losing your true love to a man-eating space troll.") This was especially true for people who didn't have very many responses to their vids; in fact, the people I scored lowest gave me some of the nicest responses, probably because I was taking the time to say something.

What I Learned


A lot of what I learned was a repeat of what I found out in the live-action vid feedback project. Like, I need to watch a vid several times to be able to review it coherently, and I will only be able to review coherently if I know ahead of time that I'm going to. And vidders are not actually all that scary, no matter how many fangs and claws they have. [Ed.'s note: fangs and claws may be entirely apocryphal and exist solely in the writer's much-deluded mind.] And it takes a project to make me send feedback - I did 30 opinions in 7 days. Previously, I had done 0 opinions in three years. I leave the math to you.

So instead of recapitulating old lessons learned, I'm going to focus on the stuff I learned that was new.

The Numbers Game; Or, I Do Not Think These Numbers Mean What You Think They Mean.

So, to leave feedback on an AMV, you go to the "submit opinion" page. This is what one looks like. (That's a real page. Um, don't leave feedback there unless you've seen the vid.)

You will notice that there are sets of radio buttons that allow you to rate each of a series of elements - originality, capture, sound, etc. - on a scale of 1 to 10. Then there's three text boxes: good points, bad points, general comments.

You have to rank the vids on the number scales. (You also have to put in some text, but I've seen cut-and-pasted text from random Wikipedia entries in there, so.) The scales are defined as 1 being worst ever, 5 being average, and 10 being best ever.

Anyone who has ever graded papers (or given personnel evaluations) is right now cringing, knowing exactly what this means. Yup. Grade inflation.

See, in my book, a 7 is a good score. You're above average! That's a good thing! (You are, I suspect, starting to see why I was so very, very bad at grading papers, at least if the goal of grading is to make people happy. [Ed.'s note: it isn't.]) You're better than 70% of the scored population at this particular thing. In other words, my mental score starts at 5. I add or subtract points based on the vid itself to arrive at the final score. (And, because I am just that nerdy, I have mental examples of my 10-earning vids. So before I click that "10" button, I ask myself, "Is it as original as X? Is it as well-edited as Y?" I don't click 10 all that often.)

But to the person getting the numerical score, 10 is often the only good score. A nine means you took points away for something. A seven means you hated the vid OMG.

So those neutral/mixed responses were all pretty much responding to this, with a kind of bewildered, "I...guess you liked the vid? But then why did you score me so low?" When my scores were, you know, in the 7-8 range.

So that's an aspect of the opinions section: an unhealthy focus on numbers. (For the record, my average scores given aren't that low, as compared to the scores everyone is giving. You can see my averages given - and the global averages - here.)

There are other elements to the numbers game - like you can trade, not just opinions, but 10s across the board. And if you give someone's vid a score he doesn't like, he can come on over and give your vids all ones.

Well. Except he can't do that to me. I don't make vids.

So the numbers game might cause some problems for the org members, but my point is: if you're a media fan, you have nothing to lose by playing the game. You have nothing to lose by leaving opinions, except a few minutes of your time. (Or, in other words, roughly .001% of the time the vidder spent making the vid.)

Another interesting aspect of the numbers game is who pays attention to the numbers and who pays attention to the comments. Some of the responses I got indicated pretty clearly that creator focused entirely on the numbers I left; one of the creators said he didn't even notice what numbers I left him.

In conclusion: numbers = interesting. But oh I am glad we don't have this kind of rating system for fan fiction or live-action vids.

The Language Barriers. Yes, There Are Two of Them.

The first barrier is one of, well, actual language. AMVs are truly international. Before you leave a lengthy opinion, check the vidder's profile or somewhere to make sure the vidder will be able to read your comments; otherwise, he'll just have your numerical scores to go on, so you might as well keep it short.

The second barrier is more - um, like the language barrier between Brits and Americans. Remember how I said above that anime video fans aren't our kind, dears? Well, I was right. They are different. Although not in the they-likely-eat-babies way (although baby eating is an entirely valid lifestyle choice, of course - I don't mean to denigrate baby eaters!) I initially feared; it's more of a jargon deal. Talking to people from the AMV world has proved endlessly fascinating to me, because they have almost all the same concepts (Big name fans! Wank! Generation gaps! Thirteen-year-olds with a very limited grasp of the use of nouns and way too much time!), but they don't necessarily use the same words for those things. So, like, I had the following conversation with an AMV maker (no direct quotes or names 'cause I don't have his permission, although it's not like it would be hard for you to find this one if for some unimagineable reason you wanted to):

Me: But you don't seem to do meta much, though.
Him: Well, we do. [Inserts links to vids - excellent vids, and definitely meta, but...well, not what I meant.]
Me: Meta vids, yup, you have those in plenty. But when I say "meta," I mean essays. You know, in writing.
Him: Huh.

[Later, he links me to one of his own LJ posts about the history of AMVs.]

Me: THAT's what I mean when I say "meta."
Him: Oh. That.

This keeps right on happening to me. I've found myself footnoting all my terms lately, just in case, because it's either that or sort it out at great length by negotiation later on.

So. We're all fans, but we don't necessarily speak the same language. And even when we do, dialects may vary. Important to remember.

The Audience Problem. Yes, It's the Old, Old Story.

In general, AMV makers seem to be in search of an audience. Or - well, I mean, the audience is out there, but they don't seem to have much contact with that audience, at least not compared to the levels I'm used to in the fan fiction world. For every maker of a great AMV who has several hundred opinions per AMV and is widely acknowledged to turn every clip he touches into gold, there are at least a hundred who don't have much of an audience at all. When I started leaving opinions, I was leaving the first, second, or third opinion on some of these vids. (You need three opinions for people to be able to see an average score.) This surprised me.

And, see, I understand how people become part of the live-action vidding community. (This doesn't mean I myself am part of said community, no, but I hook up new vidders with betas sometimes, and I managed to meet vidders despite my initial fear of them. And so on. I could probably write at least a reasonably accurate piece on How to Meet Live-Action Vidders and Find Betas, although it could be summed up as "leave feedback on vids" and "ask someone," so probably I don’t need to.) For AMVs, I have no clue. Possibly they exchange secret handshakes or something.

But I did get the impression, from various conversations, comments, and exchanges, that a lot of AMV makers are in search of an audience.

Of course, we're all in search of an audience; it's why we're here, right?

My point is: one of the reasons to leave opinions is to remind creators that the audience exists. If you watch a vid, and you like it, and there are no opinions, the creator probably has no way of knowing what people thought. It's worth a few minutes of your time to demonstrate the actual presence of a real, live audience member.

Conclusions

  1. Giving opinions on AMVs is safe. Remember, I was not leaving all-ten opinions, or even close. In every case, my reviews contained negatives; I even found critical things to say about my favorite vid of all time, people. (Favorite does not mean perfect, although in this case it does mean awesome.) And in all but a few cases, I scored the vids below their average. And in a lot of cases, I left a lot of (neutrally worded, helpful, as constructive as I knew how to be - that goes without saying, I hope) criticism. I got only three confused responses, and no one at all got mad or upset.

  2. If you watch AMVs, you're part of the audience. Speak up. This is the argument I used on myself for a long time: anime vidders don't make their vids for me, for people like me; they make them for each other. So why would they want to hear from me?

    But I've come to the conclusion that it doesn't matter who the creators had in mind when the vid was made. I'm in the audience. I have an opinion. I might as well say what I think.

    And according to the AMV makers themselves, they do, overall, want to hear from their audience. Which includes me. And you.

  3. If you watch AMVs and have the use of most of the lobes of your brain, you know enough to leave an opinion. You don't need to be visually skilled, or deeply knowledgeable of anime (or even vaguely aware of the plot of the source of a given vid), or able to conduct rational discourse at great length about the inherent significance of color filters. You need the same thing you need to leave feedback for any fanwork: a reaction. And, optionally, a few reasons for your reaction.

    And if you're watching fanworks and you have no reactions at all, ever, you might want to find a new hobby.

    (Also, after you leave an opinion, you can click through to see all the opinions on that vid. This will reassure you that your reviews are not substandard; yes, you'll probably see some Deep Thoughts, but you will also see a lot of "AWSUM LOLZ!111" (This is especially confusing on AMVs that aren't meant to be funny.) My point is: you may not give the best opinion ever, but I promise you, you won't leave the worst. Probably not even if you're trying to.)

  4. Leaving opinions on AMVs is fun. Okay, the Number Problem is annoying, but - you get a list! A table of your opinions! You get assorted data! Really, it's very compelling. Okay, maybe this point only applies to those of us with a minor numbers fetish. (Still, it really is fun to see the ever-growing list of Opinions You Left. It gives you a sense of accomplishment, and when is that not good?)

  5. Leaving opinions on AMVs is good practice for feedback in general. Feedback shy? Well, here's a place you can test your wings. If you can't face leaving a comment in an LJ or sending an email (and, yes, I am looking at a few specific people out there in a very pointed fashion), try this. Because it isn't starting a conversation. It can't be. It isn't forcing anyone, including yourself, into an interaction. It's the lowest-impact means of leaving feedback that ever there was, especially for the socially reclusive among us.
In short (and we can all fall over laughing at me using that phrase after however-the-fuck many words this has been): go forth and opine. On AMVs.

The end.



Oh my god, TFV, screw the meta. Just take me straight to the AMV recs, please.

Tags: [meta], anime, vids
 
 
 
(Deleted comment)
tried to eat the safe banana: Vidsthefourthvine on February 18th, 2007 12:25 pm (UTC)
Holy fuck, this is too long even to read! I have dishes to wash! Monday morning fashion crises to avert! Bed to go to!

*mournful*

I know. I can't shut up, even when it's a topic no one is interested in! But, well, we're having the house termited. I have spare time, and I had a shitty week, so I'm doing Self Indulgent LJ Posting. *is firm* (Note: you are not required to read tl;dr Self Indulgent LJ Posting.)

It hadn't occurred to me that AMVers are mostly male, or that the particular one who'd wandered over to talk about it in your livejournal might be.

*sporfle*

You know, I've been nosing around the edges of AMVs for so long that it never occurred to me that I'd need to spell that out, but of course I should have. Most AMV makers are male (though there are many females involved - and, oddly, they seem more interested in talking about feedback and such, judging by the forum post). Almost all the old-time AMV makers seem to be male, and a quick scan of the top part of the top 10% list suggests that it's about 80% guys.

And all the AMV makers who have wandered over to my LJ comments or emailed to talk about AMVs have been guys, oddly enough.
(no subject) - scintilla72 on February 18th, 2007 08:41 pm (UTC) (Expand)
plus one skeletondelurker on February 18th, 2007 11:24 am (UTC)
*sticks fingers in ears and hums, loudly*

I am so not listening to this. Because the last time I did listen to your vid-opinion-leaving posts, and now I am somehow signed up on the_reel to leave a vid review:

Me: "Blah blah this bit awesome, blah this bit confusing since the person the words are referring to seems to have changed suddenly..."
dzurlady: "POV shift."
Me: ... ::scribbles notes:: ::mutters::

I can trace the series of events that lead up to this right back to your door, you know. So. I am not listening.

At least until I finish watching Fullmetal Alchemist and go looking for vids.

(Also, I originally thought you were kidding about the sex thing, but reading on, I get the impression you're not? 0.o)
tried to eat the safe banana: Vidsthefourthvine on February 18th, 2007 12:36 pm (UTC)
*speaks VERY LOUDLY, so as to circumvent the fingers-in-ears technique*

Because the last time I did listen to your vid-opinion-leaving posts, and now I am somehow signed up on the_reel to leave a vid review:

Yay! And thank you for doing that! That makes me so happy, to know that you listened, and doubly happy that you're supporting a community I love. Because I do love the_reel, but I suck so hard at reviewing to any other community's standards that I was a total failure when I tried it. (Plus, I have Fear of Posting to Communities. It's better for me not to try, I've found.)

I can trace the series of events that lead up to this right back to your door, you know.

This pleases me mightily. And if you want help down the garden path that leads to the Gazebo of Glorious AMV Opinionating, I am here for you. I will even tell you where your reviews will be most helpful and welcome, if you like, and suggest safe parties for practicing on. I am here to help!

At least until I finish watching Fullmetal Alchemist and go looking for vids.

When you are ready, I have MANY AWESOME VIDS for you. Let me know. I want to pimp. It is a need, actually.

(Also, I originally thought you were kidding about the sex thing, but reading on, I get the impression you're not? 0.o)

Remember: guy culture. Leads to a different overall tone, slightly different overall humor. But I harped on the sex remarks maybe too much because I found them so damn funny. I mean - we'd say the same things, almost, except that I, for example, would be hoping for, you know, sex between characters. Commentporn is always a good way to say thank you for a job well done! In our neck of fandom, anyway. This is part of the second langauge barrier I was talking about; the two communities have very different communication styles. I've been, um, analyzing this. More than I should. Way more than I should. I find it deeply fascinating.

My inner stylegeek cannot be silenced, apparently, although I am accepting any and all ideas to that end.
(no subject) - delurker on February 19th, 2007 12:40 pm (UTC) (Expand)
par avion: sheeppar_avion on February 18th, 2007 11:42 am (UTC)
As it turns out, they talked to me anyway; the robotic tone was perhaps a miscalculation on my part, since anime vidders are nothing if not exceedingly comfortable with robots.

Hee!

(sadly, I don't think I have my robot (Bender) icon anymore.
tried to eat the safe banana: Huh?thefourthvine on February 18th, 2007 12:37 pm (UTC)
I don't have a robot icon, either. I see now that this is a flaw on my part.

*hopes this one will work as a makeshift substitute*
Rat Creature: procrastinationratcreature on February 18th, 2007 01:12 pm (UTC)
I can't believe I just read a treatise on anime video feedback when I don't even watch anime, let alone vids for them. Don't get me wrong it was kind of interesting, but I really need to do something about my procrastination tendencies...
cathexys: myfandom (by makesmewannadie)cathexys on February 18th, 2007 03:45 pm (UTC)
LOL. I had the exact same response.

But then we seem to be meta whores...Fandom? Medium? Who cares. It's meta :D

Seriously, TFV, this was amazing and informative and I just had my first experience where I ws randomly rambling on imeem about an anime vid and how inexperienced I felt to even talk about it...and the vidder commented back. Boy did I feel like an idiot but it also convinced me to try to maybe think about trying to watch more and feedback. So thank you!!!!!
(no subject) - thefourthvine on February 18th, 2007 07:26 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on February 18th, 2007 07:15 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ratcreature on February 18th, 2007 07:57 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on February 19th, 2007 08:24 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - delurker on February 19th, 2007 12:32 pm (UTC) (Expand)
abbyleeabbylee on February 18th, 2007 01:19 pm (UTC)
I'm not much of a vid watcher in general, I mostly see them while visiting friends in fandoms, but I always like reading your meta anyway.

But seriously, I'm halfway tempted to try anime vids just so that I could get data collections spit right back at me. mmmm, numbers porn.
tried to eat the safe banana: Love mathsthefourthvine on February 18th, 2007 07:33 pm (UTC)
But seriously, I'm halfway tempted to try anime vids just so that I could get data collections spit right back at me. mmmm, numbers porn.

It is so worth it. Get an account! (It's easy and free, and they don't do bad things to you.) Download anime vids! Even if you don't leave feedback, you get to see your star rankings distribution and average and stuff. (Not to mention your AMV history. Which for me is fascinating, mostly because at this point I can kind of read my assimilation of AMVs in it.) And once you start leaving opinions, well. The world is your numbers porn, basically.

I swear that site was designed for stats fetishists.
eli: tricksy Alelishavah on February 18th, 2007 02:24 pm (UTC)
Holy hell.

::whimpers::

I would have to rewatch all the AMVs I decided to keep, and then, well, you just KNOW that I'd want to rewatch all my live action favorites, too, and, and WAH, I don't have TIME to make today Vid Re-Watching Marathon Day!
tried to eat the safe banana: Smilethefourthvine on February 18th, 2007 07:38 pm (UTC)
You do not have to re-watch all the AMVs you decided to keep. Holy shit. I mean, if you did - well, I have more than 400 of the fuckers saved to my hard drive; it would take me eternity, and I would lose my ability to form coherent thoughts. Or, in fact, to think at all. All my opinions would look like this: "Song...nice. Effects...shiny. Editing...clippy. Vid...tasty. Yum yum yum!" And it's not like they ban you for bad opinions, but I have my pride, you know.

Re-watch five! Opine about one! It's easy and fast!

*applies equal parts pressure and encouragement*

*offers cookies as inducement*
Luce: [Misc] One- cut a hole in the boxlucia_tanaka on February 18th, 2007 04:57 pm (UTC)
*applaudes*

You know, if they gave out degrees in Fandom, you'd have a Masters.

And the coursework would me meta essays and the required reading would be Ms.Scribe's biography and it'd be the past Major ever.

*memories*
tried to eat the safe banana: Calamity Physicsthefourthvine on February 19th, 2007 01:33 am (UTC)
Would there be a comical graduation outfit? It'd be worth it if I got a comical graduation outfit.

(And how much would it suck to say, "No, I can't go out drinking. I've got to finish 220 pages on ff.net for "Special Topics: Mary Sue - Self Insertion or Self Obliteration?")
Celli: math geekcelli on February 18th, 2007 05:03 pm (UTC)
I read every word of this with complete fascination, despite not being an anime person (or really, much of a vid person) at all. You had to go and get statistical on me. *g*
tried to eat the safe banana: Love mathsthefourthvine on February 19th, 2007 01:33 am (UTC)
Statistics. They make the heart happy.
Bettybrown_betty on February 18th, 2007 08:15 pm (UTC)
! You were all, watch AMVs, you don't have to feedback, and now that you've got people hooked it's all, oh, and by the way, now that you're watching…
tried to eat the safe banana: Vidsthefourthvine on February 19th, 2007 01:35 am (UTC)
Well, there's another option - you can quick comment. "I loved it! Your editing was brilliant!" is easy to type into the field as you do the mandatory star rankings. I just can't ever be quick like that, so it's out for me.

But, yeah, the point was to lure you in with false promises. Did it work?

(And you must admit the vids are very shiny.)
(no subject) - brown_betty on February 19th, 2007 01:38 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on February 19th, 2007 08:03 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - scintilla72 on February 19th, 2007 01:46 am (UTC) (Expand)
Scintillascintilla72 on February 18th, 2007 08:52 pm (UTC)
By the way, your favorite AMVs list can be found here: http://www.animemusicvideos.org/members/favvids.php?user_id=288751
(The link you gave only works for you or anyone else who's logged in with your account. Anyone else would either see their own favs list or get an error.)

> And if you give someone's vid a score he doesn't like, he can come on over and give your vids all ones.

Yes, but that's abuse of the opinions system, and you can complain to the moderators about it (in the Mod Drop Box board on the forum), and they'll usually remove the offending opinions.

Numbers: Yeah, I do get the definite impression that Phade's got a healthy appreciation for statistics... I mean, he did implement a Bayesian average system for calculating op scores for the Top 10% List and the Star Scale lists, to stop videos with only a few opinions from making it so far up the lists.
And if you donate, you can even get detailed Star Score stats for any video: # of scores given, average raw score, average Bayesian-adjusted score...

And yes, for anyone reading this who doesn't have much experience with AMVing:
MOST OF US ARE MALE. *puts down megaphone*
tried to eat the safe banana: Smilethefourthvine on February 19th, 2007 01:41 am (UTC)
Yes, but that's abuse of the opinions system, and you can complain to the moderators about it (in the Mod Drop Box board on the forum), and they'll usually remove the offending opinions.

Well, true, but my point is - even if people do it subtly ("I'd normally give an 8, but I'm giving a 7 'cause that's what you gave me") - that doesn't apply to people who don't make AMVs at all. Revenge opinions were mentioned several times on the forums, but, well, not a problem for me.

Yeah, I do get the definite impression that Phade's got a healthy appreciation for statistics... I mean, he did implement a Bayesian average system for calculating op scores for the Top 10% List and the Star Scale lists, to stop videos with only a few opinions from making it so far up the lists.

I know. And it fills my heart with joy. I could spend hours with the statistics on this site; you don't want to know how close I came to firing up SPSS-X over this. Except, you know, that'd be insanity.

I might do it anyway.

And if you donate, you can even get detailed Star Score stats for any video: # of scores given, average raw score, average Bayesian-adjusted score.

And you have just named the sole perk for donating for me. (I donate to support the site, but the extra search options - oh my god, they are addictive.)
Danieldwchang on February 18th, 2007 10:20 pm (UTC)
I feel almost compelled to reply since scintilla72 informed me of you and your project a bit beforehand.

As you've stated, the grades are GROSSLY inflated and thus folks get "mad" when their scores are lowered, but then again, this is the internet and one giant epeen measuring contest -_-;;. Don't let that change things for ya though. Honest feedback is just that and frankly most of the folks on the org are just retards and just want high scores and "fame." I imagine it MIGHT be the same in other vidding communities.

Also reviewing older videos is not "bad" or anything. I personally like receiving feedback on just about anything even if I've gotten better. It shows me what that person got out of it ya know? Same with even my vids that have 100+ Ops. SOMETIMES someone DOES tell me something I've never heard. Everyone is different :P. Then again, to be honest, hearing "OMG THIS IS AWESOME" 10 million times DOES get a bit old, but again, SOMETIMES you hear something new and more genuine.

Oh and if I haven't said it, thanks!
tried to eat the safe banana: Calamity Physicsthefourthvine on February 19th, 2007 01:59 am (UTC)
As you've stated, the grades are GROSSLY inflated and thus folks get "mad" when their scores are lowered

You know, I agree with the first part. The other opinions I've checked out, the averages I've seen - well, I wasn't kidding when I said that either I'm confused about the numbers or the other scorers are.

But thus far, no one has gotten mad at me (although a couple people disagreed, or were unhappy, but not in a pissy way), and I was honestly expecting it; assigning numerical scores to other people's work is just about the most inflammatory thing you can do without bringing up evolution or Nazis. I still do expect it to happen in the future, but - well, in my admittedly small sample, it didn't happen, and I gave some (justified and explained, but still) very low scores. If I'd gotten much in the way of bitchiness or outright flaming, I wouldn't have advised people from media fandom to give opinions at all (we can get our bitchiness and flaming in-house, after all), but it looks like the odds of pissing someone off with concrit are the same at amv.org as, well, pretty much anywhere else.

And, actually, the girl-talk style of leaving feedback is probably helping me, here. Disclaiming, phrasing things in terms of opinions rather than fact, using "I think" and "I felt" statements a lot - I hate my tendency to do that shit, but in a place where most people don't do the girl-talk thing, it may make my negative or mixed opinions easier to take. (Of course, it also makes it harder to take them seriously, but in this instance I'm fine with that. I don't give the opinions because I expect people to pay attention to what I have to say, after all.)

Also reviewing older videos is not "bad" or anything.

When I did a live-action vidding feedback project, I really pissed someone off by reviewing a vid that was older. (And in her case, I couldn't even tell that it was older - at least at the org, you can easily see which vids are newest.) And I do kind of get the reasoning, there - the vidder has moved on (and presumably improved), so why would he want to hear about an old vid? But, then, I know I love getting unexpected feedback on old work, so - yeah, my instincts are at odds with my experience, here.

Then again, to be honest, hearing "OMG THIS IS AWESOME" 10 million times DOES get a bit old, but again, SOMETIMES you hear something new and more genuine.

You know, I'm not sure that's something any live-action vidder has ever said, at least in my hearing. Interesting.

Oh and if I haven't said it, thanks!

You're welcome. Um...for what, though?
Greeking the Textlipsum on February 19th, 2007 03:10 am (UTC)
Leaving star ratings is hard! And that is the trouble I've been having with AMV.org; it won't let me download any more because I've already downloaded X many amvs without rating them. But hey! Scintilla's comment up there contains the answer to my troubles!
Scintilla: kaikascintilla72 on February 19th, 2007 04:37 am (UTC)
I suppose I should also mention that the star scores and associated Quick Comments are completely anonymous, if that makes it easier.
(no subject) - lipsum on February 19th, 2007 04:48 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on February 19th, 2007 08:01 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - lipsum on February 19th, 2007 08:10 am (UTC) (Expand)
Sarah B': Buffy: ~super geekout!!~sarahtheboring on February 20th, 2007 01:07 am (UTC)
This is tl;dr, sorry!
Via metafandom, but indirectly from the org as well. Preface: I'm not a very good AMV maker, and so not at all representative, but I am a part-time lurker in media fandom, read metafandom and love cross-fandom meta with an unholy passion.

That said, a couple of thoughts:

Lack of meta - Two factors come to mind at once. One, I think meta comments tend to be in video form because that's how people are used to communicating in AMV fandom. Not exclusively - there are message boards and a very active chat room, and people socialize a lot on Skype - but since people aren't in the habit of writing screeds, maybe it just seems more natural to "show" rather than "tell." Two, there's some social pressure / geek shame here and there. When people start up meta discussions on the message board, there tends to be lively discussion mixed with "go outside, nerd" comments - from other editors. There's a conflict: "take pride in your craft, do exacting work and accept only the best from others" versus "you're basement-dwelling mouthbreathing otaku cutting up other people's work; you should be ashamed of yourself for not making Oscar-winning documentaries instead."

I think the dearth of AMV meta on Livejournal, in particular, might be because of the gender balance and, more likely, the way that different people use LJ. There are quite a few male editors on my friendslist, so editors do use LJ, but I think they tend to use it for socializing and general life commentary. There's an amv community, but it's lightly traveled compared to vidding. Meta never really found a home here. It could possibly do so, but it hasn't happened yet.

...where was I.

Oh: If you take the time to watch, read, listen to, [insert verb here] someone's work, be that a story, a vid, a statue made out of lint, whatever, and you tell them what you thought, but you aren't up to date on the in-depth buzzwords of writing/vid making/lint statues, and the person takes you to task and belittles you for not using "the right words"?

That person is being kind of a jerk. And you really shouldn't feel that bad that you displeased them. IMO. YMMV.

Also, there IS massive grade inflation, and most people know there's massive grade inflation. I think it's a selection bias, if that's the right word - I look for videos that I think I'll like, usually, and I think most people are the same. They search within their fandoms or for songs they like or for descriptions that interest them. So the only people who wind up seeing a video are the ones who sought it out. It's not a perfect system, but if you know there's inflation and mentally adjust the curve, it works. Kindasorta. :)

And I haven't seen the first video on your rec list, so I'm gonna shut up and go over there and get to the downloading. Thank you.
tried to eat the safe banana: I sleep with computers.thefourthvine on February 21st, 2007 11:23 am (UTC)
Re: This is tl;dr, sorry!
I found it fascinating, so I wouldn't have considered it tl;dr even if it had broken the comment limit. Several times. Which I, for one, am totally prone to doing.

(Oh, and you mentioned you were on the fringes of fandom here, too. What fandoms, if I may ask?)

One, I think meta comments tend to be in video form because that's how people are used to communicating in AMV fandom.

I agree. I think that because live-action vidding sprung from fan fiction, there was a sort of precedent of writing not just fiction, but essays and posts and screeds and rants, and that persisted even though now a lot of live-action vidders are vidders first and only. Whereas AMV making - hmmm. I'm not sure where it came from, but I'm pretty sure the founders weren't writing Gundam Wing slash before they decided it was time to go audiovisual.

Two, there's some social pressure / geek shame here and there. When people start up meta discussions on the message board, there tends to be lively discussion mixed with "go outside, nerd" comments - from other editors.

Awww, that's just sad. I mean, we're all fans, yes? That means we all spend way more time than most folks would consider normal on stuff that doesn't interest the average person at all. So once we've got this far, well, it seems like owning the geekishness is a better route than playing the "I'm marginally less geeky than you! By a fraction so tiny as to be indistinguishable to anyone except people as geeky as we are!"

*waves banner of total Geek Pride*

Meta never really found a home here. It could possibly do so, but it hasn't happened yet.

As far as I can tell, AMV meta seems to take place mostly in discussions at cons (well, and in vids). Which depresses me, because I want to know what other people think, and how can I if they're just chatting amongst themselves? Unless someone took really good notes, I mean.

...That person is being kind of a jerk.

I entirely agree. But the thing is - that doesn't happen much, in my experience; my opinion may count for less to vidders of any kind, because I'm not a vidder, but none of them has ever said so to me, and no one has ever mocked me for not knowing the vocabulary.

But it is a really pervasive fear - for me, for other non-vidders trying to talk about vids. We'll say it wrong! We'll sound stupid! You (the collective you: vidders) will make fun! So I always try to cover that objection when I'm encouraging non-vidders to give vid feedback a shot.

I think it's a selection bias, if that's the right word - I look for videos that I think I'll like, usually, and I think most people are the same. They search within their fandoms or for songs they like or for descriptions that interest them. So the only people who wind up seeing a video are the ones who sought it out.

Very true. Plus, you know, the recommendations system tries to find vids you'll like (although for me it mostly doesn't do too well, especially method one, but still), and I'm assuming a lot of people download based on recs from folks within the community. (Where are the big AMV recs sources, by the way? Aside from the org-resident ones, like the top ten % list and the forums, because I've plundered those.) And, finally, if a vid has a really low star score or opinion score, I for one probably won't bother downloading it (unless it's Hikaru no Go - I'll give almost anything in that fandom a try). So, yeah, definite selection bias.

The problem is, the selection bias + the grade inflation => seriously inflated expectations. But, you know, I expected that to be more of a problem than it was - people were mostly very nice to me even when I gave them significantly lower scores than their average. (I am curious, though. In the AMV world, if someone was really angered by a score, would he reply to the opinion? Or would he be more likely to ignore it? For all I know, the folks who didn't reply were all biting their tongues.)
Re: This is tl;dr, sorry! - sarahtheboring on February 22nd, 2007 12:14 am (UTC) (Expand)
The Gauche in the Machine: GIR for when I'm feeling 3china_shop on February 20th, 2007 06:51 am (UTC)
Oops. Let me try that again. Once more, with competent cutting and pasting.

"You know, I had a really hard time following this because of the visual quality, and also I think your decision to use only clips entirely composed of noses in profile kind of undermined your overall theme of the angst of losing your true love to a man-eating space troll."

*HEARTS x one million*
tried to eat the safe banana: Calamity Physicsthefourthvine on February 21st, 2007 11:25 am (UTC)
*beams*

Thank you! (And noses as a symbol of the angst of man-eating space trolls - this is way underexplored in the literature. Someone needs to do something about that.)