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2019 SMWCentral Userbase Survey
Forum Index - Important - Announcements - 2019 SMWCentral Userbase Survey
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Here it is, the long-awaited userbase survey.

As mentioned in 2019, SMW Central, and you!, we've noticed discontent from some users about the site and its inner mechanisms. This survey was created to gauge interest (or lack thereof) and get opinions from the userbase regarding the site, the staff team, and the resource sections. The staff will use this information to help make decisions going forward.

The survey is split into several sections: A general survey with broad questions about the site and the staff, then one mini-survey for each section of the site. I encourage all users to fill out the general survey, then fill out the surveys for the sections you are knowledgeable of or interested in.


General: Site, Staff, and Administration

SMW Hacks
SMW Graphics
SMW Music
SMW ASM (all sections)
Non-SMW Hacking
Forums and Discord
Events and Public Relations



All users are invited to participate in the survey, no matter whether you're content, discontent, or don't have much of an opinion either way. The surveys will be kept open for a month.
I think using Google Forms is a bad idea for a sensible and important subject.

Anyone could go there and submit answers using other's name at their will, possibly damaging the image of the person that they're pretending to be. Let alone shitposting using their name, but writing actual and valid responses that might look legit.

Having a field to put a username/id in the forms makes me to not want to fill them. It feels like anonymous replies won't be read at all since you can discard them very easily without us knowing about it, especially if they have negative opinions about the staff, unless you clearly state it in a announcement but still I wouldn't trust your words.

There's no way for us, the userbase, to know which responses have been submitted (no public stats, Google Forms can generate these automatically), making this whole process not transparent.

Also, the fact that Google Forms lets the creator of the form delete responses at will makes me uncomfortable since we could say negative things about the subject and if you don't like or feel attacked by what we wrote, you could just delete it and pretend nothing happened. This one can be sort of worked around by making the results public, but... The statistics of the survey can be easily modified (the ones you export to Google Sheets) and no one would notice since the modification history is only available to those who can edit the spreadsheet and the actual results of a Google Form are locked to the public.

I was expecting a "in-house" survey instead of using a service available on the internet.
The default way of viewing all responses is "Summary", which lists all questions and then for each question lists all responses in presumably chronological order. This technically gives us a way to tie responses to given usernames, however as soon as someone doesn't answer a question that's not required (like ID/username), it becomes effectively impossible to do so. If you don't want to give your username, don't. There is a tab for viewing individual responses, but it's cumbersome to use it to share responses--especially with the entire staff team--and there's generally no reason to use it for this survey except for moderation.


Originally posted by LX5
Anyone could go there and submit answers using other's name at their will, possibly damaging the image of the person that they're pretending to be. Let alone shitposting using their name, but writing actual and valid responses that might look legit.


This was brought up on Discord, so I'll post my response from there.

If it's obvious the ID/name is a lie, the entire response will be ignored. And if we find out who did it, they'll be banned.


Originally posted by LX5
It feels like anonymous replies won't be read at all since you can discard them very easily without us knowing about it, especially if they have negative opinions about the staff, unless you clearly state it in a announcement but still I wouldn't trust your words.

There's no way for us, the userbase, to know which responses have been submitted (no public stats, Google Forms can generate these automatically), making this whole process not transparent.

Also, the fact that Google Forms lets the creator of the form delete responses at will makes me uncomfortable since we could say negative things about the subject and if you don't like or feel attacked by what we wrote, you could just delete it and pretend nothing happened. This one can be sort of worked around by making the results public, but... The statistics of the survey can be easily modified (the ones you export to Google Sheets) and no one would notice since the modification history is only available to those who can edit the spreadsheet and the actual results of a Google Form are locked to the public.


Not only does having the survey be in-house not solve any of those problems, an in-house survey makes it even easier to tie responses to users who don't want them to be.

If you're dead-set on stating right out of the gate that we're manipulating results, it's actually *easier* to do so with an in-house survey.
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I have submitted my thoughts. I have been meaning to leave a staff comment for some years now, but since I have decided to login and become active, well no time like the present!

I am really hoping this time I can stick around and not fall into the void of lurking. This site is very important for me since it was probably the first real community I belonged to. Before then I merely lurked.

Read all sorts of things (past and recent events) and some of it sort of kept me lurking still. I really do believe there's a lot of good things in store for the site. I want to feel engaged to it and not feel somewhat of an outsider looking in. I really do think it can happen and if there's any way I can help it, I shall.


Lurking for 3 years has been weird. In a way I felt like I went to sleep to wake up in the future to find much everything has changed. Not saying all changes are bad, in fact there's some positive ones.

But as it stands, I do want to find more things to pull me back in. Finally submit a real first vanilla and chocolate hack, and possibly do other things for the community somehow.

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Originally posted by Noivern
If you're dead-set on stating right out of the gate that we're manipulating results, it's actually *easier* to do so with an in-house survey.

This statement sorta rubs me the wrong way, at not point did they say that anyone was manipulating results, merely that the possibility to do so exists and that that alone could be enough to erode the trust people have in the results and conclusions drawn from the survey, which is very reasonable and non-accusative.


Originally posted by underway
This statement sorta rubs me the wrong way, at not point did they say that anyone was manipulating results, merely that the possibility to do so exists and that that alone could be enough to erode the trust people have in the results and conclusions drawn from the survey, which is very reasonable and non-accusative.

Noivern wasn't denying that, nor was he specifically stating LX5 was assuming it to be true. He's just saying there's no way to avoid that concern with an online survey; it being done through Google Forms is no better or worse than any other online alternative.

Going into this with the assumption that the results will be rigged is something that will do no one any good. If you assume that, you are assuming the entire staff team does not care about the actual results of the survey in the slightest, which frankly does not make sense to me.


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Originally posted by Noivern
If you're dead-set on stating right out of the gate that we're manipulating results, it's actually *easier* to do so with an in-house survey.

I kinda have to agree with the underway, the defensive stance on this statement gives a kinda bad impression, bad wording perhaps. I can see what you're referring to, though.

I still feel somewhat uncomfortable with the option to erase responses (the fact that it exists), so I'll pass on the surveys.
The way I see it, deletion is a kind of manipulation, so it makes sense to call it that. But really, we just want to know what people have to say and it would be very clear if we had a bad actor deleting results. There are over 30 staff members on the team right now who all have different opinions and thoughts. I'm sure someone would speak up publicly if they witnessed response tampering.

But again, I have no interest in doctoring results because it's part of my job here to try and listen to the userbase and help better shape things here. I'm especially interested in dissenting opinions telling us what a person thinks isn't working well on the site because they give us something to think about.

As for the mere existence of a deletion option, I honestly can't think of any survey software, website or method that would be 100% tamper-proof since someone always has control over the creation of the survey and the responses received. Maybe there is one available somewhere, I'm not sure. It is a bit of an honor system, but I hope people think well enough of us to trust that we won't delete things just because someone says something we, the staff, might disagree with.
Originally posted by Thomas
Going into this with the assumption that the results will be rigged is something that will do no one any good. If you assume that, you are assuming the entire staff team does not care about the actual results of the survey in the slightest, which frankly does not make sense to me.

this tbqhwlgbtqhttpsbbq

just answer the frickin questions lol, no point in being paranoid about a super mario world romhacking website survey. either things change or nothing changes. staff team is transparent enough to the point where itd be rather easy to deduce bullshit results
I think everyones answers should be visible.
Originally posted by zacmario
I think everyones answers should be visible.

that's not how surveys work.
Having experienced the site's struggles from the early years, I can kinda see why some people would be extra skeptical of the trust they place in the staff and how they handle the survey. If this were 9 years ago, you might be onto something.

However, this isn't 9 years ago. This is today.

Just trust the staff team. The worst that could possibly happen is that nothing truly changes on the site. There's nothing to be gained by withholding your answers. Only something to lose. And that something to lose is, indeed, the possibility of change.

Although I'm fine with the way things are now, there is always room for improvement.

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Extraordinaire of Roasting Blue-Haired Lords

What's your gambit?
Originally posted by MercuryPenny
Originally posted by zacmario
I think everyones answers should be visible.

that's not how surveys work.

I'm not sure what kind of surveys you take, however a lot of surveys publish their results...
surveys publish generalized results when the collection period is done, i've never heard of every individual answer being made public before it's even over
No one ever said they should be, but now that you mention it maybe the option should be there to allow their answers to be public after completion. Just to clarify to any of those who seem to be concerned, I'm just curious what others have to say, I dislike only one of the staff members( and that person probably does a great job, just a personality clash) , and I don't really think any of them have anything to hide. The only problem I have with the site is the possible remoderation of sprites again and any support of reverse engineering of LM. I don't see how hiding behind some polled answers is gonna fix anything (if it even needs fixing?) why not just discuss it all out there in the open face to face instea of beating around the bush?
I feel like people have a better chance of saying what they actually want to say when they have the option of submitting responses anonymously and in an environment where they aren't going to receive a direct response from someone like they might when posting normally. Ultimately, we just want to hear what people have to say about the site's current direction and more. I do hope that if some people are dissatisfied with the way things are running here that they take the time to submit some responses, since we can only start making changes if we know what common complaints people have.
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I think my only regret, is that there's something I'd like to add, but I already submitted and there's no way I am aware of that'd allow me to edit. (Resubmitting would clog the system)

Which is a shame, but I wanted to submit while I got the chance. Either way, I can add further things as staff comments.

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Originally posted by Falaflame
Having experienced the site's struggles from the
early years, I can kinda see why some people would be extra
skeptical of the trust they place in the staff and how they
handle the survey. If this were 9 years ago, you might be onto
something. However, this isn't 9 years ago. This is today.
Just trust the staff team. The worst that could possibly happen is
that nothing truly changes on the site.[...]


I can't trust in the staff anymore and i know why so much people are lefting this site. Because so much drama are happening inside the staff and the community don't know what the hell is happening.
Everything is a secret, everything's so confused and in the final of day we just eat what they put in our table. It's the true. You can ask for a member from this site like from 9 years ago and he will say that "in the old days we were a community...".

Nowadays, this site have a poor administration because they dont know what want and how to do. Its so much staff member doing almost nothing, is so much power and less productivity. And even with a anonymous survey i really think that they will see all negative critiscism and say: "Oh no, we are super right. There's no problem here, my friend.".
In another words, i feel that the staff are closed in a defensive backset and we are your enemies here. Very funny, right? Since we should be a community after all.

The guidelines of non-kaizo smw hack don't approach newcomers and experienced creators since most of them have weird dumb rules like "We dont can remove hacks here". In first place we are the creators and we are owners of our own projects. If i want that the site remove my X hack because i have a strong reason so the they need to do because i have the right. After all, i'm the creator, the owner.

And the non-kaizo moderation? They like to say that have a quality standart but based in what? In the hacks made by them , members of the staff team or what? "Joke hacks need to be fun and funny, with effort" but to who? Who need find the hack funny? The staff or the community? Look Diagonal Mario 2, it's funny and the creator had spent some effort with the ASM.

The community really need to know and have the voice to say what they think about all this situation because if the staff think that everything is okay, isn't. Do you can say that this is a rant but in my vision it's a sad unburden because i love this site, i love this community and i love make and play hacks.

And if you (staff) dont want to see things like that in public is because you know what's happening.
If it were only me but almost half of the community have the same thought or they dont know what the hell are happening here.

So what the response of the staff now? Do you really want to censor me ou will give me a ban just because i say the true? Smwcentral is a big place, but isn't the only. Take care of this child or you will kill it someday.

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Hey! I'm an artist, too. Check my crazy stuff here! :3

Welcome to the Abyss!
Originally posted by ThalesMangaka
Because so much drama are happening inside the staff [...]

Nowadays, this site have a poor administration because they dont know what want and how to do. Its so much staff member doing almost nothing, is so much power and less productivity. And even with a anonymous survey i really think that they will see all negative critiscism and say: "Oh no, we are super right. There's no problem here, my friend.".
In another words, i feel that the staff are closed in a defensive backset and we are your enemies here.


Judging from my recent experience as a staff member, that really couldn't be further from the truth. Sure, there was some drama that happened here semi-recently (mainly from the Kieran-incident), but it's not like it happened all the time, drama within the staff team is still very rare from what I could observe. Aside from that, I can assure you that staff cares immensely about everything that's going on and that they're taking feedback very seriously. Sure, there might still be places where things could be more transparent, but I can assure you that staff doesn't antagonize the user base and doesn't have a personal vendetta against them and that they're all still hard at work internally.

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Feel free to visit my website/blog - it's updated rarely, but it looks pretty cool!
You have a point, Thales, my friend. I used to feel exactly like you for some good time until I made it to the staff team and had the chance to look at things with my own eyes. However, I'm afraid to tell you that I disagree with some (not all) of your statements when it comes to the current period. Truth be told, though - even old staff members left the site and their positions due to internal disagreements, which means you're not by all means wrong. There are issues, indeed, but when talking about productivity, I can say that most staff guys are really hardworking ones.

As for administration, I'd not blame the current team when it comes to taking an specific direction with the site. Before some of them made it to the position, former admins left them into a realm of chaos with lots of pending projects like SMWCP2, VLDCX and so on. They are certainly struggling a lot to get something done about that, but the heavy workload kinda doesn't allow them to get stuff truly organized, and it can also demotivate. If there's someone supposed to take the blame, so be the former administrators.

Now, about transparency. Back when I joined, there were way more cliques than nowadays, in which people would only make it to the staff due to popularity or friendship with the current team, and there were no ways for the userbase to know why or how said people made it. There was no 'Staff Status' thread of sorts, no userbase surveys, and not even the 'Staff Feedback' system. Also, once the system was created, there were no means of response until a few years ago. Staff applications were a rare thing, as well, and I believe these only got noticed when there were general applications in 2012/2013. And as you probably remember, I was very insatisfied at that time, which led me to deliberately point out fingers at almost every staff member and leave the site shortly later. And now, staff applications are pretty common compared to years ago, and I see that most people now make it into the team because of their real effort and knowledge, and not popularity and friendship.

In regards of hack moderation, I understand your point and partially agree with you when it comes to joke hacks and similars. But it's fair to remember that while the core values should apply to all genders and styles, accepting or rejecting hacks mostly depends on the point of view of the moderator who actually tested them. If someone argues this isn't the best way to handle moderation, I would understand for that reason. On the other hand, people shouldn't simply disagree with the system and stay silent about it - there's the 'Staff Feedback', and now there are these surveys going on.

Finally, let's talk about the surveys themselves. This is the aspect I mostly disagree, because the staff team thought of putting this on for the userbase exactly for everyone to post their thoughts. Even though the system looks flawed and bypassable, it's still way better than nothing. And I appreciate that you voiced your legitimate opinion with arguments publicly, too. This should be encouraged, honestly. This way, even with disagreements, all users can eventually reach a common factor. But this doesn't mean that surveys are less important.

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