The Great Featured Set/Home Page Dilemma (and how to we move forward)

  • Hey everyone! Today's post is all about the most debated topic on URSTYLE in the past few months: the home page, and more importantly, how it runs featured sets. The community has gone back and forth and back and forth with admin over how often its updated, how you get on there, and more.

    Originally, we had a working system where sets were chosen (by a person) and the home page was updated with new featured sets every one to two weeks. This made it a goal to create sets that aspire to be on the home page so they can get recognition and likes.

    Then after a time, near when COVID-19 really started to pick up, the sets were still chosen by a person but the featured sets page was not regularly updated for weeks almost months on end and everyone was upset.

    Finally, we come to what we have today. Admin recently updated the home page to run based on an automated system that selects new sets for the home page that have been posted in the past 24 hours based on an algorithm. This new system allowed for the home page to have a fresh batch of new sets on regular rotation every hour. However, despite fixing the main problem with the previous system, the community is STILL not satisfied.

    Here's the real truth of the whole matter: We are all longing for a system that reminds us of Polyvore.

    All the complaints I have seen with the new system on the community page call for changes that would make it almost identical to the old Polyvore system. These include concerns about sets with different styles not getting enough exposure on the home page, concerns about who gets on the home page (including how "newbies" will get on there), concerns about how the automated system takes away the originality and special quality of the home page/featured sets process itself because a computer can't tell what beauty is really.

    I am absolutely not saying that calling for these changes, having these concerns, and essentially reminiscing for something similar to the old Polyvore system is a bad thing. THESE ARE VALID CONCERNS AND QUESTIONS However, we do have to see it like it is, and this is personally just my opinion.

    The thing that I want to talk about is if we are unhappy with these systems and how admin has been doing things, why can't we just work together as a community and do it ourselves? Why wait?

    So this post is essentially a proposal, starting point, or just a brainstorm session on how to create a community-made system that will work effectively for all of us! KEEP IN MIND THIS IS JUST A SUGGESTED IDEA! Here's what I was thinking:

    1. A team of 8-10 people who have been on URSTYLE and Polyvore (so that they have that veteran knowledge, but if it is decided that they have enough veteran knowledge on the platform without being on Polyvore then they can join the team as well) would choose sets for the featured collections. In order to make sure all of the set styles are represented, the team breakdown would be sort of like this:
    • 4 people would be fashion set veterans and cover choosing fashion and beauty sets, 2 people would cover home and interior sets, and 4 would cover art/doll sets.
    • These people would have to be fair and just, know the platform, and are at least pretty consistent on the platform. Who these people are would be discussed on the community pages.
    1. The team members within a category would choosing sets for the month (meaning that they would create a featured set collection for their category each week, for the month that they are given). The team members would rotate per month in a designated order for each category to avoid confusion. This would allow for more consistency and ensure that if someone is busy or going through something and can't do their month someone can cover for them. The order would be posted on the URSTYLE community page and it would be posted at the beginning of each month who is running the "featured sets" for each category.

    2. There will be a special collection posted each month featuring all of sets that had been featured in any of the previously mentioned collections for the entire month (independent of category) so they get proper recognition.

    This is just an idea for a system that might work. Of course if you any ideas or details that would make it better/more effecient, feel free to comment them! I will be posting this on the URSTYLE community page (once I figure out how to mind you) but let me know any feedback you have!

    If there is anything I have learned from the current situation we live in right now it's that: WE CAN CHANGE THIS PLATFORM TOGETHER!

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    Have a great day!!
    ~ Mayblooms

    Fashion, Fashion, Fashion
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    Comments (4)

  • Wow, what a well thought-out post!

    Ultimately, the owners of the site have to consider the business side of it. If I recall correctly, one of the parameters in the algorithm is the number of advertisers' items in the set. I can understand why: It takes revenue to keep the servers going for such a big site.

    Me personally? I was on Polyvore for a few years but very casually and sporadically, so I don't quite remember what the home page was like and can't speak to how much URSTYLE is or isn't like Polyvore in that sense. However, I do appreciate the algorithm here because it wasn't until now that any of my sets made the home page, and I've been here since the beginning. (Granted, my sets have gotten a little more complex in recent weeks because I have a lot of quarantine-induced time, and duh on me but I only learned a week or so ago how much stuff is available under the Art tab, but still. I'm by no means URSTYLE elite. 😁 )

    Until they started using the algorithm, it seemed that the home page featured mostly sets from the same five or six members over and over, and while those members are phenomenally talented, their sets are very magazine-y in style. There's a kind of limbo land full of folks whose layouts don't feature a lot of embellishments or text, so for me at least, the algorithm feels more inclusive. I've seen a lot of new names on the homepage, and have "met" a few folks who have been here since the beginning but whose work I had never seen before.

    That's not to say I don't think humans can be fair. I don't care for Chardonnay but I know one that is well-crafted when I taste it. But sometimes an algorithm can be more equitable because it spits out random sets that, while they might ultimately have to be approved by a human being, were not subject to human bias when first chosen.

    Anyway, just my thoughts. I love the community here and every day I am blown away by talent on display here. The world needs beauty, and there is so much of it here.

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  • Polyfam

    I've pretty much stopped making sets. It's very time consuming to clip clothes, photos, graphics, etc. Some sets I create take well over an hour. I don't get the algorithm. I see sets on the front page and I cannot believe it sometimes. I am not trying to insult anyone but some people know how the system works and it's clear. I'm done. This is so not polyvore and such a disappointment.

  • Polyfam

    Hi! I just came across this now. I have no idea how I even found the info about featured sets finally, but I was wondering if you feel like anything has changed about this in the past few months since?

    I, for one, did not like the Polyvore featured sets at all. It never, ever felt representative of the Polyvore I saw and liked. I was heavily into the fandom part of Polyvore and really into battle groups so mostly like character-focused stuff. None of that ever made the featured page.

    This featured set way to me is probably messier, but I still like that it isn't as much of a carefully curated image of what the website wants to be that ignores any parts of it that don't fit into the generic fashion sets I feel like I saw featured a lot on Polyvore. Although I'm sure the way that Urstyle promotes sets with advertised stuff could tend towards the same thing I'm criticizing. But the other day, I even saw a Megara disneybound on the featured page and that was really exciting for me.

    However, I will fully acknowledge that I am biased towards this system because I have been able to get featured a couple times on here and was never featured on Polyvore in the many years I was on there.

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