The Great Featured Set/Home Page Dilemma (and how to 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 was 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. We do have to acknowledge that Polyvore and URSTYLE are two different things.
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:
- 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.
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.
There will be a special collection for monthly contributors 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) created by them 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!
Have a great day!!
@mayblooms First reaction is that I love this idea, seems like you really put some thought into it! I look forward to seeing what will happen
Great idea my dear
@mayblooms well said dear, you just summed up the issue and said what is on our (most of Us) minds!!
As for your suggestion: I like your idea but I don’t know if it’s feasible for members to execute it.. it needs time and effort from one side and on the other, it well be doubtful effort in terms of the choices will not be seen as neutral or unbiased as the picks of the admin!!
@fatenmh Okay, thanks for bringing that up! I know that is a very real concern as everyone does want their sets to shine and while wishing that everyone will be unbiased, it isn't entirely realistic. This is just a starting point, but I hope @admin sees this and maybe can use at as inspiration to change their system a little bit if anything.
@mayblooms We see your voice and I personalny think its a great idea. But how would you like to choose users responsible for featuring new sets ? Some community voting ?
I will back to this topic early next week and see other users opinions.
@admin Community voting would be the way I would go, but then have the final decision be up to the administrators so everyone can agree that the process was fair and as unbiased as possible!
@mayblooms I appreciate all the thought you put into this. I am concerned that no matter how a team is chosen, there will be an impression of bias when it comes to members picking featured sets. What one person considers an excellent set, someone else might not. In my opinion, it would put too much power in the hands of a few select members. For these reasons, I prefer not to have a team of members pick the sets featured on the home page. The automated system is not perfect, but it has no human bias, it is diverse, and the page updates regularly.
@debraelizabeth Okay I concede to that point! In that case, the @admin can use this as a way to format the way they run the featured sets within the administrative organization, forming teams of admins in order to make the page run more efficiently and consistently while allowing recognition to many users, styles of sets, and monthly contributors. Most importantly , if they formatted the administrative staff into teams to run this feature, it would allow for a wean off of the automated system which many have had concerns that it takes away from the magic of trying to end up on the featured/home page. Let me know what you think about this possible solution to your concern!
@admin Here is a suggestion : You should give everyone a chance so,why not make the "get inspired" tab your home page that way everyone will be featured. some people don't get as many likes as others That isn't fair to them . everyone deserves a fair chance to be featured for their hard work. Everybody here has their own unique way to show their art work. Please give every member a fair chance to be recognized.
@debraelizabeth Unfortunately the automated algorithm based set decider for the Homepage I believe is biased. Urstyle operates on a technological system of blockchaining I have read. All the members sets which reach the front page are based on members likes, comments and most importantly usage of Urstyle items for advertising which at the end of the day is the income for the business. On enquiring, I was told by Damian the only way at present you can prevent a set from reaching the Homepage is by publishing in any other format than public. The reason I asked this question is that I had seven sets in a row reach the Homepage one week and I did not think that was fair. I am sure I have not been the only member that this has happened to. Whatever the outcome is here, at the end of the day please remember the members sets are income to the business and in return the members get to be creative. That is why sets are advertised on Pinterest, Instagram and anywhere else Urstyle may feel inclined to do so as per the Terms of Service.
@ollie I totally agree that the homepage is biased, mostly due to blockchaining. I believe it is the reason why few Art and interior design sets make it to the features page. I think members use of items for advertising carries a substantial preference and explains why certain type of sets constantly reach the features pages. With the use of cropping/png creating sites it may be difficult for interior designs to get on the features page and with art, the use of tubes and created pngs will also hinder it from making it. It's difficult to build likes and comments when others can't see your work. Just like Polyvore, Urstyle has a business format that has to make money. That business side is also something not all the users understand.
I’m following this thread while considering another that was started recently: On-line Protection for Urstyle Members (https://urstyle.fashion/topic/2415114/on-line-protection-for-urstyle-members) and I’m wondering how you and others feel about a particular privacy issue.
When a Set is featured on UrStyle’s Home Page, regardless of how it’s selected, UrStyle features it on social media, which is fine. UrStyle relies on the revenue from sales that result from the graphic use of their sponsors’ products (items) in our Sets. Therefore, it is in UrStyle’s best interest to promote their members’ Sets while allowing non-members access to the “Items Used”. What concerns me is the access non-members have to our information (such as Profiles, Comments/Discussions on Sets, Descriptions of Sets).
Everything we write in our Set Descriptions, in Forums, and in Set Comments is visible to anyone and everyone online. How many of us have been sharing ourselves in our art, believing that what we publish is not visible to non-members? Perfectly natural expectation. We have a membership, so it must account for something… I mean, why sign up for a membership to a website if doing so doesn’t give you some kind of exclusivity?
UrStyle is, for those who develop and run it, a business. I think we can all respect that. I hope those running UrStyle can respect that for many of us, this website is an online art community, whether one’s art is fashion, interior design, or artistic creation. In addition to this, as a community it is a place to connect with others and to express ourselves - to other members, not to everyone on the world wide web. Until this subject was brought up in the aforementioned previous post, I hadn’t given much consideration to this, but the more I do, the more uncomfortable I feel. Because all of UrStyle is visible in all ways to non-members, those of us who want to choose what personal information we allow UrStyle and others to share should have the ability to do so.
Facebook is a perfect example of how this works. In order to see what a member has posted publicly; one must also be a member. One must log in after confirming their identity (to an extent) and then, if they wish to learn more (and see more) about a particular member, they have to send a Friend Request to that person, which the member can deny. If you Google the name of a Facebook user, you will get a list of people with the same (or similar names) or a link to the person’s Facebook page, that when clicked on, is covered by a screen telling you to log in to Facebook to see more. And again, once logged in, to get “full access” to someone’s info, THEY, not Facebook, must allow it.
Like Facebook, there needs to be a way for members to decide whether or not anything they’ve written on UrStyle should be visible to the general public (non-members) when a Set is published (and later re-posted/pinned/tweeted/etc.) That goes double for our blogs! I know anyone who REALLY wants access to particular information will find it some way or another but at least make it more difficult for those we do not wish to share ourselves with. Consider that many of us may not want employers (or potential employers) to see our Descriptions, or our children to read them, or our neighbors, etc.
A friend of mine has an abusive ex-husband who stalks her offline and online. She does not accept Facebook friend requests from anyone she doesn’t know personally. Now, couldn’t UrStyle do something like that here? Couldn’t our Set Pages be semi-private? Show the Sets and the Items Used to anyone, but to see descriptions and comments, one must be a member of UrStyle, logged in, and perhaps even someone who is allowed access by the User. Rather than having everything we’ve posted here wide open to be sent freely around the internet, when writing a Description, we could choose from options such as:
Make This Description Visible:
• To All UrStyle Members
• Only To People I Follow
I hope UrStyle will seriously consider this. Yes, they do rely on revenue, but that revenue is reliant on their Users. We've been "exposing" ourselves willingly as per the User Agreement/Terms of Service, yet many have been under the impression that only other UrStyle members could see and read what one shares. Now that the issue has been brought up and I’ve given it more consideration, I feel uneasy about my words, not my art. Knowing that anyone can read my words makes me feel inhibited, which is counterproductive to this kind of website. Yes, anyone can sign up for UrStyle, which is part of this issue. Validating email addresses/identities, shouldn’t be too difficult for a company that can do all it does and provide all of the wonderful features it makes available to us. Then again, I could just keep quiet!