I have been wrestling with the issue of negative comments on artist pages.  Overall, there have been very few negative comments up until this week.  A number of negative comments came in and once again brought this issue to the front burner.

At this time I have adopted a policy that dumps negative comments in the trash.  This has the advantage of preventing possible flamewars on artists pages, but the disadvantage of censoring legitimate opinions on artists and creating an echo chamber for an artists fan base.

Another approach is to allow negative comments (with edits removing personal attacks or vulgar references) and include the ability for users to vote on individual comments.  This allows the community to express an opinion on a particular comment.

A full open comments forum is a non-starter as was demonstrated by some of the language that came through this week.

So what do you think?  Dump ’em?  Vote on ’em?  Let me know.


18 responses to “Discussion

  1. If the comment is constructive then I would say allow it…but if it is someone that is attacking and being rude or making fun of people then trash it. I would hope that people realize that everyone’s opinion is subjective. What is a rock to one may be a diamond to another…and every single person including the originator of this site should be able to rate without being taken to task for it. If an artist can not take the fact that they may not be the best to every person that hears them, all I can say is grow up. The important thing is that you are happy your performance and know that you are not going to please everyone’s taste in music.

  2. my grandaddy used to say if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.

  3. I believe in the interest of making this as objective as something so incredibly subjective can be, you should leave them, but allow the users to rate them. Maybe after a comment receives a certain # of negative ratings, it would qualify to be hidden. Of course if it’s a personal attack on a person’s religion, sl-lifestyle, or uses foul language, then it should automatically be deleted for that. But in the interests of truly making this an opportunity for people to express their opinion of a performer, then full censorship seems wrong. Or if you’re going to censor one way, you have to censor the other, and just turn off comments entirely and let the #’s speak.

    Speaking of the #’s… although I appreciate what’s being attempted here, having the secondrater ***** rating (or lack thereof) on the right side of the screen be hard coded in and not affected at all by the votes of the resident community seems.. skewed to me. In favor or against, it doesn’t matter. I believe it colors opinions. and can be misinterpreted. For example, Celtic’s name is so long that it truncates the stars on the side of the site for me and looks like you gave her a * rating. Which you didn’t – but until I hovered my mouse over her and saw the alt-text, I didn’t know that. If I didn’t know Celtic, it might keep me from wanting to hear more or clicking for more information. While you state that this is just your opinion, people first visiting don’t understand that, and may mistakenly believe it reflects everyone’s votes, not just yours.

    Please know that I respect and admire you for starting this, but take it in the spirit intended when I say that if you want to create an objective rating service, or one as close to it as possible, I believe personally that the opinion of the sitemaster should be taken off the front page list, and your ratings should be added in through the interactive rating system, just like anyone elses. That would seem to color it less, in my opinion.

    This is truly just my opinion, and I hope you’ll take it constructively. Thanks for your time and effort in this. It is a real resource if people use it correctly.

    • I appreciate the feedback. The secondrater stars originated on the notecard and were kept during import to the blog. I have debated dropping them, but believe they do serve to balance the crowd sourced ratings. I am thinking of pulling them off the names and adding them to the bottom of the artists individual page. That would prevent them from appearing on the front page listing. With over 150 secondrater ratings…it will take a good bit of work…but the idea is growing on me.

  4. SL for many is a chance to live a dream… if the dream is a delussion whose business is it to crush it. Encouragemnt goes a long way sometimes towards keeping someone from giving up… and practice makes perfect.. maybe they will get better. Trashing someone doing what they love helps no one. I say TRASH EM

  5. any voting system, is a fail, and while yes a nice attempt, its always about the popularity of said persons fans or group, and votes, people don’t have time, or want to take time to really delve into the talent levels of artists, so someone not so good, can rally for votes and overtake true talents. SL is full of people who are either deaf, or just out to help their friend get a better name, even if it sacrifices others that are more talented so to speak, we have seen it a million times. nice page, and concept though, but I am nor will I ever be in the top ten, because there are so many with more friends. sad thing is, talents are not remotely considered. look at the top list any day and you will see infiltration as i have mentioned here.

  6. I’ll have to disagree with superunkown on a number of things. Of course, there’s no doubt there will be some who game the vote. Those who do game are destined for a short life span in popularity simply because they will eventually be found out. And so what if friends help friends. It doesn’t matter.

    Whether a musician is a virtuoso or a half baked klutz doesn’t matter either. What does matter is the listening audience. It’s what the artist gives not only in music but showmanship as well. You can be the best guitarist in SL but if you don’t bring any charisma to the table, then you’ll not climb too high on the popularity chart. If you are a musician with little musical skill but can give a listening audience an hour of chat, laughter and memories then you’re going to grab some followers simply because you give your audience a good time.

    If you, however, are a good musician AND have the ability to bring your audience into the conversation, relate to them and they can relate to you, then you’ll have all the votes you’ll ever want or need on SecondRater.

    The thing is, don’t sell yourself or anyone else short. Just do what what you do. There’s plenty of room in SL and other V-worlds for ALL manner of musician. And being in the top ten or 25 or 50 really doesn’t matter. As cliche as it sounds, you only get out of it what you put in to it. If you play with a chip on your shoulder, it’s going to get knocked off and you’re going to get called out. Loose the chip, pony up and make your listeners feel good. Because performing in SL is not about getting votes on Secondrater, it’s *all* about *you* delivering a great performance in SL and moreover, it’s *all* about *you* giving of yourself to the audience …… and in doing so, you will grow and build a fan great base.

  7. Amusician – Very well said, timely advice for me :-). I have performed in SL for over three years and there are times i felt my group was so strong and supported me and were always there, and then pow, what happened?? Well i love to perform and will perform to 1 or 100. I actually forgot this site was here. One thing is for sure .. I haven’t figured it out yet. Meaning i don’t have the secret of attracting a large crowd. Sometimes i am on and sometimes i am off. What I like is when i am off and someone tells me I was on, or when i get ims after the show from new listeners, or even old listeners. I guess there are strategies like to include new venues to attract new listeners to your audience. But all in all i was able to realize a dream i’ve had all my life and also i was able to conquer severe performance anxiety. 🙂 I am pasting your advice on my music sheet so i don’t forget it.

  8. As far as negative criticism goes, which was the topic… good question. If the purpose of the site is to rate musicians, i think the comments should be moderated and only negatives deemed helpful and good intentioned should stay. It is a very delicate thing phrasing criticism correctly. We instinctively get defensive. Poorly phrased critique can sound mean or tactless. Anonymity also leads to more negatives because the person does not have to worry about repercussions.

  9. I would hope the second rater would put down the date(s) that they heard the musician. If only once and on an off day (like laryngitis) Would make a big difference in how they vote. And if two years ago—well, things may have changed.

  10. i would like to know how to contact secondrater to remove all coments off my list its sees there are a few that have issues and like to stalk slander and atack certain prople and SL refuses to do anything about them and this site aloes these people to keep doing it as well

  11. Live Music Booker

    As an event organiser I need to know that people are reliable and will turn up on the day. I work very hard to get a good schedule of music types and I don’t care about what comments are given here, I always research my own bookings. What I would add would be reliability of the performer as I have a responsibility to my customers and performers. A hole in a schedule can cost a nights tips for following artists. Plenty other places for your audience to go and they may not come back.

    • Very useful idea. Best would seem to be folks leaving comments on specific missed performances under that artist. Potential abuse exists from Anon folks just posting “This artist is unreliable” which is why I would like to see a bit more detail before allowing a comment through, a minimum would seem to be the venue. Something like “Missed gig at Songbirds this evening” would be sufficient (date would be included in the post header). This would allow an artist to contact the venue to resolve the issue or respond to a specific missed date in the forum. This would also allow venue owners to quickly scan comments to see if there are lots of missed gig messages.

  12. Live Music Booker

    That sounds a good way of resolving that issue.Then both the venue and the artist have a voice. Everybody knows that rl throws you issues and I have every confidence in the people I book. I hope they are honest and not just take another show because it’s more lucrative perhaps, But have a real crisis like an illness/ accident that prevents them appearing. It’s the serial offenders who cancel at the last minute I won’t use anymore. We help new people get started and promote careers and so expect a bit of respect. All you have to say is no and I will smile and say thank you and move on to the next.

  13. you’ve got a lot of work setting this website up, i trust your decision to decide what is constructive criticism,a controversial issue or malicious comments

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