Honest Critique

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Caveat Lector
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Re: Honest Critique

#16 Post by Caveat Lector » Tue Sep 03, 2013 3:02 pm

The fourth point in particular feels odd and contradictory. The point of these guidelines is so writers can agree to be critiqued out of the hopes they'll improve their writing skills through others' feedback, right? Which would sound more helpful?

"You need to cut back on the adverbs in this scene."

OR:

"At least you're trying to improve and that's all that matters!"
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Re: Honest Critique

#17 Post by Didules » Tue Sep 03, 2013 3:11 pm

I honestly think that everyone wants an honest critique on their work. Then, I guess not everyone actually puts an honest critiques.
I don't think I'll display this in my signature, though I try to make honest critiques in my state of mind when writing/playing/reading (something like "I'm looking forward to your work, it seems great" is actually an honest critique given at an H hour of a D day, even if it doesn't say much).
Do we need this kind of banner? I don't know. Of course it's great to show it since it means that you actually try to always give an honest critique, but I think my own principles are enough for me, so I won't put it in my signature (and because depending on my mood I can be a bit biased (Yep, I dare to say this)), but still, it's a great initiative and I respect every people who add the banner to their signature for making official their principles.
Also I don't think it'll ever change the way I see critiques, I won't "look down on members who wouldn't display this in their signature", because critiques are always welcome, whether they are honest or not (actually people putting critiques are often: both extremes (good or bad) and people trying to help with typos/translation/download link/walkthrough).

EDIT: thank you CheeryMoya for the links BTW, I think they'll be really useful ^o^
EDIT N°2: I was reading on the websites CheeryMoya gave and found this: "Don't critique the work without first being asked to" and then I checked on the first post: "Critique of their work may be given that was not requested and they cannot pick and choose when to be critiqued, nor by whom"... Err... Contradictory? Maybe it's more tactful to only give critiques when requested? "Feedbacks welcome"s, "What do you think of my idea"s and this kind of thing?

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Re: Honest Critique

#18 Post by Tempus » Tue Sep 03, 2013 4:42 pm

sake-bento wrote:Hey gang, PyTom just posted this on his twitter:
Can people hold off adding the LSF critique tags for a few hours? I want to add a bbtag for them, but I'm on a jet plane.
Also, echoing CheeryMoya's statement. Critique is also a skill that needs to be learned, and part of improvement isn't just pointing out what can be better, but articulating it in a way that is useful. Those are very, very handy references.
Definitely. I really wasn't expecting this to take off the way it has so far -- I'll edit my post to tell folks to STAND BEHIND THE YELLOW LINE. Or something.

As for your and CheeryMoya's points, I agree. I'll add the links and the sentiment of useful critique being a skill once I finish up this post. Good input, and something I overlooked too -- my OP (as it stands now) is part "why" and part "how"; if the idea is favoured by a majority of people, then perhaps I can orient it to be more "how" focused.
chocojax wrote:
Greeny wrote:Am I the only one who has a problem with this? I never agreed to anything.
I thought that part could be entirely left out, since critique by anyone should be valid. (Of course, I understood the, "say X is bad because of Y" rather than "X is bad".)

Also, I kinda feel like this would make certain people look down on members who wouldn't display this in their signature.
You're not obligated to agree, Greeny. It's only by displaying the button / text, that someone agrees to the terms. I don't want to come off like I'm trying to impose some regulation of behaviour or that I think I have the authority to do so -- I'm not and I don't. If you have suggestions on how to improve it (or even something entirely different) I'd be interested.

As for chocojax's point, that wasn't the intention, but I can see how that might occur. I'm not sure whether it would or not, but if it did I don't have any ideas off the top of my head for how to remedy that. For me personally, I know that people's lives always involve circumstances beyond their peers observation -- if people don't feel comfortable opting in I wouldn't think less of them, nor do I think it necessitates anyone being excluded from a discussion.

(by the way, thank god for people quoting each other so I don't have to quote too much :D)
Caveat Lector wrote:The fourth point in particular feels odd and contradictory. The point of these guidelines is so writers can agree to be critiqued out of the hopes they'll improve their writing skills through others' feedback, right? Which would sound more helpful?

"You need to cut back on the adverbs in this scene." OR: "At least you're trying to improve and that's all that matters!"
I think you and I are in agreement -- the former is definitely the most useful. However, I think that's a false dichotomy in that encouragement doesn't exclude honest critique; they can coexist. I worded that point very carefully trying to tread a fine line and maybe I failed. So no one has to go back a page, here's the point being referred to:
  • [Anyone posting critique does so understanding] that someone is trying to get better by displaying the button. If you can't think of anything good to say, that's okay -- perhaps consider encouraging someone based on the fact that they want to improve instead.
The long form intended meaning was: sometimes a critic is going to be writing a long, detailed critique of someone's work and the critic mightn't have anything obvious to praise or they don't have time to find something (because they're spending what time they have to assist someone in the areas they struggle with) or the critic feels insincere praising someone for mere competency. In those cases, after writing a critique consisting mostly of someone's flaws, it's not hard to simply tack on an honest "good luck, let us know how it goes for your next piece" or "don't be nervous, everyone starts somewhere" -- and it's optional. It's a thing to keep in mind, not a dictate. If you feel weird or insincere doing it, you don't have to. But a few kind words can be the difference between acceptance and rejection of a critique. In short, it's not intended to advocate encouragement as a replacement for criticism, but in addition to it. Maybe the wording could use improvement? Or maybe you still disagree?
Didules wrote:I honestly think that everyone wants an honest critique on their work. Then, I guess not everyone actually puts an honest critiques.
I don't think I'll display this in my signature
No worries! Though I do disagree that everyone wants an honest critique on their work. As LateWhiteRabbit said in other thread recently, "Too often [people asking for feedback] don't mean, 'Tell me what I can improve' and instead mean 'Don't be shy about telling me how much you love my stuff'." To put it frankly, some people aren't cut out for honest feedback at certain stages in their lives and some people never are.
Didules wrote:EDIT N°2: I was reading on the websites CheeryMoya gave and found this: "Don't critique the work without first being asked to" and then I checked on the first post: "Critique of their work may be given that was not requested and they cannot pick and choose when to be critiqued, nor by whom"... Err... Contradictory? Maybe it's more tactful to only give critiques when requested? "Feedbacks welcome"s, "What do you think of my idea"s and this kind of thing?
Placing the button / text in your signature is asking for critique. The honest critique button / text is absolutely useless people can give unsolicited critiques. Otherwise it's back to square one where people still have to ask everyone or wait for them to ask for it. This is the state we have now where talented forum members are passing up chances to critique because they (justifiably) can't see the point in giving a critique which will simply be dismissed or misinterpreted as some unfair attack. Ultimately the choice is up to members to opt in or not.
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Re: Honest Critique

#19 Post by Didules » Tue Sep 03, 2013 5:06 pm

Tempus wrote:"Too often [people asking for feedback] don't mean, 'Tell me what I can improve' and instead mean 'Don't be shy about telling me how much you love my stuff'." To put it frankly, some people aren't cut out for honest feedback at certain stages in their lives and some people never are.
I think I see what you mean, it's true that even IRL some people are like that, I didn't think of it that way since for me a feedback is someone answering honestly to a "what did you think of the game?" or a "tell me how to improve" question, sorry I didn't see far enough for that point, I think you're right.
Tempus wrote:Placing the button / text in your signature is asking for critique.
Again I didn't see far enough: this button is also about "asking for critique". It is indeed interesting. Still, I think I'll hesitate a bit more before putting it (or not) into my signature because sometimes critiques hurt, they hurt a lot more when we know they're accurate and I don't know if I can handle this ^^; (I may be a bit pessimistic here, but hey, in French "critique" seems to be a transparent word meaning "reproach" and "bad opinion" so it doesn't help choosing whether or not I'll adopt the button ^^;) BUT I have to admit that I really like the idea, this button is more about sharing than I thought. GG Tempus for doing this!

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Re: Honest Critique

#20 Post by LateWhiteRabbit » Tue Sep 03, 2013 5:09 pm

Tempus wrote:
chocojax wrote:
Greeny wrote:Am I the only one who has a problem with this? I never agreed to anything.
I thought that part could be entirely left out, since critique by anyone should be valid. (Of course, I understood the, "say X is bad because of Y" rather than "X is bad".)

Also, I kinda feel like this would make certain people look down on members who wouldn't display this in their signature.
You're not obligated to agree, Greeny. It's only by displaying the button / text, that someone agrees to the terms. I don't want to come off like I'm trying to impose some regulation of behaviour or that I think I have the authority to do so -- I'm not and I don't. If you have suggestions on how to improve it (or even something entirely different) I'd be interested.
I think the potential issue comes with this condition:
Anyone who posts a critique to someone displaying the honest critque button agrees:
To display the button themselves. If you can't take it, you can't deal it!
That one little line essentially divides the forum into groups. That means you have a green button brigade and everyone else. It is saying you can't give a green button member (hereafter referred to as a GBM for simplicity's sake) critique without being a GBM yourself. You mean it as a protection for GBMs, but that is exactly how it can be abused.

Example:
GBM receives a critique they don't like or that doesn't seem fair to them. The critiquing forum member is not a GBM, so the unhappy GBM being critiqued has a mental excuse to ignore potentially valid criticisms because that person isn't "following the rules". They might even invoke this excuse verbally - "If you were really giving honest criticism, you wouldn't be afraid to be a GBM. Hence, everyone can see you're just being negative for no reason."

Someone becoming a GBM should mean they are adopting a set of rules for THEMSELVES. It should be a mark that you want to receive honest criticism, NOT that everyone who interacts with you must adopt your set of standards for themselves. The Honest Criticism button is a good idea to make people comfortable giving feedback to members when they might otherwise be too uncomfortable or afraid of a reaction to do so without the prompting that, "Hey, it's okay. I can take it." That one little line undermines that completely, however - it turns the Honest Criticism button into a subtle threat. "If you criticize me, you better be prepared...."

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Re: Honest Critique

#21 Post by Tempus » Tue Sep 03, 2013 5:25 pm

LateWhiteRabbit wrote:That one little line undermines that completely, however - it turns the Honest Criticism button into a subtle threat. "If you criticize me, you better be prepared...."
Wow, that was a complete oversight on my part. I didn't think of that. Thanks for pointing it out. I do remember oscillating on that point based on some vague feeling, but you've articulated a good reason to axe it, I think. Less stupid guidelines to remember, yay!
LateWhiteRabbit wrote:Someone becoming a GBM should mean they are adopting a set of rules for THEMSELVES. It should be a mark that you want to receive honest criticism, NOT that everyone who interacts with you must adopt your set of standards for themselves
I agree with that, and perhaps the guidelines for the critics is presumptuous in telling them how they may and may not interact with people displaying the button. I wrote that intending to protect, as you guessed, but it seems like a mistake now.

If a critic needn't display a button, they aren't necessarily bound by the guidelines. Which means the critic guidelines can simply be ignored by anyone as they please or they apply to everyone, in which case I certainly understand Greeny's response -- they didn't agree to this simply because I wrote it. I think this is known as writing oneself into a corner! It'll require some reworking which I don't have the time or clarity of mind to do right now. Any suggestions anyone?
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Re: Honest Critique

#22 Post by LateWhiteRabbit » Tue Sep 03, 2013 5:48 pm

Tempus wrote: If a critic needn't display a button, they aren't necessarily bound by the guidelines. Which means the critic guidelines can simply be ignored by anyone as they please or they apply to everyone, in which case I certainly understand Greeny's response -- they didn't agree to this simply because I wrote it. I think this is known as writing oneself into a corner! It'll require some reworking which I don't have the time or clarity of mind to do right now. Any suggestions anyone?
The answer is to go back to the core of WHY you had the idea of the Honest Criticism button, before you added clauses and rules out the yin-yang.

At its core, the Honest Criticism button being displayed means the member displaying it wants to receive honest feedback and wants other members to feel comfortable giving it to them. You literally need no other rules, clauses, or other extraneous baggage attached to that. Everyone will NOT be good at giving honest criticism. Sometimes a member's criticism will be unfair and unwarranted, but someone displaying the Honest Criticism button is agreeing to put up with those cases to get the wealth of improvement advice they will ALSO receive.

Here could be the sum total of the "rules" needed for the Honest Criticism Button.
1) By displaying the Honest Criticism Button, I am announcing I want to receive honest feedback.
2) I want other members to feel comfortable giving me honest feedback.
3) I understand that not everyone knows how to give proper critiques, and I may receive some feedback that is overly negative or unfair, but I can handle that, because I believe the honest feedback I get will outweigh the negative.

Boom. Done.

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Re: Honest Critique

#23 Post by Tempus » Tue Sep 03, 2013 6:01 pm

LateWhiteRabbit wrote:The answer is to go back to the core of WHY you had the idea of the Honest Criticism button, before you added clauses and rules out the yin-yang.

Here could be the sum total of the "rules" needed for the Honest Criticism Button.
1) By displaying the Honest Criticism Button, I am announcing I want to receive honest feedback.
2) I want other members to feel comfortable giving me honest feedback.
3) I understand that not everyone knows how to give proper critiques, and I may receive some feedback that is overly negative or unfair, but I can handle that, because I believe the honest feedback I get will outweigh the negative.
That's a good point. It's much simpler for all parties, and probably a lot more desirable too. I'll edit my post after some sleep. It's so late it's dawn.

As an aside, it's rather amusing to me that just days ago I was satisfied with a simplified set of five project principles that I'd whittled down from a bunch of wordy crap I'd written... and then I go and post a giant list of to-do's and non-to-do's in this thread's OP, totally disregarding the lessons I'd (apparently not) learned :D Keep it simple me, er, I mean, stupid.
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Re: Honest Critique

#24 Post by Greeny » Tue Sep 03, 2013 6:04 pm

I wonder if you appreciate the irony of getting critiques to this idea. *flies away*
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Re: Honest Critique

#25 Post by Jason » Tue Sep 03, 2013 6:04 pm

1. I don't like the design because I believe a simple logo/symbol linking to this article may suffice, or variety in sizes where it doesn't show itself as a huge banner or interfere with other signature's design. Having the "Honest Critique" word in a sig is just too cheesy for me, so sorry (I mean, mine's cheesy already, then adding more cheese is just too much xD ).
2. I love the purpose of this, but at the same time, I can't listen to too many people otherwise the project may be delayed because of changes people may ask that I no longer feel that it's my team's project. I have to limit my ears to my friends for now.
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Re: Honest Critique

#26 Post by PyTom » Tue Sep 03, 2013 6:18 pm

I don't have a dog in this fight, but I think it's bad for us to have tons of people's sigs linking to a free photo host. That will lead to massive pain and database queries if the site goes down. I've added a new bbcode that displays a copy of the image hosted on this server.

Code: Select all

[wki]honest_critique.png[/wki]


You should be able to work out the rest of the bbcode from this part. Since the image is hosted on our server, we could plausibly change it later.

I don't think we should be using the big version - it's almost guaranteed to make people's sigs go over our size guideline. So let's get rid of that ASAP in favor of the small version and the text link.


Re: The actual rules - My current inclination is that less rules are almost always better than more rules, especially in cases like this were you have no actual way of enforcing the rules on other people. (This doesn't seem like something the admin team would bother to intervene in, unless it turned into incivility.) And it's immoral to try to impose rules on people who didn't agree to them - at best, you can make a polite request of them.

Apart from that, work it out - I have a plane to catch.
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Re: Honest Critique

#27 Post by fleet » Tue Sep 03, 2013 6:34 pm

LSF had an entire thread dedicated to honest reviews, where members requested reviews of their work.
http://lemmasoft.renai.us/forums/viewto ... =4&t=14881

It didn't last very long.
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Re: Honest Critique

#28 Post by CheeryMoya » Tue Sep 03, 2013 7:41 pm

fleet wrote:LSF had an entire thread dedicated to honest reviews, where members requested reviews of their work.
http://lemmasoft.renai.us/forums/viewto ... =4&t=14881

It didn't last very long.
The reason that thread didn't last long was because it was a single thread. Multiple conversations were going on at one time and it was hard to keep track of who still needed feedback, whether they were still looking for feedback, etc.

With this Honest Critique initiative, it applies to all threads by the user who wears the button. It should be more focused and organized I think.

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Re: Honest Critique

#29 Post by ShippoK » Tue Sep 03, 2013 7:56 pm

+1

Why didn't we think of this idea earlier?
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Re: Honest Critique

#30 Post by TrickWithAKnife » Tue Sep 03, 2013 9:33 pm

I could be mistaken, but I think the idea came after I added something about feedback to my signature.
To be honest, I just wanted people to know I appreciate constructive criticism. That's all.
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