Should closing URs be limited to Rank 2+?

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Re: Should closing URs be limited to Rank 2+?

Postby Firree » Thu Jul 24, 2014 12:29 am

Why not add or modify the popup message when someone tries to close an UR? If what DwarfLord is saying is correct-- that level one editors are closing URs just because they don't know any better, wouldn't that adress a large portion of this problem? There is that popup dialog that says "The report is still pending questions..." so why not add, change or modify so that it better addresses and prevents this practice?
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Re: Should closing URs be limited to Rank 2+?

Postby DwarfLord » Thu Oct 02, 2014 4:22 pm

If you know the local Area Manager's name you can private-message (PM) that AM via the forums. Unfortunately Waze's Area Manager layer is almost unusable, but you may have a State wiki page that lists your area managers, if they have self-reported to that page. Note that some AMs are quite inactive. At least one AM does not even read PMs, I've had a PM waiting in my outbox for that AM for 7 weeks or so. He/she is still editing, just not checking PMs.

If you can't find or make contact with an AM, you can escalate directly to a Regional Coordinator (RC). A quick search should turn up the page that lists the RCs for various regions. (In fact that's all the AM would do anyway, but the AM would evaluate the situation first and determine if it requires an RC's attention.)
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Re: Should closing URs be limited to Rank 2+?

Postby DwarfLord » Sun Aug 31, 2014 3:42 pm

Like Taco909, I agree with much of XKSpeed's comments but would like to respond to some aspects.

XKSpeed wrote:First off, I want to respond to the heading of this thread. I've seen a L3 close a huge swath of other editor's UR's for no reason except they were a few days old. In the same area were dozens of unworked URs and that L3 didn't engage the reporters on ANY of them

The point is not that higher-ranking editors are always more conscientious, it's that they are usually more conscientious. We can't make Waze perfect but we can make it better. Individual examples of rogue editing by higher-ranking editors are useful as case studies but I am quite sure the rank/locking system provides useful damage control.

XKSpeed wrote:Second, I see no reason URs need to be closed swiftly when there's no response from a reporter. I'm sure there's some exceptions, but if I increase my zoom I have no problems seeing all the URs in a major metro area. Unless you're still working on a 640 x 480 desktop, I don't buy the "clutter" argument.

In general I agree, but there are downsides to a heavy UR load. Some editors are indeed working with more limited resources (computer power, screen size, bandwidth). I was recently in a remote area with very limited bandwidth and found editing in Waze effectively impossible. Also, if a pile of URs show up at the site of a new issue, a massive background UR load will make such a cluster harder for browsing editors to detect, a sort of visual signal-to-noise issue. Finally there is a morale concern: when an editor is presented with hundreds of URs rather than ten or twenty -- not to mention when the URs seem to come in faster than the local community is clearing them -- it can be depressing and many editors might say to heck with it. So there are some good reasons to clear stale URs rather then let them languish.

XKSpeed wrote:The kind of people that report minor issues are usually smart, busy people, and are very rare personality types. It's quite possible they are not going to have time to respond until several days later and are the type to take time to compose a detailed response. If you close their UR in a few days with no warning, you disenfranchise your most important sector of users!

Thanks for saying this. I agree completely that Waze reporters are disproportionately likely to be "power users" with valuable input. That's why it hurts so much to see their reports dismissed as a result of poor editing. At the same time, I disagree that these busy people should be allowed more than 7 days to respond. In my experience busy people prioritize their time among constant distractions and requests, and if they don't get to something like this soon they won't get to it at all. Some editors recommend a second "ping" and I sometimes do that, especially if I am interested in the area of the report. But as Taco909 said there is the serious danger of being perceived as nagging. I think it is better to show good will, and say that they can feel welcome to submit again if the issue recurs, than to try to nail them down on one particular UR.

XKSpeed wrote:While some editors may be truly altruistic, I suspect many want that cool dinosaur mood icon when they're driving around town!

Indeed. I haven't seen a post yet in favor of the current UR rewards system. The idea of rewarding new editors for closing reports may have had value in the early days of Waze but any value it once had is gone.

XKSpeed wrote:Sometimes there's legwork that takes a few days.

I'll echo what Taco909 said, that one can add a discussion comment indicating that one is actively pursuing a UR and please leave it open. This works unless one encounters a rogue editor who disregards such things. Such an editor is disproportionately likely to be Rank 1. Hence this topic :mrgreen:

Regarding any proposals for addressing this issue, Waze seems to want to limit their interaction with and responsiveness to the editing community. As you may have noticed, much of our understanding of how routing and voice instructions work is the result of dedicated and painstaking reverse engineering by volunteers, not as a result of the Waze developers simply telling us. I don't get this business model but it is what it is. The likelihood of complex proposals being adopted seems abominably minuscule, no matter how good they are. I am hoping that the idea of URs being auto-locked at 2 and/or re-openable is simple enough it could actually happen :roll:
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Re: Should closing URs be limited to Rank 2+?

Postby DwarfLord » Sat Aug 30, 2014 6:13 am

URs are, I believe, the only situation where Waze prevents experienced editors from limiting or undoing damage caused by new editors.

It baffles me. One can see from the responses to this thread that it impacts volunteer morale. We can guess that it impacts driver morale as well when their concerns are summarily dismissed or marked as solved when nothing has been done.

I have no way of conveying to Waze how horribly discouraging this can be, so I'm running with the assumption that Waze places a low priority on the integrity of the UR system. Fair enough.
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Re: Should closing URs be limited to Rank 2+?

Postby DwarfLord » Mon Aug 04, 2014 3:37 pm

I feel your pain brother. It takes very few editors gaming the system to destroy the system.

What I'm not sure the Waze folks fully embrace is that it is not enough to attract new editors. They must attract and retain responsible editors. The environment you describe would be a recipe for burnout even if you were getting paid. I so wish that Waze would take a break from encouraging new editors and look for ways to encourage advancing editors by giving us better tools to protect the Waze system and better ways to detect and police the few who game it. There may not be many of them but they can have a terrible impact.
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Re: Should closing URs be limited to Rank 2+?

Postby DwarfLord » Sat Aug 02, 2014 5:12 am

To me, asking an editor to build up 1000 editing points before they can close a UR just doesn't seem that terrible. There's plenty of other work for Rank 1 editors to do.

However, if there is general resistance to that restriction, what about the other option: allowing a closed UR to be re-opened during the time it still shows on the WME display?

If this step were implemented, a UR wipeout could be undone by anyone with editing access to the affected area, solving the main problem. It might also be easier for Waze to implement. In fact maybe all Waze has to do is remove whatever code currently prevents it?

If folks can get behind this concept, maybe we can pass that along to those among us who have "red telephones" and hope that it gathers support.

It just really hurts to see hundreds of URs, including many from sincere reporters who were honestly trying to contribute, deleted so that no other editor can pursue them.
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Re: Should closing URs be limited to Rank 2+?

Postby DwarfLord » Fri Jul 25, 2014 3:09 pm

radjax wrote:what i see often is an editor clicks on multiple UR's and regardless of the message from the user ask a ton more questions from the reporter.

My concern in this thread is to prevent what amounts to deletion of URs. That is, closure with no attempt to understand or remedy the issue or to allow another editor to do so.

That being said, the scenario quoted is not cool etiquette. Canned responses are OK to start the conversation, but once the reporter responds the editor's brain has to engage and an attempt has to be made to solve the problem.

In areas where URs outnumber active editors by 500 to 1, it's a rational if desperate response to just start clicking and sending a canned inquiry to every one, at least to get the clock ticking. However if the canned response is humble, polite, and engaging, the number of responses may overwhelm the editor who does this. That's why I don't go hog wild sending canned responses to a vast area.

URs that have a request for more information but no reporter response for at least a week after the inquiry are eligible to be closed. Per etiquette the first responder has dibs on closing, so if I can't see what went wrong either I generally add a note to the conversation "No response from reporter, suggest closing as not identified" and wait another week. That's a hassle but it's current protocol.

For some time I've been following the excellent suggestion of editor pumrum to add "(Open to any editor)" at the end of initial canned queries. Other editors can follow up efficiently without violating etiquette. I'd love to see that habit catch on ;)

(Edit: Clarified what is meant by an "old" UR.)
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Re: Should closing URs be limited to Rank 2+?

Postby DwarfLord » Thu Jul 24, 2014 6:11 am

Helgramite, thanks for the careful and thoughtful post. I am in complete agreement with you that the current rewards system works against the integrity of the maps and of problem handling. I for one would shed no tears if point awards for submitting and working URs ended.

Still, I am far from certain that would solve the bulk of the problem. Surely some editors are indeed just scalping points and I agree we would be better off without their "help". But I am convinced that many others, including some of those who cause the massive disruptions we're talking about in this thread, simply don't know what they are doing.

So, maybe a three-part approach:

  • End counterproductive point motivators;
  • Add damage control by preventing Rank 1 editors from closing/deleting URs; and
  • Expand training materials for new editors.

In fact I've been working on that last item, but to avoid sounding like a promoter I will not mention the details again here :)

The first two items would of course require Waze engagement and agreement. After several months reading these forums I get the sense that is easier said than done, which is a shame.
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Re: Should closing URs be limited to Rank 2+?

Postby DwarfLord » Wed Jul 23, 2014 2:00 pm

bart99gt wrote:As long as Waze has the bonus points out there for resolving 50 URs, you're going to have this problem.

I used to suspect that was the problem too, but in the two most egregious cases the editor didn't stop at 50. In the more recent case, I've heard the editor was active outside my editing area as well (where I can't see the URs) and the deletion toll may have been more like 300-500 URs in one day. And, like I said, this editor responded quickly and very contritely to a PM. I really don't think it was a point hound, at least not in this case, just someone unclear on the concept.

Limiting the closing of URs to Rank 2+ would have given this editor time to understand by example while preserving the integrity of the UR system.
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Re: Should closing URs be limited to Rank 2+?

Postby DwarfLord » Wed Jul 16, 2014 1:51 pm

yogi_fuggin_bear wrote:I have to disagree on completely shutting them out under the first proposal. For starters you're asking for drastic changes to be made because of a sporadic nuisance that only infuriates a few. To boot, the URs aren't gone forever, just click on "show closed" in the layers menu and you can continue to make comments on the UR.

yogi, my observation is that closed URs disappear from the map after a week or so. Once a UR is no longer displayed, if nobody has the UR identifier (e.g. as obtained through an email) there is no way to access it and it really is, effectively, gone forever. If closed URs really were available for display til the end of time I would agree with you that locking them is unnecessary, but then we'd have a different problem :)

Closing a UR with no particular effort to solve it is not "closing" it. It is deleting it. I just don't want Rank 1s to be able to delete URs. We lock all sorts of things above Rank 1, why not URs?

To reiterate, the idea is emphatically not to "completely shut them out". I am very sorry if I gave that impression. I very much want Rank 1s to be able to view URs, converse with reporters, and attempt to solve issues. I just don't want Rank 1s to delete URs. That does not shut them out at all really! It just means (a) they don't get points for deleting URs (well, yeah!) and (b) the URs won't be closed until somebody else comes along, which as you point out already happens no matter who works the URs.

The most important thing about a UR is the window it can open into a problem in the map. While nobody wants open URs lying around forever, it is even worse for them to be deleted without being worked. If that's the tradeoff, then yes, in cases where a Rank 1 successfully works a UR let's leave it lying around until a Rank 2+ can review and close it. What harm does that do really? In fact it gives Rank 1s one more incentive to reach Rank 2, which is a good thing.

[EDIT: WIth regard to other proposals, all of which have great merit, my only concern is that the more complex the proposal the less likely it is to be implemented. Beyond a certain point of complexity -- for example, having different UR locking behavior in different regions to be drawn and maintained by the RC -- the likelihood of implementation is so low we are engaging in what Einstein happily referred to as "brainschmaltz".]
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