jonphilmitch

Standardizing the "content" field

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Hey all,

 

I have donated the few magazines I had, and I don't really have the time to edit pages. But what I can do is fill out the "content" fields where they are missing. I just want to get some feedback on one's I've done. Mainly I want to know the following.

  1. Should there be a "systems covered" line? I see this in some entries. Is it helpful? 
  2. Is it better the have the system listed after every game like i did?
  3. Should the actual names of the sections of the magazines be used? ex. "Pocket Advance Previews" or just "Previews"?
  4. When using a headline for a feature (should a brief description be given? ex. Prepare to N-Gage (N-Gage Preview)
  5. It's a good idea to list the ads, right?
  6. What are opinions on including the review scores in this content section? Is it too cluttered with the system name also there?

Those are my questions to start. Let me know what you think.

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The only value typing all of that stuff into the contents field has over simply posting a scan of the table of contents is that the typed information is searchable.  So anything you include should be done with that in mind - i.e. what might someone be interested in searching for to see if it was included in that issue.  For the most part, this would be game titles along with the section in which it appears.  So, "Reviews: Game A, Game B, Game C...     Previews: Game A, Game B, Game C... etc.  So in my opinion, a description of a feature is better than the actual title of the feature in many cases.  For example, "Shigeru Miyamoto interview" is a far more useful searchable description than just listing a title like "Nintendo's Big Kahuna Speaks!"

Anything extra is up to you but seems like a waste of time to me.  I've seen a bunch of elaborate contents fields created by people here, but I have to wonder if they think anyone actually reads them when the actual magazine is a download away?

And rather than list ads, they should be uploaded to our ad Gallery.  Anyone interested in searching for advertisements can search there rather than having to search the contents of every mag in the DB.

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@kitsunebi77 Thanks. This is good feedback. Personally, I tend to come here looking for a magazine that has coverage for a specific game. So listing out all the games would be helpful for me and maybe others like me. A agree about using standard "reviews", "previews" headings as well as the descriptions for articles like interviews. I actually didn't know about the advertisement section in the Gallery, and by the look of it, neither do a lot of other people. Is it ok to pull ads out of the existing uploaded mags to put in the ad Gallery? Not sure what the etiquette is. Thanks again.

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7 hours ago, jonphilmitch said:

I actually didn't know about the advertisement section in the Gallery, and by the look of it, neither do a lot of other people. Is it ok to pull ads out of the existing uploaded mags to put in the ad Gallery? Not sure what the etiquette is.

Whether or not people know about the advertisement Gallery isn't really the issue.  The problem is that no one is willing to take time to contribute anything.  As of right now, around 65% of all images across all the galleries at Retromags were uploaded by me in the past 4 years.  The other 35% were uploaded by a handful of people over the 15 years that Retromags has been around.  That's not a great track record of contributions by the community at large.

But yes, all it takes to add an advertisement to our Gallery is to upload one of the ads contained in the thousands of mags we have available to download here.  (You need to make sure we don't already have the ad in the Gallery, of course.)  I usually add a brief description of the game including developer/publisher and release date.  Theoretically, the scans available here should be of high enough quality that additional editing work isn't required, but that might not always be the case.  And if you're pulling ads from some PDF found at the Internet Archive, it's very likely that additional editing work would be required.

All I ask is that you not upload two-page ads as two separate files (which has been done in the past).  Such ads should be joined into a single image first.  Of course, therein lies the rub, since most of the scans uploaded here were destructively debound (by which I mean part of the page was cut/cropped away in the debinding process), so for example, all of the mags that have been uploaded lately by E-Day would be useless for pulling advertisements from, since Phillyman debinds his mags with a paper cutter that removes part of the page in the process.  This is one of the reasons I always upload the ads to the mags I personally scan, since I always scan the entire page and also join the 2-page ads back together as seamlessly as is reasonably possible during the editing process. 

Also, supposing you run across a magazine that is a good candidate for pulling ads from, it would be preferable if you pulled ALL the ads from that particular issue, rather than picking and choosing here and there.

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3 hours ago, kitsunebi77 said:

for example, all of the mags that have been uploaded lately by E-Day would be useless for pulling advertisements from, since Phillyman debinds his mags with a paper cutter that removes part of the page in the process. 

You're saying that you'd rather have no ad than an ad with a very small portion of the page missing from de-binding? It must be preferable to have something, right?

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But we DO have cropped ads.  They're in the magazines.  Anyone who wants them can download the mags - we no longer have any restrictions.

The Gallery is for things that look nice.  That's why I spend so much time Photoshopping all of the covers and ads I upload to it.  Most of the covers in our Gallery look better than the magazine scans they came from because I spent a lot of time cleaning them up.  I am willing to upload a low-res or irreparably-damaged cover in order to fill a hole in a database if I'm convinced that there is nothing better available anywhere (trust me, I spend a great deal of time searching before reaching that decision).  But I don't feel it's necessary to upload a crappy ad when there may very well be dozens of better scans of that same ad.  Unlike a magazine cover, the same ad is likely to appear in dozens of different magazines, so it's entirely possible that a more complete scan is already available if someone takes the time to look.

BTW, I'm speaking strictly about two-page joins.  If a single page ad is missing a centimeter off the gutter side that doesn't crop off any text or significantly detract from the image, I have no issue with it being uploaded.  But a two-page join of an image stretching across both pages which is missing a centimeter on each page results in a horrible looking image with a two-centimeter gap running directly down the center, so yeah, I'd rather those not be uploaded until a better scan is found, especially since we may already have one somewhere in a magazine that's already been scanned. 

That's my opinion anyway.  After uploading nearly 18,000 pics to the galleries, one tends to feel a certain ownership of them, and I like to keep my things looking nice.😋

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54 minutes ago, kitsunebi77 said:

BTW, I'm speaking strictly about two-page joins. 

OOOOH! that makes total sense in regards to 2-page ads. Sorry I was thinking you were referring to all ads in general. Again, I appreciate the feedback. 

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I admit to being one of the multi-page ad uploaders. I've since stopped, since I lack the skills necessary to make them look good. But yeah, a number of PlayStation ads in the DB are multi-file ads because of me. :)

As one of the more elaborate indexers on here, I always figure it's better to err on the side of being too informative as opposed to not informative enough. I like to put my own mark of style on things, and hopefully anybody who does read them will be entertained in some fashion. But if not, oh well. I have fun doing it. :)

*huggles*
Areala

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6 hours ago, Areala said:

As one of the more elaborate indexers on here, I always figure it's better to err on the side of being too informative as opposed to not informative enough. I like to put my own mark of style on things, and hopefully anybody who does read them will be entertained in some fashion. But if not, oh well. I have fun doing it. :)

Right.  I think the only important thing about creating contents listings is to make sure that all of the likely searchable terms are included.  Of course, it doesn't actually work unless ALL of our mags are indexed, but in theory, someone looking for info on a certain game or what have you can type the title into the search box and get a list of all magazines featuring that game.  Sadly, there isn't really a way to further narrow the search (such as, all mags that feature a review of a certain game), but they can at least read through the indexed contents of the mags that show up in the search to see which ones have the type of info they're looking for.

After that, all other information included in the contents field can be added at the discretion of the writer.  The bottom line is that it's a searchable table of contents, and most people use a table of contents to quickly reference what is included in a mag on what page.  They don't check the table of contents to find out what the review scores were or for a detailed description of the topics covered in the feature story on page 40 titled "The History of Atari."  They typically will want to read the actual review or article for themselves.  But if writing a summary/review of the magazine's contents rather than a traditional table of contents is what inspires someone to do it in the first place, then more power to them.  I typically don't "read" a magazine/book's table of contents - I just reference it to quickly learn what page I need to go to to read what I'm interested in reading.  But other people may feel differently, especially if someone takes the time to make the indexed contents an interesting read all on its own.  And as Areala says, even if no one else cares, so long as it matters to you, that's enough.  I mean, I know full well that no one gives a rat's sass about our galleries, but that hasn't stopped me.😀

 

To be honest, what we really need is a custom program for the contents field so that different categories can be filled out and searched for separately.  For example, rather than a single contents field that lists everything, the contents entry page should resemble a database entry page with a list of different fields to be filled out separately, such as a "previews" field, "review" field, etc.  Then people could click a drop-down menu in the search bar for"reviews", type "Mega Man 3" into the search box, and only mags with reviews of that game would show up.  That's just one of a long list of things I wish we could do around here to make the site more functional, but alas such usability doesn't come easy or free.

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3 hours ago, kitsunebi77 said:

To be honest, what we really need is a custom program for the contents field so that different categories can be filled out and searched for separately.  For example, rather than a single contents field that lists everything, the contents entry page should resemble a database entry page with a list of different fields to be filled out separately, such as a "previews" field, "review" field, etc.  Then people could click a drop-down menu in the search bar for"reviews", type "Mega Man 3" into the search box, and only mags with reviews of that game would show up.  That's just one of a long list of things I wish we could do around here to make the site more functional, but alas such usability doesn't come easy or free.

YES this would be amazing. Hopefully one day the functionality will be there. 

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