Tag voting / clean-up

  • 10
  • Idea
  • Updated 1 year ago
I don't use tags a huge amount but I have been adding more and more of late, mainly prompted by an interest in seeing the tag chart on my Last.Week.
However, I've been aware that there are some pretty poor, generic, or multiple variants of the same tag dotted around the site. As such, I would suggest two things:
  1. Enact a voting feature on tags. To coincide with this, it would be helpful/necessary to have a "tags" page for artist/album/track pages. Currently, we can only see the handful of most popular tags. It could be laid out like an artist's track page, i.e. a simple list that we could +1 / -1 on each tag.
  2. Streamline the tags. There are tags like female vocalist/female vocalists, rnb/r&b/randb, electropop/electro-pop etc, which should be combined. Like how this forum will search existing conversations when you try and create a new topic, offering up similar conversations that you should maybe add to rather than creating a redundant new thread, a similar functionality would be worth looking into for tag creation. Related to this, I've been seeing more and more artists with their own name as a top tag, which seems both odd and redundant. If not removed entirely, it would be good to at least have a way to down-vote these tags away from prominence.

I realise these sorts of suggestions are going to be placed on the back burner for the moment, but it just occurred to me that some greater tag functionality would be useful.
Photo of Elliot Robinson

Elliot Robinson

  • 888 Posts
  • 2156 Reply Likes

Posted 1 year ago

  • 10
Photo of george dedas

george dedas

  • 124 Posts
  • 143 Reply Likes
nice suggestions...already voted them up!
Photo of gw666

gw666

  • 403 Posts
  • 210 Reply Likes
The users vote on the tags by using them. Each user can decide to tag as electropop or electro-pop. Your suggestion would open the tagging system up to manipulation like the voting system for the artist's images.
Photo of Elliot Robinson

Elliot Robinson

  • 888 Posts
  • 2156 Reply Likes
The users vote on the tags by using them.
 
True, but you can't vote on all existing tags because we currently can't see more than the top 5(?) tags, which means users end up (inadvertently) causing redundant variations like...

Each user can decide to tag as electropop or electro-pop.

Sure, users can "decide" to tag how they like, but my whole point is these two tags are identical and shouldn't both appear in an artist's tags, let alone potentially both in their top tags. Electropop = electro-pop; they shouldn't both exist as tags.

Your suggestion would open the tagging system up to manipulation like the voting system for the artist's images.

Yes but, correct me if I'm wrong, the tags are already occassionally trolled by peasants adding garbage or offensive tags. My suggestion would (hopefully) make the tags more meaningful and add a layer of user-interaction which could encourage people to visit the site more.
Photo of James Joul

James Joul

  • 983 Posts
  • 2019 Reply Likes
To coincide with this, it would be helpful/necessary to have a "tags" page for artist/album/track pages. Currently, we can only see the handful of most popular tags.
Goodreads (Last.fm for books) does this well. It shows the top genres (they call them shelves) on the main page and then offers a complete list of all tags used (and how many people used each) on a separate page. Being able to vote on tags to improve their accuracy would be a useful improvement - though I suppose it is technically possible to vote already by simply using your prefered tag.

One of my main issues with tagging is that it only takes one user's input to assign global tags to an artist, album or track page. So whoever gets there first controls the tags initially. This is especially problematic when using personal tags. For example, I use the tag "Great Discovery" to keep track of good artists I find and months later it can still be seen as a top tag on artist pages that don't see much traffic. If it was changed so that the same tag must be used at least 3 times before it became a global tag, this would hide personal tags from the catalogue pages, increase the accuracy of the tags and help to prevent examples of people from tagging Pop as Death Metal for fun. 
Photo of Hans-Jürgen

Hans-Jürgen, Moderator

  • 2359 Posts
  • 1205 Reply Likes
Have you checked this while being logged out? Usually tags become global after at least two users applying them, but when you are logged in, you can see them, because it is your personal tag. But maybe there was a change that I am not aware of.
Photo of Elliot Robinson

Elliot Robinson

  • 888 Posts
  • 2156 Reply Likes
Alternatively, maybe offer a "personal tag" facility so they don't get added to the global tag set.
Photo of James Joul

James Joul

  • 983 Posts
  • 2019 Reply Likes
@Hans-Jürgen

They still show when I'm logged out. Here's an example. All of these tags were added by me when this band had only 1 listener on Last.fm. They became global tags on that page after 3 days. 

This is a problem for me because in 2017 I experimented with personal tags. I essentially created my own tag page for albums released in 2017. It worked very well and I had 1,200+ albums and EPs all neatly displayed in an image grid. My friends (or anyone else) could use it to find new music and play the tag radio. 

However, I quickly noticed that this tag often became the only album tag. Nobody was tagging any of these albums to push mine out. In some cases, my album-specific tag would appear on artist and track pages as well.

Worse still, my tag started affecting a few other users by showing up in their Last.week reports! So, I deleted the tag and replaced it with something more generic and less personal. (That was a lot of work). The only problem is that you cannot delete tags on Last.fm anymore. Once they're global, they're there forever!

Here's one of my favourite albums from 2017. As you can see, my old personal tag is still there despite being removed. 

https://www.last.fm/music/Meadowlark/Postcards 
Photo of G.G.B.

G.G.B.

  • 423 Posts
  • 277 Reply Likes
Tag voting sounds like a good idea, the process needs to be made easier. Here are my suggestions: https://getsatisfaction.com/lastfm/topics/improve-the-tagging-procedure

The streamlining should be handled with care because merging similar tags or removing seemingly redundant tags could lead to a loss of important nuanced informations about user behaviour. For example, the users who use the plural form of a tag might be into a different sort of music than the users who use singular. On the charts however it could be helpful to have the option of merging these forms.
Photo of Elliot Robinson

Elliot Robinson

  • 888 Posts
  • 2156 Reply Likes
Ugh, how annoying that your thread didn't appear when I created this conversation :-/

For example, the users who use the plural form of a tag might be into a different sort of music than the users who use singular.

I don't quite get this concern. A tag's name/meaning is independent of who uses it. To use gw66's example above, "electro-pop" refers to the same thing as "electropop", it's just a unnecessary variation.

Perhaps you could offer an example of "plural vs singular form" to clarify the problem you perceive?
Photo of G.G.B.

G.G.B.

  • 423 Posts
  • 277 Reply Likes
 A tag's name/meaning is independent of who uses it. 
Correct, my idea was: People who tag in a specific way might also have other things in common. I think there could be a specific reason for this behaviour, like their heritage, education or way of thinking. So the users of tag "electro-pop" (hyphen) might have a different taste in music than the users of tag "electropop" (without hyphen). But that's just a conjecture of mine.
(Edited)
Photo of Elliot Robinson

Elliot Robinson

  • 888 Posts
  • 2156 Reply Likes
But their "heritage, education or way of thinking" has no bearing on the intrinsic  meaning of a tag. Respectfully, it seems a bit of a far-fetched hypothesis that someone who uses the spelling "electro-pop" will have distinct music taste to someone who uses the spelling "electropop". At the end of the day, the genre classification of electropop/electro-pop is independent of the people listening to it.
Photo of G.G.B.

G.G.B.

  • 423 Posts
  • 277 Reply Likes
But their "heritage, education or way of thinking" has no bearing on the intrinsic  meaning of a tag. 
Yes, but it influences the subjective way users think about a tag or music in general. A different spelling comes from a different group of people. If you want to give them accurate recommendations, it could be counterproductive to mix them by force with users of a differently spelled tag, even if the wording is almost the same. They chose their way of tagging for a reason.

On the user level, I would say, the users should keep full control over their way of tagging. An option to merge tags with the most popular or a specified standard form would be good, but no force-merging. The recommendation system should not be fed with distorted data against user's will.

On the level of charts, statistics and the tag pages however I think it actually would make sense to merge tags for a better overview, as long as it's transparent how the merging was done. It would be good if we could see on the charts, which spellings are included in a merged tag. If you take "electropop", it should show in a different window maybe how much "electro-pop" and "electro pop" or other forms are involved.
I'm not against cleaning-up the tags, I just want to make sure we don't lose access to data.
Photo of Action Radar

Action Radar

  • 199 Posts
  • 102 Reply Likes
We should also remove that horrible "Brutal Death Metal" tag from pop artists.
Photo of G.G.B.

G.G.B.

  • 423 Posts
  • 277 Reply Likes
It surely would be nice to have tags which describe the music correctly, but what if there exists somewhere in the woods a brutal death metal band who shares the same name? Last.fm needs to use unique artist IDs before even thinking of this. 
And even if the artists could be uniquely identified (which will probably happen sooner or later), it wouldn't be the ideal solution to delete the chosen tags of users by additional moderation work of the team. A better solution would be a self-regulation approach which fits the philosophy of this page. The music recommendations are based on the collaborative and freely expressed taste of the users and that's exactly how the tags should be handled. A better tagging procedure and maybe some tweaking of the system could result in bad tags being gradually superseded by the higher amounts of good tags. 
Photo of 666

666

  • 42 Posts
  • 126 Reply Likes
one of the most useless features and I have never used the tag for anything.
(Edited)