Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Proposed Petition to Artwiculate

Artwiculati! Please read the following, and let me know what you think. If you like it, then leave a comment for me here, and I will go ahead and post the petition in GetSatisfaction. 

If you disagree with any of the points (someone has already said that point 4 might not be practical), then please also comment. Many thanks.  


We, the Artwiculati, are endlessly passionate about this wonderful game : the creative buzz of composing erudite, poetic, heartfelt, or just plain witty, tweets, and we love the social life that goes with it. Once again, we reiterate our thanks for the fact that it exists.

But, we don't feel that the social networking aspects of the game should become the measure of or means to success; we feel that there should be a 'level playing field' for all players, and we applaud your continuing efforts to achieve this.

There are a few ideas to help this even further, which have been discussed quite a lot recently. We would like to put them to you, and therefore...

We, the undersigned, being passionate about Artwiculate, humbly petition the people responsible for the running the game, as follows :

1. Please make all kinds of RT count equally. If this is not technically possible, then please stop RTs from scoring at all.

2. Please equalise the different time zones by introducing a 25-hour day for the game.

3. Please remove the voting button from individual players' profile pages, i.e. all voting to be 'blind' from the main site (this will also help to deter "voting to influence results" which undoubtedly follows on from your 'front runners' announcement)

4. Please restrict voting to the players of the game. For example : 

only those following @artwiculate, and 

only those with a minimum points tally, to prove they actually are players

If you, like us, believe these changes will help, please try them out for a month or two

Please respond to this, so we know what your thoughts are :-) 


  1. I liked @Thesupercargo's suggestion of dropping the front runners announcement 3 hours before the end of the vote. A simple reminder that it's time to vote would do nicely!
    Maryse aka @Wifsie (using hubby's Google account)

  2. I'm happy with all these Tidd. I think 1 and 2 alone would go a LONG way to improve the situation.

    My only quibble with 3 is that it would make it more difficult to vote on days when we are overwhelmed with tweets because the WOTD turns out to be popular for some other reason. But it happens so rarely. I could live with this proposal.

    I've no idea how easy or difficult it might be to introduce 4. But why not put it to Artwiculate and let them decide.

    Glad "Donald" ( ;-) ) likes the idea of dropping the front runners announcement in favour of a reminder to vote. Really I was trying to address Del's concerns.

    I'd be happy to sign this petition as is, but I'll look forward to seeing other Artwiculati's reactions.

  3. Some very good ideas, Tidd :-)

    1. All forms of RTs should be equally rewarded, I can't argue with that.

    2. The moment of word change is always the same, and therefore always at an awkward time for me (1.00 AM). On the other hand, changing it might upset others. It may be be more fair to change it periodically, but I can live with the way it is now - I'm used to it.

    3. Removing the voting button from profile pages would make voting 'blind', which is certainly better for new players. I support this.

    4. If you restrict voting for players of the game, wouldn't you have to login at some point? Or would you simply login via Twitter? I'm not yet convinced about this idea, because it seems to raise the bar for new players to take part.

  4. Tidd, we've discussed this privately. I think you will get more fairness than currently if we just eliminate voting from the profile pages. Currently, Neerja is sending a link to all her 2000 followers asking them to vote directly at her profile pages without considering anyone else's tweets. This would be stopped by removing voting from the profile pages.

    Number 4 is unnecessary. Anyone who wades through all the anonymous pages looking at all the tweets should be allowed to vote, whether a 'player' or not. Keeps the playing field level.

    1 and 2 are uncontroversial for me.

    I'd support points 1-3, plus the proposal to drop the 'front-runners' announcement (I thought this was part of your package)?

    I WON'T support a 'logon'/'registered player' proposal; it would be too much work for artwiculate to monitor; make it harder for new players to get started; and CREATE opportunities for cheating (people would create dummy accounts for the purposes of bolstering their votes).

  5. Hi Tidd: I support some of the points but not all, just my opinion, of course, and I certainly support your posting whatever you wish to communicate on GS :-). I am hesitant in requesting edits as I do not think I have a right to tell others what to think or how to express themselves. So instead, I include below a version of what I feel comfortable backing, just so that you see I do support most points and the majority of what you wrote :-)

    As you probably know, we the "Artwiculati", are endlessly passionate about this precious to us game: we cherish the creative buzz of composing erudite, poetic, heartfelt or just plain witty tweets and the friendships we form doing it. Thanks you for creating Artwiculate!

    In the spirit of appreciation for Artwiculate, please permit us to submit for your consideration a few ideas [Tidd, I recommend distilling this to "an idea", more on this below] we formed by playing daily and observing.

    [I am not including the point about retweets because even though I concur with RTs counting equally, Artwiculate has gone on record as not wanting to address it nor anything regarding scoring (see Pete Kerr's response on GS regarding disclosing any info whatsoever on scoring) and I respect and support their wishes, trusting that they -in all likelihood- see a bigger picture than I as a player do. Additionally, I disagree with eliminating RTs because Artwiculate clearly intends this to be a Twitter-based game & as such, RTs are a part of Twitter, and again, I support their mission because it is their game.]

    2. Please consider introducing a 25-hour day for the game. [I do not think this is necessary but I support it if other players think it would make a big difference to their enjoying the game. RECOMMENDATION: If the primary intend of this communication is to remove the voting button from players' profiles I recommend abstaining from including this point as it dilutes the message. Just my opinion.]

    Please consider the merits of removing the voting button from individual players' profile pages. Doing such may encourage voting to be 'blind'. It may also help deter voting to influence results, sometimes triggered by the announcement of runners up, however inadvertent or pure in intend such may be: it's human to be inclined to vote for those we know and or/like.

    [I'm excluding the log-in point. I do like the idea in its intent, but I think the price is too high: we may have never gotten players such as Navin to play if such was in place. (Navin was voting ONLY for an entire month before -as he tells it- getting the courage to tweet. Online user interface practices clearly evince that the more obstacles in participating (request for info, registration, etc.), the more likely that users will click the back button. I believe log-in would inhibit Artwiculate's growth and as such does not support the game.]

    To everyone at atto and Johnston North: thank you to each and every one of you for all you do for Artwiculate.



    I hope this helped you and anyone one else who is interested, Tidd, in knowing my thoughts :-)

  6. After reading Jonathan's response I want to add that if you want to include the recommendation to not name the runners up I staunchly support this point but without insinuating misconduct (this latter point is crucial to me. Partly because I believe positively expressed recommendations are more likely to be considered and acted upon than ones including allegations without supplying undisputed proof.)

    Of course if people see their friends running they are more likely to go vote. There is only goodwill in that. And, I also think it will be more supportive of everyone NOT named if the update only included something like "the lead has changed x times today, vote for your favorites here" without stating names.

    Well said, everyone :-)

  7. Hi Tidd,
    I haven't had much time to play or vote, but I feel it is important to make my views known on the ideas, to which you have obviously given much thought.
    1) All RTs should count equally. By this I refer to RTs sent through the Twitter website, RTs sent by various outside applications, including a colon, and standard copy/paste RTs.
    I cannot understand why this should be a problem and for me it is an obvious development. The game started before the advent of the Twitter RT. It must adapt.

    2)Introducing a 25-hour day. This is an interesting point, but certainly won't make much difference to me (like Daniël). On the other hand, it may be problematic to implement and difficult for people to follow.

    3)The idea of removing the voting button from the individual profile pages certainly is an excellent idea to prevent links being made to these pages and force people to vote blind (which I have been doing for a week now), but how would we cope on a Spam day? I know Navin has developed a wonderful tool, but I'm not sure that everyone would want to use it. RTing is great, but it does tend to fill ones timeline really fast and sometimes you can't see the tweets for the RTs.

    3 b)I would personally like the front runner announcement to be reformulated or removed altogether. I systematically miss it, because I'm already in bed by then, so frankly speaking it adds nothing to my game and if it calms people down a bit it can only be a good thing.

    4)I'm not sure about this idea at all. I know that there are people out there that love looking at our tweets but never participate, either because they don't have a twitter account and don't wan't one, or because they have other priorities. Why should they be prevented from voting. In addition, it would make it all the harder for newbies to come on board and I can't subscribe to that.

    I was put off by a lot of the stuff going on lately and particularly because the scoring system no longer seems adapted. Something has gone wrong somewhere and it is time for Artwiculate to address the problem. However, I'm still playing. The only thing that has changed is that I've stopped RTing on the day.
    I've noticed many people feel an obligation to RT back when you RT them and that bothers me.
    The only thing that counts for me is that the tweets should use the word well, be it funny or not, poetry or 140 char prose. Blind voting suits me fine for the moment, until the current situation changes. There's too much miscontent. We've already lost a few fine players. Should we lose more?

  8. Thank you ALL for your ideas and feedback, it's been heartwarming & useful to me & hopefully to all who'd like to see change(s).

    The best advice I've received is not here, but via DM in Twitter. It is to split the proposed changes in two halves, as far as posting in GS goes. Therefore the first post will concern removing the vote button from individual player profile pages (THE most urgent change, especially in view of recent events); as the removal of names from the "3 hours to go" is closely linked to that, that will be included too.

    Once Artwiculate have had a chance to respond to that, the second post will concern the possibility of a 25-hour day (which it seems is less popular, despite being a great idea : it might end up confusing players); then the business of all RTs counting equally or not at all : this will emphatically make clear that whichever way they choose to jump on this (all equal, or not counting), we don't know want to know which they will go for, as we don't need to know their scoring system.

    The last point - only Artwiculate players being able to vote - is thought to be an unnecessary stumbling block : it could be too difficult to implement, and open new ways to cheat / abuse the system. So that one falls.

    John : I take your point about the lack of voting on player profiles making things very difficult on days when Artwiculate choose a word that results in spam. My response to that is 1) we haven't had one of those for a LONG time so they seem rare occasions now 2) why should new players (whose pages we wouldn't go to) be disadvantaged on days like that? Better in my opinion, that we don't vote at all, and just allow RT scores to count. Or ask Artwiculate to treat such days as 'for fun only', with no crown or scoring.

    Thank you again for your input. This was useful.