Changing The Rules for Maximal Agility: Introducing Utopian.io Submission Guidelines & Policies

in utopian-io •  last year  (edited)

When it was established, Utopian.io adopted a set of “rules” to give criteria for the approval of contributions submitted to Utopian.io . These rules offered a binary view of “approved” and “rejected”, creating an unnatural dichotomy between what was rewarded and what was rejected.

After weeks of hard work involving the community managers, company advisors, moderators and (of course) community feedback Utopian.io is ready to ditch the rules and adopt a new set of Utopian.io Policies & Submission Guidelines.

This new approach, combined with the process of scoring the contributions submitted (instead of approving or rejecting them), will allow for a more flexible and scalable process of reward distribution.

In addition, we took the opportunity to rework the guidelines for specific categories, and refine the rules for better readability, as well as a visual redesign (by @ms10398) of the Utopian.io Policies & Submission Guidelines page.

utopian-post-banner.png

From Rules to Policies & Guidelines

A Utopia does not need “rules”, as such, and so we believe every contributor should be free to contribute to whatever open source project they wish in whatever way they like. That said, it is our primary goal and vision to incentivize and reward only the best contributions that bring the highest value to projects and the open source ecosystem overall, and to be able to continue doing so in the future.

Policies for Participation

Every platform or service in the world has a set of policies in place aimed at protecting the service from potential harm (such as lawsuits or negative brand reputation), its services from abuse, and its users from a negative experience on the platform. As part of the switch from rules to submission guidelines, we’ve separated and emphasized the importance of policies, such as those for code of conduct, content originality, copyright issues and cases of abuse.

Regardless of your intention to submit contributions, it is critical that you get acquainted with the policies as your continued participation in Utopian depends on your adherence to them.

Guidelines for Rewards

Assigning a numeral quantifier to perceived quality of contributions submitted is a harder task than one might think. That is the reason why we’ve worked tirelessly to create synergy between professionally composed guidelines and effectively designed scorecards for each category. This way, we can compare the quality of contributions not only against said guidelines, but also between the different contributions in the category, according to their score.

As previously announced and emphasized, rewards or incentives from Utopian.io are never guaranteed even if all guidelines are followed. The rewards are distributed, as previously announced and detailed, to the highest scoring contributions in every category, rather than to all “approved” contributions (as previously done).

It is our hope that this change in view and mindset will lead to an ongoing growth in the quality and quantity of contributions submitted and rewarded.

Screen Shot 2018-05-21 at 22.32.10.png

Category Specific Modifications

Along with the switch in mindset, this update includes a few much-awaited changes to specific categories.

Copywriting

As mentioned in previous posts and Managers Weekly calls, contributions in the Copywriting category are now only eligible for rewards if they are made in response to public requests by Project Owners. These include Task Requests made on Utopian.io and other verifiable forms of public requests such as website announcements.

Graphics

To ensure only the most valuable and professional work is rewarded, and to prevent potential abuse and negative experiences of Project Owners with this category, contributions in the Graphics category are now eligible for rewards only if they are bound to a public request from the Project Owners or linked to a Utopian Task Request.

Visibility

In addition to Influencer Task Requests, contributors wishing to be rewarded for their efforts can now promote their favorite projects found in the Utopian.io Visibility Whitelist, to have their contributions scored according to guidelines.

We hope this opportunity to freely set campaign goals, select audiences and optimize the ad message will let our contributors fully employ their skillset as professional marketers.

Project Owners may apply for addition to the whitelist by contacting the Visibility Moderation Team in the influencers channel, on the Utopian.io Discord server.

Video Tutorials

To be eligible for reward, video tutorials instructing “foundation level” concepts can now be submitted only by contributors who have submitted more than 20 professional quality contributions in the past. In a nutshell, foundation level concepts are unique to an Open Source project, straightforward in complexity, and in required learning for all users of the project.

We hope that supporting foundation level video tutorials will provide learners with thorough learning resource collections for Open Source projects.

So who gets upvoted by @utopian-io?

The best, most significant and valuable open source contributions submitted for scoring are the ones that enter the voting round to receive an upvote from @utopian-io. The best way to ensure your contribution receives such an upvote is to follow the Utopian.io Policies & Submission Guidelines and exceed the performance of others.

In addition, exceptional excellence is rewarded through Staff Picks. A handful of contributions selected by Utopian.io Community Managers on a regular basis will receive the highest reward for the category and serve as an example of stelar work.

Utopian.io (still) RULES!

Utopian.io will continue to change, improve and evolve for you and with you. While our team invested a great deal of time and effort to set clear guidelines for submission, we trust you, the community, to set the standard and exceed our expectations.

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I'm an active member of the community. I am a professional designer and I choose to spend my free time contributing to open source projects.

I am convinced that the people who came to talk to me, more than 10 minutes have heard from me that "It's not all about money in life"
I like to contribute but when I see that it's getting harder for designers, I'm beginning to feel like we, as designers, are no longer very well on the platform.

I understand perfectly that they were and are abuses and this policy wants to stop this problem but at the same time I think we, the designers we have been here for a long time, that we have been correct and we have tried every time to do our job in Better yet, have the chance to contribute to projects that have not publicly announced the need for graphics. There is a possibility that we may be contributing to that project and the project owner wants to work with us further.

As a personal opinion, I consider that designers who have an approval rate of over 80%, do not abuse the system or cause trouble to project owners. So I would like to have the chance to post in projects where the project owner asked us to participate.

I think it would be great for us and project owners who have chosen us to be able to work together without having to make public graphics requests, since they want to work with us.

Why not check here: https://libraries.io/explore/help-wanted?labels=design ? There are plenty of POs out there who ARE looking for good design work.

I did not know about it. Thank you very much @techslut !

  ·  last year (edited)

Happy to help!

shameless plug ahead:
My latest post (the first in 3 weeks) is about just that - finding projects that are actively looking for contributors. Even if they are total newbies. This is one of the resources I included.

This looks even better, suggested by @oups https://opensourcedesign.net/jobs/

Oooh stealing that link for my resource repository. Thanks @oups !

we need all.

  ·  last year (edited)

Hey @radudangratian

Thanks for the amazing feedback

So I would like to have the chance to post in projects where the project owner asked us to participate.

In Graphics not much changes. If you have the evidence the POs requested the design, either via Utopian or via other tools, Moderators will still review your contributions positively.

What we are trying to avoid here is users going to POs directly, POs who are not looking for any design but they get bagged by abusers willing to milk the system on behalf of Utopian. This is unacceptable and we just made it a bit clearer on the new guidelines :)

Several of my question to Graphics:

  1. But what if after "we" as a graphic designer made a discussion with the PO, and then the PO want us to create a logo/another visual graphic. Does it counted as we propose to PO too? Because "we" are the one that contact to PO first.
  2. Does a Discord server counted as public? This is for if the project that I contribute is always making a discussion in a Discord Channel, and the PO frequently asking the member what kind of assets that they want us to make.

Thanks for you sir

  ·  last year (edited)

But what if after "we" as a graphic designer made a discussion with the PO, and then the PO want us to create a logo/another visual graphic. Does it counted as we propose to PO too?

As long as you don't do it on behalf of Utopian or with the sole intention to profit from it, no one will ever complain.

Does a Discord server counted as public?

There are better places for such requests, Github is one of them. Have a look here https://libraries.io/explore/help-wanted?labels=design or even better this https://opensourcedesign.net/jobs/

Thank you for your quick reponse @elear.

Hey @radudangratian
Here's a tip for your valuable feedback! @Utopian-io loves and incentivises informative comments.

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That's a surprise :) Thank you!

@utopian.stats sir you really so great man....

@radudangratian I really support your comment every day but they limit more the contributions for the designers, not everything is code and programming without a good image an application does not sell greetings ..

Another update and other difficult rules. I understand and you are right. But there are fundamental problems in the graphics category. First of all, people who are interested in the field of software sometimes do not know the importance of marketing. So they do not think they have the need for a new logo. Until we offer them a proposal.

80% or more of my proposals were accepted by Project Owners. Those who did not want to accept, back later and wanted their logos updated. Because, they are understand,realize that a logo can express them better.

However, new rules prohibit abuse as well as normal contributors. This means that the chart category is gradually dying. However, as far as I can see, at most 3 or 4 logos are accepted per day. For Utopian this is not a problem. Also for mods.

To be honest, I am openly writing. Do not get me wrong. I'm uncomfortable with the abusers. But I'm not sure this is the solution. As far as I can tell, it is possible to set a monthly limit for people who communicate too much with PO but have not received a return. and according to certain ranks these rights can be increased or decreased. In this way, people who will continue to make contributions and will not bother the Project owners.

Thank u for Utopian.

  ·  last year (edited)

Hey @yasujizr

Forget the word "rules". These are guidelines, which you can follow or not. If you follow them you have higher chances to get an upvote from @utopian-io. That's pretty much it :)

80% or more of my proposals were accepted by Project Owners.

You are still allowed to contact POs and do proposals. We could never stop that, as long as you don't do that on behalf of Utopian and with the sole intention to gain a profit from it. If so, no one will ever complain. Let's not forget our mission is to help Open Source projects, independently from the returns. I think we can all agree upon that :)

As far as I can tell, it is possible to set a monthly limit for people who communicate too much with PO but have not received a return

This is a nice idea, a bit hard to implement, but for sure something we can consider!

Thanks for your feedback.

Thank you, I apologize for the late return. I hope Utopian is the best for Open Source and contributors. :)

I'm glad to see Utopian moving slowly but steadily to the utopian vision it's pursuing from the beginning. It's a real shame that so much effort is wasted on trying to remove all abuses. On the other hand it's perfectly normal to go through this process. Utopian was not started with a year of research and proof of concept. @elear just dived in and we tried to keep it afloat at the very beginning. Now it's adapting along the way. The hack was very unfortunate but at the same time presents us opportunities. Supporting and motivating is the goal, not funding and paying. If I speak for myself I have been quite lucky to have been supported by Utopian, but I think in no occasion it's paying the hours spent. Which is exactly how it has always been supposed to be. Keep moving like this guys, crunch the leeches and keep the motivated contributors. Quality and atmosphere will improve.

Thanks for all the efforts!

Hey @jefpatat
Here's a tip for your valuable feedback! @Utopian-io loves and incentivises informative comments.

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Learn how to contribute on our website.

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Well that came as a surprise. I wonder how you guys decide on this. Thanks!

As long as there is an informative feedback it can get a tip. We don't care if it's a positive or negative feedback as long as it brings value.

Hello there ...
I'm new to utopia and i haven't made any contribution yet and I feel I can make an impact on the video tutorial category but with the new rules it seems I won't be rewarded because I have not submitted more than 20 contributions ... sorry can someone enlighten me on this?
And what does foundation level mean ?

Hello @kay1 . First, a "foundation level" concept are those that are 1. Unique to the specific Open Source application you are working on, 2. Required learning for anyone learning to use the app, & 3. Not overly complex. (NOTE: ubiquitous functions (Save, Open, Print, etc.), or basic programming concepts (variables, operators, loops, etc.) are NOT accepted as foundation level.

There is no change in the ability for a contributor to make video tutorials for complex concepts (just like it has always been).

This change to Video Tutorials makes it possible for contributors to submit tutorials focused on simpler concepts now - Foundation concepts. Until now no one could submit a tutorial on a concept that could be figured out by an average user. The problem was that these simpler concepts need to be addressed along with the more complex to create a thorough collection of video tutorials for applications. Without these simpler (foundation level) concepts there were gaps in the learning resources.

To make sure that contributors continue to create video tutorials which cover complex and foundation level we made it so if a person wants to submit a simpler video tutorial concept they first had to submit 5 complex ones to that specific Open Source project. This makes sure that the complex concepts are not ignored. Also before someone can start creating foundation level tutorials they need to have already submitted a total of 20 excellent contributions to a variety of different Open Source projects.

I hope this helps clarify. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me.

Hey @buckydurddle
Here's a tip for your valuable feedback! @Utopian-io loves and incentivises informative comments.

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@utopian-io really sir you so great man
You steemit most man.....
https://steemit.com/utopian-io/@kretorkk/today-my-photography-of-cars

Thank you so much for the reply
So if I want to start contributing I have to start with the complex ones is that it ?

Sorry but can I see an example of a complex concept?
Or what defines a complex concept?

Hey @kay1

Foundation level refers to concepts/functions that are unique to the project, required learning for end users, but not overly complex.

Okay
Thanks for the reply...so now if I get what the post is all about concerning the video tutorial aspect.... new contributors won't get rewarded if what they are contributing isn't complex but the "old legs" get rewarded even if they contribute the less complex stuff (foundation level) ?

Hey @kay1 yes if you want to provide foundation level tutorials you should already have past and verifiable experience in the project. Otherwise you would start normally with more complex video tutorials which cover various substantial concepts. In this case you don't have to show past experience in the project.
Have a look at some of our top authors @tensor @rosatravels to see how they started and how they met the desired quality.

Okay thanks @elear
what qualifies as complex ?

Another great leap forward by Utopian! Keep being the trail blazers that you are.

Indeed it is, thank you for the nice words ! :)

Utopian.io will be great in the future through this rule improvements! Thanks for all the Utopian Team for your hard work.

Thank you for your support! :)

  ·  last year (edited)

As previously announced and emphasized, rewards or incentives from Utopian.io are never guaranteed even if all guidelines are followed. The rewards are distributed, as previously announced and detailed, to the highest scoring contributions in every category, rather than to all “approved” contributions (as previously done).

So what is the minimum score to be eligible for @utopian-io upvote?
as I hope @utopian-io will getting harder only on abusers not valuable contributions.
abusers has many ways to do whatever they want with smart ideas to trick the system, I believe utopian-io community has a lack with anti-abuse in a professional ways.

I am sure this will reduce the number of abuses. Those who stay are truly utopians!

Thanks @justyy!

  ·  last year (edited)

Well, I think that while this is a great step "forward" for Utopian, this might more like be a huge step "backward" for other contributors who are not widely known by the Utopian moderation team.

I would have loved to say more, but I might just be pouring water on a rock so I think it's better to keep quiet and join the crowd in rendering the cliche,

"Nice work guys! We are Utopian"!!

Guessing you were referring to this

To be considered for reward, “Foundation level” tutorials should only be submitted by a contributor who has already submitted five professional quality video tutorial contributions to that project and has submitted more than 20 professional quality video tutorial contributions in total to various projects.

What this means in simpler terms is that if you want to provide a Video Tutorial which does not cover intensive technical details, such as end-user tutorials, you are now allowed to do that, as long as what you provide is quality and you have already contributed for the project in the past.

This is actually an additional opportunity for contributors compared to the previous rules, not a barrier :)

I think he was referring to the staff picks and that it sounds very difficult to get upvoted in the regular way.

Hey @mwfiae it is way way harder to be staff picked than getting a standard incentive. Staff Picks happen very rarely and only when there is a positive consent among most of our core members. So the decision there is also quite decentralised :)

Hey @neduzze5 please expand your feedback. What makes you think users well known by our Moderators will have better chances than the new ones?

Forward ever. Utopian will continue to grow and improve

  ·  last year (edited)

As far as I'm concerned..... (my slogan).......utopian has done lots in the past and even after the damn unexpected sonami hit, they are still coming up stroger....once bitten, twice shy........ Lessons are learnt if you are wise...... The past mistakes should not be Repeated any longer........... New dimensions, new tactics..... Thumbs up jare.... Make I use my local tongue here.... The grinding stone says you must all bow to my power... ....We gat follow the new dimensions and policy to make utopian soar even more....... My affirmation........ Long live utopian... Long live community managers.. Long live moderators and long live contributors........... I rest my case.... Gbam!!!!!!

Is it just me, or utopian is changing and it is getting harder and harder to get contributions? I don't know, I may be wrong, but this is what reading this post makes me feel like.

This may be a good thing, in order to prevent useless projects contributions, after all!

This is the thing I feel with every update, I even mentioned it a few times.

It would be good to have a few realistic numbers or something to rely on.
Something that tells the people: there are around 70 upvoted posts daily in this category with 100 contributions. You have very good chances to get an upvote if your content follows the guidelines, etc..

But like with every update: just steem on and everything will be fine I guess ;)

Hey @mwfiae

Something that tells the people: there are around 70 upvoted posts daily in this category with 100 contributions.

Our CMO @techslut is working on a new format which every week will expose the Staff Picks and some stats about number of received and voted contributions :)

So just stay tuned. We are planning to kickstart it anytime soon, if not this week, the one after.

  ·  last year (edited)

Hey @mejustandrew the purpose of this switch is totally the opposite. Making contributing via Utopian easier. Contributors can read the guidelines in order to know what kind of quality we expect. That doesn't mean they have to follow them strictly. Our moderators will judge the overall quality based on https://review.utopian.io and provide valuable feedbacks based on our Guidelines and Policies. So while before we had "strict" rules, now we have a big chunk of advises and desirable approaches for the contributors to follow and improve :)

Okay, I will try to make my future contributions worthy of the new standards.

I know that they are now advises, but I know that in the past these were strictly respected and if you missed one rule from many, you did not got the contribution approved. I hope you don't mind, I am speaking my mind :D

Sure. The approval/rejection is not there any longer. Everything is approved, but only top quality contributions may get a vote. You set the quality, we help you setting that up with our Guidelines :)

This platform has changed the life of so many individuals including myself. Now I want to help people with the money I have made , when I go back home in a couple of weeks , it’s time to give back o those in need . I put my trust in God

Another Great one!!