We are aware that some changes to new channel pages have been confusing. Let us first apologize that we didn’t announce the changes sooner, and let us proceed to explain why:
In the very early days of Viki, some of you who have been around long enough know that Fan Channels were requested by users. Viki would create them, regardless of whether we knew we would or could license them eventually, and the user who requested the channel would automatically become Channel Manager. The process has changed a lot since then, but the creation of Fan Channels in itself has not really gone away.
An issue that the Community Team runs into a lot, is multiple Fan Channels becoming obsolete because those shows never become licensed, and the channel team is left sitting, waiting indefinitely. This is also problematic when looking at Channel Manager candidates, because we could select a user that shows 2 channels they have management experience in, when in reality, both of those could be Fan Channels. Another example we may see, is a user that has 4 channels they are managing, and assume they have too many projects on hand already, and not select them, when in reality 3 of those are Fan Channels. Yet another scenario we run into is suddenly one day a Fan Channel does become licensed, but the Channel Manager and half the team is no longer active because the original team was formed 2 years ago, and now we need to scramble to find a new Channel Manager immediately, especially in cases where the show itself may not garner much interest.
Due to all of the reasons mentioned above and more, we’ve decided that allowing users to apply to channels before we know the show is even licensed just doesn’t make sense. The changes that you’ve noticed is because of this decision. The CM application issues are actually due to how we’ve redefined what unlicensed channels should behave like. In the past, anyone could follow, add to collections, and apply to be CM on these unlicensed channels. But since there is no guarantee that these channels would even be licensed, we’ve decided to hold off on allowing QCs to apply for shows until we can confirm we have the license for it. However, we did not realize that the ability to follow or add shows to collections would be affected by this decision.
Currently, the new logic is as follows:
- If a show is “Coming Soon,” then the show is licensed. Given that the show is licensed, all usual features (follow, add to collection) will be accessible. If no CM has been selected yet, you will still be able to submit a channel manager application.
- Conversely, if a show is not licensed, you will not be able to apply to be CM, follow, or add the show to a collection.
It took us until now to come back to you guys with a proper explanation because we initially misinterpreted this issue with another bug. We’ve found that there is a lag between when we select a Channel Manager on the backend of the system, versus when that change gets reflected onto the channel page. In other words, after we select a channel manager, it takes a while for the system to reflect the chosen channel manager and close the application link on the channel page. Many of you have also pointed this out and we are already working towards fixing this. In conclusion, we are clearing it up now: The CM application changes were intentional––not a bug––but not being able to follow or add the show to collections was a byproduct we did not expect.
Now we would like to open up a discussion with you guys; How and why do you follow new shows? Or add them to collections? Is this to keep shows you are interested all in once place so that you may keep track of potential projects you would like to work on? Or for a different reason? We are trying to get to the root of the issue, to see if there is a better way to solve your problem. Would it be easier if we made unlicensed shows invisible? If that were the case, what is another potential way that would allow you to become aware of new projects to look forward to?
Apologies again for always being a beat too slow when it comes to communicating with you guys. There are a lot of moving parts, and we would like to involve you all as a part of it, but we’re still learning and this is something we’re constantly trying to improve.
We look forward to your feedback, suggestions, and answers as always.
Viki Community Team