I feel like I’m nagging all the time, but…
What is happening here recently?
1. Double Channel Manager Selection
I guess most of us can agree, it’s actually a good idea to get new CMs some proper help aside from Viki, so they’re not lost for their first CM project. So I’m not arguing about this aspect, it was about time. But… what made the responsible people think it’s a good idea to choose recently (we are talking about a few days in some cases) selected Channel Managers for this and just hand more channels in a row to them?
- They are already quite busy with another channel, you could’ve chosen another person applying for the said channel
- Some languages in some genres have a lot of people who are interested in those - handing channels to one person disturbs the balance
Don’t get me wrong, I know the selected people usually do a good job and are determined contributors but… they should reconsider the chosen concept in my opinion. It’s not like they “suffer” from being a Co-CM for a popular project (this indeed concerns a lot of BL projects recently, but not only those).
2. All Languages Moderators Chaos
Recently, new Channel Managers are informed by PM that they’re not supposed to make Other Languages Moderators with too many projects “All Languages Moderator” to avoid the moderation limit. However, it’s stated that this might affect editors without a moderator as well. In fact, it’s not a bad idea to turn solo subtitlers that can’t become moderators (because of having not enough contributions and subtitling some sort of rare language) into editors, so they can open/close episodes and check the reference subtitles. Furthermore, Viki has been encouraging us Channel Managers not to reject interested contributors easily. So referring them to other projects or rejecting them for low contributions kind of contradicts the mentioned rule (https://support.viki.com/hc/en-us/articles/115015526088-Common-Etiquette-for-Channel-Manager-and-Moderators).
Not to forget that this rule was applied to older projects - and it might be possible that new contributors already reached 3000 subtitles. It’s not clear that the Channel Managers won’t be implicated in this case.
Furthermore, there has been a lot of confusion about the ALM role for segmenters. Some CMs refuse to hand it to segmenters now, while segmenters claim that there can be issues with edited subtitles in the process of adjusting and combining. When the limit was introduced, Viki stated that segmenters can be added as ALM - did this change now?
3. The limit burdens medium-sized and small language communities
I have a list of about 180 shows that haven’t been translated into German. But more than 30 of these are from the last 3-4 months. That’s quite a bit. German is a medium-sized community, but to get a vast majority of all new dramas translated in time, few people decided to moderate these projects. We have enough subtitlers to get some things done, but only a very small number of them want to moderate a team. In some cases, those dramas are either not translated or some (sometimes questionable) person without any team takes them to give up after a few episodes. The project limit is designed for huge communities… like the Spanish one. Some CMs nowadays even struggle to find Portuguese moderators. Is that the goal?
Exceeding the limit isn’t only about rare language hoarders, a lot of people translated shows very dedicated to their audiences. Like that, Viki can offer the paying subscribers even less translated shows. Furthermore, this doesn’t influence the channel distribution’s fairness. People will find ways to avoid the restrictions, and those are about impossible for CMs to recognize.
Trying to encourage new contributors to become moderators later on is fine, but this can as well in new contributors being manipulated (as long as it’s not the experienced contributor’s cat’s account…), and it’s obvious that there aren’t enough people to compensate for the restrictions. Not to forget that Viki expects Co-Moderators to be added as language moderators too. Who will be even able to translate all of these shows? Only the Spanish community?
******* Please kindly note that to help prevent unfairness in the community, if you are reported and found to be adding other contributors as Editor/All Language Moderator who are operating as a specific language moderator, we will remove you from your position as a Channel Manager, which will affect your future Channel Manager applications, and this can later lead to the removal of your QC status and access to the Viki website, if needed. *******
This rule doesn’t answer matters like channels that are inactive for months or even years because of a delayed release. It doesn’t provide an answer for rare or medium-sized communities, either (as mentioned above). Certainly even those have these issues with people accepting more projects, but they won’t necessarily hesitate if they can still appoint their cat, inactive sister-in-law or secondary account as a moderator (usually these are rather inactive regarding channel contributions). Rules have to separate matters accordingly, or this will lead to people being reported unfairly. Furthermore, there has to be a solution for this pile of unattended projects. Some of these dramas might be left alone because only 1 episode per months is released… but here the CM has to take responsibility instead of running away from it.
4. Channel Distribution
Recently, channels have been handed to people after merely 4 weeks, or a rather short time. As I usually wait 3-4 months for a new channel after applying continuously, I fail to understand this behavior. It disturbs the distribution balance and handing the very few Korean dramas, for example, to one person “in a row” may lead to others not being given a chance in a row as well. Same with handing two shows out just because one was delayed by a month.
Certainly, there are cases where a CM is unlucky and has to wait for months… but I’m not referring to this sort of case.
Therefore, I hope that the people in charge will carry out their responsibilities accordingly.
3 dramas in 5 months
2 dramas in 2 months
4 dramas in 4 months
2 highly anticipated Kdramas in 3 months
Those don’t include dramas that were taken from another inactive CM. Some of these even do OL moderation without assigning the correct role. However, that obviously wasn’t checked before and considering that previously names of people mentioning others were leaked by staff members… it’s not very convincing. I can understand why people are hesitating to report these matters.
I’m not blaming these CMs either. They just apply, as many of us do. It’s Viki’s responsibility to find a fair solution.
5. Movie licensing chaos
Lately, a lot of movies had their languages restricted afterwards (or in advance without informing the CMs). However, especially in the case of new movies, CMs should be informed in time and not only after inquiring because someone noticed that the subtitle editor refuses certain languages. In general, it’s even more pointless to bother with movies if there’s a huge chance that your subtitles will disappear in the meantime.
Certainly not everything can be predicted, but in some cases the communication could be improved significantly. Hopefully, this has changed now already.
6. Finding a solution for a problem that isn’t one
I’ve been surprised by staff asking and telling about the idea to remove “inactive projects” from the project finder, so nobody will bother anymore to translate those… after the website interface changed so much that nobody can find anything anymore. I do have ideas for the project finder that start with not showing shows with a high percentage or only displaying those that actively look for people (or even find another way to let moderators probably search for their next project or contributors…). But instead I keep hearing about issues I never knew of. Maybe I’m ignorant - or it’s simply the fact that major issues are not necessarily addressed. Certainly, there might be reasons, but in some cases I do have my doubts. Getting your priorities right is something you have to do all the time. Even on Viki.