I have been a Viki member for a while now and have had the privilege of doing subs on several different dramas. And the whole time, I have been both amazed and puzzled by the way Viki keeps going every day, providing hundreds of different Asian dramas for thousands of viewers and subscribers. And all the time I’ve been doing my bit to make Viki a cool place to watch Asian dramas, I’ve had a lot of questions about how things get done.
Base on the number of complaints people make about different problems that arise with segging and subbing, it often seems to me that there is no structure, no accountability, and no certainty regarding the many things that members of the Viki community find frustrating and definitely NOT helpful in doing segging and subbing work.
So I offer questions I’ve had for a long time about the whole process. I’m thinking that, if somebody can get answers to such questions and share them, things might change.
Or maybe not.
FWIW . . .
Who in the Viki organization says to producers of K-dramas (and other dramas): “We would like to show certain of your dramas, how much money will it cost?”
What is that person’s name and what is his or her title? Generally speaking, who does he or she interact with to get permission to show dramas on the Viki website and in the Viki phone app?
How long does that process usually take?
Once Viki has gotten permission to show various dramas (by getting a license to do so), how and where and when are the digital files of the dramas transmitted FROM networks/production houses/other organizations TO Viki?
Who in the Viki organization is responsible for legally and (to the extent possible) physically safeguarding the dramas that Viki has received permission to stream on the Viki website?
Who in the Viki organization then notifies the Viki community that a new drama has been uploaded to the Viki website and is ready to be segmented, subtitled, and otherwise made ready to be translated into various languages for Viki viewers and subscribers?
Who exactly in the Viki community has the authority and experience to take charge of new dramas and assign roles and responsibilities to make those dramas fit to be streamed on the Viki website? How do they communicate with Viki staff?
Are there ways for the Viki community and Viki staff to communicate on a regular basis about issues related to both new dramas and dramas that have been “segged and subbed” and uploaded to the Viki website? Are there regular meetings of some kind? Zoom? Phone calls? Any interactions in real time?
Do Viki staff members leave the ongoing work of segging, subbing, and uploading dramas entirely to the Viki community? Have any clear, direct, and easily understood guidelines ever been created by Viki staff and communicated to the Viki community regarding the amount of time required to seg and sub any drama? Or regarding “best practices” for using exact translations versus loose translations, modern idioms in historical dramas, profanity and euphemisms?
Is there anything like an organizational chart for those in the Viki community who are responsible for segging and subbing? If it exists, who is at the top of the chart and who is at the bottom, and how did those people end up in those positions?
In a volunteer environment, what enables individuals with the most segging and subbing experience to attain positions of seniority and responsibility, and how do they maintain those positions? Who in the Viki community or among Viki staff makes the determination that work is being done well or poorly?
If work on a particular drama goes poorly, who has the authority to stop work, “fire” contributors who are not doing well, bring in new contributors, and start over again?
How much of the segging and subbing work for Viki dot com is based on standards mandated by Viki staff, and how much of the work is done based on standards determined by members of the Viki community?
What it all boils down to is: who is in charge? What are the Viki organizations standards and expectations for production and promotion of “Viki-worthy” dramas on the Viki website? How are strong disagreements about different dramas resolved (between members of the Viki community and between members of the community and the Viki organization?
How is clear, meaningful, helpful communication carried out between the Viki community and the Viki organization? What is the basis on which members of the Viki community receive and use authority to make Viki dramas “view-worthy”?
And if the answer to the above questions is, “Heck if I know!” then why doesn’t anybody know, and how long (and why) have people allowed this state of affairs to exist?