Character Tag Guidelines

Discussion in 'Character Submissions' started by cassiesheepgirl, Jan 14, 2011.

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  1. sothis

    sothis Forum Moderator Anime-Planet Founder Developer

    this is a totally fair request and one that just hasn't been implemented due to time/priorities - basically we would need to build a moderator/admin section to allow mods to input these definitions, format/style them, etc. the database flat out isn't set up to handle that right now, so it'll take a bunch of work to keep it flexible/dynamic and allow mods to control it, so i'm not the bottleneck.

    we are (slowly) working on the site's redesign right now and i'll keep the description in mind when we're redesigning our db schema for the descrips/etc
  2. sothis

    sothis Forum Moderator Anime-Planet Founder Developer

    and because apparently i'm in a spammy/many posts in a row mode :p

    the challenge with character tags (same with anime/manga tags) is: how vague is too vague?

    for example, take the tag 'nice' or 'kind'. how would the guideline for that be written, so it's very easy for a moderator (or a user) to know who qualifies for 'kind'? while i think most of us can agree on what we think the tag means, it's really hard to write guidelines for where the cutoff is for deserving the tag. certainly, the goal is not that 2/3 of the database is marked 'kind' just because they are never explicitly an asshole. yanno?

    the same can be said for 'emotional'. to me that seems like a nightmare kind of guideline. if the person gets sad once, do they qualify? if they're just doomy/gloomy, does that count? if they are genuinely happy for someone's success in school but the rest of the time they seem to be fairly normal, do they get the tag then? not only would that be hard for users to know who deserves the tag, but it would be an excessive burden on the moderators, who work pretty tirelessly/around the clock to try to enforce the guidelines

    the mods have discussed these sorts of tags before, and i think we're all on the same page that AP needs more personality type tags - right now, most of our tags are physical (balding, hat, monocle, etc), job-based (pilot, artist, etc) or quirks. broad ones that are hard to define are needed, but we haven't so far figured out a way to quantify them into written guidelines. how we add new tags is we discuss an idea in the mod section, come up with example characters, and then the hardest step is actually writing the guidelines, with very specific data on what does and does not qualify a person for a tag. it's harder than you'd think - if you tried coming up with guidelines as specific as the ones we have for emotional, it would be a good way to see the challenges we face

    the tl;dr: we agree that a wider range of emotional/personality type tags would be beneficial to the database. it's just really, really hard to do, but we're open to suggestions
  3. vernanonix

    vernanonix Galvantula Rancher

    I suspected that that might be their reasons for making this rather drawn out argument, but personal attacks aren't conducive to constructive debate, hence I never brought it up. Negative connotation or not, if the tag fits, we'll tag it.

    Apologies. It's just I saw no reason to change anything. We've never had a problem with it and the points being made didn't seem justifiable reason for changing the tag. This whole debate felt spawned from a person vendetta to give a specific character a bit better tag than what it already has. But if you wanna consider changing it, we'll discuss in th emod forum.

    There was a point where this was about to happen. You even requested pics from the community to add as a sort of profile pic for the tag. But for some reason, it got pushed to the side and never happened. Maybe post-redesign we can get that done plus start ironing out the anime tags again? o3o

    We had Emo at one point. That went over well. :troll:
  4. Tyranid5

    Tyranid5 Member

    To offer some clarification on this point i highlighted above, I'm a former mod. But the anime db has been a part of the site in it's long history for much of it's 10+ year history the character db is much newer I think like 4-5 years old now. But at the beginning of the tag system being added for each there weren't set guidelines like we have published in the 1st 2 posts of this thread and thus a lot of the earlier tags are not 100% consistent with the guidelines currently written.

    Each mod now tries to adhere to the guidelines the best they can but everybody interprets them slightly differently because we are all human, so that's some variation. Over time a couple of the guidelines have been changed also, but at the same time there have been many different character mods, many who (like myself) are not currently mods. So a lot of the work that the former mods did may not be conformable by a current mod because each mod's read/watched lists differ vastly.

    The series tags are still hitting a snag because the guidelines for the series tags haven't been finished yet. When they are finished sothis was planning to get input from mods/users to get more series tagged accurately but without guidelines it is hard to have people recommending changes.

    Some of the guidelines aren't 100% perfect, but coming in here and asking/demanding a change doesn't really accomplish much. The best way to get tags removed or added to a character(s), is to submit it through the character submission system, explain why you think the tag should/shouldn't apply and with your forum account correspond with a moderator who hopefully will be able to discuss the tagging/not tagging of that character.

    I didn't mean to make this long of a post either because my final point is when discussing something just make your arguments concise, that way more mods can take time to read all the posts and try to help out if they can. Many have busy lives and have a lot of other things they try to do around the site.
  5. Tyranid5

    Tyranid5 Member

    Emo.... that was nothing.....

  6. sothis

    sothis Forum Moderator Anime-Planet Founder Developer

    just to add on to this, something else to keep in mind as far as consistency is that we very frequently discuss and add new tags, and then try to backfill as many of the tags as possible. but it's pretty hard to remember all characters who fit a certain tag, and that's why we look to the community to add missing tags.

    for example:

    bodyguard is a pretty new tag, when it was added mods went through and tried to add the tag to any characters they know fit. but certainly, there are/were characters missing the tag, so now it's filled in. missing tags definitely are inconsistent in that regard - but at least with any new submissions that come in after a tag was added, mods generally are very consistent with making sure any applicable tag is added (and try to peer review each other to ensure tags aren't getting missed).

    tl;dr, often the reason why some characters are missing tags is because they're a newer tag that's just had guidelines written up and added - with over 15,000 characters in the database it's hard to remember who fits each tag
  7. ZetsubouKaiji

    ZetsubouKaiji Well-Known Member

    It's a bit amusing to me that he's arguing for Haru of all people not to have the crybaby tag when it almost definitely fits him like a glove. He spends most of the anime whinging, whining and crying. He fits the tag just about as perfectly as any other character I can think of.
  8. kaijo

    kaijo Guest

    Posted by kaijo on Nov 25, 2013
    Thank you, I think this was the word I was looking for: Infantile. The term crybaby came about because it was being used to refer to someone crying like a baby. We're talking full out bawling here. If they just get a bit emotional, it's hard to see how it applies.

    I definitely understand this, as to be honest, it confused me that there were even character tags in the first place. By their very nature, that is a LOT of work, and will forever be subjective, and given that characters usually evolve over the course of a show, can be incorrect. They will give someone an incorrect impression of a character, if that character changes over the course of a series.

    Might I suggest, then, just sticking with series tags? Given that it seems the mods are extremely busy and there is a lot of work to do.

    Oh, I can't speak for Willie on MAL or not, but I presume he understands that MAL doesn't use character tags. They just have genre tags. And you can see some of the differences here, let's say for Mai Hime:

    My Anime List Entry
    Anime Planet entry

    I note that MAL doesn't even use the magical girl tag, as even that tag can cause confusion as to what is and isn't magical girl. Some might even say Mai Hime is magical girl, since it it predominantly girls with the magical powers.

    I hope I didn't come across as demanding. In fact, I was hoping for a conversation. It may not have been his intent, but Vern came across as "No, not gonna discuss it no matter what points you want to make" which I felt was a little strong, when I just wanted a conversation to discuss it.

    I did submit it through the system, but by the time I figured out where it went, no one was commenting on it besides me. My hope that was that, if it was commented on before, they'd come back to discuss it, but that didn't happen. As I mentioned a few times before, the submission process can be a bit confusing, and I ran into a few issues. I was trying to say, "Hey, as a person new to this, trying to figure things how, here are the issues I came across."

    But if there are guidelines lacking, then perhaps it might be best to wait until there are proper guidelines in place before adding tags? And perhaps, as was my original argument, we use the traditional dictionary definitions so we have something definite to point to? At the very least, probably refrain from personality traits which can be horribly subjective, and stick with physical traits, which can't be argued. Someone recently tried to add "tomboy" to Misty from pokemon, and people were fairly divided there, with good arguments to and for.

    And perhaps we should ask the question: "How does adding these things help people?" I personally don't search for shows based on character types (neither do the people in my group). It's usually just genre of show, and a good summary description. I'm not sure what goal character tags serve.

    Anyway, to repeat/sum up my tl;dr concise argument: crybaby seems like an improper term, for at least as to how it is being applied. Language can change, and means more than the sum of it's parts. Thus crybaby refers to more about someone than just physical tears. That is where the confusion comes in, which you can see from places where you see people trying to add it. Anime-planet's definition doesn't quite fit with the official definition, nor with the connotations with how it is used in the real world. And given the subjective nature of personality tags, perhaps it would be better served to be removed, and allow people to focus on the more objective things?
  9. kaijo

    kaijo Guest

    Posted by kaijo on Nov 25, 2013
    The qualifier is "For good reason." Even anime-planet's definition has that. If someone is going through genuinely happy or sad moments, that isn't supposed to qualify them for the tag. A crybaby whines when they get their toy taken away. When they can't get something they want. When they have to do something they don't want. It's more whining that it is crying.

    I figured that having the person they love in danger of dying, of being in danger themselves, of having someone taken away from them, would be understandable reasons for crying. Of someone who is mentally traumatized trying to deal with something they don't believe is possible. there are about 3 instances of him really crying, and the rest he just tears up a little. He really doesn't cry over every little thing. Maybe he gets tear drops in his eyes every 2-3 episodes, but that doesn't indicate whining or whinging, which is what being a crybaby would entail being.
  10. sothis

    sothis Forum Moderator Anime-Planet Founder Developer

    but character tags do have guidelines - they go through rigorous debate before being added, and then are applied correctly. what tyranid is talking about is the early days of the database, when such a process wasn't in place. certainly, it could be that an old tag was added and needs to be changed, but all character tags that are up have clear and concise guidelines.

    series tags are actually 500000 times more work than the character ones - with character tags we often debate for days (or sometimes weeks) to come up with a single tag's guideline. anime/manga tags were all added by me only for the last 13 years, and now it's moving to a committee of sorts where we hash out hundreds of tags and write up guidelines. it's a lengthy process at best.

    the process is somewhat stalled because i am slammed with the redesign and a zillion other tasks, but rest assured it's considered to be important.

    still, anime/manga tags aren't synonymous with character tags - we'd never have a 'crybabies' type of tag on the anime entry, for example. also, even when we have consistent anime/manga tags written up we plan to only add ones that are very applicable, and it will not match what's on MAL. i'd argue that comedy would be pretty misleading given how incredibly dark and doomy the series gets, for example. that being said i dont think 'mystery' is properly applied on our AP entry, that's a very, very old anime entry so i'm not surprised.

    basically we want anime/manga tags, just like character tags, to be the most helpful possible. imo that doesn't mean adding every major genre tag (comedy, drama, action, fantasy and romance are almost every genre tag. do they all apply? maybe. should they all apply? maybe [that would be up for debate with the mods]) - i know we want to ensure we're only using very important and prevalent tags, which other databases often aren't good at ensuring. for example if a dark series has only a few comedic moments, imo it shouldnt get the 'comedy' tag. it's a fine line and it's why the guideline process will take so long for hundreds of these tags

    because we'd like to be a top source of data for characters, searching for types of characters you enjoy, etc. if the goal is to get recommendations based on anime/manga tags, that's an entirely other effort/story.

    if someone is interested in finding titles that have catgirls who are eternal optimists, because they saw some anime that had a main like that, it's great to have a system where people can filter by multiple tags. it's just another way to get recommendations, which is the site's overall goal - user recs for similar anime/manga is the core, but also multi tag search for anime/manga, character filtering, etc. it can certainly be argued we have a long way to go with multi tag search for anime/manga, but that's not what the crybaby discussion here is trying to address
  11. vernanonix

    vernanonix Galvantula Rancher

    We don't list Mai-Hime as Magical Girl either. Apparently it's superpowers, but I haven't personally seen it. But Magical Girl has several tropes that make it what it is. Usually a secret identity, transformation sequences, etc. (There are exceptions here and there so please don't go splitting hairs on this one.)

    But yeah, we're most likely not going to remove the character tagging system any time soon. It's almost offensive to suggest that honestly, since a whole team of people have been working on this for several years now. The series tags are where work needs to be done. But we're all human and we haven't been able to get them completely ironed out due to being busy or other projects.

    Also, I did discuss with you. Even gave counter-points and examples. Just because I oppose your opinion on our tag does not make me as obstinate as you say. But how you interpret my responses is up to you, I suppose.
  12. kaijo

    kaijo Guest

    Posted by kaijo on Nov 25, 2013
    vernanonix, it is as you say, that how I take your comments is up to me. I usually don't think people are posting with negative attitudes behind them, so if I had given that impression, I apologize. It just seemed like every post response to mine was "No, not gonna change it. Ever. Regardless of your reasons." Rather than openly consider the possibility.

    And as a general response to sothis and others, I don't expect character tags to be removed. That's not the focus of my suggestions and critique anyway. I recognize a lot of people have put work into them. I merely wanted to point the problems inherent with subjective tagging, hence a possible idea to stick with objective tags. Especially given how characters can change over the course of a series. Giving a character a personality tag based upon how they are at the start can be useful, but may ultimately give a false impression especially if the character changes and spends most of the later series as something else. So if they spend the first four episodes as one thing, but change, then do they get a tag and disappoint people who expected to see something else? Or leave the tag off, and still give a false impression (and possibly a spoiler since the tag is absent)? Going back to Haru, there is a point later in the series where he see how he's changed, as he's being bullied strongly by Noumi, and yet he resolves to be stronger, to not cry or react to it. He's quite clearly changed (future light novels show this, and if made into a anime season 2, it will be more evident).

    You wanted examples of confusion, and this is what I see. I'll let Willie add more, or try to get examples from the group next time I see them.

    But in the meantime, I'd be willing to help go through the other character tags and see if they need any sort of slight modification. My only focus is on crybaby at the moment. If it won't be changed, then I'm not sure it would be useful to try and suggest changes anywhere else. As I said, the real meaning of crybaby is to implicate that someone is acting like a baby; not just that they are shedding tears. Tears are just one small part of it. And not always used; a character can act like a crybaby without shedding a single tear. Petraca from the Outbreak Company series somewhat acts like this. I probably wouldn't give her the tag, but she comes damn close to acting like one. Although I believe she gets a tear in her eyes once or twice, and does cry, albeit over the injured form of someone she had grown to care about.
  13. Tyranid5

    Tyranid5 Member

    I was just responding to the part that i quoted above. I didn't really read the entire convo....

    Responding to the 2nd part quoted above. If you are confused, this is an important thread. And another really important thing to understand is that there are usually a lot more submissions than what mods can handle doing which is why a backlog has built up in the 3 help needed sections. For that reason a lot of easily qualifying or dis-qualifying submissions are quickly added or denied. If you have any questions about it, you should start by contacting the mod who approved or denied something (usually is Kari5 for a lot of user submissions). If you don't get an answer in a couple days to a week, message a different character moderator who seems actively looking at user submissions and they should get back to you. After you submit enough stuff or stick around here enough you'll see which mods are more helpful and which mods tend to watch/read/moderate what kinds of shows.
  14. sothis

    sothis Forum Moderator Anime-Planet Founder Developer

    just saying, this reads to me like 'if you wont change the first suggestion I take, i refuse to help with others'. that's cool if not helping anymore is what you want, but it's a little short sighted and comes off as kind of petty. just because you (or anyone) strongly thinks a certain tag should change doesn't mean we'll automatically change it, and it also doesn't mean what i think you're implying, which is that we don't listen to reason and tag inaccurately so what's the point.

    as mentioned, it depends on what people generally search for and what's assumed to be the case for the tag. you seem to think strongly that 'this is what people expect elsewhere', and you might be true, but what's the evidence of that besides a dictionary page or wikipedia article or something of the like? i care far more about top searches,. reputable (and related) anime or character databases and how they list things, discussion threads in such locations where people discuss what they think of crybaby, etc.

    the point is, it's not as easy as pointing to a definition somewhere, asserting 'this is what everyone else expects' and having us just change the tag. we do a lot, lot, lot of research before choosing a tag name and a definition. it might not always be right, but we don't put them up randomly or without the same level of research/facts

    to your point about chars changing at the end, we never, and dont plan to ever, tag spoiler stuff with what happens at the end of a series. just like with anime and manga, we don't spoiler tag things like that, and it's why we don't have certain tags like yandere (which is basically always a spoiler). the guidelines do mention that, how tags must be representative of them for the start of the series and throughout,a nd to avoid spoiler tags.
  15. kaijo

    kaijo Guest

    Posted by kaijo on Nov 25, 2013
    It wasn't my intent to come across as petty or anything. As Willie mentioned, some in my anime group have apparently tried to submit and help before, but said that everything was immediately shot down, so they tried to discourage me to continue. I guess I let them infect me a little. But you can also understand hesitation, if

    But you want something about how it is used in more everyday life? How about this political ad? As you can see, crybaby in the general populace refers to those that throw fits if they don't get their way, whining and crying about it. Usually for superficial reasons. It's not just crying, since Boehner doesn't exactly tear up 10 times a day. The ad was an attack, and they were trying to say Boehner was a crybaby because he didn't get his way and threw a tantrum... not because of any actual crying or tears.

    Or, how about the Urban dictionary meanings to see how it is used in popular culture? As they mention, it rarely deals with actual crying, but instead about older people acting like children, whining when they don't get their way.

    I can grab more if this isn't enough.
  16. kaijo

    kaijo Guest

    Posted by kaijo on Nov 25, 2013
    Oops, hit submit before editing that sentence. Meant to say, "You can understand some hesitation if your friends were telling you things, too."

    As a writer, words are important to me, because you need to be able to accurately convey them. One of my tools is a thesaurus, so we can see what synonyms go for crybaby as well. This can also help give you an idea of what a word means and what it is about, and whether another word might work better. Here is the entry for crybaby.

    If I don't use the right word, I don't get across to my audience. Many times, it is trial and error. As a fanfic writer, I've been given immediate feedback on my chapters as I release them, which help me to figure out what words are working for my audience, and which aren't. I guess that's a bit why words are important to me.
  17. kaijo

    kaijo Guest

    Posted by kaijo on Nov 25, 2013
    Before I sign off for the night, here are a couple of random threads from random forums, talking about crybabies.

    Thread #1
    Thread #2

    Notice how, in both, there is no actual crying going on. No tears at all. It is all about whining about childish things, or implying that someone is complaining for a childish reason.

    Do you need more? If so, I'll find more references tomorrow.. But I figure official definition + urban dictionary + thesaurus + political ad + 2 threads should be sufficient to at least show that there is more to crybaby than just crying actual tears.
  18. sothis

    sothis Forum Moderator Anime-Planet Founder Developer

    a thesaurus def is fine, i think i speak for all of the mods though when i say we're all insanely busy - so if you are able to find a synonym that also is highly searched for (meaning google it and see if the other reputable char/anime databases use it or something similar, if lots of topics in anime forums come up, etc), it's something we'd definitely look into. i know the word choice is important, and even more important is that people are actually using that term to look up those types of characters

    for example, we could say 'feline' instead of 'cat', or 'airplane navigator' instead of 'pilot', but the latter terms are what people actually search for. yanno?

    as to the friends who submitted stuff, it really depends on their situations. most people submit character updates and never look at the threads or chime in later, so if a mod denies it and there's no discussion, it's hard for us to know if tehre's an issue. if it's because the thread didn't get moderated, that's because we have an endless uphill battle of wanting to personally verify content because of the high quality bar for info on the site. if we dont train more mods frequently or have more regular users learning the guidelines and helping out, it's inevitable some things will stay in 'help needed' for a longer period of time
  19. vernanonix

    vernanonix Galvantula Rancher

    You keep telling us reasons why it should be changed. sothis has already stated several times that we're willing to change it. But we're not changing the definition of the tag, because we want a tag that covers characters who cry at the drop of the hat. If you can find a better name of the tag that returns a lot of search results while still being just as descriptive, then it'll be considered. But it won't change until a better name is found and the tag will stay active on the site regardless.
  20. kaijo

    kaijo Guest

    Posted by kaijo on Nov 26, 2013
    But it's not just "characters who cry at the drop of a hat" is it? Because they said they rejected a lot of people trying to submit characters who did. It has to be crying for little to no reason.

    Now, if you wanted a tag just for characters who are known to have tears in their eyes a lot, you could use "teary-eyed." That says nothing about any particular reasons for it, and is more of an objective descriptor. There should be less conflict about it, and I'd agree with Haru, Soun Tendo, and others having that.

    But "crybaby" refers more to someone who whines and complains; not someone who cries, as the references I've provided should show.
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