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Author Topic: Make the News Submission Guidelines more accessible Back to Topics
SUVFan

Champion Author
Columbus

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Message Posted: Jan 20, 2014 12:03:04 PM

Comments in GB News topics repeatedly ask what the article has to do with gas prices? From these comments, it's obvious that many members believe all the news should bear some direct relationship to that narrow topic.

It's not the casual member's fault that they look so bad making that comment. I believe much of the problem is that the News Submission Guidelines are buried on the obscure News Submission Page.

There's plenty of room to the right of the "back to news" button for a "submit news" button as well as a "News Submission Guidelines" button and the programing would seem to be quite simple. Even better would be a complete set of Newsville links in the drop down menu, but that seems a lot like higher math . . . .

Please consider adding these aids in a future site update. Your consideration of this suggestion is appreciated.
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SUVFan
Champion Author Columbus

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Message Posted: Feb 13, 2014 3:12:46 PM

I've got it, Scout! Maybe the reason they skipped is b/c they had no prices to report on many days and they'd rather not make up any prices just to get points? By not having a broader window within which to max out points, the current system actually fosters price posting abuse!

Telling someone who may have virtually no control over their schedule that their point scheme suggestion is worthless solely because they could have but didn't get all their points everyday is just not productive. But it's a perfect complement to combat someone who IS showing up, as it allows a reply along the lines of, 'Well, why are you complaining? You don't seem to be having any trouble getting your points now.' Those two arguments demonstrate that one's daily point performance history has no bearing on one's standing to challenge it.

TxJeans summed it up well. It's line drawing and the lines have been drawn by TPTB. They must work well enough for the site owners or they'd tweak them. Time and again we've been told no changes are contemplated. Personally, I'm OK with that.
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scoutmaster
Champion Author Pittsburgh

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Message Posted: Feb 11, 2014 2:48:33 PM

Everyone has the same chance to earn the same amount of points each day. How is that not fair?
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TxJeans
Champion Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Feb 11, 2014 1:20:33 PM

Scout - I think the point SUVFan was trying to make is that the PTB have tried to chose the point limits to best fit all the markets and members they serve. If you make changes, one or another group will feel the changes are not fair. Fair is pretty subjective but when folks want to increase the number of points you can get for posting prices in a day, then the abuse may increase. For those in rural areas, it is harder for the average Gas Buddy to get their points than in many urban areas where there is a higher density of stations.

What seems fair to you might seem unfair to someone in a different situation and what seems fair to someone in CA, might seem unfair to someone in PA, or in the city vs the rural area. The PTB have done, in my opinion, a good job of trying to be fair across a variety of local conditions.

Additionally, one needs to be careful about commenting on someone's points. They might have joined but found reporting by PC not timely enough in their location so stopped until they got a Smart Phone or their driving habits changed. And, there are some that post almost every day, but can't get 5 prices.

In some areas of the country you are lucky to get the Regular or Regular + diesel on the sign and if rural, may have trouble getting 5 prices a day. Until construction made me change my route, I passed 1 station on a 24 mile commute. If I couldn't see past the semi as I came down the ramp, I could only catch that one price on the way home.

Not everyone has a smart phone or can post at work.

I am not asking for "point" exceptions to be fair, but just that you not be too severe in judging point totals.

You might want to attack me for leaving points on the table, but I left GB for many years because I couldn't add value in prices with only PC and not commuting where I got lots of fresh prices. Now I participate most days.
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scoutmaster
Champion Author Pittsburgh

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Message Posted: Feb 11, 2014 6:39:59 AM

"Here's the problem with that analysis, SM. The current points system doesn't work well for everyone. Those of us who are able to get here daily fare pretty well."

Everyone has the same chance to earn the same amount of points each day. How does that not work well?

"But for some folks who don't or can't get in everyday, but who may post 10 prices every other day, I'm sure it doesn't seem fair."

Bummer! If you are an hourly employee and you don't go to work one day, you don't get paid. It might not seem fair but it is exceptionally fair.

"It's not really their fault they don't max out their points. So it's natural for them to look for fixes that take their situations into account, and telling them to suck it up and get here everyday and max out just isn't useful to them."

It might not be their fault but how does that not make it fair? This is starting to sound like the "Entitled" generation. They think they deserve everything just because they are alive. So wrong in any situation.
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SUVFan
Champion Author Columbus

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Message Posted: Feb 10, 2014 10:04:59 PM

Here's the problem with that analysis, SM. The current points system doesn't work well for everyone. Those of us who are able to get here daily fare pretty well.

But for some folks who don't or can't get in everyday, but who may post 10 prices every other day, I'm sure it doesn't seem fair. Suppose someone works a job that has them working lots of hours some days and few or none on other days, and they have access only at home or at work, but not both. It's not really their fault they don't max out their points. So it's natural for them to look for fixes that take their situations into account, and telling them to suck it up and get here everyday and max out just isn't useful to them.

The reality is that while the points system could be different, maybe it could be fairer, it's what we've got and it's not going to change. And the site has obviously decided that the participation the current system produces is working for them.

[Edited by: SUVFan at 2/10/2014 10:05:12 PM EST]
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scoutmaster
Champion Author Pittsburgh

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Message Posted: Feb 9, 2014 2:34:24 PM

Again, the ones who want more ways to earn points have failed to max out the current points available. dallfo has left close to 40,000 points on the table.
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SUVFan
Champion Author Columbus

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Message Posted: Feb 9, 2014 11:17:09 AM

I agree with jrsva about points for news pieces. There's already too much abuse. Points would not help at all.

Note also that you can submit as many as 8 items per day. The limit is 2 items every 6 hours, according to item 6 in the little known submission guidelines. That might be better known if the guidlines were less obscure.
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jrsva
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Feb 7, 2014 2:04:39 AM

Dallfo, every article submitted is posted on the News Page. Only those which are deemed most popular are given links on the Home page, which is probably what you are talking about. Giving points for news submissions is a very bad idea. There are those who want to earn the maximum points every day, so this would lead to an avalanche of news submissions, most of which would be duplications or unworthy, leading to a dilution of the news. But not to worry, the Mods are not considering changes to the points system.

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dallfo
Champion Author Denver

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Message Posted: Feb 6, 2014 5:08:25 PM

You should receive points for submitting an article that actually gets posted.
If you submit an article that doesn't get posted that should not be worth any points.
If your article gets posted, that should be worth 25 points.
Since you can only post two articles per day, the maximum points available to you should be 50 points if you're lucky enough that both the articles you submit in a day are both posted.
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SUVFan
Champion Author Columbus

Posts:272,677
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Message Posted: Jan 24, 2014 10:55:27 AM

The very first post in this climate change article is an ongoing example of the confusion, asking, "And what is the price of gas or gas related news in your neighborhood?"

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SUVFan
Champion Author Columbus

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Message Posted: Jan 21, 2014 11:49:17 AM

Thanks, CK.

Scoutmaster, you're probably right that the guidelines are where they belong. I could have stated it more clearly. By "buried", I was intending to suggest that they are really tough to find if you don't know they're out there and that more prominent links to their current location would be helpful. Everybuddy else who posted seemed to follow that. As for the FAQ? "Helpful FAQ updates" has so many possibilities that it could be it's own forum! In this case, perhaps:

Q: I see lots of articles being posted that have nothing to do with gas prices. Are there any restrictions?

A: Yes. Go to the Submit News Article page and click on the "Read Submission Requirements" button near the top of the page. Additional tips are found in the NEWS POSTING TIPS topic.

Gas_Buddy, I fought the good fight over opinion pieces and lost back when the guidelines were created. It seemed to me that "newsy articles" from "Tree Hugger Magazine" or "Drill Baby Drill Journal" were simply slanted opinions all dressed up to look like journalistic pieces while at least op-eds avoided any pretense of being neutral. I believe the attempt to ID these types of publications and police a "verboten" source list ended when PD stopped moderating, limiting his effort here to being an analyst.



[Edited by: SUVFan at 1/21/2014 11:50:01 AM EST]
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CampKohler
Champion Author Sacramento

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Message Posted: Jan 21, 2014 1:29:59 AM

This ia good idea.

[Edited by: CampKohler at 1/21/2014 1:29:15 AM EST]
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CampKohler
Champion Author Sacramento

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Message Posted: Jan 21, 2014 1:29:06 AM

This suggestion has been added to the Suggestion Tracking List as a new subject.
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scoutmaster
Champion Author Pittsburgh

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Message Posted: Jan 20, 2014 8:45:19 PM

I wouldn't say they are buried. They are where they should be. They could be in the FAQ's but where they currently are is where they should be.
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Gas_Buddy
Champion Author Maryland

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Message Posted: Jan 20, 2014 1:52:34 PM

Part of the problem is the instructions section has a link to: "Recent Gas Price News", which seems to narrow the topic field, whereas when you open the link, it goes to: "Recent Gas News/GasBuddy Blog"

There's a significant difference between "Gas Price News" and "Gas News".

To further add to the confusion, the submission guidelines read: "Topics should not be solely about gas or oil prices going up or down; they should have more substance."

That seems somewhat ambiguous in whether that means discuss fuel in general (but discuss more than the simple price of fuel), or if it refers to the energy field as a whole, and/or if it refers to vehicles, manufacturing, etc. of vehicles; that is, the auto and/or energy industries as a whole. You need to read much further down the instructions (which most people don't read to begin with, in my opinion) before you learn:

"Relevant topics include: energy, clean energy, petroleum (oil, gasoline, other fuels), automobiles, transportation (primarily autos), vehicle safety. Other stories may be posted, but are subject to removal.
Site management reserves the right to submit items it determines to be of general interest to the members, even if the items do not comply with these guidelines."

What needs to be done (or, what could be done) is at the top of the "Recent Gas News" page have a simple identifier to the effect: "Topics may include: energy, clean energy, petroleum (oil, gasoline, other fuels), automobiles, transportation (primarily autos), vehicle safety, and/or topics that Gas Buddy management determines to be of general interest to the members, even if the items do not completely comply with these guidelines."

Personally (and it may be deviating from the original post), I disagree with the guidelines: Do not post editorials, letters-to-the-editor or other opinion pieces."

If an editorial from (for example) The New York Times or The Wall Street Journal or Houston Chronicle, or even from some respected mainstream energy or news related" publication is clearly identified as being an editorial or is forwarding (posting) a letter to the editor (that is well written and is informative), those respected editorials or letters might carry more substance and weight than the input of lesser "news stories" and/or comments from Gas Buddy members in general.
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