credit for travel guide all screwed up

Travel Forums Wiki Travel Guide credit for travel guide all screwed up

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1. Posted by atufft (Inactive 11 posts) 2y 1 Star this if you like it!

I can't see any motivation toward contributing to the wiki travel guide system on this website because credit the for the work is always stolen by Utrecht and his editing of grammar and boiler plate titling.

In the Nicaragua guide, Utrecht and another member, apparently had only visited Bluefields and Caribbean coast Nicaragua, and really knew nothing more than a weak reading of wikipedia. So, the general introduction was full of missing information, factual errors, and misinterpretations because it was obvious that they hadn't traveled to the main cities in the nation.

Utrecht hadn't even heard of El Castillo, Nicaragua, and other places, until I posted these on the general Nicaragua introduction, but when I finally find time to start writing and posting images about El Castillo, I see Utrecht has already claimed 100% of the credit for this page, again just for meaningless boiler plate organizational stuff that on Virtual Tourist was automated.

None of that editing stuff deserves any author credit at all in the real world of writing, and it seems to me that no credit should be given to anyone who has not actually visited the place anyway. At VirtualTourist.com we had a huge problem of people in the blogs cutting and pasting links acting as if they knew about a place they had never been. Then, the staff would screw up guides for countries in Africa or Central America with inappropriate, corporate travel images of a couple driving a rental car, staying at some swanky hotel, or laying on a resort beach, as if these things were actually possible or meaningful in the third world nation. I don't really follow why people have to reward themselves with taking credit for something they know nothing about, but apparently there are busy bodies who spend their days doing just this.

Similarly, on this system, I have to wait until photos are "featured", or evaluated for quality by a higher power, before they can be added to original pages that I wrote, for places that I basically introduced to the world of travel. My time is limited and since I don't expect to get paid for this work, I at least expect to get due credit for my invention, and it's a waste of my time to have a person who has never travelled to a place trying to edit image content.

Also, there was a deal to recover the text that we have labored to produce for Virtualtourist.com, but we haven't had any update on this that I know of, for more than a month. My travels are not just a trip to Europe, USA, or Australia. If that were the case, I wouldn't really care about any of this, since these places are so easy to visit. Who really cares about photos of San Francisco or Paris or Sydney, so these are so commonplace. But, my trips to Africa, Central America, South America, Middle East, India, Southeast Asia, are too difficult to achieve, too valuable to allow a busy body editor who has never visited the place to horn in and steal credit, then screw up the facts, misinterpret images and ideas.

I can't take my images and use the text that I downloaded to my own computer to post a blog with maps and all elsewhere, so what's the advantage of this website, really?

[ Edit: Edited on 04-Apr-2017, at 22:31 by atufft ]

2. Posted by Peter (Admin 6672 posts) 2y 2 Star this if you like it!

It's not a perfect system. I've tried to explain this to you in quite a few private messages already.

I realise you have higher expectations, but it simply isn't possible to correctly attribute percentages in a wiki like this. Although it would be a shame if you didn't want to contribute - I'm not going to spend time trying to fix the way it works when most people just don't really care. It's up to you whether you want to contribute to it or not.

Utrecht has worked very hard on the guide over quite a few years. I think it's rather unfair to characterise him the way you did in your post above.

3. Posted by atufft (Inactive 11 posts) 2y 1 Star this if you like it!

-snip- So, sorry, but I have to complain publicly. Travelers like me put a lot more effort in the original travel plan exploring remote places not even reported in the Lonely Planet and other guides. -snip- I'm not inclined to disparage your coding skills or effort in making such a nicely formatted website, or anything like that, but denigrating my complaint as trivial comes from a misperception about what independent travel can entail. So, you have decided to simply not have guidebooks for a lot of the places I travel, because like they were in VT, I was frequently the ONLY contributor for some several hundred places. It will be a long time before you get any other travelers into some of these places. -snip-

[ Edit: Removed personal attacks ]

4. Posted by AndyF (Moderator 1480 posts) 2y 3 Star this if you like it!

Ernest, if Peter hadn't already been aware I'd have flagged your last post as abusive. It’s personal attack, a rant that doesn't belong here.

It appears to me you're dictating what you think this site should be. You're not paying the bill, you're a guest here.

You complain that "anyone could write that" - well maybe so but the other guy did write it so get off his case. I don't like to read personal attacks on other members here. The site owner is being more tolerant than I would be by calmly replying to you. I think you're way out of line. And I think you're trying to be a bully with the "you'll wait a long time to find someone who's been to all the weird places I have" angle.

5. Posted by AndyF (Moderator 1480 posts) 2y 2 Star this if you like it!

I've just read the El Castillo page, and atufft you've not contributed ANY text to it, so why are you bleating about not receiving the credit for it?

You value the gritty detail, but someone has done the grunt work of blocking out the basics of the page. Publishing is about a number of tasks, including editing work as well as prose writing.

If you do some work on that page you'll earn a proportion of the credit.

6. Posted by Peter (Admin 6672 posts) 2y 1 Star this if you like it!

Sorry, but I've had to clean up that last post, atufft. You can have a discussion about the merits of the credit system without getting into personal attacks about other people's travelling credentials (pretty misguided actually if you look at all the travelling that Utrecht has done, but that is hardly relevant to your main complaint here)

7. Posted by Sander (Moderator 5349 posts) 2y 2 Star this if you like it!

Quoting atufft

I can't see any motivation toward contributing to the wiki travel guide system on this website because credit the for the work is always stolen by Utrecht and his editing of grammar and boiler plate titling.

Please don't think of things this way. The wiki is a collaborative project. The "credits" in the right hand side are a known flawed mechanism of having at least some way of acknowledging everyone's contributions, but they are not and should not be the point; rather work together to make the best guide possible. And yes, having consistent formatting and correct grammar is an important part of that, because it helps a lot with the overall impression the guide gives, and it takes some effort to integrate everyone's contributions into an existing style. (And yes, of course the real content is invaluable, and if you can add information there about places the guide doesn't know about yet, then that's extremely welcome! But Utrecht providing the scaffolding for this ahead of time should surely be seen in a positive rather than a negative light!)

Quoting atufft

At VirtualTourist.com we had a huge problem of people in the blogs cutting and pasting links acting as if they knew about a place they had never been. Then, the staff would screw up guides for countries in Africa or Central America with inappropriate, corporate travel images of a couple driving a rental car, staying at some swanky hotel, or laying on a resort beach, as if these things were actually possible or meaningful in the third world nation. I don't really follow why people have to reward themselves with taking credit for something they know nothing about, but apparently there are busy bodies who spend their days doing just this.

This is not Virtual Tourist. Please don't let your expectations based on bad experiences somewhere else cloud your perception of what's happening here. These problems are not our problems. "Taking credit" is not the purpose.

Quoting atufft

Similarly, on this system, I have to wait until photos are "featured", or evaluated for quality by a higher power, before they can be added to original pages that I wrote, for places that I basically introduced to the world of travel.

We strongly prefer using featured photos for the guide. But if there are no featured photos for a location, you can still use non-featured photos, and those should just be okay (assuming they have at least some quality).

Quoting atufft

Also, there was a deal to recover the text that we have labored to produce for Virtualtourist.com, but we haven't had any update on this that I know of, for more than a month.

Peter very clearly communicated - back when the import script was made available - that it would not be an easy task to integrate these texts into the site, and would also not be the first thing he'd work on (just helping you all settle in here and fixing various bugs due to the import of photos already took a lot of time), so that it would probably be a process of several months before he'd have anything to show. I'm guessing you never saw this back then, so apologies for giving rise to expectations that can't be met, but really it's still far too early to expect anything on this front. I expect that Peter wants to show off all this awesome content as much as you do, but it'll really take a lot more time, and personally I doubt he's even beyond the conceptual stage at this point, because the content really needs to be embedded in a useful structure for finding it.

[ Edit: Edited on 05-Apr-2017, at 11:17 by Sander ]

8. Posted by ToonSarah (Travel Guru 884 posts) 2y 2 Star this if you like it!

As another ex VTer I find it somewhat embarrassing that one of us is slagging off this site in this way. Most of us fully understand that we can't expect everything to be the same here and that TP travel guides are collaborative efforts not personal projects. If you want to get all the credit why not focus on writing blogs about your trips while waiting (patiently) for the review functionality that I am confident Peter will deliver on when he is able to.

9. Posted by Beausoleil (Travel Guru 1050 posts) 2y 2 Star this if you like it!

I agree with Sarah and am another exVTer. First of all, no web site nor person is perfect. No source of information is perfect. Everyone does the best they can and those who truly care, attempt to point out problems in hopes that they will be solved. You might be much happier creating your own blogs with the information you feel is correct, tag them so they will come up on a search here and feel you have done what you can do. It will be your writing that no one can change and if another source seems incorrect to you, at least you know your name is not associated with it.

I worry more about changing the writing someone else has done. It makes me very uncomfortable so the Wiki-type guides are a difficult challenge for me.

We all react to things differently, but if you are uncomfortable with the content or who gets credit for writing it, write your own blogs and that solves the problem. Will it make the Travel Guides perfect . . . no, but they never will be. Perfection is fine as a goal, but in reality, it is not going to happen. If you insist on what you want, collaboration is not the best way to accomplish that. Doing your own blog will get you there.

This is a different site and works differently. They are doing a lot to make us welcome, but in the end, we are the ones who should adapt to their site. Suggestions are fine but they need to be done politely and with the knowledge that they may not be accepted or they may be modified.

10. Posted by atufft (Inactive 11 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

Peter,

Please remove all my photos and contributions to this website. You guys can agree with yourselves all you want. Good for you.