New pling system promotes quantity, not quality

As Paulxfce I have a number of (I think) quality themes posted, which generated allot of downloads. The plings I received motivated me to continue maintaining them, and develop more.

Now, with the new system I stand to lose allot of that. In fact, despite your intentions, quality products will simply not receive the attention (and plings) to continue motivating the developers to create more quality. Have you really thought this trough?

As I (and Varlesh) see it, it will only motivate people to post as many new products as they can regardless of the quality, since they will receive a dollar anyway.

Next, at this moment there are only 17 contributors, and they are supposed to make the decisions on who gets more? Are you expecting a obscene amount of new contributors? I do not really see how this going to happen.

And finally, existing high-rated (and much downloaded) products start off at the same level as new products, regardless of its quality. This is not a fair situation.

I can not help feeling disappointed about this. And I think I’m not alone. This only favors quantity over quality. I hope you will reconsider this. My motivation to continue has dwindled with this ‘news’.

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Hi paul, as a creator here on this platform and Youtube I agree to a lot of what you’re saying but i’m also not going to be as outspoken as you on it because I am humble and grateful for everything openDesktop has done for me and you. I think we should just sit back and do our thing here and let’s see what happens and after a few months then we can better argue points. Do you remember the old system where it was just a donation button? How’d that workout? See my point on that last sentence? :slight_smile: You do great work man and it’s always a pleasure making videos about your themes. Relax brother let’s ride it out :slight_smile:

I simply can not afford to spend hours and hours developing a new GTK3/GTK2-theme, shell theme, … for just… 1 dollar/month. Because, that is probably the case. There are simply not enough contributors to support this system, not now and not likely in the future.
But you are right, I suppose, about riding it out. But right now? I feel like removing it all as I do not see the point in continuing. I’m to dissapointed…

I got a pretty good following on Youtube, let me put up a new video this weekend and promote signing up and promote being a contributor and how it greatly helps us creators. Your themes are the best man please don’t pull them off. Seriously dude I only use your themes on my personal systems. Don’t be hasty man let’s see where it goes.

Hi Paul,

thank you very much for your open reply!
We fully understand how you and similar affected artists are likely to see things at this point.
We anticipated such initial reactions, and yet still ultimately have to try out and find solutions that work long-term without the need for “outside capital” to step in and finance open-source/libre software that comes from the people for the people.

That said, the main motivation for creators to put any results of their time and effort out as a libre contribution should be because of the love of making other people enjoy those resulting creations and therefore a case for freedom. Our motivation is to provide for a platform that further allows to be compensated for it over time.
Ultimately we believe we are just at the starting point of this revolution to come, and it should work better and better the more people see value in doing things this way.
Be it creative commons or libre licensed code/software, making money from it is much harder compared to the proprietary way, as all is based on free motivation of people to pay for something that they inherently can also get fully for free.

In the long run, we, the team, strongly believe though that the model we are pursuing will be beneficial as the understanding of the value provided by people like you will be recognized also in form of monetary systems like Pling.

There are also many possibilities once this concept has been introduced to adjust it, including the supporter side, which was missing until now, which completes the base set of participating parties.

Relying indefinitely on a single source of “benelovent entitiy” that might lose interest of supporting the cause seemed like an increasingly questionable premise, as can be seen by the efforts of Wikipedia not to become dependent on single sources of income or “partners” like Google which could intentionally be opposed to the mere idea at some point (same goes for Mozilla and Google for that matter).

If the libre movement is to be suceeded, it needs to come from the heart of the people believing in this idea and standing up for the values of it, be it the creators who get involved early on or the users, who eventually see the good of it besides everything “being free as in beer” and become supporters to carry this on.

Like Charlie said, just have the faith and hang in a little longer so we find out together how it all continues to play out and how to make this a success for everyone in the long run, as that is the sole goal why we are here doing this and stepping up and setting the initial incentives to keep the ball rolling.

Sincerely, Clemens on behalf of the Opendesktop Team.

I agree with paulxfce, the new pling system will promote quantity because every user will try to get as many support he can get. For me its not very easy to maintain many products with their github repos and all. It will demotivate the product creator in the end because he will not be getting much support.

I think so same paulxfce,but…I dont create more project.
I cant do that.I cant support more.Now, I dont got many payments from people.All I did , I did b’cuz I love to do at all.
At all I will do only I can do.

Thanks for the reply,

I understand your reasoning fully, yet I can not agree with the fact that every contribution is treated equally. Creating and maintaining desktop–themes require constant adjustments to every folly change gnome-developers decided to implement. And addressing every question on the comments takes allot of time. I take pride in the fact that everything I post is something I created. I fear that my contributions will drown in the flood that is to come. And it will come.

Money is a strange thing, everybody wants it: nobody wants to give it away. I fear you overestimate the engagement of the contributor’s side. At the same time the receiving end will always try to find a way to increase the plings.

I understand that the current model is unsustainable in the long run, but the new system is just going to favor quantity. I can easily make 20 variants of the same theme and earn plings that way. But I refuse to go down that road.

So, understand my disappointment.

We are certainly thinking about how to support quality over quantity, so any practical suggestions are welcome.

Right now the rate at which products are show in the latest-list is too high, because the pling-system -at this moment- favors frequent updating. So reduce this rate.

For example: an existing product can only be shown once a week or so (the interval-time). And so will only put at the top of the list once a week. The owner can change the files, change the screenshots, change the update-notification, whatever… But it will not trigger the latest-list. Only after this interval-time the product shows up in the latest-list. So no more posting every day. This reduces the plings and gives others the time to show their products. A new product is -of course- new, thus it shows right-a-way in the latest-list.

I believe if you can find a way to program this interval-time, and remove every other restriction (they are no longer necessary) it would fix allot of the issues regarding the misuse of the pling-system.

Removed this comment because it was cause for confusion

I can only make a suggestion from the category I operate in. I suggest stop letting people upload wallpapers they simply download from another site and re up here without doing anything at all to make the image unique. Seriously they do absolutely nothing, in fact they don’t even change the file name in most cases. And those weird resolutions not seen since since 2005 lol. When people visit my category they see those images and they don’t even bother to look around because it’s the same thing they see anywhere else and they just go onto something else. You get rid of that and you can keep people on the site/category and the longer they stay the better chances they will get involved in supporting or contributing. Themes/Icons and Wallpapers go together hand in hand. openDesktop is awesome and the site does not need that garbage and certainly should not be paying for it. I feel comfortable making the above statements because I know my work is my own creations, I create, transform edit and manipulate everything I do. So should everyone right? Make it obviously unique or take it somewhere else. Look at the latest comment by V1 on the category comments box, he/she said it perfectly “This wallpaper gets uploaded three times a week or more. And look you even left the “” watermark on it. Basic editing goes a long way”. This is the best practical suggestion I have from the category I operate in.

Hi!, I do not have a good enough level of English to correctly argue without spending 1 month so I’ll be brief: p

I understand that this must be something rather difficult for OpenDestop to manage the Plings system and I am already very grateful for having implemented this system.

Regarding the evolution of it, I share the same opinion as what Paulxfce and Varlesh said here and in the blog comment.

Although your idea is not bad, I am absolutely not convinced that there are enough really active users on the site for this system to work,
I imagine that currently a very big part of the users pass directly through the interface of the distributions and/or just in a gust of wind by the site without lingering there which brings (purely financially) to privilege quantity instead of quality as already said and demotivated not bad.
(cf: the time spent creating a complete theme or a “distri-addon” is not the same as uploading 20 “bad” wallpapers per day).

There is also the point that paulxfce say, this does not realy prevent promotes"fraud".

PS : there have many new members on the site every day but if you look they, i think is 80% publicity bots (check about me).

examples : (4 of 8 last users)

First thanks from the team for all the creative feedback!
We are listening to every feedback and there are good ideas and suggestions.

@paulxfce: Having a timelimit before a product becomes refreshed again is a great idea, we will think about implementing it.
About your example, just note that plings will raise the limit, so it is not an automatic payment of 1 Dollar.
If a product will only be downloaded 2 times = 2 cents, then you can have 1000 plings but will still only get 2 cents… this is to prevent fraud, as it is unlikely to have a product with 2 downloads being plinged 1000 times. It is also to count for a product becoming old and never updated again, it can be popular, but likely interest will vanish over time and the product stagnates, so then the product also doesnt get $1000, only if there is matching interest.
So basically Plings from supporters need to match interest in people downloading it. If supporters “pling” aka “reward a product a pling-badge”, the more pling-badges a product earned the more it is allowed to get money. This by itself is some sort of quality assurance, as bad products could be downloaded hundreds of times and be that bad that no one likes them or would give them a pling.
Of course that will be longterm, if people will participate and pling products.

So here is a possible solution that would go for most valid points raised at this point:

  1. We extend the activation period before Plings become active to May 2019, that is one full year time to gather Plings for products before we switch the payout to be matching plings.
  2. In between to further favor quality over quantity we use the Score as a variable to influence the payout per product by a very simple measure:
    Since we dont know the quality = Score of a new product yet, every new product starts neutral with 50%.
    That means we can use the Score as simple multiplier: Payout * Score/100.
    If the Score goes up, the Payout would be full aka Payout * 1, if the score goes below 50%, it shrinks towards zero, so bad products get eventually nothing.
  3. Old scores will stay valid, as they have earned a score over time and if they are no longer downloaded, this isn’t relevant to be a reason to reset all scores.

With these 2 actions, getting actual Supporter and Plings will be the ultimate long-goal to measure quality by a transparent measure of “putting actual money where thy mouth is”, but it will give creators enough time before this become relevant, all the while Plings can be gathered.

The Score for now will help favoring quality over quantity while keeping increasing payouts manageable.

More things are in development, like handling clones or copies of other products, and those will further make abusing the system harder, which can always be done with any system, but finding the best concept in an ecosystem that is ultimately built on the basics of free and transparent sharing and reusing of the creations is part of the excitement that keeps us going.

About the users, we are aware and will have add a “Report SPAM” also on the userpage next.

Here is another idea: one item/day/user. If People make their own product., I can not imagine them making more than one on a day. So set the limit to one upload per day per user.

@paulxfce I can’t be OK with one refresh/day only. I update my themes once a month or so, and mostly at the same time because I can’t afford another time to update themes. So with one UNIQUE update a day , I’m pretty much toast or I have to scale the updates on two weeks, which would be (very) unfortunate.

@opendesktop I get that you’re trying to leverage the payout system, but I don’t think having the users decide the limit to how much an artwork maker will recieve is a good idea.

Why don’t you scale it down in another way, based on the theme’s popularity with single payout amounts depending on download rates?
Ex) 0 to 1K downloads = 5$, 1K - 5K = 10$, 5K - 10K = 20$, etc.

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Agree, People do not always have internet access all the time. But there are categories (like wallpapers) that would benifit when this was applied

If agree more with the interim solution you propose. It is - for the time beying - the best compromise. It least is it simple enough to understand. Still, a solution to slow down the rate of the ‘latest’-list would be welcome.

As he said, paying on themes popularity will be a really great way to leverage the payout system.

I don’t have any problems with @paulxfce solution of allowing only one upload a day because I usually update everything in a timely manner.

There is not enough users to get supporters on the platform for the system @opendesktop is trying to implement. In the initial month I usually use to give my PayPal address in product description for any user who wants to support me and it was actually a failure. With the new system, people on the platform will try to bring as many products they can it will only promote quantity over quality.

The updated system will eventually promote quality over quantity, as low quality products will be stuck at $1 dollar and even for that they need to have the download popularity.
The system also already rewards popular contributions by counting the number of downloads, but this is still not a direct indicator of quality, but quantity of downloads for one product.
To truly measure how popular a product is after it has been downloaded and tried, something like a feedback or recognition system is needed, and it can’t be just free likes or ratings, as those can be much more easily gambled than if someone is willing to spend some of his/hers own money to support a product.
That’s the whole idea of e.g. patroen.
Please re-read how the proposal is actually intended to be favoring quantity over quality in the longterm with supporters rewarding quality products by plinging them. We believe there is a good chance of this actually becoming the case, since it happens elsewhere and people are more gratious if coming to the conclusion from their own experience that this way is superior to the proprietary way of doing things.

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