Articles & Images

Here we go again, another suggestion blog.

A relatively new feature to the site is articles, or descriptions, for certain items that are often referenced in lists on the site, and with them, images of the person, item or object that the item references. First of all, great idea, with some very nice recent changes to the way lists are taken in; they are more informative, more visual, and with the items appearing in the add item bars, make referencing much easier, so any popular or new lists that are relevant to these items can get off to a good start. I myself have enjoyed writing descriptions and adding images to these items. But again, I'm going to say what is wrong with the system and how I think this could be improved.

  1. What annoys me most about the article system is that that descriptions can only be made for items which have images, and with that, images can only be added to items in lists of certain categories, e.g. people, animals, but not categories where they may also be useful, e.g. music, foods. If I was intending to add some information about something, I would have to look around for a list which just happened to have that option available. And before I could make a description, I'd have to add an image and wait for the image to be approved. The way this impedes the ability to add info is extremely irritating.
  2. There are mistakes made in which an item on a list with a similar or identical name is confused. One of my lists about dogs, for instance, features Pitbull, the rapper, rather than Pitbull, the dog breed. We could get Nero: the band, or the emperor, or Mars: the god, the chocolate bar, or the planet, mixed up as well. Also, there are lists where the item, but not the article to go with it, is present.
  3. The descriptions we give and the images we upload are entirely subjective. Someone can add an image that is blurry or cut off when fit to the frame, and someone could give a description that is not factually accurate. What's more, as anyone can edit the description, interesting details could be removed, and the description may become less truthful, or more opinionated. It's like Wikipedia, only all the points could be removed altogether.
So yeah, clearly it's not perfect. But here are some ideas that'll make it better:

  1. I understand that there are some types of list where adding an article is not required, such as reasons why the Simpsons is better than Family Guy, and I see that that's one reason why the option is not available throughout the website. I suggest this: scrap it altogether, and replace it with an "add article" option on the top of every page on the site, like we have with the "add list" option. On this hypothetical page, we'd start of with merely a search bar, so we can find the article if it already exists, and if not, the option to add it will appear, just like the add item option on every list. Once we add an article, we can add an image and a description. When the article is approved, it can be added to items on lists. This brings us on to addressing the problem of item confusion.
  2. If an item has the wrong article, or an article missing, then we could append to each item an "add or change article" option. This would automatically search the archive of articles for articles with similar or identical names, and one could select the correct article, which would then show on the item. Of course, there may be some jokers who use the wrong article, but admin could always fact-check these edits.
  3. I think the best way to get the best images is to order them by resolution, or by preference. Either the highest quality images would be shown first by default, or the best image that has been uploaded would be chosen. Either admin would make this decision, or some kind of voting system would go in place for the best image, like we have on lists. Still, there are some flaws with images that resolution does not account for, such as the cropping, contrast or lighting of said images. Thus, in my opinion, selection by preference would be the better option. I also think we should discard the images which are not good enough, such as those which are pixelated or have cropped off part of the subject of the image. If admin pick the image, we only need one image, whereas if users pick the image, all of the images which fit the requirements remain, so they can be voted on.
  4. As I stated, descriptions can be made by anyone, and they may or may not be factually accurate. I think, in order to preserve the accurate information, we should save every previous edit of the description, and stick with the edits which are more detailed and/or objective. We could, if possible, combine the information in more than one submission to make an overall more veritable description, either done by admin or by contributors. The more the contributions agree, the more factual it may be.
  5. This isn't a point that concerns any of the problems I've addressed, but I see the presence of articles as an opportunity to break down some useful information. A lot of lists on the site feature consumer items, such as the best 4x4s, or the best smartphones. I think it would be a great way to compare items and inform people if we had the option in the descriptions for these items to have specifications, e.g. top speed, RAM capacity, price, etc. The specifications would change the debate in some circumstances, but of course, if they are fact-checked.
If anyone else has any thoughts about improving the article system, or a rebuke towards what I've said, let it all out in the comments below. I really hope the system improves in one way or another, but with its flaws aside, it's looking good so far.


Ok...Great points. Great argument. I think you have covered everything...except the profile pages. Wouldn't it be great if we could not only change our profile pics but the colour and font and also the colour of the background?
The only problem is though it would literally blow indecisive minds like mine. Still, I would like to see everyone's personality really coming out if this new feature was placed. - Britgirl

I agree for the most part, but for example, what if the user who made the original image retired, and many users wanted to update the image, but couldn't because of said retiree? - Therandom

The image is still there if the user retires, and any more images can be added regardless. We just need to pick out the good ones. - PositronWildhawk

I feel like there should be a way to add images on mobile. - visitor

True - Martinglez

Great Suggestions! Now that I think about it, Admin could make some improvements in this area. - visitor

The idea about the images must be taken seriously. In a list about Prince of Persia, I found the pic of Prince (the singer) instead of The Prince of Persia. That looked ridiculous of course. I added another image and looks like it wasn't chosen to be on the list. But, now when we add any item to the list, you get various options for the item.

Suppose you wanted to submit an item, "Master of Puppets", below the item you get options like:
Master of Puppets (Song)
Master of Puppets (Album) and so on.
Maybe that can help in choosing the right image for your item. This applies even to adding an item to a list. - visitor

I recently noticed the select your favorite image for an item - visitor

Good post. These suggestions are pretty good. - Martinglez

Ah. I literally just noticed the option to "favourite" images. Which is good, I guess, but there are still the rest of the above issues. - PositronWildhawk

Coming from your first point, music-wise, do you know that there are descriptions of albums (not songs, unfortunately) from Amazon if you click on the album cover? It's not a good descriptive way of doing things, but at least it's something. Just wanted to say that, but overall, I definitely agree with this post, and hope it's listened to. - SwagFlicks

That also works with movies and books as well. - SwagFlicks

I can totally relate to what you say because I’ve experienced the same problems many times. l love adding images and short articles but these problems make the process time-consuming and quite annoying.

I agree with your #1 most annoying thing, especially its second part - “descriptions can only be made for items which have images,
and with that, images can only be added to items in lists of certain categories, e.g. people, animals, …”

Yes, there are mistakes and I even edited several short articles because they were completely wrong. For example, instead of info about a scientist there were several lines about an elementary school named after him. But fortunately I don’t see such mistakes very often.

Your ideas for improvements
They sound reasonable and it would be great to have such options but I think only Admin can say if they are technically possible, and if yes - when.

And last but not least: you have added many images and they are great - not only their technical quality but also the way they capture something typical or funny. - Metal_Treasure

I feel just the same way as you do about the article and images features, PositronWildhawk. By the way, I also noticed another flaw as well. There are usually item names that are written differently that refer to the same thing. For my case, it's with this character named Sakura Matou. I uploaded images of her under the item names of "Sakura Mato" and "Sakura Matou". This has proven to be a problem, as now the images of the character mostly only appear under the item name of "Sakura Mato" and not "Sakura Matou". I wish TheTopTens could at least correct the items to all have the same name and be able to display the images for all the items corrected. It would be pretty tedious if the issue I stated right now applied to many other items as well. So I hope they can fix that problem. - ModernSpongeBobSucks

Truth is though, many items may have different spellings or different names that mean the same thing. Llama is sometimes spelled lama, and Prince is sometimes called The Artist Formerly Known As Prince. If admin could link the two titles to those articles, such that the information is applied to both items with those titles, that'd be great. - PositronWildhawk

Great post about articles and images - visitor

You bring up some good points however, I think the back end would be cumbersome and it would be like re-inventing the wheel in some cases. In most cases we catch the incorrect images users have linked to items (the rapper vs the dog in your example) but some occasionally slip thru the cracks. That's a good example of where the Report Item Error tool on each list page is useful.
Otherwise, many of the ideas brought up by users are good and, in some cases, even possible. The hard part is freeing up enough time on the schedule to get said work done. - Finch

When PMing admin about adding images, they responded with:
"Currently, we only allow images to be submitted on select high volume lists and categories, or on lists that you have created. Image moderation is time consuming and we want to prevent a scenario where we are unable to approve images in a reasonable time."

Make of that what you will. - visitor