A lot of you have been asking us about the details of our review process, and so I decided to write a short explanation on how it all works, and maybe also talk about some reasons why your patterns or photos might get declined.
When it all began, there wasn't so much items being posted to the site for review each day like nowadays, and so we only had 1 person reviewing all the content. But as the time passed, and people started posting more and more items, it was slowly but surely getting really hard for one person to handle, while not sacrificing on the quality of the process. It all peaked during the last summer holidays, when we saw a really big spike in the number of users, and content posted to the website. Adding the ability to add variations also had a big impact, because reviewing patterns takes the most of our time. A lot of people started complaining about the review process at that point, and so we knew we had to do something about it. We were actually thinking about adding moderators to the site for a longer time already, and for numerous reasons, but that really pushed us to a corner where it was the only logical option. It took a lot of time and effort to update our admin interface so that multiple people are able to review content without colliding on each other and reviewing the same items. As you probably already know, we review all the public content you submit to BraceletBook to provide you the best experience and filter out spam, inappropriate content and only approve the most valuable content that meets our standards. I wrote public on purpose, because there definitely are some sections which are NOT being reviewed, like the messages for example. And because there's a LOT of content being posted to BB every day, we had to make it all as effective as possible. Just for context, our mods and admins together review more than 10K items every single month! So you can probably imagine it's not as easy as it all sounds 🙂. Our moderators are able to start reviewing any category, anytime they want, and without affecting other moderators that might be reviewing the same category at the same time. So there has to be some clever mechanisms in place to make this all possible.
On the first page that appears when the admin section is opened are the 'admin review guidelines', which are always up2date with any changes that we might be doing to the review process itself. All the changes are always announced in our private Slack workspace, but we also have that one place where all the info is being gathered and kept. There are LOTS and LOTS of rules every one of our moderators has to know and take into account while reviewing any of the sections mentioned before, and each one of them is very specific. The rules are something we gradually created based on the needs of BraceletBook and our users. They are the same for everyone, and there's no exception we make, as we want to keep things consistent. This doesn't mean there can't be content which doesn't follow the rules because of historical reasons. And I'm writing this as it sometimes happens that users complain about their pattern being declined whereas we have other patterns like it already on the site. I have to dig a bit deeper into history to explain that. At the beginning of BraceletBook, we were also approving simple word alpha patterns. As the time passed, we've seen a lot of users adding them, and almost 50% of our alpha bracelets database consisted of those. And so we've decided that we will add the 'write alpha' and 'alpha from font' generators to make it really easy for people to create their own simple word alpha patterns, and update our review guidelines so that they are no longer allowed to be posted to the site. It's really easy to create such patterns, anyone can do it, it takes no more than 5 minutes, and there's just no reason to approve that kind of patterns, because they are not valuable for the community, as they're usually targeted for a really small audience of our users. By this I just wanted to explain there's a historical context to each and every rule we follow during our review process here on BraceletBook. It's never based on the preferences of our moderators, and although some specific rules might be taken a bit subjectively, we're doing our best to fix that over time. One way of doing so is our Slack channel where we discuss any content which our moderators are not completely sure about and trust me, there's a LOT of things we discuss each and every day.
The next part of our admin section consists of the individual categories to which you add your content, like patterns, photos, videos, ... When a moderator opens up any of those sections, the first item from the queue gets assigned to him, and opens up immediately for reviewing. And that's where all the magic happens. There's a lot of issues that are automatically being detected and shown to the moderators, like similar content, multiple posts to the same category, and even content-specific warnings like photos being to small, or patterns having too similar colours. Basically everything that could be automated is being checked for, but there's still a lot of things that our moderators have to check manually. We highly prefer quality over quantity, and so we're always trying to point out things that could be improved to make the content on BraceletBook as good as possible. There might be times when your patterns get declined multiple times, but we're really trying to be as helpful as possible when it comes to writing decline messages. And our belief is that sometimes declining a pattern could help you find our what should be taken into consideration when designing them. And that also seems to be true from long-time observations. I'm sure that users who are in our community for a longer time know what I'm talking about, and see it as the right way. That being said, we're always trying NOT to sacrifice on you creativity by doing that, and respect all the decisions about the visual aspects of your work. As I've already said, there's a lot of specific rules we all have to follow, but they all can be summed up to one general question we ask ourselves for each of your submissions. Is this content valuable for our community? That is the basic ideology behind the whole review process, and it's also stated multiple times in our review guidelines.
When we consider everything, and finish reviewing an item, a decision has to be made. There are 2 main actions for each section: "Accept" and "Decline". When an item is accepted, it's being added to the site, where all of you can see it. Sometimes though, we also have to hit the decline button, and attach a decline message for you to explain why your item has been declined. Please remember that nothing is being declined just because one of us don't like it. There are strict rules we have to follow, and they are the same for every one of our users, without exceptions. Always try to ask yourself if you think the item has an added value for the community, and if not, try to tweak it so that it has 🙂.
We're still doing our best to improve and optimise the review process for you as much as we can, and from time to time, there still are changes being made to it when we find a better way of looking at some specifics. Remember that we're always happy to hear constructive criticism, as that's the only way we can improve things at the end. Don't hesitate to contact us if you think your submission has been declined without a valid reason. We'll always be happy to reconsider it, and help you out with anything.
I hope that answers all your questions about the review process, and that I didn't forget to write anything I wanted 🙂. Have a great day guys, and thank you all for reading! ❤️