It might’ve been that my post about the status our need for help was a bit overly dramatic, but I wanted to make the point that there’s multiple areas where work can be distributed more than it currently is. Some of the work that I and others do might not be so apparent or visible just by looking at the site. Fortunately, after that post I received multiple offers for help, people asking what they could do. Here is some status update and clarification.
What we need the most at this time
- Help with researching those obscure artists or other tough/confusing cases. Good Japanese skills would help here because you might need to be digging information from artist’s own website, blog or twitter feed, and these are usually written in Japanese. Googling skills are also needed. The amount of time this takes varies a lot, most cases are easy, but sometimes it can take hours, especially for someone like me who can’t really read Japanese.
- Translating and maintaining the Japanese user interface. A large number of the visitors, and some of the editors, are Japanese. Translation of the user interface is incomplete and out of date. It would help a lot if someone would complete the translation and make sure it’s kept up to date with the site. No need for programming, someone else can take care of that.
- Communicating with foreign users who don’t know English. We have editors from all around the world. Sometimes these people don’t speak much English, and when they make mistakes we try to give them advice, but they can’t understand it. We could use people who can communicate in Japanese, Chinese and Spanish at least.
- I don’t know how to properly explain it, but there would need to be more people tightly involved with running the site. I’d really like to distribute some of these responsibilities to other people, but they would need to be very trustworthy, and have been involved with VocaDB for a longer time already. Currently I’m the one who
- Maintains the guidelines
- Responds to email messages sent to VocaDB’s support address
- Manages partnerships with other sites
- Protects the site from hackers
- Keeps the server updated
- Monitors Google Analytics and webmaster tools, including search engine optimization
- Writes to this blog and to our Twitter
- We could still use people reviewing edits, reporting mistakes as needed, as mentioned in my previous post. We have people doing this, but more eyes never hurts.
Status on programming
Some people have contacted me, offering to help with the programming, but the problem is that most people who’d like to help don’t have the matching skills. I understand that generally people with advanced programming experience with .NET are employed and thus don’t have time or interest to code on their free time.
I can keep handling majority of the programming, but it’d still be good to have backup in case I’m away and something breaks. VocaDB integrates to multiple other sites, such as NicoNicoDouga, SoundCloud and Piapro. Just some weeks ago SoundCloud changed their API, breaking the integration on VocaDB. It’s not even complicated fixing something like this, compared to implementing new major features, but it requires someone familiar with the codebase. All you really need to do is to clone the repository on Github and get it to run on your development machine. There are instructions on the Github wiki. Of course it’d be great to get help with implementing new major features as well, and I have some promising candidates for that already, but I’d be happy to have some people around who can help with fixing bugs at least when those arise. At the moment there are no known bugs that should be fixed.
As a special mention, if you are an expert in CSS and responsive design, we could really use your help with making the site more mobile friendly. The site is designed for desktop, and most of the views work poorly in mobile.
Anyway, if you know programming and would like to help, check out the code on Github at least, and possibly the list of open issues as well.