I am reading through Steel Ball Run and it’s frustrating reading through the original releases via kindle, but unable to track my real progress because you guys don’t allow to distinguish between Bunko and regular manga versions. The “Do it yourself” disclaimer that pops up on the Steel Ball Run volumes page makes Natively look lazy.
I think for your users and your brand you guys should allow the distinction between versions. You can even make the distinction by published date, or just qualify it as the Bunko Version. If that’s too difficult, just get rid of bunko versions as they are a novelty product and not the versions most users are gonna get when they order off Amazon, etc.
To the best of my knowledge, there’s a single entry on the whole site that distinguish between versions (夜は短し歩けよ乙女 | L40?? and 夜は短し歩けよ乙女 | L43). The disclaimer on those pages says that it’s a test, so it’s not like it’s impossible.
As far as I know, though, having multiple editions does not match the philosophy of the site. The main goal was to allow people to give difficulty estimates about content, and tracking what you actually read is not the priority (which is why re-read aren’t handled). The only reason they try it in the instance I mentioned is because they suspect a large difficulty discrepancy between versions (one has full furigana, the other has barely any).
That being said, I agree with you that keeping track of what we do actually read should be more important. After all, why have a stats page if it isn’t even accurate (I have to keep track of what I read elsewhere as well). I guess that’s something to keep in mind for @Brandon when implementing re-reads, since I assume it would affects it? (At least I thought re-read was something that will be implemented, but I cannot see anything on the trello board, so I’m not sure anymore).
Well… currently “you guys” is only one person, @brandon . I think this is a pretty amazing site, especially considering some features like all the tracking stats that came online only in the last year. So, I wouldn’t say he’s “lazy” if he doesn’t get every user’s desires right away.
Chill. I am not attacking Brandon. It’s a good site. I like the product. This is the product request thread, where you make requests for things that you wish the site had. Looking lazy and being lazy are very different things. I didn’t demand the change be made today or tomorrow. Hell he can do it a year from now for all I care. My request is to make a distinction so people can track their progress more accurately.
Keep in mind that users request books, so it’s entirely possible that a user requested that version because that’s what they bought. It’s a bit much to call the version on the site a “novelty product” considering it’s only 10% more expensive than the original version when purchasing the whole series. That said, since the original version is still in print and also has a digital version, I agree it makes more sense to use that version if only one version will be included.
In any case, I agree with your request on the whole. I’m planning to start reading 満月をさがして tonight actually, but the original version was out of print (and the digital quality was awful) so I bought a reprint version. But the original is 7 volumes while the reprint is 4, so I’m really not sure how to track that on the site. If the reprint version was supported that would be really convenient.
P.S. You should probably vote for your own request.
That’s fair. You do also get more bang for your buck. I love the bunko size. But in my case I am reading the Kindle version of Steel Ball Run and just thought if I am running into this problem, others will as well.
Maybe the rule should be if the version of the book that has both digital and physical releases should be the one on the site… but theres definitely stuff like Slam Dunk that don’t fit the criteria (no digital release, but multiple versions).
らんま 1/2 is another series where this is an issue, I’m using a reprint that collects the original 38 volumes into 20. I’ve been checking the Wikipedia “list of Ranma 1/2 chapters” to figure out which original volumes mine correspond to, and entering that number instead.
I didn’t even think of making a feature for this on the site, since it seems like an uncommon and minor issue, but if it pops up in lots of series maybe it’s worth looking into. For me though, the workaround I mentioned above is simple enough that I don’t mind.
However, in general I think series should be listed in their originally published format, and if the SBR page is based on a reprint right now it should probably be changed.
Not realizing that there was a policy, I requested the non-tsubasa version of おおかみこどもの雨と雪 | L29 because it was the version I read, and got rejected. If I remember correctly, the two versions had chapters that were slightly different. I wish it was a little more consistent which version was added if there is only one.
So I think this is a very good discussion to have, thanks for bringing it up @WaniTsunami
I’ll first say that I think I agree about listing multiple editions where the volume count is different. Originally, I was very averse to allowing multiple editions, but since this particular case is relatively rare and it’s a really big pain for user tracking, I think I should list multiple editions if the series volume counts are different going forward.
As for listing multiple editions for all books generally, @Naphthalene is correct about why listing only one edition is important. It compromises the difficult ratings but it goes even beyond that. If you start listing multiple editions then:
user book reviews become split
browsing through search becomes completely unusable (see amazon search!)
So, having only one listing in the database for each unique piece of text content is very, very useful. But when it comes to tracking progress, listing multiple editions is also useful. Eventually I’d love to allow you to choose your edition. In fact, i already have all the editions listed on the amazon page stored in the database, I just haven’t enabled users to toggle them yet.
I know Unfortunately we are adding a lot of books all the time and generally default to the user request if it’s tsubasabunko version or not. I think I’d generally prefer to use the non-tsubasabunko version, so if you find books with only the tsubasabunko one listed, feel free to submit feedback to change. The ones with both versions i’m somewhat using as an approximate test on how much impact tsubasabunko version has on difficulty rating.
Edition handling is actually one of the major things we can improve on the site, I agree. I think we can get to a place where edition handling is a major benefit for Natively compared to other sites (navigating editions can be very hard!) but we aren’t there yet and it will come after the other two major initiatives (movies & korean).
In the meantime, like I said, I think I’m happy to start listing editions with different volume counts, as you’re all pushing for here.
Aw @ForeKred really appreciate your comments and sticking up for me ! But yeah, I don’t think @WaniTsunami meant anything harsh by it as they later explained, they were just talking about how it looks, which tbh, I agree with.
Product requests can be quite direct as long as there are no ad hominums, which I can understand ‘lazy’ might be misinterpreted here to be.
Why can’t you just keep the difficulty ratings together since ratings are for entire series anyway? Especially for manga, the content will usually be exactly the same. Granted for books it can be a little more complicated since one version may be full furigana while another isn’t.
As for reviews being split, I think you can partly resolve that by adding series reviews since you could have those reviews shared across versions. And similar to Amazon reviews, you can just note in the review which version that user read, in case it matters.
Regarding search becoming unusable, I think you can avoid that by implementing it like Goodreads. They have a primary listing for each book, which is what shows up in search. And then you can select your version from there. So rather than search becoming cluttered, you can have some kind of version/edition toggle on the series page itself.
Do you see edition handling as a large initiative like movies and additional languages? Maybe I’m being naive, but it seems more medium-sized than large-sized to me.
In that case, can you add this version of 満月をさがして? It has four volumes. Thanks!
Well yeah, it’s usually necessary to write some code. I wasn’t asking why you couldn’t do this today. I meant as part of adding full support for editions maybe you should update this. For full support you’d have to add editions to the database in some form anyway, so this is something you could account for then.
Glad I could clarify my wording. The site is incredible and amazing feat for just one person.
I’ve been pondering some other ideas, maybe there could be some sort of tag you can put on your books of which version your reading to avoid separation of titles/reviews/etc. Which brings me back to maybe making the published version of the book with the most volumes on the site and users can distinguish which version they have and that could have a preset for pages or whatever data is tied to that.
In some cases, I would expect a large impact. For instead, in the case of キノの旅 1, there’s a whole chapter that was removed because it was too violent for a younger audience and replaced by an original (kid friendly) story. While I haven’t checked that story, I feel like a story written specifically with a younger audience in mind may be simpler.
I guess that, in such cases, splitting the book reviews does make some sense.
Sorry, @seanblue would you mind submitting a formal book request for that one with a note that it’s an alt version? If there’s anyone else who wants to submit alternate volume count editions, just go ahead and request them with a note that it’s an alt version with a different volume count. Thanks!