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Pooling policy for multiple stories with shared continuity

Posted under General

Continuing a discussion from pages 41 and 42 of the Pointless Pools thread:

There is presently no set policy on how to pool separate stories by an artist which take place within a single continuity. As a result, it has generally been done according to the pool creator's peculiar preference: either separating stories into individual pools while providing links in the pool info to other relevant pools ("chaptering", if you will) or grouping all stories within a single continuity into a single pool ("lumping"). Complicating matters is the fact that "continuity" between stories is not necessarily a binary matter. For instance, we have:

  • works like Mamange (presently "lumped"), which focus on the same set of characters and occur more or less in sequence, like chapters of your standard manga,
  • works like A Bright Future (presently "chaptered"), which clearly occur in the same "universe", but focus on different characters in each chapter,
  • works like rokugatsu_t's 4komas, which are numbered sequentially on Pixiv, but otherwise show no signs of being in the same continuity, and
  • works like tani_takeshi's 4komas, which exhibit continuity, but do not always have clear "chapter" boundaries.

My view of things is that the "chaptered" pool set-up is highly preferable for navigation purposes: it makes it much easier to read a particular chapter on demand while not drastically increasing the difficulty of reading through all chapters in one sitting. For that reason, I think that present "lumped" pools should be converted to "chaptered" pools, with the exception of the last type of work on the list above, which obviously cannot be chaptered due to the lack of chapters.

What are others' opinions on this?

Updated by jjj14

In a perfect world we would have just one pool for a series with a table of contents in the description. There's no reason why we shouldn't opt to do that in some cases right now. For example, Soara's Pokemon 4koma does it.

The obvious problems with this is when someone misses something when uploading or an artist retroactively sticks in a story, forcing manual re-ordering, a problem for lengthy pools. Also, in the Soara example, the post as it's numbered in a pool can't be seen unless browsing by Order, which is something a locked pool prevents for most users.

Mamange is an odd one in that there are lots of little side comics without titles, which are clearly still part of the setting. However, it's also generally posted here in the order it's published by the artist, most have a title order, and clear beginning and end pages. It's probably better that it's all confined to one.

But in general I see little wrong with how things are right now. There isn't an urgent need and I would suggest not forcing anything. This is in the case of 4komas, too. I'd say the Soara one could use it, but what it does now is just fine and also works. If it's not broken, why fix it.

Updated

Expanding on the concept of a table of contents and using pools by story, this is my idea... nesting pools.

Basically in the case of rokugatsu_t's 4komas we would keep what we have now. That is a larger 4koma pool based on the artist's title and numbering and the individual stories (daughter pools) within the mother pool.

Example being pool #3499 and pool #2502

One could then add links within the description like a true table of contents linking the mother pool to the daughter pools and daughter pools to each other.

If the stories are sufficiently distinct (different perspectives, good number of posts each), I can agree with chaptering (case #2). But I lean towards lumping if the posts are in a continuity but too similar (case #1, case #4). Only #3 isn't fine as is.

Siegmund_200% said:
Basically in the case of rokugatsu_t's 4komas we would keep what we have now. That is a larger 4koma pool based on the artist's title and numbering and the individual stories (daughter pools) within the mother pool.

Nesting pools just clutters the space above the image. The parent pool and/or chapters aren't needed, as there's no link between the different stories. "Touhou 4koma" is a generic title given to all that artist's Touhou 4koma; it's not a title worth pooling over.

Siegmund_200% said:
Yes I realize that. What I was getting at is where the artist's naming scheme and a tag match, does the rule still apply?

Yes. The artist's title is irrelevant; pool #3499 is nothing more than the tag search "rokugatsu_t 4koma" with the (independent) stories ordered, and the stories can be split. It's no different than if rokugatsu_t had actually posted them with their own separate titles. We don't create super pools for that case and we don't need to do so here.

Updated

RaisingK said:

Yes. The artist's title is irrelevant; pool #3499 is nothing more than the tag search "rokugatsu_t 4koma" with the (independent) stories ordered, and the stories can be split.

I honestly fail to see how the fact it is multiple stories under a generic title has any bearing what so ever on artist title vs tag and making a pool.

It is a proper title regardless of whether or not it matches a tag or the content of the "comic". In other words I put far more value on the artists title then a tag.

Example

An artist makes "touhou boobs" and does a comic about the busty touhou character either in a single story or multiple ones. It matches a tag but it is still a proper title.

Lastly since we seem to be discussion whether to use the proper artists title in the first place it seems that the artist's title is far from irrelevant.

It's no different than if rokugatsu_t had actually posted them with their own separate titles.

This seems completely irrelevant to the artist's title vs tag issue since it doesn't address the actual issue. I am not talking about the pool as a whole I am only talking about the title matching a tag.

We don't create super pools for that case and we don't need to do so here.

Apparently we in fact do as can be seen by looking up a touhou 4koma other then the one in question.

I think my issue here is you are stating as fact what appears to be no more then your opinion as no one else can said anything regarding the issue on way or the other.

There is no single policy maker here as far as I know beyond Albert.

Also you keep harping on the nature of the pool which has nothing to do with what you quoted.

To sum it up: I see your opinion, I don't see anything that would be considered actual policy.

Anyway (while it could be considered a different topic) I am curious to see how other people feel about artist title vs tag when they match (generic or not).

Siegmund_200% said:
An artist makes "touhou boobs" and does a comic about the busty touhou character either in a single story or multiple ones. It matches a tag but it is still a proper title.

How many times do I have to say that I'm not talking about the title, that the title has nothing to do with my point? I don't care whether or not the title is made up of tags; I'm talking about the posts returned by tag searches.

A search for "touhou breasts" wouldn't even be specific to that artist. All of the posts in rokugatsu_t 4koma are in pool:3499, and all of the posts in pool:3499 are in rokugatsu_t 4koma. They are the same. We don't need a pool when just searching for rokugatsu_t 4koma gets you the same results: all of that artist's 4koma. That's my point.

Siegmund_200% said:
Apparently we in fact do as can be seen by looking up a touhou 4koma other then the one in question.

And how did you arrive at that conclusion? Did you do a quick pool search and assume the handful of results were both in the same situation and indicitive of Danbooru policy? Like glasnost said:

There is presently no set policy on how to pool separate stories by an artist which take place within a single continuity. As a result, it has generally been done according to the pool creator's peculiar preference

Updated

RaisingK said:
A search for "touhou breasts" wouldn't even be specific to that artist. All of the posts in rokugatsu_t 4koma are in pool:3499, and all of the posts in pool:3499 are in rokugatsu_t 4koma. They are the same. We don't need a pool when just searching for rokugatsu_t 4koma gets you the same results: all of that artist's 4koma. That's my point.

The issue with that is they aren't always going to be in order. look up rokugatsu_t 4koma. If you go to the very first uploaded image of that, it says its number 5 in the series. Second one after that is 57. See the issue here? They aren't always gonna be in order.

Granted this doesn't mean much if the artist just has a bunch of random comics that have no set order to them but many artists have some sort of progression with their comics on some level.

So in this regard, don't think of the 4koma/comic pools as just grouping together an artist's work so much as keeping them organized and in order.

Zekana said:
The issue with that is they aren't always going to be in order. look up rokugatsu_t 4koma. If you go to the very first uploaded image of that, it says its number 5 in the series. Second one after that is 57. See the issue here? They aren't always gonna be in order.

How they're numbered on pixiv doesn't matter because the stories are independent; separate pools can be made to order the separate stories.

Zekana said:
Granted this doesn't mean much if the artist just has a bunch of random comics that have no set order to them but many artists have some sort of progression with their comics on some level.

Then the situation for those other artists is different from the one that this particular pool is in.

Updated

And how did you arrive at that conclusion? Did you do a quick pool search and assume the handful of results were both in the same situation and indicitive of Danbooru policy? Like glasnost said:

Yes I did actually when the subject first came up. Found one or two touhou 4koma that were very close.

pool #738
pool #2942

Slightly off point but related to my initial idea in this thread

pool #2908

As to the other part, response here forum #62682

Updated

Siegmund_200% said:
Yes I did actually when the subject first came up. Found one or two touhou 4koma that were very close.

I'll quote glasnost again:

glasnost said:
There is presently no set policy on how to pool separate stories by an artist which take place within a single continuity. As a result, it has generally been done according to the pool creator's peculiar preference

Finding two pools out of all the touhou pools does not in any way indicate a Danbooru policy; that's just the individual pool creators doing their own thing.

pool #738 - The pool description even admits that

Not all of these are 4-komas, and most are in no specific order.

There's continuity in some of the posts, though. Perhaps it can be broken up or reduced, perhaps it's more like case #4 ("exhibit continuity, but do not always have clear 'chapter' boundaries") and should stay lumped. It isn't as clearly separable as pool #3499, so we can worry about that later.

pool #2942 - ...I don't get why you bring that one up. It's a single story (and incidentally, not 4koma).

Updated

RaisingK said:
I'll quote glasnost again:

I will quote you

We don't create super pools for that case and we don't need to do so here.

We do create super pools, policy or no, we do create them. I was countering the point that it does not happen.

Also quoting glasnost to counter my point when it countered yours as well was just silly.

Anyway I was more replying to the implied question of the any examples.

Lastly making up qualification like "indicative of danbooru policy" was ignored by me since it seemed to me to be (considering the whole thread is about pool design) an attempt to make the question unanswerable.

Finding two pools out of all the touhou pools does not in any way indicate a Danbooru policy; that's just the individual pool creators doing their own thing.

I said it did? I specifically gave two example withing the confines of ONLY 4koma(since I fixed the link) that were:

a. A counter to the point that "we don't created super pools" which is not true (they are created and there is no policy one way or the other).

b. As I say to provide examples so no one could accuse me of making stuff up.

pool #738 - The pool description even admits that
There's continuity in some of the posts, though. Perhaps it can be broken up or reduced, perhaps it's more like case #4 ("exhibit continuity, but do not always have clear 'chapter' boundaries") and should stay lumped. It isn't as clearly separable as pool #3499, so we can worry about that later.

The continuity is very debatable in that one. More then pool #3499 but not as much at #4 as the example.

pool #2942 - ...I don't get why you bring that one up. It's a single story (and incidentally, not 4koma).

Bugger wrong one. pool #2924, inverted the last two digits. My bad on that.

Anyway this nitpicking by both of us has gotten beyond pointless. I am done.

Updated

Siegmund_200% said:
We do create super pools, policy or no, we do create them. I was countering the point that it does not happen.

I meant as a policy, or at least a general trend. Finding isolated examples where this is not the case doesn't mean anything, because like glasnost said, that's just each pool creator doing their own thing. And I said "for that case"; pool #2924 isn't an example since all the posts seem to have the same generic title, and I'm not sure if pool #738 is one, either, since it seems to mostly consist of standalone 4koma, not independent stories.

Siegmund_200% said:
Anyway this nitpicking by both of us has gotten beyond pointless. I am done.

I was waiting for someone else to join in but it seems no one else cares.

Updated

As the one that made the pool for the "A Bright Future" series, I don't see any problems with making different pools for continuations of a series as long as the pool content is not in the range of 1-digit only, which will benefit more from the lumping method...

Both as a reader and for curatorial reasons, my own personal preference is to treat the artist's presentation the work as authoritative.

If the artist has divided a (longish) work with chapter numbers under the same title, I would generally prefer to honor that using the chaptered approach. This is reasonable as the the artist's organization often presents a sensible compartmentalizing of the story into more digestible chunks, and sometimes signals a shift in story or perspective within the same universe. Multiple chapters can be linked to one another in the pool description; this allows for ease of reading in installments, with a minimal 2-click overhead to advance between chapters. Thus, I feel the current handling of A Bright Future, Spun Yarn; and having Scarlet Devil School distinct from Four Seasons' House, are appropriate.

forum #62915 raises the question of pool #2104 where continuity is present, but the artist uses a different title with numbering restarted. I consider this analogous to division into chapters by the artist, and would begin a new pool for the new title, with appropriate linking. (In fact, this is already the case for the series prequel.)

This does not repudiate lumping, however. Flexibility is needed in the case of much shorter works; as F.I.A notes, if each of the chapters has only a small handful of posts, then the chaptered approach confers little benefit and the lumped approach may be more appropriate. e.g. YamaKisu and Danbooru House Minoriko are collections of variations on the same short gag. By that argument, Butt knife 1 & 2 could be lumped together as well.

Mamange kind of falls into a gray area here, with short to medium chapter length varying between <10 and >20 pages, but having over 150 pages in total. I might have chaptered it if I were the pool creator, but I am also perfectly happy with how it is currently organized since it is not prohibitively huge.

As for sequentially ordered/numbered comics that the artist has not divided into chapters, I consider it desirable to preserve the artist's ordering and consume the work in that order, even if the pool title is generic and corresponds to a tag search such as "artist_name touhou 4koma". This is regardless of continuity or lack thereof -- it doesn't matter whether the comics are completely independent one-offs, a single continuous story, multiple shorter threads, or a mix.

I agree that if a series contains shorter, minimally-related story threads within the whole, it would be convenient to be able to easily find and access those. But, I would consider it presumptive for us to arbitrarily split the work into "chapters" if the artist did not do so; indeed, some works do not exhibit clear boundaries for splitting. Therefore, I would generally prefer a single pool, using a table of contents to link to the start and end of any sub-story threads. E.g. in rokugatsu's 4koma pool, we could have a link for the Young Ran Adult Chen thread given as: strips #14 ~ #20. Nesting pools such as pool #2502 is undesirable since it increases the clutter of pool headings above the image and does not add any new information about ordering.

Notice that in general, the artist's series organization and story continuity are not mutually exclusive nor do they contradict one another:

  • If there is little or no continuity, but the artist has provided an ordering of the series, the ordering is still information that some people care about, and can and should be preserved as an ordered pool without detriment to (inexistent) continuity.
  • Where the artist has provided an ordering but it consists of fragmented, independent story threads, then the continuity is contained within the artist's ordering. We can preserve the organization (which some people care about) as a single ordered pool, while still linking to sub-story arcs of interest within the whole to indicate the distinct threads.
  • Where there is continuity, and the artist has divided the work into substantively sized chunks by chapters or otherwise, we can and should preserve the artist's organization, it often represents sensible splitting points and/or perspective changes. Continuity of the whole can be accomplished by linking between pools.
    • If the individual chapters are too small then they can be lumped together at discretion.

Of course, if the artist did not number comics as a series or organize them into chapters, then all bets are off. Story threads can be collected using pools as deemed appropriate.

Since series continuity really is a continuum rather than a binary classification, I don't think there can really be a strict one-size-fits-all policy in this matter. I am fairly satisfied with the status quo, but a few pools like pool #738 could really use some cleanup. We could establish some general guidelines if that helps to clarify things. And as always, a healthy dose of common sense is beneficial.

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