Enthusiastic Newcomer not Welcomed Very Well

While working with archive.org, I’ve came across some connection which led me to musicbrainz and bookbrainz. I liked this project and since I have considerable experience in contributing to such a databases, I’ve immediately stopped all my started works, registered my profile here and started preparing tons of contributions for these data bases.

Just for warming up, I’ve added this music release and cover art images in musicbrainz.
Do you think this is bad?
Does this data base need these contributions?

So, full of enthusiasm, I’ve started examining the bookbrainz. For a start, I saw that under the author Raymond Chandler there are no works and editions added. Since I have deep knowledge about this writer, I’ve started preparing and adding almost entire his creative works and editions in bookbrainz … and … then some editor appeared and started editing and messing up what I’ve just started without any notice or asking for information about the ideas or suggesting discussion…
This ruined all my enthusiasm and I’ve spent hours wondering what to do and how to connect with someone here. Can you imagine what happened? Is this normal for this place?
I consider this as a very rude attitude.

So, should I leave this place immediately? Tell me how to act?
It is 4.30 after midnight and I’m writing these things here instead of adding novels and music albums in Brainz projects…


Looks OK to me!

Well this is a collaborative project and anyone can edit… that’s kind of the whole point.

I don’t know BookBrainz (I edit only MusicBrainz) so this may be inaccurate… but if you think another editor made a mistake you can always discuss on the edits themselves. For a wider/more general discussion these forums are a good place.


I don’t think this is normal for MusicBrainz. Usually edits should be discussed in edit notes, and most experienced editors in my experience are aware of newcomers and offer advise and help to get used to the guidelines and habits here.

As for BookBrainz be aware that this is a project with a just recently growing community. There is obviously some overlap, but the BookBrainz community is nevertheless a distinct user base. Recently two similar sites shutdown, which lead to many users joining BookBrainz and actually now a noticeable community and activity there. Before this it was rather quiet in the BookBrainz section of these forums.

So maybe this community still needs to learn as a whole and also establish best practices and guidelines that have been established in the MusicBrainz community over the years?

I don’t know exactly what you experienced with your BB editing, but if some of your changes got reverted without discussion I would suggest to get in discussion with the editor who did this. This is what many do on MusicBrainz also; if an edit gets controversial discussions have some wider discussion happening here on the forums, so more people can weight in with their opinion. If you start a topic here, remember that you can also directly mention an editor (like @mrblond) to get them notified.


Unfortunately it is not as easy to communicate with other editors on BB as it is on MB, but it seems the other editor went to the forums instead:

Maybe you can pick up the discussion from there? This will also improve the probability that other editors participate (as revision notes on BB trigger no notification mails as edit notes on MB do).


Welcome!! Thanks for your contribution, amazing work!

Are you keen for me to follow your (MB) edits and drop it in some helpful advice from time to time, or have you had enough ‘fixes’ suggested by now :joy:

In my experience it is a little bit normal… both what happened and your reaction.


  1. Definitely: a lot of people on these projects are very ‘data’ orientated (as opposed to social - just by the nature of this DB vs other sites), so they can often jump in feet first and start “fixing” stuff, rather than seeking to engage. And when there is engagement it can be a bit… technical haha.
  2. But: As we are a team it’s not a insult for someone to be changing “your” additions. Many hands make for light work! I would (these days) rarely try to seek discussion or permission from an original editor when I make a change - we are on the same team but also because I am making thousands of edits so it’s not practical.
  3. Regardless, after spending hours entering data it can be an incredible frustration to have something changed, or have a disagreement on something we find a perfectly logical way to do things. We have all been there - seriously! Even now a ‘no’ vote can be the worst :sob:

If this sounds like a community of data-lovers that you can grow to love then please hang around! And please keep chatting on here if anything comes up.

edit: Plus I’m sure @Goldilox didn’t mean anything by it and you guys would make an excellent team :wink:


Firstly, I would like to thank you for your contributions.

As the “rude editor” here is my reply:

There is an expectation that any new user should consult the help page before they start editing. A quick look at the help page would reveal the use of the Edition Group. It is possible that I have the concept wrong, but I don’t think so.

You created a Bulgarian Edition of The Big Sleep but listed the title in English. I was able to identify the book you submitted and discovered that the title was listed in Bulgarian Cyrillic, so I changed that.

You listed the original language Work for a Bulgarian edition of The Big Sleep which was wrong. Translation titles have a unique Work and they are linked to the original language Work via a translation relationship. I corrected that.

You created the publisher, but you didn’t add it to the edition that you created. So, I added that.

Six hours later I looked at the Raymond Chandler database and I noticed that only one of his books had been created as a Work, so I created all of the Philip Marlowe novel Works. I also have quite a bit of knowledge about Raymond Chandler as I have read every one of his published works.

Frankly, I don’t apologise for anything. It is not as if I can private message you on this site and give you a tutorial.

I suggest for anyone new to BB a good starting point would be the help page and if something is unclear then a search of the Forum might provide the answer, and if the topic hasn’t been discussed then start a Forum discussion.

This is the Edition in question that shows my submission notes: https://bookbrainz.org/edition/4e42aa80-fcb2-42ee-bf31-e087751dec36/revisions?size=20&from=0

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Welcome to the (yet little) crowd of contributors. I well understand that you wanted to contribute your books as fast as possible. But before complaining about users changing your contributions, could you please make a step back and think about the reasons why these changes were made?
When you start to add things to a site where you are new, don’t you think it might be helpful to read the instructions/help pages first?

  • Have a look at other contributions and watch how works/editions has been added?
  • Use the forum and ask if things are unclear?

We are all newbies here and make mistakes or are unsure about how to handle things. That’s why we are discussing in the forum.

So join us, asking, discussing and arguing but please don’t complain about changes in your contributions when you were just guessing how to do it correctly.

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Thanks for all the responses.
I think, I’m going to revert all edits and start from the beginning to form a structure in a way that I’ll suggest it as an example, moreover template for building this data base.


That said, your added MusicBrainz release was good!
I did change some stuff (set English to the tracklist language, added medium titles and showing sides A and B), you can check out the edit history, but it was already good. :slight_smile:


I’ve examined all info available before starting anything. I don’t think I’ve made some mistake.

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I probably need one more day or two to recover from this offence and will try to revise the Chandler structure and start filling in other authors. Probably there are no guarantee for another aggressive intrusion…

@mrblond this is a community sourced database. Therefore all contributors have the right to add information or correct errors as long as the edit has a verifiable source.

A few kind and patient words can mean the world to new people and will help create future Goldilox quality contributors :wink:

As experienced contributors and members we carry a bit of responsibility to take the ‘hit’ sometimes. Mrblond’s reaction was natural and is absolutely no reflection on your editing ethic and skill x


Hang about. I did nothing wrong in this situation. If you have a look at the history of the Edition that @mrblond submitted you will find nothing untoward in my edits and the language I used was respectful: https://bookbrainz.org/edition/4e42aa80-fcb2-42ee-bf31-e087751dec36/revisions?size=20&from=0

Unlike Bookogs or Discogs, it is impossible to message users on this site. On those sites, it was my normal practice to private message newbies if they were making mistakes. I don’t even receive notifications when someone edits one of my submissions on this site. Sadly, telepathy is not my strong suit.

If anyone should feel aggrieved in this situation, maybe that honour should be mine. This person has basically called my behaviour aggressive, which I find highly offensive. The first I knew that this person had a problem was when I received a notification that @kellnerd had cited my Forum post on the correct usage of Edition Groups.

I gather @mrblond is annoyed because I added some Works for Raymond Chandler and he wanted that task. I reiterate, telepathy is not one of my skills.

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For what it’s worth, you should be able to private-message someone via their MusicBrainz profile, which they need to have to edit BookBrainz IIRC? But ideally the same option should be available directly through BB. @mr_monkey, is that in the plans?

I agree, but new users getting frustrated because they don’t quite realize how collaborative databases work is not rare, so I’d also suggest to try not to get frustrated in return :slight_smile:


I can assure you I’m not and I will sleep soundly with a clear conscience :sleeping: