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Arcanum News: Creating Entries and Transcribing

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Hi everyone,

With the advent of Arcanum's Suggestion feature, general users (who are logged in) can edit any entries which staff then approve. This has been quite great. However, this was only a stepping stone to our goal of having anyone transcribe stuff. That's the dream for Arcanum, to have new events and everything be crowdsourced so we can get info in quickly and not having transcribers burn out.

Of course having people create entries is essential to having you actually transcribe, and in this feature patch, now you can do that! 

First we need to explain a little bit of terminology. When we get a long audio file, Arcanists divvy it up into what we call "snippets." These snippets are the relevant audio pieces that would appear in an entry. It's a fragment of the total audio. What we do is we create entries from those snippets, and that will then put you in an Edit Entry screen where you can transcribe it.

In this update you can also directly add text entries--stuff that has no audio--which is good for Reddit posts or other text posts Brandon makes. However, it is important that if an event has audio, don't add your paraphrased text in until the audio has been transcribed. In our experience many times paraphrased reports have sometimes been rather inaccurate.

It's our hope that some of you will help us in this quest of getting information in, and there's still stuff from prior to 2014 that needs work done. If you're interested in really diving into Arcanum work, it's essential you join Discord and come into the #arcanum channnel so we can coordinate what to do. Some events have snippets that don't need to be transcribed, and we keep them so that they don't vanish into the aether. Please make sure if you want stuff to do to hop in that channel. There are things, but we want to make sure your time spent transcribing--which is very tedious--is spent well.

So with that in mind, if you want to help, the rest of this news post will describe how exactly you can transcribe. First (of course) come into Discord and we will get you something to do. Then there are two types of things you can add and they have different workflows.

Creating entries from audio

When you go to a relevant event page, you can click the top for Sources. You'll notice that when you're logged in, there's now an edit button! Don't worry, you aren't going to break anything by clicking it. When you click it, you will get the Edit Source page

arcanumscreencap1.png

Then, select a source. Pick one with snippets.

arcanumscreencap2.png

You'll notice you can listen to the full audio of the signing and scrub wherever you like now. But notice below that; there's the list of all snippets.

Snippets that don't have an entry will have a red pencil in the box to the right, and ones that do have an entry have a white pencil.

arcanumscreencap3.png

If you click the Edit button on the ones that don't have entries, Arcanum will make an entry and then you can transcribe the snippet there. I recommend if you do this to open the Edit Entry page in a new tab so you have the Source page open the whole time.

That's that. Once you save the entry, Arcanists will need to approve it for the general audience and for style, but other logged in users will be able to see your transcription and edit it too. It's a collaborative process. 

Text Entries

For events that have no audio--old events, paraphrased reports, or interviews or other text based things--you do things slightly differently if you want to add it. From the event page, on the sidebar, click Add Entry. This will give you an edit window where you can then add the entry. This also will need to be approved by Arcanists. 

Style

We have a style guide for writing Arcanum entries. It probably needs some editing, but you can look at it here

When transcribing an entry, if there is any issue with understanding the audio, please use the following guidelines: 

  • *this* - for non-audio stuff, like *laughs*, *writes in the book* or *inaudible*  
  • [this] - for clarifications, like someone asks about Shardbearer [Vessel] of Preservation  
  • <this> - when the transcription is not certain but you make the best guess because you think you can hear something 

We hope you come join us for this journey of transcribing what Brandon says. Come say hi on Discord!

Already there's a lot to do in the Arcanum Unbounded release, so I'd check that out first if you're interested.

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