Q: I am an artist/member of a band/label rep, and I want our album reviewed. Who can I contact for more information?
Please contact us at sputnikreviews(at)gmail.com - either the owner/administrator or one of the co-heads of staff will respond to your inquiry. They do their best to be as accommodating as possible to ensure that your album will be reviewed by a writer knowledgeable about your genre of music, so please give them time.
Q: What may I review at Sputnikmusic?
You may review audio CDs (LPs, EPs, OSTs for movies/videogames [provided they were released independently as an individual CD) as well as music DVDs.
Singles and comedy albums are not permissible; further, you may not review a bonus CD or DVD that comes with a release. Instead, you must review the entire package. Lastly, you cannot review movies here, no matter how you try to spin it; however, again, the soundtracks to movies are acceptable if the OST was released separately.
Q: How can I post comments?
You can't post comments as a guest, so you have to register with us. Once you log-in, find a review you wish to comment on, and it'll be pretty intuitive as to where you're supposed to type your comments.
Q: What is Sputnikmusic's plagiarism policy?
Plagiarism is absolutely not permitted under any circumstances whatsoever, from reviews to news articles. If you have written a review for another website, such as RYM, then you may repost it. If you wish to paraphrase or cite reviews/online music sites in your review, please provide proper citations, to showcase that what you are citing is not your own work. Do not copy/paste a review and then just credit it to another site if it is not your original work at all. Sputnikmusic was established as a place for reviews by the users of Musicianforums, and not for reviews written for/by other websites. If you plagiarize reviews or news articles without proper citations, you will be permanently banned.
Q: I'm having log-in issues... what do I do?
If you just registered with us and are having problems, make sure that you properly activated your account by clicking the link that was sent to you in your e-mail. If you did this properly, then you shouldn't have any problems logging in, but if you still do, try these steps:
1. Try logging in at http://sputnikmusic.com/
2. Try clearing your cookies (i.e., in Firefox, go to Tools, Clear Private Data, and click "Cookies.") and then try logging-in again
3. If you are still having problems, visit the Sputnikmusic Community Forum at Musician Forums, and post your problem in the Report Problems / Ask Questions thread, which is typically stickied at the top of the page.
Q: I submitted an album, artist, biography, review, etc. to the site, but I don't see my changes. What gives?
If you have submitted your first review, it MUST be approved by the mederators, no exceptions.
Any changes that are made must be approved by the mederators. Normally, your changes will go through the same day you made them; however, the mederators reject certain changes, such as the following:
1. Albums that do not have the proper title, tracklist, release date, and album art, or are missing any of these things altogether.
2. Band changes that are obviously wrong (i.e. changing Britney Spears to Metal or Fall Out Boy to emo).
3. Duplicate albums to the database.
If you still believe your changes did not go through, please ask in the Sputnikmusic Community Forum in the Report Problems/Ask Questions thread. If you notice that your review has been removed from the site, there is typically a good reason for this. If you have no idea, then please inquire in the aforementioned thread.
Q: What do I do if I want a review removed from the site?
Reviews that you submit are your property, so you can do what you wish to see fit. If you want to re-write a review, for instance, simply go to the Report Problems/Ask Questions thread in the Sputnikmusic Community Forum and provide a link to the review you want removed, and one of the meds will oblige your request.
If you want all your reviews to be removed, mx will make all your reviews guest submissions, meaning that your username will not be affiliated with the reviews. The reason mx does this is because if you were the only person who reviewed an album, it is more beneficial for the site to keep the review on-site instead of it being removed, even if you think the review sucked.
Q: How does the "Was this review well-written?" feature work?
For non-staff reviews, users are given the opportunity to give instant feedback on reviews by deciding "Yes" or "No" in terms of how well-written a review was. Note that the question is "Was this review well-written?" and NOT "Do you agree with the opinion of this reviewer?" While providing comments is much more constructive and helpful, votes are appreciated by users because it gives them a gauge as to how acceptable (or unacceptable) their prose is. Across all of one's reviews, a percentage is calculated, and this is that user's approval rating.
Q: My approval rating has dropped significantly, but it's not because I started to suck at reviewing. What gives?
If you notice this, chances are you have a troll voter. A troll voter is a user who votes against all your reviews because he or she has nothing better to do. If you suspect troll voting, report the problem and one of the mederators will look into it.
Two important notes:
1. If you receive a solitary negative vote, it will not be removed, no matter how much you protest.
2. The mederators will not inform you as to who voted on your reviews.
Q: In my user profile, what do objectivity, average rating, and variance mean when it comes to my ratings?
Objectivity, in a very literal sense, means to pass judgment that is absolutely not influenced by one's emotions or his/her personal prejudices.
Here's an example: User A has a 90% objectivity, while User B has a 40% objectivity, and both users wrote a review for the same album. User A's opinion would more than likely be accepted than User B's because of User A's objectivity, or ability to review and examine the album with little personal bias. User B's review, meanwhile, would probably not be as strongly considered because of his subjective nature of reviewing.
As a reviewer, it's important to be as objective as possible in your reviews and to not allow any of your personal biases to infiltrate your writing. However, this does not mean that your rating has to be 100%, because that would be nearly impossible; instead, you should nevertheless shoot for a reasonable objectivity rating, such as 75% or higher. To be objective, you should only rate albums you have heard, while diversifying your ratings; to explain, it would be wise to have a multitude of 5's, 4.5's, 4's, etc. as well as 2's, 1.5's, and 1's.
Meanwhile, variance is statistically the square of the standard deviation. But what does that mean, exactly? In layman's terms as it relates to Sputnikmusic, let's look at an example:
Average rating: 3.30
Objectivity score: 89% (well-balanced)
Average rating: if you add up all of Jom's ratings and divide that number by the number of albums he's rated, you would get the mean score, or in this case, the average rating. In his case:
(total sum of ratings)
(total # of ratings)
... equals 3.30, or his average rating.
Variance, meanwhile, is the average of the squared differences between individual ratings and the average score. The variance of a list of ratings shows how large (or small) the differences between one's list of ratings are. How to calculate variance and what it means to you isn't important, but keep this in mind: the smaller your variance, the more consistent your ratings are from your mean score. That is to say, if your variance is small, then most of your ratings are close to your average rating. Clear as mud, right? Essentially, don't worry too much about variance, but do consider your objectivity when writing.
Q: Where else is Sputnikmusic on the Internets?
You can find us at our official mySpace at:
Staff reviews are also featured at http://www.metacritic.com
We're also found on Wikipedia, but the entries are subject to frequent vandalism, and therefore aren't endorsed by our site, so they should not be taken as gospel. The same goes for any accounts that pop up on other social networking sites, such as Facebook: these accounts are not endorsed by Sputnikmusic, and therefore should not be utilized.