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I don't get it

So I nominated some fandoms yesterday for Yuletide, and the experience was bizarre, annoying, and really really frustrating and I don't remember this ever happening before, so I need a reality check.

Two fandoms I nominated were TV commercials -- Progressive Insurance, specifically Flo, and Allstate Insurance, again, because I got a Mayhem story last year and I think there should be MOAR Mayhem stories than just one in the archive, you know?

So, like, both of those already exist because Flo and Progressive have been nominated before -- they exist in the tag sets for the fandoms and the characters. But it wouldn't let me use those already existing fandom tags in the autofill -- it kept giving me a ridiculous error message that said someone had already nominated both of them with ____ tags (which were completely different, because whoever nominated them didn't bother to look to see if the tags already came up in the autofill) and that I couldn't nominate them. I had to "be more specific" and basically it took me like 8 tries to find some kind of specific name, that was COMPLETELY different than what this other person did, that would go through. Now, the other more normal fandoms I nominated both went through without a hitch, and they both have previously existed in the database.

I don't understand this at all, and it seems stupid. Now there will be however many other people nominate the same, exisiting fandoms in AO3, all for basically the same fandom, but because someone is careless or doesn't wait long enough for the autofill, we have to keep creating different names for tags, and what if whoever wrangles the tags doesn't realize they a) already exist in AO3 and b) are the same fandom? I thought there was this huge issue with tag bloat, and this seems to be actively creating tag bloat! I don't get it at all, and it was enormously frustrating, especially when the fandoms keep coming up on the autofill over and over again. How does this help?

The other thing that bugs me about it is that I'm afraid they're going to do what they did a couple years ago, where they lumped all TV commercials into a category, and since we were forced to choose 2 characters to offer in a given fandom, those of us who only were knowledgeable about one couldn't really offer the fandom we wanted to, and so those went unoffered (for instance, I talked to a couple people who had wanted to offer Mayhem/Allstate Insurance, but they couldn't just offer him -- they had to offer someone else and none of us felt like we could write the other characters listed, many of whom were from commercials we'd never seen). Last year I mentioned this problem to Elyn, and they had fixed it so that the individual commercials were their own fandoms -- and lo and behold, I got a Mayhem story for Yuletide! Which was awesome in the extreme. I'm afraid they're going to go backwards and push us back into that problem, which will mean many of us won't be able to offer fandoms we'd love to write.

This doesn't make the least bit of sense to me. Why force people to create a bunch of different fandom names for the same fandom just because someone else nominated it under less than correct information?

ETA: OK, the always wonderful [personal profile] arduinna has provided me with an explanation I can at least understand. Thank you, arduinna!

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Sep. 23rd, 2013 10:23 pm (UTC)
I had the same problem! Somebody nominated inspector Reid from Ripper Street using a non canonical fandom tag! And while in theory this means he's already nominated so I don't have to, there's no guarantee they won't later change their noms! I was pretty frustrated. I think we will just have to be vigilant that tags are wrangled correctly.
Sep. 24th, 2013 04:16 am (UTC)
Over on my DW account, arduinna explained this and it made some sense. It still seems like it's making a lot of work and tag issues, but I am comforted that it probably won't result in a disaster for my nominations.
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