Tate Talk 5: Updating old annotations with new information

The beauty of annotations is they can evolve, they can grow or shrink, they can change entirely based on new information or when old information is discovered.

Today, we’re closer than ever before to artists, either through interviews, social media, or the budding podcast arena. These sources are all a wealth of knowledge, even if it’s just a little tid-bit of information, or an anecdote.

It’s important that we continue to update older annotations to reflect this new information. It’s also important that we date annotations as we make them in certain circumstances, so if a reader comes along and see’s an annotation that says “Drake’s Views was number 1 for 5 weeks” they aren’t confused. Instead, try:

As of July 2016, Drake’s Views had spent a total of 5 weeks at number 1.

I would love for Genius to be the place people come for cool stories and great insights on songs. For example, Ja Rule was on Drink Champs earlier this year, and I just modified the song bio for “So Much Pain” to reflect the anecdote he told.

This article by @annaose is a perfect example, it’s a resource we can use when annotating Drake music. Quotes like:

Drake says there’s a “genuine energy” between him and Rihanna: “We’re not just forcing the story.”

He doesn’t really talk to Nicki Minaj anymore but that “it’s always love.”

He didn’t want Jay Z on “Pop Style”: “Jay Z wasn’t supposed to be on ‘Pop Style.’ I was really just trying to get Kanye on it.” Jay only ended up on the song because Kanye included him on the verse he sent to Drake. “It didn’t play out how I wanted it to go."

Another example is this article with the writer for Beyoncé’s “LOVE DROUGHT”, Ingrid Burley, who gives a really deep insight into what some of the lines actually mean. I haven’t had a chance to modify the annotations to reflect Ingrid’s revelations, but I think they’re an important part of the song. Yes, we should definitely keep the annotations from Bey’s point of view, but it’s worth adding something at the bottom of each annotation about what Ingrid really meant when she wrote the track, because it is useful and interesting information.

Even really simple updates, like going back and adding to the “Stan” song bio that “Bad Guy” is a continuation of the story line is important.

If you see or hear something in an interview or on a podcast, jot it down! Timestamp it, because that is essential. We don’t want to link someone to a 3 hour Combat Jack Show episode without telling them where the information came from. But if you’re in the car or on the train or bus, just make a note. This is the kind of info that rarely gets put on Wiki pages or any other form of knowledge we’re competing against, so it’s an important advantage we have.

@genius-editorial-board @Michael @ewokABdevito @Empath @BasedGator @Dyazz

August 9th, 2016

cosign! there’s also a lot of instances where we go HAM on a hot song for a week then forget about it 3 months later. coming back to those songs/albums once the artist has done interviews is super important because often there’s a wealth of new information to add, or we simply had shit wrong and we need to correct it.

August 9th, 2016

Awesome job @Theonlydjorkaeff ! Updating old tates is incredibly important, even if the song was released years ago.

August 9th, 2016

@Michael Eaxactly! There’s always a case for going back over popular albums, for example something like MMLP2 or WATTBA or Yeezus.

Don’t forget suggestions can pile up, and some of them can be really good!

August 9th, 2016

Great thread! Great examples too!

August 10th, 2016

It’s also important that we date annotations as we make them in certain circumstances, so if a reader comes along and see’s an annotation that says “Drake’s Views was number 1 for 5 weeks” they aren’t confused. Instead, try:

As of July 2016, Drake’s Views had spent a total of 5 weeks at number 1.


Great tate talk!

August 10th, 2016

This is great! I’m always timid about editing old accepted annotations so this gives me a little more confidence.

August 10th, 2016

Had to remove myself from Aug. 15th because I’ll be out of town this weekend and won’t have time to develop a proper post. Those who have signed up for dates after: feel free to take my spot if you want.

August 10th, 2016

Just went through this exact process last week when I updated “Bad Religion.” I ended up linking to Frank Ocean’s recent tumblr post on the Orlando shooting because it’s the strongest direct source on Frank’s feelings about the effect of homophobia on LGBTQ+ people. He wrote it four years after “Bad Religion” dropped, but now a quote from it closes the final annotation on the song.

August 11th, 2016

Very good job @Theonlydjorkaeff! Genius articles are lowkey great ways to plug some real info into annotations when there may be a lot of speculation surrounding it. I need to start doing that more myself haha.

August 15th, 2016
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