Near Rhymes Mo’ Better!!

Hey WikiRhymers:

We have added a major new enhancement to Near Rhymes. It has always been a challenge to present Near Rhymes to you in a logical way and in a user-friendly way. We could just give you a huge long page, listing all of the Near Rhymes; but say in the case of the word “love,” that’s over 1,100 words. The word “be”? Fagetaboutit–that’s many thousands of words. Your eyes would roll back in your head before you got three hundred words in.

So, in the past we have settled for a methodology where we created a paragraph or “block” of words (which we call “Pointers”), one picked from each set of words that were near rhymes for your target word. (That way, you could look at discrete pages with small lists of words, thus avoiding or minimizing what we call “the fatigue factor.”) Unfortunately though, too many users viewed the Pointer list as just a list of words that rhyme with their target word, not Pointers to a wealth of words accessible by simply clicking Pointers.

We think we have cleared up at least some of the “pointer confusion” by the new approach. Now, instead of seeing a block of words–in green and followed by ellipses–you will see a block of only the ENDINGS of the words (in green). These are our new “Pointers.” These Pointers are listed alphabetically according to how they are spelled (and in effect then–to some degree–how they are pronounced). Click here for an example of this.

To see the words behind the Pointers, simply click one. If you are on our Pro Plan, you don’t even have to click–just mouseover a Pointer and a pop-up will pop up (aren’t we slick) with a list of words. Click here to join our Pro Plan. It’s only $5.00 per year.

Now, if you are a frequent user of WikiRhymer and have been for awhile, you know we also changed the End Rhyme and Near End Rhyme Pointers from words to numbers. They work the same way the “word ending” Pointers  do in Near Rhyme cases–click on them to see more if you are an unpaid WikiRhymer user, mouseover if you are on the Pro Plan. But why are they numbers? Good question that has a good answer.

Every end rhyme can be viewed as being as good as every other end rhyme. By definition, an end rhyme occurs when the last syllable of two words are pure rhymes–for instance, “we” and “maybe” or “satisfactorily” and “Kenny G”! So, we use numbers for Pointers rather than part of a word (what we call the rhyme syllable vowel sound or “RSVS”–way more than you ever wanted to know!). We use these numbers to reinforce to you the user that these are Pointers (clearly they are not a word) and to reinforce the notion that they all are pure rhymes on the end syllable and you will unfortunately have to simply look at all of them to find the “perfect” rhyme or at least look UNTIL you find the perfect rhyme starting with #1!

On the other hand, with Near Rhymes, we show you a Pointer as a partial word starting with a vowel sound because you can look at the list and make some qualitative judgments about where you want to look first. Let’s take the example of near rhymes for the word “love.” Again, looking at the “love” near rhyme page at WikiRhymer (here), and perusing the Pointers, don’t you think words that rhyme with “-ub” are going to be “nearer” rhymes with “love” than words that rhyme with “-ulled”? Likewise, “-uh” versus “unched”?

Again, our focus is not only the quantity of the content we show you, but the quality of the user experience. When you can make a qualitative decision which may speed up the process of finding the perfect rhyme, we try to give you that power.

That takes us to Near End Rhymes. This hybrid is a near rhyme (as opposed to a pure rhyme) on the last syllable only. So, it mixes the “every rhyme’s as good as the next” aspect of end rhymes with the fact that rhymers can make qualitative decisions about which near rhymes are likely to be better. The problem is that many, if not most Near End Rhymes suck! But, we give them to you nonetheless, because one poet’s sucky rhyme is another’s Paradise Found! We may convert the number Pointers we use with Near End Rhymes to text Pointers in the future. We may not!

One final thought: all of the changes we have been making over the last few months are a direct result of the user survey we did at the beginning of the year.  You told us what you like and don’t and we listened carefully and have been rolling these enhancements out one after anther to meet your needs. If you appreciate them, appreciate us!! Become a paid member of WikiRhymer. It’s only $5 bucks a year. Click here to join!!

Write On,

Bud & Cheng

 

WikiRhymer Word/Phrases Added/Edited

Hey WikiRhymers:

Just thought you’d like to know–since we reactivated the (new and improved) system for adding and editing rhymes, you have sent us well over 1,000 suggestions that have resulted in the addition of almost 900 words and phrases!! We thank you for helping us make WR the world’s “best rhyming dictionary.”

You might be asking yourself–“hey, I suggested a word be added. How come it wasn’t?”

There could be any one of a number of answers but here are the usual ones:

  • You misspelled the word and the correctly spelled word is already in WR.
  • The “word” is not a word at all (believe us, we research everything you send us).
  • The word or phrase we consider to be too obscure. Remember, as we note in the Add/Edit instructions, WR is a dictionary of American English FOR RHYMERS! We are not after every word in the English (or other) language(s).
  • Objectionable. We block certain words we consider to be objectionable to our sense of community standards. I.e., we are never going to add any version of the “n” word–so stop sending them to us!! Likewise the “f” word.

If you want positive confirmation that we have added your word, include your email address. It’s also advisable because sometimes people make suggestions and we are not sure what they are meaning or intending and if we have a return email address, we can ask questions.

Write on,

Bud & Cheng

WikiRhymer Improvements

Hey Y’all:

Changes at WikiRhymer: Since we have collated and reported on the results of our 2013 WikiRhymer (“WR”) Survey (see post below), we have been busy making changes to WR.

Some 15 of the 132 of you that took the time to make actual comments in the Survey indicated a desire for more content at WR in the form of a dictionary, pronunciations, and synonyms/thesaurus. Related to that, a few of you also indicated that you wanted to be able to easily select a word at WR so that you could paste it somewhere else (like Google, for instance).

Downward Facing Caret: You will see that we have added these features. Anywhere you see a downward facing caret at WR, click on it to access definitions, pronunciation, and a thesaurus. (If a word is in green font, it is a link to a set of words at WR, and for that reason, it will not have a downward facing caret.) BTW, we chose to use a caret for two other reasons relating to the survey: (1) it separates words more clearly–some of you wanted that, and (2) by not making the words a link, they are now easily selectable.

Definitions: Now, with regard to the definitions, we choose the Google “define” approach to word definitions as we believe Google has the most complete “list” of English words on planet earth (because basically, they have appropriated for their own use and profit the intellectual property of the entire world–but that’s an editorial subject for another blog/day!).

Pronunciations: We choose Howjsay.com for pronunciations because we find it to be the most comprehensive. However, we do want to point out to you that often, the Google definition will have a pronunciation icon (looks like a little speaker) that you can click to hear how a word is pronounced. Also, the Howjsay.com site is a UK-English site and while they often provide an American pronunciation as well as a UK one–BEWARE (Americans)–you might be getting more of a UK pronunciation than US.

Thesaurus: Finally, we chose Roget’s Thesaurus over other synonym sites as it (1) has no ads to hassle you and (2) it provides not only synonyms, but context. You not only get synonyms for the word “love,” for instance, you get the word “hate” nearby and all of its connotations. We STRONGLY recommend that you push the button next to the “Search Full Text” search field at Roget’s rather than the “Headwords” search field. Many words are not “headwords” at Roget’s (i.e., words that are specifically defined), but are somewhere–in many cases, are in many places–in Roget’s.

In Closing…: We have made numerous other small changes (like reduced the membership fee to $5 per year), but we’ll forgo listing all of them and just keep you apprised in future blogs as to the major ones–and there are more coming!!

Thanks for being a WikiRhymer!!

Write on,

Bud & Cheng

Survey Results – You Like Us!

Hey Y’all:

Whose Your Daddy?

Well, the results are in and despite the obvious bias (you were on our site to start with and you cared enough about WR to take the survey), you like us WAYYYYYY better than our closest competitor, RhymeZone (and all the rest!). Peruse the chart below!

 

Despite the obvious bias referred to above, what we do find interesting is how badly the rest of our competitors fared. It wasn’t even close, which to us means we are achieving one of our main goals which is to give you better content, better organized.

You had plenty to tell us about what we can improve and we assure you, we are listening and plan to make many changes (a few like adding a poetry forum have already been made) over the coming weeks and months–some minor, some major.

If we had to boil it all down to one overarching design philosophy it would be that you want more power but with less complexity. While these may seem totally opposing goals, we accept the challenge and are at work on it!

 

Who Uses WikiRhymer?

You also told us some interesting stuff we didn’t know. WR was founded by a songwriter (Bud Tower) and as such we just always thought that it was mainly being used by songwriters. It’s not. Most of you non-songwriters are poets (43%) and another 9% are “other.” Songwriters are the biggest single group though at 48%.

 

Show Me The Money

The vast majority of you are not making “serious” money at rhyming-related activities, but 9% of you are!! Congrats to all as we know you do this because it is a passion and that has its own reward.

 

Darth Vader or Princes Leia?

We have gone ’round and ’round about a dark versus light background. Those that dislike dark backgrounds on websites are pretty adamant about it but then, many don’t care. 32% of you don’t like WR’s dark background. That’s a pretty significant number and one we have to ponder seriously. In the meanwhile, we have lightened the dark background some.

 

“If I Could Change Just One Thing…”

Of the 200 of you that took the survey, 132 took the time to answer the “one thing” question. We have grouped these into the following categories:

  • 44 – I love WR as is.
  • 24 – More rhyming content please.
  • 15 – Give me other content (dictionary, synonyms, etc.).
  • 39 – Improve interface.
  • 10 – Miscellaneous requests.

Write on,

Bud & Cheng

Welcome to the New WikiRhymer Blog

Welcome to the new (and hopefully permanent) WikiRhymer Blog. We have made a couple other runs at various types of user support (UserVoice and Twitter) and decided that what we really need is our own blog on our own server with which to communicate with WikiRhymer users. So–here it is!!

Individual topics will develop organically in our Forums here over time, but in the meanwhile, feel free to write us with any comments or questions you have in the initial two Forums, “Songwriter’s Forum” and “WikiRhymer Site Forum.

If you are a new user of “WR,” you will benefit from looking at our various Help Videos, in particular our WikiRhymer Organization Video.

Write on!!

Bud Tower