So I returned after 4 years (I have been submitting to newgrounds audio portal since 2003 under a different account) to find the audio portal in complete shambles. I learned that it all stemmed from the 2012 redesign.
It was a chain reaction from changing the listening system which deprived listeners from the ability to vote, rate, and in some cases like the radio player, to even get to the songs page.. so all people did was listen, everyone fived themselves, crap stayed at the top of the charts, people stopped checking the charts and nobody rated anything or reviewed anything for 6 goddamn years. It was basically a wasteland.. people stopped getting the constructive feedback, and felt like they were just eternally submitting to an unlistening populace and so they slowly left, one by one.
This left the inexperienced people to just keep submitting inexperienced songs, badly mastered (sorry who am I kidding , not mastered at all - most aren't even aware what proper mastering or proper mixing is), badly composed music, with literally nobody telling them their songs were bad or rating them honestly. Thus over time people tried less and less and the portal was flung back into 2003 era dark ages of just utter crap, but while the portal was young back then and the songs were few, and the people were just starting out, this is a regression with millions of pages and no good excuse.
This is what happens, imo, when people who do not understand how the system works try to change things, but don't do it efficiently with the chart system in mind.
At this point the only way to fix things (without rehauling the system again) is the manual method - go through the charts, rate honestly, review honestly and get people collaborating and cross listening - the views go up - the rates go up - bad music goes down good music goes up. The problem isn't the portal in the end - it's people who are too focused on their selfish little musical silos and not focused on bettering the community.
What a novel concept - things change for the better when you actually CARE about other people, and not just about yourself.
So here is my proposed system to manually fix the portal:
1) Don't have a lot of views? Not being seen? Feel ignored? Try reviewing other peoples songs - reviewing other people lets them know that you exist, and they may just check your music out, if you review enough of their music, and who knows, you may get some rates from them, some reviews back, and maybe even start to get a following! People who follow you will get notifications of your new songs on the main page of newgrounds - so treat reviewing people and getting followers like catching pokemon - gotta catch em all!
And leave GOOD constructive reviews - the reviews system exists to elevate, and criticize - tell them what they did good, and what they need to improve on - it really helps them out!
My system involves (on a 5 star system) taking off a half point for every thing I don't like or every mistake I find. So if you get 4 out of 5 stars I found 2 things I didn't agree with. It's fair, and they appreciate it.
2) Your music not being seen on the charts? You got a score that is less than 5? Start looking at the charts and rating things based on the quality of their submissions. There are pages upon pages of 5s that noone has even looked at that have been up on the charts for YEARS - so start depositing daily to increase your voting weight, and start voting songs based on what you think proper criteria is!
5: Perfect sound, perfect mastering.
4: It's ok, not really my type but the quality is there, or it's not quite perfect.
3: It's meh, or it's a short forgettable loop.
2: The mastering is not good or the melody is not good.
1: It actually hurts my ears and the mastering is terrible.
0: Stolen, used software that isn't allowed, or complete and utter garbage.
Get a system going, and start to just regularly comb the charts. Back in the day there was no such thing as "5" songs - they lasted a short while and then were rated down, to slowly build themselves back up. Let's get back to that so voted down songs and older songs can shine as well!
3) Need ways to improve? Join the newgrounds audio discord. The only criteria we have is you have to be at least 16 and your account has to be at least 3 years old. This allows a user to mature and contribute to the portal before seeking advice from others. Also anyone who is the min. required age of 13 when they sign up in 3 years should be 16, so if you signed up underage and you're 14 3 years later, well guess who gamed the system lol...
4) Getting zerobombed? Get a circle of support from people who you review and support. Musicians need to relearn the value of community, and need to start to learn to help each other out. We all did it back in the day. Just make sure you song is worthy of a five, and note that anything under a 5 will drag your song down, so you might not have been zeroed, you might have just .. gotten any score under 5 hehe..
5) Want to rebuild the community? Host a contest! Contests are great ways to bring the community together. Just make sure however, that the judges know how to judge the genres they are listening to, and that there is no favouritism involved in the judging. There will always be bruised egos with those that lose and that's just a part of life.
In summary: This is a community, and the only way the community survives is if we all help each other out. I get angry when people wail the system is broken, but they have done none of the above to try to help it out. The answer starts with you - and you all need to start doing your part. I have done all of the above and I have done it for 15 years. People like me were what kept this community together - now it's your turn.