3 years ago, I mirrored the SMWC user upload area and shared the raw collection with a few productive members. Almost a year later, jerry2600 took an extra step and mass generated ~3000 roms from the IPS's in the collection, and you saw them posted for NonGoodSNES [You are not allowed to view links]
Frankly, I was alarmed by the lack of further refinement, and knew that because I was the only person able to reference all of the data from that time, I probably should do something about the mess to keep all from becoming lost.
My info gathering [You are not allowed to view links]
over time, and I had to get an SSD just to keep up with the million elements I was ripping on the side. I can compare deep hashes, boss text, credit scrolls, GFX/ExGFX, internal cart names, intro text, level names, lock status, message box text, separate level layers, level images, overworld images, palettes, title screens, etc. Sometimes it helps, sometimes it doesn't. An author or date can't always be determined unless a source link is given, so it's hard not to feel cheated every time one isn't.
I've put enough work into this that I will never expect someone else to continue as I have, so yes, it would have to be life-long, but I'm not interested in that. This snowballed far beyond the initial 3000 I felt responsible for. Continuing to dat all other SMW hacks was impractical, but inevitable if all relationships were to be ascertained. My biggest flaw during this was to never auto-download new submissions and meta from SMWC, as I know many of the gaps in the info would have been filled otherwise. Asking the site admin was also fruitless. Oh well.