Category: Site Updates
I'm going to be redoing the rating system for the new site. But I'm not sure HOW to redo it...
One thing I'm sure about is that ratings will be for posts only; no longer will it be possible to rate accounts directly. There'll be a Friends List sort of thing for that, as well as the ability to report people, and the 'anonymous reviews/comments' thing that I may end up doing.
There are many different ideas for how posts could be rated though. I'll go over a few ideas here, but obviously I'd like to hear suggestions as well.
1. There's the current system, with three positive, one neutral, and three negative. This one should already be familiar, so I won't explain it. It has its drawbacks, but gives a relatively wide range of potential values to rate a post.
2. There's another idea that I suggested before, where ratings consist of three parts; essentially yes/no values for 'Attitude', 'Language', and 'Contribution', where the values would be positive unless there was something wrong with the post. You'd have to specify a value for all three before a single rating (in a form like 010 or 011 or 110 or whatever) would be submitted.
It's a clunky system though since it'd take three clicks to make a single rating, and it's not very subjective; why bother letting people give such ratings if they're all going to be very much the same anyway?
3. There's the idea of having Agree/Disagree on posts... This could be added *in addition to* a rating system, or instead of one.
It would show how many people are on your side, and it might be easier to actually give such ratings, but there are certain contexts where they couldn't apply at all, like simple greetings or statements that aren't an opinion.
4. There's the idea of a simple Like/Hate system for comments, but that's too simple for my tastes.
5. Another concept I came up with was to have a sort of '5+1 stars' scale... There'd be six orbs (not stars) rather than the seven we have now, but five of them would function sort of like a standard five star rating system, with an additional negative orb reserved for comments that were abusive or completely inappropriate; the sort of comments that'd get red orbs currently.
The negative orb would count separately to the other ratings, perhaps, so people would have an Average Rating which would be n/5 'stars', but also a value which showed how many 'negatives' they'd got. Or something. The details aren't really clear about this idea.
But it's sort of like changing the negative end of the scale to only one value, and expanding the positive end by one orb, with brown being one star. Maybe?
6. How about a rating system with TEN levels of quality? Or eleven orbs... It's sort of like the '5+1 stars' thing except that you'd have a scale from 1 to 10 (plus the additional '0' or '-1' orb), which would each have their own colour, and none of which would be *negative* as such... Perhaps it'd result in far more variety in orb colours?
7. A potentially interesting but likely stupid idea came to mind, where comments wouldn't necessarily be rated 'positively' or 'negatively', but on a different scale (perhaps of 10, as above), with ends like 'law and chaos' or 'serious and casual'. Maybe the latter. Long, stuffy, 'logical' posts would get very 'Serious' ratings while shorter posts with bad grammar would get 'casual' votes... and as such a person's orb wouldn't necessarily reflect how 'good' a member they were, but what *type* of member they were.
This idea came to mind when I was thinking about how people might not rate if they don't want to hurt others or don't feel that posts deserve praise or something, and also due to the idea that there's probably some 'in-crowd' now, and everyone's just all in the same group, essentially; just some are 'cooler' than others.
I've been sort of wanting to lessen the strictness of the rules here in order to be a more inviting place (since I'll need lots of members to make lots of money), so if I did something like this, I could perhaps split the forum in two; one bit would be tailored towards the 'serious' crowd who want 'intelligent discussions', while the other part would be more laid-back and entertaining or something (though I'd never allow it to get to the point where people casually flung around abuse or communicated entirely in memes).
Anyway, it's just a raw, unrefined idea, this, presented here for the sake of variety.
With that idea, there might be a scale of three, five, or even nine or ten orbs, with 'casual' being at one end and 'serious' at the other. None would be considered negative as such; some people might take greater pleasure from serious votes than they would from casual ones, or vice versa. It all depends on the image that they want to present to others and the reasons that they are here.
Oh, and I'd likely think more about the names of them; 'casual' and 'serious' are just the two that came to mind readily. They could be things like 'entertaining' to 'thought-provoking' (though that would suggest that a post couldn't be both)...
8. Alternatively, rather than ratings, there could instead be a group of buttons for certain values which you could effectively turn on and off... Things like 'Useful', 'Entertaining', 'Thought-Provoking', 'Friendly', 'Strongly Agree', 'Strongly Disagree', 'Abusive', 'Poor Grammar', and so on. They'd basically work like 'checkboxes' in the sense that you'd be able to choose as many or few as you liked on any given post. That way it'd be possible to see a person's specific strengths based on their totals for these buttons. They could even have a secondary use for determining the colour of an orb beside a person's name; since some would be positive (like 'Useful' or 'Entertaining') and some would be negative (like 'Poor Grammar' or 'Abusive'), the orb would represent the ratio of positives to negatives (perhaps with a scale of 10 different colours).
The main problem with this would be whether or not people could be bothered to use it... though it might actually be easier than the current system to use? In terms of deciding what to give a post, anyway.
The interface might be difficult to make elegant though.
That system may have ten possible 'criteria', four of which are positive, two neutral, and four negative. The neutral ones wouldn't contribute to the person's orb colour; it'd be based on the ratio of their positives to negatives. Each user could give each post up to four positives and four negatives, and a post's overall orb would be the ratio of the total. The criteria might be things like:
- Poor grammar
Of course, they're just *ideas*; I'd need to decide properly on which criteria would work best. There needn't be a balance between positives and negatives.
This would make it harder to misunderstand or misuse the system though, I think.
9. As an extension of number 8, instead of having ten categories like that, with some positive and some negative, there could instead be fewer categories, and on each you could choose to either rate that criteria positively or negatively. The criteria may be as follows, each represented by a single letter on the interface to save space:
* U - marked positive if you thought a post was particularly USEFUL, or negative if it was useless SPAM.
* F - marked positive if the post was FRIENDLY, or negative if it was ABUSIVE.
* T - positive for THOUGHT-PROVOKING posts, negative for posts that show no thought put into them by the poster ('thoughtless').
* E - positive for ENGAGING or ENTERTAINING or funny posts, negative for boring posts that you could barely get through.
* G - negative for POOR GRAMMAR, positive for eloquence or something.
* A - positive for AGREE, negative for DISAGREE.
That reduces the number of criteria to six, and it means that you can't vote with contradictory values like marking something as both friendly AND abusive, or agree AND disagree...
The interface might look something like this:
(99 U 99) (99 F 99) (99 T 99) (99 E 99) (99 G 99) (99 A 99)
Except it wouldn't just be text; the ( ) things are meant to represent the edges of rounded button things, which would have the letter in the middle, a green edge, and a red edge. You'd click the green edge to mark that criterion as positive, or red for negative. Rolling over each one would display a tooltip which would explain the thing so you wouldn't have to memorise the letters or anything. The buttons would be grey or brown or black by default, except when you rolled over the edges, when they'd highlight either red or green, or if you'd already voted on any criteria, in which case the edge you'd voted on would be a shade of green or red. The numbers for the negatives and positives would be green and red, or brown/grey for no votes.
Though obviously it'd be easier to SHOW that than to explain it...
Anyway, it seems like potentially an improvement over the last idea, though I'd like to know what people think, of course.
Each post would have an overall Value determined by the ratio of positives to negatives (with agree/disagree not contributing to that value), which might be represented by an orb, and it's the average of these Values maybe that'd represent a person's orb next to their name (if they had one).
And again as with the other system, you'd be able to specify as many or as few criteria as you wanted. You could mark a post as just friendly, or as friendly/agree, or as thought-provoking/disagree/abusive, or any combination of them. You'd also be able to undo any votes you'd applied by voting the same way again (like if you'd voted + friendliness, you'd just click the green edge of the F bit again and it'd get rid of that part of your vote).
Your submitted rating would be altered every time you clicked a coloured edge; it'd refresh this interface with the updated numbers, meaning you'd need no more than one click if you only wanted to rate one aspect of the post.
I think that some other concepts have been suggested, but I'm not really in the mood to read through a load of stuff right now, so I'll instead ask for you to provide your favourite concepts in the comments section... Sorry if it'll mean essentially repeating something you've said before, but at least this will put everything together in the same place.
So yes! Ideas! Suggestions!
I'm also still looking for feedback on [the previous post], so if you've got something to say about the site in general that isn't about ratings, please mention it there.