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Pseudolonewolf`s Avatar UFELTA Tue 16th Aug 2011 5:53pm

Category: Site Updates

The last news post talked about rating system ideas for the new version of the site. This is an important site feature that I want to include in some form, but as many people have rightly pointed out, the current seven-orb system that we have at the moment is far from ideal.
So the last post was a way of going over my thoughts, and I'm going to describe the idea that I liked the most from it here, so then you can say whether you not it seems like a good approach, or whether I should change aspects of it, or whatever.

Rather than rating comments with a single orb, instead you'd be able to give a positive or negative rating for several criteria, or no rating at all. You'd only give ratings for the criteria that you felt were worth rating, giving as many or few as you felt appropriate.

There'd be six criteria, each represented on the interface by a single letter. They'd be as follows:



U - Usefulness. You'd vote + if you considered the post useful, or - if you considered the vote useless spam.

F - Friendliness. + votes for friendly, understanding, welcoming attitudes, and - for aggressive, hostile attitudes.

E - Engaging. You'd vote + if the post was gripping, amusing, or otherwise entertaining, or - if the post was just dull and hard to trudge through. -E votes would discourage long walls of text and pretentious rambling.

L - Language. - votes for poor grammar, languages other than English, profanity, or even posts that are hard to understand due to poor use of language. + votes could be for particularly well-written things; not just necessarily stuff with pretentiously long words, but something that fluently gets across its message. +L would NOT be awarded for long posts, but -L might be given to posts that were too short.

T - Thought-provoking. + for if the post really made you think or increased your understanding, or - if the post was trite, useless spam or copying or saying nothing new or if it seemed as if the poster hadn't thought about what they were typing at all.

A - Agree or disagree. + means agree and - means disagree.




The interface might look something like this:

(99 U 99) (99 F 99) (99 E 99) (99 L 99) (99 T 99) (99 A 99) O

The ( ) things represent the rounded edges of 'button' things (meaning that the *actual* interface would be graphical rather than crude and text-based like that example), which would have three parts, all of which would be brown or black by default. In the middle would be the letter. The right edge would contain the number of positive votes for that criterion, in green (or grey if there were no votes). It'd highlight green if you moused over it, and if you clicked it, you'd submit a positive vote (refreshing the interface in the process, just like rating a post now). It'd display as green (rather than brown/black) if you'd already voted positive on it. Clicking it once more after you'd already given a positive vote would remove your vote entirely.
The left side would work similarly, except it'd show the number of negative votes and would be red.
Rolling your mouse over the individual parts would show a tooltip explaining things in detail; rolling over the U would make the word 'USEFULNESS' appear, for example, while rolling over the positive side would say 'Vote +U if this post was useful to you', rolling over the negative side would say 'Vote -U if this post is useless spam'. And so on. I wouldn't expect people to memorise the letters or anything!
And of course there'd be a page describing the rating system in detail, probably its own page rather than part of the rules page.
Anyway, it'd be easier to show than explain, but I don't have the time to make an example right now...

The O would represent the overall orb colour for the post.
The post would add up all the values of positives and negatives on it, and then find the ratio of positive to negative; this would determine the orb colour. There'd perhaps be ten orb colours, or maybe even more, in order to show more subtle degrees of difference than we currently have.
Votes for 'Agree' or 'Disagree' would not count towards the total or the orb; they'd be for show only, since disagreeing with a post's ideas doesn't mean there's anything wrong with its form.

Ratings would be public, as they are now. Clicking the orb would show a table that might look sort of like this:

        U F E L T A
Person X O O O
Person O O X


(Hmm, it's hard to show that without making an actual table, but maybe you get the idea...)

People would have orbs next to their names - probably - which would be determined by the orbs of all of their posts... There'd no longer be personal ratings on peoples' userpages, though there would be friend lists, and the 'anonymous reviews' I've mentioned a few times (which could be either 'positive' or 'negative', with a ratio shown at the top of the page).

Since there'd be no 'neutral' vote, people would get either positives OR negatives and as such it'd probably be easier to achieve the top orb colour, especially if it represented '90% or greater green-to-red ratio'.

As I mentioned, it'd be possible to rate as few or as many of the criteria as you liked.
You could find a post funny but otherwise unremarkable, so you'd mark it as just +E.
Or you could find one thought-provoking, friendly, but badly-written, so you'd mark it +T +F -L.
Maybe you'd change your mind later and think that it wasn't as friendly as you first thought, so you'd change your rating to simply +T -L.

The point wouldn't be to rate every post with every criteria, but rather to mark posts that you felt were exceptional in a given area with the positive or negative values, like if they actually stood out as being particularly remarkable in that regard. Most posts would be neutral in the friendly or 'engaging' departments, for example, but occasionally you'd see a funny post and mark it +E, or you'd see a post with poor grammar, marking it with -L, or you'd see a post that was particularly friendly given the circumstances, marking it +F.

It has many benefits over the current system.
It'd show WHY people receive the ratings that they receive, and it'd be possible to view peoples' overall posting trends from their profiles by looking at the totals they've got for each category...

I am interested in opinions about it before I actually MAKE anything though, so, uh, yes! Feedback on this would be appreciated!
42 comments

 

42 Commentson 23 roots

Friendly Fox`s Avatar
Rating Orb Friendly Fox 15 Brazil MelancholicPhlegmatic 50C 0F
6 years ago | (1)
Hmm... I just thought on something. Would we be able to, with those buttons, vote on your own blog posts, creative work and such? Wouldn't you love to know what people think of those?
Pseudolonewolf`s Avatar
Rating Orb A β Pseudolonewolf 23 United Kingdom MelancholicPhlegmatic 2257C 559F
6 years ago | (1)
I've considered this, but it seems sort of 'unfair' in a way... Like I don't really want to set myself apart from other members or something like that, since they couldn't get these extra rating things but I could?
But I suppose if the ratings on blog posts and stuff were merely visual things that didn't contribute to any totals or averages, and people would find them interesting, I could do that...
JiQi`s Avatar
Rating Orb JiQi 99 Montserrat PhlegmaticMelancholic 41C 9F
6 years ago | (0)
It would be good if we could rate your games, art & music, but surely not with UFELTA!
You already have a rating system used in reviews, but you might want to upgrade / simplify / change / whatever it.
Anyway Fox & Wolf, your comments both get +A from me.
Friendly Fox`s Avatar
Rating Orb Friendly Fox 15 Brazil MelancholicPhlegmatic 50C 0F
6 years ago | (1)
I thought that it could make you think about how to improve those? I mean... The ratings system is meant to warn someone if that kind of action is good or bad, right? If it's a good rating, it could mean "Nice go, keep up like that!" But if it was a bad rating it might mean "That wasn't very nice, try to improve!".
quiznossubs92`s Avatar
Rating Orb quiznossubs92 19 United States MelancholicCholeric 34C 0F
6 years ago | (1)
While it would completely defeat the purpose of a post rating system, I still think an edit post option would be nice. Would (hopefully) compress topics and make things a bit easier to read through.
TTophat`s Avatar
Rating Orb TTophat 17 United States CholericPhlegmatic 42C 50F
6 years ago | (1)
You said now would be the time to suggest new things for the site? I have something for that. (Apologies for being two updates late).

I believe you mentioned having a section of the bio to upload a picture of yourself, but what about a short audio clip of your voice? I've been collecting clips of a number of figs and posting the links on my bio, but it just came to me to make this an actual idea to implement. It would also hopefully help with hosting, as the recording website will only host it for a few months.
rosate`s Avatar
Rating Orb rosate 13 United States PhlegmaticCholeric 13C 5F
6 years ago | (1)
This is a really great idea. This way, you can decide what you would bother reading, and what not to, (although all posts are usually worth it.) by seeing what you look for. Like, if someone had a -E, -F, -L, and -E, that's probably gonna be a dull post, and I would know just to skim it.

Also, you say that the -L is if people use another language. Would using another language count if it were a short part, and you put the English meaning next to it?

Now, if you don't mind my pun, UFELTA great idea going through your head.
I know, not the best, but I figure I'd better practice joke posting, which I'm bad at, because I have a feeling UFELTA is the one.
quiznossubs92`s Avatar
Rating Orb quiznossubs92 19 United States MelancholicCholeric 34C 0F
6 years ago | (1)
I like the general concept. Makes it easier to glance at a wall of text and decide if it's actually worth my time to read. The only thing I don't really like about the system is that once you start voting on particular post, it's going to be difficult to remain neutral in some categories and a bunch of users will feel compelled to vote positive or negative when they really don't have any strong feelings about the subject they're rating at the time which may lead to super high or super low ratings for a post that doesn't deserve it. Other than that I really like the new proposed system.
Eragon`s Avatar
Rating Orb Eragon 14 Italy MelancholicPhlegmatic 142C 31F
6 years ago | (1)
Hmmm, the idea seems good, I'm not able to find any flaws, and this new system can't be abused as the actual one. (Also, it will be impossible for new members to misuse the system.)
I think that this is the best of the 9 ideas that you suggested in the previous post, and... well, this is all.
I think that in the UFELTA system this post isn't supposed to get "-U" (Not Useful) rating, right?
JiQi`s Avatar
Rating Orb JiQi 99 Montserrat PhlegmaticMelancholic 41C 9F
6 years ago | (0)
I would give you only:
+A
and to the comment by Rating Orb ThirdParty, below:
+L, -T, +A (-T for not reading thoroughly enough the blogpost before commenting on it, is it a correct use of the rating system??)
for Rating Orb quiznossubs92 above:
click nothing, probably...
Rating Orb rosate - next one up:
+T, +A
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
I think I should stop here, maybe I shouldn't use the new system before it's actually installed; but tell me - have I got it right?
ThirdParty`s Avatar
Rating Orb ThirdParty 28 United States MelancholicCholeric 11C 2F
6 years ago | (2)
I like the general idea of rating posts along multiple dimensions.

However, I don't think that a comment's "agree/disagree" rating should be aggregated into its overall quality rating, nor that it should affect the member's orb color in the same way that the other five criteria do. You want to encourage people to make sincere and original contributions, not to try to conform to the majority opinion. (That's not to say that it wouldn't be interesting to see how many people agree or disagree with a given post, and to see how mainstream a given member's opinions are overall. I just don't think you should equate mainstream with "good" and non-mainstream with "bad". !)
The Crimson Sun`s Avatar
Rating Orb The Crimson Sun 20 Australia MelancholicPhlegmatic 89C 9F
6 years ago | (3)
'Votes for 'Agree' or 'Disagree' would not count towards the total or the orb; they'd be for show only, since disagreeing with a post's ideas doesn't mean there's anything wrong with its form.'

Direct quote taken from the above News Post, so rest assured that you will not be penalised if people disagree with your comments.
ThirdParty`s Avatar
Rating Orb ThirdParty 28 United States MelancholicCholeric 11C 2F
6 years ago | (2)
Oops, you're right. Good.

So the only thing that differs between my comment and the proposal is my idea of being able to view how mainstream a given user's opinions tend to be, as well as how well-formed his comments tend to be. (It might also be interesting to see other statistics, like the extent to which each of one's friends tends to share one's opinions. Though computing such statistics might place more of a load on the site's databases than is worthwhile...)
amelt`s Avatar
Rating Orb amelt 15 United States SanguineMelancholic 69C 0F
6 years ago | (2)
This sounds like a fantastic reinvention of the rating system, and I sure can't think of anything better, so I fully support it.
I do have one concern though; will the L ratings make sure to take into account those whose first languages aren't English? I know that it is important for people to communicate clearly, but when the only permitted language is English, it can be difficult, especially considering what a relatively oddball language it is. (I mean, it has 6 different pronunciations for 'ough', for God's sake.)
Pseudolonewolf`s Avatar
Rating Orb A β Pseudolonewolf 23 United Kingdom MelancholicPhlegmatic 2257C 559F
6 years ago | (2)
-L ratings would mainly be appropriate for people who didn't even seem to *try* to be coherent... I mean, there are non-native speakers who may use some odd wording here and there, so they are at least trying and wouldn't deserve a low rating for that (unless it really wasn't obvious at all what they were trying to say), but if they didn't capitalise any letters or use any punctuation, but still wanted to use 'English isn't my native language' as an excuse, then that's just sloppy and probably would deserve a -L rating.
amelt`s Avatar
Rating Orb amelt 15 United States SanguineMelancholic 69C 0F
6 years ago | (2)
That seems reasonable! I have one more (Comment? Idea?) I thought of, actually: I think it would be best to remove the min-50-characters limit; after all, there are cases where a response doesn't need to be very long at all, and it's more of a courtesy thing (i.e. replying "Thank you!" or "Okay, I understand now!"). Also, it doesn't deter those who would spam, as they just add a bunch of unnecessary gibberish to extend it.
Qazerowl`s Avatar
Rating Orb Qazerowl 15 United States MelancholicCholeric 272C 16F
6 years ago | (1)
I think that it would be a slightly too complex system for comments. For forum posts, it's great; but I like the simplicity of the 7 orb thing for comments.
Saybaar`s Avatar
Rating Orb Saybaar 18 United States MelancholicCholeric 7C 11F
6 years ago | (2)
The only problem I have with this is the number of criteria. I think it would be neater and more accessible to combine U, F, E, T into fewer categories, and perhaps ones that are more broadly applicable. That's a bad way to put it, but as an example, T would be a great thing to rate in the Philosophy forum, but there T and U would be almost the same thing and it would be irrelevant to rate both. I would also worry that posts in contexts like that might get lower E ratings than they deserve from people who are too lazy to read -anything- with lots of long words, regardless of whether it's actually pretentious or dull. Also, F would be pointless in many places and might discourage honest disagreement and debate that could be mistaken for actual hostility and rated badly.
Overall, I do see the point of E and F being criteria, but they seem to me to have too much potential to discourage valuable posts that just happen to be complicated, long, or dissenting.
Pseudolonewolf`s Avatar
Rating Orb A β Pseudolonewolf 23 United Kingdom MelancholicPhlegmatic 2257C 559F
6 years ago | (2)
It's possible to argue with civility rather than hostility, anger or condescension, which is hopefully what the F criterion would keep in check. It's unlikely that you'd get a *positive* F rating while arguing, but negative F ratings wouldn't be appropriate either. There's a 'Disagree' option for if people don't like what you are saying; the F thing only refers to *how* you are saying it.

I want to keep the T and U criteria separate because they represent different things... Not all the criteria apply to posts everywhere, but the totals for a person's posts would show what kinds of posts they make all over the site. You could look at someone's userpage and see that they make a lot of 'thought-provoking' posts but few that are actually useful - which would make them seem like a pondering philosopher who doesn't contribute in any pragmatic sort of way - or they could have a lot useful posts but nothing particularly 'thought-provoking', and as a result might seem more like a teacher of sorts, focusing on the practical rather than the esoteric.

If people consistently rate any posts with -E values, then we'll all be able to see who they are, and I can't see them getting many friends as a result of it. Hmm.
Saybaar`s Avatar
Rating Orb Saybaar 18 United States MelancholicCholeric 7C 11F
6 years ago | (2)
Yeah, I see the logic there. Even in its current form, I think the system will still work well, and if anything becomes a problem it'll get ironed out soon after the system is in place. Being able to see a summary of someone's posts would be interesting and useful so long as it doesn't misrepresent the actual posts or get misused by people who don't completely understand the system's intended function. Good luck getting this sorted, I can't even imagine working it out technically at the same time you're trying to listen to everyone's feedback...
The Crimson Sun`s Avatar
Rating Orb The Crimson Sun 20 Australia MelancholicPhlegmatic 89C 9F
6 years ago | (1)
I was about to mention the similarity between U and T myself, so it's a good thing I decided to read through the comments first. The distinction is interesting; I feel it shows a good example of how you want this new rating system to reflect the personalities of the users themselves.
Anyway, with that cleared up I only have one small concern, which is the F category. I have no qualms about its place in the system, just about the difference between rating it positively and not rating it at all. The way I see it, no vote would mean the post was civil and non-aggressive, whereas a positive vote would mean that the post was friendly above and beyond the call of duty. Is that more or less correct? And if so, what would that entail, exactly?

If you actually have an in depth opinion about this, similar to the distinction between U and T, then I wouldn't mind hearing it. If not, then feel free not to answer. I'm sure I can figure it out for myself.
1 Reply
Nepene`s Avatar
Rating Orb Nepene 20 United Kingdom CholericPhlegmatic 29C 50F
6 years ago | (1)
People don't read the manual, and they tend to ignore guidelines. People will probably use their own judgement with the rating system.

It might help to have some sort of small pop up description of what each score means, like newgrounds has for voting. That way they'd have some easy to access objective way of rating accurately.
1 Reply
ThirdParty`s Avatar
Rating Orb ThirdParty 28 United States MelancholicCholeric 11C 2F
6 years ago | (1)
On the subject of reducing the number of criteria: I wonder whether it would be possible to combine the Friendliness, Engagingness, and Language criteria into just two criteria: Readability and Pleasantness. Posts which have poor grammar or are dull could be rated R- (posts with poor language will rarely if ever be engaging, and posts which aren't engaging clearly needed to be written with more elegant language, so it makes sense to combine these); posts which are well-written could be rated R+. Posts which are hostile or which contain offensive vulgarity (vulgarity is bad in the same way that insults are bad, not in the way that poor grammar is bad) could be rated P-; posts which are funny or which make the reader feel good in some other way could be rated P+ (I don't think distinguishing "posts that contribute to a positive environment by being entertaining" and "posts that contribute to a positive environment by being friendly" is necessarily worth the complication of having an extra criterion).

It might be hard for a post that used informal language (contractions, split infinitives, sentences starting with prepositions, etc.) to get L+ ratings, but R+ ratings would probably be much more attainable. Likewise, it might be hard for a post which argues with another poster's view to get F+ ratings, but P+ ratings might be more attainable as long as the argument is civil and respectful. Meanwhile, posts which used unreadable-but-pretentious language, or offensive jokes, would have a harder time getting positive scores in any categories.
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