Home > Site Issues > What is the deal with the rating system?

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Rous
What is the deal with the rating system?
I came here on the recomendation of a friend. We were looking for an alternative to another site. I posted several stories here, as have other friends. Now, my problem is, last week I tried a search of my stories and ended up with NOTHING! I tried several times. Then I contacted my friend who told me that you have to set the score to the bottom, or -1. I did this, and there were my stories, almost all of them rated boring and -1. What gives? I thought that little box with the numbers was for the content rating, you know, G, PG, NC17...and so on. I had no idea that you could be thrown into oblivion. So, now, my stories are all but one at 0 which, if I were looking for stories, I would not read a 0. So, what gives? I really thought this was a public archive, where we could get our stories read, but they are shot down with one feel swoop before they are given a chance. I am not sure this is the place for me. I am not interested in comments and oohs and ahs, but I am also not interested in my stories being buried by someone deliberately sabatoging my efforts. And, from the looks of things, that may be what has happened. It seemed there were an awful lot of boring ratings last week. And, I personally know some of the writers, and their stories are anything but boring.
It is sad that it is so easy to cut down a story. Is this really a necessary feature? Does it serve a productive purpose? If so, what. This will do nothing but discourage people from posting more stories, as I am not posting anymore, or just leave, which I am contemplating. As it is, the site I was looking to replace is more writer friendly.
Neptune Generally, the rating system helps people figure out what to read. They can also be rated down for Mary Sue, Illiterate, OOC, Cliche, Train Wreck, and Predictible. I'm not quite sure if I like the "boring" rate-down, since boring is highly subjective, but it helps me avoid Mary Sues and such.

I keep my rating level always on -1, because I want to see everything. I think a lot of people do that. It doesn't stop anyone who wants to see everything from reading stories.
Rous Well, generally, that works only if you know about it, which I did not. If those are reasons to drag a story down, then they should be options. Are they? I just dislike anything that lets others pass judgement on anything anonymously. If I do not like something, then I will either leave a comment and sign it, or just say nothing. This system leaves authors open to too much emotional damage.
Neptune Well, if you post it on the internet, you should expect criticism, even anonymously.

I like this system a lot because sometimes you don't want to drudge through a very poorly-written story, and you know the author would snap at you if you so much as suggested they have a comma out of place, you can give the story a rating.

On the plus side, if you didn't know, stories can also be rated up for funny, moving, original, exciting, ambiance, or hot. You can only be rated down to -1, whereas you can be rated up to five. All a rating of zero means (in the beginning, at least) is that a story has not yet been rated. I'll happily read any story with any rating if I think it looks interesting.

Also, you can metarate ratings by scrolling down and selecting whether or not you think a certain rating was fair or unfair. The site keeps track of this, and if a user gets enough unfair ratings, their number of rating points goes down (there rating points being the number of times they can rate a story). Conversely, if they get lots of fair ratings, their number of rating points goes up.

It's sort of a way of keeping track of the quality of fics. But if I see a fic I think was unfairly rated down, I'll usually go in and rerate it, as well as marking the previous rating as unfair.
Ithilwen Some of my 'fics got rated down too. It's no big deal. Just leave them up for a while. Remember, even if they don't show up under a zero view, new updates show up on the "recent" page regardless.
Rous "Also, you can metarate ratings by scrolling down and selecting whether or not you think a certain rating was fair or unfair." Not on your own stories. I cannot think that out of the six or more stories I have posted that all but one were boring. If I believed that, I would quit writing. So, that is where the discouraging comes in. As for ratings, I would probably never use them. I see them as the star system on a couple of other sites. The only reason mine are no longer -1 is because of someone feeling the ratings were unfair.

"Some of my 'fics got rated down too. It's no big deal. Just leave them up for a while. Remember, even if they don't show up under a zero view, new updates show up on the "recent" page regardless."

Mine are complete, so no updating. Any suggestions for that?

I will sit and wait this out, for a bit. However, there are sites where a reader has to actually leave a comment, and the star rating they may choose to leave will not affect whether or not their story is hidden. This leads to the same problem another site is dealing with: too much potential for abuse.
Pata-Hikari All this is explained in the sites FAQ.

You not reading about the way this place works is your own fault.

And instead of complaining about getting a bad rating... maybe you should actually try and find out WHY you got it. If you really think that someone went out of their way to "kill" your story then you need to reduce your ego a little.
Ithilwen "If you really think that someone went out of their way to 'kill' your story then you need to reduce your ego a little."

I don't know about that, PH. On certain other fanfiction websites which will not be mentioned by name, grudge deletions are far from unheard of. It's more likely that one of the readers just thought in passing that the story wasn't very riveting, but Rous isn't out of line to suggest that it might have been a grudge post.

As for why the reader thought it was boring... Well, "Boring" is a lot less spefic than "Mary Sue" or "Illiterate" and depends a lot more on the individual reader's preferences. Sure, a rating of any kind can mean the story merits a re-read, but it's not like the reader left a review citing specific problems in the story that Rous could fix.

There isn't much to do about complete stories except post or update some new ones to draw readers in to your profile to see what else you've written. I had a -1 story, a one-shot, that's now a +1, and it's pretty far to the back of its genre list.
Rous Pata-Hikari said:

"All this is explained in the sites FAQ.

You not reading about the way this place works is your own fault.

And instead of complaining about getting a bad rating... maybe you should actually try and find out WHY you got it. If you really think that someone went out of their way to "kill" your story then you need to reduce your ego a little."

Ah, yes. I did indeed not really read the FAQs because this was so highly recommended by friends. Unfornately, they have come to the same conclusion that I have: there was a lot of "boring" ratings given to drabbles on this site. Now, the rater may just have not liked drabbles, or maybe they did not get the genre, but I am not the only one to get a run of the ratings.

And, yes, it is my own fault for not reading the FAQs, but there in not another archive site out there, to my knowledge, that uses this rating system. I have heard it said that the system does not work well with fiction, which is subjective. I have no clue whether or not this is so.

I suppose if the person really thought it was boring, that is their judgement. I just think it a littl cowardly to leave such a thing without an explanation. It invalidates their opinion and the system as a whole. And, I do not think someone was out to "kill" my stories: it was done to far more than mine. It is not ego, it is a sense of unfairness to allow stories to fall into a black hole because someone was bored one day. Honesty is far more preferable to anonymity.

I am a little taken aback by your attitude. A gentle word would have gone a good piece further to soothe hurt feelings; but in today's world, that is too much to ask. Thank you for your sympathetic answer.
Ithilwen Actually, I really like the anonymity deal. Like I said, certain other sites have trouble with grudges. It allows the poster to give an opinion without any confrontation or retaliation. It's sometimes hard for writers like us to imagine it, but there actually are people reading these stories who aren't good with words.

I usually leave a signed review, but I like having my options.

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