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Fairness of first rating
Something that I have noticed (because it happens to me):

I assume that most readers have the filter set to '0'. (If that's not true, this concern is unwarranted, but I doubt that.)

This means that, if the first rating for a fic was a negative one, the fic would automatically disappear out of the sight of many readers. This means that far less people read it and, if the first rating is unwarranted, will not rate it up again. Thus the fic is stuck out of sight for some time. So the first rating can make or break a fic.

I know that meta rating is already a safeguard against unfair ratings, but if no one reads the story, no one can meta rate.

My proposal would be to only have the first rating take effect if the second agrees or maybe two of the first three.
Rous Hey, good luck with that. You may want to check out the thread here:

http://www.ficwad.com/forum.php?action=viewtopic&topicid=306

it will soon put you in your place. LOL Your best bet is to set your filter to -1 and pray that any newcomers caught in the web of ratings hell figure out the same thing. This subject has been argued to death.

"I know that meta rating is already a safeguard against unfair ratings, but if no one reads the story, no one can meta rate."
The problem is not getting readers (and you can check how many times your story is accessed), but rather getting them to actually rate or review the story. There are some who do not feel comfortable rating (I admit I am one of those), some who do not feel comfortable reviewing (THAT, is my forté) and some just too lazy or just do not give a bunny about leaving feedback of any sort. So, you take your chances and hope.

This will only bother you depending upon your reasons for writing. If for others, then this site may not be your best choice. If for yourself and you do not care about ratings or reviews, then this is the place for you.

You can wear yourself out beating your head against the brick wall on the ratings. Do yourself a favour and save the brain cells for writing.
Ithilwen I agree with Rous on one point -- don't sweat it too much. Just write what you want and put it out there.

One thing that I've noticed about ficwad is that things tend to take a long while to happen here compared to ffnet or mediaminer. It's probably the lower foot traffic. I had to hang in there for weeks before my downrated stories got back up there.

One way to get more people to see a -1 rated story is to write another story in the same category. When people click on your author bio, they will see all of your stories, regardless of ratings and filters.

However, I wouldn't want to downplay negative ratings. They should carry the same weight as the positive ones.

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