Introducing branch ratings!

protagonize: interactive fiction & collaborative story writing community By popular demand, we’ve introduced a new take on an existing feature today: branch ratings.

If you’ve been a Protagonize member for any length of time, you’ve probably noticed the “Rate this Story” box below each story you read. After some debate and a little reworking of the initial ratings architecture, we’ve tweaked ratings to allow users to rate independent branches of stories instead of the entire story they’re reading.

This gives both readers and authors a couple of significant benefits that were notably missing before:

  1. As a reader, you can now rate the specific branch you’re looking at, so if one branch in the story stands out above the rest, you can give the author the credit they deserve for an entertaining piece of prose.
  2. As an author, your rating is now based on every piece of content (i.e. all branches) you write, and not just stories you initiate.

After a little review of the current ratings situation, we felt this was a more fair solution for everyone, both readers and authors alike. Now authors’ ratings will be much more inclusive of all of the works they’ve published on the site, and readers will see a ratings much more specific to the content they’re reading, and not to the entire story.

How does this affect current ratings throughout the site? Well, we’ve migrated all the existing ratings to be for the first branch of each story. If you want to change your rating based on the new system, you’re more than welcome to. All story ratings are now an average of the rating of all of the branches in that story. Author ratings are now an average of all posts — both stories and branches — by the author you’re looking at, and not just individual stories they’ve written.

If you have any feedback on this change, we’d love to hear from you. Hopefully this will be a more equitable solution on the whole and authors will get the recognition they deserve for everything they’ve contributed to Protagonize.

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