Self-ratings go the way of the dodo

As you may have noticed today — or may not, depending on how you rate stuff — I’ve gone ahead and made one of the changes I had suggested in one of the surveys I posted over the last couple of months. What’s been changed is that authors are no longer able to rate their own work. This change was made for several reasons:

  • First, I wanted to make the ratings a more reliable source of feedback/information about your writing.
  • Second, this will make all of our “Top Rated” and “Hot Stories” rankings a much more accurate gauge of quality and/or popularity of content; it prevents the ratings systems from being gamed (intentionally or not) by people ratings their own work and not being rated by anyone else.
  • Finally, it will help me provide more accurate recommended reading once the site’s recommendation engine is plugged in.

I’ve had feedback from a couple of people already today, wondering what happened to their ratings. All of your prior self-ratings have been removed, so your rating is now solely the ratings provided by your readers. If you’re seeing a big dip in your rating or in your total number of ratings… well, that’s something we’ll all have to live with. But at least this way, you’ll know more accurately where you stand amongst everyone else on the site.

For those of you wondering if this change came out of the blue, I’ll assure you that it didn’t. It was well thought-out and discussed, and the folks who responded to the survey were overwhelmingly in favour of the change: 93% of respondents voted for the change, and only 7% against it, along with a hearty discussion below my original survey question.

If you’d like to see the survey results, you can browse the thread over in the Protagonize Pub group. If you have any issues with the change, please feel free to contact me via my profile with your concerns. Although a few may be affected negatively by this update, I’m confident that it’ll be a boon to the site as a whole in the long run.

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3 Responses to Self-ratings go the way of the dodo

  1. ElzuWolfe says:

    I can admit that I used to rate my own work… I think it wasn’t so much of a arrogant “I am amazing” kind of thing as much as I wanted to make sure that I got the attention I hoped my work deserved, looking back I know I should have let my work speak for itself. But knowing my rating hasn’t dipped much at all, I am happy knowing that I didn’t really game the system. I think it’s a good move and hopefully the ratings will continue to help us gain an understanding of where we stand.
    Though I’d still prefer a comment over a rating any day.

  2. Nick says:

    The odd self-rating wasn’t really a big deal, although now I think the rankings are a lot cleaner.

    This avoids two specific cases that are kind of covered by point #2 above:

    – There were certain people out there who may have been rather prolific posters who were had many more self-ratings than they had ratings from other users.

    – There were certain stories where nearly all of the ratings on the story were self-rated chapters, bumping an individual’s story up in the hot stories and top rated stories without actually getting any feedback from other users, simply because they had rated many chapters of their own work.

    Both of those issues are resolved by this change, which i think is a very good thing as it gives others a better chance to have their work promoted by the site automatically.

    Now what we’re seeing is the odd user registering multiple accounts to rate their work from alternate accounts — this is a major no-no and we’ll be deleting any ratings that we see in this manner, as well as giving users a warning. If it happens twice, they’ll get a one-week ban, and the third time’s the perma-ban. I really want to see this practice gone and I’ll be enforcing it pretty heavily. (Not aiming this at you at all, just something we had to deal with yesterday with another user.)

    In any case, I definitely think that although some people may have suffered in the rankings a little due to the ratings changes, it’ll work out for the better for all of us on Protagonize.


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