Frustrated with the Ratings System

Do any other authors on the site feel frustrated by the ratings system? I like the idea in theory, because it’s always good to get more reader engagement. But the data I get from it either seems totally random or makes me actually resent my readers (as my more interesting, creative stories often get lower ratings, even in categories that would seem to reward innovation, like “Writing” and “Idea”).

The comments motivate me and make me want to contribute more, but the ratings system actually makes me want to contribute less.

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Yeah, I’m also getting the impression that most people are just giving high ratings to the themes/concepts that they like instead of actually evaluating the specific merits of any story. To be fair though, asking for a thoughtful evaluation on a site people typically come to jack off to is a bit much, and we don’t really have a set guidline for what rating constitutes what (or if we do, it’s not immediately accessible upon rating), so I’m not surprised that some of these categories get conflated or misrepresented. Maybe if the rating system was a bit more simplified more there’d be less chance of people doing that, but it also might not do anything because again, people are mostly just here for a good time, not to offer literary criticism.

There’s also the matter of how people’s subjective response to a story influences how they perceive the quality of story, so I just take the ratings with a grain of metaphorical salt and use it more as a gauge of mass appeal than critical feedback. The way I look at it, the categories that get rated really high are just aspects of a story that more people really like, so you getting lower ratings in innovation categories in your more creative material may just mean that you’ve diverged from the mainstream enough that people are no longer immediately jumping onboard cause it’s the hot thing that everybody likes (I’m exaggerating, but my point stands). So yeah, don’t let them get you too dejected. The criticism in the comments, in my opinion, are a better reflection of the actual strengths and weaknesses of a story anyways.

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Agreed, somehow my top rated story is the shortest and least inventive in my opinion but as @IvorySilk said people vote with their dicks not their heads, and that’s completely understandable in this kind of website anyway.

The only solution that comes to mind would be naming some users “critics”, volunteers that read the stories and have some writing skills or knowledge, having a separated set of ratings or maybe just a new category.

Anyway that sounds like a pain to integrate on the website so probably won’t be viable anyway lol

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Hehe, that’s a loaded issue and I am happy that this gets discussed (finally…)

One thing is important to understand: Many people shy away from long stories and multipart series. Short, single part stories get much more hits and ratings than individual stories of a series.

And also, people tend to vote if they see a story as exceptionally good or bad. I guess that’s just natural.

I’ve implemented the ratings because I was missing them from the old NCMC, there you had a single 1 to 10 rating and a single ‘the story made me cum’ checkbox.

But in NCMC the current rating average of each story was visible to everyone, and that’s something I didn’t like, because I didn’t want this to become a competition. That’s why at first, I’ve implemented the ratings on GSS so that only the author himself can see the ratings for his own stories.

That worked well enough, but it was a bit lacking. And we only got very few ratings (compared to the hits), because a normal reader would never see any effect of his ratings.

The idea behind those 5 categories was, that a badly written story can still be exceptionally hot and inventive. And even if you don’t see that effect on your own stories so much, since you tend to have a certain level of quality on all your stories, I see the effect quite well, as I see the detailed stats on all stories. People tend to honor hot, inventive or well told stories quite differently in general.

That I now show those rating icons was added to give people a reason to rate. Unfortunately, this also kinda betrays my intention not to create a competition, but it’s the only compromise I came up with. Still no numbers and no defined order of
stories, but you can see some indication how well a story is doing.

If you tend to get high marks in all categories, it might be blurred a bit, as people tend to give all-5ers if they really liked it, but I think the general direction is still visible.

Suggestions are always welcome. If you have an idea how to make the rating categories more transparent to the user without making the process any more difficult, then tell me about it!

One idea might to also take the number of ratings relatively to the numbef of hits into account for each rating. That would reflect that some people only rate those categories they found outstanding and leave the rest unrated.

(This is my first forum post yeehaw)

I don’t necessarily think the flaw is with the rating system, but it’s more indicative of an overall issue with getting people to rate stories online (especially when they’re jacking off!). People only rate something if they really liked it or really hated it, unless there’s some incentive for doing so otherwise. I know I’m personally guilty of only reviewing something if I really like it.

I’ve only published a few stories on the site, but the one with almost 6000 views has 10 comments and less than 100 ratings for all five categories except one. Basically, less than 1% of readers are inclined to review your stories in any form, so it’s already kind of biased towards that type of person.

I’d probably say that @IvorySilk is right and you lose points for some people by going off onto something that other people might not like as much as you. Even having a main character that isn’t someone’s “type” could knock you points. Getting any sort of feedback at all is already a positive, so it might just be that you take it for what it is and don’t sweat the arguably difficult to understand metric of the rating system.

Comments are way more exciting to get in my opinion, even if the entire comment is just “more”, which I’ve gotten before lol

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Just a quick note here: views is just straight-up page views, I believe, not unique views. So, every time someone refreshes to see if there are new comments, or if they read the story in multiple sittings, that’s a new view.

Robin is correct. Counting unique persons opening the page is rather storage intensive and also futile if people are using anon browsers and plugins. But the view counter does give you a hint how many people opened the story - but usually much less people actually read it from start to end of course.

That’s fair, but I still feel like a significantly smaller amount of people will rate or interact with a story in some way than will even open it at all, unless there’s some maniac out there opening stories hundreds of times to conflate the ratio lol

All I’m going to say on this was that the time I finally got the spurting penis for one of my stories was a great day for me.

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Thanks, @mgreene70

I just had the picture of your dick spurting when seeing this :slight_smile: There was quite some skepticism against that particular rating category but I really wanted it!

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Maybe have a way to attach a comment to your rating? Not really sure how this would work out or if people would actually use it though. Or maybe simplify the rating system to just a thumbs up/thumbs down so it’s easier to get a general consensus on stories rather than conflicting and more detailed specifics?

I know a simple thumbs up or down is the current preferred way all over the net, since too many people simply rate 0 or 100 (depending on the scale) anyway.

But I don’t like that too much myself. I like to be able to rate a bit more differentiated. And I also like to see my own stories rated in more detail.

As always, you cannot please everyone…

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Maybe instead of a binary 0 or 100, have 3 choices. “Excelent, Average, Medicore” or something. Many people are always going to go to the extremes and give a 0 or a 100, but enough people should be smart enough to rate a 50 if the story deserves it that it can be used to better average out the scores.

Yep. BTST with my stories too. Although I have to admit that getting a high ‘wankable’ score is something of a turn-on for me :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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I kinda like it?

Like at the very least it’s harmless, and you can just ignore it.
and the best it helps you find a sense of identity and character to your stories.

I love going for those Lightbulbs.

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I like the multiple ratings as well though I have to admit I can’t seem to put a definitive reason as to how many votes, or what average rating will award a lightbulb, or book, or the holy grail…the spurting penis.

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Icons are only shown as soon as there are at least 10 votes in each of the categories.

And then there’s a threshold for the icons. If the ratings are over that threshold, you’ll get a plain icon, at a somewhat higher rating a silver and then a golden icon.

Currently, the thresholds are fixed values, but since people tend to rate certain categories higher than others, I might change that to be calculated dynamically.

Oh, and by the way, the nice icons have all been created by our user @Foxtrotter!

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