Story Ratings

So I’ve been long curious on something. On story ratings if you dont like a story is it better to not leave a rating at all or to leave a rating on the low end of the spectrum. I’m asking on what leads to one’s thoughts being better known.

I know that people tend to rate stories if they like it.

If you don’t like a story you might not even finish reading it, and most people - me included - rarely rate it either

However, the system is supposed to reflect the genuine opinion of the people, and that means that you should also rate if you don’t like a story. But still be fair. An all-zero rating is rarely fair, even if you think a story is not hot or doesn’t have any good mind-control, it still can be written well and be inventive.

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Yeah, that was why I was asking. I traditionally only rate the stories I like so I was curious on whether that was ‘good’ or if I should also rate stories that I didn’t like - for whatever reason.

So basically, it doesn’t matter. hehe. What I mean is that either way is fine according to the system.

While I like the whole multiple categories to rate thing I do kind of miss the whole “did you like the story” single click option that we used to have. Being able to say whether you like a story or not to me is a good thing. As is a thumbs up and down system. Though society seemingly moved away from that direction to a positive only method.

I mean, I feel like the rating options are diverse enough for different circumstances. I rate any story that I mostly read from beginning to end. If I thought it was pretty hot and had a good concept, but was written terribly, I rate ot as such. If I get three paragraphs into a story and decide its not for me, I won’t rate it at all. But if I finish a story and I didn’t like it, I’ll give it a bad rating.


For a few stories where I felt it was poorly conceived (not because of language difficulties but in the execution) I gave the lowest rating. But in general I don’t rate if I think it was a poor story/writing.

There’s just not enough people voting to make the ratings accurate enough for the refine way we estimate the outstanding, exceptional, etc… You can be outstanding in a category, then an anon user comes in and gives you a 1, and because 15 people voted only, you drop to very.

Also, and this is at the heart I think of the dissatisfaction, this site exists to cater to fetishes, of which there is an enormous diversity. But each individual is into a few, don’t care about many, and hate a few of those fetishes. So we’re not only comparing apples and oranges, but the whole diversity of different fruits.

The ratings right now does not evaluate how hot or how well written your story is, but more the percentage of people in the community that are into what you write about, much more so than if they were short stories on a writing site. The purpose of these stories is not as much art as it is wank, and we’re all a lot more specific about our wanking fantasies than we are about the type of art we appreciate.

Just in my stories, some will hate them if there is any bi-sexual element (in my case, some femdom) or overarching story or if the controller is not in complete control, whereas some will enjoy all the elements. In this context, people are extremely finicky.

This is why the “I like this story” button worked. It didn’t disguise as ratings what is in fact distribution of interest for the fetishes in your story. You just saw how many people like it, the size of your audience.

So for those reasons, I find the rating system misleading. It’s fun to have it, but it’d be nice to see if authors think it helps them.

I would also reduce the range. One 5 vote + one 1 vote gives you 2.5. That cannot mean this aspect of the story is mediocre, it only means one person liked and the other didn’t. Something like good, neutral, bad would be enough and give less impact to bad votes, and I still think it should not be averaged but used as distribution, like 4 people liked this aspect of your story, 2 people disliked this aspect of your story, and the return of 10 people liked your story in general.

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I’d prefer if more people would log on and use an account. But people are overly concerned about privacy. Partly understandable, but technically still a bit overdone, since you don’t have to enter anythingabout yourself (like the name etc.) to get an account. And for the email address, there are countless anon mail services around, too (like

That has the effect that we have a lot of anon raters and commenters. And unfortunately a rather small number of ratings, because people don’t see the point in rating.

In the chat someone made the suggestion of adding a profile, where you could get achievements (for rating, for reading, for writing, for spending time…). That could be an incentive to create and use an account and to rate much more frequently.

Those profiles could also allow people to show which stories they like and others to find stories based on the same taste. It could be a very nice touch, if it would get used.

However, I’m not really sure if people would really be willing to log on and share their taste publicly, even when only using an avatar. Porn is a very private thing and these days with news about tracking and collecting data, people tend to become a little paranoid about that stuff.

I get what you write about ratings, but that’s just the way stuff like this works. You see it everywhere.

Don’t take ratings so personally as an author - especially if your stories are serving a niche. However, often it’s exactly the special stories with a very selected audience which get the best ratings - other people, not into that kind of fetish, simply don’t vote at all. Even incest and scat stories, which usually create the most vehement antipathy, often get surprisingly good ratings.

The “I like” button is still there and its functionality hasn’t been changed. It’s simply renamed to “Favorite Story” but does exactly the same as before.

Very few people ever used that button before, especially since Hugh designed that button very small and inconspicuously. So most stories got maybe 1-3 “likes” which isn’t much help to the author, either.

About the range of the ratings: It does make a slight(!) difference, but not so much as you’d think. For me, I’d like to have more room to differentiate. “Good”, “average”, “bad” doesn’t cover it, for me at least.

I don’t want you to get me wrong. The system in place works well considering the effort put in it compared to how much it is actually used.

What I was saying was that although “that’s just the way stuff like this works, you see it everywhere,” which is true, I think that in our context it is less relevant and with even more flaws than in the typical context.

I just hate posting a new story, and the first rating I get is from an anon user giving it 1’s all over. It happened to me twice already. Really? It’s not even a tiny bit hot, not written at all well, there’s no mind control in it? I only see that as coming from someone who hates that kind of story. The problem is, it makes all the 5’s that come later look like 4.5.

But it took tremendous effort to put this system in place, and it would take tremendous effort to change it. I have a few ideas on how it could be done so that the information is more useful to writers, and that would not invalidate the current system, just transform it. But I don’t want to get into that now because the system is ok right now.

Just remember, if you get to a point where you want to do a change, to ask me. Some of the things I thought about could help inspire the next one when you feel you’re ready.

And thanks for giving so much to the community!


Suggestions are always welcome, but you’re right, I won’t remove or radically change the current system - there’s too much work invested in it. And I think it works well enough, at least I don’t see any other system that would work much better.

However, if there’s a suggestion to improve the existing system, I’m more than open.

Again, I’d be more than happy to reduce the weight of anon votes for the overall rating. But since we have so few ratings by logged in users, there’d be little point, I’m afraid.

Any idea how to make more people to use an account is also very welcome!

BTW, that someone rated your story with 0 or 1 right away is very rare. I’ve actually never seen that myself (but I don’t follow each stories’s ratings that closely, either). I could imagine that your inclusion of women and bi-chars is really causing some misogynistic, intolerant people to down-vote your story. That’s really quite sad.

The 1s were for my two new stories, which don’t contain anything controversial really. It surprised me. It’s weird because it occured twice. They were from anon, sometimes I already got good ratings from logged in. But you can’t avoid having people do that, they may have just rejected the “no weird fetish” instead of rejecting the “weird fetish”, like it can’t be hot if there’s not leather or huge muscles.

Only my old stories had occasionally a female dominant that actually served as a gay gaze. I’m old, it’s something obsolete now.

What you could do is to give 50% of the weight to logged in, and 50% of the weight to anon. So if you have 5 logged in votes and 50 anon votes, each logged in vote would count for 10% and each anon vote would count for 1%. It would also encourage people to log on so that their votes count more.


My one thought is that favorite and like are two different things. I favorite a story to keep track of it. I like a story to say ‘hey author this was cool.’

That’s a valid point. Is bookmark in GSS the same as favorite?

Actually, the old “I like” button Hugh had implemented always worked as a “favorite story” button.
It was always available to logged in users only, and you could always list all the stories you’ve “liked”.

And they number of “likes” a story got was also always shown to the author.

Somebody asked me to implement a “favorite story” list, and I answered: “Don’t you know it’s already there: It’s the “I like” button!”

That’s when I decided to change that button’s name. The function remained the same, though.

The “Bookmark” button is meant as a list of stories which you still want to read - including the position where you last took off.

Is it a bit too confusing? It sounds like it, seeing as you’re all struggling with all that :slight_smile:

Ah. Yeah thats what I thought.

Sooo couldn’t a Like button be something that just counts likes, with maybe a dislike button, that way a count can be seen. No ties to anything. (Kind of what youtube has)

Ps. Im not a coder so of this is annoying, dont do it

For getting more people to create an account, why not add some messaging about how easy and private it is, possibly with a suggestion about anonymous email services? This could be a modification to the Safe Mode warning that pops up, or even an addition to the basic consent pop-up that shows every time you first navigate to the site. Pitch what they get (unrestricted access) and offer what they want (privacy).

The signup page itself is a good spot to put a note about anonymous email services, to minimize the drop-off of readers who go that far before getting cold feet.

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