Forum Owners Purposefuly Lowering Ratings?

Discussion in 'General Postloop Discussion' started by Ducky, Jul 22, 2012.

  1. Ducky

    Ducky New Member

    I have glanced around some to see, and I understand that forum owners are monitored as far as ratings go, so that gives me some sense of security that putting forth hard work will not be taken advantage of.

    However, I am still not certain it isn't possible for forum owners to purposefully keep ratings low. I hate to sound really selfish and obnoxious, and I realize I can be a bit of an overachiever; however, when you receive a rating below the current average and not given any feedback for improvement (mind you I did prompt for suggestions)... I can't help but consider perhaps the forum owner is attempting to keep the ratings low to avoid paying as much for posts.

    I surely hope this is not the case, since the rating system is anonymous I am in the strange position where I cannot chose to leave the matter alone either if I feel my work isn't well appreciated and move on to other sites.

    I understand the main idea of being paid for something you enjoy doing either way, but if your rating only drops over time, what incentive is there for posters? My rating has only dropped consistently from when I started. Is there nothing I could do about this? The current system of expired ratings is only going to punish me. Strangely, I don't receive any negative feedback despite the ever lowering ratings. What can someone do in this case?
     
  2. Ryan

    Ryan Staff Staff Member

    All that I can say is that I guarantee you are not being targeted. You receiving a rating is no different from the next person. Forum owners are not singling you out. If your rating is dropping over time, it can only mean one of two things:

    1) Your initial rating(s) was/were falsely skewed upwards
    2) Your post quality is dropping
     
  3. Ducky

    Ducky New Member

    Hi Ryan, thank you for your response!

    I think I was misunderstood here. It was not my intention to imply that I am being targeted, not by far. It is just that it has occurred to me here that in all the protection of forum owners, how are posters to know whether their work is being critiqued fairly and all the hard work they put forth is sincerely appreciated? For example, if there were someone consistently rating people lowly, to keep the number of points per posts lower and save money, there is little we can do about it.

    Now I understand the possibility of it being a fluke that my ratings were unusually high for the first 2 or 3 reviews, however to have all 5 or 6 be abnormally high is a little strange?

    You're correct, it is also fair to consider that my post quality is going down. However, if that is the case as recommended, I ask the forum owner how I can better improve for their site towards the quality evaluations I have elsewhere. The only response I have gotten is to continue doing the exact same thing I am doing now to achieve a rating 4.5 or higher rating. This sounds suspicious to me considering
    1) I am told to do the exact same good things and I will receive a higher rating
    2) if the same thing I am doing now is worthy of 4.5, then why not rate the work a 4.5 now or not rate at all?

    The worst part for this portion of the system is that if the forum owner does not like the work I do for them, since the system is anonymous I have no way of knowing how or where to improve. If it turns out they don't find me a good fit for the site or that my posts are lacking, I have no opportunity to decide to move on and try work elsewhere that could be a better fit, because the forum owner is anonymous. I understand why the anonymity, however what are we to do if we're trying sincere and hard work?

    I took this seriously and started really putting forth effort and getting into the spirit of the whole process. When someone puts in a lot of research and work towards making your online community what you would like it to be and you let them know they are doing (far) below average work in your professional opinion, that is probably a sign I should give up there. Am I wrong?

    What would you recommend that posters do in these kinds of positions?
     
  4. Ryan

    Ryan Staff Staff Member

    I guess I missed another scenario, and that is that not every person sees quality and the scale the same way. Your posts to one person may be a 4, while those exact same posts to another person may be a 3. There is nothing wrong with that. That is how the system works, and that is why we operate on averages. If you have 5-6 high ratings and 1 low rating, then your average will still be high. A single rating does not ruin you. If you create quality content, your rating will reflect that. Yours does.

    As for the anonymity, that issue has been discussed to the moon and back in these forums. Feel free to search around to find more discussion on it.
     
  5. Ducky

    Ducky New Member

    Firstly, thank you Ryan for having such patience to address my concerns and take the time to engage in a sincere conversation with me on this matter. I really appreciate it. This is contrasting to the response I receive from some of the forum owners, so I am glad to see that is not a Postloop culture all around.

    I do understand and it is sensible that the quality of my posts to one forum owner may be a 3 whereas others would be a 4. What is unfortunate is that posters have no ability to use their skills wisely and focus on places where they can do 4 quality work, instead of just 3. The frustrating part is when no feedback is given as to how to improve. I understand if the quality of my work is a 3, what I cannot understand is how doing the same exact quality of work would suddenly become a 4 (according to the feedback this forum owner provided)? I received no encouragement or tips for improvement, only praise from this person, that seems a little strange and not at all helpful to me or them. Because if they would really like 4-5 quality (which I assume is the point of this process) why only the good feedback instead of telling me what they would like me to do for their forum to be what they aspire towards?

    A lot of people do this as a way to earn extra money, so naturally we would want to focus on where our strengths lie first and work up from there. Once one has that down, they can improve elsewhere. There isn't a way to do this here at Postloop when the lower rating forum owners don't give feedback. Furthermore, since they are anonymous we have no way of focusing on our strengths and evaluating ourselves (knowing which site we should look back at for an idea).

    It is like having your supervisor putting on paper that your work is below average for their superiors to see, but when you ask how to improve to get towards a promotion they only tell you to keep doing what you're doing because it is above average work. Does this help clarify where I feel like I am getting stuck?

    Now again, I understand, please don't misinterpret my motivations. I am not saying the fact that they are anonymous should be changed. However, isn't there something that can fill in this gap so that posters will not get stuck not knowing where to go? Have frustrations like this really never been voiced or considered? At the moment I have 2 extremes in ratings, I can't begin to improve without feedback, but naturally those who are fairly satisfied and give above average ratings have no feedback to provide.

    Now, on the averaging of the rating.... I suppose let me understand this correctly: Don't ratings expire? So my 1 rating way below average will pull all of my other ratings down when my good ratings expire? (This is the major concern I have in the long run.) I also don't know what will happen if I suddenly fall below the required rating to continue posting at certain forums/blogs where my ratings are far more exceptional.

    Lastly, I will note that it is better to go ahead and get this off of my mind and I am glad that Postloop does provide a place to express concerns. Furthermore, I appreciate that this is a place where administrators can sincerely read and give response to our worries. That said, I understand the ratings I have now are what they are, despite how discouraging it seems to be for the moment. Hopefully improvement will happen over time if I just keep at it. After all, I am guessing this is not something that occurs very often to most posters. (I'm guessing the average rating for most is fairly consistent or gradually goes up over some time?) Thus I hope things balances out for me as well.

    Again, thank you for your time. I look forward to your response. To avoid wearing you all out because you do hard work without having to entertain nothing but complaints I leave this concern and these thoughts at your final recommendations.

    Thank you Ryan.
     
  6. Nakhash

    Nakhash New Member

    Hey, Ducky. I noticed a lower than average rating for me yesterday too. I don't know which site it came from and there were no comments about why the lower rating. I did respond saying I don't mind constructive criticism if they want me to be doing something differently. Maybe I'll hear back. I've been visiting the same group of sites for the past week and always get good feedback and "likes." ::shrug::
     
  7. PsuedoK

    PsuedoK Forum & Blog Owners

    This has been addressed so many time. People keep trying to come up with new angles to make this argument fresh, but it is an old argument with lots of topics about it. Yes you might get a low rating that you think you do not deserve. But if your quality is high over all then you will get good ratings.

    Most writers that have been doing this awhile know what I am talking about. It seems to always be the newer writers that come on here and bring up this dead issue. I have great writers and average writers. When I look into the writers that provide great content on my site, I see that they also provide great content on others sites as seen through their overall rating and the posts on other sites. When I see an average writer on my site, they usually have average scores from other sites.

    Point being, until you are a writer for a while and establish yourself, you will not see how fair they system really is and how in the end it does work out.
     
    Guardian and Ryan like this.
  8. Ryan

    Ryan Staff Staff Member

    Agreed, PsuedoK.

    Ducky, as to your last point, you are primarily focusing on the feedback you received. This too has been discussed in the past. Ultimately, there is absolutely no way for us (Postloop) to ensure that you receive valuable feedback, which is why it is optional.
     
  9. polgara

    polgara Member

    I can't imagine a forum owner being so short-sighted as to purposely rank posters lower than they deserve. It may lower his costs momentarily, but how many good posters are going to keep working his board after being rated poorly? I really doubt this is enough of a problem to really worry about.
     
  10. Guardian

    Guardian Active Member

    My average has fallen as well, and despite me losing those few extra points, I understand why it is going lower.

    As a forum owner, I have been rating on the scale that ratings should be based on. First starting off a lot of owners were giving ratings exceedingly high. Now, and for some time those averages have been dropping. Fortunately, now the ratings will be more accurate and the system overall will benefit.

    I myself like to rate great posters higher so that will encourage them to come back. Vice versa for lower quality posters.
     
    Ryan likes this.
  11. polgara

    polgara Member

    If this is the case, then I would think the average would end up going down as well, so it should balance out in the end. That makes me feel a little better after my first rating was a lot lower than I had expected. I'll have to watch and see how this all shakes down before becoming too concerned, I guess.
     
  12. argon_0

    argon_0 Member

    My average has increased. I seem to have got quite a mixed bag of ratings over the months and had to wear it.
    I don't think forum owners are lowering ratings unless you mean you've been rated twice by a forum?
     

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