Poster rating suggestions

Discussion in 'General Postloop Discussion' started by Ansem, Oct 30, 2011.

  1. Ansem

    Ansem Forum & Blog Owners

    Hey, I'm trying to make some form of scale so I can easily rate everyone fairly, instead of feeling.
    Currently what I have is.
    Full profile ( aka picture, bios, signature ) 0.5 point
    Proper introduction, which tells us something about the person 1
    half introduction or crappy one liners 0.1
    Makes threads with interesting debate 1
    Rate on post quality in general ( vary 0 - 2 )
    Contributes to the community, making members feel welcome, keep discussion going etc. 0.5
    If person does not contribute to forum subject ( aka forum about pokemon and just talks about a youtube video and replies to coffee or tea thread ) -4

    If I should follow that list, would that come to a fair rating ?
    Because I want a reliable system for myself.
    Hope you could give some feedback.
  2. duffield1

    duffield1 Forum & Blog Owners

    I agree that a more formal structure for rating would be helpful - it all feels so subjective at the moment! Here's my suggestions from another thread:
    Give up to 2 points based on grammar - perfect grammar gets a 2, txt spk gets 0.
    Give up to 1 point based on post length - less than a line gets zero, more than five lines gets 1.
    Give up to 1 point for relevancy - if it is off topic, rate it zero, if it is ideal for the board/topic, give 1.
    Give up to 1 point for style - if it blends in seemlessly with existing users, give it one, if it stands out like a sore thumb, 0.

    That said, having just rated a few subscribers, perhaps the ratings need to be more sensitive than such a system would allow. For example, spreading content over a few boards on my forum gets a big thumbs up, as does starting as well as contributing to threads. My site also has a less formal area for which I attribute less credit to comments, as some of the questions in there can be answered with one-word answers - it sometimes feels like posters are going for the easy points, rather than being valued members.
  3. Ryan

    Ryan Staff Staff Member

    For what it's worth, Postloop cannot provide official guidelines like you guys are laying out because that is extremely subjective. Different forum owners will expect different things out of their posters. Secondly, if there is a precise formula for high ratings, then writers will have a checklist. Many of them will perform all items on the "checklist" and not go any farther.

    The way the system is now, the website owners are able to decide themselves whether or not a writer has contributed quality content without being told how to rate, and there is constant competition among writers to do better than each other, because there is only one rule for a high rating: quality, and this can always be beaten.

    You are more than happy to make your own personal guidelines/rules for rating users, because it will make it easier, but there will not be official guidelines from Postloop.
  4. Ansem

    Ansem Forum & Blog Owners

    I'm also asking because it's for me.
    I just don't want to get too much on feeling, because what if I don't like the way someone writes, yet they are still good relevant posts they would be underrated. I just want to be fair to posters.
  5. SifuPhil

    SifuPhil Member

    Just a point-of-view from a poster/writer ... (Ryan, if this doesn't belong in this thread please delete - thanks!)

    In thinking about this, I cannot come up with a single other field of writing in which the target is so mysterious and closely-held. Fiction writers have their target audience, know what they like and expect and therefore know how to reach them. Non-fiction writers have it considerably easier - just write to the subject in a clear, concise manner. Journalists have it all laid out for them with the classic "Who-What-When-Why-Where-How".

    Even children's writers have age-appropriate guidelines and formulaic approaches they can fall back on.

    But to divine what a forum owner considers 5.0-worthy, as opposed to say 3.5, is sometimes like predicting the winning Power-ball number. I believe most Postloop writers have a firm grasp of the basics, and I think (in the short amount of time I've been here and been exposed to their work) that they do an admirable job. But when it comes to pay rates people get emotional.

    I understand that the qualities a forum owner looks for might be outlined in their "Introductory" / "Please Read This First" threads, and I make sure that I read them as soon as I join a forum. But that still leaves much to be desired as to what exactly will bring a high rating.

    Don't misunderstand - I have no quarrel with the pay rate per se - I know it's generous. I just don't like trying to find a black cat in a coal pile at midnight. :confused:

    I suppose in summation I can say that I understand the business necessity of so much mystery - but for those supplying the content I can also understand the frustration in trying to hit a largely-invisible target. I don't know what, if anything, can be done to alleviate this condition - only that I can easily see how it could lead to hurt egos and damaged business.
    Pete and Ryan like this.
  6. Ryan

    Ryan Staff Staff Member

    I agree with you 110%, SifuPhil, and I think you summed it up perfectly with this:

  7. Pete

    Pete Staff Staff Member

    IMO, that you're thinking about stuff like that means that you're going to be successful here. The problem comes from not people like you, but the ones who are thinking how they can make the most amount of money with the least amount of work. It doesn't surprise me that just yesterday I gave you one of the highest ratings that I've given anyone for weeks, but I also decided to put a bonus on you to encourage you to come back more too. :)

    It is absolutely correct that it is not all about the writing. The writing is half of it, really. For me anyway, the other half is about being a member of the community. And, it's not always hidden what we want. For example, in one of my forums in Postloop I have it written in the description that Postloopers should "please be on your best behavior even if the other members there are not" yet, I still got someone from Postloop who came in and was swearing at my regular members. The quality of the posts was there, though.

    In all of my forums here in Postloop, I ask for new threads in the listings. I will rate people higher if they create new threads. Yet, most of the Postloop members choose to reply to existing threads, and sometimes they'll go through the oldest of threads and post a reply to each one, and that irks me. Good forum members contribute to making live discussions, not just go around and drop posts randomly wherever they think they can make a quick couple of points.

    Also, I think that many of us forum owners in Postloop would be open to having a discussion with you or anyone else about the specifics. You can certainly contact us and ask for clarification. I can't recall anyone in fact ever doing that, except for after having received a rating. And even then, in almost all of the cases I have taken the time to explain the rating and give some pointers on how they could improve the rating if it was low.

    For you personally, what I'd recommend you do is find a handful of forums that you feel comfortable with, build a good relationship with the owner and come back often. Forums do come and go in Postloop, so you'll need to keep an eye out for new forums coming in to stay one step ahead, but some of us are stable too and have been here since the beginning. Just, each time you go into a new forum, you're dealing with a new admin, and it might take you a bit to find out if it's a good fit or not. It won't always work out perfectly, but I think that the way you're approaching it, it will work out well in most of the time.

    SifuPhil and Ryan like this.
  8. SifuPhil

    SifuPhil Member

    For which I am honored and humbly thank you - it was a pleasant surprise. [​IMG]

    In the words of the immoral immortal Arnold, "I'll be back".

    I can see where that might be a tough call. Personality, talent ("drawing power") and abrasiveness often seem to go together - Howard Stern and George Carlin come to mind - but when it crosses that invisible line I suppose you have to think of your membership as a whole, rather than the talent of an individual. "The needs of the many ..."

    Granted, I've been in forums since I discovered San Francisco's "The Well" when I first fired up my Commodore 64, so I've had time to observe and learn a lot of the niceties involved. Younger participants don't always have the benefit of that experience.

    I see it as a Darwinian process, but the seemingly fluid nature of this business must throw an occasional monkey-wrench into the works (pun intended).

    I have to admit that for someone with short-term dollar signs in their eyes, posting a quick reply of "Yep, I agree" in a dozen threads would be a powerful urge - one which hopefully is kept in check by The System.

    Well, it's certainly commendable - and good business - that you'd offer that clarification, but I wonder if there isn't that "Fourth Wall" in the minds of many of the posters. I know that I've sometimes had that mixture of fear and awe when thinking about crossing that line. It's like being friends with a cop - you might party together, but you're always holding back a little and editing what you say, afraid of what would happen if you slip up.

    In addition, the poster might be gun-shy from previous experience. I've been on a large, well-known forum for about four years, with over 12,000 posts that have been read 7,000,000 times and with 7,400 positive reps. I really enjoy the company of my virtual friends there - in fact, a bunch of us met up in the real-world two years ago - yet over the last three months I've scaled back my participation to virtually zero. Why? There's a whole new crop of Moderators that seem to want to put notches in their brand-new pistols, and if I were a conspiracy theorist I would tell you that they are all good buddies with the Admins of the board. Unfortunately, I am not one of those buddies.

    So now I have a sudden bloom of infractions for everything from being off-topic to questioning the actions of Moderators. My posts are deleted out-of-hand, often with only the flimsiest of explanations offered. I feel like I've been abused by my trusted guardians. :(

    So maybe having experiences like this would cause your membership to keep a hands-off policy. Just a thought ...

    Thank you for that advice - I appreciate it. Since I'm just a week or so old here I AM still in the process of figuring out which forums I fit in, and I can already see that I'll need to have more than a couple just to keep the flow going. Luckily there's a wide selection here, so I'm not worried.

    ... but I will ALWAYS refuse to be a member of the "I Love Politicians Forum", no matter HOW bad off I am! [​IMG]
  9. Pete

    Pete Staff Staff Member

    So, I'd be curious to hear more about that. Which forum is it? Sometimes you can learn more from examples of how not to run a forum, lol. If you don't want to mention in public, you could send it in private.

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