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Old 10-02-2010, 01:57 AM   #1
pigeonweather
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What do you think about ratings?

This topic came up in another thread and I'm interested in the range of opinions about it. My own thoughts are merely that, thoughts, and I don't think that anyone is 'right' or 'wrong' - we all have our own takes.

There seem to be different use cases for ratings.

One case is where your rating will determine the recommendations a site presents to you - Amazon and Netflix are like this - it's useful to inform them of your tastes so they will give you more customized referrals.

Another case is where you simply pass your judgment on the item - you don't leave any comments or specific feedback, simply select the number of stars, and your anonymous input goes into the mix.

Another case is where you do review the item, presenting your opinions and reflections along with the number of stars. In this case, at least, your rating has some context, and others can review your history of ratings and get some idea about your preferences. I've used this approach to find other books liked by people whose tastes seem to be similar to mine.

My own tendency is to rate only the books I like, in order to recommend them to others. If I don't like a book, I don't rate it at all. I recently had the experience where I read a book and didn't like it, but felt certain that the "me" of thirty years ago would have liked it a lot! Neither self's judgment seemed to carry more weight than the other. The younger me would simply cancel out the older one.

Well, those are just some of my thoughts on the matter. I'm interested in everyone's point of view - as readers who rate, as readers who refer to other people's ratings, and as writers who get rated, and how you feel about all of those perspectives.
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Old 10-02-2010, 05:23 AM   #2
mjhudston
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I think ratings are pretty meaningless. The app store on iTunes is proof positive that the ratings system is open to wide abuse, with several documented cases of people getting friends to rate applications as 5 star.

I'm also biased as my book has had no ratings despite being downloaded over 800 times.
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