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Topic Ratings - what are they good for?


rgf100
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I've got the topic rating feature (note, not the reputation / like system, but the five star topic rating) turned on. However it gets very little use. I decided to have a look and see how often topics were getting rated, what were the highest rating topics, etc, and . . . couldn't. You can't sort a forum view on topic rating. You can't use it in search. Seems like that would be a logical way to make the feature more useful.

Alternatively, the option to have topics rated by total reputation points given within it, or average per post, would make sense.

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I agree. It's been mentioned several times.

We need to be able to sort topics by ratings, at the very least.

Showing the rating in topic view would also be useful for those of us using the ratings system.

Some of us prefer to keep all our eggs in one basket. I would rather use the forum for reviews at this time.

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This has been touched upon again and again. Topic ratings have gotten less useful in the jump to IPB 3.2. They can potentially be very useful (I'm not sure why so many people here seem to think otherwise) but IPS have not yet optimized them to be useful in IPB 3.2. See these threads for more info:

[URL= crucial problem with thread ratings in IPB 3.2.

Suggested improvements.

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I'm not sure why so many people here seem to think otherwise



Did say that people give 5's and 1's as an example. If a thread has a single or a few ratings, it isn't any better or worse than any other thread since only a few rated it. Someone can rate something not on quality, but if they like or agree with something. Ratings are so useless that there is often no difference to an actual thread itself whether it be a 3/5 to a 5/5 or any rating at all.
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Did say that people give 5's and 1's as an example. If a thread has a single or a few ratings, it isn't any better or worse than any other thread since only a few rated it. Someone can rate something not on quality, but if they like or agree with something. Ratings are so useless that there is often no difference to an actual thread itself whether it be a 3/5 to a 5/5 or any rating at all.




Rather than just trashing it, developing the rating system to be more accurate would be a better solution. And the reason that 3/5 and 5/5 make no difference is because we aren't even clear as to what is being rated -- the content? the popularity of the post author? the usefulness?
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Did say that people give 5's and 1's as an example. If a thread has a single or a few ratings, it isn't any better or worse than any other thread since only a few rated it. Someone can rate something not on quality, but if they like or agree with something. Ratings are so useless that there is often no difference to an actual thread itself whether it be a 3/5 to a 5/5 or any rating at all.




But it's not always the case that people always rate 5s or 1s. Look at the product ratings on Amazon.com. Does everyone always rate 5s or 1s there? To me their ratings seem fairly normally distributed. I think the reason is that if ratings are for a product or project where a continuum of ratings would make more sense rather than a simple "like it" or "don't like it", people are more likely to provide accurate ratings. Use it where it would make sense, and it's less likely people will misuse the system.

Do you see how it can be useful? Or does no one here get it?
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Don't obfuscate. This is about topic ratings, not marketplace.




I am not trying to obfuscate. I thought I made it pretty clear. Yes, this is about topic ratings, and I suggested clearly in post #13, as well as the topics I linked to in post #8, the following:

If ratings are for a product or project where a continuum of ratings would make more sense rather than a simple "like it" or "don't like it", people are more likely to provide accurate ratings. Use it where it would make sense, and it's less likely people will misuse the system.



As I have suggested several times now, "topic ratings" do not necessarily have to reference the perceived quality of the topic itself, and can instead reference the perceived quality of some product, project, or other ratable entity referred to within the topic.

I asked Jura if they saw how ratings used to reference a product or project could be useful, and they said no, in addition to citing an example of why they don't necessarily work well in an explicit marketplace setting such as Amazon.com. They have repeatedly suggested that ratings for products/projects aren't useful, hence the statement in post #15.

There are many boards out there that either don't have a marketplace application installed, and/or for various reasons, prefer products/projects to be listed in forum topics in addition to or in place of marketplace pages. Enabling topic ratings in these cases would make a ton of sense in my opinion - as much sense as enabling marketplace page ratings. But some people here seem to think that a "Like" or "Don't Like" system would suffice even in these cases, which I disagree with because such a system, in my opinion, does not have enough of a range to sufficiently gauge a product's or project's aggregate perceived quality.
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In my opinion, reviewing the product or the item in question in a forum thread represents 1/2 of the equation: needed also is a system of "reviewing the reviewer." (In other words, the result of a topic rating system is a function of how the community perceives the quality of the reviewer.) Whereas a member can describe their personal and subjective experience and can assign a value (1 star - 5 stars) that symbolically reflects their experience and perception, I believe there needs to be a mechanism in place where the social community can rate the honesty, usefulness, and detail of the review given. (Like having an iTrader system for forum posts.) This might be found in some kind of advanced reputation system. In other words the reviewer addresses the product itself and the community grades the reviewer. This element of social feedback is missing from mega-shopping sites, like Amazon. And as a result, everyone's over all reputation is the same -- the person who have given 100 detailed reviews is on the same level as the person who gave a review consisting of one sentence.

The reason for having a two-tier review system (for the topic and the content posts found inside the topic) is so that the social community will have the ability to prune out (or hide) unrelated reviews from the rest of the community. This is like having a safe guard against product reviews that turn into spam posts, or product reviews that do not adequately address the issue at hand, e.g., a review that only says, "I didn't like it" without ever explaining why the product was not liked. Members who talk about the product being used in various scenarios or who talk about the physical properties of the product are doing a the larger community a service and should be rewarded by the community for their efforts. (If a reputation system is used, does it have the ability to add & remove reputation?)

//opinion

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Wasn't expecting this many replies.

Personally I'm not necessarily wanting to see it scrapped - but at the moment it seems like a bit of an orphan feature, and I'm intrigued by the idea of using post ratings to produce an overall topic rating. I can see a separate topic rating being useful for a marketplace though - if you write a critical review of a rubbish product, you don't want the pluses you get to increase the products rating. You could maybe use the rating of the first post alone in that case?

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