Love RR, but I hate star ratings and reviews and downvoting

#1
The only thing the vast majority of people are qualified to do is judge whether or not they like something. They are not qualified to judge technical merit. Nor can they adequately compare one fiction to another and rate them. 

There's a place for social proof, but star ratings, reviews, and the ability to downvote are consistently abused or misused. People should not have so much power over authors. And the system promotes competition and negativity. 

I'd rather the system just ranked based on Faves, followers, and views, positive actions only that cannot be manipulated or abused. Let people leave comments on stories, but don't let those comments unfairly affect someone's hard work. 

I've heard something about the top ranks being stale and the current system is supposed to counter that? If the top-ranked stories are too dominant, we should work harder to get more creative in promoting other fictions. 


I hope RR continues to evolve. 

Re: Love RR, but I hate star ratings and reviews and downvoting

#2

Timothy Wrote: The only thing the vast majority of people are qualified to do is judge whether or not they like something. They are not qualified to judge technical merit. Nor can they adequately compare one fiction to another and rate them.


I disagree! I support the system of Demos and Cratos even though it is not the perfect system. As Herodotus said, it is the most splendid virtue, equality before law. But Socrates hate it for a reason that it can be easily manipulated and abused. 

To limit the rating rights is elitism. And the end result is that bunches of literature got highly rated but the  mere commoners may not enjoy reading them. Therefore, everyone, with the ability to read, through eyes, through ears, and an ability to think and understand, should have the rights to rate the story they had read, listen and learnt of. 

Re: Love RR, but I hate star ratings and reviews and downvoting

#3
The way I look at it is ratings are giving only some indication of yei or nei when picking up a new series.
For example me as a reader: I do tend to fall to the tendency to judge prematurely only by looking the rating count. I rarely pick up 0.5 -2,5 rated fics when there are X amount of rates, but usually it's easier to just dive in with good summary and ignoring the ratings.

And as hobbyist writer I do feel that with the review swapping etc some fics may be higher rated than they should, like mine (not review swaps tho, unforseen circumstances) and 
Timothy Wrote: There's a place for social proof, but star ratings, reviews, and the ability to downvote are consistently abused or misused. People should not have so much power over authors. And the system promotes competition and negativity. 

I do agree tho that it is abused sometimes bit too easily. If a reader does not like something personally they can just toss in the glaring .5 and justify it by thinking it is only right since they think the fic in question is overrated. 
It's hard to replace (as a part of the ranking system?) stars, people do tend to like shiny yellow stars and a parrot stickers.

While disabling ratings is an option, it's hard to change the mindset of the readers. 
This is just an another opinion of a hobbyist that wants to improve and do this for fun, the situation changes tho when money and livelihoods gets involved

DrakanSweat

Re: Love RR, but I hate star ratings and reviews and downvoting

#4
Yeah, people definitely use ratings as "like" / "sabotage" buttons. That's exactly what the system is. You said it yourself, no one's really thinking about objective quality here. But the ratings aren't meant for you to measure your quality or your skill as a writer (at best, they'll only tell you how well you're catering to this specific market.)

Instead, they're meant to help potential readers find their next story, and I think this system accomplishes that better than any other system. The published world has to deal with the same thing on Goodreads, Amazon, etc.

Is it nice to get lots of five-star ratings? Sure. It's also annoying to get lots of half-star ratings, especially when you can look at your stats and realize they're all on Chapter One.

But the ratings honestly don't matter that much to authors in the grand scheme of things. Whether I get a hundred five-star ratings tomorrow or a hundred half-star ratings, my next action would be exactly the same: move on and write the next chapter.

Re: Love RR, but I hate star ratings and reviews and downvoting

#6

unknownking Wrote: I think being able to comment under a review would be nice, as sometimes there might be miscommunications about what the novel is intended to be. For example, one might rate a novel different if it's a slice of life compared to a fantasy action novel


The Art for your novel is very nice!  But, if there's that big of a miscommunication, just PM.  I've PMed a few of my reviewers to pick their brains, and have usually gotten really nice conversations out of it, even the bad reviews.  


The rest of this is not a reply to your comment.

Personally, I don't think there's anything wrong with the current system.  Does it hurt to get a bad review? does it feel unfair to get hit with 0.5 stars even though you know and everyone else knows your work isn't a 0.5?  Yes and Yes.   But, this is the minority.

I do agree that I wouldn't mind more categories and search parameters though.  For example, maybe most reviewed this week or other ceilinged categories like Rising Stars.  Maybe like a middle-aged spot-light instead of forcing me to head 30 pages deep in the highest rated pages.

Re: Love RR, but I hate star ratings and reviews and downvoting

#8
I don't think the systems are the problem, I think the fact that annoyed people are more likely to be annoying is the problem, and that's not something any system can fix.

And, yes, ANY system will be abused, regardless of what it is. I for one greatly appreciate the fact that RR does more than judge solely based on followers and ranking. It gives a far better chance for new interesting stories to rise to prominence rather than the entire site being dominated by the same Popular Thing forever. As a writer, I appreciate the opportunity, and as a reader I appreciate the variety.

RR does a much better job than anyplace else I've seen. If there's less direct support for reviewers, if there are fewer people who care enough to UPvote instead of downvoting, it doesn't change the fact that even if the only option were to upvote, annoyed people would still use those upvotes on negative and nasty reviews that they agreed with rather than things that were accurate and genuinely reflected the story.

If you want things to be more positive, then by all means! Be a positive presence! I like to go to random stories and upvote any reviews that are clear, reasonable, and non-filler. The more positivity we can add, the better chance it has of outweighing the negative.

There's no way to excise negativity, however many downvote buttons you remove. You'll accomplish more by striving to be a light than trying to outlaw darkness.

Re: Love RR, but I hate star ratings and reviews and downvoting

#9

Timothy Wrote: The only thing the vast majority of people are qualified to do is judge whether or not they like something. They are not qualified to judge technical merit. Nor can they adequately compare one fiction to another and rate them. 

I've heard something about the top ranks being stale and the current system is supposed to counter that? If the top-ranked stories are too dominant, we should work harder to get more creative in promoting other fictions. 

I hope RR continues to evolve.

Ultimately, the system does work except for very niche fictions. There are known, good ways to build an audience on royalroad. It is the only platform I've experienced where you can organically gain an audience for free on pretty much any writing. 


It could work way better, sure. There are lots of features I'd like to see. As is though it easily beats down its rival platforms.

Ratings based on technical merit don't really matter. As authors, we only really see a select bit of our reviews. Most of our readers just leave ratings without even so much as commenting. They just quietly read, rate, and consume. If you write well enough, you will get ratings and followers.

As far as worrying about top rated? I don't really think you have to.

Re: Love RR, but I hate star ratings and reviews and downvoting

#10

Timothy Wrote: The only thing the vast majority of people are qualified to do is judge whether or not they like something. They are not qualified to judge technical merit. Nor can they adequately compare one fiction to another and rate them.
I think I need some clarification on what you mean by this. I'm pretty sure the vast majority of us are qualified to judge technical merit. Anyone that has graduated from high school has been exposed to the greater majority of grammar and punctuation rules that are commonly used.

Re: Love RR, but I hate star ratings and reviews and downvoting

#12

Ralen Wrote:
Timothy Wrote: The only thing the vast majority of people are qualified to do is judge whether or not they like something. They are not qualified to judge technical merit. Nor can they adequately compare one fiction to another and rate them.
I think I need some clarification on what you mean by this. I'm pretty sure the vast majority of us are qualified to judge technical merit. Anyone that has graduated from high school has been exposed to the greater majority of grammar and punctuation rules that are commonly used.

Grammar are punctuation are a tiny little fraction of what makes writing good or bad. In fact almost all good writing violates grammar rules basically constantly. I don't disagree with him there.

Re: Love RR, but I hate star ratings and reviews and downvoting

#13

spellbastard Wrote:
Ralen Wrote:
Timothy Wrote: The only thing the vast majority of people are qualified to do is judge whether or not they like something. They are not qualified to judge technical merit. Nor can they adequately compare one fiction to another and rate them.
I think I need some clarification on what you mean by this. I'm pretty sure the vast majority of us are qualified to judge technical merit. Anyone that has graduated from high school has been exposed to the greater majority of grammar and punctuation rules that are commonly used.

Grammar are punctuation are a tiny little fraction of what makes writing good or bad. In fact almost all good writing violates grammar rules basically constantly. I don't disagree with him there.
I'm going to have to disagree with that. Saying "almost all" is grossly overstating it. You can say plenty of good writing violates grammar rules and I'll agree. People don't generally complain about grammar rules being violated that don't effect the flow of the story in a negative way though. We also weren't discussing good or bad writing per se. The op said "technical merit" which to me, means the technical aspects of the writing like grammar and punctuation. I felt it was a little too vague which is why I wanted the op to provide some clarification.

Re: Love RR, but I hate star ratings and reviews and downvoting

#14

David Wrote: But the ratings honestly don't matter that much to authors in the grand scheme of things. Whether I get a hundred five-star ratings tomorrow or a hundred half-star ratings, my next action would be exactly the same: move on and write the next chapter.
Yes sir! In the end, it's good ratings, bad ratings. It's based on taste of the reader, and I see I'm getting a lot of bad ratings based on some very small things, or things I couldn't change even if I wanted to. It is what it is and I say that as someone currently on Rising Stars who probably is seeing the slowest growth right now. But do the bad ratings and the people who aren't choosing to follow my fiction invalidate the people who have choose to favorite my story and keep up with every chapter? No. And I won't invalidate their choice by chasing better ratings by altering who I am as a writer. I wrote what I wrote. I enjoyed writing it, continue to enjoy writing it.


Let's keep writing.

Re: Love RR, but I hate star ratings and reviews and downvoting

#15

Ralen Wrote:
spellbastard Wrote:
Ralen Wrote:
Timothy Wrote: The only thing the vast majority of people are qualified to do is judge whether or not they like something. They are not qualified to judge technical merit. Nor can they adequately compare one fiction to another and rate them.
I think I need some clarification on what you mean by this. I'm pretty sure the vast majority of us are qualified to judge technical merit. Anyone that has graduated from high school has been exposed to the greater majority of grammar and punctuation rules that are commonly used.

Grammar are punctuation are a tiny little fraction of what makes writing good or bad. In fact almost all good writing violates grammar rules basically constantly. I don't disagree with him there.
I'm going to have to disagree with that. Saying "almost all" is grossly overstating it. You can say plenty of good writing violates grammar rules and I'll agree. People don't generally complain about grammar rules being violated that don't effect the flow of the story in a negative way though. We also weren't discussing good or bad writing per se. The op said "technical merit" which to me, means the technical aspects of the writing like grammar and punctuation. I felt it was a little too vague which is why I wanted the op to provide some clarification.

Oh I gotcha, when I hear technical merit I'm not thinking grammar and punctuation. Those are basically prereqs. I'm thinking good flow, sentence length variation, solid pacing with structure, etc. I would still say that almost all writing violates a couple rules because breaking a lot of rules about commas or writing sentences with no subjects can make flow better.

Re: Love RR, but I hate star ratings and reviews and downvoting

#16

Timothy Wrote: The only thing the vast majority of people are qualified to do is judge whether or not they like something. They are not qualified to judge technical merit. Nor can they adequately compare one fiction to another and rate them.
The average person doesn't know how to make a film, and yet there's thousands of people who can tell you what they love and hate and why they exactly feel that way.

Remember that you are on a site made up of thousands of experienced readers AND authors. Readers and authors who spent years honing their craft to post it here and probably know damn well how to pick your work apart.

You aren't better than anyone here. You cannot decide who is, and is not capable of reviewing or making technical criticism of your work.
Timothy Wrote: There's a place for social proof, but star ratings, reviews, and the ability to downvote are consistently abused or misused. People should not have so much power over authors. And the system promotes competition and negativity.
Any number based system would lead to competition and petty squabbles. That's how numbers work. That's how competition works. Everyone wants to be the best, no matter what. That's what artists all strive to do.


For some reason, people always feel the need to write another nonesense thread to complain about the Royal Road star system cuz they got a 0.5 star review.

Welcome to sharing your work. Anywhere.

Even professional works are subject to this. Roger Ebert once gave the film "The Hitcher" a negative review because he'd erroneously misinterpreted the film to be about homosexuality. Armand White made his career off of giving classic films negative reviews to ruin their Rotten Tomatoes scores.

Professional works also have to deal with the same rating system. What do you think an RT score is? Or a Goodreads score? Or an Amazon review score is?

Re: Love RR, but I hate star ratings and reviews and downvoting

#17

spellbastard Wrote:
Ralen Wrote:
Timothy Wrote: The only thing the vast majority of people are qualified to do is judge whether or not they like something. They are not qualified to judge technical merit. Nor can they adequately compare one fiction to another and rate them.
I think I need some clarification on what you mean by this. I'm pretty sure the vast majority of us are qualified to judge technical merit. Anyone that has graduated from high school has been exposed to the greater majority of grammar and punctuation rules that are commonly used.

Grammar are punctuation are a tiny little fraction of what makes writing good or bad. In fact almost all good writing violates grammar rules basically constantly. I don't disagree with him there.
The difference between bad writing and good writing is that good writers know the grammar rules and knowingly violate them for emphasis, better sentence flow, or to better replicate real-world speech. Bad writers don't know the grammar rules and unknowingly violate rules in ways that ruin the immersion and make it harder to read.


It's similar to other creative things like art and music. Once you know the rules, you can bend or break them for better results. 

Re: Love RR, but I hate star ratings and reviews and downvoting

#18
I’m here to get genuine feedback on my work from readers. I’m here to improve as a writer and get myself to the point where I am creating and publishing works that are good enough to stand up and stand out in a flooded market.
Outside of RR, publishing is heavily affected by reader reviews, ratings, and opinions. 

So I like ratings and reviews and I hope the system never changes. 


If you don’t think reader’s opinions are relevant to your writing, why are you sharing your stories with readers at all? 

What you were expecting out of this experience? 

Like, I get wanting to prevent deliberate sabotage. But that only seems to happen to wildly popular books, for the most part, so it’s not like it’s a phenomenon that keeps good books from getting discovered and appreciated.