Ever since I left myDDO and moved to this site, I’ve used a ratings widget that allows readers to select one-to-five stars to express their pleasure in reading each article (or lack thereof).
Over the last year, the wordpress widget I use to provide this rating capability has been slowly changing into something that is more insidiously annoying, a little at a time, inexorably degrading every update. First there was an “info” box that once clicked, showed giant, amateurishly-drawn graphs. Then it changed from graphs to “recommended” pages elsewhere on my site. Then it changed to include “recommended” pages that were not on my site: Ads. But at least you had to click the “Info” box near the ratings star. Then it was no longer a click function, but a mouseover, automatically popping up wheneter your mouse strayed near the “info” box. Then it was no longer just the info box, but anywhere near the ratings area.
And last week, the final straw, the stars ratings area started showing up in more and more places on my site including the front page.
Annoyance is bad enough but this latest version of the ratings feature has the capability to do actual harm. It has to go. I won’t have someone getting malware just for visiting my site.
But ratings serve a valuable function, and sadly, dumping the ratings widget also means losing the ratings data. Everything is back to square one, un-rated, virginal in like-versus-dislike.
So before I dumped the widget, I compiled a list of the twenty highest-rated posts, in descending rating order:
I don’t believe that “highest-rated” is the same as “best”. I am not even sure it is the same as “most liked”. Sometimes something that I think is a great post gets no ratings at all. Often, lots of ratings just means I am talking about something people like and have nothing to do with the quality of the writing or content. The reverse is true too – sometimes I get negatives for well-written, heavily-researched posts about unpopular topics.
There are other factors at work too, things that I can recognize but not understand. For instance, the last two weeks seem to have been “extra ratey”, as somehow two posts from the last few days made the top list. A mathematically unlikely occurrence, and I have no idea why. Overall views in the last two weeks were actually down, but ratings were up.
I will be looking for a replacement ratings system, but for now, we are ratingless. Flying without a net. Going commando.
🙂 😀 🙂