Oct 032013


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:

  1. Real Life Has the Best Loot of All: My Gamer Girl

  2. We Need To Save PvP

  3. The Best Anniversary Present Ever

  4. Top Ten Load Screen Tips

  5. DragonDex Part One: Black Dragons

  6. Guild Renown Changes: Booting the Boot

  7. More Hit Points than Anything

  8. Coming Soon: Epic Black, Blue and White Dragonscale Armors

  9. Universal Currency. Please? Pretty Please? &Β  Universal Currency: Suggested Exchange Rates

  10. Neverwinter Annoys Me

  11. Wheel Puzzle or Rorschach Test?

  12. Walking Like Thunder: a True Story

  13. Sometimes

  14. Real Life

  15. A Monster in Real Life. Seriously, a Monster.

  16. Tolero Clues Us In On Update 17 – For A Good Cause

  17. Congratulations to My Friend Chris: 200 Shrouds on Pugtastic the Barbarian

  18. There Are More Embarrassing Things. But Not Many.

  19. An Exercise in Stacking

  20. A First Look at Update 16: Cows Are Now Oxen

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.

Go figure.

I will be looking for a replacement ratings system, but for now, we are ratingless. Flying without a net. Going commando.

How appropriate.

πŸ™‚ πŸ˜€ πŸ™‚

  7 Responses to “Reading With Confidence”

Comments (7)
  1. To be honest, although it’s nice when someone likes my blogs, I just write them for the fun of it. I’m not bothered if I don’t get any likes πŸ™‚

    Does that make me a bad blogger….?

  2. I still looked for the ratings box at the end of this post. Doh!

  3. I arbitrarily click those things, reminds me of Facebook, where people “like” those posts about losing your car keys (and worse). Do people really like it when I lose my keys, or do they want me to lose them more often… ?

    • Not quite ratings for the article itself, but I just had a thought whether one could narcissistically up vote (Rate Up it seems to call it) their own comments. Yes. But that could also be because I never learned how to log back into this site.

  4. Bonnie, I did the same thing. LOL

    I read the comments on my blog, but don’t really look at the ratings and stats and all that. I used to obsess over all that back when I had a blog about Second Life, but what you said about unpopular topics, etc., is so true – you can write an awesome post and get slammed, or dash off something silly and get a bunch of high ratings.

  5. To be honest, the only thing I find the ratings feature good for is knowing if anyone’s reading my blogs.

What do you think?

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