Story Rating Feature

I’ve just added a new story rating feature.

Here’s a screenshot, you’ll see that in the standard story-view:

There are a few things I’d like to explain:

  • This feature is meant for the authors to get an idea how popular their stories are.
  • To make sure that the votes are not manipulated, even anonymous votes are counted on an IP basis (you can only give one voting per IP address).
  • It’s not meant as a tool to compare stories and sort out better or worse stories
  • That’s why the rating statistics are not displayed to any user. The statistics view above are only visible for the author and the admins.
  • If noone objects, I might use the data to award special awards like “the story of the month”, but that’s it.

Please don’t just give 0 or 5 stars, if you want to help the authors, try to give meaningful ratings using the whole scale.

Rating categories:

  • Writing: How well the story is written, writing style, language etc.
  • Idea: How good you like the idea, how innovative it is, if there’s a nice twist etc.
  • Hot: How much the story turned you on
  • Mind control: How well the mind control aspect of the story hit your fantasies
  • Made you cum: How close this story brought you to getting off

For the authors, a short explanation of the statistics:

  • The values are listed separately for votes by users with accounts (“Known”), for users who’re not logged on (“Anonymous”) and for all votes.
  • The first value ("#") represents the number of votes.
  • The second value (“∅”) is the arithmetic average of the votes
  • The third value (“x̄”) is the median

Of course, authors cannot vote for their own stories. The star display just shows the current overall average for authors.

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These are cool features (ratings, color coded tags, etc.) But they are a bit cryptic unless you specifically go to the news section. It would be good to at least include a link to the relevant announcement, so we know (for example) why we can’t see the ratings that we submitted, etc.

Where would you like to see that link? That’s why I put up the newsflash with the link to the forum postings explaining the stuff.

I should also add a “Help” link to the “More” menu, but I doubt that it would be used much … :slight_smile:

BTW, you should be able to see the ratings you’ve submitted, i.e. if you change a rating and refresh the page, your rating should be shown. And you can change them, if you want.

If that doesn’t work, it would be a bug!

So if I’m understanding this, the ratings aren’t going to be used to curate the site in any way? I appreciate not wanting to turn this place into a competition between different styles and ideas, but as the archive continues to grow, I’d like the be able to sort stories based on writing quality at least. There’s so many good stories from years ago that won’t stick out among some of the other average or worse stories. For every truly special work on here, there’s plenty that are high school writing at best with no paragraphs or punctuation, flooded with poor grammar and spelling errors. It saves a lot of time to be able to filter poorly written stories out and raises the literary expectations of the site overall.

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I, personally, love this addition! Martin, you’re really knocking it out of the park. Thank you SO much for all of your hard work :slight_smile:

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@bak2jak2:

Well, I agree that ratings are a great tool to find good stories, but I remember all too well how it worked (or didn’t work) on the original NCMC. Maybe I’ll show the rating a couple of months after they have been published. Or, what I would prefer, is to make a short list of the best stories for each category for a the previous month or something like that.

@EdIam: Thank you very much for your kind words :blush:

Holy smokes. I’ve been wanting something like this for a long time. This is fantastic!

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A problem with having user-generated “grading” system is that it will be always be subjective, making the judgements suspect, inconsistent and generally not useful. Remember that story that started out well but then had a character gratuitously killing a dog? Plenty of people disliked that part of the story. Personally I tried reading that story about 3 times but that incident was so upsetting to me I couldn’t get past it. It was written well, but the episode upset so many people I would think people wouldn’t grade fairly (at least they gave the author feedback, tho it sounded like he didn’t see anything wrong with killing an innocent dog).

Rather than a “grading” system of 1-5 stars, I’d prefer some non-numeric system where one could select parameters to praise such as plot, style, etc, and similarly could solicit constructive criticisms.

Nevertheless, I commend Martin for the amazing work he’s put into the site.

Going by nycboot’s feedback, I think I can see the benefits for the suggestion.

hings like “Done poorly” and “just not my interest” and “not my interest but hot” to “my interest and really hot” finishing with “Flawless and scorching!”

Given authors feedback and reassurance that an interest didn’t rate well not because it was “bad” but not shared by the majority. Depending on writer’s motivation this can lead to adjusting content in future stories, or feeling safe in ignoring that feedback and writing for the readership that share that interest.

The icon and star-based system as proposed is also very cool. It gives some feedback for authors and the categories are easy to “decipher” by their icons, though a text tooltip somewhere wouldn’t hurt.

And it would be quick and easy and may elicit more feedback in general.

Does one need to vote for every category before being able to submit a vote?
Can votes be edited (only if logged in or if not logged in but same IP)?
Kudos, Martin.

I understand nycboot’s issues and that’s one of the reasons I want the ratings to be visible to the author only. He can make his conclusions out of the numbers (and the text critiques) as he sees fit.

I thought about how I’d present the results to the normal user. I want to create a new feature that lists the top 5 series (i.e. the series which contain at least one of the top 5 stories) of the last month. This list would be made available on the 15th of the following month (to give the stories some time to get rated). You’d get to switch between the rating categories (so there’s be a separate top 5 list for each category).

UI wise this will be on the top page in an unobtrusive way on the main page (i.e. there’d be a widget that opens only if the contents change - once a month - and stays minimized once the user has clicked a button). I will also integrate the 'Story from the archives feature with that.

@kilelana1:
Exactly my point. A low rating doesn’t mean that the story is bad or that it doesn’t have its readers who appreciate it. It might just mean that it’s too specific or non-mainstream…

The icons DO have a tooltip! If you hover the mouse over an icon, a text should be displayed. Is that not working for you?

And each rating is submitted and saved separately as soon as you click a rating bar. You can always check the ratings the system has acknowledged by refreshing the page. It then show the rating stars as it has stored you ratings.

@all
Yesterday I had some trouble with the rating saving system and had to make several hot fixes… I hope it’s working fine now, but please check your ratings yourself. If you keep seeing problems with your ratings not being saved, please let me know!

I’m very happy with how the rating system is at this point. I think there are enough rating categories that the author can get a good sense of what the reader thought about their story. For instance, you might not share the same specific fetishes as the author, but you might appreciate the writing nonetheless. In that case, you would simply give a low grade for ‘hot’ and a high one ‘writing’, and perhaps ‘idea’ too. I think that conveys a pretty clear message about what the reader thought of the story in a way that is easily digestible and anonymous.

There is still the comments section if the person wants to give more specific feedback, although I realize that is not private. Martin, do you think there is a way to create an option the person can check to make their comment visible to the author only? I imagine that might be rather a lot of work, but could resolve the issue.

Either way, let’s not make perfect the enemy of the good here. The new system is a great addition! :grinning:

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Good point Swiz: it would be nice to be able to send a private message to an author - particularly in the case of authors who prefer not to provide their email address (cubwriter28 is an example).

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This is the third time a private comment feature has been requested… so yes, consider that to be on my list of things to add…

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On mobile it is REALLY easy to accidentally rate a story as your scrolling with your finger. Was trying to scroll down to the comments of a story and accidentally gave crazy ratings like 1 star 5 star 1 star etc. Didnt realize what i had done till later.

Hm. Other than to make it quite complicated to give a rating; I don’t know any good way to avoid this.

In any case, there’s a fast link to directly navigate down to the comments. And the ratings can be fixed easily.

I understand that this is not optimal, if you have a good idea how to improve that, I’d be happy to listen!

Was just giving feedback. It was easy enough to remedy. Will let you know if i come up with anything.

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Feedback is always appreciated!

Why not just put a button that when pressed, would make the ratings visible, another way is to add a clear ratings without marking them 0 just make them null like if you never had given the rating, or you could add both of them which would be even better.

Also, thanks for all the work you put into the site.

Well, I want to make it as easy as possible to rate. I know how many people are reading the stories (it’s more than 5000 different people visiting the site each day) and compared to that, the number of ratings (or comments) is minuscule. Maybe 20 at most for each story.

I want to encourage readers to rate, not put more obstructions in the way. Even if that means that we get an accidental mis-rating.

5000 daily??! Is that counting bots? I had no idea the community was so large…:flushed: