|I do sense a bias towards high ratings here. Sites like
speak to this bias and the frustration of some writers at receiving useful critiques. What can I do with a 4.5 accompanied by "interesting" ot "good"!
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#624117 by Not Available.
I've been an active member of this site for almost two months and it took me over a month to become confident enough to rate what I read any lower than 3.5. Before that, I was either ratings at least 4 or not rating at all. When I started posting items of my own, I noticed that constructive negative feedback or even just negative feedback was more helpful to me than high ratings, so I began to rate more honestly. I have received more than a few e-mails thanking me and also e-mails that are defensive and even angry, but then one of the advantages of on-line communication is the freedom to ignore.
Here are some things I would have liked to see covered in your piece:
- The importance of a review or a comment to accompany a rating. A comment only takes a moment or two but can be very helpful to a writer.
– Don't rate items that you haven't read to the end or include a comment explaining why you stopped reading. As a writer, I would benefit from reviews or comments that explain why a reader lost interest in my work.
- You advise giving positive as well as negative feedback. In most case, if you've read the entire item, you have some interest which translates into a positive comment, BUT I don't agree that straining oneself to include positive feedback to balance the negative is warranted or even useful.
– In response to "I'd feel disliked if I gave negative feedback", I would like to have seen a reminder about the anonymity option.
- I disagree with your point about "If you can't rate honestly, don't rate at all." As a member of this community, reviewing is an obligation. If you want to receive, you give as well. Isn't that what being part of a community?
-Regarding whether a person wants an honest rating: I do not find that simply making an item ratable indicts a desire for honest ratings. (Anything I read will get one from me anyway}
-I would also have liked to see this point stressed: The reactions you will get outside of writing.com from publishers and agents will most definitely NOT be overwhelmingly positive. Wouldn't you rather hear it here in a supportive atmosphere?
-Regarding the rating system: I don't agree with your comment and think that changes or clarifications in the current rating system would be helpful. Unexplained scales are very subjective and easily misinterpreted. I thought your descriptions in "comments in a box" were extremely useful and that the site would benefit from descriptions that indicate what the ratings are intended to mean at the point that ratings are given. You may not want to include this so as to keep the box small. A link to "explanations of ratings" could be used to avoid this.
- Who is giving the ratings: If there are no comments, a writer has no idea who gave the ratings. An option to " contact me for additional information" or "I do not wish to be contacted” would be useful at least to me.
Thank you for adressing important issue. I am trained in psychometrics. For what it's worth, what we do with positive bias in questionnaires is add rating options as the poise end of the scale which in this instance would translate into: 4.0 , 4.25, 4.5, 4.75 and 5. I realize that you may not want to di this. If my training can be of any use to you please feel free to use me. I'd love to see the distribution of rating responses.
I would like to thank you for this wonderful site. It is truly a godsend!