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NB: Before I begin, I will say that whoever first compiled this questionnaire was the one who placed it in the "Everything That Starts With E" category.
Yet again whilst browsing through everyone's reviews, I come across another whereby all I need do is fill in the answers, and I have swiped this particular one from Jonathanb. I'm intrigued as to why I can never find them all by myself in Ciao's Cafe, despite laborious and thorough hunting.
As is always the case where we have to choose from A, B or C for an answer, it invariably is the case that none of them match my own feelings/experience and sometimes the closest of the choices available is still a million miles away from being suitable for me. Still, I won't let that put me off - so, let's see what the following has to offer....I'm typing it completely adlib and have no idea of what I'm going to say until I get to each individual question.
1. Someone in your COT has written the best review they have ever written. You can see that they have made an exceptional effort. Do you.
A: Give it an exceptional to show them you can see how hard they worked ? B: Give them a rating based on content and layout C: Give them the same rating as everyone else did . After all the majority rules.
Answer: B. To me, effort doesn't necessarily signify brilliance even if it is that person's best review....nor will I up-rate a person's reviews just because they're my mate! If you can't be honest to and towards and about your friends, who can you be honest to and about? If it's the best review they've ever written, it still might not qualify for E status as it for me would still have to reach a particular standard which I hold inside of my head that qualifies somebody - regardless of whether I know and/or like them or not - an E rating.
2. You read a review which you see has loads of exceptional ratings and you really cannot see why because itís not that special. Do you
A: Give it an exceptional. Why not ? Everyone else did. B: Rate it what you think it deserves regardless of popular thought. C. Donít rate it at all because you donít want to cause controversy ?
Answer: B. I do find that a lot of extremely long reviews on Ciao receive masses of E rates - possibly because of the sheer length of them which invokes the feeling that just because something's long enough to put War & Peace to shame, it must therefore be brilliant and everyone then clicks the E button. However, on the opposite side of the coin, I also see some very short reviews which I believe succinctly include everything anyone could possibly want to know about a product, yet they receive mostly 'helpfuls'.....adding fuel to the concept that for a lot of readers/raters, size does matter. Size isn't an issue for me though and if I feel something is worthy of an E, then I'll rate it as such, regardless of how anybody else has rated it. I'm not a crowd follower, as what's the point in giving an opinion via the rating button, which is merely the collective opinion of all the other raters?
3. When you rate exceptional what do you think it achieves ?
A: Gives the writer more points ? B. Gives the writer a chance of sharing the Premium Fund (i.e. money put by to reward the best reviews of the month ? C. Makes the writer a happy little bunny ?
Answer: For me, the answer to this question is equally a bit of A, a bit of B and a bit of C, as I believe an E rating probably does all of the above things for the recipient. It would be very nice to think that C as an answer would be the driving force behind the psychology of anyone who receives E ratings, but overall I'll go for B as I would like to see the author of a superbly exceptional review that I've rated as such, be fairly recognised for their work from Ciao's rewards bucket.
4. How many exceptional ratings are you allowed a day ?
A. Three B. Five C. Ten
Answer: None of the above, as since this quiz was compiled, Ciao have changed the daily quota of E ratings we are allowed to give per day, in accordance with our dot colour. At the moment I'm an orange dot and have 9082 points to collect before I go bronze, so I'm currently allowed to hand out 8 E ratings per day. Oddly enough, since my allowance went up from 5 to 8, I'm finding that I'm rating less reviews as E.
5. You read a review written about something really personal like rape or child abuse or something you did not expect to find on Ciao, and you think that the person who wrote it must be exceptionally brave to do so. The English is not that clever, but you still think that the review stands out from the crowd. Do you
A: Rate it exceptional and tell her how brave she/he is. B. Rate it Very helpful and tell her how brave she/he is. C. Tell her that itís a brave attempt but lets face it, her grammar is appalling and it needs to be spell checked.
Answer: I honestly wouldn't do any of those. I wouldn't give it an E just because of the sensitive topic or the bravery of the person in coming out with their experiences on a public website, but if the article was written with sincerity and passion, it would probably receive at least a VH from me. As for bad grammar/spelling, it's something I am very fussy about, and a poorly constructed review can be extremely difficult to comprehend. It's sad that I've read a small handful of reviews where the grammar/spelling has been so appalling, that I've not even been able to work out what the author was trying to say, but in the case of the type of review under discussion in this question, poor spelling/grammar may make me give it VH so long as it was comprehensible, whereas if more care had been taken with the technicalities, the writer could have been awarded an E. As for alerting the author to spelling and grammar discrepancies, the only time I'd mention it in the comments box or either of the public or private guestbooks, would be if it were bad enough to render the review unreadable.
6. What is your definition of exceptional ?
A: Something that makes the writer really popular ? B: Something that stands out on merits of its content, writing style, and completeness. C: Something that another member wrote that you could not.
Answer: B. For me it simply would have to contain everything I'd want to know were I to be hunting down information on the item being reviewed, and to be written in a pleasing style which makes for easy reading. This may sound churlish to some other members, but I am sometimes inclined to downrate if a review contains humour - let me explain....I don't mean that reviews should be humourless....what I mean is, there are different ways to go about making our writing amusing. Some people have the gift of being able to do that effectively, and some simply don't. If I can see that somebody has a natural flair for writing in a humourous fashion and it's a clever review whereby the humour doesn't overshadow the description and opinion of the product, then fine. If I can see that the author's intent of raising a few smiles was more important than the effective reviewing of a product, then I'm unlikely to rate it as E (lesson learned from DooYoo).
7. Your best friend on Ciao writes a review. Itís pretty good but not outstanding although you want to make a statement to encourage her. Do you
A: Rate it as exceptional and leave a really nice message because sheís a pal and will give you an exceptional back. B: Decide that your rating is how you find it, and rate according to the Ciao guidelines. C: Press very helpful because you canít be bothered to leave a comment
Answer: My answer has got to be B. This is similar to one of the questions above. I don't rate anything as exceptional just because a friend wrote it, even if it is fairly good. It has to be outstanding for me to award it an E. As for leaving comments, I might find that I'd be unable to leave one anyway, as doing so interferes with my work. I also think it's borderline mercenary to give someone an E rating simply because you hope your mate will reciprocate.
8. Have you ever read an outstanding piece of work but didnít have time to comment? I know I have. Do you ?
A: Press exceptional and leave a ďGood opĒ comment. B: Save it to favourites and go back when you do have time to give a really helpful comment ? D. Press very helpful. Itís easier.
Answer: B. I rarely do have time to comment, regardless of whether it's because I've rated a review as E, therefore commenting being a Ciao requirement, or whether I simply am burning to say something about the review. Although I have been guilty of leaving "brill review" type comments - I do try to be a little more elaborate, even if I am working. I will slowly type out what I believe to be a comment expressing why I feel someone's work is outstanding - probably getting it all wrong as I'll be splitting my attention between that and working. I did once try saving reviews to my favourites and going back to them at a later date for the purposes of commenting, but for some bizarre reason that doesn't work for me. If I click on any link to anything in Ciao, or if I save any page to my favourites then click into it later, I am never taken to the right place - always to my home page, and never to the reviews I need to revisit.
9. Someone rates your review Exceptional and you know it isnít. It wasnít one of your good days and it really does not stand out from the crowd. Do you ?
A: Say thanks a lot and give them one. (Add your own innuendo here Ė JB) B: write a message in their personal guestbook and say you are not sure you deserve the rating and think they must have made a mistake. C: laugh about it and take the exceptional. After all raters have bad days too. What does it matter if you got an exceptional instead of a really exceptional review.
Answer: Errrrmmmmm - I suppose B is the closest answer to what I'd do, but not spot on. As for "give them one" using JB's invitation for us to add our own innuendo....well that would depend on who it was, but as for "give them one" meaning an E in tit for tat mode, I don't do that. As for C above, well I can't believe anyone could be that obsessive about what ratings they have received? I have when thanking people for Es, sometimes indicated that I was surprised as I didn't feel it was one of my best reviews, then I've left it at that - if the 'giver' thought my review was E-worthy, then who am I to question their opinion, taste in reviews or their integrity?
10. The last question requires a little work on your part. Donít cheat please. I want you to think about your own reviews. Donít even look but think to yourself which is the review that YOU consider the best review you ever wrote. Each of us has a favourite of our own reviews. Okay, having established which was your best review, go into your home page on another browser, and press the Usefulness button at the top of the review page and see which review Ciao considers the most useful. These are based on ratings and if ratings are accurate, then the one you chose as your best one should come to the top. Does yours :
A: Show your most useful review to be a really naff one that you didnít put that much effort into ? B: Give you the result you expected ? C: Canít be bothered to look ?
Answer: I can't answer this question properly as although I do have a favourite review of mine, I'm unable to perform the above task because if I open my home page in a new browser, I'm damned if I can find a Usefulness button to press. I doubt if my own personal favourite review that I've produced would come anywhere near the top, as it was the very first review I published on Ciao (an oldie I pasted over from DooYoo) and it didn't get too many reads/rates because I was a newbie; but, it's overall rating stands at E, and it was read/rated by 11 people. The most reads I've had on any of my reviews has been for my ramblings on "Soundtrack Of Our Lives" topic from the Ciao Cafe, and the highest number of E ratings I've so far received on any of my reviews, was for my account of my ongoing illness, Pemphigus Vegetans. So, being as I can't find the Usefulness button the compiler of this questionnaire mentions, I'll take it that probably overall, my Pemphigus review has been the most successful for me - and, that outcome was different to what I'd expected. I'd have thought the review which I received most E ratings for would have been my piece on Depression, but that took third place (2nd place for Es was "Soundtrack Of Our Lives").
Hope you had fun doing this challenge because its all a part of being a Ciao member, participating, having fun, and being a part of a wonderful community.
For those who had all B answers, then you are a good rater. Mostly A : You need to rethink your rating !!! Mostly C: Maybe Epinions are looking for more writers.
Answer: Well, suppose I had mostly B answers to the above questions, but as said somewhere up there, most of them didn't offer an A, B or C option that came close enough to the way my Ciao mind works, and that would have been when I launched into ramble mode.
This is one of those pieces which is possible to give a star rating to, but I'll go for 3 stars - mostly because it made me think - the 2 stars are knocked off for not enough close A, B, C options for me to acccurately choose from.
Thanks to all who had a part in compiling this questionnaire, thanks to Jonathanb for letting me nick the template from him......and, thanks for reading!
I get into bother for down rating, you know what I don't care one iota for ego's.
MizzMolko 11.12.2010 16:49
A fun write up : ) Eleanor x
jesi 11.12.2010 00:47
I expect it was under 'Everything that starts with E' because it was all about 'E' ratings 'E' being for Exceptional! (The first time I saw this was by thingywhatsit . . . who, alas, is another member no longer with us on Ciao!)
. . . ♥ jesi ♥