Advantages Good rating helps consumers to decide which opinions are worth reading.
Disadvantages Bad rating can cause problems on the site.
Cheats annoy us all and there have been some memorable spats in the course of their unmasking, but the cause of most arguments and ill-feeling on the site does seem to be the rating of opinions. I’m not going to try and tell people how they should rate and nor would I wish to, but what I would like to do is persuade everyone to think about why we rate opinions, the guidelines which Ciao provide for us and the effects of our actions on other members.Unless otherwise indicated all my quotations are from the Ciao Help section.
The primary reason that we rate opinions (and the reason that Ciao ask us to do so) is for the benefit of the site. We’re content checkers. The ratings which we give “make it easier to decide which opinions are worth reading”. Opinions with better ratings rise to the top of the pile and ones with lower ratings drop to the bottom. The overall rating though is not a simple average of all the ratings received.So far as Ciao are concerned we are each given a score, calculated on the basis of the way that we use the site and are viewed by the membership. A rating from a member who rates “broadly and impartially” and who has a “high quality Circle of Trust” will affect the overall rating more than a rating from someone who joined this morning, apparently with the sole purpose of rating your masterpiece UH. So, the consumer in search of knowledge and enlightenment is still going to find it in your opinion despite the fact that it’s got a couple of rogue rates attached to the string of Very Helpfuls.
Bear in mind too that Ciao’s interest here is in ordering the opinions for the benefit of the consumer, the vast majority of whom will be non-members. Look at the profiles of the longer-standing members and you’ll find that there are many thousands of non-member reads and it’s these unique page impressions which help Ciao to attract the advertising which will form a substantial part of its income.The other way in which our ratings benefit the site is that we’re the quality control checkers. Not all opinions are read by Ciao. Just reading the opinions would be a full-time job for one person and it’s an expense that a fledgling dot.com can’t justify, particularly when there are hundreds of people prepared to do it for free. If I find an opinion which shouldn’t be on the site, perhaps because it’s offensive in some way, I send a link to email@example.com and suggest that they might like to remove it. Experience has taught me that this is personally more prudent than rating it as it’s less likely to attract a revenge rate. At the other end of the scale we nominate opinions for the Premium Fund – or we should be doing, because that’s the way to ensure that the Fund is fairly spread amongst the members who’ve earned it.
The secondary reason why we rate opinions is to provide feedback to the writer to help them to improve or to tell them that they’re on the right lines.It’s worth pointing out at this stage that the guidelines don’t suggest that rating is an excellent method of seeking revenge, working off a grudge or drawing attention to yourself.
Attention, this is the first review from this author
Instead of giving a negative rating, consider:
Help this member by giving your advice
Report fraud (for example plagiarism) or other issue with the review to the Ciao support team
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