Advantages Lots of Es could lead to a prize
Disadvantages Taking Es is clearly not good for you
I’m sure most people will know by now that I have been on Ciao before. Some things never change and ratings still seem to be a hot topic or so it seems when I read another “about me” berating other members’ rating strategies for stuff like being too generous re long opinions, reciprocal ratings or revenge ratings and all of those kinda shenanigans. I guess it’s that pecking order or perceived pecking order of membership that inevitably develops over time and, of course, it appears more pronounced when you’ve been out of the loop as long as I have. The question I do ask myself (and this hasn’t changed that much over the last decade or so) is what gives people the right to question other people’s rating/commenting approach?
Exceptional: +9 (former: +6)
Very Helpful: +6 (no change)
Helpful: +3 (no change)
Somewhat Helpful: -3 (-6)
Not Helpful: -6 (-9)
Off Topic: -9 (-12)
Well, I’m still slightly uncomfortable with the power of “E”. There are now 6 ratings rather than 5 and E appears to be a way of members “nominating” other reviews, presumably as a way of putting them forward to be considered for a diamond or to win a competition. Ciao justifies this as rating as one giving readers outstanding advice when considering a buying decision. Within this definition, I still don’t see much difference between “Very Helpful” and "Outstanding" or am I simply being pedantic?Then there’s the etiquette that seems to go with an E rating. It’s inevitable that experienced, long standing members will almost expect a high percentage of E ratings and that probably comes with experience and the establishment of a fan base/circle of friends/reputation as a writer. So when you get an E rating, should you drop into the rater’s guest book and thank them for it? If so, why wouldn’t you do that for a VH? If you do leave a thank you, will that be construed as a subtle hint that further E ratings for that writer are expected in the future?
Here’s where I get uncomfortable again. If the review is good enough then it should find its rightful overall rating so do the wheels really need greasing by dropping in and saying thank you? I’ve yet to do this myself as it just doesn’t feel right and yet I’m as pleased as anyone else when I get an E. So to anyone that has given me an E rating then hopefully you are reassured that I’m not being rude. Just…kinda demure.I guess my other observation around this is the fact that guest books used to be pretty active with members picking up on interesting comments left about the review rather than, what seems to be the norm now, dropping into a member's guest book and there’s a rather dull string of “Thank you for my E rating. Doris xxxx” You do realise how redundant this makes navel gazing with the exception of a small number of writers who continue to have reasonably active guest books? Bless you, interesting people.
...And what *is* the coloured dot restriction on E ratings all about?...Recent changes can be summarised as:
White dot allowed 1 exceptional rating in a day, green dot 3, blue 5, violet 6, red 7, orange 8, bronze 9, silver 10, gold 11, black 12.Clearly tipping power heavily in favour of established members who get to distribute the pixie dust a lot more than a scummy white dot, I simply don’t get this one at all. Why wouldn’t everyone have an equal number of E ratings to distribute, given that I’m not completely sure of the point of an E rating anyway?
So in the interests of research, I looked at the last diamond list and calculated the percentage of E ratings for 10 of the winners. Clearly, I have nothing better to do today........amazingly, there is a heavy correlation between E ratings and diamond winning reviews. The overall percentage across the 10 was 71% of exceptional ratings so it does appear that Ciao is presently acknowledging peer review when, historically, the relationship between ratings, quality and rewards hasn’t been anywhere near so clear. Hmmmm.....so maybe I should start being overt in my thank you policy after all.
The site also carries some good guidelines about commenting @ http://www.ciao.co.uk/faq.php/Id/4/Idx/2.Examples of suggested “must-dos” include:
The lists above aren’t exhaustive so if you want chapter and verse then, by all means, use the links above. Not withstanding, the issues around comments seem far less contentious than those relating to rating. My own view is that I’ll choose to comment when I’ve got something reasonably relevant to say although some loose, bon homie is not altogether unwelcome and a bit of banter in comments never hurt anyone (apart from the red dot member who was hospitalised after reading a particularly poor gag about a Scottish beer recently). Short, sharp “great review” or “lovely review” etc seem to annoy some members but if it’s genuinely meant and the review's been read then maybe it’s not all that bad.
Would be great to get some thoughts and if you are reading this as a relative newcomer to the site then I hope you find it useful in some way.Brummie699
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