Star Rating System (Optional)

Some of you just leaned forward in your computer chairs, either intrigued by this idea or disgusted by it. I know what the latter of you are thinking, “Stars?… those aren’t very Digg-like”. Well, who says we have to do everything like Digg? In fact Pligg isn’t supposed to be a copy of Digg, we’re an improvement. Digg’s system of voting is based on a “vote or no vote�? method. This works for Digg, but any other site that uses this method not only makes their voting system less accurate to user opinion, but they also confuse casual browsers.

I think the reason that most users are turned off by the idea of using a star rating system is because it’s been done over and over again on the web. Digg’s “vote or no vote�? method is something new to the web, making it fresh and hip. But using this method really handicaps your site on two levels. The first level is the usability of voting for new users. Digg’s one vote method is so fresh and singular to Digg.com (excluding clone projects) that it really doesn’t catch on right away for new users who have never visited the site before. People aren’t used to this voting method because it hasn’t been introduced to us before. There’s a good reason that this hasn’t been introduced before, because it isn’t very accurate.

Imagine you’re reading an article in the newspaper that lists ratings for the last 10 movies. The critic can only express his opinion of the movie using a quick and effective voting method to get the point across. Think of how handicapped his ability to express how good or bad a movie is if he has a voting system with two options, “see it”? or “don’t see it”?. How is the reader supposed to interpret this data from such a method? You don’t see this method used in the real world for rating movies; instead you see either a number rating from 0-5, 0-10, 0-100, or some other variation. Critics have also come up with rating movies with either a thumbs up or thumbs down, similar to the see it or don’t see it method. However, movie critics always pair their thumb reviews with a second opinion and a full paragraph review. This in a way gives us a rating system equal to a 0-2 rating system. I for one hate the thumb rating method and I feel like it wasn’t created to give accurate representations. I believe the thumbs method was created to get the reader intrigued enough about an article that they feel like they need to read the full paragraph of text to get an accurate representation of the rating.

My personal opinion is that switching Pligg from a “one vote or no vote”? system to a five star rating system will make voting more accurate and more comfortable for new users. We will of course still offer the option to use the older one vote method in future releases of Pligg, but for now it is my intention to make star rating default.

11 thoughts on “Star Rating System (Optional)

  1. I’m glad this optional. To me this gives people too much choice. I know that sounds weird, but given too many options people choose to do nothing. Having people do something is more important than giving them a ton options… in this case voting options.

  2. I agree with the above poster, im glad it’s an optional feature. People are much less likely to vote for something they like if they have to think about exactly how many stars they want to give it, as opposed to just giving it a thumbs up. But I can think of some pligg site ideas where the star rating system would be useful, so thanks for adding it as an option.

  3. Same opinion as above, I’m not really intending to use it and rather like to keep the digg-a-like voting. Luckily the star rating system is only an option.

  4. i dont think that star voting is a better option than one click “i like this one”.

    you don’t rate some 120 minute movie, you just rate what you read in past 10 seconds. btw, you’re not rating anything, it’s just a reminder for you to keep an eye on what you found as interesting. because you can access your votings from your control-panel-sorta-kinda thing.

  5. I have to disagree with everyone above.

    I can tell you that a lot of people would like and support this. I personally know a lot of my friends have been talking about this and wanting such functionality, considering digg-clone sites all look the same (not that there’s anything wrong with that), but it’d be nice to use a more familiar rating system.

    It is true that not everyone will like it, but a lot will.

    And to answer those who may not like it, I suggest to just keep them both and let the admin/site-owner select which one he/she likes.

    For what it’s worth, it’s a mighty good differentiator. And a worthwhile feature.

  6. I personally do not like the digg type ratings and prefer traditional ratings. Traditional ratings seem to mean something where it just looks like these thumbs up ratings are just showing how many people just clicked in and spent the effort to say they went to the story.

  7. Star-type rating works for me, I like it a lot. Amazon uses it, so does a whole lotta other sites, and they’re doing fine by those.

    Personally, I like the option of not just a binary yes-no (or yes-or-nothing) but the ability to show more of how much you liked a post, and a star-rating system does it perfectly.

  8. I always thought the system should allow negative votes. This way a story could rise and fall. A five-star rating system accomplishes this — allowing things to rise and fall. One of the things I will probably change oinb my sistes as well, is to include the latest additions on the first page — and put the top ranked separate. We are really presentign news sites and news tends to happen in chronogical order. It shouldn’t be the case that the most sensational opening of a story has a higher rating than less sensational conclusion.

  9. I prefer the thumbs up, thumbs down approach, as I think it is a more accurate way of reporting/voting. Either you like it or you don’t. Simple. Plus I’m not worried about ‘cloning’ digg, as digg works, and people are becoming familiar with it. It’s new, and that is something people want, something new.

  10. RATING STEP 1: + / – (DIGG METHOD)
    USER CHOOSES TO KEEP THEIR VOTE SIMPLE

    - After rating with digg’s simple thumbs up or down, Pligg will adjust for step 2 automatically:

    + = 4
    - = 2

    RATING STEP 2: 1-5 (5 STAR METHOD)
    USER DESIRES MORE INSIGHT TO THEIR VOTE

    - After 5 star method is selected, pligg moves to next phase:

    1 = 200
    2 = 400
    3 = 600
    4 = 800
    5 = 1000

    RATING STEP 3: 1000 POINT SYSTEM
    USER DESIRES MORE ACCURACY TO THEIR VOTE

    - This is where one may tweak a vote to 725 or 950

    - Most won’t reach this level of adjustment, but it’s good to have.

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