NEWS: From Ratings to Likes

As you may have noticed, today I started switching 50WS over from a star-based ratings system to a “Likes” system. There are multiple reasons I’ve decided to make this change, and I’ll try to put together a post explaining my thought process soon.

For now, the ratings still exist and the “Popular Stories” box in the sidebar still shows the highest rated stories since we started using the current rating system. Over the next days or weeks I will completely phase out the ratings and replace them with the new Likes setup, including replacing the “Popular Stories” sidebar to reflect the stories with the most likes.

I’m definitely interested in your feedback on this change, so let me know how you feel about the switch. I will try to get my thoughts together soon for the sake of more clarity.

Edit: You can read more of my thoughts and reasoning here.

8 thoughts on “NEWS: From Ratings to Likes

  1. Whether rating or like, any ranking of popularity is going to be subjective, fickle, and imperfect. And “most popular” rarely equates with “best” — otherwise McDonald’s hamburgers would be considered the best cuisine available. It certainly gets the most “votes” in terms of sales.

    I have no problem with whatever system you use, Tim. But I confess I’ve also saved a screen shot to capture the brief window of time my story was ‘at the top’. ;)

    1. You’re right about popular not necessarily meaning best. That’s why I distinguish the popularity widget from the top stories feature. With Likes, it’s actually a better measurement of popularity, though a worse measure of quality.

  2. Interesting move. In which way is it better than the star rating?
    Is it necessary to have ‘popular stories’? ‘Top stories’ suffice.

    1. “Top Stories” are chosen by Tim, who sometimes seems to act like he owns the place.

      “Popular Stories” are a product of the voice of the people — a small beacon of unfettered democracy amid the tyrannical selections of the “Top Stories.”

  3. Chris Fries ditto. As tongue in cheek as his comments may be they still ring true. There’s no one size that’s going to fit all or be beyond the possibility of being abused by someone. Let’s see if it stops people voting multiple times from the one computer. I came across a website that will let you buy ‘likes’ so we can only wait and see how it pans out.

    Personally, I would be more interested in a program that lets you know how many times a story is read from the same or different IP addresses. I could see this as having more value data-wise and it could perhaps give a truer picture of how well a story fares. It wouldn’t stop people using multiple computers (etc) though.

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