Let's Make Robots!

Rating System

From the shoutbox...


Mr Clean: What's the point of the 5-star rating system? I really don't understand.
Mr Clean: We should be encouraging people, and it's really weird to see people's first attempts at a robot have 2/5 stars.
BaseOverApex: The point is to rate posts. If you can think of a way to encourage folk to use it, fire away!
Mr Clean: That's just ... not something you rate. I don't get it. :/
Mr Clean: It's just that I don't want to discourage newbies. Like with node/2661
Mr Clean: What's accomplished by giving that a low rating?
Mr Clean: Some people are more experienced builders than others, but we shouldn't point out that some robots are "better" than others.
Mr Clean: There's no reason to, and it's counter to what this site is about, I feel.
Mr Clean: Sorry ... I'll stop ranting. :P


Food for thought. Maybe rating tips, components and blogs is a good idea, but perhaps not robots?

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Some artsie bots get wicked high starts and a lot of comments whereas a brilliant bit of code gets nothing because it isn't flashy. I mean c'mon, my wife has little tiny boobs but she can drive a manual transmission, back a trailer and can use a cutting torch. How many stars there?
Is there a connection between breast size and ability to drive? Is it like the relationship between the size of a man's feet and the size of his John Thomas? Dude, my wife's French and she can drive a stick-shift! Now THERE's a comprehensible relationship. I have to bow down to the woman who can reverse a trailer.

Which part's the downside, again? Sounds like all positives to me :)

But no, she sounds awesome. Five stars. And your point is valid.


Perhaps the simplest solution to this problem would be the option "Disable/enable ratings for this creation" when creating a new robot, component, tutorial, etc.

I noticed when I first came to this site that everything seemed to have a high rating and after trying to encourage others I agree that for things like robots where we are trying to encourage others then the stars should be removed.

Even with tip/walkthroughs some may feel they're being judged. So far with the content I've created I look more at what is said rather than the rating.

I also look at how many comments as an indication of how much interest is paid but that isn't accurate either since many will look and be interested but just not comment. I often do this if what I'm thinking has already been expressed by someone else. At the same time with both my robots, comments have drifted off topic to be about something else entirely.

Ultimately I agree with Rik, words of encouragement and genuine interest are the best indicator. Use the stars for judging challenges.

Most people seem to not like the rating system, so I suppose there are two solutions.

First, we can remove the rating system on the types of nodes that shouldn't be subjected to ratings.  This would be something to talk to fritsl or other site founders about.

Second, we can just stop using the rating system when it seems inappropriate to do so.  However, it would be difficult to make everyone that uses this site aware of the fact that they should only rate when there is a purpose in doing so (as in the case of contest entries or the helpfulness of tutorials).

The main flaw I see with it is this: What are we rating?  One person might rate a node for how cool the robot is while another might rate the same node for the quality and helpfulness of its content.  While you might have your own ideas of what the rating system is meant to rate, there is certainly no consensus amongst everyone on this site.

Also, as I said in the shoutbox, a low rating on your first bot is discouraging, and that's not the kind of community we are trying to create on this site. 

I recant,

ratings bite - if your gowing to provide feedback - even for tips/walkthroughs or components, write something!  If your just going to prattle on about useless drivel use the shoutbox !

(*****) <- i gave myself 5 stars 

I agree with Mr. Clean regarding to Robot nodes and blogs - where the author is typically logging their own experiences.  My preference is, this should be "unrated".

However, a rating system can be valuable - expecially in regards to managed, or evolving documents.  The rating system could express how "helpful" some documentation was for them.  I have seen this @ IBM and several other large company sites.  With ratings they are trying to evolve their site into a useful knowledge base system.

I would say robot nodes are personal projects, and probably should not be subjected to ratings.  Blogs are also personal.  But if there were a managed group of documents on this site, ratings might be very beneficial.  For example, Frits' "Start here" walkthrough is extremely helpful for beginner roboteurs.  Same would probably go for components.  Tips/walkthroughs & components vary in level of detail, relevance, broadness of scope, or clarity.  It might be helpful to the author to get feedback in these areas.

I agreewith mr. Clean, its just not....... nice.... sort of......I mean...... ahh.. forget it.

I know... I use to many dots :P

I stopped using the rating stars altogether. It felt like judging people, rather than encouraging them. I prefer words over little stars. I can see a purpose for stars in a contest, like the robot beauty pageant.