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June 24, 2015
Posted at 10:21 am
 

Scores and scores

I'm not going to be hypercritical about the new adjustments to scores that SOL has implemented. If you want to read about the details, Lazeez's blog post and the responses of various authors are here: http://storiesonline.org/blog/2015/06/23/coming-change-to-the-scoring-system/

The changes are being made to on-going serials as they are updated. It happened that I got to lead the charge last night as the first story out of the posting cue after the changes were made. And, as an author, it is a bit depressing to see your story fall .50 over night. Since the changes appear to only affect on-going active serials, all the completed serials and those that are on-going but have not yet been updated haven't had their scores adjusted. So you can't tell whether people really liked LNDtH1 (8.55) better than LNDtH2 (8.15).

The reality is that for a long time, the scores have not reflected the way readers vote. Raw scores are adjusted in a black box to reflect how they compare to other stories posted in the same period. So, even when LNDtH2 had a score of 8.65, the raw score was somewhere in the vicinity of 9.10. That's just an estimate based on author stats as the actual raw numbers are also concealed from the authors.

What saddens me is that these adjustments are only made when a story is updated. So LNDtH2 fell from number 9 in the "On-going Serials by rating" list to number 16. If you scan through the list, you will see that none of the top 15 have been updated since the change.

In my opinion, the changes make the scores more irrelevant than they were before. So even though it hurts my ego to see the drop, I have to say, "So what?" Eventually it will affect everything that is updated, so for the time being, I will not make any updates or corrections to completed stories. I do appreciate all the comments from people who have helped find errors that I typically try to update as I have time. Until I verify that completed serials aren't affected by updates and corrections to individual chapters, I'll let the errors stand.

In a month or so, most of the fallout will have passed. So, I suggest that you look for people's comments and reviews of stories, check author blogs to find out what people are saying about their stories, and please keep sending email to your favorite authors so they know you like their stories. The scores are irrelevant in comparison to your comments. Thanks!