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What happened to the scores on SciFi?

Crumbly Writer

My scores on Sci-Fi dropped from the high 9s to the mid 6s and 7s, that's a 3 point drop overnight. I find it hard to believe that so many new members would join and collectively dump on my stories alone, so I'm guessing that Lazeez adjusted the scores once again. If so, did he apply the same adjustment he does on the other sites, or is each site's scores adjusted individually?

Next time, a notice might produce a little less sticker shock. Although you'd expect authors to get defensive, but I imagine readers will be disillusioned to see their favorite stories suddenly scored much lower, and wonder what happened in the story to lower the score by that much. A warning would prepare authors and readers of coming changes.

Anyway, I know Lazeez doesn't appreciate gripping about scores, so I'll get off the topic, but I was just wondering how the adjustments vary between the three sites (since my scores vary between each site). If one site adjusts scores more than the others, I'd like to know so I don't abandon a particular site for low scores, when it's not a reflection of poor reader reception.

Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

Didn't Lazeez mention in another thread that there weren't enough votes on Sci-Fi to do the usual adjustment and that they would be applied once there were?

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

Didn't Lazeez mention in another thread that there weren't enough votes on Sci-Fi to do the usual adjustment and that they would be applied once there were?

That's likely, but again, it's a surprise getting slapped in the face with it. Then again, I don't typically visit the main SciFi page, so even if he did post a notice there, I wouldn't be likely to see it.

I at least understand what's happening, but I worry about readers who see all their favorite stories scores tumble, and how they might interpret the results.

All that said, I mainly want to know what the difference between the various sites is, just so I can evaluate my posts to each site. For example, I've been considering no longer posting to FS because my scores are so much lower there than they are on SOL. I interpret those scores to mean that readers don't value my stories as much on that site, so I wonder why I'm wasting my efforts.

However, if the difference in scores is purely a matter of the individual site's adjustments, if I knew that upfront, I wouldn't be as likely (or more likely) to yank my stories from the still struggling site (it's nowhere near as popular as SOL).

Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


If so, did he apply the same adjustment he does on the other sites, or is each site's scores adjusted individually?


The system works on the existing scores. So each period on each site is adjusted according to the voting patterns during the period on the particular site. So yes, score will definitely differ between sites.

When the story count is low and vote count is low like on a new site with 24 stories now, the votes are a little shaky as each additional vote affects everything. That's why I designed the system to only kick in after there are over 350 votes in the database.

Here on SOL you don't see much instability because there are millions of votes. So on Scifi, expect score fluctuations until there are more than 20,000 votes cast, which will take some time.

A warning would prepare authors and readers of coming changes.


Sorry, I wasn't paying enough attention to notice exactly when the system will kick in. You beat me to it.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer  REP
Crumbly Writer

@Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

So yes, score will definitely differ between sites.

So, to answer my questions, there's basically no way for an author to determine whether their stories are simply 'not accepted by readers of a particular site' (hence lower scores than other sites), or whether those lower scores are simply a random adjustment?

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

there's basically no way for an author to determine whether their stories are simply 'not accepted by readers of a particular site'


I'd say that's true, due to there being way too many variables involved in the matter. However, if you had a consistent score of 1 out of 10, I'd say you'd have a fair reason to support the hypothesis.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

However, if you had a consistent score of 1 out of 10, I'd say you'd have a fair reason to support the hypothesis.

No, instead I'm getting scores (on FS) in the 6s while my scores on SOL are in the high 7s and mid 8s. Also, given the across the board adjustments, I'm not sure how to interpret how one story doing better on one site (relative to my other stories) than on another. Again, is that due to reader dislike, or simply another random scoring adjustment?

As usual, the problem is exacerbated by low reader response rates. While I get more feedback from SOL than anywhere else, the response ration is still pitifully low (at least for any statistical basis). Some of my best responses (and feedback on the book sites) has accompanied my lowest scoring story, so how do I parse those conflicting clues. I suspect, but can't be sure, that it's partially the scoring adjustments, or at the very least, the effect on readers of seeing the scores in the 6s (many will only select stories in the 7s, so a story scored in the 6s may never be examined by enough readers to give it a fair shot).

I'm just trying to parse the difference between the reception my stories get on each site. But as it stands, I'm still siding with 'If it gets low scores on XX site, pull future stories from that site'.

Capt Zapp

@Crumbly Writer

is that due to reader dislike, or simply another random scoring adjustment?


My guess would be that different readers score differently. Some people on FS may think that voting 7 means the story is a very good read where readers on SO think a 9 means the same thing. Anytime you have a 'scale of 1 to 10', people will interpret the numbers differently based on personal criteria, even if there is a description of what the number means (kind of like the 'how bad is the pain' chart when you visit the doctor. If I am in pain but not incapacitated, I usually go with 5 or 6). When my scores first came up I got a couple of messages saying it wasn't doing well because it was in the 7's. I thought it was doing good because it was in the 7's. To me, 5 is average so anything above 5 means it is better than average and people like it.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

I'm getting scores (on FS) in the 6s while my scores on SOL are in the high 7s and mid 8s.


I covered most of this on another thread about scores. FS has a lot of younger readers with less experience at scoring and different tastes, thus they have different criteria, despite it also having a fair sized cross-site readership. There's enough variation in the readership pools to see a difference in the scoring.

With a new story I'm pretty sure the weighing system on all three sites is the same algorithm being applied, but the final results will vary because a huge factor in the algorithm is all the scores on all the stories during the current scoring period. But the original raw scores, and their number is going to be the major difference, no matter what system is in place.

Ernest Bywater

@Capt Zapp

I got a couple of messages saying it wasn't doing well because it was in the 7's. I thought it was doing good because it was in the 7's.


Now you know why I don't look at the scores of my stories, except when these sort of discussions come up - it's a measure I don't care about.

REP

@Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

When the story count is low and vote count is low like on a new site with 24 stories now, the votes are a little shaky as each additional vote affects everything. That's why I designed the system to only kick in after there are over 350 votes in the database.


Suggestion: If the scores on a new site are shaky, why not use the average of the raw scores until an adequate number of votes are obtained.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@REP

Alternatively, use SOL's recent scores for comparison until an adequate number of votes is obtained. CW's story would then have very similar ratings on SOL and its sister site.

AJ

Ernest Bywater

It's probably not a viable option, but I do wonder if a combined cross site set of stats could be kept for stories on multiple WL sites. Thus the same scores would show on all three sites because the scores from all three would be fed into the same calculation.

Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

@Ernest Bywater

Among the things that I'm doing is building a common story server for all the sites. That would make the scores more homogenous across the network of sites.

Ernest Bywater

@Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

Among the things that I'm doing is building a common story server for all the sites.


If the story stat information was being fed into the single database, it should simplify the amount of code and give single answers on all sites it's listed for.

Crumbly Writer

@Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

Among the things that I'm doing is building a common story server for all the sites. That would make the scores more homogenous across the network of sites.

One sticking point: often, the clean versions on FS are often quite different than the adult ones on SOL. Would using the same score for both be fair?

Though, to be fair, most stories posted to both sites are generally pretty non-sexual to begin with. Most of mind only have a few minor references or short romantic episodes. I'm guessing that any story posted to all three sites is primarily plot-based, and the various action scenes aren't absolutely essential to the plot.

I'm asking just to see if it's an issue for anyone.

Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

One sticking point: often, the clean versions on FS are often quite different than the adult ones on SOL. Would using the same score for both be fair?


A simple way to handle that is to mark the stories to differentiate. Thus where the stories differ they get different scores, where they're the same, they have a unified score.

Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

@Crumbly Writer

One sticking point: often, the clean versions on FS are often quite different than the adult ones on SOL. Would using the same score for both be fair?


Of course not. They're not exactly the same stories. When there are differences in contents, the stories will be treated separately. Each version would have its separate entry in the story server. Stories will have flags designating which sites they appear on.

In such a case, it's up to the author to submit separate versions for separate sites. Otherwise, stories will appear on whichever site is appropriate.

Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)


In such a case, it's up to the author to submit separate versions for separate sites. Otherwise, stories will appear on whichever site is appropriate.


Ha-ha. I was raising possible issues, but this raises yet another. Most of mine have minor subtractions, like a few minor sex scenes or the removal of certain curse words (I sometimes substitute a few 'clean' oaths), but otherwise the FS version is pretty close. What you're suggesting here is: if you want both stories to be identified the same, leave the code clean-up to the automated submission process?

I ask, because my next story has an pseudo-incest subplot, so there are three minor scenes and a few phrases which were removed, but the rest of the story is identical (including references to the relationship, although no descriptions of it are included, as it fits into the overall plot).

Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)


Otherwise, stories will appear on whichever site is appropriate.


I would hope I can still mark stories to appear on all the sites it's appropriate for. I like have all of them on SoL to have a single repository, I also like having the no sex stories on FS for people to read at work and for younger readers. The SF site is good for those who what the specific genre.

edit to add: I like the idea a no sex SF story can go on all three to hit the wider audience, because their are people who go to only one site or the other.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

I like the idea a no sex SF story can go on all three to hit the wider audience, because their are people who go to only one site or the other.

Sci-Fi has each story coded for age-appropriateness. When someone joins, assuming they're honest, it limits what they see or can access. I think that's a decent compromise--especially if there's some way to not base it exclusively on trust.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

Sci-Fi has each story coded for age-appropriateness. When someone joins, assuming they're honest, it limits what they see or can access. I think that's a decent compromise--especially if there's some way to not base it exclusively on trust.


CW, FS is the same, and I have no issues with that, however, if a story is appropriate to place on all three sites, then I'd like it available on all three, if suitable for two, then I want it on two. I don't want the SF stories on SF only, and the no sex on FS only. a Non sex SF story should be on all three, and that's what I have at the moment, and what I'd like to continue, simply because some people will go to one site and not the others, while some will got to two or all three. I want to get the widest coverage, is all.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

Ernest, what we currently do is post to all three sites. In my case, I post a separate (FS) version to Fine Stories, with select chapters coded differently (select explicit scenes removed or terms rephrased). That approach will continue.

What Lazeez has long championed, but has yet to implement, is where you post once, but specify where you want it to post.

What I was asking about is where the thrice-posted stories receive the same score (since there's little variance, except in the FS version). However, since I'm posting separate versions of the story, I can hardly complain if they receive different scores.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

What Lazeez has long championed, but has yet to implement, is where you post once, but specify where you want it to post.


He's still designing and writing the database and code to do that, it's one of his major aims, Before he can do it he has to get a unified code set for the auxiliary functions, which is what he's doing now. The unified log on is part of the overall project.

As to the stories, I write the story, if it fits only one site, that's where it goes, if it fits two, it goes on two, if it fits all three, then it goes on all three. However, I don't do a version for one site and another version for another site.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

As to the stories, I write the story, if it fits only one site, that's where it goes, if it fits two, it goes on two, if it fits all three, then it goes on all three. However, I don't do a version for one site and another version for another site.

Typically, I'll post the identical story (with the proper age-appropriate coding) to both SOL and Sci-Fi, but I'll typically rewrite select chapters (ex: "Chapter 5 (FS).html") for FineStories, as I'll remove any explicit sex and will sometimes rephrase curse words (though I generally like the way the system takes out dirty words while still preserving what was actually intended). Thus I don't write two separate versions, as I modify certain passages to fit the site. However, for Lazeez's sake, I'm happy posting to FS separately with a separate version that keeps separate scores. If it gets lower scores, it's probably deserved since it's missing content I felt was important to the main story.

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