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Forum: Bug Report and Feature Requests

"Not Bad" Story Rating

richardshagrin

I'd like to suggest "not bad" (the six rating, just below "good" which is a seven) be re-named as "Interesting". Most stories I like are sevens or above, but some that aren't that highly appreciated are still stories others may like. I have the option of reviewing them if I want, although a series of reviews that give six ratings might be a misuse of my reviewer credential, intended to steer readers to stories worth reading and give incentive to writers to keep up the good work. I am not sure a six rating is a strong incentive, and some readers have a minimum score before they will read a story, at least one by an author they haven't liked before.

The principle reason to change the "not bad" rating to something a little more positive is that it isn't really descriptive of the readers opinion. Another option is to call it "average" since that is what a six rating means. The problem with "not bad" is that it also means "not good", at least most of the time. I don't think "not bad" is clear.

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@richardshagrin

I don't mind your new wording but since all ratings from 10 to 1 mean nothing more than 'I liked it' to 'I didn't like it' in varying degrees, I don't think it's important.

Please let me know as soon as you find meassurements to objectively evaluate a story.

Ernest Bywater

Use the webmaster link to ask this of Lazeez directly, and see what he has to say.

Crumbly Writer

Is "Not bad" related to "Doesn't Stink Too Badly"?

But seriously, you're right. Most readers arbitrarily cut off stories at either 7 or 6, depending on context (such as a great story description, or being in a genre they particularly like).

Rather than saying "Not Bad", I'd suggest listing the limitations (why it didn't score higher), and follow it up with all the positives in the story (ex. great premise, interesting side plots, etc.). That way, readers have more to go by than just an 'average' rating.

Generally, more info. = more informed.

REP
Updated:

Personally, I think all of the descriptive terms for ratings of 1-10 should be review and changed as needed.

If I recall Lazeez's rating system is weighted such that 'average' is a rating of 6. There is no way that I can ever conceive of 'Not Bad', a rating of 6, being average. To me 'Not Bad' is the same as 'Not Good' and it implies there is some problem with the story. To me 'Good', a rating of 7, is the closest term currently listed that I would think of as average.

If nothing else, change 'Not Bad' to 'Average', if 6 is Lazeez's weighted average value.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@REP

Not Bad' is the same as 'Not Good'


I see "not bad" as "it's okay."

From Collins dictionary:

In British:
passable; fair; fairly good

In American:
good; fairly good; not unsatisfactory

Replies:   Grant  REP
Grant
Updated:

@Switch Blayde

I see "not bad" as "it's okay."

Yep.

Very Bad
Bad.
Not bad.
Good.
Very good.

I don't see why people have an issue with it.

Replies:   PotomacBob
REP

@Switch Blayde

I see "not bad" as "it's okay."


Each of us interprets a phrase like 'not bad' based our own experience. I could live with 'it's okay'.

However, in my past, people who have said 'not bad' in regard to something I did follow that phrase up by pointing our the deficiencies in what I did do.

sejintenej

@REP


Each of us interprets a phrase like 'not bad' based our own experience. I could live with 'it's okay'.

For me a "bad" story would have to include a worse that lousy plot, bad grammar, bad spelling, unintelligible continuity for starters. Knock out the first and last an a story becomes "not bad" but it avoids a two score perhaps

Switch Blayde

@REP

However, in my past, people who have said 'not bad' in regard to something I did follow that phrase up by pointing our the deficiencies in what I did do.


It's an informal expression.

Someone asks you, "How are you?"
You answer, "Not bad."

If you weren't okay, you might say, "I'm bad" or "Not good."

If you were having a really good day, you might say, "Great" or "Good."

Replies:   REP
Geek of Ages

I consider "Not Bad" to be better than "Not Good".

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@Geek of Ages

I consider "Not Bad" to be better than "Not Good".


So does SOL.

4 - not good
5 - some good, some bad
6 - not bad

Replies:   Capt. Zapp
REP

@Switch Blayde

Someone asks you, "How are you?"

You answer, "Not bad."


I personally would never say 'not bad' if I were feeling good for it has a negative connotation to me. I would say Good or Okay.

As I said, we all interpret similar phrases based on personal experience. We often come up with different meanings.

Capt. Zapp

@Switch Blayde

Of course, there is always the option to just remove any descriptions from the scores except for 1 and 10.

1 - Why did I waste my time reading this?
|
|
10 - I will read again and again.

Replies:   REP
REP

@Capt. Zapp

remove any descriptions from the scores except for 1 and 10.


That is a possibility, but some guidance would be useful. How about:

1 – Total Waste of Time and Effort
2 – Very Bad
3 – Bad
4 – Not Good
5 – Mostly Good, Some Bad
6 – Average
7 – Good
8 – Very Good
9 – Outstanding
10 – Worth Reading Again and Again

Replies:   richardshagrin
PotomacBob

@Grant

You forgot "purty good" and "sorta good" and "right good."

Replies:   REP
richardshagrin

@REP

3 – Bad

2 - Worse
1 - Worst

Also available, good, better, best. Super, Superior, Supreme. Not quite average, average and better than average. Maybe we should vote 6.5 or 9.2. Or use multiple digits after the decimal point. Can we vote zero?

Geek of Ages

We could also move to a like/dislike system. The disadvantage is that you lose the fidelity of saying how much you do/don't like something. The advantage is you no longer have wildly differing ideas on what the ratings even mean in the first place.

Another disadvantage is that a lot of people will complain for various reasons.

Replies:   REP
REP

@PotomacBob

Yeah, I ran out of numbers.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
REP

@Geek of Ages

We could also move to a like/dislike system.


We could but it would invalidate Lazeez's purpose. Lazeez has also said he is not going to change, or even address changing, the system again. My rating nomenclature is about changing the descriptions of the numbers, not changing the system.

Replies:   Grant
Grant

@REP

My rating nomenclature is about changing the descriptions of the numbers, not changing the system.

Changing what the numbers mean, is changing the system.
Not a huge change, but it is changing the system.

Replies:   REP
REP

@Grant

Changing what the numbers mean, is changing the system.


Changing the system means how the ratings are calculated. Changing a label is not changing the system.

Replies:   Grant
Not_a_ID

@REP

Yeah, I ran out of numbers.


So you're saying we should rank them on a 1 to 11 scale?

Sorry, couldn't resist. =P

richardshagrin

I don't mind ten being the top score, sometimes there should be a zero when one isn't low enough.

Replies:   REP
REP

@richardshagrin

For some stories, there is no rating low enough to be appropriate.

Grant

@REP

Changing a label is not changing the system.

The label is part of the system, as it goes in to determining what the score will be.

Replies:   REP
REP

@Grant

As I said in another thread, we all define terms differently.

You apparently define a non-functionality change to the code to be a change to the system.

I require that the code's functionality be changed in order to qualify as a change to the system.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@REP

I require that the code's functionality be changed in order to qualify as a change to the system.


Keep in mind, if the definition of a 6 changes, that means the old 6s won't equate to the new 6s. For that reason, it's a change to the system.

Replies:   robberhands  REP
Ernest Bywater

Personally, I think a scale of 1 to 10 is a scale of 1 to 10 regardless of what name tags you set beside each number, be it words or stars or whatever. Call the different numbers what you will, the middle is still the middle.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
robberhands

@Switch Blayde

Keep in mind, if the definition of a 6 changes, that means the old 6s won't equate to the new 6s. For that reason, it's a change to the system.

Good point! Although, I've to say I will be as fond of newly defined 6s as I was of the old ones.

awnlee jawking

@Ernest Bywater

There's a disconnect between the description the reader thinks best applies to the story and the number it translates to. Perhaps the number should be displayed in the drop-down listbox as well as the wording.

AJ

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@awnlee jawking

There's a disconnect between the description the reader thinks best applies to the story and the number it translates to.


I'm not sure there is such a disconnect. I don't really look at what the words say, per se. I see a scale of 1 to 10, decide where the story fits on the scale, and then pick the one that matches that spot. Be they words or stars the selected spot is the same for me, and also for those I've personally spoken to about this issue. If you changed all the wordings I doubt I'd notice the changes at all. I vote on S0L the exact same way I vote on FS, and it only has stars.

Replies:   awnlee jawking  REP
awnlee jawking

@Ernest Bywater

I vote on S0L the exact same way I vote on FS, and it only has stars.


They show up as empty squares in my browser :(

AJ

REP

@Switch Blayde

For that reason, it's a change to the system.


Since system has not been defined above, I will take a stab at a brief description.

The system begins with code that allows readers to input their raw scores. Then the code uses the raw scores and a number of factors to calculate an overall rating and the code displays that rating as the story's adjusted rating.

Changing the code to display new labels changes how readers view and use the system. As I said earlier, doing so is a cosmetic change to the system's code, in that the change does not affect the way the system's code calculates the rating.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@REP

Changing the code to display new labels changes how readers view and use the system.


Unless the new labels have identical meanings to the old ones, those readers who take the labels seriously might assign different values to stories, resulting in different overall scores.

On Systems Analysis courses, I was taught that 'system' was all encompassing, not just computer calculations, so using that definition I'd have to agree with those who reckon changing the labels represents a change to the system.

AJ

Replies:   REP
REP

@Ernest Bywater

I see a scale of 1 to 10, decide where the story fits on the scale, and then pick the one that matches that spot.


You may pick your numeric rating value at the proper point on the current scale, but since there are no integer labels, I strongly suspect the value you select is influenced by the words used to define those unmentioned integers. Since you know that Lazeez scale uses 6 as the average, that probably influences your selection also.

Personally, if I wanted to have an 'average' value, I would want it at the center of the integer range. Therefore, I would define an odd number of values. Instead of 1-10, I would use 1-9 and define 5 as average. The 1-10 range means the average is 5.5 and since the reader selection are integer values, average would be defined as either 5 or 6.

Most 1-10 scales define 5 as the average value, and I suspect most readers think of 5 as average. I suspect they think of 1-3 as their Poor range, 4-6 as their Good range, and 7-10 as their Excellent range. If that is true, Lazeez's weighting system adjusts the readers' raw scores of 5 to produce 6 as his adjusted average. If the labels were adjusted to reflect 6 as average, then the weighting system might produce a 7 instead of a 6 for an average story. :(

There really is no good answer. Most readers are not aware of the weighting system shifting their raw rating value to a higher value. I don't have a problem with adjusting the value, but I have never like the words selected as labels, so perhaps new labels that reflect 5 as average would be a good idea.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
REP

@awnlee jawking

I'd have to agree with those who reckon changing the labels represents a change to the system.


That may be so in general terms. But as I said, Lazeez stated that he was not going to change the way the system calculates the raw score, and that type of code change is what I earlier defined as a change to the system.

Replies:   Grant
Grant

@REP

and that type of code change is what I earlier defined as a change to the system.

But changing the description will change how people will votes.
That is a change to the system.

You may not consider it to be, by your personal definition. However, as awnlee jawking pointed out, it would be a change to the scoring system as such a change would result in different scores being given.

Replies:   REP
Switch Blayde

@REP

Lazeez's weighting system adjusts the readers' raw scores of 5 to produce 6 as his adjusted average.

Most readers are not aware of the weighting system shifting their raw rating value to a higher value.


Actually, it's the other way around. The system changes the raw scores downward. It was done because the scores used to be too high.

Replies:   REP
REP
Updated:

@Switch Blayde

Yes, I did say that backwards.

So an average reader who considers average to be a rating of 5 is effectively giving the story a 4 after the system adjusts the readers' scores based on 6 being its average.

Minor edit.

Did I say it right this time SB?

Replies:   Switch Blayde
REP

@Grant

So you are actually saying that a set of labels that are clearer in meaning relative to each other than the current labels will change the rating a reader assigns to a story.

What that means is the current labels are inappropriate and need to be changed regardless of whether the change is a change to the system or not.

Replies:   Grant
Switch Blayde
Updated:

@REP


Did I say it right this time SB?


I don't know how it works, only that it adjusts downward.

Several factors are in play. One is the scores given to other stories in a related time period to yours. So if you happen to get your score re-calculated when the other stories are getting really high scores, you're downloaded more than if those other stories were getting average or less than average scores. But I believe the time period is long enough for that influence to be lessened.

When I score a story, I use the descriptions. Outstanding is "Wow, this story is really really good." Great is "I liked this story a lot." Not bad is "the story is okay." Is that average? I don't look at averages especially since we're not seeing raw scores.

Since the score is basically the appeal to the reader, I believe the descriptions are better than numeric numbers. So how did the story appeal to you? It was outstanding. It was not bad (okay). It had some good and some bad. Makes sense to me.

Replies:   robberhands  sejintenej
robberhands

@Switch Blayde

I don't know how it works, only that it adjusts downward.

There is another factor of the weighted voting system you have to remember, it artificially broadens the scoring spectrum. The farther away from the median a story is, the lesser the reduction of its score. Evidently so, because otherwise there couldn't be any stories with a score higher than 9.

Personally, I dislike the numeric voting scale being defined with verbal assessments, for one simple reason: If every reader rates a story 'Very Good' the system will lower the reader's evaluation to 'Good' and I dislike stories to be critiqued by a mathematical formula.

sejintenej

@Switch Blayde

When I score a story, I use the descriptions. Outstanding is "Wow, this story is really really good." Great is "I liked this story a lot." Not bad is "the story is okay." Is that average?

For me it is a question of deciding if I will read a story again once, twice or multiple times (or, having read it and found it just acceptable it goes on the dead file).
I have already written that I don't finish stories (often even chapters of stories) likely to get a six or less so I personally don't score them though others may like them - that is my choice.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@sejintenej

a question of deciding if I will read a story again


I've only done that by accident. Sometimes I realize it while reading it and other times I see that I've already scored it.

But I've never read a traditionally published novel more than once either. Movies are different. If I like it, I'll watch it many times.

Replies:   JohnBobMead
JohnBobMead

@Switch Blayde

But I've never read a traditionally published novel more than once either. Movies are different. If I like it, I'll watch it many times.


I'm just the other way around. It's why I own far too many books; I _do_ reread them, multiple times. Movies, there are very few that I've seen more than once, including the one's that I went and bought afterwards. I've seen Star Wars maybe three times, including when it first came out and when the revised version hit the theatre. The Princess Bride, maybe three times. Dr. Strangelove, many times, and never; for a number of years in the late 1960s, KPTV, then the oldest independent TV station on the West Coast of the US, was showing it everytime my family drove from Salem to visit Dad's best friend from college in Portland, and I've seen bits and pieces of it many, many times, but I've never sat down and watched it from beginning to end. I've seen The Rocky Horror Picture Show maybe six times, and for my generation/cultural group, that's unheard of. I think I've seen The Wrath of Khan twice. I did go see Romancing the Stone a second time. Wasn't that a time I saw several times, but I'm a big Weavers fan. Silent Running I've seen everytime I knew it would be on TV; I now own the DVD, and haven't watched it.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@JohnBobMead

I can't even list the number of movies I've seen over 20 times.

The Godfather, V for Vendetta, Die Hard, It's a Wonderful Life, West Side Story, Les Miserable (the musical), Singing in the Rain, The Outlaw Josey Wales, and on and on.

Even new movies. I must have seen Hidden Figures and The Imitation Game at least 10 times each.

I love movies.

Grant

@REP

So you are actually saying that a set of labels that are clearer in meaning relative to each other than the current labels will change the rating a reader assigns to a story.

Different labels will obviously get different results.
As to the proposed changes being clearer, I find nothing wrong with the present ones & consider the suggested change unnecessary.
If it were broken, fix it. It's not broken, so don't change it.

Replies:   REP
REP

@Grant

If it were broken, fix it. It's not broken, so don't change it.


I agree with that sentiment. You see the labels as acceptable. I see them as inappropriate and in need of change. Some people agree with you, and some with me.

Michael Loucks

A simple 'Thumbs Up'/'Thumbs Down' system would suit me. Express the results as ratios and/or percentages:

Thumbs Up divided by Thumbs Down
% Thumbs Up of all votes
% Thumbs Down of all readers

Or some other ratios that made sense. Voters give 'Thumbs Up' if they think it's a worthwhile read, 'Thumbs Down' if they don't.

[This is not a complaint, just a suggestion for an alternative to consider]

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Michael Loucks

[This is not a complaint, just a suggestion for an alternative to consider]


Some years back Lazeez finally got fed up with all the bitching about the scoring system. He made a few changes to have it what he saw as a fairer system - they were to deal with the 1 bomb haters, fan bois, and comparing scores under old systems to the current one. He then said that was it, no more changes end of story - I kind of believe him in that I doubt he'll make any more changes to it at all. Thus any discussion on possible or wanted changes is simply a waste of electrons.

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