23 November 2010

Rating Systems

When it comes to rating systems on things like GoodReads and Netflix, I am strictly by the book. Sometimes I wonder if other people are as well.

That is, when I decide to rate something, I hover over the stars before I select them to see what the website's definition of that number of stars is. (Above are the rating definitions used by GoodReads.) I rarely give any book five stars. Maybe that has to do with the same reasons I don't give out standing ovations. If you just throw out those sorts of compliments willy-nilly, they lose their meaning. When I finish a book and go on GoodReads to rate it, I really do stop to think about whether my like for it was just regular like or really like before I go clicking any stars. I know of one GoodReads friend who told me she was surprised by a rating I gave a book because she did not like that book, but then when she rated that book, she gave it four stars. I found it puzzling.

Netflix uses a five-star system, but their star ratings have different meanings. The options are "Hated it," "Didn't Like it," "Liked it," "Really Liked it," and "Loved it." I tend to really like Netflix ratings because they have a great algorithm for figuring out what other movies I might like. The only problem is coming at agreement with Eric about how we should jointly rate any film since obviously we share a Netflix account. Usually we are right on par with each other, but sometimes we are one star off, and there isn't an option for a half star.

Do you think much about the meanings of rating systems before you use them, or do you just select the star value that is most aesthetically pleasing?

5 comments:

Michelle said...

Am I the Goodreads friend and was the book Rebecca?

Angela Noelle of SK said...

I think about it. And I get frustrated...especially when 3 stars is "okay" and 1 is "hated it" and then somewhere else 3 = good and 1 = okay...

...AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH.

Melanie said...

I really wish Goodreads had half stars. If I want to give a book 3.5 stars, I'll usually write that in the review section.

I do give out 5 stars, but not all of the time. 1 = I have an active dislike of the book. 2 = the book was boring or disappointing in some way. 3 stars = A relatively enjoyable read, but I wouldn't necessarily tell someone else they need to read it. 4 stars = I would recommend the book. 5 stars = I will actively bring this book up in conversation and suggest that you read it.

P1 Steven said...

Unless I had a bad experience, I always give five stars when pertaining to service. Some places base bonuses & rewards for employees based on these reviews...

Packrat said...

I really think about ratings. Sometimes, though, the rating system just doesn't seem to fit.