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Rating other's reviews: on dooyoo and beyond

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      24.05.2011 13:06
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      A glimpse into how I rate

      Rating Dooyoo And Beyond

      Barring a couple of years enforced banishment (by circumstances), I've been active on both Dooyoo and Ciao for about seven years now. During that time I've rated many tens of thousands of reviews, trying to be as fair and unbiased as I can. I've been described as a harsh rater, pedantic, called some rather nasty names and had my rates abused in comment threads, guestbooks and even on forums, but I continue to rate as I see fit, within the guidelines. Anyhow this category is specifically set up for me discuss how I rate on Dooyoo, Ciao and beyond, so I'll begin with.

      ==What I rate==

      Let's get one thing straight I do NOT return rates, instead I rate as large a selection of authors as possible, so while I'm grateful if you trawl through pages and pages of my reviews, rating as you go, I'm very unlikely (as in not at all) to return the favour. Instead of returning rates I read reviews from the new-in list (on both sites), which means that I get to read reviews written in wide variety of different styles that also vary widely in quality. That's not to say that I'll read every single review in the list, because I won't. If someone has been dominating the new-in listing by posting review after review after review then I'll only read and rate a couple before deciding to give my time to someone else. I'll also not read if the subject bores me or is something I know absolutely nothing about.

      Another group of reviews I read is when I'm researching a product, that's right there are times when I am the mythical consumer and want to know what other people think of a product before buying it. The final group of reviews I read are a very select number of alerts, these are set up for people whose writing I enjoy reading, but they don't post very often and I don't want to miss any of their work. Oh there is one more group of reviews that I read, but this is only here on Dooyoo. As the co-guide for the Kids & Family category, I read and rate every review posted within it, no matter how many one person may post at a time.

      ==How I Rate==

      I like to think of myself as a consistent and fair rater, even if others think I am pedantic and overly harsh. The first thing I'm going to say here is that I rate the review not the reviewer and so cannot understand why people take my rates quite so personally. As I open each review I try to read it from the perspective of someone that wants to purchase the product, use the service, read the book etc. Of course my own personal needs are going to come into how I rate, I'm an individual and as such what I would like to know is going to be different to you, even if only very slightly. For example, I have mobility problems so for me it's important to know whether I am going to struggle to climb stairs to get to a hotel room or be able to use a lift. I also have a young child, so with a restaurant review I want to know how well he would be catered for. So it's important to accept that even though 99% of people found your review VU/VH/E, that doesn't necessarily mean everyone will. You cannot write a review that covers every single aspect, because your needs will not be exactly the same as everybody else's and there will always be something that wouldn't occur to you.

      Ok, so now I'm going to cover the basics of how I use the rates on the two sites I'm active on.

      NU/NH/OT - These are the lowest rates that I give and the ones that I reserve for abusive or off topic reviews. Here on Dooyoo we only have the NU or Not Useful rate, and I'll use this where a review is copied, is unreadable (due to text speak, frequent spelling errors or being auto-translated), has less than 150 words of opinion, is in the wrong place, is of a product that the reviewer does not own, contains huge plot spoilers, abusive or (possibly) illegal content. Over on Ciao there are two separate rates, the OT or Off Topic for reviews that are in the wrong place, and NH or Not Helpful that covers all the other circumstances above.

      SU/SH - This rate is reserved for reviews that are poorly written but include a minimal amount of experience and opinion. I'll also sometimes use the Somewhat Useful/Helpful rate where there is a lot of description but not a lot of experience or opinion. While a certain amount of misspelling and poor grammar won't lead to this rate, if I'm having to constantly stop to work out what you're trying to say then it will.

      U/H - Now this rate is a real bone of contention on both sites, but mostly on Ciao. Let's get one thing clear, if I rate a review Useful/helpful it means I found it just that, this is a positive rate. There's many reasons why a review maybe Helpful to me and not more, including excessive padding or some aspect that's important to me not being covered.

      VU/VH - With Very Useful being the top rate on Dooyoo it's the rate that I give to reviews that I feel cover most aspects of a product in a way that is easy for me to get to the opinion and experience. The same goes on Ciao, the Very Helpful rate is for reviews that are exactly that, Very Helpful in helping me come to a purchasing decision.

      Nomination/E - Over on Ciao the top rate is Exceptional and everybody is limited to giving out a certain number a day (depending on your dot colour). I rarely give out my daily limit in a week let alone a day, because to me by it's very definition the E rate should be limited to the absolute best reviews. And then to me a long review does not equal an exceptional review, in fact I'm far more likely to give the rate to a thousand word or under review that tells me everything I need to know without waffling than to a three thousand word review that gives the same information.

      ==My Rating In Depth==

      Ok that's the basics of how I rate out of the way, so now I'm going to go into a bit more detail on how I rate in certain categories, starting with one of my favourites, mobile phones.

      In the last decade mobile phones have changed considerably, transforming into all-singing, all-dancing machines that play music, take photos and even cook dinner (ok that's a bit of an over-exaggeration). But for me at least the primary functions of a phone are still to make calls and send texts, so even if you go into minute detail about how easy it is to get on Facebook, if you don't talk about making calls and sending texts then your review is only going to be useful to me, at best. And don't forget about the battery life either, forget that as well and your review will only be SU. What I don't find useful in phone reviews is lists of menu options, specifications or features. I'm looking for your experience of using those features and how well the phone performs with the way you use it. So quoting the manufacturer's spiel about battery life isn't useful but telling me how long the battery lasts for you between charges is.

      Having five children, with one of them being a young toddler another group of reviews that interest me are those about toys. I often find myself reading reviews before buying toys for my youngest, and rate them based on how useful I find them. For me while it's somewhat useful for a toy review to contain some description, it's when you share your experience of watching your child play with the toy that the review actually becomes useful. In my opinion a Very Useful toy review will contain opinion from the adult's perspective (I.e. how loud and annoying it is, how long the batteries last) and from the child's perspective (do they actually play with it, can they access all the functions), with perhaps a little about the educational benefits. But, there is another aspect that affects the way I rate and that is how long ago the toy was first purchased. You see, unlike say a TV which once given a model number doesn't change, toys are regularly improved and updated. A case in point is a certain pop-up tent that I bought on the back of reading reviews only to find that it had changed considerably since the reviewers had bought theirs (and not for the better). Although the reviews had only been written recently and they would have been very useful had the design not changed, they are only somewhat useful because they really don't give the correct information now.

      My next favourite category would be books, I am definitely what you would call a bookworm and am often inspired to buy a book by reviews. When it comes to rating book reviews, again I rate on how helpful they are to me personally and often find myself rating against the grain. What I look for in a book review is a very short synopsis, that gives away no more than I would find on the back of the book and then lots of opinion. What I find less than helpful is when the reviewer goes into great detail about the plot or characters. I want to discover these for myself, and so find reviews that contain a paragraph on each character less than helpful. Yes I want to know if they are believable, but I don't want to know everything about them. Even quite minor plot spoilers will mean I rate a little lower and major plot spoilers will result in a NU.

      The same goes with film reviews, there is so much more to talk about than just the plot or characters. But with film reviews there's another facet that counts towards my rate. On Ciao it's easy to tell whether a review is film only, DVD or Blu-ray and so I'm pretty strict about how I rate over there. If a film-only review is categorised as DVD or Blu-ray then I expect opinion about the actual format and any special features it contains. I fully understand that not everybody wants this information, but I am a bit of a geek and I watch special features. On Dooyoo it's a bit more complicated as there is no way of differentiating between the various formats. But adding three words to either the title or start of your review, "Film Only Review" will let know which you are reviewing. Oh and while we're on the subject, DVD boxsets are a particular bug bear of mine. A boxset review should contain information on all the aspects of the presentation, if you want to just review the series then the review should go in the category for the TV programme. One final note on this subject, a list of special features is not helpful, your opinion on how interesting and enlightening they are is.

      Now I could cover every category here, but if I did so this review would simply be far too long, so instead I'm going to finish this section with some general points. For me lists are simply not useful, whether that be lists of features or ingredients, I want to read your opinion and experience. Padding is also less than useful and too much will limit the usefulness of the review in general. Company history is an unnecessary addition, sure it may be useful to know if a company is particularly ethical (or unethical), but I don't need to know that they opened in 1901 and that the packer cross-dresses in his spare time (disclaimer : not based on any character or person, alive, dead or fictional). As much as padding is less than useful, so is vagueness, to tell me that orange juice tastes of orange is verging on insulting my intelligence, there's so much more that could be said. A final thing I look for is actual evidence of ownership or use, I don't mean that you need to provide a photo (although that helps), but just that little something that is the difference between having looked a product description or photo and having held the product in your hands. I can't define what that little something is, let's just say that I'm getting quite good at spotting the little errors that prove someone doesn't actually own the product. Remember if you are tempted to review a product you don't actually own that your review will be most likely be read by someone who actually does own it and will be able to tell that you're winging it.

      ==Final Words==

      So there you have it, a basic idea of how I rate on the two review sites I regularly participate in. Basically, I try to rate consistently and fairly, taking into account how helpful I personally found the review and never revenge rating. I always rate the review and not the reviewer, so please don't take my rate to personally. Quite simply, I look for lots of opinion and an appropriate amount of experience, written in a way that it's easy for me to get at the information. From my point of view the idea of rating is to help the consumer identify the reviews that they will find most helpful in making a purchasing decision. Therefore it's all of our responsibility to rate every review on it's own merits as to how helpful we genuinely find it. So even if it ruffles a few feathers and means that I receive a few abusive messages and revenge rates, I plan to carry rating the way I do and live in hope that some of the over-raters discover that Dooyoo and Ciao allow us to chose from a variety of rates for a reason.

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        17.05.2011 17:26
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        well worth investing in. Lego fans will love it

        This stunning new release from Lego contains over 1,000 pieces (1094 to be precise) which will keep Lego fans occupied for some time. Designed to copy the Queen Anne's Revenge ship from the On Stranger Tides movie, it includes several minifigures as well as a host of other accessories including 3 cannons, which actually fire, to help recreate the battle between Jack Sparrow and the evil pirate Blackbeard

        Put the finishing touches to your Lego Pirates of the Caribbean Queen Anne's Revenge with lanterns, burning skeleton and a big bone lantern which hangs from the stern.

        This is one of the biggest Lego Pirates of the Caribbean sets and the Queen Anne's Revenge measures a staggering 20"high and 25" wide and in my opinion one of the best sets Lego has created.

        Suitable for children aged 9 and over this Lego set will make a great kids toy for either birthday or christmas

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          14.11.2010 17:14
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          Enjoy dooyoo, ignore the odd low rate and add extra work where you get too many :)

          Ratings are a fairly emotive issue here, as a low rate can easily be taken as personal criticism ( I would say that is very rarely if ever really the case), and many of us have different ideas on how reviews should be rated. At one time I rated every review I read VU. I do think dooyoo frowns on this, and in retrospect it is not really fair to rate a review someone has thrown together in two minutes the same as one where the writer has worked 3 hours, but I hate hurting peoples feelings. In the long run though, I really hurt some new members feelings as they felt dooyoo was being unfair and picking on them by locking reviews that people like me had rated VU. So my rating system has changed some over my time here. I really struggle to be fair, and have finally come to the realisation, we can always be completely fair to everyone. So I just do my best.

          IS IT REALLY USEFUL?

          I read reviews for years before finding dooyoo, although mostly on Amazon. As I have difficulties getting out to shop, I buy almost everything online. This means I can not see the item first. I really depend on honest reviews. I am now basing my review on the amount of useful information contained in it, things I would really want to know if I were considering buying the product.

          VERY USEFUL -- May not cover everything, but does contain a significant amount of information which would help me decide whether or not to buy. I would say Very useful answers at least 80% of the questions I am thinking of when imagining what this product is like. I love reviews that tell me age level for toys and games, battery life for electronics, and reliability of the product. Other uses for the item are fun too. For video games I really like to know how long the game lasts, and if you would replay it, the more extra info the higher the rate.

          USEFUL -- Contains at least 50% of the information I would need in making a purchase. Contains at least 150 words of useful information. Useful is still a good rate!

          SOMEWHAT USEFUL - at least contains a few shreds of info, shows some degree of effort, but looks to me like it might end up locked. I look at SU ratings as an indicator that the reviewer may want to read some other reviews in the same category and edit to add more info. I've also used SU when I am hovering over NU as a way of giving someone the benefit of a very small doubt. I may also use this if I have to wade through rafts of useless information to find anything of use, or if it appears the writer was stuffing in anything to reach 150 words. If you really can not get to 150 words of useful info - it is best to choose another topic.
          I also use this rating if my guess is that the review may end up locked. My way of thinking is that it is a good bet to rewrite any review that stays at SU or lower and avoid the dissapointent of locked reviews.

          NOT USEFUL - If I can not understand it, I can not use it. I have recently read about electronic equipment being amorous, non combative, aggressive and all sorts of other things that do not apply to the item in question. I do not think my mobile phone will fall in love with anyone, or my camera will attack me! While I have found some of these reviews amusing, they are jokes, not reviews and will be rated as such.
          All cut and paste reviews are NU. All auto translated reviews are NU. Further when a reviewer reviews 10 mobile phones without explaining the reason for reviewing so many, I begin to think they are making things up and will rate SU or NU depending on how far it has gone.

          CROWN NOMINATION- Again I used to nominate 20+ a day. I think dooyoo likely stopped reading my nominations. Now I try to limit it to one a day, sometimes none, and the review really has to be outstanding.
          I do not mention that I have nominated but will usually look for reviews that are different from the rest, that convey real feeling about the subject, or in depth knowledge and do not leave me with unanswered questions.

          DO YOU OWN THE ITEM ?

          This seems to be coming up a lot lately, and I even contacted Dooyoo on the matter, who informed me that it was a grey issue in which people should use their own judgement. My judgement is based on this: If I were buying this product, would the fact that you do not own it make your review less valuable to me. In most cases is does to some extent, but the reviewer may make up for this by adding a great depth of info on the product. Case in point a fellow who reviews a lot of cameras. Because he does not own them, he can not tell me as much about long term reliability. Because he goes into so much detail, his reviews would be very very useful for me in buying a camera, so he gets VU. However I do expect more of his reviews than an ordinary member. Other items, like novelty gifts which usually are bought as gifts, I can accept a review from someone on how this gift was received at a party rather than long term usage.

          One item came up recently where the reviewer did not own the item, and clearly stated as much. The two most important questions I could see for that item went unanswered ( How long the bulbs last and what they cost). However he did provide a wealth of info, and did have reasonable personal experience of the item. My final decision was made on this basis: He had found an item which he was obviously so enthusiastic about and wanted to share with the rest of us. Being a very unusual item, it made fascinating reading. My final decision to go with VU was based on motives. Had I thought he was just trying to get in a high miles review for a few extra miles, I would have rated down a good bit. Because he was a longstanding member who writes top notch reviews and I do believe the only motive was to share with us about a great item, I think a VU rating was fair enough. If it is not, well it's a one off and does not hurt anyone. I will admit though that this method of rating could be unfair to a new member.

          Some things that will make me rate a review as SU or NU over ownership - Trying a computer out for half and hour in no way counts as adequate knowledge of the product to me. You can not normally review your Grans hoover ( unless you do all of her hoovering), your mothers cooker ( unless you regularly cook meals on it) or your Dad's car unless you have use of it as well over an extended period of time, nor do I think reviewing a child's medication based on a friends use is fair, you need more in depth personal knowledge. I especially despise when people pretend to own items for high miles though. I feel this is cheating people like myself who might buy an item based on such a review, when in fact the review is false.

          I do think it is quite useful when a woman here reviews toys used in a nursery she works in ( I think if they prove durable enough for nurseries they will be great in a home), and I do think very involved Grandparents can review children's items, but that is just my call, someone else may disagree, and that is their right as well.
          I think that if you are going to write in a category where ownership is questionable, then you have to be prepared for the rates to fall whichever way they fall without hurt feelings, and especially if you are just starting out, it would be best to write to things you own and know very well.

          HOW I WOULD LIKE TO BE RATED

          Of course I love getting VU, I think everyone does. But I would much rather someone read my review, find fault in a few parts and point that out to me, even if it means a lower rating then just hit VU without reading it, or just to be nice. By pointing out mistakes, I can edit and fix them, or at least get better next time.
          I really do appreciate everyone who takes the time to read and rate, and especially appreciate honest rates, as these help me in future writing. I have an auto immune disease that does affect concentration at times as well as having recovered from a very serious head injury years back that left me having to remember words like "blue". I have really noticed a massive improvement since using dooyoo, but I will not improve from sympathy. Someone pointing out my mistakes though so I can work on them does help. Please rate honestly and if you have the time, leave a comment on where I mix things up.

          COMMENTS BOX

          I leave comments in the hopes of avoiding hurt feelings by explaining my rate. I also hope some suggestions might be helpful and will always re rate where more info is provided. I really appreciate comments and suggestions on my reviews as well, as I know it takes much more time to offer constructive criticism then just hit a rate.

          WHO TO RATE

          I rate new members, but if you have been here for awhile, and do not rate others - I don't see why you should be paid for rates. You can participate in the community and benefit from it, or go it on your own, but I see no reason why as a community we should build miles for those who are only this for themselves.

          REVENGE RATES

          I have had so many in the last couple of weeks, and none have lasted more than 3 days. I have never reported one, as I would have preferred to keep the miles even for revenge rates, but they all disappear.
          I wold advise others not to worry about them, revenge raters usually do not last long. Just rate honestly yourself.

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            03.04.2010 12:02
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            W eare losing sight of the community bit

            --------------------------
            Dooyoo Top Trumps!
            --------------------------

            'Thedevilinme'

            Reviews- 896
            Crowns 161
            Million miles club
            Dooyoo Records:

            319 Speakers Corner reviews

            Speakers Corner Crowns: 44 (second highest)

            Highest ever comments on dooyoo at 32,000+

            Best crown ratio: 37 in 100 reviews (2007)

            Worst crown ratio: 0 in 151 reviews (2006)

            Time served - ten years on and off.
            Dooyoo Status - Ignore him and maybe he will go away.
            Special Skills - Best at review titles and outrageous flirting!

            ------------------------------------
            # # # # RATINGS # # # # #

            As a rule I never rate back. I just don't see that as constructive as far as what the site is for. I rate a set amount of things I want to read about and although a lot of rates a day they don't reflect the members who rate me. But when I looked at my statistics the other day the number of ratings I had received, 45, 567, was very close to the number given, 45,234, putting the whole thing in perspective and so I ask myself what have I actually achieved writing wise here? I only wish the crown nomination ratio was a bit closer than the amount I give to the amount I receive! More about giving over receiving later.

            That policy of never rating back, here or on ciao, tends to get me black-balled on ciao as it's the only way to get a rate there it seems. I have always felt people should judge me by my work not my reputation. I write controversially to get people to read me not dislike me. But that's clearly not what happens anymore and it's just about rating back. I rate lots, up there in the all-time top ten, but only things I want to know about. Even the gorgeous dooyoo girls don't get rates back from me baby! I'm here to make friends, don't get me wrong, I'm also here to compete and you take me as I am. Yes outrageous flirting helps me get rates and the odd nominations but I would rather do it that way than just rate back. And as way more crowns go to the females here and the dooyoo staffers and guides are mostly female it makes sense to be on their good side of the bed in the morning, metaphorically speaking, of course!

            On ciao the ladies leave comments like 'wonderful review' and 'well written' and it just gets obvious so I just ignore it as I know they only want a rate back. In fact the strategic rating on ciao is shocking, good writers preferring to rate dross than fellow good writers. I saw one drivel review get twenty 'Not Helpfuls' over the weekend whilst my 2000 word epic had just 15 Very Helpfuls. Those 'Not Helpfuls' really hurt on ciao as its minus ten points for each one you get, so making more sense to spend your time rating down crap work than rating up good work that's competing with yours, the rewards there awarded solely on the premium fund and the amount of points you get in a month compared to other members. Ok, most of the rates we get on dooyoo and ciao are from members who haven't read much of the actual review but just matching your average rate, but both sites are mature enough to realize if they weren't allowed to do that then the site wouldn't exist in its current vibrant form and certainly no decent rewards on offer. As long as they rate accurately and not Very Useful for everything then all is well. I am surprise dooyoo allow so much blatant rating back here though. Surely dooyoo want us rating the products that the external customers read here and not just each other.

            The best and most rewarding comments here are the rates from the members who have actually enjoyed your work or been challenged by it. If a guide or grouchy member corrects my spelling or pulls me up on a point I love it because they have actually read it. I just want people to read me. But what I like most of all is pushing the boundaries and getting the big rates, the orgasmic 100 rates per single review rates, which is more than it looks as most guides don't rate me anymore and so I have to work harder than most to get the important raters (my fault, I know). Anybody who doesn't rate me because they don't like my outspoken views on dooyoo must remember I have to put up with far worse and still rate those same members back if their work is any good. I just don't see the connection between our online selves and the real us. We create a persona here to make money and play the game and that's it.

            # # # # # CROWNS AND RATINGS # # # # #

            -------------------------------
            Dooyoo Guides earned 58 of the last 250 crowns awarded on site
            -------------------------------

            Crowns, of course, have always been my bugbear here as far as purity of ratings and nominations go, purely because they are not transparent as far as who gets them, other than the ambiguous blurb on the rules page. Why do we all partake in a public nominating system if it we don't actually know if our nominations mean anything? We are at the point now that you would need an algorithm to predict who will crown rather than simply the top reviews. I have always said that the best reviews on dooyoo don't always crown but the best reviews for dooyoo always do. Thats the way they seem to want it. No system will ever be more than 80% accurate, especially if you dont nominate and rate more, but we are all in the dark on how they actually work it. No one has a problem with dooyoo crowning products they are pushing and what the external punters want to read about but when you feel a certain number of crowns are 'reassigned' because some favoured member has written 1400 words on a cucumber (with zero humour) you do get a little miffed. The worse feeling of all here is when you put everything into a review and its blanked week in, week out. You can all recall doing that review as it bombs out to a member who has written 550 words and had a third of its rates as useful and the work full of typos and clearly no ones nominated it, or if they did they are mates or something. And we have all had one of those crowns too. Its then you realize that maybe dooyoo want the not so important members to churn out short 50p reviews with little substance than spend hours perfecting crown reviews that never will, the crowns now mostly handed out to an elite. Its 5000% easier to get your £1.50 writing 50p dirge!

            -------------------------------------
            The devils film reviews written

            All time - 395
            Crowns 102

            Recent

            50 written
            3 crowns
            -------------

            When I finally get a crown on dooyoo these days it feels like being a homeless beggar thrown 50p! It's a tad humiliating but welcome sustenance to keep you going. Some well known dooyoo members have joined me on skid row of late. You know who you are. Lol. My recent Grand Prix crown was exactly that, and like the opening race in Bahrain, probably my blandest review for a year. But that's dooyoo's capricious side for you. My 'Age of Stupid' film review and my one on Northampton where some of the best I have ever done here for a long time but totally blanked, regardless of the nominations. When they didn't crown those, you know you're back in the two crowns a month club, the third tier writer here. Im nota third tier writer! Yes, I know, you shouldn't buck the system but my God it's annoying! And yes I do think I'm worth and good enough for a crown a week from 7 good reviews. I have done all the painful things dooyoo have asked me to do to continue being a member here and hopefully increase my crown chances after my rather spurious suspension in June (no reviews locked for six months now!) but it's not paying off, being boring and 'dumbing down' work and not being honest seeing that crown take and ratings collapse. And when you know dooyoo are handing out 20% less crowns this year but the guides count and those selected favourites crowns go up and up you end up writing these reviews that only make things worse.

            -My yearly efforts-

            March 2007 to March 08 - 70 crowns (289 reviews)
            March 2008 to March 2009 - 62 crowns (298 reviews)
            March 2009 to March 2010 - 29 crowns (308 reviews)

            ----------------------------------

            # # # # # LAST WEEKS CROWNS # # # # #

            67 crowns were awarded on site from approx 2100 reviews posted.

            Guides Crowns - 16 (11 to females, 4 to guys)
            Guides total reviews written in the week - 27.

            I did not include pmcd in that list as he would probably admit he writes for volume rather than crowns. If he did write for crowns he would have lots, although he gets one now and then like stopping for a drink in the marathon to keep him racing along! If he wasn't a guide would he have 72 crowns from 2000 reviews in two years? It's a fair question to ask. I like his work and would crown it but other members who write 700 word reviews definitely don't crown.

            (Permission was sought to use all guides names in this review)

            To put it in context there were just 8 film crowns awarded to members on Tuesday, of which 3 went to guides and three to regular star movie writers and so just two between the rest from over 500 film reviews written in that week, of which just one went to a male writer, Lustba. It's the most popular section by far. Non guides are effectively chasing just one crown.

            ----------------------------

            Even though dooyoo has seen a three fold increase of reviews posted in two years the guides crown percentage has actually increased in that period, from 17% to near 21%. All that green on the 'newest crown' list is becoming noticeable. I think the big advantage to guides is they are more likely to be crowned on reviews in their own sections (they are the experts after all!) and on the more abstract topics, the luxury crown, ones that don't produce revenue for dooyoo, the so so-called 'cucumber review'. Again I really do feel now is the time to list nominations under reviews so the community can judge what exactly we have to do to crown and who are the influential nominators here and how many noms are needed to crown. If we are supposed to be a community then why do we have a system that isn't transparent? As dooyoo have the final say on crowns where's the problem? If you consider dooyoo has added a list for just about everything else on the community page as far as rating and commenting goes in the last three years you have to again ask what's the problem with listing noms? Ciao does it with their 'Excellent' rating button and the best reviews get the diamonds for all to see. There's no real dispute. In that way members like me will be shown up to be bad writers if that's the case (which certain writers keep reminded me of) because I have no nominations and you can all laugh at me! But, more rewardingly, it will also expose who should be getting the crowns, the ones with the most nominations. I suspect if the nominations were listed there would be one or two 'contradictions' on Tuesday, why dooyoo tell me to bog off when I keep asking them to list noms. But if you guys ask them to then maybe they will appear.

            If we bring ratings back into the argument we know they don't dictate crowns either. I have seen reviews regularly crown on Tuesday morning with barely five rates so we can discount that connection. In fact my last review but one to crown, The Winter Olympics, was crowned very quickly on Tuesday, which proves the system doesn't work. That review could not be judged by the whole community for long enough to be crowned. Don't get me wrong, I aint complaining. I enjoyed the crown because it made up for better uncrowned reviews of mine but the system is all over the place. I have also seen well known members who get lots of crowns barely rate 500 reviews a month. There is little correlation between how much you put into the site on how much you take out. Or it could simply be that not enough members are nominating each other for any clear delineation between the best reviews? There must be over 1000 nominations a week made and so whoever has the job needs a short cut or two to avoid getting fired, the so-claeed gray area at work. Maybe the bulk of the reviews are the ones with the most nominations but there needs to be transparancey!

            Dooyoo member and ex guide 'blonde - girl774' (permission also sought to use her name) is a great example for my argument. Now that she is no longer guiding, her crowns stopped as equally abruptly, going from 15 out of 35 reviews crowned to just 1 in 27 reviews, my levels. That isa striking statistic. She still writes lots of good girly reviews here but no crowns. Its nice to know guides are not above reproach and sanction here but it does support the feeling it's a big advantage to earn guide status to keep crowns coming in when the crown count is falling on site in general. Again they seem unaffected by the recession and the fact they never query their amounts in comments on these reviews suggest they quietly agree with me sometimes that perhaps they do get too many compared to the increased quality on site these days the should be competed against. If I was a guide I would say it as it is out of respect to all members. Actually I would make a brilliant guide!

            To be honest I'm tired of this non transparency over something that's probably very simple to do on site. We have 27 categories we can write about dooyoo on dooyoo on our experiences and things we can improve here but do they ever listen? I was seriously thinking about not nominating anymore on site as the system seems that pointless. If I have written in a section, say films, and I'm nominating ten reviews a week and most were crowing (the case), I am effectively nominating against myself if most film crowns are already spoken for, especially if dooyoo are giving less importance to any kindly nominations you lovely people give us. The fact my crown count has crumbled by 300% in just nine months concurs. Is a member dead in the water without a guide's nomination or dooyoo's sympathy? The solution is for us all to increase nominations and so swamp dooyoo with those nominations so they have to look at more work. I'm going to treble mine. I'm also going to hack down on ratings in the summer and help others to get crowned and try not to feel the need to be a prolific member to help the site until things level out. It just feels great not having to rate bloody Smarties reviews anymore!

            Back to the algorithm...

            In mathematics, computer science, and related subjects, an algorithm is an effective method for solving a problem using a finite sequence of instructions. Algorithms are used for calculation, data processing, and many other fields.Each algorithm is a list of well-defined instructions for completing a task. Starting from an initial state, the instructions describe a computation that proceeds through a well-defined series of successive states, eventually terminating in a final ending state. The transition from one state to the next is not necessarily deterministic; some algorithms, known as randomized algorithms, incorporate randomness.
            (Wikipedia)

            I will admit I spend too much time in films and so getting wound up by it all right now, yours truly effectively an unofficial third dooyoo film guide with the number of noms and rates I was doing on that section at my peak in the last 12 months. I'm basically going to be like most other writers now and put in what I get out and no more - a metaphoric rate for a rate if you like. What's the point putting so much in if you're pi**ing in the wind? People tell me to shut up and stop moaning about crowns as that's what is stopping you getting them. I say exactly right, the member not the review crowned. That's not the way dooyoo should be.

            # # # # # COMMENTS # # # # # #

            After some run in's with the guides and usual outspoken members that wield more power than they should I was told to pretty much stop writing them as they are a minefield. I like to flirt with the girls for fun in the comments, and I may have had a few pints when I did it and got in trouble, even though they were meant to be silly and funny and not pervy, which they were. The big problem with comments is if you're sharing a private joke with the writer of the review or you are making a strong point knowing they know your point you always get someone else chipping in to stir it. Unless the member who writes the review complains then where's the problem? I get abusive comments all the time from 'senior members' here and you just have to take it as you know if you complain then dooyoo will side with the other party. I just don't bother congratulating people on good reviews anymore or telling them off for bad ones as you know you're going to get some hassle, which is all rather sad.

            -Solutions-

            Why don't dooyoo embrace ciaos system of minus points for Not Useful and Somewhat Useful ratings? We could say minus 100 dooyoo miles for Not Useful rates and minus 50 for Somewhat Useful. I hate rating rubbish with these rates so generally don't bother but I would if it knocked the wasters off the side by destroying their miles scores. It would certainly encourage them to try and get better and not post up churn. Let's start rewarding good writers and raters by hitting the timewasters.

            Nominations listed under reviews. If it's not a technical server reason then why won't they do it? Anything that makes this supposed democratic community more of the same then it should be done. Now I know you're going to say if members rate for a rate then why not nominate for a nomination? Well the answer is firstly the community can see the nom and so judge it if it's fair and secondly dooyoo still decide who crowns. Clearly someone who posts up a great review on Wednesday would accrue more nominations than those who go up on Monday in the following week. But my idea would be a set number of noms puts you into a pool of reviews considered for crowning (3 will do it), joining the ones that dooyoo crown for other reasons. It works brilliantly on Ciao and none can say average reviews there get crowned there. And if there were any bias nominating it would stick out like the Angel of the North. But most importantly we could trust each other more and show our love. Again, swamp dooyoo with nominations so they have to look at more reviews to crown and so breaking the strangleholds. If you don't then that chase for one film crown for boys and the one for girls will become zero crowns.

            My second idea is no more than one crown per member per section per week. This would encourage members to write across the spectrum more and get more variety on site, and so share out the reduce numbers of crowns we are seeing. If they have written four good film reviews they increase their chances. I would also 'up' the dooyoo lounge crowns as dooyoo don't pay on those and also make crowns worth different amounts on different sections. For example film crowns should drop to £1:00 but crowns in the sections dooyoo really want us to write in should be £2:00. I would also give more crowns to cinema releases. I don't do cinema much so I'm being honest on this.

            My final plan would be guides can do know more than one year in the job in a department they are not that expert in so to give other people a go, although they could switch to another sections after that year, bit like your cell phone contracts. Book, film and music guides read books, watch films and listen to music like the rest of us, rather than make films, write books and cut records (if you do I haven't seen, read it or heard it so no offence!) so not experts as such. It's a section many could do here. One guide on one section has written just one review in a year! Some may be experts in their fields but not others. The sports guide, as lovely as she is, has qualified purely going to see Scotland play! And as we all know they are rubbish at sport (you even messed up the curling gal!).lol. Even her name sounds Scottish! Lovely gal but we need a sports writer in there maybe. It's not a woman or Scottish thing.lol. Good writers like Paul Hanton just back off the site because they are not used correctly and other people I know here that would be ideal are knocked back to be a guide for unknown reasons. The same old faces get the gig. We also seem to have too many guides, sections like Education, Video, Gardens and Motors getting few reviews. Merge them up dooyoo or get them to help on bust sections like films or books! If we are going to be leaner then lets be open and democratic.

            But as a final thought I will leave you with the fact there are twice as many female guides as male ones here and twice as many crowns awarded weekly to females, the girls and the things girls do running the show here me thinks.lol. The guys are getting feeble here and need to crack their knuckles, bump chests and level things up before dooyoos front page goes PINK!!!!!!

            Now go eat your hot cross buns!

            Of the last 250 crowns 58 went to guides:

            21female guides scored 39 crowns
            9 male guides scored 19 crowns

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              05.03.2009 10:51
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              How to rate and how not to rate - CAMPAIGN FOR FAIR RATINGS

              **DISCLAIMER**
              I'm having one of those mornings and a slight frustration has made me write this review....I have tried my hardest not to make this a rant so excuse the exclamation marks if I haven't removed them already....

              **Revenge Ratings**
              I had heard the term revenge ratings on Dooyoo but hadn't really experienced it or noticed it.... until quite recently.

              Everyone makes mistakes which is why I always am quite lenient with the odd mistake. But I do try and be honest with reviews. If the review is too short or too long and loses focus it might only score useful. If its really poor but I do think the person is still learning I will mark as somewhat useful and then give some constructive feedback.

              This is in no way casting judgement on all new members as we were all new once but there are a high number of revenge raters which are new members that seem to get huffy or touchy that their 150 word review is only a somewhat useful. Reading other peoples reviews are a good way to learn and get an idea of how to write a great review and gain a VU rating.

              It's really unfair on those new members that do want to learn and please note I don't care if you are a new member or old member I rate all members on the same basis... the quality of their review and not who they are.

              I do have some Somewhat Useful ratings and a Not Useful Rating.

              The Not Useful Rating is from someone who tried to make a pass at me in a personal message and I ignored. It's strange how all 75 other members marked me as Very Useful (including 3 guides) and this person marked me as Not at all Useful??

              The Somewhat Useful rating are a fair mark for some of my earlier reviews when I was going through a churning phase and writing 200 word poor quality reviews. Thanks guys for those that gave me feedback! However I got one this morning which I am chasing up and requesting some feedback (off a new member unfortunately) as I have 50 VU ratings and I would like to speak to someone with a different opinion to why its only Somewhat Useful.

              CAMPAIGN FOR FAIR RATINGS!!!

              **Rating Fairly**

              I read a review and look for a good structure, a little bit of product information and I like lots of personal experience and if there is humour in there as well then bonus points and you may get a comment in addition to a VU

              Useful isn't a bad rating, it just means I feel the review could be improved. Quality reviews are very important and what Dooyoo is about. So getting an important and some feedback isn't a bad thing.

              Text language, poor spelling and work copied from other web sources is going to get you a Not Useful or a Somewhat Useful if you are lucky. In a most cases I just won't rate the review as these members do not deserve the rating and points credited to their account.

              Everyone is different hence why we all have different views and experiences of certain products so it's the same with what we classify as a VU or a U but generally as a community we do find some common ground.

              **Commenting**

              I often comment on reviews I can relate to or think are particularly good or humorous. I may offer some polite or constructive criticism but I don't like it when people are snotty and make quite mean comments without telling the writer how to improve it. It's a personal thing but if I nominate someone I won't write NOMINATED, but all community members are different

              **Final Thoughts**

              So if you are going to "revenge rate" me..... I actually don't care...I should say thank you. You are still adding 1.5p to my account. If I read your review and don't rate it then that means I don't think it is worth giving it a rating. So ner ner ner I can be childish too!

              I did actually rant this morning and my new tact is asking for feedback off those that have marked me as a somewhat useful or not at all useful. I hope that this does not come across at all negative but in fact helpful to those wanting to learn and read the opinions of others in the Dooyoo community.

              Any thoughts comments and feedback welcomed......

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                22.02.2009 20:07
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                What do you think of my idea?

                My main suggestion for dooyoo in terms of ratings is a change in the meaning of the rating system with relation to dooyoo miles. I would prefer it if 'Very Useful' ratings scored more miles than the other ratings levels. I think that all of the ratings should score some miles as they all represent that someone has thought enough of your review to rate it but I don't think that there should be a set amount of miles for all ratings. I would prefer a rating system that went something like this:

                Not Useful: 0 miles - this may seem harsh but I don't think people often give out this rating so someone would really have to do a pointless review to gain this rating

                Somewhat Useful: 5 miles - again this rating is not often used and the low number of miles I think is a fair reflection of the lack of effort/thought put into the review

                Useful: 15 miles - I think this is a decent amount of miles for a review which is informative but perhaps lacks length, detail or opinion

                Very Useful: 30 miles - I'd like to see an increase in the maximum amount of miles you could get for a really good review. I have seen some excellent reviews on here and 15 miles does not seem like enough reward for the effort that the person has put in.

                I think that having a range of rewards depending on ratings would encourage people to put more effort into their reviews and would as such raise the general standard of dooyoo. It would also deter people from submitting loads of short reviews to earn dooyoo miles quickly.

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                  22.07.2008 19:36
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                  Why can't we be honest?

                  During the nearly 8 years that I've been here on Dooyoo I have read over 5,500 reviews. That may perhaps not sound to you like a very high number of reads. As I say in my Bio, I am not a "serial reader". I read what interests me and nothing else. My apologies if I haven't returned the compliment of your read of a review of mine, especially if you've been kind enough to add me to your Circle of Friends. If your thing is X-Box games, lipsticks, Heavy Metal Bands, baby-wear or a host of other subjects, it is highly unlikely I will read a review of it. It's just not my thing. I do have fairly divers interests though.

                  That does mean that I have rated over 5,500 reviews because I [almost] without fail rate what I read. However, I never ceases to amaze me that people will read but not bother to rate.

                  Why should they?

                  Well, it's not just a matter of courtesy, it actually helps, well it helps me, to understand when I've written something that has been helpful to the reader and when I haven't. Fortunately it would appear that most time I have but how can you be sure. How can you be certain that that very gratifying Very Useful (VU) is the genuine article?

                  Why shouldn't it be?

                  Well, maybe it's because there seem to be some readers who are "serial VUers"! I really don't understand why. Perhaps it's because they are nervous about giving offence? Perhaps they want to avoid "Revenge Ratings"? Maybe they're easily satisfied? Maybe they didn't even read the review and just want to entice the writer to read one or two of theirs? Bearing in mind some of the reviews I've seen rated as VU, the last possibility seems highly likely. I've seen reviews bordering on Not Useful (NU) that have end-to-end VUs (until I came along)!

                  Let's get one thing absolutely clear before we go any further. The rating you give to a review makes absolutely no difference to the writer's pot of Dooyoo Miles. If that wasn't clear then let's just repeat that. There are no extra Dooyoo Miles for a VU nor an NU, nor anything in between. It's not about the money.

                  You may have noticed that I tend to "rate low", if I have so rated one of your reviews. I believe that that's the way it should be. There is absolutely no justification for rating a review VU that patently doesn't deserve it. If that p****s off the writer, Tough! But, if it does deserve it then I am more than happy to award a VU. No one is going to improve the quality of their work if they get nothing but VUs that they don't deserve. Why should they? What you're telling them is that they are producing great stuff.

                  Why try any harder?

                  Well, because it reflects on the quality of what can be found on Dooyoo in general. If a new visitor comes to read a review that is patently sub-standard, only to find that it has been unfailingly rated VU, what are they to think about the sort of reviews that they are likely to find elsewhere on Dooyoo? Are they not likely to go elsewhere, to Ciao or, Heaven forbid, ePinions? Dooyoo would much rather they stayed here and that will only happen when we are honest in our ratings and take them to heart and improve the quality of what we write rather than going off in a huff or, worse still, NUing everything the rater has written, in revenge.

                  Let me give you an idea about what I use as my guidelines for rating reviews. Then, if I rated one of yours Useful (U) or Somewhat Useful (SU), you'll know why.

                  First let's get another thing clear; it's not about the length (as the Actress said to the Bishop - Sorry, old joke; couldn't resist). The length of the review should, in my opinion, be relevant to the subject being reviewed. I've rated U or even SU reviews of over 2,000 words. I've rated VU reviews of under 300 words.

                  Firstly, if your are reviewing a product or a service, something that has a price, you will not get a VU from me if you fail to tell me how much you paid for it. I've seen reviews raving about a product and saying what great value for money it is, and then not telling me how much it is! It drives me round the bend.

                  So, say you're reviewing an Ink Cartridge (though why the hell we even have categories for these defeats me! It's probably a result of Dooyoo's ill-advised outsourcing of the adding of new categories a while back, that resulted in the site being littered, and I mean that literally, with complete rubbish) then what I want to know is how well it prints, how accurate the colour is, how long it lasts and how much it costs. You can do that in a couple of hundred words. Do so and you'll get a VU from me (I have to read these as Dooyoo Guide for the Computer category!)

                  But, write a review about a laptop computer that raves about how good it is and what wonderful software comes with it and what great value for money it is in a couple of hundred words and you'll be lucky if I give it an SU. It's a computer! Is that really all you can tell me about it? What about the size of the screen and its maximum resolution? What about how many USB ports it has and to which standard? How about Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support? Tell me about the CD/DVD drive. Read only or is it a writer? How big is the hard drive? How much memory is installed? It's a bit like reviewing a car and simply telling me what colour it is. What use is that?

                  I doubt a decent review of any computer can be accomplished in less than a thousand words, probably double that. Any less information and you will not get a VU from me. Sorry, but that's the way it is. OK, mention the software but I do not want to read a computer review that talks all about the software. That's what Dooyoo's Software category is for. The Duke wants to read that stuff.

                  I also believe that the rating you assign should not depend upon whether or not you agree with the writer's opinions. As an atheist I tend to read reviews on the subject of religion, simply because I am interested in what others believe and why. I may vehemently disagree with the the writer's views but, as long as they are not actually incorrect, so long as they have been well presented I will rate accordingly and that may well include a VU.

                  One thing is absolutely certain, if I discover that your work is plagiarised from the Internet then not only will you get an NU from me but I WILL report you to Dooyoo, whether it's in my category or not. I will also write to you and tell you so. I don't believe in doing things behind people's backs, no matter how deplorable their actions. Plagiarism will not be tolerated. OK, you've already got a few more Dooyoo Miles simply from my reading the review but you will soon lose those and probably your membership as well once Dooyoo catches up with you. An NU on top makes no difference other than to tell you you've been sussed. I rarely find it necessary to assign NU for anything else, fortunately.

                  I hope that's given you an idea. I'm not saying that you must follow these guidelines but I do hope that next time you read a review you rate it and that you really give some serious thought about what the review has told you, what it could have told you that would have made it even more useful and rate accordingly. Only then will we get some credibility for Dooyoo and its content.

                  Rate on, Tommy!!!!!!

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                    05.12.2007 19:04
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                    dooyoo is just a consumer review site

                    When logging into dooyoo, naturally, products and services that interest me first tend to receive my attention, especially if its something I may be interested in purchasing in the future. Regular contributors, those on my bookmarked list and those who have been kind enough to take the time to read my reviews, I tend to read. For the small minority of established members that don't bother to read my reviews despite having read theirs, I tend not to read theirs.

                    When it comes to rating I take a very simple approach. First and foremost, a site such as dooyoo is a consumer review site for consumers to share their opinions. If someone has taken the time to write a review of a reasonable length and detail despite having flaws it would seem fair to rate them very helpful. Such rating acknowledges that the author has put time and effort into their review.

                    Despite what some members would like to believe dooyoo is not a site of professional reviewers so the standard shouldn't be set too high. After all people have lives with other things to do rather than spend their whole day writing a review. Reviews should be as short as possible while containing all the essential information and opinion. This leads to the next point.

                    Some established members tend to be unnecessarily harsh when it comes to rating. Although they will deny it, newly registered users tend to be on the receiving end of this. As an example, the first review I submitted on dooyoo, despite being crowned received some very poor ratings. Those who downrated didn't offer any comment or explanation to why they had downrated it.

                    Overall dooyoo is just a consumer review site, one shouldn't take the standard of reviews too seriously and it would be better not to become so obsessed with ratings. For any review with a reasonable amount of content, deserves very helpful and those that go beyond what one would expect a crown. However, whenever serious about buying something, the first place to get an in depth balanced review is a specialist website.

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                      04.12.2007 02:03
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                      Reasons for rating

                      Dooyoo is primarily a consumer review site, but it is also partially a social network site as well as an advertising website. The reviews by members stimulate advertising revenue. The members of Dooyoo make 3p per read when another member reads their review. None of the members as far as I know are employed by Dooyoo. Some of them do it because they enjoy writing, some might do it for a bit of fun, but we all of us do it for the money. If that wasn't the case then why are we posting regularly here and not on any of the thousands of other sites where you can write about products or enter discussions and debates, and where you get paid nothing? I don't do this just because I enjoy writing. If it was merely a case of enjoying writing, I could write articles and stories and post them on a thousand blogs or other websites for nothing and probably get more feedback. The 3p per read isn't going to make you rich but it's a major contributing factor as to why people start writing on Dooyoo. My £150 computer monitor that I'm using right now is the accumulation of 3ps earned on Dooyoo. 3p per read is the major incentive to be on this site. There's no escaping that fact.


                      What to Rate
                      Reading and rating other people's reviews is therefore an important element of being a Dooyoo member. It's a major principle of good membership. Good members are those who rate and read reviews regardless of the product being reviewed, the subject being discussed or the opinion being expressed. As a member for some time I try to return read and rate reviews of members who read and rate my reviews even if these reviews are on subjects that I find little interest in (perfume for example). Some members choose to rate particular categories and ignore others. At first I had no problem with this, but then I began to think that surely this goes against the principles of good membership. In my view established members should try to read/rate across the board. Of course you don't have to read every review and your activity on site will vary over time, but we should all participate in reading and rating products that we might regard as really boring or of no interest.

                      What would happen if we only rated what we're interested in? Certain products would get lots of ratings and other products would get next to none. If we only rated the reviews that interested us then some product reviews would get very few ratings at all. Unless you're on the lookout for a new one or collect them as a hobby, who in they're right mind would want to read a review about a vacuum cleaner? Of perhaps the 36 members who read my review of a Typhoon 1800 Upright I would be surprised if more than one was genuinely interested in the product. On the other hand, everyone likes to watch a good movie, and as such film reviews always get lots of reads. But why should a member who only writes film reviews get more rates/reads than a member who writes reviews about washing machines and vacuum cleaners? That would be the case if all members only read the reviews about products/subjects in which they were interested - many products would be ignored and Dooyoo in its present format would not function under.


                      New Members
                      I agree with a recent reviewer on this subject that it is important to rate reviews by new members form time to time. Leaving a comment of encouragement is a good idea. However I nearly always avoid rating any new members who simply churn out half a dozen useless reviews in a row. You can usually tell they're useless because they're in a row. They obviously haven't read around the site and they shouldn't really receive any encouragement until they do so. Trying to communicate is often a fruitless task.


                      Comments
                      Some times I go through periods where I leave a lot of comments and other times I refrain from doing so through lack of time etc. I don't think it's essential to leave a comment and if someone simply rates a review then this is sufficient feedback for me. Although in 'speakers corner' it's usually interesting to make/receive some comments. There's no harm in trying to get noticed from time to time. Merely leaving a comment such as 'Great review' is fine by me and I see no harm in writing 'nominated' - even though you can never be sure if someone actually has given you a nomination. Sometimes it can be frustrating when people read your review but don't rate it - you don't who it is. However, one has to remember that this can happen by accident and is not always intentional.


                      Rating
                      For me a quality review will contain some or all of the following: it is enjoyable to read, well balanced, contains some detail, some opinion and entertains. Even if the review has little consumer information, it can still get a VU from me if it entertains. For an entertaining review can still keep the page counters ticking, generate advertising, promote the product, attract attention and alleviate the boredom of reading another review about Lipotrim.

                      Regarding reviews in speakers corner, although I know this is difficult for some people, I don't believe that you should give a low rating just because you disagree with the opinion expressed. I'm not going to give an NU to someone or not rate their reviews just because they think ID cards are a great idea, global warming is nonsense and Jeremy Clarkson should be the next leader of the Conservative Party. As long as the review has some balance, looks at the pros and cons etc, then it will get my vote. Besides, I can always write in the comments section what a load of bollocks their opinion is.

                      I will never rate a review VU if there are lots of grammar mistakes and bad spelling. Nor will I rate highly if the review is very short with hardly any detail or if there's nothing but a boring description of contents/features.

                      There does seem to be an overall bias by all members to give lengthier reviews higher ratings. Sometimes I feel tempted to give really long reviews a less than VU but I rarely if ever do. It's hard because you know the writer has usually put in a lot of effort.

                      Rarely do I give a NU, but I do believe that if you really think a review is crap, then you shouldn't be afraid to use the NU option. If someone writes five lines in broken English with very little detail or opinion then it's NU. So what if you get a revenge rating? It will usually be obvious what's happened if you receive a single NU or SU amongst a list of VUs. The NU rating is underused. If something's rotten it needs to be said!

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                        03.12.2007 14:14
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                        A few tips and guidelines on how I rate other people's reviews!

                        I got into 'Come Dine With Me' last night and it reminded me of this place with ratings and comments. For those of you who have never heard of 'Come Dine With Me' it's a food show with 5 contestants. Each contestant hosts a dinner party and the guests privately rate at the end of the night. Last night a woman seemed adamant on rating everyone else low so she could tactically win the £1000 prize money. Luckily the producers of the show made her re-rate fairly and she ended up in 2nd place. The programme gave me the idea to write this review about fair rating.

                        This review will follow in chronological order because this is how it would be approach on the site. First you would read...then rate and possibly leave a comment. This review is about my own opinions about rating and gives a little insight into how I may rate one of your reviews.

                        READING
                        --------------
                        I know that many people have set writers that they wish to review, or set topics and that is fine to a certain extent but we must also remember that Dooyoo is funded by member activity. The more people reading, rating and submitting reviews generates a larger income for Dooyoo.

                        I always try to read a selection of reviews by new members, more established members and obviously those who are kind enough to consider me their friend or kind enough to read and rate my reviews. I do think it is important to rate reviews of newer members and where possible offer advice so that they can make improvements. Some new members write excellent first reviews and by congratulating or acknowledging this is can generate more interest. My first review was good and the comments kept me here!

                        I usually scroll down to the bottom and this will determine whether I need to go and grab a cup of tea or three course meal before I sit down to read it ;-)
                        I have no issue with long reviews and will read them as long as they make sense, are readable or contain necessary information. I admit that I write longish reviews and can understand why some would scroll down to the bottom and refuse to read or rate it.

                        Not to forget the consumers who find Dooyoo from a search engine after typing in a product name. Would these people want to see a brief summary of a product or a concise write up including every minor detail?

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                        Read the reviews that interest you but try to rate reviews of newer members.
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                        IT'S NOT AN ASSIGNMENT FOR AN UNDERGRADUATE DEGREE
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                        I must admit that rating is a very personal thing. I find it a lot easier to review that uses simple sentences, basic adjectives and correct but simple grammar. Throughout university I struggled to write in an academic style with sub-ordinal clauses, complex sentences and ridiculously long or complex adjectives. In fact we all agreed that by writing in a simple way made our work easier to read and understand but lacked that oomph for 'academic style'.

                        I used to go out with a guy who could use language as a weapon to shut me up. His long words and pompous phrases made me feel very small and thick. I don't hold this against people but we all have our own ways of speaking, writing and communicating and as long as a review is legible, informative and useful it shouldn't be rated lower due to the language used.

                        It has got to the point however where I find it a lot easier to read a review using simple sentences and basic adjectives. I don't want to sound thick but I have a degree and sometimes find myself looking up some words in a dictionary before I can fairly rate. I am sure someone who struggles with literacy or uses English as a second language would also struggle and therefore this makes the article/review less than VU.

                        This also leads onto the expectation that a VU review is one with over 1000 words. I have seen a few reviews I consider to be Very Useful despite its short length and basic use of the English language.

                        As a consumer I love to see a concise write up of a product so that I can get a thorough understanding and 'feel' for the product. I find that a review which gives a slight background to why the product was purchased, a little about the reviewer and then leads nicely into first impressions and then onto more technical specifications and opinions are certainly most helpful. I often find when reading reviews that although the first impressions are positive the detailed dissection of the product often uncovers issues and problems and this is what I want to hear. I have heard some nasty things about the LG Chocolate phone but loved its appearance. These reviews to me are very useful.

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                        A review does not need to have chapters to be helpful!
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                        RATINGS
                        --------------
                        I like to think that I rate fairly, I rate according to my opinion that a review should be informative, easy to read and not too 'heavy'. My rating will differ for each type of product.

                        Electrical Goods
                        ---------------------
                        To get a very useful rating the review should tell me about everything e.g. an element of price comparison (e.g. you can get it here for £? or here for £? You may be better off getting it here because the customer support is best), a little bit of information on the appearance, ease of use, any faults and particularly good points. In the case of MP3 players, Cameras, DVD players or TV's etc I like to know about picture quality, sound quality or graphics in general. A poor review would only list good/bad points without any other information.

                        Services (including travel, phone, gas, charity etc)
                        --------------------------------------------------------------
                        I do like to know about background information, for example where did they start out, are they family run/major company or what they stand for. From past experience I have learned that a little bit of background knowledge helps when making an informed choice between one service and another. I also like to know about price, certain features that set them aside from other companies. I like to know the pros and cons so that I can make up my own mind. An unhelpful review would be more of a rant following a poor service.

                        Books, DVD's, video games and CD's
                        ------------------------------------------------
                        A very useful review would give me some information about the plot without giving too much away. I like to know the gist of the story/plot but do not want to hear the ending. A review that gives away the ending will make it 'not useful' to me. I like to hear a little about graphics for video games, lyrics for music and certainly about acting, general feel or extras for DVD reviews.

                        Travel
                        --------
                        A very useful review tells me about climate, places to see, things to do with a price guide. I also like to hear about any tips or particularly nice places to see. On more specific reviews such as those focussing on one attraction I like to hear about queues, getting there, price and any tips. An unhelpful review would tell me very little about the country and would just sum up general features (the sort I could find online).

                        Shopping
                        ------------
                        I like to know about store layout (offline shopping) or website navigation (for online shopping). I also like to know how reasonable the prices are and the general stock, for example is it well stocked or do the shelves often look empty or this the product usually out of stock. How safe are debit card details? Is the website secure?

                        I like to know if the products were faulty how the complaint was handled or how polite the staff are/were. An unhelpful review would be a rant/ complaint following a poor experience.

                        Speakers Corner
                        ---------------------
                        Of course 'Speakers Corner' reviews that are poorly constructed or lack any critical analysis will be rated low if I do not agree with the opinion being made. If the reviewer posts an offensive review that contradicts my own beliefs I will rate according to the ability to 'argue'. For example if the poster says that "all criminals should be shot" without relating to more than one opinion (their own) then the review would lack any critical analysis and would be unhelpful. If the poster tries to see beyond their own beliefs and gives a balanced argument then they deserve a very useful even if I disagree with the overall verdict.

                        In general
                        -------------
                        I like to have a review that is well balanced, I like a review to have equal amounts of information (plot/specifications/data) to opinion (what you actually think of the product). If a review is based wholly and solely on data, information or fact then it will be unhelpful as I can find that on a manufacturer/product website.

                        Last month I looked everywhere for reviews on digital picture frames and the only helpful reviews told me about the picture frame such as how it works, what is included in the box, the set up and certainly the reputation of the manufacturer as well as opinion e.g. how it looked on the wall, how easy it was to use or what was wrong with it.

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                        Rate as you see fit...if the review was helpful then rate it as helpful
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                        COMMENTS PLEASE
                        ------------------------------
                        I am not a big comment giver in fact I only tend to give comments on reviews that are outstandingly brilliant such as those deserving of a crown or reviews which I feel could be improved significantly.

                        If a reviewer has stopped me from making a terrible mistake I will thank them. I am open-minded towards other people's views and opinions and rarely leave comments doubting their tastes as really that's what makes us all different. I wouldn't necessarily go onto a review and leave a comment making someone feel bad about their choice but I may say something like "not my thing, but a concise well written review" rather than "eww you have no taste what mediocre rubbish". There certainly needs to be an element of tact with writing comments and I can safely say that most people have respect for others' feelings.

                        On Ciao there is the tendency to leave a comment consisting of "good review" or "I liked this" to gain extra points, its nice to see that this is rare on Dooyoo and a majority of the comments relate to the content of the review or give advise on improvement.

                        ----------------------------------------------------------------
                        If you don't have anything useful to say don't say it!
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                        SUMMARY
                        ----------------
                        I rate fairly and appreciate it when others rate fairly. I cannot stand people who revenge rate or rate according to personal opinion. A review of mine was recently rated 'not helpful' because the person in question (a new poster who joined and left after rating one review alone) didn't agree with my opinion on a product.

                        Members should look beyond their own opinions to see if the review would help a majority of consumers and if it does then it is helpful regardless of opinion. I love romantic, happy, fluffy, pink films with fluffy clouds, cute bunnies and love if a member said that they loved a film with blood, guts, murder, drugs and zombies then I wouldn't go ahead and rate as 'not useful' because I hate that sort of thing I would rate according to the content.

                        So overall read as many as you can, rate as you see fit and if you feel the need, leave a useful comment. You are welcome to leave a comment on this review stating whether you agree or disagree with my overall opinion on reading, rating and commenting.

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                          29.11.2007 18:45
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                          Speaker's Corner reviews are *NOT* consumer orientated, and should not be rated as such.

                          Well, there's a coincidence if ever there was one.
                          This is my 500th review here at dooyoo, and it damn near coincides with my 7th birthday at the site, which I joined way back on the 7th December, 2000. So my 500th little offering really *HAD* to be something dooyoo/opinion site related, now didn't it?

                          So what better than something *ALWAYS* guaranteed to stimulate some debate, and sometimes even raise some hackles; rating other member's reviews.
                          I'm currently an active member of three opinion sites. Dooyoo, (of course) Ciao, and over in the good old USA the first of them all, Epinions. Of the three sites dooyoo has always been my personal favourite, and it's still here where I tend to post my reviews first and spend most of my time. So I'll primarily write about the rating method I use here at dooyoo, but it would be practically the same for all three sites, the only exception being the "exceptional" and "off topic" ratings which exist over at Ciao but not here at dooyoo.

                          For a ordinary consumer review, and for that read a review that is about a product/service/movie/DVD etc, then my personal rating method differs little (if at all) from what is recommended by the dooyoo opmeisters. These recommendations used to be listed here at dooyoo, but a quick glance through the current "Help" section of the Community Pages shows they appear to have been removed during the recent revamp of the site. (If I'm wrong, then do tell me in the comment box)
                          Basically, rating is a relatively straightforward process, at least for a consumer review. If it has loads of detail, has plenty of personal user experience, and is well written I generally will give it a "very useful" rating, unless of course some of the actual detail itself is incorrect. Slightly less info or personal user experience gets a "useful" rating. The other two ratings, "somewhat useful" and "not useful" are generally reserved for very short reviews with little or no detail whatsoever, or for copied or off topic reviews.

                          Where I differ somewhat from the generally accepted rating guidelines is when it comes to rating opinions/reviews in the Speaker's Corner Category. I served a fairly long spell (2 years plus) as the Category Guide at Speaker's Corner and during this time I followed the accepted norm for rating a SC review. If it was well written and articulate, then I would rate it as very useful even if I disagreed vehemently with the content or opinion being expressed.
                          During this period I even recommended such opinions to dooyoo for consideration for Crown awards. I did this as I was then the Guide for the category, and didn't want my own personal opinions about a topic or subject to be even slightly instrumental in causing a review not to be awarded a Crown. Now before you all go jumping down my throat, I *KNOW* that it isn't simply a Guide's recommendation that is considered when a Crown award is being handed out, but I have to be honest and say that in all my years of Guiding I don't think I can ever recall an occasion where a review I recommended *DIDN'T* get a wee jaggy bunnet. (Crown) So the simple truth is that a Guide's recommendation carries a lot of weight with the dooyoo opmeisters. I suppose that's why they are appointed as Guides in the first instance.

                          Anyhow, back to the present. A while back I reconsidered my position on SC reviews, and now I rate these *NOT* on the quality of writing or whether or not it is articulate, but purely on the basis of how I personally feel about the subject.
                          Let me explain why. For instance, I personally am a practicing Christian, and take my spiritual well being very seriously. Let's say that somebody writes a review advocating the practice of devil worship. I realise that's a fairly extreme example, but in all conscience I couldn't bring myself to rate a review of that nature as anything other than "not useful", no matter how well it was written or how persuasive the argument put forward. For me, it would *ALWAYS* be "not useful".
                          Now some of you might say that that goes totally against the normal rating guidelines, and I suppose to a certain extent you would have a valid point. But for me I see it simply as rating according to my own personal beliefs.
                          For starters, a review in SC is *NOT* a consumer review, and is hardly likely to result in any sales or loss of revenue on the part of dooyoo or any manufacturer because I happen to rate the review as not useful.
                          I will always leave a comment for the writer telling them exactly why I have down rated their review. In fact, I often engage in some *VERY* lively debate in the comment box, both on my own opinions and on those of other writers.

                          Conversely, I don't expect any reader of my own SC reviews to rate them highly if they go against their own personal beliefs or viewpoint. If you think I'm talking through a hole in my body rather than my mouth, then have the bottle to say so, and rate my review accordingly. In fact, I'm never happier than when one of my more controversial SC reviews gets a poor rating, as to me it shows it has made people think. And I'm always more than willing and able to enter into debate on the subject with someone in the comment box. For me, this is part of the attraction of dooyoo, and a part of the site I really thoroughly enjoy.

                          So let's be having your comments.

                          ~~~~~~~~~~

                          © KenJ November 2007

                          ~~~~~~~~~~

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                            14.04.2007 18:06
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                            Rate right, and enjoy the experiences.

                            Rating – Here and beyond.

                            There is a very big difference between review sites as far as ratings are concerned, and to try and examine those differences, let's tell you a little bit about the different sites beforehand.

                            Dooyoo – Primarily serious product reviews, with the occasional smattering of speakers corner which is where people can debate certain issues.

                            Ciao – More community though again product based, although here there's a huge difference between Dooyoo and Ciao, since the cafe is where people can share experiences, poetry and creative writing pieces.

                            Helium – This is the widest scope of choice, since the reviews, otherwise known as 'articles' can be on any subject at all. The premise is that if they add information, they are acceptable, and that includes consumer reviews, though in smaller quantities.

                            RATING ON CIAO

                            On Ciao, ratings range from 'Off Topic' though a range of choices to 'Exceptional' and the writer rates the reviews presented to them, knowing what others have rated, and also knowing who they have rated. It's flawed. People aren't rating accurately, and much of the rating seems to produce the ultimate Diamond awards being given to the wrong reviews, or at least questionable ones. My own Diamonds which numbered 3 to me were over-rated and only one, to my mind, was merited.

                            A huge difference between Ciao and dooyoo is that ratings of substandard reviews are not paid for although time has shown me why dooyoo pay for them and Ciao don't. Not paying a writer for their work, no matter how mediocre that work is, means that the member inevitably feels peeved and complains. Having a differentiation between paid and non paid causes more hassle than it is worth, and here Dooyoo probably used good logic to see that the amount they lose in paying for substandard reviews doesn't justify changing things, as the amount of time it would take staff would be increased beyond their capacity.

                            Ratings on ciao : OFF TOPIC – Clearly those reviews which are misplaced.
                            SOMEWHAT HELPFUL - On topic but substandard.
                            HELPFUL – On topic, has information but not enough.
                            VERY HELPFUL – On topic, loads of information.
                            EXCEPTIONAL – On topic, and goes beyond to provide superb information.

                            The Exceptional rating is supposed to be taken into account for Premium Fund awards, though is questionable at best, since many exceptional reviews are not even considered. Seems a simple method of rating doesn't it, although the introduction of the Exceptional rating, to my mind, was a mistake, in that it moved the goalposts, and people were confused about ratings. Before the changes, it was much easier, and people do tend to follow leader example here, though following guidelines would be a wiser way forward. Rating is a pain. Technical errors mean that most people have to rate things twice, which really takes time.

                            RATINGS ON DOOYOO

                            Since all ratings pay on Dooyoo, there is no need for anyone to be concerned about rating a review, or a member losing money. They don't. The problems that occur are when people forget the essential part of the rating process, i.e. Reading a review. What Dooyoo cleverly devised was a click counter, and alarms go off when people really skip through loads of reviews and just click. It isn't a click site and it's unfair on other members to click rather than rate. It's caught several people out, but all they ask is that you read in order to make a safe judgment call in your ratings. Here, the ratings are pretty easy to define.

                            NOT USEFUL – Off topic, and without any useful aspect at all.
                            SOMEWHAT USEFUL – On topic though weak.
                            USEFUL – On topic though fairly scant in detail
                            VERY USEFUL – Full review with good information.

                            Crown nominations come into play here as well, and it's important not to abuse the crown system, because it takes away the credibility of members nominations. People like crowns and by being totally fair on which reviews you nominate, these nominations, together with Guide nominations go to Dooyoo for consideration for awards.

                            Comparing the systems of reward between Dooyoo and Ciao and the limitations that Ciao themselves have imposed of 10 awards a month, Dooyoo pays more and is fairer.

                            HELIUM

                            The Helium system of rating is a whole other ballgame. I am not totally convinced they have the balance right yet. When you are new member and contribute an article, you are given the opportunity to rate, though here, the rating is anonymous. You are presented with a screen showing two articles, and are asked to judge how much better one is from another, being given the opportunity to flag or report those that do not adhere to the writing standards of Helium.

                            It's a strange process and can be frustrating for those members that contribute few articles, because the choices of subject matter they can rate on are limited by which areas they contribute to. The more you contribute, the wider the choice.

                            Ratings available SAME for those you judge to have similar weight.
                            SLIGHTLY MORE which is exactly what it says
                            MORE which by definition is simple
                            BY FAR for those that are super compared with the comparison.

                            I like the concept though there are things that need sorting out about it. For example, repetition sometimes gets irritating, and there is at present no option to turn off those subjects in which you have no interest.

                            Of all of these, I like very much the ratings on Dooyoo, since they are straightforward and clear, am not at all keen on ratings on Ciao, though am impressed by the originality of the concept on Helium, though am impatient to see changes.

                            No system is ideal. The ciao system doesn't get reward in the right places. The Helium system doesn't move the articles fast enough although it is getting faster with more contribution, and the Dooyoo system pays well, and encourages fair ratings though not all members take the option to rate fairly.

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                              04.03.2007 12:02
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                              be fair

                              I'll be honest. Getting ratings for my reviews always makes me happy. Hard part is when I have to rate other peoples reviews because it is time consuming. When I have free time I browse the reviews page and read the ones that interest me. On a good day I have read upto 25 reviews. This takes at least 1/2 hour if not more. Some days I don't access the site. Today I probably read about 15 reviews that were posted in last two days. I will read more once this review is posted.

                              My advice to anyone reading reviews on this site or others is that be fair in ratings. Think of the way review is written and how others have rated it. If majority of ratings are VH than your rating of SH will look out of place.

                              Any review has to be well written to earn the top marks. I have seen some reviews where the member has improved on the past work yet the rating is the same. I think this is wrong. First impressions linger on at this site as well.

                              I feel sorry for some people. Their reviews are at least 1500 words long and well written yet they fail to attract more than 20 reads and some of them useful.

                              I can't say for others but I always rate a review on its merit. Well written one always gets VH from me. Those under 250 words get useful as long as the subject is well covered and self opinion is added. Less than 150 words gets SU rating and of course the bad ones are NU.

                              I don't rate people because they rate my reviews. I don't read reviews because they don't read mine. I always look at what interests me or something that is new information to me. When I have time I try to read as mansy as I can.

                              Thank you for reading my views on ratings and reads.

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                                04.03.2007 09:21
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                                My experiences of ratings

                                ***Introduction***

                                Ratings: surely the most contentious and yet, for me, the most tedious debate you can get on consumer sites. Still, ratings play their part in the sites’ welfare, not least in ranking reviews in order of quality so that consumers are led to the best ones first (in theory). I’ve been rating opinions for coming up to six years later this year (reaches for zimmer frame) and have gone through all kinds of different theories and opinions. At one stage I kinda thought that it was only the comments that mattered and part of me still feels that way; certainly in terms of discernible feedback for the opinion writer as it’s hard to determine just how many people really read the review rather than following a group consensus in terms of ratings. However, the overriding concern for the sites mentioned in this review is to put them into some kind of priority order driven by peer ratings/pressure to cut the wheat from the chaff. What I would like to do is talk about ratings experiences across the 3 sites I know about. What I won't do is to tell you how to rate. There are guidelines set up to help and plenty of threads dedicated to this debate at the various satellite discussion forums where you can throw yourself into the various arguments that rumble along about the psychology of ratings if you really want to. If I'm honest, I don't know the answer that everyone is searching for but then the clue might be in this statement: if I'm honest.

                                ***Rating on Ciao***

                                I am taking a bit of a risk here as I left Ciao some 2 years ago but assuming things haven’t changed: Ciao carries ratings that can categorize an opinion as unhelpful/somewhat helpful/helpful/very helpful. There are a further 2 extremes i.e. exceptional and off topic. All the same debates rage around Ciao ratings about over rating, harsh rating, members being over sensitive to ratings other than VH and maybe folks giving out E’s (ratings rather than drugs although it sounds like you need the latter on Ciao these days) with their hearts rather than their heads. How do I know these things? Well, I see the threads on the various forums and the debates have changed very little over the years (I lurk y'know). The other thing I used to find with "E" ratings is that they bore no relation whatsoever to those reviews selected as diamond winners. Then again, the formula for chosing the "best" reviews remains as mystifying now as it ever was, apparently!

                                In my view, the biggest problem on Ciao is the sensitivity to lower ratings and the impact on an opinion’s archive ranking. It only use to take one rating less than VH to see an opinion plummet from top spot in the archive to the lower depths of the pecking order thus denying the opinion potential reads in the future. Curiously, this never used to play a major part in a review winning a diamond award as there were plenty that had a handful of non-VH ratings that would win. Whether the solution is that the system should be more robust around the impact of lower ratings, I really don’t know but, from memory, this was the main issue folks had with getting lower ratings and all the kafuffle that went on because of it. I know that it was, and still is, prevalent for writers to challenge those that had given the rating to have another look at a revised review by the writer concerned. This doesn’t appear to happen on Dooyoo so much and we need to examine why that is. Of course, if profiles are set up in the same way on Ciao as they used to be with ratings given and received open to public scrutiny then there is a danger that these statistics can be used to label people as harsh raters/fluffy raters etc and herein may lie another problem.

                                ***Rating on Dooyoo***

                                Things are a bit different in Dooyoo land. With a not useful/somewhat useful/useful and very useful, we only have 4 options other than nominating those opinions we feel warrant a crown (which carries a crown gif and an extra 1500 miles as an award if the review gets awarded a crown). Again, the main idea behind ratings is to put the opinion into some kind of pecking order although whenever I’ve wandered through the archive, I do wonder whether that’s actually the case any more as reviews don’t seem to be in any particular order other than chronological by category. Ratings received are displayed in personal profiles and a recent addition appears to be to show the number of crowns won too. Interestingly, ratings given aren't shown as a statistic and so members aren’t subjected to the same kind of indignation that they are on Ciao along with the lesser impact of receiving something other than the top rating. Crown awards aren’t affected either with the kudos going to reviews that routinely get the occasional “U” as well as the customary string of “VU”

                                Dooyoo has the same issues like "revenge ratings" that Ciao does i.e. a tit for tat rating given based on animosity rather than what the opinion deserves and the mechanisms are in place to deal with this through Dooyoo and Ciao abuse departments. Certainly, it would be fair to say that Dooyoo abuse has got its act together recently with a slew of writers being kicked off for skimming or giving recipricol clicks as Dooyoo HQ now run a program on Monday mornings that shows up the cheats. In theory, this should leave behind those members genuinely interested in actually reading and rating properly.

                                ***Rating on Helium***

                                For anyone that hasn’t discovered www.Helium.com yet, it’s a US knowledge based site that allows members to post articles on just about anything. You get 1 cent per read and the lure is the fact that, potentially, you could be read by a wider audience. Ratings are a curious affair on Helium. I’ve been a member for just a few weeks and, from what I’ve seen, basically you post a review and then get invited to rate opinions which are put in front of you. They can be on any subject and you are usually confronted with two, side by side, and asked to determine which is the better of the two on a sliding scale given to the rater. I haven’t seen any other form of feedback yet; certainly in terms of comments and the ability to rate opinions in categories of your choice. This is a far cry from the systems in place at Ciao and Dooyoo and may be in its infancy with the site being relatively new. As a consequence, threads have popped up in satellite forums with writers appealing for feedback with the result that these links to their opinions have garnered hits and generated an income albeit nominal based on my own experience so far!

                                ***Conclusion***

                                There doesn’t seem to be a perfect rating system anywhere and this aspect of consumer opinion sites will always be a rich source of debate. If I was pressed I would say that Dooyoo has the fairest set up due to the robustness of its system with not the same sensitivity to lower ratings that Ciao has and the ensuing shenanigans that come with rating other than VH. Dooyoo appears more clear cut around its purpose too. With Ciao’s café encouraging creative writing and Helium’s blurred definition as to what it wants to be, Dooyoo gets predominantly product/experience based reviews that takes away that greyer aspect of what opinions are about overall. Personally, I love writing creatively but have found other outlets outside the remit of sites like the above that are dedicated to the cause rather than including it as a fillip to its writing community but possibly confusing the issue as a result. Notwithstanding, I always enjoyed reading many of the opinions in the Ciao Café.

                                In essence, I think if you remember that as well as the established ratings guidelines that exist in each of the sites in the terms and conditions, a rating is personal to you and if you ask yourself how useful/helpful that opinion was to you and ignore everybody else then you will usually arrive at the right conclusion. Being able to rate opinions is your biggest privilege and your worst curse. Use them wisely.

                                Thanks for reading

                                Mara

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                                  03.03.2007 20:05
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                                  Improve dooyoo by rating the review's of others, but be fair and sensible!

                                  I do quite a lot of rating other reviews on dooyoo, and I certainly much enjoy doing it compared to writing reviews, though I do a fair bit of that as well!

                                  WHY RATE?
                                  Ratings are very useful for the dooyoo community. They not only help readers to quickly pick out the reviews which other users believe will be most influential in their purchasing decisions, but also give the writer valuable information on what users think of the current quality of their reviews and show them whether they need to improve the detail and content of their reviews in future.

                                  All you have to do is browse some of the more commonly reviewed products and you will find that those reviews which have been rated Very Useful, and in particular been awarded with a crown, will have been viewed far more times than reviews with just Useful or below. This is because when users are looking for a review that will help them with a purchasing decisions, they do not want to trawl through dozens of useless reviews before coming to one that actually helps them, so the first thing they will do is click to sort the reviews by rating.

                                  Rating therefore not only helps readers that are genuinely interested in purchasing a product, but also means that more dooyoo miles are awarded to those reviews that most deserve them, and as a result members whose reviews are not of the best standard will be enticed to try harder with their next review to get it up to a standard they will progress to the next rating level.

                                  So next time you are logged in and decide to read a review, take just a few seconds to scroll down to the bottom of your page and give the review a rating; in doing so you will not only be helping that individual writer, but the whole of the dooyoo community.

                                  RATING FAIRLY
                                  A fair rater is one who always rates consistently, reads a review fully before making a judgment, takes into consideration what the review is about, and does not lower a rating because what the same member rated one of his/her reviews.

                                  When you come to rating a review, you should think very carefully about a number of factors before casting your rating. Mindless voting often results in reviews being grossly under or over-rated, and either way is very damaging to the efficiency of dooyoo and degrades the fairness of the overall rating system.

                                  One of the things I commonly witness on dooyoo is ‘quantity rating’, where a reader is not really interested in the article and is only visiting it solely for the purpose of issuing a rating, hoping to get a link to his/her own profile in that article and therefore increase their dooyoo miles account. Such readers tend not to read the review very thoroughly or even at all, instead they will simply scroll down the page and give a certain rating depending on how far down the page it extends (i.e how long it is). This is not the way I would like my reviews to be rated nor do I think anyone would, as someone could have spent possibly hours compiling a high quality, for readers to simply skim through it and not really take very much in at all.
                                  I am not saying that I disagree with going round and rating reviews just for the sake of it, indeed this is beneficial to everyone as more dooyoo miles get issued and people are therefore more likely to write more reviews, helping dooyoo to grow even bigger, but all it takes is a mere 2-5 minutes to read most reviews so please do this instead of simply issuing ratings depending on the quantity of reviews.
                                  It is important that reviewers put as much detail into reviews, and obviously more detailed reviews will be longer, but proper judgment of a review’s detail should be made through reading the review and comparing it with how much you think could realistically be written for the product in question, rather than solely through the word count of the review.
                                  A review on a tin of Spam is obviously going to be shorter than someone’s trip report on six months in the Australian outback, but both are likely to be equally useful to people so you should always consider what was under review. I have seen reviews which have been given Very Useful, despite the fact the writer has clearly written about the wrong product, and this highlights how some people are rating without even having a clue as to what the review was supposed to be about!

                                  Before you start rating around dooyoo, you should view a few reviews so you can get a general idea of what sort of quality is expected for the different ratings. Imagine a company that marks exam papers giving all of its examiners a paper to mark, but there is no mark scheme for them to see what quality of answers deserve what marks. You could have the same paper being issued an A by one examiner and an F by another!
                                  This is also what would happen on dooyoo if members went in to rating reviews without knowing what they were looking for when giving ratings. You should think carefully about exactly what the rating you are giving means. By giving a Very Useful, you are saying that you would find the review entirely reliable and conclusive if you needed to make a purchasing decision for the product in question, and at the other end of the scale a Not Useful is declaring that in no way would the review be of any help to a prospective buyer of the product. Not Useful is a very extreme rating to use, and the only times I find myself using this rating is when it is clearly evident that the writer doesn’t know what he is talking about, or when the work he/she has submitted is clearly not their own, or not relevant to the product he/she was supposed to be reviewing (e.g if the writer was supposed to be reviewing Walkers crisps but stated that he preferred Pringles, and then went over the top in explaining why and basically turned it into a review about Pringles crisps instead).
                                  Be generous and friendly when giving reviews, but don’t go on a ‘happy spree’ where you award everything with VUs. There are many great reviews out there that you should have no hesitation in rewarding with top ratings and nominations for crowns, but there are also many lower quality reviews, so you shouldn’t be afraid to give low ratings.

                                  To end, a couple of general do’s and don’ts for review rating:

                                  DO:
                                  -Rate fairly and consistently.
                                  -Put yourself in the shoes of a genuinely interested consumer.
                                  -Nominate truly exceptional reviews for a crown.
                                  -Read the review fully before issuing a rating.
                                  -Think about exactly what the rating means before choosing it.
                                  -Take good quality English into consideration.
                                  -Consider the depth and interest of the review.
                                  -Give extra marks where a reviewer has used originality and humour to improve a review.
                                  -Reconsider your rating if a writer makes changes to his/her review following advice.
                                  -Rate the works of people who have rated your reviews.
                                  -Leave a comment if your review was not Very Useful, saying why and how it could be improved.

                                  DON’T:
                                  -Skim read a review and issue a mindless rating
                                  -Revenge rate (give a bad rating because of a rating they previously gave you)
                                  -Be afraid to give Not Useful to truly deservingly poor reviews.
                                  -Prejudice against a user when rating (either because of earlier reviews by them, your real-world relationship to them or other things they have done on the web)
                                  -Feel bad because your rating doesn’t match the others that have already been given (although if your rating is grossly different, you may want to consider exactly why)
                                  -Give too many Very Usefuls, leave them for the real top reviews.
                                  -Give people in your circle of friends higher ratings than they deserve.

                                  Remember, rating is just as important to the dooyoo community as review writing. So take part in it so that you can help the community prosper, but make sure you are always issuing fair ratings.

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                                • Product Details

                                  This is the place to tell us how your rate each other here as well as on Helium, Ciao, and any other place that isn't dooyoo.