27 August, 2012

Online Ratings

This is the absolute truth.

Thanks to xkcd. I don't know how they're always right.
I like to think I'm not this bad, but the argument can be made (just reversed). I may have to go into this more in the future.

4 comments:

Nadine said...

As sad as it is, I suppose it is the truth. A lot of people write long reviews, explaining what they liked and disliked about a book and then end up giving every book a five-star-rating.

It's confusing and silly and has led me to ignore general star ratings on pages like Amazon or Goodreads. I read proper reviews, I have some trusted bloggers whose rating I can actually look at and say: Yeah, they gave it 8/10 points, I'll read that book.

Personally, I try to stay true to my 10-point scale, but I understand that many (especially young) people feel like they're being "mean" to a book if they rate it less than four stars. I don't think that will ever change, though...

Bryce L. said...

Good point about feeling "mean." I know I'm tempted to feel so when reviewing, but then I always have to remember who my audience is. Is it the authors/publishers or is it the readers? It's definitely the readers (otherwise, why even have a reviewing site, honestly).

Dina said...

Absolutely. And the whole point is that in your review - meaning: in the actual text - you explain what you liked and disliked about a book.
Readers who like things you dislike will then know what to make of your rating and whether the book is for them even if you didn't like it.

Jesse said...

Dina writes: "And the whole point is that in your review - meaning: in the actual text - you explain what you liked and disliked about a book." This is the biggest fallacy in the history of online reviewing.

The goal of a review, contrary to popular belief, is not to inundate the web with yet another opinion that has little bearing on the reader given they are not the reviewer. The goal is to explain what the book contains, i.e. what the author's intention was, so that readers can make up their own mind whether they will enjoy a book. I know this idea flies in the face of hundreds, if not thousands, of review sites, but in the end it's a far more considerate and objective means of summarizing a book than just "My friend bought this for me. I thought Sally was a warm, loving character, but I hated Jimmy. He was so mean. But it was a fun book." Gods, please, no more promotion of that ideal...