To like or not to like? That is the question.
Earlier tonight, the ratings system of Fanpop experienced a massive overhaul. No longer can you rate content on a scale of one to five (ala YouTube), but if you like content, you can "like" it (ala Facebook), or "be a fan" of it.
Dave gave a very good, logical explanation for the change to help assuage some fears and answer some questions:
Thanks for making this pick. There are a lot of reasons we wanted to create a new system for deciding whether fans like something or not. We found that most people were rating either 4 or 5 stars so we thought if you liked it enough, you could just say so. But we found a lot of people also going around abusing the system by voting things negatively just to be malicious or hurt someone else. Fanpop is all about being positive and the new system let's people know you enjoyed their content and not just try to hurt people's feelings. No trophies were removed, the rating trophy now just counts the number of things you've said you are a fan of. As with any major change on the site, we put a lot of time and thought into it to make sure it will make Fanpop a better place. We know that people don't like change, but hopefully you'll agree that this is a better system for everyone!
Now before we all freak out (like I already did when I first saw the change), let's address these points. Dave is absolutely right. There are trolls enough on Fanpop that the diligent user link
created the link
, as well as the link
for premium content that's ignored by other users.
Despite warnings in the VRSOF spot about posting links for the purpose of "medal-whoring" and despite posted and repeated rules on what kind of content should be posted, and suggestions as to what warrants a five-star rating, most of the content in the VRSOF is one or more of the following: A) Recently posted (within the last 24 hours) B) Poorly key-worded/credited C) Repeated content. Despite these things, people still tend to rate the content upon request, and generally (without giving it much thought) five star the content.
So it's clear that the majority of Fanpoppers don't think very hard about how they rate. Either they're trolls and one-star content just to be mean, or they rate an image with no credit or any key words five stars just to be nice
. In that sense, this "like" solution (as I call it) seems to be a very sensible way to go.
But then, there are the people like me. I recently described myself as an "anal retentive credit-crazy keyword queen." And it's true. A student of DrDevience, uncredited and poorly keyworded images became a particular pet peeve of mine, especially as I try really hard to give accurate credit and relevant keywords when I post content. Images especially would get a variety of ratings from one-star (with an explanation, always) to five stars (with praise, sometimes).
In addition to that, I tend to rate articles based on their length, relevance to the spot topic, what they say, and how its said. Here are two articles I would rate dramatically differently, even if I "liked" the content:
"Dogz r pretty cool. i used 2 have a dog. but ppl say dat dogs r cooler den cats. mabeh deir rite, but i dunno. but personly, i like catz cuz deir fuzzy and cute. CATZ 4 EVA! DA END!"
"Cats or Dogs?"
"First of all, let's just say that dogs are pretty awesome. I had a dog growing up and I loved him to pieces. But some would argue that dogs are make better pets than cats. It's a matter of opinion, but I think they're wrong. Here's why... etc."
Now, you may LIKE or FAN the article because it talks about cats and dogs (always a fun debate), but which one would you rate higher?
This presents a problem with the new ratings system. Maybe this problem is just one that fans like me have, but I just wanted to step up and represent that population, however small it may be! (I forget - is Fanpop a democracy or a dictatorship? Ah well, have them throw me in the Fanpop dungeon, I'm speaking my piece!)
I'm gonna miss deciding the quality of the content I'm rating. It's true, if a video has accurate keywords, I'll tend to five-star it. Same goes for most links (although I do like relevant titles and descriptions with my links, so I know what I'm clicking). But content like images and articles, I'm very picky about. And I'll miss expressing that opinion via rating. True, I can still comment and preach proper key-wording, but it won't be the same. Also, ratings tend to reflect when content is particularly bad - like a dangerous link, or a poorly written article. When I see 2.5s and 3s as the average rating, I know there's something about that content that's off, or at least controversial, and it tends to catch my interest. How will I pick out that kind of content now?
Back when I was freaking out about the change, I was talking to link
and I said: "I wouldn't rate
my friends' Facebook statuses on a scale of one to five! And I wouldn't like
content on Fanpop." (Clarifying that I meant clicking the "be a fan of" button, not that I didn't appreciate Fanpop content, of course).
So while I understand where the Fanpop Four are coming from with this, and it is a very positive rating system, I'm gonna have to be the killjoy that says, "No, but, wait!" Because it does make me sad to lose the old rating system. And I don't feel like a hero anymore when I find and report trolled content to the ATSOF.
An era in Fanpop has ended, my friends.
(... Unless the F4 decide to change it back...?)
Also, a list of questions I bombarded DarkSarcasm with and decided to include. In response to Dave's explanation:
1) Does a one/two-star rating on old content now count as a "being a fan"?
2) If a user one-starred content in the past, is that in their ratings trophy count?
3) If we accidentally fan something, is there any way we can 'un-fan' it? (asks link
4) The Great Facebook Question: Will there ever be a "dislike" (or "Not a fan") button?
5) The "If-I-Told-You-I'd-Have-To-Kill-You" Question: Do ratings (or "being fans") still count towards getting a medal and if so, has the weight on ratings changed at all in that respect?