Note: I posted this some time back last year in another forum, but am re-posting it here to get feedback and also to try to bring a topic I like to the table for discussion. Of course, I would like it- I posted it originally.
Okay, everyone- this is NOT a rant. ^^
I just have seen so many posters complaining about being rated down, and about the trolls that regularly run amok, that I thought I'd give my take on an obvious topic: my understanding of the purpose of the ratings system on Allakhazam. Bear in mind that everyone has a different reason for rating people, and take this guide with a generous helping of salt.
I rate people when I read forums. Unlike many, I announce when I'm rating people, and why. I don't feel that it's mandatory that people expain themselves- there's no requirement. I simply do so because I hope people will see how I rated, and maybe take it as constuctive criticism.
I rate people based on the strength of their posts. I usually rate up the people that I feel made persuasive or well-formed arguments, and have given a number of rate-ups to people whose opinion I did not personally agree with- because they impressed me with the strength of their words.
I generally rate down people who I feel make poor arguments (example- when confronted with a post filled with detail, reply "You're wrong & I can prove it"... without any backup information), people who make personal attacks to other posters (example: "You're a st00p1d n00b so STFU"), or people who are obvious flame trolls (example: people who go into Galka forums & post the topic 'Galkas are fat & stupid').
If I see a post that is neither, such as a comment that just says "I agree" or "I like this post", I do not rate it up or down. It's a statement of opinion- not an argument for or against, & thus not rateworthy, in my humble opinion. ^^
However, not everyone will rate in the same way.
Some people will rate up everyone who they agree with, whether the poster makes an intelligent comment or not, and rate down everyone they disagree with That's the right of the person doing the rating... and it's not "wrong" or "mean".
Also, bear in mind, some people take comments personally, and rate accordingly. I personally try not to rate posts when I'm in a bad mood- otherwise there will be rate-downs all around.
Finally, there are ratings trolls on the forums... whether they are people who have a vendetta against certain posters for previous posts, or simply enjoy making mischief, we shall never know.
I hope my 2 gil is useful in this post- it's been on my mind for some time, and I thought I'd get feedback from the Allakhazam community on how & why they rate posts- so there isn't so much confusion concerning the ratings system.
Edited, Mon Mar 28 11:27:35 2005 by Wondroustremor