Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Understanding Online Star Ratings

This particularly good xkcd comic is up right now:

The simplicity is what makes it effective, but being as how this is a Slog rather than a comic, I'll fuss it up some for my own version:

5 stars: Has only one review
4.5 stars: Excellent (the 4 star reviews come from people who never rate anything 5 stars)
4 stars: Either excellent or crap, with uncomprehending idiots either over or underrating
1.5 to 3.5 stars: Crap
1 star: Has only one review

("OK" ratings can't be meaningfully demarcated via online rating systems)

This, by the way, is one reason why we never instituted star ratings on Chowhound.

Oh, and if you like this sort of thing, you may enjoy my "Eating by the Numbers" system, which is a surprisingly non-ditzy way to rate food (and other things) on a 1-to-10 scale.

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