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thumbs up only

The very brief history of how ratings systems work on the internet:

  1. 0-to-10 numerical - This is the first type of rating system I remember seeing. The only major web site I know that uses it now is iMDB. Works for them, I guess.
  2. 1-to-5 star - This is the de facto rating system used for nearly every major retail site (like NewEgg). This was formerly YouTube's rating system for videos for several years.
  3. Positive/Negative - This has actually been around for a while, but the largest web site that uses it currently is Reddit.
  4. Positive-Only - The simplest form of a rating system. Xanga calls them "kudos", Facebook calls it a "like".

0-to-10 is somewhat of an overkill. On iMDB for example, when you see a movie with a rating of 6.8, that doesn't say whether the flick is good or bad. In fact, you usually have to read commentary just to get a better idea of what people really thought about movie. And even then you may end up confused as to what people really thought about it. iMDB should change over to the 1-to-5 system.

1-to-5 star works, but in some instances it can be disastrous. Yes, I'm talking about YouTube. When they were using 1-to-5, nobody ever clicked 2, 3 or 4. It was either 5 for good or 1 for awful.

Positive/Negative, sometimes known as Upvote/Downvote or Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down, sucks. This is in fact the worst rating system that exists on the internet because of rampant abuse. There is no community system that exists that has the Positive/Negative rating system where it isn't abused.

Positive-Only is in fact the best rating system that's ever been invented, and it annoys me something awful when people on Facebook say "we need a dislike button". No, no, no, no, no eff'ing NO. If that button existed, it would ignite a firestorm after firestorm of flame wars on Facebook. It is a horrible idea to have a dislike button on that system.

I, of course, use no rating system on my site. Journals/blogs are things where ratings of any kind are a bad idea. All a visitor has to do is see a single 'down' rating and instantly decide "Oh! That article is probably bad, so I won't read it." I would rather the reader decide for themselves what's good or bad without any rating system 'help', if you catch my meaning.

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