Inkpop Blog

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inkpop Redesign: Leader Boards

Posted by inkpopbecki on November 5, 2010

As you’ve heard we are extending the leader boards to including critics. We wanted to do a quick walk through to show how each score will be calculated
Trendsetter Ranking
Users increase their Trendsetter Rank for a given category by adding projects to their shelf that are growing in popularity. Here’s an example, a project has 100 points to give out to 23 people in 30 days. In this example the first three people who add this project to their list in a 30 day period will each receive 10 points. The next six people who add the project to their list will receive 8 points, the next five will receive 3 points and the next seven will receive 1 point. In order for everyone to get their full amount of points, 23 people have to put the project on their list in 30 days. If, say, only seven people put the project on their list in 30 days, the first three people will not receive their full 10 points, the second four people will not receive their full allotment of points.

All people must have the project on their list for the full 30 days or they lose their points. The 30 period cycle begins when a project is uploaded. So you cannot just swap books on and off your shelf at the beginning of every month and hope to receive more points. Once the 30 day period is over the cycle of points begins again.

There will be separate trendsetter ranks for fiction, nonfiction and poetry.

Why Does It Matter?
The higher your trendsetter ranking the more points you add to a project’s ranking when it is on your pick list.

Critic Ranking
User receive points every time someone ranks their comment. Comments are ranked on a one to five star system. The ranking of comments is open to everyone—not just the author of a project—so to assuage the fears of some members it is as fair as the community wants to make it. If you want to honor the best reviewers, rank their reviews accordingly. If you are tired of seeing one word or one sentence reviews that simply say, “This is good” rank it low.

Why Does it Matter?
If you are a top reviewer in a given category, you will be awarded a badge to note this. So now people can find the best fiction, nonfiction and poetry critics.

58 Responses to “inkpop Redesign: Leader Boards”

  1. Shock! said

    Question. Will people be able to “opt out” of the critic ranking? Because people in the critic board are going to be BOMBARDED with read requests.

    Also: “as fair as the community wants to make it”. Why? Why are you forcing a flawed system that could very well crash and burn in this community? I don’t understand why you can’t go with something like the pick system, where you can only award positive points, the only way to be negative is to not do anything.

    • As we said before, keep an open mind. Saying something will crash and burn the site with out having even seen the system is a very negative way to approach change. We’re just asking you to try. If it doesn’t work, if it’s detrimental to the site of course we’ll make revisions. By neither you nor we have crystal balls and can tell outright what will work within the community. We do know that going in with the attitude (or even the hope) that it will destroy the community is almost guaranteeing harm to the community, which is I know is not what you want. Clearly if you’re commenting on this blog post you are already passionate about inkpop and hopeful for its growth and sustainability.

      • Shock! said

        It’s not that I don’t have an open mind, it’s that I keep seeing obvious flaws in these changes that no one is addressing. And I never said I it would crash and burn, I said it COULD, very easily. What I want to know is why you’re going with one system for books(the pick system) and a completely different one for comments(the five star system). The pick system is proven to work, what’s wrong with incorporating that instead of something that has been tried and failed on other websites?

        And I have yet to have this question answered: the people in the top critics board are going to get tons of read requests. I love to critique, but I critique what I want and on my own terms. So is there going to be a way to opt-out of the critics board?

  2. J.N. Cahill said

    I’m not sure I agree with the Trendsetter stuff and it sounds kind of complicated but I don’t worry about being a trendsetter.

    I kind of like the Critic ranking as long as it isn’t abused and people don’t rate a person’s comment as higher than someone else’s just because they are friends with/or like the person and lowly rank critiques of those they don’t like. It might be helpful to point out who gives good critiques and the ones that give . . . well, unhelpful critiques. I sort of agree with Shock! though.

    • HobbitFeet said

      That is one of many problems with the 5-star rating system. People will do that. On top of that, what is a 5-star detailed amazing comment in one person’s eyes is a 1-star raving angry comment in anothers eyes. The 5-star rating system is a piece of trash, but it appears that the Inkpop people are too stubborn to listen to why.

      • Ash said

        Is there such thing as an ‘unhelpful critique?’ If it’s a critique, it’s a critique. See, this is the problem, critiques will score low because people don’t understand that it’s a critique not an attack.

        That and people might only pick your work if you give them a high rating on their comment.

      • J.N. Cahill said

        Ash, I think an unhelpful critique is a one or two word critique that doesn’t help the author in any way. I guess it’s nice they took the time to comment but it’s still not helpful. I said nothing about a critique being an attack.

    • You guys are only looking at one instance of five stars not working. You do realize there are many sites that employ this with success. Amazon is a good example, as if Yelp.
      It’s like news feeds on Facebook. No one thought they would work because this site Friendster had them and it didn’t work, but then Facebook did them and not only did it work it became like “THE THING” on facebook. Not to say five star systems will become “THE THING” on inkpop, but I think you all are being terribly unfair and bandwagony to pick one argument, that it didn’t work for youtube so it won’t work for inkpop, when there are clearly instances of it that it does work. Plus, again, you haven’t seen it.
      If it doesn’t appeal to you, that’s fine, don’t engage with it. Don’t rate comments.

      • Shock! said

        Except that’s not our only argument. It’s just an example of a site that operates in a similar way, and failed. Amazon and such, as far as I know, don’t operate like Inkpop. Comments are, in essence–OPINIONS. And you can’t rate opinions. You can picks some out as making more helpful suggestions than others, but you can’t say “this was a bad opinion”, which is what one or two three stars is going to mean. Something like the pick system might work, or thumbs up/thumbs down(which is what most sites use for COMMENTS). We’ve voiced plenty of different concerns over this–not just saying “it won’t work”, but saying WHY it won’t work. And you have yet to tell us why we’re wrong; we’re seeing major issues that seem not to be being dealt with.

        I’m sorry we’re being so negative about this, really. It’s just that, like I said–we see a lot of issues, and none of them are being addressed.

        As for simply “not participating”… yeah, we can do that. But it’s still going to affect us–people will rate our comments. And that’s going to affect swapping, which will affect the amount of feedback we get on our work. I’m not against change, or adding a new system, or whatever. But I AM against a system that will negatively affect me even if I don’t use it.

  3. Oxymoron said

    Question: So we’re going to have to keep books on our shelves for thirty days to give them points and get points? That way fewer books will get a chance to be picked!!

    • No you don’t have to keep a book on your shelf for 30 days to give it points.
      If you do care about your trendsetter status, you will have to keep a book on your shelf for the 30 day period to receive your points.
      This is to ensure that no one can just upload a project bring all their friends on once to vote for it, have it rise to the top and never return. That’s why this isn’t easy. we don’t want people gaming the system.
      To your point that you will have few chances to have a project picked, we’re actually giving you a pick list for each category. So now you have 15 slots with which to put a project. That’s a lot more opportunities.

      • Ash said

        Hold on. I don’t understand.

        ‘This is to ensure that no one can just upload a project bring all their friends on once to vote for it, have it rise to the top and never return. That’s why this isn’t easy. we don’t want people gaming the system.’

        Do you mean they will never return or their friends will never return? o_O

      • Sharon Johnston said

        I am actually concerned that you will create something you are trying to avoid. Think about it – if someone gets their friends all in to vote for their project, then they nick off, well they will leave their friends’ project on their picks and these people could potentially score trendsetter points even though they are not regulars on the site. Leaving the project on for 30 days is easy for fly-ins to do. That logic doesn’t make sense to me.

      • Ash said

        Sharon that was my thinking. I was slightly unsure what you meant, Becki.

  4. HobbitFeet said

    “Comments are ranked on a one to five star system.”
    I absolutely love how you completely disregarded why I told you that system is a piece of trash. Also, people need to keep a project in their list for 30 whole days!?!? I don’t get how that’s a good thing in any way.

    This is a bad, bad system you’re putting on the site, and I don’t even want to try to explain why, as I know that you guys will obviously ignore each and every word I would to say. My lengthy Email I sent you guys was obviously not read by anyone. I’m pretty sure it was actually deleted, even though I gave good advice.

    You guys are going to make this site worse. Some of these changes are pretty cool, but a lot of them aren’t, and when we tell you so, you not only give us reasons why we’re wrong; when you can’t, you just ignore us altogether as if we never said anything about it. That is incredibly professional…

    Sorry for getting angry, but I stand by my points.

    • HobbitFeet said

      Becki, do you have anything to say about my opinion on this? I honestly feel like all my advice is ignored here. I care about this site; I agreed to be a forum moderator here for a long time! I also generally give my opinions on matters such as these. But nothing I say ever goes anywhere, even when I sent it where you guys said I had to for it to get read. I at least expected a reply to my Email I sent you guys about a lot of these matters, namely about why the 5-star rating system doesn’t work. You guys couldn’t even reply to me. I don’t know what to think of that.

      • I definitely brought your opinion to the table, but the business made an executive decision to try the five star system, so that is what we are using.
        It’s not that we don’t care about your opinion, it’s unfortunately as we said before, that no single voice can act as the dominate opinion. We understand you care for the site and we hope you understand that we’re all trying to do the best for the community.
        Instead of just saying that it won’t work, outright, perhaps we can all work together to test this system with an open mind and try to make it work. It might surprise you.
        What doesn’t work for some sometimes works for others. I can point to many web examples of this.

      • HobbitFeet said

        Yeah, that’s true, but I’ve seen this system fail on Youtube with my own two eyes. If you followed youtube a year or two ago you would see how much that particular system doesn’t work.

        And, I guess you’re right on this one. We should try it out. Though if it doesn’t work, and if what I said will probably happen does happen, I think we should change it to what I suggested and see if that does any more justice.

        Also, am I correct in saying that most of these ideas are even being created in the first place because users suggested them? That means the business and executives do take us seriously. Couldn’t I have at least been taken seriously enough to get a reply Email from them? I don’t have as much of a problem that they disregarded my suggestions as I do that they didn’t even reply to me saying they read them in the first place.

      • Laura said

        But Becki, it’s not one single voice saying all these complaints. Look around, there are many of us who have voiced concerns about these changes and have given several good reasons as to why we do not think it’ll work, but we just keep hearing “it will work, it will work” when we know it won’t.
        It’s not a matter of having an open mind, it’s about knowing that these things are not what this community needs.

  5. J.N. Cahill said

    Question, are our ratings on our works going to change any because of the new rating system?

  6. Cara said

    I’m all up for trying it out and appreciate HC’s hard work on trying to improve inkpop. Sure some stuff could end up completely sucking but if that’s the case I’m sure HC will get rid of it. We might as well just give it a chance and see how it goes.

  7. Nella said

    Well, I am glad I finally know how the trendsetter rank works.

    I think the critic board could be neat but I’m not fond of awarding badges for that since it could create more competition and we got enough of that already.

    Also, this is something that bugs me a bit, why is there a nonfiction Top 5 and not a short story Top 5? I haven’t too many non fiction projects while I see a TON, I repeat, a TON of short stories.

    That’s all I have to say about this.

  8. sakira said

    CRITIC BOARD:
    Complaints about short comments aren’t because of the complaints about people not holding their end of a swap, is it? If so, it might be better to make swaps “official” in that comments are withheld if it doesn’t match up to what someone else did (by approximate word count- within 50 words/characters for example). Of course someone can put “love” several hundred times to make up for it, but it would be obvious- so they have to try to give a helpful comment. At the same time, someone might not ask for someone else to put as many words, so it might be that in an official swap, an invitation is sent and a word count typed into the swap box when they agree to a swap (0 being that there is no agreed word count in a swap- so whatever number works).

    I know this might be seen as being silly and unnecessary, but it’s the best way I can see for comments to be “helpful.” Sometimes people don’t WANT to give a review. Maybe they’re not GOOD at giving reviews. Maybe they left a review already and are just stopping by to say again how much they love the work and that the chapters are going well and to just point out a couple errors. Then the critic board wouldn’t be fair because some people might take it as a bad review when that person’s actually a good reviewer.

    And I agree that while I’d love to get recognized for giving good critics, the critic board is going to cause a lot of top critics to get bombarded with read requests. I’d love the option to go private on the critic board if you end up putting it up. Otherwise, I’m going to feel inhuman for ignoring a lot of read requests (in the scenario that I’m in the position of a top critic). I might just go insane and tell my friends not to message me because I don’t want to look at my “inbox.”

    TRENDSETTER RANKS:
    I can see that you’re trying to make it so that people can’t pick random works to help their trendsetter ranks; however, I do agree that it doesn’t quite make sense. People who pick good works and really care about projects might pick works that are good and keeping switching off as usual without helping their trendsetter rank. Eventually, their rank might not count much for a book when they’re actually picking good works while others’ ranks continue to rise.

    Before you continue, I don’t mean to hate on the trendsetter board. I have good reason to believe that it’s unnecessary, and I’m going to explain why:
    My best suggestion would be to disregard the trendsetter ranks and just have each person give one vote to a book. I’ve noticed that the top-ranked works always have a couple hundred/several hundred picks, illustrating that a good work will have the most picks. People who do and don’t care for trendsetter ranks alike will leave a good work that they absolutely adore on their picks even though 24-hrs is up and they aren’t helping the work anymore. A good work will get a lot of picks, and quantity is what counts in the long run. NOT trendsetter rank. Trendsetter rank only helps when a work first comes out. And it doesn’t reflect what the majority enjoys, which is what you should be looking for (in my opinion).

    “In this example the first three people who add this project to their list in a 30 day period will each receive 10 points. The next six people who add the project to their list will receive 8 points, the next five will receive 3 points and the next seven will receive 1 point.” This reflects who saw the work first too, so it doesn’t give accurate points. Honestly, now that I think about it a little more, the trendsetter’s board reflects who sees works first, and that’s who’s on most often or who’s one when works come out.

    In fact, trendsetter ranks don’t reflect how good someone is at picking a GOOD work or even what the majority prefers. It reflects how good someone is at picking what other people pick. And it’s the trendsetter rank that influences what other people pick. We don’t need to see top trendsetters because we all have our own preferences, but the trendsetter board influences our picks. To see our preferences with the greatest accuracy, I wouldn’t put up the trendsetter board. Besides, the works that make the top five, the works that the most people enjoy, get the LARGEST QUANTITY OF PICKS. Honestly, I’d say that any work with a rank below the top fifty doesn’t accurately reflect what people enjoy the most. My work is currently ranked 82, but I can say with confidence that it’s not a work that the MAJORITY would read. (Not to say that I’m not working on it. It’s just an example of what I mean to say.)

    I’ve noticed that some projects will rise to the top couple hundreds and then flounder there and maybe drop because the work gets a lot of picks at first, but then no one picks it. This may be because people are more likely to pick what a top trendsetter picks because it’s right there on the front page, because they know who’s good at picking what other people will pick. And why are they good at picking what other people will pick? Because they’re a top trendsetter. You do have to rise up there, and it’s true that holding people to a book for a whole thirty days will help mend this, but it doesn’t change that a trendsetter rank is a little pointless and even works against what we want to see- good works that deserve to reach the top five reach it.

    Good works, works that people enjoy the most, get the largest quantity of picks.

    • J.N. Cahill said

      I’m not too keen on the trendsetter thing either. And I agree with the critique thing. I try to leave a helpful critique but it would discourage feedback and that’s what I need most to know what to do/not do when editing time comes around. A vote would be much better.

    • Sakira said

      Even with a vote, it’d be sad to see how good/bad our comments seem to other people. Everyone has their own opinion. Then again, I wouldn’t go back to my comment and see how many boos and yays I get. After I leave my critique, the only communication between me and the author is if he or she has a question about something or an answer to something I said.

      Sometimes, people just don’t like a work, so they can’t say anything about it. They feel obligated to comment though because of a swap. It’d make everything more uncomfortable if people rated the comment even if it was just a thumbs up or down.

      • Sakira said

        Also, the more opinionated people will be the ones to use this system, so it probably won’t accurately reflect how the majority feels about a comment.

    • inkpopBecki said

      To be honest trendsetter rankings aren’t really changing. We just thought we’d take this opportunity to clarify how it works for you. So essentially this is how trendsetter ranking work currently. Just thought you should know.

  9. Ash said

    Here’s the deal with rating comments. People do not like it when they get any sort of criticism. Comments that go on about how amazing a book is will get a higher rating, whereas constructive criticism will get a lower rating. We’re dealing with a site full of teenagers here, some might not have come across contructive criticism before – I know I’ve had to explain it to atleast three people. And then some people get easily worked up over comments they see as ‘bad’ when actually, they’re insanely helpful. I mean, we’ve all got useless comments, bad and good. But I’m thinking most people will think this is worthy of a five star rating: OMG!!!! THIS IS AMAZING!! MORE! whereas a comment displaying the problems with the writing will be seen as a less worthy comment.

    The people who leave one liners might be the ones at the top whereas the ones who write 500+ word comments won’t be anywhere near the leader board.

    And as for the five-star thing… well there’s a reason that YouTube dropped it.

    • J.N. Cahill said

      Very true!

    • J.N. Cahill said

      I try to take positive and negative comments into perspective but I do hate it when someone is rude about it. 🙂

    • Shock! said

      Yes, exactly. :/ It’s actually going to DISCOURAGE people from commenting–because if they just want to leave a casual comment and not a big long critique, they could get a low rating. I know I was planning on doing less in-depth critiques(’cause I won’t be able to get on Inkpop that much in the near future) and just read what I like and leave a casual comment… but I’m going to get rated low for that? Yeah, nice.

  10. The Beaver said

    Could we please just do as Youtube is doing? Thumbs up and thumbs down? I like the whole critic idea, but as EVERYONE ELSE has said: five star systems DON’T WORK. I am willing to try it out, but I’m just saying…it’ll crash.

    Also, as Ash said, people do not like criticism. They’ll be much more willing to give “Oh my god, I LOVE this so much” 5 stars, rather than a lenghty criticism that’s not full of compliments but very helpful.

    Like I said, I am willing to try this. I’ll just be sad to see it all fail.

    • J.N. Cahill said

      I like the thumbs up, thumbs down thing. 🙂

    • Shock! said

      I wouldn’t be much for a thumbs up/thumbs down system(tho’ it’d be preferable to the five-star rating system) ’cause… I dunno, it’d kind of really hurt to have your comment get a thumbs down, y’know? Like they didn’t appreciate your comment at all. I think something like the pick system would work; you don’t have to worry about your comment being ‘bad’, but if it’s really good it’ll get noticed and you’ll be rewarded for it. C:

      • J.N. Cahill said

        I like the thumbs up, thumbs down thing better than the star rating but I agree, I like it as it is now. *shrugs*

    • You know we did a survey in April and received close to 500 responses. 40% of users said they would like the five star system to rate comments. Only 21% said they would like the thumbs up or down system. We definitely weren’t creating these new elements in a vacuum. Below is the survey we sent out in April.
      http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/inkpopredesign

      • Shock! said

        Which may partially have to do with the phrase: “Critics with many highly rated comments are rewarded or recognized on the site.” You didn’t mention anything like that on the thumbs up/thumbs down system.

        Just thought I’d point that out. -shrugs-

      • inkpopBecki said

        It’s true, we did not. So not only did the majority prefer the five star, they also implied that they liked the idea of leader boards and badges (i.e. recognition and rewards) which has been a huge contention on these comment strings as well.
        How many voices of decent do we have here and how many responses did we have to the survey we issued? It was only issued on inkpop and could only be taken once, so in truth the survey represents a larger majority than the comment string here.
        I know you’re unhappy, but that doesn’t mean that we did not listen to the community. We, in fact, listened to the community as a whole.

  11. Michelle said

    Methinks everyone should calm down and give it a shot. When you first signed onto inkpop, you didn’t know what to expect either. We aren’t going to know exactly how it’s going to work until we have it.

    • Sakira said

      I agree that we don’t know if something will work if we don’t give it a shot. I only left comments on what I think may be potential problems.

      Plus the fact that I don’t like the idea of my comments getting rated. I comment for the sake of commenting. I don’t really like the idea of a Critic Board and would LOVE to go on private if it actually comes out. I’m not afraid of getting bad rep on comments. I’m honestly probably not going to rate comments. I’m mostly interested in picking works I like and that I believe should rise. I’m don’t know how to say this except that I’m not interested in getting my comments rated. They mature as I comment more, and I’m not going to change how I review works based on the rating system.

      • Michelle said

        No, I see what you’re saying. I’m a little iffy on that, too, to be honest. But I mean, until they implement the changes, we don’t know how it’ll all work, so might as well go into it with some optimism.

      • Sakira said

        I know. In the end, there’s no way to create a perfect society. All we can do is say what we like and don’t like and see what happens.

    • Rainbowwafflemonster said

      I agree.
      With all of the new changes, it will be hard for an old inkie to get used to all of the new ideas. Most people don’t like change and that is all this is. Personally, i think all of the new ideas are great :]

      • Shock! said

        Actually, a lot of us are all for change. o: It’s just that we see major flaws in these changes that no one’s taking into account. -sigh-

  12. Glenna said

    i’m interested to see how this would work, but something that makes me kind of skeptical is this: what if you have the max number of projects picked, and a new absolutely wonderful ones comes along? you can’t take down one because you wouldn’t get the points, but you couldn’t get them from the awesome new project either, because you couldn’t pick it.

  13. LA Knight said

    OMG the drama!

  14. Charlie Michelle said

    These changes, in my opinion will create more competition, which with a site full of teenagers don’t need. You have so many people opposing this. And on the survey you sent out, less than the majority wanted a five star ranking system so why give one to us.

    Also, the trend setter ranking it already confuses me how its done now, why make it more confusing and more biased. For example I am on Inkpop quite a bit, yet you would never no, because my trendsetter ranking is down in the 1200s. Why not just let the books stand on their own, you already get people ghost picking books because of the top trendsetters, you’re going to get even more of that, because people want more points.

    I think the top critiquers will get bombarded, as I love to critique and even though I may be harsh at times, i feel as though i tend to leave good comments, even if the author doesn’t like it. But that comes with I read what I want when I want, and prefer to not have people ask me to leave lengthy comments on their work.

    As with the top five lists, i see non-fiction, general fiction, and a few others, but like others have said what about short stories, and I can’t see if historical fiction is their, but I know in the past few months a historical fiction has been in the top five. Will those books get left out too. Also what if someone gets top five in two categories, I think that is quite unfair, or what if someone gets overall top five, and not in their category, if i was in the category I would feel hurt, and question why they got that and not me. I already do this and don’t want to do it any more.

    The whole rating system to me hurts, like what do you do when you have a book thats been up six months, and someone in the same category has a book up for two months and theirs is doing better, things like that just don’t make sense to me. Something should be given to those who have had their book son here longer than others.

    But these are just my opinions.

    • inkpopBecki said

      I’m sorry, I’m afraid we don’t understand your comment. Over 40% of the 500 responses to the survey said they wanted the five star rating system. It was the overall majority of respondents. Only 21% wanted the thumbs or down proposal.
      As we said before we’re not changing the trendsetter scenario. we just thought it’d be nice to clearly explain it to you. That’s the way it works now and that’s the way it will work in the future.
      There will be no overall top five. Each section– fiction, nonfiction and poetry–will have their own top five list. That’s all.
      Historical Fiction will still be a genre in the fiction section.

      • Charlie Michelle said

        No I do understand, you are pleasing the minority, out of all the people you surveyed less than half wanted a five star ranking system (disregard the thumbs up thumbs down thing)
        As for the top three sections, I have never seen a non fiction on inkpop, give to “section” that has more things than that like short stories.

      • inkpopBecki said

        No we’re pleasing the majority of all the people survey. Out of all the answers the five start system received the largest number of votes, 40%. So that would be the majority. Every thing else was 5% 13% and 21%. Majority is the largest overall number. I don’t know any other way to describe majority. Of course it’s not 50%. But no answer had 50%, so if we were waiting for that percentage, we never would have gotten an answer. So we took what most people wanted, which was the Five Star system. Hopefully you can understand that.

  15. […] You’re probably wondering why this occurs. Well the short answer is the new leader boards. We have now broken all writing up into new sections Fiction, Short Writing and Poetry. This means that there are now going to be more chances to receive a HarperCollins review. Our editors will be reviewing the top five projects in all categories. While this sounds exciting, what you should know is this change has also impacted trendsetters. We have split the trendsetter leaderboard into three sections as well. So now trendsetters who may have been contributing more points to your project because their trendsetter score was #5 on the old site, may be contributing less points to your project because they are now #16 as a fiction trendsetter. Sound confusing? Please refer back to our old post about the trendsetting leader board. […]

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