Tabulated review threads sorted by average score

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Sho, Jan 13, 2012.

  1. Sho

    Sho Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2006
    Location:
    Berlin, Germany
    It might be. Thread authors can click "Thread Tools" and "Add a Poll to this Thread" in there and go to town, and I assume mods have the same rights for all threads.

    But I tried poking someone into augmenting a (fairly fresh) thread with a poll once and was criticized for trying to play mod or something so I've tried to restrain my poll OCD subsequently :p.
     
  2. Defcon

    Defcon Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    May 9, 2003
    Location:
    Germany
  3. Sho

    Sho Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2006
    Location:
    Berlin, Germany
    I think I poked tom once if he wouldn't mind using the standard poll format once, yeah ...

    BTW the code already treats "Excellent" as equivalent to "Outstanding" because there are a few older threads where only that word differs in the polls and I felt it was close enough to fudge things a bit :).
     
  4. Dimesdan

    Dimesdan Living the Irish dream. Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2007
    Location:
    Dimesdan is in The Republic of Ireland
    Good for him. I commend Sho for what he does, but he, nor you should have a monopoly on these things, especially Sho isn't a mod and it's not his place to say how a poll should or shouldn't be made.

    But that of course is just my not so humble opinion.
     
  5. Sho

    Sho Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2006
    Location:
    Berlin, Germany
    ^ Sure, I agree - note that I never presumed to tell anyone how they should make their polls, I only pointed out one time that there might be a compelling case for using the other format in case he simply wasn't aware of it at all, and then let the matter drop. I haven't gone into any more of his threads and complained or anything like that. I've discussed in this very thread here that there's a danger of my site acting as a constraint on the forum and that I don't want that either. So I'm not sure where that accusation is coming from (other than the fact that you're still butthurt over that one time we clashed and keep following me around to voice it ever since, that is, which is getting mighty tired ... want me to add "I'm not a mod!" to my sig so you can move on to other things, perhaps?).

    Ultimately, it's just a question of the community self-organizing. If enough people think that using the established poll format offers utility (augmented by my site or not) it'll keep being used because people want to use it, and that's that. There's no presumption of monopoly in people speaking or implementing their opinion in the matter.
     
  6. JeBuS

    JeBuS Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2013
    I don't think I've seen any instances of Sho handing out ultimatums or suggesting he was a mod. But it's a pretty simple matter that if a poll doesn't fit the criteria of compatibility, it can't be included in tabulated results. Isn't it the community itself that wants comparability? I know I do.
     
  7. Sho

    Sho Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2006
    Location:
    Berlin, Germany
    ^ There was an incident in the past where I was a bit OCD about something (IIRC I was pointing out there was already an existing thread about the same topic) and since then Dimesdan is of the opinion that I'm power-mad or something and keeps me under his watchful eyes. Most of the time I'm actually too busy stroking my furless pet cat and worrying about the property taxes for my volcano hideout to actually plot and scheme, though.
     
  8. Thrawn

    Thrawn Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2008
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    :guffaw: Nicely put.
     
  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    It might be helpful if there were a way to reprogram the search algorithm to cover a wider range of poll phrasings. But the problem is that if different polls define their categories differently, it can lead to inconsistent results. For instance, as was discussed a while back, Goodreads defines three stars as "good" while the polls here, and ranking systems elsewhere, tend to define it as "average."
     
  10. JeBuS

    JeBuS Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2013
    I don't think anyone would suggest that the polls here are in any way scientific, but at least they're internally consistent. If you allow any poll format, so long as it includes 5 options, there goes that. The tabulation becomes entirely pointless.
     
  11. Sho

    Sho Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2006
    Location:
    Berlin, Germany
    Yep, that's the tricky bit. I decided that Outstanding and Excellent are similar enough to treat as equivalents to be able to add a half-dozen or so threads that differed only in that one respect, but with greater differences the options bias the results differently and you can't really compare them well anymore.

    For example in the format under consideration I feel that "Good" and "So-So" tier differently than "Above Average" and "Average" (because I think the average Star Trek novel is pretty good) and "Boring" is much more specific than "Below Average". I could see myself voting differently with those options than with the other options.

    But it doesn't need to rely on just my judgement of course. If ever a consensus emerges that a particular poll format should be added (or for selection to work differently in general) for consideration I'm open to doing that.
     
  12. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2004
    Location:
    Arizona, USA
    Personally, I think the mods should just make the poll options that Sho's site uses a standard that all polls have to use. Then we can get as many books as possible on the site, and even without that it makes it a lot easier to compare books if you're skimming threads.
     
  13. trampledamage

    trampledamage Clone Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2005
    Location:
    hitching a ride to Erebor
    Nah - us mods aren't power-hungry either. It's up to the thread author, if they want to use their own rankings they can. I'm happy to go in and amend them afterwards to fit Sho's rankings if asked (and I've posted in tom's thread asking him that)

    With regard to putting polls on old threads - I can have a go at adding polls if you want, but everyone would then have to go and vote for it to have a meaningful result.
     
  14. Defcon

    Defcon Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    May 9, 2003
    Location:
    Germany
    One thing I noticed: Dark Mirror is on the list twice now with the same numbers, I guess due to the merger of the threads.
     
  15. Sho

    Sho Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2006
    Location:
    Berlin, Germany
    Yep - thanks, kicked it now.

    Background explanation: The app works by retrieving the list of new threads in the last 24 hours and scanning it for review threads, then writing the URLs of any it finds to a file - since it runs twice daily, that works out to continuously following all new threads in the forum. After a merger there are two valid URLs leading to the same thread, and there's no code in place to toss one of them in that case. There's ways to handle this (check for duplicate titles, or try to notice the redirect, etc.), it just didn't come up so far.
     
  16. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2004
    Location:
    Arizona, USA
    Sorry about that.
     
  17. Defcon

    Defcon Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    May 9, 2003
    Location:
    Germany
    The first "rotation" of the Classic Review threads is nearing its end, so I wanted to ask the group mind if I should continue with it or not, and if so if any changes are necessary (choice of books etc.). I'm totally willing to continue, but don't want to impose those review threads on the forum.

    Some statistics, the review threads so far got the following number of votes:

    TOS: Ex Machina 46 votes
    TNG: Death in Winter 25 votes
    DS9: Warped 20 votes
    VOY: String Theory: Cohesion 13 votes
    ENT: By the Book 14 votes
    IKS Gorkon: A Good Day to die 14 votes
    TTN: Taking Wing 11 votes

    So the number of voters has declined over the course of the rotation and seems to have stabilized around a dozen voters. I guess when the "big series" (TOS/TNG) come around again the numbers might rise somewhat , but the 10-15 range seems to be what you can call the regular voter base.

    Upcoming planned schedule:

    Week 8/2014: SCE: The Belly of the Beast * Dean Wesley Smith (closing out the first rotation, probably will post this later today)

    Week 10/2014: TOS: The Pandora Principle *Carolyn Clowes

    Week 12/2014: TNG: Resistance * J.M: Dillard

    Week 14/2014: DS9: Avatar, Book One * S.D. Perry

    Week 16/2014: VOY: String Theory, Book Two: Fusion * Kirsten Beyer

    Week 18/2014: ENT: What Price Honor? * David Stern

    Week 20/2014: I.K.S. Gorkon: Honor Bound * Keith R.A. DeCandido

    Week 22/2014: Titan: The Red King * Andy Mangels & Michael A. Martin

    Week 24/2014: New Frontier: House of Cards * Peter David
     
  18. Thrawn

    Thrawn Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2008
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    Good call on Pandora Principle. That book is killer.
     
  19. JWolf

    JWolf Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    I think all these polls should be tossed out and replaced with new ones. The problem is that we don't have enough options. We only have 5 options when really, we should have 10 options (i.e., 10 stars).

    If I want to vote in between, I cannot. Not all these options fit. A middle option would fit better in a lot of cases. So instead of 5 stars, let's move to 10 stars. It's easy enough to create new polls with 10 stars instead of 5. Granted, it would mean starting over, but it would also mean a lot more accurate results.

    What could be done is new threads created and then the moderators can merge the old thread in the new thread without the original first post and then delete the original threads. That would work very well and once done, we'd be all set.
     
  20. zarkon

    zarkon Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2011
    I think it's great as-is, no need for any changes whatsoever. The threads are a fun way to reminisce on old books, so don't think you're "imposing" in any way. People are free to ignore them if they want(as I will any enterprise & voyager ones ;P ), and it's not as if you're spamming the board with them.

    I guess when it's not new books you're dealing with a far smaller pool - people who have both read the book, but also remember enough to be able to give a review score. I had to reread "A Good Day to Die" the other week to be able to give a score, since all I remembered was that there were challenges and that I enjoyed it. Not much that can be done about this.