Well, it’s done.
Today, I implemented the display changes to show the new system in action.
You can read the previous entries in this blog to see how these changes came about.
First change is the voting forms. The old form has been redesigned with the new look and the wording has changed. It’s very close to the temporary change that I implemented at the beginning of December, but with one major difference. The 10 is no labeled like before; the current version says ‘Most Amazing Story’, which makes it more attainable.
Another change is the reversal of the order of the grades. It used to be that the 10 was the first item under the mouse, now it’s the furthest one. This is a subtle change, but one I implemented to encourage readers to think before they cast their vote.
The third change is the display in the listings. I added a new column to most listings pages titled ‘QScor’ (the ‘e’ is missing from the word score to keep the column as narrow as possible).
For those of you who didn’t read the previous blog entries, this column contain a new score calculated by comparing the story’s usual score with the median of the scores of all the stories posted in the same period as the story in question.
For example, if the story you’re looking at was originally posted in 2000, the Qscore is calculated based on the median (the midway point) of all the scores of all the stories posted between 1998 and 2001. After 2001, it goes by year, until today.
This calculation is designed to take into account the general voting patterns of the period to compensate for the constant upwards score creep. Stories posted in earlier years have lower scores generally, regardless of the quality of the story.
Both scores will be displayed side by side for the next year or so. After that, the average story scores (the old ones) will be removed and only the Qscore will stay.
Due to the change in wording of the voting form, newer votes will tend to be lower generally, resulting in lower average scores than what you’re used to. The Qscore is designed to compensate for that, so for newer stories, the Qscore will be more consistent. So you should start getting used to seeing and relying on the Qscore instead of the average score.
Theoretically, a Qscore of 6 and over means a good story. A Qscore of 6 is the equivalent of an old score of 8.8.
The last change is the addition of the TPA score. It stands for Technical/Plot/Appeal score. It’s a composite score derived from the new (optional) Expanded voting form. It works almost like the old form. It’s an average of all the votes cast, but each category is on its own and no fractions. So if somebody gives a story a 9 for Technical Merit and 8 for Plot and 5 for Appeal, then the story will have a TPA score of 9.8.5 if another person give it 4, 5 and 10, that means its TPA score will become 6.6.7, the count of the TPA votes is to the left of the TPA score.
The TPA score is designed for authors and those readers who prefer to give detailed feedback to the authors.
The regular voting system still allows for 1 vote per reader per story and you can’t change it. The new Expanded voting form allows you to change your vote. However, if you vote with an expanded form, you can’t change your mind to an overall vote and if you vote an overall vote you can’t change it to an expanded one.
It’s a lot to digest, and the additional info displayed definitely makes the site’s pages more crowded, which I don’t like. But for a while, we’ll all have to live with it the way it is now, until most of you have gotten used to the Qscore and the TPA scores.
Six months from now (maybe earlier, we’ll see how things go), the top listings pages will get sorted by the Qscore.
A year from now the ‘Score’ column will go away.
90 Days from now, the overall voting form will lose the numbers and will have labels only.
I’ve posted a follow up to this article:
Scoring Changes Implementation Follow up