New rating system for giveaways on Giveawayoftheday.com

Right from the blog post on blog.giveawayoftheday.com:

Hello everyone,
We are glad to announce our new rating system which will greatly improve both user and software developer experience with GOTD.
Starting tomorrow, there won’t be a single rating for each software. Instead, each program will be represented by several separate ratings:

Useful (0 to 5 stars)
Easy to install 0/5
Stable 0/5
User friendly 0/5
Feature rich 0/5
Reasonable price 0/5
Helpful documentation 0/5

That’s not all. Now, you will be able to comment on each of these ratings, or add a general recommendation.
We hope that the system will help both our visitors and software developers with more detailed feedback.
Please try this new rating system and let us know if you like it:), we need your opinion!

Yours,
GOTD team

Here is my two cents. As it stands, not only do I believe seven different rating categories is too much (I doubt many people will take the time to rate each one accurately) but also some of the categories are redundant and thus should be cut out.

I think GOTD should leave out “easy to install”, “helpful documentation”, and “feature rich”. It is not that I think those are categories that should not be evaluated; those are categories that should be evaluated. However “feature rich” can be inferred by the “price” (i.e. if it doesn’t have many features it won’t be worth the price the developer is asking for so the price will be rated as being too high) and “easy to install” and “helpful documentation” can be inferred from “user friendly” (i.e. if it is hard to install and lacking a good help file, it will hurt user friendliness).

What I think GOTD needs to keep in mind is that these ratings are just that: ratings. They aren’t really supposed to give a person an insight on all of the nicks and corners of a program; a full review is for that purpose. Ratings should hit on the main points. By cutting down on three categories, GOTD ends up with a total of four rating categories. Four categories are more likely to get a response than seven and will reduce redundancy, yet still hit on the main points.

Another thing I am wondering about is how the comments change will affect my ability to post my short review on GOTD letting people know what is what; guess we will see tomorrow.

What do you guys think? Is this a good, bad, or ugly change? Overall, I personally think it has potential to be a good change (with a few tweaks of course) but how successful it is will ultimately depend on community participation.

Feel free to post your comments below.

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23 comments

  1. bachupan

    Ashraf,

    As usual, you have hit the nail on the head.

    Having too many criteria could confuse or put off people. Perhaps
    GOTD purposefully introducted too many items so that they could cull the numbers to reasonable limit after going through the many reactions
    from the great unwashed! :)

  2. Steelers6

    I have to say it is a mixed bag. I think the layout is poor, having too many (7) items and wanting us to fill in each box takes too long. I also could not find the rating system, so how do we know that GOTD is giving it the ratings we did?

    I understand the need for consistancy, but this is overboard. I also wrote to GOTD about the box being to small. I’m visually impared so I have to zoom at 300 percent to even see it. This also makes it harder to proof read.

    They should put it to the test and let GOTD users rate it and provide feedback just like they do with the software they post.

    I bet you will see alot less traffic at GOTD due to the new system or at least a lack of ratings. They need to get feedback and go back to the drawing board. IMHO!

    Vidimo Se!

  3. Adrian

    I think that while this might be a step towards a greater GOTD rating, it’s definitely NOT ENOUGH. To be better, GOTD could specify a special URL after installation to vote, or provide a password to program-installers for the people who tried them to rate the program anytime they want. Even better is that GOTD can force users to create accounts to download software. This way they can monitor any spam ratings. Anyhow, GOTD is still a great choice.

  4. TXmuseic

    Definitely needs fewer categories, 3-4 max. With that changed, I think it could do a great deal toward limiting the ratings to people who have actually a) downloaded & installed from GAOTD, or b) used this program already & can review from that experience. i.e. Using minus installing.

    I get worn out wading through all the comments such as “I’ve never used this but it looks good” or “I don’t need this/understand why anyone would need this” or “$29.95 for this piece of junk? Why should we pay that much?” etc, etc, etc.

    I have found GAOTD very helpful over the past few years. All the apps I get there go in the GAOTD folder (which has a Bits dujour sub-folder & an Ashraf sub folder!) Even though I may only keep 5-10% of their offers, those I have kept are ones I’d never heard of or I couldn’t have afforded to buy. It is what it is; I find it useful, & w/Ashraf’s help, invaluable. If you don’t like it, don’t go there.

    p.s. Ashraf, you are the Man! You are great, you are awesome, I am not worthy!

  5. EWOKmeister

    Even if the pope came up with this new rating system, nothing is going to replace, detract or enhance the quality Ashraf dotTech reviews that so many of us have come to depend upon. I used to visit the GAOTD site at 0200 hrs so that I had the opportunity to benefit from the insight of so many people smarter than me. Now I usually only have to wait for the first review on this site to determine the quality, utility and value of the offer for the day.

    I believe this new system will give many visitors a multipronged opportunity to show their fatuous stupidity.

    I laud you for sharing your expertise with the dumb, the blind and the stupid.

    Peace,

    EWOKmeister

  6. Mobius

    It seems to me that the more ratings categories there are, the fewer will be the comments. Maybe GAOTD thought the comments they were getting were not giving the developers the kind of feedback they wanted. With the many categories, GAOTD can provide the developer with simple numbers as feedback, since the comments were probably not doing the job they were intended to do. Since the comment system was apparently not working, the many category system as an alternative is being tried.

    Maybe the developers who provide the software for GAOTD asked for a different ratings system. If this new system does not work, there will be other ratings systems tried, or a return to the thumbs and comments style. Genuine comments, like Ashraf’s are the best ratings, but few others give those kinds of comments.

    I hope Ashraf keeps his comments acomin’ the way he has been doing. His, and the others that provide thoughtful and honest comments (and the alternatives) are a primary reason why I keep coming back to GAOTD.

  7. howard

    I can’t help myself here…

    I’m in agreement with tunchi_1939 – I have come to believe that the only rating system needed is Ashraf!

    Here is my two cents: If you have a rating scale for “Ease of Installation,” IT HAS TO HAVE A LOWER NUMBER THAN 0! GoToad just sucks on getting giveaways installed and activated! There have been times they should have opened the activation window to 48 hours because of the problems discovered by down loaders. The scale for “E of I” needs to start at -10 and have a high of maybe plus one!

    And, you really don’t need a rating system that is too complex and also requires you to return after installation, activation and testing, to determine problems; all that is required is to just characterize the remarks of the users over each day and over any period of time. User grips are always high in “E of I!”

  8. Orchid

    The rating system, IF set up correctly, can be a positive thing for the Users, GOTD, and Developers. The ratings categories will give the users some things to focus on when trying out the offers. This may also get more people involved with rating and commenting on the software given….once again, IF it’s set up properly.

    If the individual comment areas are the only comments that can be given and they don’t provide for a general area comment (meaning: if they remove the ability as it is now) it will not work and actually hinder the whole thing. (IMHO)

    When visiting GOTD I spend time reading the reviews/comments posted. The thumbs up/down (is not accurate and obviously so as stated many times) doesn’t really matter much because I want more details. However, those that only leave comments like: “sounds like it’s good”, “this is bad”, “there’s free and better choices” with no other statements provided are a waste. I’m looking for why it was good/bad, any problems with it, why it’s liked/disliked, if it was previously offered (including version info if it was), etc.

    Ashraf’s reviews and insight are always very helpful (thank you for providing those), as is some others’. However, while reading the reviews/comments helps determine whether or not I try the software out, they’re not the only deciding factor.

    Those that visit GOTD should be willing to put forth the effort to evaluate the offers if they partake in them. Likewise, the Developers and GOTD should be willing to provide help/feedback throughout the time frame for each, with BOTH monitoring the comments to REPLY as needed.

  9. Ozzie

    Greetings all! I think the ratings system, however it is structured, should be taken with a grain of salt. I haven’t downloaded anything from GOTD for some considerable time now – mainly because the freeware alternatives that are suggested are of more use in the long-term (that mainly being the ability to reinstall should there ever be a systems crash or I have to reformat).

    But the thing I have noticed over time is that people tend to just rate products arbitrarily, without (as has been pointed out) any real knowledge or testing of the product. That is why I will always wait for Ashraf to go over a product and give us his opinion – and then I look down to the end of the review and see what else is available that will do the same job for free. I am also curious as to why there are invariably a number of thumbs up/down listed the moment a program is posted on GOTD. Literally seconds after the software is up on the site and when not a single comment has been posted. That’s a huge credibility issue in my books, and has undermined my faith in the integrity of the site.

    So to reiterate, I think the ratings system should always be taken with a healthy degree of scepticism. And I agree that seven categories is way too much. It’s ridiculous actually. But then, that’s just my two cents’ worth as well ….

  10. Michael

    Frankly, I think the “reasonable price” is useless since most people there just bitch about the price of the software even though they are already downloading them for free for the day. So I don’t think it’s practical as people will just abuse it. Of course – everyone prefers freebies. Who likes to pay?

    On a positive note, I hope the new rating system will encourage users to give a more constructive feedback. I used to read users’ comments at GOTDA but after months of reading people bitching, I just had to stop. Too toxic for my eyes. Hopefully, the new comment system will allow more quality or constructive commenters. That’s my 2 cents.

  11. Ron

    One of the problems with current “Thumbs up/down” system is the lack of useful comments to support the rating. It seems like visitors rarely post anything other than complaints or glad thanks, all without comparative reasons. While a new rating system may be an improvement, I don’t feel it’s likely to change the degree to which users inject pertinent feedback.

    I tired of GOTD long ago. Typically, the best software offered was either something I already owned, or similar to software I was already satisfied with. Too much “slimware” for my taste (programs of limited utility). Much as I enjoy the reviews and the thoughtful comments, I have yet to visit GOTD and download anything.

    Just my 2 pennies.

  12. Txnnok

    I think it will fail, but not for the reason of the system.
    The reason it will fail is because of user laziness. This requires a user to come back after using a program and rate to huge scale, otherwise for a poster to give an opinion of the program in other way
    is false.
    It would just be a system on system how much they initially like the program. Kind of like an extended thumps up system.

    When I was the GOATD site, I thought of it needed a negative aspect to reporting programs and I still kind of do. I would thin this is a way for GOATD to find out exactly what we all like beside thumbs up.

    Don’t ya’ll think they need a scale for thumbs down. Why don’t we like the program.

    Just a thought

  13. tunchi_1939

    I am just a user, not a technician.- Every time I get something from GOTD is because of Ashraf’s recommendation (I sincerelly thank for your work, Ashraf).- I download and install the software the same day, BUT I use it in the following days, so, how could I rate and comment all the seven ratings.- I could just rate or comment on USEFUL and EASY TO INSTALL.

  14. dan laemont

    Ashraf: I agree with the posting that states 3 or 4 categories are sufficient. What I have always found most useful is your comparison to other alternatives (usually free) and your bottom line rating (just 1!!)

  15. Ashraf
    Author/Mr. Boss

    @Kraal FictionWriter: Well one big of GOTD is for developers to attain feedback for their products. The price rating is more for the developer than it is for GOTD users.

    @John Caldwell: What you stated is the main reason why I have an “arbitrary equalizer” rating in my reviews. A product may excel in most of the categories but might still be a horrible product because of some other reason.

    @Jyo: I was thinking the same thing. Personally, I think they can leave out “easy to install”, “helpful documentation”, and “feature rich”. It is not that I don’t think those are categories that should be evaluated; yes those are categories that should be evaluated. However “feature rich” can be inferred by the “price” (i.e. if it doesn’t have many features it won’t be worth the price the developer is asking for so the price will be rated as being too high) and “easy to install” and “helpful documentation” can be inferred from “user friendly” (i.e. if it is hard to install and lacking a good help file, it will hurt user friendliness).

    What I think GOTD needs to keep in mind is that these ratings are just that: ratings. They aren’t really supposed to give a person an insight on all of the nicks and corner of a program; a full review is for that purpose. Ratings should hit on the main points.

    @HNicolai: I was busy yesterday with other things so I couldn’t review it =(. Sorry.

    @Dave Reams: You are welcome.

  16. HNicolai

    Nice…

    Off topic:
    But you should review today’s giveaway. I once got it at another giveaway and have love’d it ever since!

    I just changed to Win7 RTM, and lost the giveaway (and was almost about to buy the software) but then it came at GOTD :)

  17. John Caldwell

    When I follow the postings at GOTD, everyday I ask myself ‘Self….what POS will GOTD post today?’. I now see this ‘new’ rating system, so I asked Self how to apply these spectacular innovative ratings to a recent GOTD POS item-TubeHoarder. Ironically, this new system reminders me of how the Academy Awards will now vote-if one picture out of 5 gets the most accumulative points, it wins, but it doesn’t mean it was #1 on each of the judges’ lists.

    In the end, an item on GOTD that is still considered a POS can now be rated in 7 categories so that in the end the GOTD item will have a new label of
    ‘GOTD POS-now with extra Flair’.

  18. Kraal FictionWriter

    Yes, we’ll have to see tomorrow.

    I agree with you on the new system. It has potential to be great, but it depends on how seriously the users take it and how much effort they put into it.

    I have to comment on one category in specific though…

    “Reasonable price 0/5″
    Price? This is GOTD, everything is free. I s’pose it’s useful for people who want to buy it, or miss the giveaway, now that I think about it. But still…I can’t remember the last piece of software I bought…(It was probably a game….and a long time ago at that) I search for the free stuffs. =)

    As for affecting your posts on GOTD, for the sake of those who read those reviews, I hope it doesn’t. I come here for your review. So it won’t affect me too much.