Old 08-24-2014, 03:21 AM   #1
blin18
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About Voting

Hi authors. I got the following email in my inbox as feedback from a reader. Below I have pasted my reply. What do we think? Was I out of line. How do the rest of you feel about voting?

Quote:
Hi,

I discovered your stories through Bob on Board, which I really enjoyed. I then went to see what else you had written and read all the stories in order and enjoyed them all. I gave every story a 4 rating. Sorry it wasn't a 5, but for a story to get a 5 from me it has to be absolute perfection. I don't think that I have yet gieven a story a 5 - there is always room for improvement. Most stories only get a 3.
Anyway, I am looking forward to reading more of your stories, both the continued adventures of Belinda and Rupali and also any other stories you write. Keep up the good work.
My reply:

Quote:
Ouch. I beg you to reconsider your voting regime. Perfection in a story is not indicated by a SINGLE vote, but through an AGGREGATE of votes. When ten people vote on a story and nine think it is hot (5), while one thinks it is somewhat hot (4), that's an average of 4.9. Conversely if only 5 think it is hot, 4 somewhat hot, and 1 thinks it is "good' (3), then it gets a 4.4 average.

Stories with a 4.5+ average on Literotica earn the 'H' tag for "HOT". Quite simply, that means most people think it is hot. ANYTHING less than a 4.5 is NOT HOT, and in my book, a NOT HOT erotica doesn't deserve to be published; NOT HOT erotica is pointless waste of time. Quite simply, if any of my stories averaged under 4.5 after a couple of months on Lit, I would withdraw them as clutter and contemplate what I had done wrong, and why I had wasted a month of my life writing such trash.

Right now, my story Twisting on the Gallows Pole is teetering on 4.53. I don't know what I did wrong, because I thought it was pretty hot, but it hasn't attracted readers. I may have made a mistake with the title; maybe I will republish it as 'Strip Twister'.

I beg you, if you find my stories hot, give me 5 and let the average of others' votes determine the degree of 'perfection' in the story, rather than taking that entire responsibility on yourself.

If you don't think my stories are hot; if they don't get you hard, then by all means give them a lower score and go on in search of a truly hot story by another author.

Thanks for your kind words. The fact that you read them all makes me think that you did in fact find them hot, but the 4-votes are breaking my heart.

Belinda
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Old 08-24-2014, 04:01 AM   #2
Flidarjosh
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While I do not think that a rating below 4.5 is inevitably rubbish, rating a story 3 or 4 if you really like it is kind of a dick move. There will never be a perfect story and a lot of authors will be discouraged from continuing if their stories don't at least get a 4+, so at least one person must have given it a 5, thinking it's "perfect".

So yeah, I agree with you.
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Old 08-24-2014, 04:04 AM   #3
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I agree that your voter was out of line by never awarding a 5 to any story. That's just assinine, but you need to put the voting system in perspective. My favorite LIT author (no longer active here) had 7 stories posted. 3 of them earned a Green E, (editor award, which means someone who screens stories before they're posted at LIT loved it) and yet none of those Green E stories received a red H. In other words, in your world those were "trash" stories that didn't deserve to be published.

It appears to me that Red H's go to stories with mass appeal (lowest common denominator) and potent arousal content. I suppose if mass appeal and potent arousal content is your writing goal, then pulling a story if it doesn't earn a Red H would make sense. Personally, I have no desire to be the Britney Spears of LIT. I'd rather be the unknown author with the weird stories that don't have mass appeal and don't get Red H's.

A famous songwriter once said, when he's debuting a new song at a writer's night, he'd rather have 50 people love it and 50 people hate it than have all 100 people say "that was nice." According to LIT voting, that song that 50 people loved would probably only end up with a high 3 or a low 4. This songwriter has the ability to write songs that don't offend anyone, but he considers that type of writing "trash" and he doesn't go there.

As the old saying goes, one man's trash is another man's treasure.
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Old 08-24-2014, 04:08 AM   #4
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I score the OPs post '3.'
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Old 08-24-2014, 04:58 AM   #5
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Belinda, voting at Lit is indicative at best. Three stars means ‘Keep on writing’. Four stars means ‘Good read’, and five stars means ‘One of the best’. If, after a few votes, you have an average of more than four, you’ve made more than a few people happy – and probably some people very happy. The fact that you haven’t quite made it to a red H is not the end of the world. The last time that I looked at my scoreboard I had several 4.9s. Disappointing? Yes. I would rather that they had made it across the line. But the end of the world? No.
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Old 08-24-2014, 05:07 AM   #6
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Yep, the same good point expressed several different ways so I'm not going to quote every instance.

I guess I was trying to say that NOT HOT erotica is pointless (to me, whose purpose is to titilate), but voting on Lit is clearly an INACCURATE method of measuring hotness. I didn't take that into account.

My apologies, it wasn't my intent to suggest that 4.4 stories were unhot and therefore pointless (even though that's almost precisely what I did say). I retract that bit.
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Story ideas currently in the washing machine of my brain:
- The Winsome Widow: currently in development (22000 words and counting) - this could be a more substantial project for me - not sure I'm up to it
- Sponge Toss: I like this one - definitely something I want to write
- Virtual Rider: This could be fun - I'll see if I've got any secret sex left in me after Sponge Toss
- Perfect Snatch: A sexy game show
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Old 08-24-2014, 06:10 AM   #7
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Getting yer 'ead round the complexities of the Voting is a task I keep putting off.

I reckon that if a score of 4.5 is 'Hot' then that's good enough for me, and it makes me slightly envious that I cannot seem to write a few more.

And it (BOB) IS a damned good Story.
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Old 08-24-2014, 06:10 AM   #8
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As I move thru life I find that a few things endure, most things pass away, but I always score things in the present. At 65 I cannot fathom why John Steinbeck appealed to me 50 years ago. Yet Ernest Hemingway has a slightly better flavor now. Has anyone heard of Reuben since he won American Idol? Can you name last years BEST PICTURE? I cant either.

Lincoln usta remind the jubilant and depressed that THIS TOO SHALL PASS.
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Old 08-24-2014, 06:46 AM   #9
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I've pretty much concluded that nothing I do to encourage readers who like my stuff to give me fives does any good at all. I've got just enough little haitches to make me not believe they mark "lowest common denominator" stories, but rather exquisitely crafted exemplars of the storyteller's art.

But how, oh how, do I persuade my readers that all my stories are such gems? Not by begging--I've tried that.
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Old 08-24-2014, 07:11 AM   #10
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There is a good reason why YouTube has a "Like/Dislike" system rather than a rating scale. People generally have a tough time with with multiple selections of more than two options, so many people on Lit only give "1" or "5".

A good example is StangStar06's latest 14 pager. Whether or not you like the guys style or his stories nobody can claim that he is a poor writer, and a work of that magnitude represents a crap-load of effort regardless of content. Yet several readers not only gave him a one-star rating, but also felt the need to tell him in the comments. My point is, that even if the story had been complete and utter shiatsu doesn't he deserve a pat on the shoulder for supplying the readers of the site with several days worth of creative work - with good grammar and very few spelling errors - for free? I will dare to claim that anybody who gives a story like that a one-star rating is using binary voting.

To the original poster, my advice is to stop worrying about your scores. They say more about the readers than your writing anyway.
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Old 08-24-2014, 07:46 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Handley_Page View Post
And it (BOB) IS a damned good Story.
And as I tell everyone who leaves their name on a comment, thank you, I appreciate you taking the time to tell me you enjoyed it.
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Belinda

First Class: A hot new story by Belinda LaPage.

Story ideas currently in the washing machine of my brain:
- The Winsome Widow: currently in development (22000 words and counting) - this could be a more substantial project for me - not sure I'm up to it
- Sponge Toss: I like this one - definitely something I want to write
- Virtual Rider: This could be fun - I'll see if I've got any secret sex left in me after Sponge Toss
- Perfect Snatch: A sexy game show
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Old 08-24-2014, 08:25 AM   #12
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I tend to look at comments more than scores. Too many trolls 1 bomb a story. Also, I think some categories like Loving Wives are challenging categories to get high marks (just my sense). Comments (legit comments) give me an insight to what the reader actually thinks and feels about my work. Someone said it best earlier, scores are indicative at best.
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Old 08-24-2014, 09:27 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayCuck View Post
I tend to look at comments more than scores. Too many trolls 1 bomb a story. Also, I think some categories like Loving Wives are challenging categories to get high marks (just my sense). Comments (legit comments) give me an insight to what the reader actually thinks and feels about my work. Someone said it best earlier, scores are indicative at best.
If your nick is any indication of the theme of your stories, the reason for you having a hard time in LV is fairly clear. The only way to the high scores in that category are btb-stories and any hint of cucking will get you 1-bombed like Dresden in 1944. Which is why you shouldn't care, because your stories are very likely of much higher quality than your scores reflect.

Besides a lot of cuckolds would probably love to give you 5-stars, if their wives would allow them to use the computer.
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Old 08-24-2014, 09:29 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StrangeLife View Post
If your nick is any indication of the theme of your stories, the reason for you having a hard time in LV is fairly clear. The only way to the high scores in that category are btb-stories and any hint of cucking will get you 1-bombed like Dresden in 1944. Which is why you shouldn't care, because your stories are very likely of much higher quality than your scores reflect.

Besides a lot of cuckolds would probably love to give you 5-stars, if their wives would allow them to use the computer.
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Old 08-24-2014, 09:52 AM   #15
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BOB isn't 5 star quality. Not 4 stars, either.

I didn't score it or comment.

It reminds me of shows that usta travel to Vietnam during the war. The girls were ugly and bored, the bands were inept and noisy at best.

You've inspired me to create a new scoring system: SOBER to 5 beers. 5 beers means the story needs lotsa help.
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Old 08-24-2014, 10:11 AM   #16
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I never let a score determine if I am going to read a story. If the title and tag line catch my attention I will read it.

Many times I've loved a story and seen it has a rating of low 4's or below other times I've thought "whatever" and its a 4.7+ with a ton of comments and on top lists.

So its all subjective to taste and scores can't reflect that.

Another thing I have learned with my own writing is fan base. I've been here long enough and have garnered enough of a following that at least in the incest category I take scores with a grain of salt. People vote with their heart, they like you they will give a 5 to even a sub standard story based on "past performance"> I feel I have come to a point in that category where unless I deliberately put out a bag of suck I am going to get an H so I know longer take them seriously.

When I enter a new category that is when the score will mean something as I am hitting new fans for the first time.

I was thrilled to see my first Lesbian effort hit over a 4.7 and evem more thrilled with several private feedbacks that assumed I was a woman. That is not an easy audience to fool.

My first time in first time was a contest winner. Granted I am sure some of my fans helped out, but a lot of incest readers tend not to drift from that category so it was a new "market" that was impressed with the story.

That is the only time I take a score seriously at this point is when I try something new.
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Old 08-24-2014, 10:26 AM   #17
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A high score around here often indicates how well the story conformed to the expectations of 5 he category. Kind of like a dog show. The ugliest dog can win because it's the perfect example of an ugly breed.

Stories that cross into another category are often punished in the scoring. Stories that don't end the way the reader expects are punished. Sometimes the reader's finger slips. You can't change your vote once it's cast. (My husband 1-bombed me this weekend because he was teasing. )

Also, the red H has nothing to do with how titillating a story is. Non-Erotic stories can have red H s too.
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Old 08-24-2014, 11:09 AM   #18
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The red Hs need to go away. Now that scores are available everywhere, they're causing more angst than they're worth.

The difference between 4.49 and 4.50 would immediately become irrelevant. Authors wouldn't have to stress over losing their H. Trolls wouldn't have an easy target that can dramatically affect an story's readership.

Fuck the Hs.
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Old 08-24-2014, 11:16 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RejectReality View Post
The red Hs need to go away. Now that scores are available everywhere, they're causing more angst than they're worth.

The difference between 4.49 and 4.50 would immediately become irrelevant. Authors wouldn't have to stress over losing their H. Trolls wouldn't have an easy target that can dramatically affect an story's readership.

Fuck the Hs.
That's exactly why I stopped putting stickers on tests when I taught junior high.
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Old 08-24-2014, 11:38 AM   #20
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Personally, I'm glad that Literotica readers are willing to use numbers lower than 5. There's another erotica site, Lush with authors who can't take a single criticism, whose readers seem incapable of using the entire breadth of the voting scale, with the result that over 99% of all stories are above the score that is explicitly called average, and scores aren't at all helpful in any way. It's impossible to tell how well a story is liked, since every story has an identical score, unless you just happened to catch the one person willing to use a lower number that day. Your voting privileges even get frozen if you vote below a 4 too often.
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Old 08-24-2014, 11:42 AM   #21
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Quote:
How do the rest of you feel about voting?
It's nice to see your stories with a red "H" next to them, but I think you'll get a better idea about the quality of your stories from readers comments (well, maybe not in the Loving Wives category).

The scoring system isn't at all scientific, or precise. Many great stories posted here have mediocre scores, but that doesn't reduce their quality.

So don't worry about the scores. Concern yourself about the feedback you're getting.

Oh, and keep writing.
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Old 08-24-2014, 11:52 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MatthewVett View Post
Personally, I'm glad that Literotica readers are willing to use numbers lower than 5. There's another erotica site, Lush with authors who can't take a single criticism, whose readers seem incapable of using the entire breadth of the voting scale, with the result that over 99% of all stories are above the score that is explicitly called average, and scores aren't at all helpful in any way. It's impossible to tell how well a story is liked, since every story has an identical score, unless you just happened to catch the one person willing to use a lower number that day. Your voting privileges even get frozen if you vote below a 4 too often.
And they use all the "tools" people often ask for here. No anonymous voting at all right now, and even if they allow it again, you can block it. The ability to force comments to vote. The ability to block individuals from voting or commenting. The timeline informs you every time a vote is cast, and who cast it, so you can easily track down what evil bastard gave you that 4 and block them. Once you hit 20 votes, the top and bottom 5% of votes are dropped ( which amounts to everything below a 5 no longer counting in most cases )

It's crazy.
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Old 08-24-2014, 11:59 AM   #23
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Votes tend to be sketchy things to get here. It's certainly nice to see red H's, but that's not your real goal you should be looking at. Consider the number of views as more of an idea of how well you are doing. Many stories that have H's with them, might only have a small following that enjoy that kind of story.
I'm blessed with many H's and great scores, but that's only because of the readers who like that kind of story are reading it, not the multitude of readers who come here. Depending on the category you write in, it could be a faction war of opposing sides like LW or Lesbian readers.

So don't take scores to heart, but instead look to your readership for an idea of how well you're doing. Most people don't know how to properly score anyway, so what does it matter what they give you, as attested in the response you received.
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Old 08-24-2014, 12:19 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patientlee View Post
A high score around here often indicates how well the story conformed to the expectations of 5 he category. Kind of like a dog show. The ugliest dog can win because it's the perfect example of an ugly breed.

Stories that cross into another category are often punished in the scoring. Stories that don't end the way the reader expects are punished. Sometimes the reader's finger slips. You can't change your vote once it's cast. (My husband 1-bombed me this weekend because he was teasing. )
For a while I thought I understood what got good scores, but then the list of factors got too long. Yes, the ones patientlee lists, and maybe too:

[+] Characters readers can identify with doing fun things

[-] Characters readers can identify with going through bad times

[-] Characters readers don't like

[+] Characters readers don't like getting their comeuppance

[-] Icky fetish stuff outside of Fetish (even in BDSM)

[-] Stories with sad endings

[+] Stories with happy endings

[+] Stories that take readers by surprise while remaining plausible

[-] Gay male, even a little, outside the Gay Male category

There are lots more specific to category. I've got a heroine right now whom nobody likes. She's being punished in the page views, but only a little in scoring. Go figure.

Quote:
Also, the red H has nothing to do with how titillating a story is. Non-Erotic stories can have red H s too.
Some readers say they reward good writing, plotting, and characters, but clearly some are just voting whether the story got them hot. They're all over the map.
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Old 08-24-2014, 01:27 PM   #25
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Really? Seriously? We're complaining about 4's? For crying out loud...
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