You have arrived at the web home of Noah Brier. This is mostly an archive of over a decade of blogging and other writing. You can read more about me or get in touch. If you want more recent writing of mine, most of that is at my BrXnd marketing x AI newsletter and Why Is This Interesting?, a daily email for the intellectually omnivorous.

September, 2009

Five Worthless Stars

YouTube's ratings system is primarily used as a seal of approval, not an editorial indicator.
YouTube explains something I always suspected: The vast majority of videos that are rated are given five stars. (This is by no means a shocking piece of news, more that it proves out what we all suspected.)
Seems like when it comes to ratings it's pretty much all or nothing. Great videos prompt action; anything less prompts indifference. Thus, the ratings system is primarily being used as a seal of approval, not as an editorial indicator of what the community thinks about a video. Rating a video joins favoriting and sharing as a way to tell the world that this is something you love.
This seems to have driven the current trend of "favroting" (or "liking" on Tumblr). Netflix, I suspect, is an exception to the rule, partly because they explain so clearly the benefit to yourself of rating movies (better recommendations) and partly because they're one of the few sites that explain what stars mean (one star is hate, two stars is didn't like, three stars is like, four is really liked, five is loved ... or something like that). Also reminds me of the post I wrote about the personal rules people apply to rating systems.
September 23, 2009
Noah Brier | Thanks for reading. | Don't fake the funk on a nasty dunk.