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New tab ratings: I'm calling bullshit

LoudLon [moderator]
Posts: 1932
I've noticed most of the tabs being rated these last few months are predominately tabs submitted by new users, while older users like Mr. Zee, myself and some others aren't being rated at all. I personally have only had, at most, five or so tabs rated out of the last THIRTY that I've submitted. Yet we have users who've been here for a month or two, some even less than that, whose every tab is not only getting rated, but getting our highest rating. Look at any of these new 5-star tabs and compare them to anything Mr. Zee (or, not to brag, myself) have done and the difference in quality is ridiculous.

I don't know about Mr. Zee and some of you other old-timers, but it's starting to feel personal. That, or somehow these newer users have found a way to cheat the rating system. Just this morning, every new tab posted by a new user has already been rated, all of them five stars, yet may and Zee's haven't even been touched.

So yeah, I'm calling bullshit.
Posts: 3139
Me, just being a nipper, don't do tabs cos I'll constantly get eleven star ratings and piss you coffin dodgers off

Posts: 532
Just spot-checked, it's one rating of 5-star on them. I think UG requires 3 ratings before they show it to counter that - might be something we look to do here?

I suspect either people are registering a second account to rate their own tabs or someone is trying to be “encouraging” to the more minor contributors. Like me, with 4 submitted tabs, all 5 star rated. Two of which are “here's what I play” so they shouldn't get rated that well. I appreciate people supporting my effort at contributing, but I'm not better at tabbing than Lon or Mr. Zee.

I think part of the problem is requiring a comment for anything less than a 5-star rating. It's easier to give 5-stars and be done.

A few ideas to address it:

List the IDs of who Rates a tab at the bottom of the tab. It's anonymous now, so fixing that could help (And you could also remove a person's ratings if it became necessary)
Require a comment for a 5-star rating as well. It would cut down on the number of ratings given, probably drastically, but it would make them more accurate
Add a Like function. That way people who want to be supportive of a novice tabber can be without impacting the ratings
Add the Submitter to the title of the tab. Then I can pick the Lon/Mr. Zee tab out of the list and not care about the ratings.

But I'm with you Lon - the ratings aren't useful on most of the newer tabs. Which starts to defeat the purpose of the site…
I guess I am one of those users… I signed up three months ago and all of my tabs have at least one 5-star rating. I don't know why though, the songs aren't very popular and the tabs aren't 100% accurate.

Several improvements can be made to the rating system. These are the things I can think of off the top of my head:
- Either require a comment for a 5-star rating as well or change the cut-off point to 2 or 3 stars
- Don't let users rate competing tab versions
- Don't let people rate more than n of another user's tabs per week (n=3?). This would make it impossible to spam rate others' tabs
- Instead of just displaying the "In order to give a non-perfect rating you must leave a comment on the song explaining why it deserves such a rating." message, a comment window should pop up so that you don't have to scroll down to the bottom of the page
- The rating option should be at the bottom - people are more likely to rate tabs directly after they finish playing them
- Don't let new users rate tabs for 24 hours after registering
- Show the ratings at the bottom of the page & include the user's screen name and comment. Kind of like a review. MySongBook use this system and it works pretty well. Anonymous tab ratings are bad because people won't get caught (at least not by regular users who can report it to the staff) if they manipulate the rating system

These changes require a little bit of coding and Johnny has to decide if he wants to add them or not. Something we can do to tackle this problem right now is to start giving tabs the rating they actually deserve lol. I often just close the window if I don't like the tab, I don't rate it even if I know it's bad. And I'm not the only one who does this. We can't complain about the high ratings if we never rate tabs low

I think UG requires 3 ratings before they show it to counter that - might be something we look to do here?
3 votes is the minimum because UG use a special rating formula that doesn't work correctly if the tab only has 1 or 2 votes. They also add an invisible 4.5-star rating to all tabs to even out the average score slightly. The tab would have a very low average rating if the rating was visible after the first vote because of how the rating formula works. The maximum rating for a tab with 3 5-star ratings is 4.7 which is rounded down to 4 and a half stars on the tab page.

A similar system would be a good thing to add to the site, I think. I doesn't have to be as complicated as UG's system, though. A single rating isn't an accurate representation of the tab's quality and this would be an easy way to solve that problem.
I'm not even sure how to find the newest tabs posted but its probably a mix of people making accounts to rate their tabs and people wanting to encourage people

I know there are lots of tabs I use that I havent rated because either I havent figured out for myself wether or not theyre 100% accurate or I havent figured out a correction if I know its not right

I really appreciate your work tho Loudlon, I know I use your tabs a lot even if I havent rated them yet
LoudLon [moderator]
Posts: 1932
...the ratings aren't useful on most of the newer tabs. Which starts to defeat the purpose of the site…

This is my point, and is always my point when I bring up the topic of every tab getting rated 5 stars.

Say I'm a new player, inexperienced but wanting to learn, so I pull up a tab for a song. I see it's rated five stars. Being inexperienced I assume, okay, five stars, this must be exactly how the song is played, because why else would it be rated five stars? So I play along to the song while following the tab. But something's not clicking. I'm putting my fingers where the tab says to put them, but what I'm hearing doesn't gel with what I'm seeing in the tab. But again, the tab is five stars, and you wouldn't rate something five stars if it's wrong, right? Crap, it must be me. I must be doing something wrong.

It's a disservice to our users and aspiring musicians, plain and simple. Now, I'm not operating under any delusions here. We're not curing cancer, we're not trying to save the world. But we are providing a service, and that service is to teach people how to play songs – not teach people how to play songs incorrectly. Rating every single tab 5 stars, even when its glaringly wrong, is providing our service badly.

I'll admit to some frustration that not many of my own tabs are being rated over the last several months, but it's a minor quibble; I've got the most number of tabs in the joint and seem to have the respect of most of you, which is plenty enough for me. But the reason I joined up here is because of how frustrated I was with other tab sites when it came to quality of tabs and how their tabs were being rated. I would hope BBT doesn't fall into the same lazy pit as most other tab sites, but shit like this isn't helping.
Posts: 532
I think the easy fix is to require a comment for all ratings, not just 1-4 stars. We can see who did the rating that way, and while they can just type in “h;ufadslk” (that's some random keyboard strikes) their name is still attached to it. I would think it's just a tweak to the code that's there for the 1-4 star ratings.

Yes, fewer ratings will happen, but the ones that we get will be genuine. Going forward, at least. Then we can go back to trying to fix how there can be 18 different tabs for a song, four of them are 5-star, and none are the same…
Posts: 3139
You're all talking amongst yourselves and getting nowhere, you need to get Johnny or The Dude on board, you need to come up with a masterplan that you all agree on and get Johnny to put it into practice, this debate has been going on for ages and until someone stands on the mountain and says “Do It” it will rage on for evermore

johnny [staff]
Posts: 1007
requiring a comment for any type of rating is an easy fix, if we agree that we do a test run of it I can do it, just give me a resounding “do it” and I will
LoudLon [moderator]
Posts: 1932
We can give it a try, but remember the reason that we started the “have to leave a comment to rate” thing in the first place was because people would low-rate a tab, but not leave a comment to explain what they thought was wrong about it. So we made it so that you have to leave a comment to rate less than 5, and what happens? People just rate everything 5, so they don't have to leave a comment.

So either way we do it, asking people to leave a comment to justify their rating is apparently asking too much.
LoudLon [moderator]
Posts: 1932
Speaking of low ratings and comments, I would ask on just3boyz behalf that the low rating on his tab for Charlie Puth - Attention (version 2) be removed. Read the comment left by the user who low-rated it and you'll see why I'm asking.

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