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Subject: Comment-Less Ratings!

Written By: Leo Jay on 06/15/04 at 4:16 pm

As a newbie, I've been intrigued by the irritation this voting/comments issue has caused recently.

I sometimes rate parodies less than 5s and don't necessarily leave comments.  Occasionally, a parody seems to have had so little effort put into it that a comment doesn't seem worth my time -- the parodist doesn't seem to be taking it very seriously anyway.  But admittedly, that's relatively rare. 

Othertimes, the parody is tackling a controversial subject in what seems to be a very angry tone, and I just don't get the sense that the parodist is very open-minded or would take the comments well, so I might just vote and move on rather than incite an unproductive exchange of heated words.

Humor can be particularly hard to comment on.  Sometimes, if you think something's '3' funny rather than '5' funny, you just do.  Sometimes, there's a specific reason, but it's often it's hard to pinpoint.  If you leave a comment "sorry, I didn't think that was as funny as it could have been" it doesn't really tell the writer any more than the '3', anyway and just makes you look even more like a jerk, anyway.  So you can't win. 

I'm sure there are those who vote with the crowd to go along (particularly if something's on a 5-5-5 streak), or they vote for the parodist rather than the piece, but I'd prefer that people not do that to me, so I try not to.  Once I noticed, after the fact, a pacing error I'd made in a piece I'd submitted, so I posted a comment about it, and someone commented back, "oh, I saw that, but I cut you some slack".  Now, this wasn't a few extra syllables crammed in -- I had remembered the song as having an entire extra bar in each verse that it didn't actually have (still irks me -- I'm gonna have the parody deleted).  I love to be loved as much as anyone (probably more, insecure neurotic middle child that I am), but sometimes I wonder whether how much the ratings and comments reflect politeness vs. honest assessment.  I generally don't do serious stuff, but my 'Fifty Ways', for example, is not intended to be very funny, so I never expected 5s in humor for that, (though I have gotten a bunch).

I think we all want as much feedback as we can get, but I think people have different expectations about what KIND of feedback they want, and in the absence of any real guidelines, I think we all just use our best judgment, trying to balance honesty with ego-stroking.  As far as the people who randomly assign bad ratings just to be jerks, they'll do it anyway, and I can't imagine they're more than an insignificant number of people.

So for the record, at least if you read my stuff, let me know what you REALLY think -- I got over my ratings concern after the first few parodies I submitted.  I still want to be loved, but not at the expense of honest feedback!  :-P

Please share your thoughts on this.

Subject: Re: Comment-Less Ratings!

Written By: Claude_Prez on 06/16/04 at 5:00 am

All good points Leo.  You've really made me think.  But I'd like everyone to continue lying to me; it's like heroin.  I'm just kidding, of course.  That is the problem with this place--it's so reciprocal you really can't expect totally honest feedback but you learn to translate the level of enthusiasm in the comments. 

Subject: Re: Comment-Less Ratings!

Written By: Leo Jay on 06/16/04 at 9:05 am

Hey, ClaudePrez, thanks for writing back. 

Maybe what we can sometimes do if we get a disappointing rating that we're honestly curious about is simply leave a comment requesting an explanation -- I'm always surprised by how often contributors revisit parodies they've already rated. I'd bet we'd get an explanation, at least once in a while, if we're really open to a response  ??? (as opposed to indignantly demanding that the rater justify his/her 'unfair' assessment! >:( ).  But then again, we have to be careful what we wish for! ;)

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