I like to think my voting system is pretty simple.
If nothing in the article bugs me, I'll give it at least a 3.5.
Things that bug me:
- Grammer and speling are a little lucklaster. Stencence framgents. Exmample?. . .:
- No content. / Idea incomplete. Example: "You've told me what it does, but what does it look like?"
- Bad logic. / Bad science. Not an issue in most subs, because most subs have magic, and magic can handwave stuff. Example: Chitin is only produced by arthropods and certain mollusks for mouthparts. What's up with this chitinous space turtle?
- Seen it before. / Unoriginal. / Taken from somewhere else. Example: Pretty much everything in Avatar.
There's more ways to do something wrong than there are to do it right. Therefore, all the space below 3.5 is reserved for the wonderful rainbow of things that I don't like. So, if nothing infuriates me, I have four options remaining: 3.5, 4.0, 4.5, or 5.0. If the basic decent score is 3.5, there are three things that can give a +0.5.
- +0.5 Creativity. When I can honestly say "I would never have thought of that." and "I wouldn't have seen this idea except from Strolen's Citadel."
- +0.5 Usefulness. How easy it is to plug into a story or a game, or how easy it will be to give into my players. This is genre agnostic: Cyberpunk / Shadowrun's not my thing, but I still think Gadreel & Mastema Corporation is an awesome sub.
- +0.5 Awesomeness. This is tough to quantify. All I know is that things can be creative and useful without being interesting or fun. And you gotta have fun. It doesn't have to be epic. Little things can be useful and awesome, too, like Everlasting Chalk.
There's some flexibility there. These "+0.5" things aren't binary, and sometimes greatness in one area can partially make up for other areas. Please note, that I try to judge on a 0.0 to 5.5 scale. A 5.0 doesn't have to be perfect, just extremely good. And there are subs that really should be higher than 5s.
And the Hall of Honor. I'll click the HoH button if one of two criteria are met.
- I want to share this with the world, and so I'll put it on front page. Maybe we can talk about it some more?
- I can't give a 5.5 and so I'll just have to settle for clicking this HoH button AS HARD AS I CAN.
It's not a perfect system, but it works for me. Anyway, I hope this gives some insight into how I vote. There's a lot of great minds on this site. You all have sexy, sexy brains. And I'm glad you chose to apply your neurons towards fantasy instead of, say, learning Finnish. (. . . I wish I knew Finnish.)
For what it's worth, I would like to TOAST to the people who have rated subs honestly. That's all I can ask for, really. It's a messy, imperfect system of opinions and favorites. But I think its also one of the best ways to improve our ideasmithing. Thanks, you strangers from the internet.
Given the evolution at the Citadel, my voting practice has changed a little as well so I'm updating this but nothing major has changed from when I just wrote this.
I am not really that active a voter really but I am quite interested in how different people vote so I thought I will share my own system of voting here for those who felt this topic is interesting. Actually, in essence, my voting system is really quite similar to that of Forganthus. The differences are:
1. The score of 3 is my benchmark score for submissions that do not have obvious problems with respect to spelling and grammar, content and logic (but in reality, I've hardly ever given a submission just a 3, I somehow always managed to find something that I like enough about the sub to rise it up to 3.5)
2. I mainly judge a sub by two parts: content and write-up. (I am not a gamer, I just visit this site as someone whose hobby is writing fantasy related things) Regarding content, I only grade its originality and underlying logic, with more weights given to logic (after all, I think there's really nothing new under the sun, a lot of original ideas are just new spins on existing ideas). And write-up obviously includes anything basic and objective from spelling and grammar to more complex and subjective domains such as expression, tone and atmosphere etc.
3.(NEW!) With new developments at the Citadel such as the Oekaki Challenge and the Weaver Guild Quests etc. that are various forms of Writing Challenges, my votes now adjust for the inherent difficulty of these writing challenges. So a sub that's normally just plain 3 for me is now 3.5 if it falls under one of these challenge categories. I will explicitly mention such deviation from my normal grading scheme in my comment as well.
4. My 5's are what I think perfect. Of course, that doesn't mean the submission has to be perfect with respect to both content and write-up. I think a submission that scores 4-4.5 on one aspect and 5 on the other aspect will already get a 5 from me.
5. I also have a habit of abstaining from voting on particular submissions. These are either: 1) those that I don't have anything to say about it for whatever reasons, mainly subs that are not really my type- I'm an avid fan of fantasy whereas sci-fi is really not my thing; 2) those below my benchmark score for which I usually leave a comment on suggestions on areas to improve and might revisit if revised; 3) those that I read and found I didn't agree with the existing score but didn't want to downvote without providing some constructive feedback on how it could be improved (and usually for these I couldn't).
6. My Hall of Honour isn't really reserved for submissions with high scores. It could be something voted low for the write-up but has an underlying idea that's quite interesting. But of course, it could also well be an old but quality submission that has already been acknowledged by existing votes but maybe hasn't received enough votes from my point of view or I felt was inspirational and deserved to be looked at again.
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? Responses (13)
Ah Forganthus, yet another writer has beaten me to it.
The 'How I Vote' theme is a personal favourite of mine, allowing for more transparency and openness on the site.
In my opinion this also allows for better feedback, and negates/lessens the negative feelings that some authors have when they feel they have been given a lower score than they deserve.
One thing I'm not too fond of personally is when people 'peer vote'.
Hmm, I think I've enough of a comment to finally finish my own version of this. All in all a good contribution to the site.
+3.0 = good sub.
+0.5 = usefulness.
Overall rating: 3.5/5
Well said, Forganthus. Oh, and funny too. Struggling on how to vote on this though :p
My fear of causing an infinite loop of meta paradoxes prevents me from voting on this.
Eh. I'd give it a 3.5. It's not creative, awesome, or useful (since we all use our own criteria).
Actually it *is* useful in that now someone who wants to know why you voted high/low on a sub now has a nice reference sheet to get a rough idea of what might have given you cause to HOH their sub or what not, pretty handy really from a informative point of view.
Useful stuff, it's always helpful to get a glimpse into the inner workings of someones vote criteria and what they like to see/not see in a sub.
Be kinda neat to see more of these by various members.
I do enjoy seeing someone's logic on how they make decisions and it certainly caught my eye when one of my own posts is a suggestion. I will resolve to put more up. And thank you.
What Silveressa said
Why are chitinous space turtles bad science? If on present day earth turtles and reptiles as a whole do not produce chitin does that mean that alien resembling a turtle or a reptile or futuristic animal also similar to a turtle could not produce chitin?
I agree, assuming alien life forms will follow the lines of terrestrial biology is perhaps worse science than chitinous space turtles. I usually stand on the other side of this argument but the Rule of Cool does come into play, and we are already stretching realism and reality with elves, dragons, cyborg commandos and turtles in space.