Maybe a bit nit-picking, but: 2.5 is not the average in our rating, as we do not allow the "0".
A "nit pick" of the "nit pick"! I don't think it was suggested that 2.5 was an "arithmetic average" of the available ratings - merely that it was an appropriate level to place the "Average WHS"! A case could be made out for using 3.0 (As Els did). I don't see any problem with then calculating an "average rating" since the same ratings were available to everyone.
Anyways, it only has an impact on sites with a low number of votes.
Most sites will only have a relatively "low" number of votes - low enough anyway to distort a simple "average" (which is the only "analysis" figure shown at the moment) if there are significant outliers. Bearing in mind also that the majority of sites are going to be regarded as "average" so there will be a centralising tendency if that it the only figure "on show". There are only 820 registered "Community members" and only 316 of these have visited 100 or more sites. Only 400 sites have been visited by more than 100 people. Many of these people are not active anymore or won't join this "rating" activity. We might get c50 people doing reasonable numbers of ratings (and some of these might only "rate" their favourite sites providing a further "Skew") but even that would leave many sites rated by fewer than 10 people ?? I think it IS worth trying to highlight the spread of voting beyond mere "Average" figure - how and where is another matter. Not particularly to "attenuate the effect of "nationalistic votes""
- there may be a whole range of reasons for a wide spread and I don't think we should attempt to force people into voting in a particular way. But we should try to provide info on the "make up" of votes
In any case, it's clearly subjective
As are ALL the votes - but I agree that it is an "issue" to consider both when rating AND when looking at the ratings!! I have noted that a number of people have consistently voted some UK sites higher than I have. This may be because I have leaned over backwards to avoid "nationalistic voting". It may be because others value certain UK sites for their "Foreignness" or international significance in a way I can't - and the same could apply vv for me looking at other countries. Since the majority of us "voters" are "European" that could certainly put European sites at a comparative "disadvantage" but it isn't something I am much concerned about - I don't think it will result in the "creme de la creme" being undervalued. And there isn't much else in the WHS system which is "unfair" to European countries!! We can't avoid the fact that there IS a lot of "duplication" within European WHS (Wooden Churches, Cathedrals, Vineyards, Palaces, Castles, Mediaeval Towns, Mines etc etc) - I don't think I have treated these any more harshly than the duplicated Arab Medinas, Tropical Forests, African Cultural Landscapes - there are just more of them!
However we finally decide to provide an analysis of ratings by site then doing the same for "Countries" would certainly be of interest. I have already suggested doing it for "Categories" and Natural/Cultural/Mixed as well in order to provide info on how we "value" different types of site. I would be interested to see what the average and "spread" for Vineyards and Medinas was!
I really like your scale, some minor tweaks:
It is up to the "Community" and Els to decide whether, and if so, how, to provide "guidance" on the meaning of ratings. It might be regarded as a bit late now or not likely to make any difference!!!