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Ranking the sites

Author joycevs
#1 | Posted: 30 Apr 2009 10:47 
Hi Els,

Welcome back in Holland ;-)
I remember that you used to rate the sites by giving them stars. I couldn't find it on your site anymore. Maybe you have a reason for it, or maybe I overlooked. Anyways, I think it would be useful if all members could give a rating to a site (like 7 out of 10), and that you could see the average rating for each site. So when you are planning a trip, and you need to decide if you're going to site A or B, you can see what other people like the most. Because the written descriptions usually give a (too) positive review.

Author meltwaterfalls
#2 | Posted: 30 Apr 2009 13:12 
Hartelijke Koninginnedag (sorry my Dutch is not so good, but hope that is somewhere near it)

I would second this proposal. I try to make my reviews a little more critical, however I tend to focus on the more positive things as I have made the effort to see the place.

It would also be interesting to see if any of the less well-known sites get high scores.

I guess there is the potential of this being abused and some sites being ranked extremely high due to local pride (Rotas Fort seems to attract an awful lot of uncritical reviews)

If anyone is interested I put my ratings on my profile so you can have a look at them already if you like.

Author elsslots
#3 | Posted: 30 Apr 2009 13:39 
As long as this feature will be limited to the community members, the potential abuse will not really become a problem I think. I could also set additional limitations, like that you have to have rated at least 10 sites to have your votes counted.

Another thing to discuss is the rating system: 1-10, or 1, 2 or 3 stars 'a la Michelin' (worth a visit, worth a detour, worth a journey). The latter has my personal support (that's what I use now for rating my own visits). I would find it very hard to distinguish between a 6 or a 7.

What do you (and other members) think?

Author joycevs
#4 | Posted: 30 Apr 2009 14:46 | Edited by: joycevs 
When it's only one person ranking with 3-stars it gives a good impression. But when it's more people voting I think it is harder when you can only choose between 3 options.
For instance: a site has 5 one stars, 2 two stars and 1 three stars (by somebody who lives in the town). On avarage that would be 1.5 which means it will get two stars, while the majority thinks it actually kinda sucks... And when giving numbers you will have a more exact average, which will make it fun to make a top25 rated sites :-)
Even if you don't really know when to give a 6 or 7, it doesn't matter so much if you give a 6 or 7 because it will still be a "nice but not great" and it will be weighed with other people's votes.
Does this make sense? Whatever you decide, it would be nice if there would be an option, stars or grades :-)

Author Xeres
#5 | Posted: 30 Apr 2009 16:08 
On the 3 VS 10 stars debate i think it complete depends on the situation.
10 stars is better if you're going to be doing averages, it gives you a more rounded number
3 stars is better if there is just one person raking a site, but this situation is unlikely
thus i think the ten star proposal is better

Author Assif
#6 | Posted: 30 Apr 2009 19:20 
In general I support the 10 stars idea.
A question: What about serial sites? Or partial visits?
Let's say I visited one of the Troodos churches and found it extremely disappointing (this has in fact happened). I would certainly like my mark to reflect this underwhelming experience but wouldn't necessarily like it to affect the entire rate as some other churches may well be worth a visit. The same is true for a partial visit of a city (let's say I visit just the exterior, or just one part of a huge nature reserve etc.). We've already had this debate when considering how much of a site/serial nomination have to be visited for them to be considered visited. I recall there was no determinate conclusion back then.

Author Xeres
#7 | Posted: 30 Apr 2009 20:50 
I think that in the situation proposed by Assif, you would just have to let your ranking, based on 1 site in a serial, to stand for all of them. Some places are just too big to visit the entirety of (e.g. Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks), others it can be really inconvenient to visit all the different sites (Geodic Arch). I think thats its just an unfortunate situation that we have to live with.

Author meltwaterfalls
#8 | Posted: 1 May 2009 04:43 
I think the ranking out of 10 would work better if there are a lot of responses.

I also think the idea of making there a minimum of 10 scores would help to iron out any anomalous results.

I don't think there is any way around the issues of ranking serial nominations where, it will just have to come down to how you feel about them overall. I have visited a few where one part has been poor and another really impressive, I just tend to sway more towards the one that had the greater impression positive or negative.

Author Solivagant
#9 | Posted: 1 May 2009 04:43 | Edited by: Solivagant 
I guess it depends on why one is doing the "rating" - is it to
a. build up one's own "preference list"
b. inform others
c. just "as a game" to see what comes out "on average".

If it is the first then perhaps it should be kept personal and not be done on the site or else the presentation of the results should be personalised also - there could also be some benefit in doing this to show how an individual is marking in general since people's "value" scale will vary. I always remember my wife, who was a teacher, being asked by her pupils why she hadn't given them "10 out of 10" for something - to which she would reply along the lines of "I haven't seen you walking on water yet". On subjective matters can one give anything 10 out of 10? To do so implies absolute perfection which does not exist on this Earth - at least among human constructs. Some people will start at 7 if they had a reasonable visit and mark up/down from there - others (like us!) will start at zero and look for reasons to mark up - probably rarely getting past 5 or 6. We are, after all, assessing WHS not just any old site - we should therefore mark at the PhD not at the GCSE level!

If it is the second then one wouldn't/shouldn't vote unless one felt that one's vote reflected the value of the site which one wanted to share with others. Els has mentioned limiting votes to those who have reviewed 10 sites. Another way would be to limit voting to accompany actual reviews. That way there would be a "textual" background to the figure. The trouble is that there are relatively few of us doing reviews on a regular basis so we would I suspect get relatively few votes

But really the reason for this is probably the third in which case it shouldn't be taken too seriously - I might give Paris 1 vote as it is noisy, crowded, expensive and full of French people whilst giving Beemster Polder 10 as I remember having a fantastic day there with my girl friend. Whatever we do we are going to get the average of people's prejudices as well as of their knowledge and insight!

Author joycevs
#10 | Posted: 1 May 2009 05:01 
Solivagant has a good point. Maybe in stead of ranking from 1 to 10, you can just place 10 stars and on the left side you can state "not worth a visit", in the middle "quite nice" and on the right "excellent!" or something like that. That way you give sort of a guideline on how to vote. Although some people will always be more critical, it will at least be a decent indication

Author meltwaterfalls
#11 | Posted: 1 May 2009 06:29 
Perhaps if there was some way of integrating the score into the review that may be better as it will give some context to it.
e.g. Beemster Polder gets a mark of 6 (instead of a probable 4), you could see from the review that it may have received a better score because I had nice weather when I visited.

It seems from the number of responses to this post there is a fair bit of interest in the idea, so it may be worth exploring what people want from it.

Author meltwaterfalls
#12 | Posted: 10 Aug 2009 05:16 
Maybe time to continue this discussion? That way we can easily see what the Top3 is.

I would like to re-support the idea of ranking the sites, in line with Joyce.
I doubt it will ever deliver a definitive list, but I do find it very interesting to see what people think about certain sites. Also it is pretty useful when planning trip to know if people think it is worth my while to go out of the way to see the site.

Author Euloroo
#13 | Posted: 10 Aug 2009 09:18 | Edited by: Euloroo 
It has often been pointed out on these forums that a number of WHS listings are dubious to say the least in terms of OUV. I think it would be a useful task to inform others of particular sites or smaller elements within sites that are especially worthy of WHS status. You might for example identify Housesteads on Hadrian's Wall within the Frontiers WHS as having gold star status.

Such a classification would need some ground rules; an "11th criteria" of the WHC Operational Guidelines that sets a location apart from the majority of sites. It could be in terms of say, uniqueness (i.e. not just another medieval or modernist building) and state of preservation (i.e. not just some undulations or bricks in the earth).

Author elsslots
#14 | Posted: 10 Aug 2009 12:53 
I like your idea, Euloroo!

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