Forthcoming Artist/CD Index and Rating System

Now that the initial cosmetics of EB's make-over are in place, and I'm beginning to have a basic grasp of what's capable with the new CMS, I'm starting to contemplate what the new Artist/CD Index might look like.

I definitely want to bring visitor input back into the mix... after all that was the primary purpose of EB from the beginning. But, with the previous 1-5 rating system, I witnessed a certain amount of "gaming" that went on to boost the ratings of some submissions. By gaming, I mean things like trying to pad a CD's rating by registering and voting with multiple accounts. I have seen similar problems with other sites that have mass visitor rating systems, including Live365. So I'm debating with myself as to whether or not the new index will include a numeric rating system.

One option would be to only allow "trusted" visitors or long time regulars to submit ratings. But that subjects the privilege the whims of the site admin. In that case it must decided what criteria would be required to become recognized as a "voter". There's a lot of subjectivity to this arrangement, with the potential for favoritism (real or perceived) and ill feelings. Another negative aspect of this set-up would be that the volume of voting feedback would be considerably limited vs a wide open voting format.

I think the ability for visitors to comment on Artists and/or their CDs is much more useful than a simple rating, and this feature will definitely be incorporated into the new system.

I'm not 100% sure of what I'll be able to accomplish as far as layout of the new Artist Index system, but I'm thinking the basic format will begin with an alphabetical listing of Artists, with each artist's name linked to a list of CDs by that artist, and then each CD title linked to its own detail page which will contain open comments by registered visitors. UserId's would be included with each comment, so everyone will know who said what. I really like that aspect.

I'm looking for some open discussion on this as I move forward. Many of you probably have experience with voting and reviewing systems on other sites. If you have opinions, ideas, suggestions about the functionality of EB's forthcoming Artist/CD Index, this is the place to make yourself heard.

I've got the the base

I've got the the base functionality of the new Artist / CD Index working, including member submissions with ratings and comments. There's not much in the database yet, so for now it's only visible to logged in members. After logging in you'll see the Artist/CD Index selection under your User Menu to the left. Individual CD Info pages and comments are accessible from the CD Name links in the main listing. As it stands right now, only the initial submitter is able to give a rating.

If some of you would like to help begin kicking the tires and populating the listing that would be great. You'll find the option to create a CD Submission under the Create Content link in the Menu. For now, CD Submissions won't go live immediately. I want to watch things closely for a while until I gain some confidence in the system. Entries should normally be published within 24 hours.

I don't suggest anyone spend a lot of time inputting dozens of entries just yet. Just do a few for now until the new system has proven to be reliable. With the various browser versions in use there's bound to be some minor problems somewhere, so let me know if something doesn't look right to you.

The new Artist/CD Index is

The new Artist/CD Index is basically complete. The Main screen of the Index ended up looking very much like the old one, and interaction through member participation is back in play.

Artist names link to their websites as before. CD Titles link to a details page that includes the remarks made by the initial contributor as well as follow comments posted by site members.

Get in there and kick the tires and let me know what you think!

Progress is going well with

Progress is going well with the new Artist/CD Index system.

Registered members can submit new listings, including an initial rating and comments. Thereafter, other members can chime in with comments and ratings of their own. Once we start building multiple member responses, ratings will be combined for a community score. Group feedback gives a lot of validity to the Index rating system, so let's get in there and start sharing some opinions.

Many of the fields in the listing are linked. The Artist Name will take you to their website, the CD Title goes to CD Details, including comments and ratings, and the UserID link (visible only to logged in members) will display a listing of all individual entries by member.

A few have asked about the status of the old index. I'm in the process of adding them (some 1,700 of 'em) to the new index. For maximum shock and awe effect, I'm not going to put the transferred listings online until I get all 1,700 of them done. You can check on the progress of this project at the bottom of the Artist/CD Index main page.

For those who are

For those who are interested.... it has been a long, arduous road, but I'm finally closing in on the completion of updating the new listings database from the old ratings. I've completed letters A-S, and the drive to get it done is growing now that I can see a small light at the end of the tunnel.

This task has dominated all my website time, and in fact in the beginning seemed so insurmountable that it actually suppressed my motivation for website activity in general.

I'm really looking forward to getting this monotonous but important job out of the way, so I can begin to focus on more fun stuff... like bringing back the monthly CD Giveaway (I have a ton of CDs to give out).

Stick with me kids, progress is slow, but there is progress....

The Ratings Migration to the

The Ratings Migration to the New System is completed!