What do the news ratings of positive and negative really mean?

Discussion in 'Site and Forum Feedback' started by jbg232, Oct 15, 2010.

  1. jbg232 macrumors 65816


    Oct 15, 2007
    I've been trying to figure out what the "positive" and "negative" rating on the macrumors news articles on the homepage actually symbolizes.

    Is positive:

    1) I like this topic because it's interesting
    2) I agree with ______ topic (ie Yay, yay, iphone is coming to verizon)
    3) Keep posting topics like this

    And negative:

    1) This topic is not interesting
    2) I don't care about _____ topic (ie Boo, boo, iphone coming to verizon)
    3) Please stop posting topics like this

    Or is it something else that I'm missing entirely?
  2. r.j.s Moderator emeritus


    Mar 7, 2007
  3. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    Can't ever recall any long-term or high-contributing members or moderators ever showing the slightest concern about the ratings of any news piece. Unless they play some purpose in compiling some invisible metric, they don't affect anything by pushing down or bumping a story.

    Like a poorly-constructed poll, the results can be spun any way that people see fit, yet the results appear to matter little. They could disappear overnight and the site wouldn't suffer for it in the slightest, in my admittedly limited view... perhaps a small additional percentage would comment in the forums instead of solely rating an article, which could be a relative bonus.
  4. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    There are ratings on news articles? When did this happen? :D
  5. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor


    Staff Member

    Jan 20, 2005
    While it's true that they mean different things to different people and are thus useless for getting any serious information out of them, I still follow them as they provide an interesting snapshot of the overall sentiment regarding a certain topic.

    It's sometimes interesting to see that sentiment swing in the completely opposite direction from where I thought it would go for a given article, and that spurs me to dig into the thread a bit more to try to find out why and what aspect of the topic I might not have considered.
  6. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    Hadn't considered it from an editorial POV. I think that's the first time I've seen this rationale. :)

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