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Tech Tuesday - Story Reviews



Writing reviews is hard.  That's the honest truth.  Writing the first review is even harder.  Humans are social creatures and tend to have a herd mentality.  Most people will wait for others to go first.  It is part of human nature.  However, writing those reviews is important for the same reason.  A lot of people don't like to go and read something unless it's been reviewed.  There are other factors people look to like number of views, number of likes, and number of follows when the reviews aren't there, but we've been trained by the billions of dollars marketing companies spend to look for those stars when we are considering something.  It's completely unconscious for so many of us.   Amazon has this down to an art form.  Every time you buy something, especially if there are not a LOT of reviews, you'll get a follow-up email asking you to review the item.  That's because people look for social proof that others like what they like.  There are entire psychology and marketing courses and books on just this subject alone.  It's mind-boggling, really.


Our Stories system is set up so that people can comment on ongoing stories as well as each chapter.  When the story is marked as complete, people can leave a review.  You need to leave a 1 to 5 star rating with 1 being Oh God, Why Did I Read This? and 5 being WOW!  Where can I send you money? I have made a video where you can listen to my non-dulcet tones explain how to do this:


If you watch the video, would you mind taking a moment and hitting like?  It would be much appreciated.  Also feel free to subscribe to our channel so you can see when I make these little videos.


Important notes on reviews:

  • The more spoiler-free stuff you are able to put in there, the better.  This is especially true the lower you rate the story.  
  • If you really liked the story, "This is Great!" is a positive feel good for the author, certainly.  However, if you can tell the author why you thought it was great, then the author has a great target on what to give you more of.  Did you love the characters?  the plot?  the humor?  the twists? the big cliffhanger? (but don't spoil it!)
  • If you didn't love the story, it's even more important to let the author know what's wrong.  It is imperative you do this constructively! "This Sucks!" is a complete waste of time for you to leave it and for the author to read it.  So DON'T do it.  Some examples approaching constructive feedback:
    • I like the characters in this story, but the plot felt flat and empty. You can use the spoiler tag to give specific examples.
    • I really loved the concept, but I struggled to read through the editing issues.
    • I think the plot was well thought out, but the characters felt interchangeable and flat.

Star Ratings to Me:

  • Stars mean different things to different people.  1 is bad, 5 is best.  But what does that really mean?  This is my own scale of how I view them:
    • 5 Stars - This story is one of the best.  A must read for me.
    • 4 Stars - This story is great.  Well worth a read.  (this is my most common rating)
    • 3 Stars - This story is good.  Decent story that may just be mismatched to my genre/mood/preferences.
    • 2 Stars - Meh.  Not a horrible story, but it has issues.
    • 1 Star - This story is a complete mismatch to my preferences or is horribly written or has one or more fatal flaws.


Older Stories

Gay Authors has been going since fall of 2002.  We have a lot of stories, of course.  Some of our early members are no longer with us for one reason or another.  @DomLuka@dkstories@vlista20 @C Jamesto name a few.  They each have some great stories but have low counts in the system.  This is because they had their own hosted sites on Gay Authors and were not in the system when they were getting the most hits and actively posting.  We promote the older stories regularly, but they really need members that love the older stories to review, like, comment on them to bring them to the attention of others.  Hell, @Comicality is active and has a huge back number of stories that you can check out.  @Mark Arbour is another.  Read and Review!  Let everyone know why you like the story.  Reviews, comments, and likes are all fuel for authors.  In many cases, the only fuel. 


So, will you--the reader--be willing to take just a few minutes of your time to let the author, who probably spent hours writing what you just read, know what you felt about their story?  Would you mind leaving that review in return for their hard work?

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This was informative. I like the psychology angle. I try to do review as soon as story finishes. Go back to older ones as time allows. So many read before I was a member.

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i hadn't known about reviewing until recently, i'll be more cognizant of it now.

i do comment quite regularly and was recently given some advice about it.

an author i respect said that you shouldn't be self-conscious about comments you may want to make. they are all welcome, and remember, even if it's something similar to a comment you made on another work, a potential reader won't know or care. 

so i am becoming bolder in reviewing and commenting.

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I like writing reviews, but I find it hard to use the star system. Normally I just choose five stars, because I only review stories I really like. It seems to me most other reviewers also give five stars, but perhaps we should adopt your system, Myr.


If I've done a blog review, I often use a slightly amended version as a story review. You can do the same @Puppilull  Normally I add a link to the original review, but the link option has disappeared from the story review editor. :huh: 

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I just did a little nosing around in the Leaderboard feature. 

There are lots of choices like Story Comments and Story Chapters, either per day, week, month, year or all time, but Story Reviews is not featured. Is this a mistake or is there a technical reason ) A lot of the other choices (Reviews of Events, Albums, Questions) have no content, which seems logical, but I miss the Story Review option. I'd like to see which story reviews are considered good, and not just who has written most of them. 


Reason for edit: Bhopper2 showed me the list for Most Reviews is still there.

Edited by Timothy M.
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11 minutes ago, Timothy M. said:

I'd like to see which story reviews are considered good, and not just who has written most of them. That feature is gone too, btw. :huh: Weird... Hmm, maybe I should do a bug topic instead. :unsure: 

Bottom of the first page. It's still there....

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29 minutes ago, BHopper2 said:

Bottom of the first page. It's still there....


Oh, right - and I see Story Reviews in the list too on the Top Members tab. Hmm why couldn't I find it before ? Oh, well that's a relief, thanks.

Edited by Timothy M.
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