Friday, July 20, 2007

Discussion Thread: 1/2 STARS

Here's a sort of placeholder for ongoing conversation about the pros and cons of 1/2 star ratings (or 10 stars, or any other ideas about how you feel about the stars themselves).

94 comments:

  1. K.I.S.S. I vote for keeping the 5 stars. Sure, adding 1/2 stars, or 10 stars, etc. will give you more range, but is it that necessary? Plus, what will you do with all of the existing ratings on your system? Would I have to adjust all of my ratings again? Leave it alone - there are bigger feature fish to fry. Don't feed the masses their cake.

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  2. I do think adding in 1/2 stars or 10 stars is a great idea. I think that sometimes a movie is a 2 1/2 star movie but definitely not a three. I also think that the explinations should be more than
    "hated it", "Didn't Really Like It", "It's OK", "Liked It" or "Loved It". Either get rid of the definitions or change the verbage a bit. Because it's a tad misleading and confusing at least for me it is.

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  3. Well, for me, I would like the 1/2 stars. There are many times that I want to rate something as "sub-par" or 2 1/2 stars. To me, there is a difference between the 3 star "liked it" and the 2 star "didn't like it". I would like something in the middle. I don't rate much 1 star "hated it" because I usually won't pick something to watch that will probably turn out THAT BAD. In my ratings, one star is garbage. Two stars means it's not good and three stars is good (vs really good/4 and EXCEPTIONAL/5). So where is the middle ground between "Not good" and "good"? The middle ground is what I am looking for. After all, average ratings show up in 1/10th increments!

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  4. Agree that half stars, or at least something more than 1-5, would be very useful. I have a lot of films in the 3-5 range that I would like to be able to separate out better. I suppose I could transpose what I now rate as 3-5 all the way to 1-5, since I rate very few films 1 or 2, but that would imply that I really disliked the 1's and 2's, which isn't usually the case.

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  5. 1/2 stars would be nice, but not a 10 star rating system.. imdb.com uses it and its just overkill.

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  6. I don't need half stars, but I agree with "microwaved". There should be an opinion between "didn't like it" and "liked it". The ratings ought to be:

    0 Stars = Hated it
    1 Star = Didn't like it
    2 Stars = It's ok
    3 Stars = Liked it
    4 Stars = Loved it
    5 Stars = Really loved it

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  7. I vote for 1/2 stars (which is different than 10 stars). It wouldn't involve any change visually, (no resizing columns, etc.) I'm envisioning a mouse-over that if left of center, its a half star, if right of center its a full star. I don't know why anyone would vote against this. It doesn't take any options away, and it doesn't add much complexity. The average Netflix user rating is obviously in partial-star increments, so this change just makes sense.

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  8. There have been several times I've wanted the ability to use half a star. I would welcome the feature. I don't think 10 stars is necessary, if the half star feature is implemented.

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  9. I would prefer the current system remain as it is...part of the reason I like the 1-5 Netflix scale is because of it's simplicity. I have a really good understanding in my head of what each level means to me, and it's generally not too tough to determine what rating a movie should get. Adding 1/2 stars would just cause me to spend more time debating what I should rate a film.

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  10. I would like the 5 star system to stay as it is. Most people who want the 1/2 star system seem to be focused on 2 1/2 in particular. I think these people are probably getting caught up in the wording (like it, hate it, etc.), but as far as I'm concerned, a 3 star rating, pretty much IS what you're talking about: a "middle of the road", "didn't love it" rating. I don't think more stars are necessary.

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  11. Even ignoring the problem of having to re-rate all the movies if the star system changed, I don't see the need for more stars or half stars.

    1 Star = So bad, the master copy of the movie should be destroyed. If you see it, you will never get those two hours of your life back, but you will probably rent it just to see how terrible it is.
    2 Stars = Did not like it. Do not recommend it.
    3 Stars = Meh. It was OK. You may/may not want to rent it. Read some more reviews.
    4 Stars = Liked it. Recommend it.
    5 Stars = Loved it. Will name my children after it. If you don't watch it, your life is incomplete.

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  12. The 0 to 5 option sounds like a good compromise - and people quite often actually say "I WISH I could mark it zero stars!". The only problem being that it can look like someone has just forgotten to rate it, so maybe the outline of the 5 stars could be in bold print for 0? But if the majority feels strongly about the half stars, as opposed to just writing 3.5 as many do, I don't see why anyone would have a problem with it, since they can just stick to whole stars. Thanks.

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  13. Yes, please add more stars. Perfect scores should only be reserved for perfect movies. Since I rarely see a terrible movie that only leaves three ratings for movies between disliked and really liked. That's too few in my opinion.

    Whether you choose 7, 9, 10, 100 stars I don't really care but we definitely need more than just five (which is really only three in practice).

    BTW could users please explain how in the world 10 half stars is any different from 10 stars?

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  14. I guess I'm still confused why some people would vote against this. If 1/2 stars are implemented, there's nothing saying you MUST rate your movies in 1/2 star increments. All your previously rated movies would remain as-is, and you could continue rating movies in 1 star increments if you chose to. Would this really make things that much more complicated?

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  15. @Chris I.

    No difference between 1/2 stars and 10 stars other than what I mentioned about formatting. In the interests of keeping things simple, adding 1/2 stars to the current system just means the layout and look of the site will remain unchanged.

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  16. I think half stars is the best way to go. It wouldn't change the layout, it wouldn't change the visual appearance of the site, the current ratings would transition perfectly. It doesn't actually change the scale, it just resolution to the existing scale. If you wanted to be really picky you could go back and change your reviews (I know I personally would go through all 500 + ratings and adjust them) or you could just begin using half stars. Heck, it isn't even out of the realm of possibility to make it an option. You would just need to serve up some different html/javascript for people who want it as an option while they rate. The others can just go on rating on the 5 star scale without any changes. It even recommends stuff to you based on a percentage and not a hard 5 star. You might have to change the code for suggestions, I don't know how it's setup behind the scenes, but I'm guessing you wouldn't even have to do much there as you could just send the values as 1.5, 2.5 etc...

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  17. Or how about adding the 'ya-gotta-be-kidding-me!' red circle that you use in the 'movie rating' section to increase the differentiation between 1, 2 and 3 stars that most people seem to want?

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  18. I second the notion that there should be a choice between like and dislike. Whether we have half-starts or not (can't make up my mind) I would like one of the middling choices to be labeled "mixed bag."

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  19. James - I actually really like your idea. Keeps the visual format the same, people can choose to vote only five stars like they have in the past but still allows users to fine-tune their ratings with half stars.

    My reference was more directed at the person who said, "1/2 stars would be nice, but not a 10 star rating system.. imdb.com uses it and its just overkill."!?

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  20. Yay! half stars. I've always wished for these. Why? Because I'm neurotic and would like to be more accurate. Probably don't need 10 though.

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  21. I say stick with 5 stars, but add the 1/2 star option.

    On a related note, I don't really go by what Netflix defines the stars as. Someone else posted one similar to mine and it's like this:

    1 star - hated it
    2 stars - didn't like it
    3 stars - it was ok
    4 stars - liked it
    5 stars - loved it

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  22. That sounds good anon. @ 10.27am, but if we DO end up with 5 whole stars instead 10 half ones, why not just add one extra degree of shading (without changing the format) for those that are perfectly reasonably requesting it?

    0 stars - hated it
    1 star - didn't like it
    2 stars - it was just so-so
    3 stars - kinda liked it
    4 stars - really liked it
    5 stars - LOVED it!

    The half stars SOUND like a great idea, but I can assure you, from personnel experience, that when you have 10 increments to choose from each time instead of 5 [or 6?] it can become quite tedious and tiring after a while, because one DOES somehow feel compelled to 'get it right', both for oneself and other people if the option is there. But I suppose that at this point we're just going round in circles, so maybe it's time for a vote? Or to have some final decision from on high - because Lord knows the powers that be have been more than generous about granting us all input! Thanks.

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  23. Please, please put in half stars. I don't like ten stars, because for some reason that throws me off...I like the formatting of five stars with half increments. Especially since, as others have pointed out, the average ratings and expected ratings are shown in even more than half-increments. It always frustrates me when I see that Netflix has guessed that I'll rate a film three and a half stars, and it's right, but then I CAN'T rate it three and a half stars.

    I tend to map my ratings on to a scale of averages (dismal/well below average/below average/average/above average/well above average/superior/masterpiece) rather than "liking/disliking"--liking something is different from thinking it's good. I know no rating is completely objective, but just because I happen to love Bring It On and pop it in whenever I need a pick-me-up does NOT mean it's a five star movie--a rating I would like to reserve for absolute cinematic masterpieces; I pretty much never rate anything over ****1/2 until I've seen it at least twice and it's got some age on it. Except I have to here, because otherwise almost everything I watch would end up being **** stars; so now there's no way to separate the best film of last year from the greatest classic of all time.

    For those voting against 1/2 stars, the interface could be exactly the same, and you could continue voting on full star increments if you wanted to!

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  24. 1/2 stars has been my #1 request for the 7 years I've been with Netflix, and I'll tell you why:

    I feel that my Netflix ratings have to be a combination of two factors:
    1) How well-made I think the movie is
    2) How much I personally like the movie

    The current whole-star rating system doesn't give me any option for a movie that I liked, but which had major flaws... or a movie I only liked, but I acknowledge as excellent filmmaking. Everyone has their own scale for rating movies and what each rating means to them. With 1/2 star ratings, people who feel the need to express varying degrees of like or dislike can, and those who don't find it necessary can just stick to the whole stars.

    If 1/2 star ratings were introduced, this is how I would use them: (Note, this isn't necessarily how anyone else would use them, it's just my system.)

    0.5 star = Complete garbage - not a single redeeming quality.
    1 star = I hated it.
    1.5 stars = I didn't like it, but it wasn't entirely worthless.
    2 stars = Just OK - I didn't dislike it, but didn't really like it either.
    2.5 stars = I liked it, but it had some major flaws.
    3 stars = I liked it - a solid, good film.
    3.5 stars = I liked it - a really well made film.
    4 stars = I really liked it.
    4.5 stars = I loved it, but it's not one of my all-time favorites
    5 stars = I loved it - one of my favorite films.

    I can honestly say that having 1/2 star ratings would greatly increase my enjoyment of using the Netflix site and sharing my ratings and reviews with Netflix friends. I feel very strongly about adding this feature.

    The arguments against 1/2 star ratings seem to be "I don't see why it's necessary" or "It would be harder for me to choose a rating," but for those who don't see 1/2 stars as necessary or find them confusing, they can just opt to only rate in whole-star increments. If it's really bothersome to them, maybe you should implement an option to turn off 1/2 star ratings on the account page.

    Also, keeping the 5-star rating system (rather than using 10 stars) would allow for all the Netflix aesthetics to remain the same, not to require people to re-rate everything, and easily allow for users to choose between 5 or 10 rating levels.

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  25. I think it's unnecessary - as anyone who read the maelstrom of replies to the previous post "Fixing Up Reviews" well knows.

    One thing I would point out here though is that the single half-star rating everyone keeps mentioning is 2 1/2 stars. Many people don't want to commit to "Liked it" or "Didn't like it".

    If you're hung up on the semantics, just relabel 1-5 Hate, dislike, neutral, Like, Love. That's really how I already think of them.

    But moreover, I'd just point out that whether you give it 2 or 3 stars, you're probably not going to watch it again, and your friends are certainly going to know you didn't think much of it. With all the 4 & 5 star movies out there, why waste your time on anything rated 1-3?

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  26. That's surely the perfect solution?! Having 5 stars as the default, but with the option to enable (as one does those info bubbles) a half-star system on the account page for those rather impressive flixers amongst us equipped with sufficiently sharp Ocham's Razors. Case closed?

    No, I thought not!

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  27. So, just so I can keep this straight, there are 5 possible choices, right?

    A - Leave stars just as they are.
    B - Somehow add a 0 zero stars option
    C - Go up in 1/2 star increments
    D - Allow a choice of A or C
    E - Use a 10 star system

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  28. ps.

    F - Add a red 'no-way-Jose' circle

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  29. I could care, so I guess say leave it alone.

    However, I do run into a problem sometimes with ratings, so I'll raise that one. I might have said this before. Cannot remember.

    There is a difference between a FILMED WORK and a DISK. NF refers to 'shipped units' as movies. Frequently this is not true at all. I don't just mean in the case of TV, but in the case of a bad disk, or one where multiple versions are available.

    I would tend to rate all DISKS in 4:3 (when the movie is filmed in any other aspect ratio) poorly, and have seen numerous cases of indecipherable sound, unreadable subtitles (in a foreign language film), or even 15th generation VHS transfers missing the first 2 minutes in static. But, great FILMED WORK. Its hard to rate these as 4-5 stars, with a review about the quality of the disk you will get.

    A solution for this would be nice.

    Additionally, I have already rated lots of things that are offered to me as all new, with no rating. Because there's a new Special Edition version (often with minimal or no changes) but its a new title to the NF library. This is annoying as well.

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  30. If you have Firefox, lots of scripts are available to tweak the Netflix experience, including half-star support that really easy to use.

    For a list of scripts, look here.

    For the 1/2 stars tweak, look here.

    I've been using Half Stars for a long time now!

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  31. Thumbs down to 1/2 Stars, no more explanation needed. Lets just pop a poll up on the right side of this page.

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  32. i'd like more of a range, as it seem most movies fall into a generic 3 star rating, making it difficult to tell if they're good, bad, or mediocre.

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  33. I'd like to click the 5 stars with my left mouse button. Then when I click the stars with my right mouse button I want a slider or an option to make a 1/2 star. I also like the zero star idea. Let's face it. Some of these movies are not deserving of 1/2 star at all.

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  34. I'm fine with the five stars and would prefer to keep it over getting 1/2 stars. I just need a neutral rating somewhere in there. I personally don't need two degrees of dislike.

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  35. I definitely support half-stars, but would settle for the renaming compromise that many have mentioned. Changing 3 stars to "neutral" is a good way to go.

    The reason that I'd agree to settle for that is only because I know that for every detail-freak out there like me who wants to represent how he feels about a movie EXACTLY, there are 25 other people who just want to keep things quick and simple.

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  36. Why can't we just default to whole stars with an option to enable 1/2 stars?

    Then the ones who really don't like 1/2 stars will never know the difference, and the people who really want the 1/2 stars can have what they want too.

    Is there really ANY reason not to do this at all? Allowing people to choose to enable 1/2 stars would have zero effect on those who don't enable it.

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  37. Amanda has hit the nail on the head.

    I often WANT to rate something as 2 1/2 ('indifferent' or 'meh') and making the 1/2 point system optional is the only way of making everyone happy.
    Makes PERFECT sense. Now, implement it already!

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  38. Hey guys, are you reading other people's suggestions?? Amanda's proposal to give people a choice of full or half stars allows just about everyone to have their way, and, however brilliant a rationalization each person comes up with, it's clearly not going to persuade those that disagree. Hers is a win-win, and she offered it a dozen why-can't-you-see-I'm-right? postings ago, including mine to add a zero stars option which I'm happy to give up in favor of this solution. The only question then being : is it technically practicable, Todd? If it is, then : basta la comedia!

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  39. Yes, it 'feeds the masses their cake' while allowing the no-nonsense pooh-poohers to eat it too!

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  40. Five stars is fine with me. I have been wanting 1/2 stars since the beginning of time. Please give us 1/2 stars! I have given many a movie 4 stars that really only deserved 3 1/2 in my mind just so I could differentiate them from the huge number of 3 star movies I have rated.

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  41. I don't think we need as many as 10 stars. That's ridiculous. What would the range be '1 - hot garbage to 10 - orgasmic'? Five stars are great but half stars would be even better. There are movie you don't dislike but something keeps you from saying you like it (2.5). There are movies you'd really like if it weren't for 1 thing (3.5). That's why I think we need half stars.

    By the way, you should get rid of your star definitions. I, for one, don't really use them (primarily because I don't have half stars). Either get rid of them or change them a bit. Personally, I don't think movies I hate deserve a star.

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  42. Will someone please explain to me the functional (as opposed to decorative) difference between 10 whole stars and 5 half stars. I seem to be CONSIDERABLY 'less smart than a 5th Grader' on this one.

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  43. Netflix uses a decimal star system when recommending films. My friends and I use a half-star system when rating films to each other. A half-star system aerlly works. I added a hack to iTunes to allow for half stars and it is great. No ten stars please.

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  44. It's quite impressive how Netflix's expected ratings for me hit the mark - it's just really frustrating when it thinks I'll rate a movie 3.5 stars, I agree, but then have to choose between 3 and 4 whole stars. I'd like the 1/2 stars available to use - people who don't want to use them don't have to.

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  45. anonymous (the one before last)... to answer your question, there isn't technically any difference between a 1/2 star system and a 10-star system as both have 10 different rating levels.

    However, there is a psychological difference. 10 stars can be daunting and confusing because it is viewed as 10 completely different ratings and people don't know what all 10 ratings mean.

    5 stars with 1/2 stars, however, is much easier to understand. You only have to know what 5 ratings mean (whole stars), and that the 1/2 stars indicate a feeling of "somewhere in between" the other two.

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  46. Anonymous before lastJuly 21, 2007 at 10:11 PM

    Makes very good sense, Amanda; thanks. But no surprise, since you were equally persuasive earlier. In fact I tried hard to rally the troops to your cause that (if do-able) Netflix offers everyone the option of either whole or half stars, and am frankly astonished that we haven't yet been instructed to disperse and go home now that we have the perfect solution! Oh well.

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  47. Next - "I wish Netflix would add .1 stars. I can rate a movie 3.5 or 4, but I really want to rate it 3.7."

    Followed by - "Why cant we rate movies down to the hundredth of stars? I can rate a movie 3.7, but I know in my heart of hearts it's really a 3.68 star film."

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  48. Yikes, Billy! No one's going to be forcing you to use the half stars. Many people just feel that if they've been asked to steer people towards or away from a film they have a responsibility to let them know, say, that although they really liked the movie as a whole, the ending sucked, hence a 3.5 instead of a 4; i.e. a recommendation, but with reservations, so people aren't disappointed and feel misled. Yes, it can obviously be in the body of the review, but they want it reflected in their vote as well. We should be applauding their dedication to duty instead of suggesting that they're being too nit-picky. And I was just pressing for a zero star 'hated it' to increase the contrast between 1,2 and 3, so I have no dog in this particular fight.

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  49. PS. And as to your decimal reductio ad absurdum (never a persuasive form of debate, Sir), I'd actually go in quite the other direction and suggest that if half-stars are adopted Netflix rounds those pesky 3.2's down to 3 and 3.3's up to 3 1/2 to keep the site consistent.

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  50. Billy... It should be noted that 1/2 stars are a commonly accepted practice in the film rating community.

    I've never heard of any critic giving a movie 3.2 stars.

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  51. YES PLEASE! Half-stars would be great! Don't need ten stars.

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  52. Are you upsetting the nice people over here too, Billy? As PollDaddy might say : 'Thank you, we have already counted your vote'.

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  53. YES PLEAE HALF STARS 5 IS NOT ENOUGH!

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  54. 1/2 stars are absolutely necessary in order to make rating easier. I understand most people want a 2 1/2, but I also often find myself wishing for a 3 1/2 and 4 1/2 as well. By now my friends and I always discuss our opinions on movies based on "netflix rating", and I think adding half stars would really make the discussions less focused on the technicalities and personal choices on how to use the rating system and more on the movies themselves.

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  55. I don't really need half stars or 10 stars, but I would definitely like the option of giving a movie 0 stars. Some movies just don't deserve any stars. Also, since 3 is the median it shouldn't mean "liked it." If I give something 3 stars it's usually because I'm not sure how I felt about the movie.

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  56. @Sage Vivant: are you THE Sage Vivant! Wow, this blog is hopping with cool. When will I be able to connect to your lists of favorite movies? Netflix: are you listening -- we want to be able to follow people who we respect!

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  57. I like the idea of 1/2 stars, it helps to add more depth to our ratings. I personally have said in my reviews "really 2&1/2 stars etc." Sometimes you almost like a movie enough to give it three stars and then your review will not match your star rating.

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  58. Todd, if you do end-up going with 1/2 stars (and what's the downside since the detractors can just ignore them?), maybe include an option to enable a de-coding bubble for each half step ('really hated it'/'hated it'/etc.), partly to keep the value judgments consistent and partly to help the slower witted amongst us, like me, to keep track of what level of endorsement we're giving. Unless of course that runs into copyright issues with 'they that have no name'.

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  59. Just have 5 stars, and then a plus and minus after it, so you can increment or decrement it by .5 stars.

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  60. I support half stars as way to offer a more nuanced appraisal. The option for zero stars would be good to for the outright turkeys. A ten-star system however strikes me as ungainly.

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  61. My vote is

    Zero stars = Hated it!
    One star = Didn't Like It.
    Two stars = It was OK.
    Three stars = Liked it.
    Four Stars = Really Liked it.
    Five Stars = Loved it.

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  62. I like the zero stars idea. When I rate a movie three stars, I neither liked it or hated it. The way NF interprets ratings, there is no middle ground. They think I like anything I rate three stars, and that I hate anything I rate two.

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  63. OK, ENOUGH ALREADY! Let's just poll for :

    5 stars

    5 stars + zero

    5 stars in 1/2 steps

    Now I see why Congress never gets anything done! Too many smart people, too little 'may the majority will prevail' - whatever that turns out to be. And I, for one, am almost past caring at this point!

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  64. until they add it, get your 1/2 star ratings in Firefox via Greasemonkey (also works in Safari with Creammonkey)

    Greasemonkey:
    https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/748

    Creammonkey
    http://creammonkey.sourceforge.net/

    Netflix Rating Granulizer script:
    http://userscripts.org/scripts/show/8118

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  65. Just so you all know, most of the half-star assessments that greasemonkey offers are inanely frat-dorm (eg 'craptastic', and up the R rated scale from there). Plus, who knows if Netflix' recommendation software can even process them. Maybe best to wait for the real thing?

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  66. Phew! A poll finally. Bless you, Guys!

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  67. Looks like 1/2 stars have gotten off to a good start! But will it be possible to leave the stars blank (ie zero stars) to represent "destroy the negative, and all known copies"? Because Rob Schneider and Steven Sagal are both still out there making movies, you know.

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  68. agree with the 1/2 stars, but please don't do 10!
    also, would love the 3-star rating to be labeled "Just OK" like it used to be. for those of us hung up on semantics, it's really hard to click a rating called "liked it" when it just ain't necessarily so.

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  69. 1/2 Stars would be great but I think the description for the ratings should be different like instead of the general liked it loved it hated it you should have the choice of elaborating on your rating. As for the stars what about the option of animated faces? If you hate it then it would be a frown or angry face.

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  70. Like some other previous posters, I don't use the descriptions that Netflix attaches to each star rating. I use the star ratings as I feel, and my friends use it slightly differently, but I'm OK with that. My vote would be to remove the descriptions altogether and let each person individually decide what "3 stars" means, for example...

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  71. 1) Ignore the labels. Rank movies as you want to, with 3 stars meaning whatever you want. The recommendation algorithm will adjust for you if everything you rate is 1 star less than others.

    2) Any changes have to be "backward compatible" with the existing rankings on a scale of 1-5. So adding a "zero" star rating will mean you have to go back and re-rank all your other "1 star" movies to zero, 4 stars to 3, etc. I would hate that.

    3) Using 1/2 stars, with a scale of 1, 1.5, 2, 2.5, ...5 is right solution. Backward compatible, you can use the EXACT same GUI as currently used, and in fact the existing GUI already supports it with just minor javascript changes! You can already do it in Firefox: http://userscripts.org/scripts/show/8118

    4) If you are worried about complexity, then just make it a preference setting. Then people who do nothing get the current rating system. If you want 1/2 stars, set it in your profile.

    The answer seems pretty obvious from my vantage point.

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  72. I would love half stars, but not 10 stars. I like the labels that are on each of the star ratings now, and I have often found myself wishing that I could rate something with a half star.

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  73. I really don't get this 'let the stars mean whatever you want them to' idea, because they aren't JUST to produce an overall average, they also help support and define each review. And what sense will 'see all of ----'s 3 star reviews' or 'sort reviews by star ratings' (both of which we hope are in the works) if some writers liked those movies and others felt neutral about them - because who burns to see a movie that someone feels indifferent about?

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  74. Someone above mentioned that 3 stars used to be labeled "Just OK"... but actually it was 2 stars that had the "Just OK" label in the past, and since I didn't want to adjust all my ratings the last time they changed the labels, I still use 2 stars for "Just OK".

    If re-labeling were to occur, I'd much rather have the OK rating associated with 2 stars. It makes more sense, anyway, since on a 5-star system (2.5 being the midpoint), 2 is below average and 3 is above average.

    I don't see the logic in labeling something above average as "Just OK" - it seems contradictory. Besides, I find it far more helpful to have a 3-star range for differentiating "good" ratings rather than for "poor" ratings.

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  75. 5 stars + zero rating is the way to go. Starting from zero makes more sense. A movie rating of zero is not ambiguous, everyone knows what zero means. Hopefully, the progression up would make more sense if starting from zero. I really don't like that the worst rating is one. As if existing makes it deserve a star. No, you have to work for that star NF.

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  76. I rather agree that there should be some way of saying "this movie has no redeeming qualities WHATSOEVER". But if the stars are left blank that could just mean that someone forgot to rate the movie, so maybe we'd be able to replace the stars with dashes, or somesuch, and then move up the enthusiasm scale from there - whether in whole or half stars, as determined by the poll?

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  77. 4 stars: ew, meh, uh?, yeah

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  78. Excellent! We very much enjoy your Aflec ads too.

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  79. 5 stars, all the way: the intuitive ease of the Netflix website's five-star rating system is one of its strengths. While five categories may seem too simplistic for some people, I think it's just about right for a user faced with the task of systematically rating hundreds of movies over the lifetime of a subscription. And the real beauty of star graphic is the ease with which it lends itself to increments, as when the powerful Netflix aggregate rating statistic announces itself in fractions of stars, letting us see the fine gradations between aggregate ratings of different movies. I can't see how letters, pictograms, additional categories or other alternatives to the five-star rating system would do anything but complicate the task of rating movies and add annoying clutter, something the Netflix website, in contrast to its competitors, manages to remain consistently free of. (This comment I previously posted on hackingnetflix in 2005 at http://www.hackingnetflix.com/2005/05/netflix_star_ra.html.)

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  80. Netflix definitely needs 1/2 stars. It really bothers me that it doesn't. If Netflix has the ability to tell me that it thinks that I would rate it 3.7 stars at least let me choose between 3.5 and 4 stars to actually rate it. It seems a bit one sided in that way. My friends and I compare movie ratings and we just can't get specific enough with just the 1-5 star rating. Half Stars all the way!!!!

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  81. 1/2 stars would be a great idea for Netflix as others have mentioned. I'd imagine it should work like Flixster's 1/2 star system on their 5 star scale.

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  82. I agree 1/2 stars are nice to have!

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  83. I am all in favor of the 1/2 star. If the Netflix folks going to show a partial star as part of how they feel I would rate/enjoy the film, then I should have the right to get as close to that partial rating as possible. Many is the time when I don't want to give a full on additional star, but also do not want to take away from the overall rating. So consider me a definite 1/2 star supporter.

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  84. Crazy idea... Why don't you just leave a blank and let us fill it in. Decimals if we like, integers if we don't. Keep the 5 point scale if you like, but just let us enter the value...

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  85. If you have firefox and greasemonkey, you can do half stars.

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  86. I have been craving 1/2 star ratings! I was thinking that an "it's ok" rating would really help some of my 2 stars become 2.5 stars! Actually some of my 3 stars would also become some 2.5 stars!

    I wouldn't use 10 stars though.

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  87. Definitely need the 1/2 stars!! And I also think they should portray how the movie rates, not how we feel about them. Like this:
    5 stars: Great
    4 stars: Good
    3 stars: Okay
    2 stars: Not Very Good
    1 star: Bad
    That makes more sense to me anyway.

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  88. Except, moviegirl50, a lot of the movies we enjoy the most are undeniably 'bad' (list much too subjective and long to offer up here), while I'd do my very best to steer yawl away from certain 'great' ones (like Tarkovsky's 'Solaris') to protect you from possible catatonia.

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  89. Most of the comments here and the ones I have the most trouble with fall in the third star category. The movies that I give a three star rating to are either:
    a. Not a complete waste of time but I really wouldn't want to watch it again.
    or
    b. It was pretty good, just not good enough to qualify for four stars because it would cheapen the the movies that really do deserve a four star rating.

    Several methods have been discussed that would achieve that 3+ or 3- dilemma. any of which I would wholeheartedly support.

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  90. Put a poll out on the web site, give everyone a chance to vote, implement the results, then from there on out refer everyone who wants some pointless tweak to the faq where they will be kindly told to get used to it. Then none of us have to be bothered with this anymore.

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  91. I think it is a good idea. It is better to have half stars (easy to see and count!) rather than 10 stars. I do really want to have such a thing. Sometimes if I have to rate 2 movies which I see over the weekend. I really like both. However, I want the system to know that I like one a little bit over the other.

    The definitions and functions of the stars should be defined properly (right now, it is not). 3 stars means "Liked it", but if I rate a couple of movies in a genre with 3 stars, no movie in that genre is recommended to me after that!

    For those people who are happy with the current rating system, we can have the option of turning off the 1/2 stars. It will be the best thing to do. People who want 1/2 stars can use them but those who don't like them can turn them off.

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  92. I agree with many here that what we need is just one more rating because going from 'didn't like it' to 'liked it' is too much of a difference. Many movies I felt were just fair (which falls between the 2 and 3 start options) so I haven't rated many of my lesser liked movies because I don't know what to give them.

    I think because of my unbalanced ratings, my recommendations often have dvds I'm not interested in.

    I suggest just one extra rating like others recommend but with these terms-

    0 Stars = Hated it
    1 Star = Didn't like it
    2 Stars = Neither liked or disliked it
    3 Stars = Liked it
    4 Stars = Loved it
    5 Stars = Really loved it

    Of course you'd have to add a 0 to click on for the 0 stars!

    I hope you decide to go this route or something similar with just 6 options.

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  93. I've become so accustomed to the NON-half star system (the SAME system that Amazon.com uses, by the way). I appreciate Netflix explaining WHY they don't do half stars, and if that's true (people not rating as much) then DEFINITELY stay how it is.

    Several, several people have suggested the present star system be renamed, and yet list a very similar method to the way it's labeled now.

    The one addition I might appreciate though, is the Zero Star. I think, however, that that may create errors in the calculations (having a Zero with multiplying and dividing).

    Love what you've done, Netflix..
    Keep up the great work!

    Walt D in LV
    Happy Netflix Customer since 2001

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  94. I think that somethime a move is a great.

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