Site Changes: Beer Hads, Full Reviews & Ratings

Discussion in 'BeerAdvocate Talk' started by Todd, Jan 8, 2013.

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  1. BeerBuddy2122

    BeerBuddy2122 Initiate (0) Dec 15, 2012 Pennsylvania

    I think if there was a way to filter ratings by year, or batch preferably, it would make comparing seasonal releases much easier and more effective.
  2. ElGallo

    ElGallo Champion (813) Sep 26, 2009 New Hampshire

    I'm a ticker who has loved the "Had" function for personal tracking. However, merging Hads with Reviews to influence a beer's score is not a good move. Beer scores and place scores should be based on written reviews, 250 character minimum. The old "Hads" had its own overall average. All was fine. Please go back to the previous setup.
  3. nickfl

    nickfl Poo-Bah (3,451) Mar 7, 2006 Florida
    Beer Trader

    I don't know if this has been suggested, but it would be great to be able to add beer without doing a full review. I frequently encounter new beers at local breweries, but I usually only do full reviews at home and had beers I try when I'm out. This means that often these beers never get added since I'm one of the only BAs in the area who obsessively reviews. I saw earlier that you were only going to allow users with a certain number of reviews add beers, so that should make it safe to also allow them to add with a had rather than a full review.
  4. Todd

    Todd Founder (5,553) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Subscriber

    We're looking into this with the site redesign.
    nickfl, CwrwAmByth, Rutager and 2 others like this.
  5. Rutager

    Rutager Poo-Bah (2,188) Oct 18, 2010 British Columbia (Canada)
    Beer Trader

    Well done Bros! I can understand the criticism of these changes, but was honestly was a little worried that this site was becoming obsolete. The inclusion of easy ratings that actually count is a step forward in the expansion and survival of this site, there's no doubt of that.

    I'll look forward to a larger database with allowing tickers to add new beers. These are people that don't want to spend the time reviewing, but still have valid opinions and can really help the site by adding more obscure beers with ease. (Or so is my understanding of including hads, please correct me if I'm wrong). This was a major concern of mine giving only people that take the time to write full reviews the right to add new beers

    My only thoughts would be to first, require a minimum number of hads (or reviews) before a user's data is applied to the database. Preferably with varied ratings if it's possible to automatically check for that (to avoid all 5's or 1's ...or even 5's and 1's only).

    Second, giving a little more weight to full reviews over hads would balance out the concerns over thoughtless hads. It seems that someone doing a full review will usually put a little more consideration into the numbers, and a few tickers will put in very little consideration. Maybe a 25% advantage to reviews over hads?

    Overall though, thank you for considering the future of this site and having the courage to make these big changes. I don't doubt that everyone involved is running on little sleep right now. Hope you're drinking something nice, you guys deserve it!
  6. randylangford

    randylangford Zealot (572) Jun 11, 2008 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Thank you,

    Before I join BA, I had already reviewed 1500 beers in notes and it is just too daunting to add all those beers. Especially since my tastes have matured/changed and I don't necessarily want to write a review that I don't agree with now and don't really want/or am able to revisit.
  7. Puokie

    Puokie Initiate (0) May 19, 2012

    Hads really shouldn't weigh as much as reviews, honestly. Like I said, someone reviewing a beer and all its aspects will be much more honest about the rating. Maybe include the "Had" number separately. Have the Review Average and the Had Average for every brew, instead of jamming them together. Keep your lists based on reviews.
    jrnyc likes this.
  8. whatsgoody

    whatsgoody Disciple (308) Nov 16, 2012 Vermont

    I've previously only used BA to track beers I've had and to discover new beers. I chose BA because overall I felt like reviewers knew and CARED about beer and the quality of their reviews. While the existing quality reviews won't go away, and I'm sure many reviewers will continue to post here, I feel as if the overall quality of the site decreased greatly with the recent changes. With a 100 character minimum, the cumulative quality of the reviews WILL decrease. Going back to why I chose BA, I felt as if the beer scores were the most accurate on the web. There are very few experts here but there are many many smart and passionate reviewers--the ones who made this site what it is. I care about beer, but obviously not enough for me to put in the effort to craft hundreds of reviews. This website is a body of quality beer minds, an that's why I trust the reviews and scores so much.

    Now, while numbers or reviews will increase, it will be impossibly for the cumulative quality to increase. More importantly, the faith I had in scores / ratings is gone. Will I still turn to BA for information? Yes. But I believe if no change occurs (and I am optimistic about the new design and app), the quality and accuracy of this site will decrease. I try to take time with my Hads scores, but I don't trust myself enough yet to review here, lest it spoil the quality. Now, it doesn't matter what I do, because the quality has already been spoiled. I loved BA for what it was, and I know I'm going to stick with it, but right now I'm struggling to show any love.
    morimech, cavedave, ehammond1 and 2 others like this.
  9. Puokie

    Puokie Initiate (0) May 19, 2012

    Agree with this one hundred percent. I've been coming to BA to use reviews and ratings to make smart buying decisions. I can't afford to buy beer on any given day, and I like to try new things. So, I'd routinely come to BA when I'm at the store, and check the reviews and ratings. They were always quality, and the ratings seemed to match the reviews. That's changing before my eyes.
    Jimmys likes this.
  10. AxesandAnchors

    AxesandAnchors Initiate (0) Nov 21, 2012 Oregon

    +Everyone That IS Dissatisfied With The Change

    I know I am a new 'member' here (even though I have been using the site for roughly 2 years now), so what I have to say may hold little weight with you, but I think you could tweak things to satisfy both camps of people (those happy with the update and those upset about it). Personally for me, and it seems from this forum as well, one of the great benefits that BeerAdvocate brings to the community is the ability to search for beers you haven't had, read quality evaluations of the beer (not just a meaningless number) so that you can decide if it's something you might like, and keep track for your own personal record (whatever your reasons may be).

    1. I think the reviews are more important and hold more weight than just a simple rating, therefore it should be the default. Make the "Hads" an option but not the default (you've already made it an option to hide them so why not just switch it to make the people unhappy about this satisfied).
    2. There is plenty of room in the accumulated score section at the top to have a number for "Reviewed" and a separate number for "Hads", again why not make both camps happy. Plus the user gets more info, which is why they are coming to the page in the first place. Let them decide which to put more weight on.
    *The next two are sort of separate from the debate that people are bring up, but I think could make the overall experience even better.
    3. I think there should be an option to rate a review/reviewer based on if you thought what they wrote was "Insightful" or if it was "Not Helpful" (or report someone for clearly being negligent). This way you not only encourage better reviews but you also create a system where the better reviews can be brought to the top (Top Reviews), and the ones where people clearly did the minimum or just did a lousy job will be pushed to the bottom.
    4. Make the default page show the highest rated review show on the top, then go into the most current reviews. If the user decides he/she wants to only look at the highest rated reviews then they can toggle the "Top Reviews", if they want to read the most current reviews then they simply continue scrolling, and if they want to also look at the "Hads" ratings then they can hit the "Show Hads".



    Maybe I've wasted my time here and will be written off, but I read through almost all of this thread and really think you could fix the problems a lot of the members are addressing without also alienating the users your attempting to bring into the fold (as I completely understand your intentions were to make the site work for more people). You and your brother have done great work, and the fact that you are getting criticism is a testament to that...if it wasn't important to them they wouldn't bother. Keep it up, happy to have a place to geek out at. Thank you sir!
    morimech, Ri0, vobr0002 and 17 others like this.
  11. whatsgoody

    whatsgoody Disciple (308) Nov 16, 2012 Vermont

    This is awesome. I hope this doesn't get lost because it's on page 7 of the thread. I know that soon we'll have a redesigned site and an app, but the bros should still see the diagram you created.
  12. aorloski

    aorloski Devotee (437) Oct 11, 2010 Massachusetts

    i dont have time to read this whole thread, but im drinking a 2008 smuttynose imperial stout and wondering with this whole new system how the whole idea of vintages gets put into place? obviously i would rate this 2008 bottle differently than a fresh one. i understand that i should write a full review and put "2008 vintage" right in the review, but i am just curious if you guys thought about that aspect? keep up the good work!
  13. Todd

    Todd Founder (5,553) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Subscriber

    Thanks for the ^feedback. You've got some good ideas there for tweaking things.
    ehammond1 and AxesandAnchors like this.
  14. Todd

    Todd Founder (5,553) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Subscriber

    Yes. We've thought about vintages, plus extended options for Wants and Gots too; cellared beers, beers for trading, vintages, notes, etc.
  15. Mebuzzard

    Mebuzzard Poo-Bah (3,464) May 19, 2005 Colorado

    Maybe treat Hads and Reviews unequally? Say, something like the BCS football rankings (oh, they worked so well this year....). Have Reviews count for 90% of the overall score, with Hads adding the other 10%
    cosmicevan likes this.
  16. Puokie

    Puokie Initiate (0) May 19, 2012

    Thanks a solid idea. I'll trust the review score over the two click score any day of the week.
    yemenmocha likes this.
  17. cosmicevan

    cosmicevan Poo-Bah (3,331) Dec 13, 2009 New York
    Beer Trader

    all i know is that backing up my reviews during a "hiatus" from the site proved to be valuable even while on good behavior since i lost about 50 "duplicate" reviews with these changes. i just wish that instead of zapping reviews in favor of the most recent, it would've been great to merge the text as my more recent reviews of a beer in a different format always reference a my previous experiences and tend to carry much less details than my first impressions (which are now gone).

    i'm sure i'll adjust and hope that the end product of these changes is a positive one and kudos to the todd for dealing with our bitching and moaning and giving us the ability to filter out those silly hads reviews (would be great if we could filter out the ratings too, but i'll take what i can get). a very wise man once said "affraid of money, love and change" -- i just wish there was some heads up instead of waking up to see the sun is now purple.

    i definitely agree with you that someone who takes the time to talk about why they rated a beer in a certain way holds WAY more value to me than a "had" that someone enters 13 beers in with one eye closed so they can see their phone somewhat clearly, to tick off that they have indeed "had" a beer. certainly a lot of the people coming out saying how their hads were totally bogus and all the people pointing out the blind "1"s and the like is an indication of the validity of "hads" in general (although i'm sure some people used the "hads" system as it was intended, clearly this is not as consistent as with reviews).

    i'm going to play the wait and see game and continue to capture my reviews locally as well as on BA...but as someone who has worked in the software industry for over 10 years...i know what happens to software based products that are driven by the vision of few that are too close to the product as opposed to letting the voice of the customer drive evolution. i'd point to some relevant examples, but they are pretty much universally out of business.
    cavedave likes this.
  18. cosmicevan

    cosmicevan Poo-Bah (3,331) Dec 13, 2009 New York
    Beer Trader

    your "had" score is a great contribution and no one is saying that it is not, but it is just a number. there is no context. suppose you hate hoppy IPAs and you go to a local pub and try their new hoppy hate hops and you give it a 2 and no commentary. this will likely turn people off from wanting to try it. they have no idea that you rated it a 2 because you don't like hoppy beers...based on your 2, just sounds like the beer isn't good.

    i imagine that although scores are a helpful tool in deciding what beer to try, the text that people write about the beer is even more helpful. reviews were always the thing that set BA apart from the others and in my opinion, the reason why BA is the most used. Ratebeer and untappd are great for even get awards for ticking. to me, the advantage of "Hads" in conjunction with reviews on BA was to alert me what a trading partner might have tried already.

    you are 100% that people use BA to figure out what they might want to try and without a review, it is just a number. numbers don't tell me what is good or bad for my taste buds...commentary does.
    Lucidious likes this.
  19. Todd

    Todd Founder (5,553) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Subscriber

    I mentioned this earlier, but much of this preparation and what's to come is based off of a big user survey we took over the summer ... as well as keeping our eyes and ears open on a daily basis.
    cosmicevan likes this.
  20. jsurfs82

    jsurfs82 Disciple (329) May 13, 2008 Ohio

    I am a crazy beer fanatic and I admit I am too lazy to write a full review. Mostly because my palate changes on a regular basis. I am an advocate user of the "Had" system (for mostly personal reasons), however I am skeptical on this effecting the rating of the beer overall. This has to be a separate rating system such as the bro's rating. All need to be taken with a grain of salt from the end user.
    yemenmocha likes this.
  21. jsurfs82

    jsurfs82 Disciple (329) May 13, 2008 Ohio

    Add another rating. The full reviews, community Hads rating, and the bro's rating. What's wrong with this idea?
    chinabeergeek likes this.
  22. Auror

    Auror Defender (642) Jan 1, 2010 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    I've been reading through the feedback and there's a few common responses:

    1) Most established members of the site like how the site was before. This one is fairly obvious, and is human nature. It's been working fine for a long time, why change it? Especially enraged about "Had"s obscuring reviews on beer pages.

    2) Honest "Had" users defending the system from attack. Again, natural reaction. There are many people using "Had"s responsibly and it seems this is something of a silent majority on the site. It's a multi-purpose system, and there are users using it for many different goals.

    3) A lot of newer members say they were attracted to the site because of the quality of reviews, even though they didn't feel confident enough to review themselves. I think this is the most important aspect to consider. The beer scene is moving more social, more check-in (Had) based, and BA needs to adjust to that to survive. However, it seems clear that the site should stay strong in the areas it has had an edge on other sites (Quality reviews, strong regional forums, accurate ratings scale, etc.), while moving in that direction.

    Tweaks I would make based on feedback provided (perhaps in site redesign):

    1) Replace Bros score with the new overall score that includes reviews and hads put together (perhaps weighted or not, depending on stats research). Let the review score stand on it's own in addition in the place it's always been.
    2) Have two sections on a beer profile page, a "social" tab and a "reviews" tab. Possibly show both on the same page, with the option to go full-page of either with a click. One area would show check-ins, Had ratings, local comments. The other would show the detailed reviews. Similar to how Facebook timeline has 2 columns.
    3) Users' ratings should not count towards the scores until a minimum number of reviews/hads has been conducted.
    4) With the return of the karma system, allow top reviewers to have their reviews shown at the top, and/or have reviews from people you follow at the top.
    5) Make it clear with instructions that a Had rating should not just be a 5 or a 1. With incremental numbers, that should be a little more obvious to newer users, but it should be stressed that this is not a rating to be taken lightly.
  23. Todd

    Todd Founder (5,553) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Subscriber

    I didn't say anything was wrong or right about it. Instead of replying/reacting to every single bit a feedback ... we're listening.
  24. jsurfs82

    jsurfs82 Disciple (329) May 13, 2008 Ohio

    I was mostly asking the question to the community not directed entirely at you guys.
  25. Todd

    Todd Founder (5,553) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Subscriber

    Gotcha. The quoting of an unrelated reply of mine threw me off.
  26. TheSixthRing

    TheSixthRing Poo-Bah (2,409) Sep 24, 2008 California

    Agree whole heartedly. Luckily I'd made notes on many of the beers where I felt a quarter increment was warranted, so changing some of mine won't be too hard.
    tectactoe likes this.
  27. chinabeergeek

    chinabeergeek Meyvn (1,272) Aug 10, 2007 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    wow, this thread has reached TL;DR length... :grimacing:

    seriously tho, i think giving people the option of ticking via "hads" was giving voice to people "with real lives" just fine. i'm also fine with those scores having an impact, but they really should be weighed less heavily. it's only fair. hopefully this will be sorted out as you guys figure out ways to filter or refine the different datasets that different people are looking for, and giving individuals the options to do so.

    (EDIT - and of course, that means i miss axesandanchors' AWESOME suggestions. +100000 to his post!)
  28. coreyfmcdonald

    coreyfmcdonald Savant (953) Nov 13, 2008 Georgia
    Beer Trader

    I think you're missing the point. This is a change in expectation that will likely influence the site dramatically. It is (amont other things, some good, some bad) disincentivizing users from providing reviews for the site. BA needs to balance getting a lot of new users (revenue) and incentivizing there new users to provide good user input (reviews, among other things). This good user input is what is getting all the new users in the first place.
    yemenmocha and chinabeergeek like this.
  29. cosmicevan

    cosmicevan Poo-Bah (3,331) Dec 13, 2009 New York
    Beer Trader

    get some sleep. you deserve it! fresh eyes and rested head in the morning is always best for working with code.
  30. Etan

    Etan Initiate (0) Jul 11, 2011 Wisconsin

    I think we should make an important distinction here...BA has always been ticker friendly, but friendly to the good type of ticket (the one who thinks critically and at some length about each beer and writes a thoughtful review). I agree with your worry, but it is more a worry that BA will become friendly to the bad type of ticker (RB-style mass ticking).

    I think that there will continue to be, in the everyday culture of the forum and its users, a greater respect for full reviews than for Hads, regardless of the score integration. As long as people on here still hold up the value of a full review, I don't think mindless ticking will become the norm. (This isn't to say Hads have no value, or that people who don't review aren't contributing to the site.)
  31. Todd

    Todd Founder (5,553) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Subscriber

    Can I have a couple of beers first? Having my first beer in over 24 hours.
    cosmicevan and AxesandAnchors like this.
  32. cosmicevan

    cosmicevan Poo-Bah (3,331) Dec 13, 2009 New York
    Beer Trader

    i'll join ya. cheers and thanks for listening to us bitch and wine. it is what we do best!
  33. Todd

    Todd Founder (5,553) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Subscriber

    No thanks required. It's our job. We understand the concerns/reactions, and there's some good feedback here. I believe the redesign will address many of these concerns.

    Again, this was just one of many steps required to get us where we need to be. And we get that many hate change (at least initially), but the site has been organically evolving to meet its users needs since 1996. Why stop now? Hell, if we never changed/took risks our splash page would still be our bobble heads.

    Beer is empty ...
    NickMunford, cavedave and cosmicevan like this.
  34. superspak

    superspak Poo-Bah (9,692) May 5, 2010 Michigan
    Supporter Beer Trader

    Personally not a fan of adding Hads into the overall review score. Whenever I "had a beer" and then review it later on; the review vs had score is almost always drastically different. For a tasting where you have a small pour; your opinion will be drastically different than tasting a full serving of said beer, and actually concentrating on the tasting like I always do. Most people's hads (at least almost all of mine) are from tastings.

    Also really want to have the time stamps back and not the inaccurate time vs present note at the bottom of reviews. I'd like to know when one-off bottles were distributed sometimes, and since they don't date them; the reviews are the only accurate point of release vs the first available bottle review.
    yemenmocha likes this.
  35. AgentMunky

    AgentMunky Poo-Bah (2,613) Dec 29, 2009 New York

    This is a date which will live in 'famy.' Thank you so much for .25 ratings.
  36. HuskyinPDX

    HuskyinPDX Poo-Bah (2,505) Jan 23, 2011 Washington
    Beer Trader

    As I read and think about this more it hit me. Hads are for either personal use by tracking beers you had, or for traders to let others know what beers you have already had. Why make the scores so public? Why not just keep them as part of a users profile? I see this as a mix of the way things were, and how they are now. Just my 2 cents.
  37. chinabeergeek

    chinabeergeek Meyvn (1,272) Aug 10, 2007 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    i propose we stop calling them "hads" and instead renaming them something like "quick rates"... or hell, let's just embrace the beast and call them "TICKS"!
  38. TheSevenDuffs

    TheSevenDuffs Poo-Bah (3,011) Jan 20, 2010 Ontario (Canada)
    Beer Trader

    Great feedback!

    I think this suggestion is a necessity to be tweaked. I would love the option to be able to sort a beer's ratings by either including only reviews or reviews and hads.
  39. TheSevenDuffs

    TheSevenDuffs Poo-Bah (3,011) Jan 20, 2010 Ontario (Canada)
    Beer Trader

    Todd, this is slightly unrelated to a beer's reviews, more so to a user's reviews but...

    Is it possible to add a drop-down menu type system within a user's own reviews so I can easily look at say just my reviews of a certain breweries beer or just my reviews of a certain style? For example, lets say I want to see which beers I have reviewed by Founders: currently I have to click the button to sort by brewery and then keep clicking over to the next page until I get to them alphabetically, which can be somewhat cumbersome for a BA that has reviewed a lot of beers. It would be nice to be able to somehow filter my reviews to show me only my reviews of Founders beers (in this case). Hopefully that made sense....
    papat444 likes this.
  40. metter98

    metter98 Poo-Bah (9,133) Aug 29, 2006 New York

    I only have 2 hads ratings - these were for beers from breweries that were closed and writing a full review was not allowed. Now it looks like no type of ratings (full reviews or hads) are allowed for beers from closed breweries.

    There's also a link next to my hads rating that says "consider writing a full review" but clicking on it just brings up a page that says that reviewing associated beers has been disabled since it has been reported as closed.
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