Attn Changes: Beer Hads, Full Reviews & Ratings

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

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  1. peensteen

    peensteen Poo-Bah (1,860) Apr 3, 2010 Ontario (Canada)
    Beer Trader

    I don't know if it was mentioned but my only real issue with the "Hads" being weighted into the overall score is that clearly most people are going based on memory of the beer they may have had months ago, I'm not saying that this is the case with every person adding "Hads" but its clear when someone has 100-200 "Hads" in one day and they are all Cantillon, Drie Fonteinen, DL Variants etc. that these came from memory. I just dont see how these scores should count towards the beer's overall score. The same could be said with full reviews, but is probably less likely that someone would go through the trouble to write 250 charachters based on memory or something they had 8 months back at a tasting somewhere. I myself am behind in reviewing and have 20-25 reviews to enter from the last 3 weeks or so but I have detailed and dated notes with scores to work from.

    I will still continue to use the site like I always had but thats just my .02 on the change.
    rand, Halcyondays, LeRose and 2 others like this.
  2. Hanzo

    Hanzo Initiate (0) Feb 27, 2012 Virginia

    So you are saying because a simple had marked with a numeric score holds the same weight as a written review that people are more likely to forego the reviewing process? That's possible, but that is where a system of recognition of well written reviews would come in. Being able to click if a review was helpful to you should give people the incentive to put their opinions out there if they see their opinions are being well received.

    Todd also said they are working on ways to reward people for adding such content to the site, so I think going forward you are still going to have plenty of people adding reviews. Some will be great and some will barely hit the new character limit, but that is where filtering comes in, you should be able to sort by "Most Helpful".
    chinchill likes this.
  3. JimKal

    JimKal Zealot (514) Jul 31, 2011 North Carolina

    I am content with the Bros making changes to the site they created even though the changes don't always work as well for me in the way I use the site. Currently my "Hads" and "Reviews" are about equal but my use of "Hads" has been growing. When a beer has numerous reviews, I don't think adding one more adds much value. I have been using "Hads" as my personal reminder of what beers I will consider for a repeat purchase. For me, 3.5 or higher is a repeat. As I know I like certain styles more than others ( or perhaps more correct to say that I dislike certain styles more than others), my hads are skewed toward my personal preferences. It may be hard for me to give an accurate review to a Porter as I've yet to find one I liked. I don't think I'm alone in this as one simply has to look at the higher ratings dominated by high ABV beers. While I do look at reviews I tend to pay more attention to the Bros reviews than most of the others. That is not to say I always agree with them ( I really like Dale's Pale Ale more than they do) I consider them a good baseline. I often try a new beer before reading any reviews and then compare my impressions to the Bros and a few other reviews - more in the spirit of self education.

    As with most changes, I expect we will see unintended consequences. Some will be good and some won't. That's the way these things work. But I expect the Bros and their team will be looking at this and make adjustments as time goes by.
  4. BigBarley

    BigBarley Disciple (373) Aug 5, 2011 Texas

    Well this is irritating! I keep track of my "hads" in a notebook to update all at once when I get online. Now with this new thing happening, I can't do multiple hads in a short amount of time. When I try the site says "you just had a beer very recently." What the hell? I can't always be sitting at the computer when I'm making notes on a beer!
  5. abraxel

    abraxel Initiate (0) Aug 28, 2009 Michigan

    These two are exactly what I would like to see, and would alleviate pretty much all my concern over the hads merger (though there are plenty of other good suggestions, too).

    And thank you, Bros! I really like how you make a change, get our reactions, make incremental changes to suit, etc. You do a great job managing the site and keeping in touch with your community (despite all the bitching and moaning), especially considering the sheer size of it. Cheers!
  6. woosterbill

    woosterbill Poo-Bah (2,616) Apr 6, 2009 Kentucky
    Beer Trader

    While this discussion is approaching the point of ad nauseam repetition of the same core arguments, I suppose I'll give my two cents as well, moving from the positive to the critical.

    1. Allowing .25 increments in reviews: godsend. Anything that allows more nuance and differentiation is a good thing. Thank you Bros!

    2. Incorporating Hads scores into a beer's rating: entirely correct. All user feedback should count, and since many like to use Hads to score beers it's only fair to let their voices be heard in a beer's overall score.

    3. Weighting Hads equally with Reviews: less great. Not to malign those who use Hads, but there is simply no possibility for accountability with these scores the way there is with reviews. It's easy to spot, flag, and remove troll reviews that only exist to inflate or deflate a beer's score, but there's absolutely no way to tell the difference between a sincere 5 Had and a 5 Had from the brewer's mom. Also, since Hads originally existed with only an imprecise whole-number rating scale, and did so when they were first introduced and lots of people instantly entered hundreds if not thousands of backlogged ratings (often from memory), it's no wonder that they are inflating scores significantly. The dramatically increased bar of entry for the Top 100 is ample evidence for this. Since reviews (generally) require considerably more thought than Hads, are less prone to abuse, and are easier to hold accountable, I believe they should carry more weight than Hads - perhaps 67/33, 75/25, or even 90/10.

    4. Showing Hads on a beer's page: useless. I wouldn't mind a "show Hads" check box as an option for anyone who actually desires this, but to make it the default just clutters up a beer listing and makes it harder to find useful information. If all I care about is the beer's score, I won't look beyond the rAvg. If I'm looking down at the review portion of the listing, I want to see what people have said about the beer's aroma, flavor, texture, etc. I couldn't care less that beerluvrrr69 gave it a 4.0 as a Had yesterday - no offense to beerluvrrr69, of course.

    5. Limiting the frequency of inputting Hads: needlessly and counterproductively obstructive. Your stated reasoning behind these changes was to make the site more user-friendly and, particularly, Had-friendly, so why on earth make it harder to use this part of the site? As much as it seems to be moving in that direction (and doubtless will even moreso once the App comes out), BA isn't Untappd, and there's no obvious benefit to requiring that Hads be entered immediately upon consumption the way Untappd check-ins provide a real-time, Four-Square-enabled picture of who's drinking what where when. If I used Hads, I would doubtless use them to catalogue everything I tried at a tasting or festival and would want to upload a bunch of them at once. I see no harm in allowing this, and a very real annoyance with not allowing it.

    6. Reducing the character requirement for reviews: terrible. Horrible. Ghastly. Here's a 102-character review I just made up for an imaginary IPA: "Clear amber, nice head/lace. Smells hoppy - floral and fruity. Tastes good, not too bitter. Creamy medium body. I like it." Sure, it's manages to hit every one of the 5 categories, and it's arguably better than a lot of "reviews" on the other site, but it's careless and pointless. 250 characters was already a very low bar - less than two tweets! - so I fail to see the point in going even lower. Hads are already there for those who want to tick a beer without taking the time to review it, so who is really benefiting from being allowed to write desultory reviews? People who want to copy/paste their ratings from the other site? One of the things that has always set BA apart from the competition has been that the reviews here, on average, are far more detailed, descriptive, coherent, and therefore helpful than the personal tasting notes that are encouraged elsewhere. I don't always write long reviews, but even my shortest ones done in the biggest hurry have never dropped below the 250 mark. I honestly can't imagine how little I would have to care to write 100-character reviews, but I know for a fact that it wouldn't do anybody any good to make them public.

  7. BeerThursdays

    BeerThursdays Defender (689) Feb 28, 2010 Delaware
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    This one is really bothering me. I'm trying to go through and but a little more "thought" behind my hads. When it started, I rated close to 100 beers a 5, because they were better than a 4. Trying to go through and revise this has been a nightmare. I got through the 5's, but I won't be doing the rest until this changes.

    Other than that, I don't mind the changes. I could see hads being worth less than full reviews in the grand scheme of things, but ultimately, it won't matter. Hads are a lot easier, so a lot more people will use them. Character count doesn't matter to me either. I don't review but maybe one beer a month, and I try to write a full review when I do. If Hads=Reviews in weight, at least the person tried to do a description.
    Auror likes this.
  8. ColForbinBC

    ColForbinBC Poo-Bah (2,021) Sep 9, 2005 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    It's a little hard to keep up with this thread and everything that has been addressed, so forgive me if someone mentioned this....

    Could we have the toggle on the beer pages be opposite of the new default? Reviews should be the default with the Hads having the toggle option. When looking up a beer quickly on the go, app or not, I'm pretty sure the most of us want to skim through a couple of reviews, not see general scores. Most of the beer pages I have looked at only have 1 or 2 reviews sandwiched around hads. This creates the need to go through multiple pages to get a decent sense of a beer.
    Rochefort10nh and woosterbill like this.
  9. PsilohsaiBiN

    PsilohsaiBiN Defender (614) Aug 10, 2010 New York
    Beer Trader

    Bottom line: A full review that actually took longer than the click of a checkbox should have significantly more value than a quick "had" rating.
  10. coreyfmcdonald

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

    I agree with you - there are multiple ways to recognize and incentivize people to provide useful information and content onto the site. BA just needs to figure out a good way to do it. They also need to display the most useful information at the top so that members and non-members can both access that information easily.
    Hanzo likes this.
  11. coreyfmcdonald

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

    This has got to be the most important change the Bros need to make, for their sake. New users need to be shown the most useful content very easily. I know the interface well enough to manipulate it and have a bit more patience to find it, but a new user will not be as insightful or patient without the familiarity of and reliance on the site.
    Hanzo likes this.
  12. Hanzo

    Hanzo Initiate (0) Feb 27, 2012 Virginia

    How much more value should a 3000 word review have over a 1000 word review?
  13. thewimperoo

    thewimperoo Zealot (548) Oct 1, 2006 Illinois

    Great post. I especially agree with your points 3-5. There really is no need to show the Had score in with the reviews. A time limit in between entering of Hads is also highly annoying and counter productive.
  14. woosterbill

    woosterbill Poo-Bah (2,616) Apr 6, 2009 Kentucky
    Beer Trader

    Probably less, since 3000 words is about 15 pages of text, and any genuinely useful information would likely be hidden pages deep.

    I think most would agree that beer reviews generally exhibit a bell curve of sorts when length and usefulness are compared: really short ones and really long ones are equally useless, while a middle ground delivers the most value: concise enough to read quickly, detailed enough to relate a full experience of the beer.

    We all know that a wall of text can be counterproductive, but would anybody seriously argue that NorthYorkSammy reviews are more helpful than Buckeyenation reviews? Or, more objectively, that ANY review by definition includes infinitely more information than a Had?
    flexabull and AlCaponeJunior like this.
  15. AlCaponeJunior

    AlCaponeJunior Poo-Bah (2,112) May 21, 2010 Texas

    As someone with a lot of reviews, I'm very much against the lowering the bar on review size to only 100 characters. I put a lot of thought into my reviews and would hope others would do the same.

    IMO BA >>> ratebeer because of the higher reviewing standards, better categorization, limits on reviews per day, mathematical formulations*, and better rating parameters (especially with the new 0.25 increments).

    Reviewers (in general) probably put much more thought into their ratings than "hads" tickers. Just food for thought on weighting ratings verses hads.

    The one thing ratebeer has over BA is the rating overall and rating per category. More food for thought.

    *I can't stand that "drag everything to the mean" thing that rb does
    mudbug and yemenmocha like this.
  16. kscaldef

    kscaldef Initiate (0) Jun 11, 2010 Oregon
    Beer Trader

    I've also been trying to update some Hads of mine where I gave a 5 when the only options were 1,2,3,4,5, but I would now like to give them a little more nuance. However, one thing I noticed is that in some cases (when a brewery has closed, I think) it's no longer possible to go back and edit the rating. Sure would be nice if that were possible.
  17. rrryanc

    rrryanc Disciple (311) May 19, 2006 California
    Beer Trader

    Honestly, I prefer the tweet style reviews. For me, they generally have the best fact/opinion ratio. A lot of reviewers like to see themselves type it seems, and it's hard to figure out what exactly they ended up drinking.

    This was posted on the first page as a consequence of moving the minimum character count to 100, and given the context, used as a negative argument. I think that review is pretty well perfect, myself. Covers the basics and doesn't add fluff.

    Also, the argument here isn't that 1 had == 1 review, information wise. It's that 100 hads >= 1 review. And personally, I think that holds more weight and delivers more actual information than the one review.
  18. mindfuldave

    mindfuldave Devotee (491) Mar 22, 2011 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    I don't know if this has been brought up, because frankly I didn't feel like reading through 8 pages of people voicing their opinion. But will you be able to add a new beer now by just putting it in your hads without a full review?
  19. Todd

    Todd Founder (5,507) Aug 23, 1996 California

    You still need to do 20 full reviews. This may change with the site redesign as we'll have more robust functionality to help users when adding new beers.
  20. abraxel

    abraxel Initiate (0) Aug 28, 2009 Michigan

    I guess we just disagree on what we want out of reviews, my fellow Hobbes. You're right that the tweet-style reviews have a higher fact/opinion ratio, but for me, most of the value in a review is the opinions and subjective impressions of the beer, especially if they're well-described -- what you call "fluff".

    From the discussion in this thread it looks like we'll have plenty of reviewers in both camps, though, which is fine by me as long as we get something like that "mark this review insightful" suggestion.
    AlCaponeJunior likes this.
  21. thehyperduck

    thehyperduck Poo-Bah (2,857) Feb 26, 2006 Ontario (Canada)
    Beer Trader

    Didn't really like this update at first, but I guess a combination of sleep, beer and the quick response/tweaks from Todd have softened my stance, as I don't mind it so much now. Making hads filterable was crucial; the review pages were aesthetically awful for a while there with all the blank space and disjointedness. I do appreciate how quickly that tweak was put in place. People who aren't signed in to BA who visit the beer's individual page should either see only reviews or only hads; I don't even care which is default, it just looks messy when they're mixed like that.

    The addition of 0.25 increments was a really good idea, though.

    Honestly I did kind of think it was silly that hads didn't count at all toward a beer's overall score before this update, but I still feel they shouldn't be considered completely equal to a thorough review from a trusted BA. I would prefer some sort of karma-related system that would naturally tend toward weighting 'trusted/liked' reviewers' scores more highly than tickers or people who registered yesterday.

    Saying 'hads are worth half of a review' (or some other fraction) and leaving it at that is too simplistic, because it's not like some reviewers didn't/don't abuse that system too (e.g. IPAh8er420 giving a common, standard issue IPA a 1 for 'tasting bitter', or the new user who reviews everything Local Brewery X brews over a period of two days and gives out straight 4.5-5.0s). There are plenty of hads users who are giving the beer a fair shake and just don't want to review for one reason or another, and their opinions should count at least as much as a ticker who writes 3-4 vague sentence fragments about everything he reviews.

    Right now the only thing that really bothers me is the 100 character limit, but that's probably just a product of nostalgia. The main reason I originally joined this site rather than the other one is because I'd prefer to read an informative review over something that reads like wine notes or a tweet.

    It kind of seems like a big change in philosophy, but I'll get over it eventually. I'm sure there are plenty of people who see one of my reviews on a beer's page, raise an eyebrow and quickly skip to one with lots of concise, easy-to-read-on-your-phone ASTMO-organized facts, but those people just want different things out of BA than I do. As long as more potential users are satisfied I still consider these changes welcome progress, though. So thanks for all the hard work, Bros!
  22. kevanb

    kevanb Poo-Bah (1,865) Apr 4, 2011 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Since the changes yesterday I find myself having to click this checkbox for every beer I view because I find the had scores to be meaningless and completely out of context. Is it possible to make "Full Reviews Only" the default setting on a beer's profile. I feel like the hads do provide some good insight as to the overall quality of the beer, but not the specific details which I believe to be more useful.

    IE. I want to find a great hop forward double IPA, I might end up looking at Dark Horse Double Crooked Tree and say, wow, look at these great scores, buy it and then be bummed at how it's basically a barleywine and not really what I was hoping to get out of my DIPA experience despite it being a great beer.

    What say you community?
  23. ehammond1

    ehammond1 Initiate (0) Jul 4, 2008

    Seeing a long list of "Had" scores is ineffective viewing and terrible clutter. Whether to include "Had" scores or not in a beer's Avg score is an entirely different argument and one I don't really care about one way or the other, but I completely agree with you in this: only reviews (and not a long list of "Hads") should be visible.
    iadler, woosterbill, mudbug and 5 others like this.
  24. blackcompg

    blackcompg Defender (610) Feb 13, 2011 Illinois

    Don't know if this has been mentioned or not, but I'm a database guy, and perhaps you could build a 'preferences' section at the individual user account level that would give individuals the ability to select their 'view' and choose whether or not they see just 'hads', just 'reviews' or both, i/e enabling users to customize their view? This type of UI would enable users to see and utilize BA according to their preference - just my 2 cents. I love this site, and greatly appreciate all of the members input and all your hard work, thank you all - Cheers!
  25. rand

    rand Meyvn (1,010) Feb 24, 2006 California
    Beer Trader

    Well, it should matter less. I'm kinda torn on this, my gf and I both drink a lot of beer, she likes Hads, I like doing full reviews. And I actually like Hads when it's not possible to do a full review, like at a festival or that final pull before 'last call'. But this is for my own reference. The problem is, 'ticking' beers like this dilutes the integrity of the BA averages. It seems the site has gone to great lengths to weight the averages with a fairly complex model, and now someone can drop a '1' or '5' bomb without giving any explanation (which I've noticed is already happening).

    This isn't good. Obviously there's an element of subjectivity to review beer, the biggest of which I call 'BA inertia', where people bend their score reduce the rDev. However, I can't count the number of times I've changed my mind over the course of reviewing a beer. Actually sitting down, relaxing and spending several minutes pondering the nuances of the beer is inevitably going to lead to a more 'accurate' review.
    chinabeergeek and yemenmocha like this.
  26. RoninTK3

    RoninTK3 Aspirant (234) Nov 12, 2012 New Hampshire
    Beer Trader

    I generally only write a full review if I'm drinking the beer right then. If I'm out at a bar and want to record the beer when I get home, I use a had. I see it as more of an approximation.
  27. jacksback

    jacksback Initiate (0) Jul 20, 2011 Massachusetts

    Err... isn't the whole point of the beer reviews, no matter what format, to express an opinion?

    And the Hads "reviews" certainly don't include any facts, and the opinion part is boiled down to a simple number with no context.
  28. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (2,454) Mar 12, 2009 New York
    Beer Trader

    My opinion, slam it if you want: It is more like how much more value is a careful, BJCP format review than a had, or 100 character ratebeer-esque review. To me it is easy. Had with a number/ratebeer-esque review = almost completely valueless to me to examine when I want to purchase a beer. These types of "reviewing", for lack of a better word, are for keeping score in the game of ticking, despite the supposed care and thought given to them. It is the lazy way to try to describe how one feels for a beer.

    Try telling your wife on her Valentines Day card you you love her 4.5. Perhaps you can tell her afterwards that the number means just as much as a detailed description of why you love her, because you gave it a lot of thought. I'm sure she'll agree with you.:wink:
  29. kevanb

    kevanb Poo-Bah (1,865) Apr 4, 2011 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Everything right here.
    yemenmocha likes this.
  30. rrryanc

    rrryanc Disciple (311) May 19, 2006 California
    Beer Trader

    Which is of course fine, you don't (and won't) see me advocating for limiting long reviews. I'm just providing a counterpoint to all the people complaining about short reviews and wanting to raise the minimum word count, or make the rating's weight proportional to word count, or other such nonsense.

    Adding Hads simply provides a large sample size and provides a smaller standard deviation on the final number.

    As for opinion vs. fact, I suppose that's true but I think we're arguing semantics. When I say facts, I mean things like "dark brown color," "thin mouth feel," etc. Of course those are all opinions, but they're a lot less fluff than you'll find in a page long review. Basically I'm counting facts as descriptors that the majority of consumers would agree with - which I find a lot more useful than wondering how well my tastes match up with the wordsmith reviewer.
  31. lonewolfcry

    lonewolfcry Zealot (567) Dec 7, 2007 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    Dude - I think you can remember if you liked a beer or not.
    If you did - have another!
    If you didn't - don't!

    But seriously - my sincerest condolences on your lost reviews of the beers of fame...I know how much they must've meant to you.
    Hopefully they are in a happier place now...RIP
  32. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (5,839) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    They are back, as I expected they would be. There was no need for you to get all snarky on me. I like to keep records of what I've had as any BA that reviews would.
    Rutager likes this.
  33. lonewolfcry

    lonewolfcry Zealot (567) Dec 7, 2007 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    Just jesting - no offense meant - I'm glad you're going to be alright!

    So I'm keep stats on the beers you've do you even go about doing that?
    I need to upgrade my software.
  34. endovelico

    endovelico Initiate (0) Jul 25, 2008 Portugal

    Hads shouldn't be counted. They should serve only as a personal log. It will dumb down the reviews on the one hand, and besides how are we going to be sure if someone who gives a perfect score even had the drink? It takes time and effort to write a review and justify why you give the score you give, this will just make the reviewing a personal logging thing instead of a pre-requesite to guarantee reviewing quality.
  35. Beer-A-Lot

    Beer-A-Lot Defender (696) Oct 4, 2012 Virginia

    Much has been said on the dislike side. For me, here's what I like:

    1. Increments of .25. This was sorely needed.
    2. Puts my reviews up top for me for quick reference.
    3. Ability to toggle on and off full reviews only. I'm sure I'm not the only one who'll keep this box checked.
  36. Beer-A-Lot

    Beer-A-Lot Defender (696) Oct 4, 2012 Virginia

    P.S. I agree with the concensus on hads not being included in ratings.
  37. iadler

    iadler Initiate (0) Aug 12, 2009 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    IMO, "hads" provide no benefit to anyone except for the user who rated it for tracking purposes.
    kevanb and Treebs like this.
  38. sacrelicio

    sacrelicio Initiate (0) Feb 15, 2005 Minnesota

    I think it's a bad idea to count Hads towards the rating AND shorten the review minimum. One or the other could work but not both at the same time. I for one stopped reviewing since it was too much work for the amount of beer that I try. I just don't have the words!
  39. Todd

    Todd Founder (5,507) Aug 23, 1996 California

    cavedave likes this.
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