It's Time to Embrace Ratings

Discussion in 'BeerAdvocate Talk' started by Todd, Jan 10, 2022.

  1. puck1225

    puck1225 Poo-Bah (3,777) Dec 22, 2013 Texas
    Society Trader

    I enjoy reviewing the beers and this is primarily for my own record.

    For anyone who has ever read one of my reviews: Thank you, I hope it was helpful!
    lucius10, Whyteboar, Rug and 2 others like this.
  2. Resistance88

    Resistance88 Aspirant (232) Apr 9, 2015 California

    I'm crack and to me engineers are data:stuck_out_tongue:

    Sounds good to me and anything that let's me know more about a certain beer is great
    Whyteboar, RMW66, Rug and 1 other person like this.
  3. LeRose

    LeRose Poo-Bah (1,634) Nov 24, 2011 Massachusetts

    Way back when, I left UnTapped and became a BA devotee. I am an information and research junkie and UT didn't and still doesn't melt my butter. The content on this site as well as the community are what I am looking for. I looked at UT again when whatever it was happened that made us "siblings", but I still find it lacking the information I want and more of a look at me and what I'm drinking site - sorry/not sorry - that is how I feel about it. Plus I can't find my way around nor do I want to invest the time learning how.

    I review and try to do the best I can with it. I've had sensory training, so I know just enough to be dangerous, but I do put effort into my reviews and call 'em like I see 'em. Straightforward and honest. Intimidating to get started...maybe a bit. But I have never been one to worry about impressing anyone. My opinion on a beer is just as valid as anyone's even if I can't pick out the fifteen hops used in a murk bomb IPA. I create a record in my own words that I go back to and then mirror in my beer journal spreadsheet. It is a record others can view and may find useful. I'm a lightweight when it comes to volume consumption, and I find the act of jotting down my thoughts relaxing in a way. It us equally enjoyable to just sit and drink a beer as It is to drink it, think about it a bit, and review it. Since a beer I review is usually new to me, there's also the discovery aspect of the whole thing and I find recording that first impression to be fun.

    I have also learned that my tastes follow along with some people I consider true icons of the site and I rely on their reviews QUITE A times, especially when I am looking at some of the more pricey options in the beer aisles.

    Statistically, it looks like the ratings with and without reviews are essentially equal. The data is there, statistically significant difference could be determined, but the eyeball test tells me there's no difference. I like writing reviews because I find it fun, relaxing, and hopefully it helps contribute to the group knowledge.

    I will continue to do what I have so far - write reviews or take my notes when I have the beer in my hand and can take my time. I will rate beers I may have at a brewery maybe in a flight. I can review any beer later if I decide to buy it.

    My behavior and participation have changed somewhat re: devices. I don't have a computer at home, only my work laptop and I don't take it home often since I have no discipline and will just do work. I have a tablet and wicked smaht phone. I used to play BA on break and at lunch, but since our IT was outsourced the people on the other side of the world seem to care an awful lot about policing. I now use the phone and the tablet almost exclusively and participate from home so I won't get my wrist slapped. When I retire, I will likely be computer based.

    It seems to me the question is more about driving or increasing active participation than it is about the relevancy or relative merit of two essentially equal numerical entities.
    Whyteboar, RMW66, Rug and 9 others like this.
  4. rgordon

    rgordon Meyvn (1,195) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    I tasted beers for buying to sell across North Carolina, took notes for myself, still have them going back to around 2000 AD. These were my honest beliefs, and references to deep experience up until then. I wrote the reviews, produced sales materials, and built what I determined to be as good a portfolio that I could given current distribution possibilities. I still do this and never publish but a few. This is my history for me and for others in time.
    Whyteboar, Rug, cavedave and 3 others like this.
  5. Resistance88

    Resistance88 Aspirant (232) Apr 9, 2015 California

    I can respect that.
    I don't do any selling though so no need for me to do what you've done and I don't take beer too seriously.
    I'm also an asshole. :sunglasses:
    40ontarget and rgordon like this.
  6. rgordon

    rgordon Meyvn (1,195) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    Keep beer fun, keep Snowshoe wild, keep Austin weird.
  7. bitterandstout

    bitterandstout Initiate (90) Jun 15, 2020 Oregon

    I rely on the reviews quite a lot for beers I've not tasted. I believe they should be encouraged.
    An app would be good, if the character limit was much greater than untappd.
    Whyteboar likes this.
  8. Miles_in_beer_city

    Miles_in_beer_city Initiate (146) Jun 18, 2014 North Carolina

    A lot of breweries use the same barcode for their seasonal or specialty beers. Using the barcode scanner in the Untapped app may bring up to half a dozen hits, all from the same brewery, of course.
    BBThunderbolt and PapaGoose03 like this.
  9. spersichilli

    spersichilli Aspirant (270) Apr 26, 2018 California

    Also I'd be willing to be a large majority of people here DO rate beer, just on Untappd. The only time I'll rate beer here is if I want to write a long form review about a special bottle or tick a top 250, otherwise all of my stuff goes on Untappd. It's just so much easier and more user friendly
  10. Ranbot

    Ranbot Defender (661) Nov 27, 2006 Pennsylvania

    In short, BA lost me as a rater years ago to Untappd, and I can't imagine any changes here being a better rating experience for me than Untappd already is. BA will lose [and clearly is losing] that battle. The ownership is the same, so why fight it? Figure out ways the two platforms can drive traffic to each other rather than compete with each other.

    Longer version... I've used Untappd for years. Long ago I did some beer reviewing here, but even back then most of my beers went unreviewed because it took too much effort. Kudos to you who have many reviews here, but I'm busy or lazy depending on your view point. Untappd fits my needs and based on user statistics I don't think I'm alone. There's nothing in it for me to start double entering reviews on multiple platforms. Untappd has many of the features folks here are asking BA add (like vintages, serving type, easy photos, personal statistics, etc.). I'm on BA for the other news, information, and discussions, not reviews. Besides, I don't trust anyone's beer reviews or biases, other than my own. I have no need for the hive mind. So, the faster, easier means to log my ratings for myself is preferred and that's hands down Untappd.

    Personally, I think with Untappd and Beer Advocate being under the same ownership, the two beer databases need to figure out a way to cross-communicate and support each other. I know just enough about databases to understand that's way easier to say than to do, but regardless of the difficulty I think it needs to happen or else this site will continue to dwindle until it dies. I'm sure the joint ownership offers some administrative synergies, but it's not at all apparent in the user experience. Like it or not Untappd is where the users, businesses, and growth are and unless BA figures out a way to tap into that base, then I don't believe there's any amount of tweaking to ratings/reviews that's going to entice users to go to a stand alone website.
  11. 2beerdogs

    2beerdogs Poo-Bah (2,985) Jan 31, 2005 California
    Society Trader

    Yeah, I miss the ability to "like" a good writeup.
    Rug, mactrail, HoppingMadMonk and 5 others like this.
  12. bret27

    bret27 Poo-Bah (1,983) Mar 10, 2009 California
    Society Trader

    I agree. I think this simple piece of positive reinforcement would go a long way.
    Rug, 2beerdogs and BillAfromSoCal like this.
  13. donspublic

    donspublic Poo-Bah (2,123) Aug 4, 2014 Texas
    Society Trader

    I honestly don't know why people get upset for someone adding a beer if they haven't had it. I don't think the Karma you get from that is that great. I am happy when sitting at a brewery and having a beer and go to rate it and bam, there it is with no reviews. If it isn't there I will either send myself an email or text message with my review and add it when I get home. I don't like doing shit on my phone and would way rather do it on a computer. And also the lack of an app isn't really that big of a deal to me as I find the site works pretty good on Android.
  14. bret27

    bret27 Poo-Bah (1,983) Mar 10, 2009 California
    Society Trader

    While I don’t understand android, I agree that the lack of an app doesn’t really bother me at this point.
    Whatever’s compatible with my phone is ok with me :beers:
    Whyteboar and LeRose like this.
  15. woodychandler

    woodychandler Poo-Bah (12,165) Apr 9, 2004 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    Just for the record, I do NOT have a separate account as "Ranbot"! Our opinions dovetail nicely & we are both in PA so I CAN imagine that there might be some Q. :grin:
  16. BBThunderbolt

    BBThunderbolt Poo-Bah (9,286) Sep 24, 2007 Kiribati
    Society Trader

    Agreed. I find apps kind of annoying in general, and don't understand the clamor for one. BA works nicely on my phone, and the UT app is always kind of janky.
    Whyteboar, DIM, LeRose and 2 others like this.
  17. woodychandler

    woodychandler Poo-Bah (12,165) Apr 9, 2004 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    Great, but what about all of my multiple reviews based on Serving Style that were lost without warning? The track record = not good.
  18. Todd

    Todd Founder (6,564) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Moderator Fest Crew Society Trader

    There's a back up, but the data has changed quite a bit over the last 9 years since that feature was pulled. There were roughly 16,000 multiple reviews. Restoring them could be a challenge at this point, but not out of the question.
    Whyteboar and Harrison8 like this.
  19. rgordon

    rgordon Meyvn (1,195) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    My phone works fine, but man do I ever prefer sitting at my ancient Spanish desk, looking out the window and watching multiple bird species eating crepe myrtle seeds and nandina berries.
    @utopiajane used to use the word hinky on occasion. Does janky equal hinky? I need to know.
  20. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Poo-Bah (1,830) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    Huh, didn't realize that.

    Then again I'm really only a Society member to help support the site. But this is good to know, thanks!
    Whyteboar, Harrison8 and 40ontarget like this.
  21. LesDewitt4beer

    LesDewitt4beer Savant (978) Jan 25, 2021 Minnesota

    Ya know, it just dawned on me, what if there was a way for BA members to ultimately rate or even just like beer reviews (not 1-5 ratings or New Beer Weekend likes) and subsequently the highest rated or most liked reviews by members would or could be awarded a couple of karma points on a quarterly basis or sumpin' to that order? Simple incentive to observe more reviews, review more and to do it well. Scrappy thoughts this morning. Beer Advocate is awesome! Cheers!
  22. BBThunderbolt

    BBThunderbolt Poo-Bah (9,286) Sep 24, 2007 Kiribati
    Society Trader

    I think janky is closer to junky than hinky, but I'm not a komputatar-savvy youth.

    I enter all my reviews from a machine, with the combination of a tiny keyboard and fat fingers, there's no way I'm reviewing from a phone.
    Whyteboar, Harrison8 and 2beerdogs like this.
  23. PapaGoose03

    PapaGoose03 Poo-Bah (3,293) May 30, 2005 Michigan

    Click on your username in your avatar box, then click on the number of your beers (or places, it will give you a stats analysis for that too), and you'll get a bar graph for your ratings with a list of your beers below. To the upper left of the graph is a line with your numerical average. On the line above that is a small bar graph symbol. Click on that and you'll get a further analysis that you can select by using a few filters listed on that line. Enjoy.
    ( For non-Society members reading/trying this, I don't know what you'll get.)
    Whyteboar and riptorn like this.
  24. Ranbot

    Ranbot Defender (661) Nov 27, 2006 Pennsylvania

    I also want to point out that the numerous people here who are negative about ratings, short reviews, using an app, ect. (basically all the things Untappd represents) are more than likely a product of survivorship bias. You are not hearing many alternative opinions because those users have already left. The evidence is in the precipitous drop in ratings and reviews statistics Todd posted in the first post. More anecdotally, if you've been paying attention to subtle clues in people's posts, you'll note that most of the users here are older, like 40+. So, there's big portion of the younger population that is mostly unrepresented in users here, either because they left or never had enough interest to participate here in first place. I've been here long enough to know that wasn't always the case. This site is not replacing it's members and is slowly falling into obscurity (has been for years). Rating/review systems that the majority of people don't want to use is a significant part of that decline. So, people can continue to act high and mighty, feeling superior to the masses with their long-winded reviews until the lights go out, or there can be change. I like Beer Advocate enough that I want it to survive and return to the industry leader it was, and I think that's going to require embracing major changes.
    Rug, Harrison8, bret27 and 2 others like this.
  25. spersichilli

    spersichilli Aspirant (270) Apr 26, 2018 California

    I'm 26 and have been on here since I've been 22 but I agree I'm probably an outlier here at this point. I feel like people do stay here in spite of some very obvious flaws that could've been corrected years ago, but these things do drive a lot of people off so totally agree on the survivorship bias. Think you're spot on about the probably course this site will run
  26. woodchipper

    woodchipper Meyvn (1,451) Oct 25, 2005 Connecticut

    Multiple thoughts after skimming most of this thread.
    • I don't think the app was any easier or better than the website, even on a phone, just different. I put a BA website link on my phone's home page.
    • I like reviewing with a full keyboard better than a phone.
    • @Todd - I know you have a large to-do list for reviews, please tell me a save button is on there. Many times I want to walk away from a review and come back to finish or edit before posting.
    • @Todd -Have you sliced the review data into age, geography and member-since buckets? It may give you insight on how to promote reviewing.
    • I review a lot more than I used to, mostly for NBW. I have a mental template that I repeatedly use and I format it kind of like a science experiment report. I try to document the variables - serving type, source, can date, temperature, glassware etc. I've even created a template in Google Docs, but I don't use it as frequently as I thought I would. Besides saving time typing, it auto-saves. When done I just cut and paste.
    • The beers new to me that I don't review are usually because I'm too busy socializing. It happens a lot.
    Whyteboar, Rug, Harrison8 and 5 others like this.
  27. BillAfromSoCal

    BillAfromSoCal Devotee (421) Aug 24, 2020 California

    Just thinking out loud here, but I suspect that as other social media platforms gain increasingly easy-to-use functionality, BA members/users, and especially younger users, will come to consider that ease-of-use and functionality as the new "normal". As a result BA will be faced with having to do continuous significant improvements just to avoid looking dated and even obsolete. A good example is the on-going "jump through more hoops relative to other social media" method of trying to post pictures here. I used to post pictures almost daily here. Now I say "screw it, I shouldn't have to do all these extra steps using some other secondary software to get photos in the correct format", so I don't.
    Ranbot, spersichilli and 2beerdogs like this.
  28. gatornation

    gatornation Poo-Bah (9,635) Apr 18, 2007 Minnesota
    Society Trader

    Yep… Not all “Mobile Devices” are the same.
  29. Harrison8

    Harrison8 Poo-Bah (4,877) Dec 6, 2015 Missouri
    Society Trader

    I'm 28. Joined a little over 7 years ago.

    And my friends and community's thoughts on BA make me think I'll be the only one for my area for a long time. Some old school craft stereotypes have survived too long.
    Whyteboar, Rug, Ranbot and 2 others like this.
  30. Harrison8

    Harrison8 Poo-Bah (4,877) Dec 6, 2015 Missouri
    Society Trader

    Very curious about this - how do age demographics stack up on beer database participation? And has this changed significantly since the app was cancelled?
    Whyteboar, Rug, gatornation and 3 others like this.
  31. donspublic

    donspublic Poo-Bah (2,123) Aug 4, 2014 Texas
    Society Trader

  32. LXIXME

    LXIXME Poo-Bah (4,395) Oct 3, 2007 New Mexico
    Society Trader

    I personally wish I could store a picture of the beer with my rating/review because as they say a picture is worth a lot of words. So, really, is it possible to have a camera option that was super simple to use and upload a picture of the beer maybe similar in size to the picture on the left. You could also have it so others could report the image if they thought it inappropriate.
    Rug, Todd, Harrison8 and 3 others like this.
  33. gatornation

    gatornation Poo-Bah (9,635) Apr 18, 2007 Minnesota
    Society Trader

    Users profile beers (written or not) are all just ratings now on profile page.
    #153 gatornation, Jan 13, 2022
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2022
  34. Todd

    Todd Founder (6,564) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Moderator Fest Crew Society Trader

  35. thebeers

    thebeers Poo-Bah (3,857) Sep 10, 2014 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    Not sure what the thinking behind removing the “hide ratings” option is, but it makes the site less convenient to this user.
    Harrison8, DIM, RMW66 and 1 other person like this.
  36. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (5,619) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
    Moderator Society Trader

    PapaGoose03 likes this.
  37. RMW66

    RMW66 Devotee (413) Sep 18, 2016 Australia

    I think it is a great idea to embrace the diversity of ways different individuals may want to use the site! Those who review and like to read reviews can continue to do so. Those who rate and find the average of aggregated ratings a useful guide for beer styles they enjoy are also catered for. As an aside, I think the existing rating system should continue, but would not mind if it was an option to simply post an overall score for those who prefer. Anyhow, I see no downside to the change.
    Harrison8 likes this.
  38. gatornation

    gatornation Poo-Bah (9,635) Apr 18, 2007 Minnesota
    Society Trader

  39. thebeers

    thebeers Poo-Bah (3,857) Sep 10, 2014 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    Thanks. Hadn’t noticed that. I’ll just throw in the comment that, as a fairly active BA, I sometimes find that these updates designed to attract new users seem to take away something I already had, rather than add something new to my user experience. Each time makes me appreciate the convenience of other platforms a little more.

    To put a finer point on it, the only things keeping me coming back here are reviews, forums and habit. Most of my friends have long since left; there are better BIFs and trading on other platforms now; and if ratings were my jam, I’d obviously be on Untappd instead of BeerAdvocate.

    My 2¢.
  40. tigg924

    tigg924 Poo-Bah (6,726) Apr 30, 2008 Massachusetts

    My take. I am all for doing whatever it takes to get more people on this site. I really enjoy writing reviews and reading other reviews so I will consistently use them. When I write it is more for my own notes, so while I would be happy if others got some use out of them, I am not too keen on like or dislike buttons. I am also active on Untappd and I appreciate the badge concept there. Keep up the good work BA Admin team.
    ChicagoJ, cavedave, rgordon and 4 others like this.