Site Updates to Changes: Beer Hads, Full Reviews & Ratings

Discussion in 'BeerAdvocate Talk' started by Todd, Jan 10, 2013.

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  1. Thorpe429

    Thorpe429 Poo-Bah (5,394) Aug 18, 2008 Illinois
    Industry Beer Trader

    I've read plenty of rather idiotic reviews that were quite lengthy. I've also read very insightful reviews that could fit within a tweet. To me, a review of an IPA that says "Citrusy. Could have used more dry hops, a lower mash temp, and a lower fermentation temp" is much more useful than something praising how much orange, clementine, tangerine, blood orange, etc that comes from the hop bill, and spends a sentence detailing an inch measurement of the beer's head at different intervals. I'm guessing the shorter review is much more helpful to a brewer as well.

    Maybe, just maybe, someone who wrote a very short review spent a good deal of time considering the beer while amongst friends and doesn't have the time to write lengthy reviews?

    By way of further example, I would much rather get nothing other than a score from someone I know to have a good palate versus a page-long review from some idiot who would give a 4.5 to hight-hopped dishwater. When Armand told my wife and I that he thought Consecration was "excellent," that endorsement did more than anything that anyone on this site could do in terms of causing me to seek out that beer had I not previously known that it was quite good.

    You may also want to remember that many brewing awards are given out after tasting sessions not unlike what you describe with "tickers."

    Not everything is necessarily so black and white. Perhaps you should consider that.
  2. Thorpe429

    Thorpe429 Poo-Bah (5,394) Aug 18, 2008 Illinois
    Industry Beer Trader

    Again, what's really wrong with a short review? What about the person who wants brief notes of his or her thoughts on a beer without a full review? If hads count, why not hads with a short statement? Maybe those could even be hidden like hads are so that the toggle option was for full length reviews or "hads and short comments" with the 250-character limit being the dividing line?

    BA has the potential to do a great job serving as a database for people to keep track of their thoughts on beers they've tried, while at the same time offering at least something to the overall set of data.
    northyorksammy and ehammond1 like this.
  3. jacksback

    jacksback Initiate (0) Jul 20, 2011 Massachusetts

    But it's much, much easier to use blanket statements and condemn people who don't do things the "correct" way!
    SteelersX, Sludgeman and Thorpe429 like this.
  4. Thorpe429

    Thorpe429 Poo-Bah (5,394) Aug 18, 2008 Illinois
    Industry Beer Trader

    Seriously, what's the point to this? Is it a server issue with more hads being added now that they count toward ratings? It's horribly inconvenient.
  5. duceswild

    duceswild Meyvn (1,192) Feb 8, 2010 Maryland
    Beer Trader

    Fully agree with this. Prior to the update I had no problems with entering a large number of hads quickly. However following the update it is now very annoying.
  6. mdfb79

    mdfb79 Poo-Bah (4,934) Jan 11, 2010 New York
    Beer Trader

    I'm glad they changed it so that the default is just reviews, and you can filter in/out the was pretty stupid to see 12 "reviews" in a row that were just numbers, and having to scroll through everything to find real reviews.

    Also very glad they changed the time stamps back, as if I've had a beer, I like to see when I entered the review/had the beer.

    Overall I don't really like the changes, but those were my biggest two complaints, so now that they had been addressed I don't really care.

    I'd prefer if a review that someone took the effort to write, rather than just clicking a number in a box, was worth more towards the overall score...I think they said this would be addressed in the redesign. I don't mind having "Hads" count towards the score, but a 1:1 value of Review:Had towards the overall score seems weird to me.

    I also would be curious if less people keep reviewing if they know their "Had" they clicked in one second is worth just as much as if they put 10 minutes of thought into a review. Maybe people don't care if their Had/Review contributes to the overall score, but it will be interesting to see if review totals suffer by trying to highlight Hads.
    Dreadnaught33 and ehammond1 like this.
  7. dbrauneis

    dbrauneis Site Editor (6,820) Dec 8, 2007 North Carolina
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    My only complaint with all of the changes is that if you go from a quick review (Had) to a full review, as I did with the Duck Rabbit Baltic Porter right after the changes were instituted, the original date is kept rather than the updated date... But I can live with that.

    This is likely to effect me more than the average user because I started out doing quick reviews for about the first 6 months that I entered reviews at all, then moved to doing full reviews - so when I do the full review of the beer, it shows up in an odd place in the list (default sorting by date).
  8. MrDanno96

    MrDanno96 Initiate (0) Aug 26, 2009 Ohio

    Very glad only full reviews are the default now. It looked silly when you had a page of just numbers and no words.

    I still don't really like "Hads" counting just as much as full reviews. Down the road I hope you decide to weight Hads less than full reviews. I understand the desire to attract more people that like beer but aren't intense enough about it to write full reviews. But even with that philosophy, it makes sense to me for a review that takes five seconds to create to count less than a review that takes five to ten minutes and thus almost certainly reflects more careful evaluation.

    Just my .02. Keep up the good work Bros :slight_smile: Cheers!
    papat444 likes this.
  9. jhartley

    jhartley Poo-Bah (2,426) Aug 22, 2010 Florida
    Beer Trader

    Happy to see that the full reviews were changed back to the default!

    I completely agree with Thorpe429's statements too! There are some lengthy reviews filled with a shit-ton of adjectives describing the appearance, aroma, flavor and mouthfeel that, honestly, most times just are necessarily needed. My ADHD won't "allow" me to read a review that is 5 paragraphs long when it could be better if it was pared down to 1.
  10. Retsinis

    Retsinis Champion (857) Sep 25, 2009 California
    Beer Trader

    Thanks Bro's! I like these tweaks to the recently made changes, great work. Glad the community was very consistently vocal on some key points, and we all appreciate the receptiveness in adjusting the changes with the best made, and agreed upon suggestions.

    I do agree with many others, that the weight of Hads to the score should be at least 50% less then a full review. Since a full review overrights the had, having it only weigh half as much towards the average gives a bit of a small incentive for a user to come back and write one, imo. Perhaps tie that into the Karma points once they return, so more Karma for full reviews, and half as much for hads. I think that's a decent compromise to make the hads count, so users that only do them are appreciated, and have their contributions to the site matter, and it's a least some acknowledgment to those that do full reviews that they are valued as well.
  11. chinabeergeek

    chinabeergeek Meyvn (1,279) Aug 10, 2007 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    the intent is not to generalize in a dismissive fashion. the problem is accountability. as others have pointed out in the original thread announcing the switch, without any context to a "had" score, there is no reliable way to gauge the sincerity and thoughtfulness (or lack thereof). at the same time, to give the honest "had" reviewers the benefit of the doubt, their scores should count, but in what i see as a fair and reasonable compromise, they should count less.

    i don't know if the bros want to add yet another tier of "short reviews", but i suppose it's feasible.
  12. Thorpe429

    Thorpe429 Poo-Bah (5,394) Aug 18, 2008 Illinois
    Industry Beer Trader

    I agree with a lot of this, but is there really much of a way to judge the sincerity or thoughtfulness of a 250-character review? It would take slightly more time, but someone could easily (1) make up a review of a beer they'd never had to either promote or smash a beer, or (2) just pick out adjectives from other reviews without really forming their own opinion.

    I'm not saying either of those things does or will happen often, but I don't think it's that much less likely than someone using hads in a disingenuous way.

    I agree that the hads should count less, and would prefer something like a 2:1 or 3:1 ratio in favor of incorporating scores from reviews versus hads.
  13. papat444

    papat444 Initiate (0) Dec 28, 2006 Quebec (Canada)
    Beer Trader

    I like the hads for times when you're having a good pint somewhere. You don't feel like getting to much into words yet you still want to give your .2 cents, good or bad.
    Scotchboy and Rutager like this.
  14. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (2,412) Mar 12, 2009 New York
    Beer Trader

    I gave an example of the type of short review I meant, and it had no info of any use. I assume you agreee it didn't?

    Of course a concise review that is short and contains lots of information helpful to a purchase is best.

    Maybe the bros. will enable us to see the qualifications of those giving hads, then your suggestion of how hads can be useful will be meaningful. Until then it is meaningless. Of course I would trust Armand for a number. Beerluvvrr69 who only gives hads not so much.

    And as for your point about awards, of course number ratings can be used when doing large judging, I was asked to do this myself when I judged at a recent event. Don't see how it's relevant to this discussion about hads on BA, but perhaps there is a point I am missing with this.
  15. Thorpe429

    Thorpe429 Poo-Bah (5,394) Aug 18, 2008 Illinois
    Industry Beer Trader

    My point is that length of review probably isn't all that correlated with the usefulness of that review.

    Point about awards is that "tickers" and their scores can't be completely discounted given that numerous beer awards are given based on judges "ticking" samples throughout the course of the event.

    All in all, people need to remember that beer is a fun hobby, and these are just scores on a website. We're not making life-changing decisions here.
    barleywinefiend likes this.
  16. chinabeergeek

    chinabeergeek Meyvn (1,279) Aug 10, 2007 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    the scores can be life-changing (good or bad) for the brewers of the beers being reviewed...
  17. Thorpe429

    Thorpe429 Poo-Bah (5,394) Aug 18, 2008 Illinois
    Industry Beer Trader

    Perhaps in the aggregate, though it's likely more that these scores will lead to beer geeks following them. There are plenty of local places near DC that are slammed all the time yet don't have many reviews on BA or RB. These sites are still just minor, minor portions of the overall beer landscape.

    Within these sites, getting the word out is more helpful. I'd rather have as much data as possible. There's no question in my mind that hads should count toward overall score. The question is in getting the balance right.
  18. uturn

    uturn Defender (600) Sep 19, 2003 Florida
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    On that same note it would be interesting to see a Top 100 list per year. Like the Top 100 Beers Year ending 2002 Etc.

    ON to the current changes...

    I like all the new updates except for the time out for adding in Hads. This is especially true since I just found my old “Hads” scrap book dating back to 2004. After I tried a new beer I would print out that beers 1st page from this website on a gloss 8.5 x 11 paper and put it in my book with a quick score of 1-5. There are about 1000 beers in that book and I stopped when it got to full to add in any other pages in 2006.

    Otherwise great job!

    Thorpe429 likes this.
  19. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (2,412) Mar 12, 2009 New York
    Beer Trader

    I agree. My point is we are making beer buying decisions as best we can, and any way that improves that ability is better than any way that doesn't. It is a fun hobby, more fun when the beer is more fine. If I could make equally great decisions based on a 100 character review or a number score I would be happy to use them. Except in those 2 exceedingly rare circumstances you pointed out I can't.
  20. Thorpe429

    Thorpe429 Poo-Bah (5,394) Aug 18, 2008 Illinois
    Industry Beer Trader

    I don't think those two types of circumstances are exceedingly rare. Adding hads improves beer-buying decisions, because it increases the overall sample set. I don't care whether it's a full review or a number because it's the person giving that information that concerns me. If I don't know the person's palate, I have no reason to trust their score/words. Once there's more information, whether through scores or words, I'm apt to try a beer that has received enough praise, or stay away from one that's universally condemned.
  21. chinabeergeek

    chinabeergeek Meyvn (1,279) Aug 10, 2007 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    what if there are only 50 or so reviews, most of them "hads" by people many would label as "tickers"? MANY of these folks give 2 or 3 sips to a beer, including subtler "session" styles, and write them off because they aren't "extreme" enough.
  22. hinemk76

    hinemk76 Initiate (0) Feb 6, 2012 Pennsylvania

    I believe it is a safety net to protect against spamming of certain beers to affect the score in one direction or another.
  23. Thorpe429

    Thorpe429 Poo-Bah (5,394) Aug 18, 2008 Illinois
    Industry Beer Trader

    Who's to say a person submitting a full review didn't only have 2 or 3 sips of a beer? Or even if a full beer, that they weren't drinking it in a smoke filled room out of a bottle or shaker pint? Or drinking a subtle mild at 33 degrees?

    In the end, there's nothing guaranteeing one way or the other that a "reviewer" or a "ticker" is reviewing/adding hads in a reputable manner. It's a lot easier to just find people you know you agree with and follow them. This list can be a lot longer with hads counting. Some of the most-experienced people I know don't like to sit around and write reviews, but do have hads. On the other hand, there are others who I disagree with on loads of things (including their basic adjectives) and they review.
  24. Thorpe429

    Thorpe429 Poo-Bah (5,394) Aug 18, 2008 Illinois
    Industry Beer Trader

    If that's the case, it would do a lot better just to monitor those doing a lot and report them if they appear to be spammers, and then block them if that's the case.
  25. chinabeergeek

    chinabeergeek Meyvn (1,279) Aug 10, 2007 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    i think the limit on the number of reviews/"hads" added within a certain period of time should be waived for those with, let's say, 50+ full reviews. give or take.
    hinemk76 and Thorpe429 like this.
  26. chinabeergeek

    chinabeergeek Meyvn (1,279) Aug 10, 2007 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    yes, but with a full review, there is nonetheless more accountability. the bros have asked people, well before "hads" were even implemented, to report suspect reviews. again, just to reiterate, i'm fine with "hads" counting towards the final score. just that they should be weighted less. it might not seem "fair" to those who "have real lives", but it is arguably fair to those for whom this is a serious hobby or even professional beer writers.
  27. Thorpe429

    Thorpe429 Poo-Bah (5,394) Aug 18, 2008 Illinois
    Industry Beer Trader

    I guess maybe we're not that far off in terms of final thoughts. There is more accountability with a full review, but if someone is really bent on messing things up, it's easy enough to take 30 seconds to write a seemingly-legitimate review, whether positive (loved it so much, so hoppy, yummy citrus) to negative (horrible, oxidized, maybe just a bad bottle?).
  28. chinabeergeek

    chinabeergeek Meyvn (1,279) Aug 10, 2007 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    phony full reviews will pop up inevitably, but at least they have the CHANCE of being flagged. plus even if either method is abused, one remains far easier and far less accountable than the other. it's the tradeoff for convenience. but that tradeoff can be alleviated by giving more weight to the full review.
  29. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (2,412) Mar 12, 2009 New York
    Beer Trader

    Here is the crux of our disagreement. I think there is an easy way to know if you can trust peoples' words, read them, and use your common sense and experience. Will you be wrong? Yes, you can be wrong, also you will be right. But here is the point you have not argued, and here is your chance. There is no way at all to judge the info. of a person who only and always gives a number, and that number is suspect with no way, fallible or otherwise, to fix this reality.

    A larger sampling is good only if the individual samples within it are good.

    If a person is capable of giving a great review in just a few characters that is wonderful too. I have seen it. I have seen white deer also so I know that both things are possible. Likely? Common? In my experience not at all.
    chinabeergeek likes this.
  30. morimech

    morimech Poo-Bah (3,059) Nov 6, 2006 Minnesota

    Looking at the Recent Beers and Reviews page makes me the most sad. People throwing down 1's or 5's without even a single word of justification is just wrong. For a respected beer resource to sum up a brewers hard work and craftsmanship or lackthereof, in just number, is doing a disservice to the community.
  31. coreyfmcdonald

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

    I think the amount of good reviews sub-250 characters gained would not nearly be worth the amount of less useful reviews that could just be entered as hads. 250 characters is really not a lot at all. Also, with the majority of reviews I read, I have no idea who the reviewer is so have no way to know if they know what they're talking about other than how descriptive the review is.

    Like someone said above, I think a huge distinction between BA and RB (whose limit seems to be 75) is the quality and usefulness of the reviews. It's really quite distinct. I think the character limit is a large part of this.
    chinabeergeek likes this.
  32. Thorpe429

    Thorpe429 Poo-Bah (5,394) Aug 18, 2008 Illinois
    Industry Beer Trader

    False. If a person has 100+ hads and 90%+ of them are very close to what I would score, I would trust that person's opinion as being similar to mine in the future.

    Aside from that, if a person has put in thousands of hads over a long period of time and is obviously not a troll, I'd trust that they're giving an honest opinion. I don't see someone wasting years adding scores just to mess around.

    If you disagree with that, then there's really no point in talking about it any further.
  33. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (2,412) Mar 12, 2009 New York
    Beer Trader

    I suppose you are right, and if we limit hads to contributing a small enough percentage of the total score it would do little enough harm that I will concede the point you are making.
    ehammond1 and chinabeergeek like this.
  34. Thorpe429

    Thorpe429 Poo-Bah (5,394) Aug 18, 2008 Illinois
    Industry Beer Trader

    Glad that we can all agree on something. And now that it's Friday evening, I hope all are ready to enjoy a beer! :grinning:
    cavedave likes this.
  35. Reagan1984

    Reagan1984 Poo-Bah (2,161) May 15, 2008 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    I apologize if I missed the answer to this, but I think this is a great question.

    Overall I am happy with the direction...
  36. Alieniloquium

    Alieniloquium Poo-Bah (5,638) Dec 16, 2008 Florida
    Beer Trader

    Thanks for bringing back the old time stamp. I appreciate it and have always found it useful.
    BeerKangaroo likes this.
  37. mactrail

    mactrail Poo-Bah (8,137) Mar 24, 2009 Washington
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    Thanks for listening to the comments from users. I agree with everything that was "changed back" but I do like the quarter-point rating increments after trying that out.
  38. jegross2

    jegross2 Meyvn (1,219) Jan 3, 2010 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Todd & Jason:

    Not a fan of the fact that the "quick reviews" influence the site's score of a beer. Although it expands the sample size, and allows a larger population of people to give a more "real" score without having to write stuff down, i think it also opens the review system up to lazy/fake/not thought out reviews. I get that not everyone always wants to write a review, but what does a string of unexplained "4/5" really ADD to the beer's page on BA? OK, so you think it's a 4/5...why? Because of personal style preference? Because it was a perfect style example? Unique style example? Because it was fresh? Was it stale? What vintage was it?

    The benefit of reviews is not the score, it's the reason behind the score and description of what the beer is like. Thats the value provided by the users in reviewing IMO.

    EDIT: I do love the quarter steps added for written reviews!
  39. CwrwAmByth

    CwrwAmByth Poo-Bah (1,751) Jan 24, 2011 United Kingdom (England)

    Keep up the good work Brosephs.
  40. jrnyc

    jrnyc Meyvn (1,270) Mar 21, 2010 New York
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    I if was a user here who over the years spent a lot of time writing thoughtful reviews I would be pissed that with a click of the mouse a person could give a score that counts as much as a well thought out review.

    I was looking at Peekskill brewery today, not a lot of reviews for their beers, but one user who has over 1000 hads gave a beer a 3. it lowered the overall score of the beer. Upon further review the Rdev for this person is negative on almost all of their had "reviews". Some were very significant negative rdevs. Why should this person who doesnt appear to put though into their reviews count as much as a reviewer who does?

    This new system waters down the validity of the scores for sure.
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