Reviews on the website

OK I’ve heard your requests - I’m going to start planning adding reviews to the website!

I want to get this right first time, so I have a few questions that I’d like to ask everyone - all feedback welcome!

  • It will first be for Patrons only, so we can work out any problems and also so I have more time to add in moderation features
  • I may add both “private notes” (only visible to you), and “public reviews” - these need to be moderated.
  • I am thinking I will separate the ratings you give to stories and the reviews. This is because you may change your rating after re-watching an episode, but not necessarily go back and edit a review. Therefore the review will be a ‘snapshot’ of how you felt when you originally reviewed it.
  • Should I therefore have a different rating system for reviews? I could have marks out of 100, or even things like a score for the plot, a score for the writing, a score for the direction, etc. plus and overall score
  • Any other features you think I should add to reviews?

Thanks, please discuss! Exciting! :tada:


Personally I don’t see the need for another rating. I vote for a review just being the text.


Just text is fine by me too. If you need help moderating I can help out.


I agree that a text only review is probably enough. If people want to rate specific parts of the episode they can do so within the body of the text. I’m all for private and public reviews! Being able to edit reviews should be an option too, of course. Just like ratings change so can the details of someone’s opinion.


Oh yes you’ll definitely be able to go back and edit reviews. I just meant people might forget to do that if they change their rating.

I hadn’t really considered text-only reviews. Hmmm.

Looks like we’re unanimously opposite to you again @shauny . When I write reviews I never add ratings as I tend to find them a bit reductive after a page of careful considered commentary.


I’ll get my coat!

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I actually love to add ratings to my reviews. I mean, that’s how I usually rate and review everything (Goodreads, Storygraph, Letterboxd, The Timescales, etc.), so I find that natural. A rating system of 1–10 or 0-100 would probably work for most. The Timescales uses a system where you can rate different aspects of a story (plot, performances, visual effects, and replay value) as well as your overall enjoyment, but I don’t know whether something similar would be necessary here.

I could also help with moderation, if it comes to that!

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Unfortunately (?) I think I agree with the masses, adding another rating seems redundant to me if we’ve already given it a star rating, and I imagine whatever gets written will be a pretty good insight into what one felt on first watch/listen/read.

However I really like the idea of having a public and private toggle for notes - sometimes I want to say mean things about stories but I don’t always want to air grievances so publically.


What I meant was that because your star rating can easily be changed, but you might not go back and change the review when you do, I’d have them separate. So people viewing your review wouldn’t see both ratings, just the one attached to the review.

But based on feedback so far I think I may have an optional rating on reviews, purely for those that want to show it.

This opens up another question - should people be able to leave multiple reviews for a story - some private, some public? Or one public and one private?

Or should private notes be something totally separate?

Thanks so much for your comments so far! And for offering to moderate :smiley:

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I also think leave reviews as text only with no rating system. We’ve already got one rating system on the site and if people want to put different ratings in their reviews they can always just write them in there in whatever system works best for them.


I guess I would imagine one public and one private, and then just editing with extra comments if on rewatch you had more to say. Maybe some way of dating new reviews would work?

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I was going to vote for multiple public/one private since you can watch something, give it a two-star written review, then re-watch it a year later and think it’s four stars (and you may want to have both reviews reflected on your profile).

But, if you do it this way, I think that almost implies that you have to add a secondary rating system because it wouldn’t look right if you click into someone’s review and it says “This episode was terrible” but there’s four stars next to it. And I doubt most people, in a one-rating system, are going to edit their first review to say “EDIT: I originally gave this two stars”. I originally agreed with the consensus that one rating was fine, but typing this out gave me pause.

Also, I don’t see the need for having multiple private notes for a single story. There’s no reason why a user’s thoughts couldn’t be consolidated into one text box. If they’re trying to write private essays and whatnot, there are other programs they can use.


These are very good points, actually! But it might be challenging to find a balance between different reviews/notes and different ratings.

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I was thinking that a user’s current rating can be the one that appears when you (1) scroll through their personal Completed Stories list, (2) click into the to-be-made Community panel located on each story, and (3) open their personal Review panel located on each story.

The prior reviews and ratings would only be shown in numbers 2 and 3.


I like the idea of being able to save your past reviews, but I still don’t think an extra rating is needed. I think maybe a button to “show past reviews” could work, with the option for the reviewer to hide/private/delete those, of course.

I may be missing something, but it seems to me that the already has a clear public rating, which is obvious to understand and can be changed at will if your view of the story changes, so I can’t see the need for another one which might confuse readers.

One thing we don’t yet have is anywhere to write more detailled opinions and thoughts. Once you have that, there is space for textual or numerical comments, including sub-ratings for different parts or aspects of the story, whatever you like to add. This approach appears to work well for other review sites.

One other thing we are missing, though is a review date. I find this very useful on Goodreads, for example, to track what I did when.


But if there’s only one public rating and a person has two different opinions about a certain story (say, their on first watch they wrote a review for 2 stars and on a rewatch they gave it 4 stars with no written review), their overall review profile would say “I didn’t like this story - four stars” instead of it being broken into “I didn’t like this story - two stars” and “[No written review] - four stars”.

There are other sites that use dual rating systems.

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I guess this kind of, each listen gets an option to review and to leave a rating makes sense- then, if you relisten (or whatever) and don’t disagree with your rating, you don’t have to add a new one, just like if you change the rating but have nothing to say, you wouldn’t have to add a written review

I should imagine the section of the site visitors that are pouring over reviews and cross-referencing them with the star rating is going to be fairly minimal for this not to really be much of an issue.