I have never worked out how people rate tips. Some of my briefest and least informative tips get 5-star ratings whilst some of my best and most-detailed get 2- or 3-star ratings. I get the impression it is often more to do with how friendly you are with the tip rater. Anyway, this is one of the reasons why I find myself writing fewer and fewer tips nowadays. What made me think of this was revisiting some of my Libyan tips. I came across this one. I don't think I could have made it any more informative and interesting but a range of people have given it an average of only 3 stars. Any opinions as to why? Maybe I'm missing something: members.virtualtourist.com/m...
hi, your observation is partly right. However, you do need to have a certain minimum of content in a tip, or a rating will not count (in my experience you need at least one full sentence). Also, tip ranking declines over time. Your tip is 2.5 years old. Possibly it had more stars before but when newer tips with more ratings come along, yours will decline from 5 to 4 to 3, etc. 10 years ago I would have hundreds of ratings a week. Or tens... these days I can expect 10 or 15 a week. Some weeks more, some weeks none.
I have seen your tip, and it is really a complete review on that hotel. I don´t know others, but I must confess that I never rate tips...I have no idea why. I tip replies to my questions...again, I don´t know why. Then I have checked your profile, and I am impressed for the pictures and the story about how you started traveling, that is great. Nice pictures. don´t pay attention to the ratings. I am sure that MANY people are enjoying your tips, and getting valuable info from them!
But, that's my point. I have about five paragraphs of content, as well as three photos, in that tip. If it were just a line or two, I wouldn't expect any stars. However, many tips with just one line of content get 5-star ratings. That's why I headed this 'The Random Nature of Tip Ratings'. Tibesti Hotel: The Hanging Gardens of Benghazi Benghazi Hotels_and_Accommodations by iwys The Tibesti Hotel is a huge building with 242 rooms. It calls itself a five star hotel, but realistically, by international standards, it is, at best, a three star. Like the other big state-owned hotels, the Hotel Kebir in Tripoli and the Ghoz Ateek in Misurata, it is sadly in need of better maintenance and more efficient management. The airconditioning system is ageing and poorly maintained, so in most of the rooms it does little more than make a noise and blow out tepid air from the dusty ceiling vents. The service at the reception desk can be frustratingly slow. The rooms themselves need a fresh coat of paint and some new furniture. The hotel has a nice location between the 23 July Lake at the front and Benghazi's main street, Sharia Jamal Abdul Nasser, at the back. Try to get a room at the front on one of the upper floors, so that you get a nice view of the lake and avoid the mosquitoes that enter the rooms nearer street level. The hotel's restaurants are good. On the 13th floor is the Shahat Restaurant, serving Italian food, on the third floor is the Balad al-Toyoub which serves Libyan cuisine, while on the ground floor is the Al-Hamra Restaurant where they serve a good buffet breakfast. The ground floor arcade includes several airline ticket offices. You can arrange day trips with the taxi drivers in the front car park. Don't book them through the hotel itself or you will pay 50% more for exactly the same taxis. The architecture of the Tibesti is quite interesting. At the front there is something which looks like a replica of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. A few celebrities have stayed here, including Michael Palin when he was filming "Sahara". Basic single rooms are 90 LD and doubles 134 LD per night, including breakfast. Theme: Hotel Comparison: most expensive Prices: US$120-180 » Currency Converter Phone: 9098029/30/31 Address: PO Box 9414, Sharia Jamal Abdul Nasser, Benghazi Website: www.tibestyhotel.com Read more: Benghazi Hotel Tips by iwys
Thanks for your helpful replies, ATLC and Miguelzgz. You are right, the part about the rating declining with age could explain a lot about that one.
As far as I know tips need to have at least 2 full sentences, so that a rating counts. On your example tip with 3 stars this means that 3 people rated it when it was new or more people when it was older. Some of your other tips obviously have been rated by at least 7 people if they show 5 stars. Stars only start to show once 3 people have rated. This system will be changing later this year though. Lots of people don't rate but on your intro page you can see how many people actually looked at the page of that particular destination. Personally, I find that count more interesting.
this has been a continuing source of frustration for awhile now to so many members we've been promised improvement down the pipeline and we continue to wait
Ratings are simply meaningless. And I'm not sure about tha one or two sentence o qualify thing: there is a member page on VT which is a top five for the location - which is a fairly well-known destination - and it contains about ninety tips with high ratings that are simply captions to very indifferent photos of thw ferry trip to get there. And back, because they only did the place as a day trip, and they have about two dozen tips about a restaurant that they don't know the name of or even where it was since tey wer beig led round by a guide. (I exaggerate, but noy very much) Probably mosttip-readers are non-members who have been googled to VT, sothey can't rate. I myself write tips sol;y for my own amusement. Which is not to say tht I do not take pains to make them as informative as possible.
I have rated your tip 4 stars, but I have to say that I rarely give all 5. Assuming I don't I have to give a reason why I find the tip "good", I concentrate on why I didn't rate it "very good". Let's see: Firstly, you have three pictures, but they basically all show the same, the "Hanging Gardens" in front of the hotel. I was expecting a picture of your room and the bathroom or the lobby. That would have been more helpful. You write: "The Tibesti Hotel is a huge building with 242 rooms. It calls itself a five star hotel," Maybe your info is simply outdated, but when I checked it was advertised as 4*-hotel. "The airconditioning system is ageing and poorly maintained, so in most of the rooms it does little more than make a noise and blow out tepid air from the dusty ceiling vents." This made me wonder how many of the 242 rooms you have seen. (The paragraphs that follow are really helpful) The link to the hotel's website might be outdated, but it is actually not that of the hotel. (And I couldn't find one, so I can't provide a new link).
One thing we must never forget: people give ratings of their own free will. So whatever is rated highly, can be a bore to others. Of course I don't jump up and down at seeing a windmill. But others might, and can't get enough of it (photos or otherwise).
I have never checked how are my tips rated.. I even don't know if they are rated. I don't care...
I think you have one part wrong here...others can correct me but the stars at the top of a tip do not mean that your tip has only been rated by members as a three star tip, I think it is an accumulation of how many have rated you and how they have allocated the stars. If a new tip was rated 5 stars by one member and no others at all that 5 star rating would not even show. Oh I never go into a point by point critique of peoples tips. But I do notice "empty shells" as I call them . There are good ...and bad... and lazy....but many write using a language not their first...How good is that? I could not write even one tip in another language! Then there is the decay thing mentioned that I did not know about. Though it is nice to have stars there are heaps of other good things in VT. I find my own tips handy at times when I have forgotten something....Good reminders. And NO system is perfect
Yes, it's cumulative. I don't know if giving somebody a one star knocks down th average, tho.
Me either. I never have given a one star. If it is an "empty shell" I would not bother but to be fair some empty shells are really just under construction All the rankings etc must be computer generated. The only hands on thing would have to be our end when we rate.
neither care about nor "get" the rating thing. I also don't understand why it seems so important to so many people. Are we competing for a prize? Are we being awarded a free trip?$$? stock options? The main purpose of having joined was to help other travelers. As long as you offer good, up to date advice you are fulfilling that purpose. It should be gratuitous, I at least took it as such when I first joined VT and received so much advice from Victoria (Sugar Puff), Therese in Australia, Ian in Bangkok and others. It should be "nice" to know our tips are helping people by perhaps seeing something to denote your tip as such - the thumbs up or thumbs down for instance. If your tip is found helpful by sufficient people it shows up like a green thumbs up. If you think about it, it's human nature to compete, it's what all major sites seem to play up to when it comes to members. Most of us have a need to be validated and it's a selfish feel good to see your personal numbers rise - but that's it! Don't lose site that this is totally voluntary and gratuitous. It's easy to become obsessed (not claiming you are) - with how many points you've accumulated, how much work you fell you HAVE to put into it in order to maintain a "status", how many questions you have to feel you're an "expert" at. Enjoy the forum, don't take it so seriously. I try to always let people know this.
Spot on Homer and Ed
What I totally don't understand is the selection process for the photos and tips that are highlighted on the main travelogue page for each location. Many of the selected photos completely suck.
Please keep adding tips. Let me apologize ahead of time for too often failing to give a rating. So often I get caught up in the excitement of the special kind of information I rarely find anyplace else. I do feel that VT members have a wide range of what they consider useful. I, for one, have little interest in collections of general tips similar to what I find in guidebooks. A more important thing that bothers me sometimes is the impression I get that fewer and fewer people are visiting the tips, or for that matter other VT member posted features. I wonder if the newer formats have decreased the number of people finding the tips. In contrast for many years, the advertising listing of large hotels has been done in a way that obscures the small hotel recommendations of VT members. So, I have noticed no trend on this section. Other sites have far outperform VT with hotel evaluations for many years.
In my opinion it's a fine tip (more than a 3 star). The only thing I see that can be improved is to add a street address i.s.o. a PO Box. PJ
sorry, i don't agree with Homer and Ed. other people may or may not rate my tips, but i always rate other peoples' tips. it is fun. if it is a VT fun thing on the plate, why not avail it, enjoy it and let others enjoy it too. i rate it on the basis of a simple combination: information plus interesting (to me) to read. but i am not bothered about overall member rank at all. i don't even build pages for all my destinations. and obviously people who travel more and have more tips will be ranked higher.
Faiza, you may not agree with me but let me try and explain where I'm coming from. The whole purpose behind VT is to help our fellow travelers, not turn it into a contest of who's better, etc. It is supposed to be something done out of simple pleasure and love for travel and helping our fellow traveler. There are many who may post and actually take the time to return and thank us, rate us. Of course this is always appreciated. Am I bothered by those who do not return? No, of course not. I can always hope that I was able to provide them with the correct (as correct as it appeared to me at the time) info which they sought. When I started VT, 6 years ago, from a blind google search, I was impressed by a few members who came out and helped us make our trip to Asia such a successful one. These members, with the exception of 1, do not even come into the miscellaneous forum. They are truly the members I value. The ones I'm thinking of are not after ranks but rather sincere love of helping a fellow traveler. I know, I've had conversations with them before regarding this matter and all agree, the ranking system (I think) is "fun" to those who are into it. It's what keeps them coming back. I know of a few members who spend hours a week doing research and googling for the sake of maintaining a high rank. In the real world, does that matter? What is more satisfactory to a person, seeing a low VT number of knowing they helped someone? I have a pretty good rank, it is only checked when subjects such as this come up, otherwise I never even bother to look at it. I never even go to my homepage actually unless someone has left a message on it. Getting a person "hooked" into the game is good for return hits but (imho) has no bearings on what VT is/should be about. I'm not knocking those who do just explaining it from my point of view to those who are questioning it and thinking it has any bearings one way or the other on the validity of their own input on here. Keep visiting the forums, keep giving out good info and know that there are some of us who appreciate you regardless of whether you are #10 or number 1000.
point taken Homer and Ed :-) thanks for a detailed response.
And I second what Homeaned have said. I like to get ratings and I sure notice some anomalies but I try to keep it in perspective. As I said earlier in this thread there are so many other good things about VT why let the ranking game spoil it for you.
I also think that seeing all these regulars with high ratings in the forums intimidates newbies to join. They may think their point will only be taken seriously if they are pros. Some of the "regulars" make themselves appear as if their word is the only one worth any weight. I am constantly finding rude postings from "regular pros" who admonish other posters or belittle their efforts. VT shouldn't be about that either and I've stepped in more than once to remind the resident pro as much. We should keep in mind that we all have our own sense of reality when it comes to travel based on our needs, wants and desires. Travel is very subjective and what may constitute a great experience for me or you may not be so for the person seeking advice or another member with conflicting point of view. Finally, it may appear daunting to newbies thinking that they have to maintain a certain criteria of research and postings in order to make their own view point seem valid. Although this may seem fine to the retired or bored housewife/househusband with no other life, to the regular Joe it simply isn't worth the time. Their tip, if I struck up a conversation with them on the street may indeed be more interesting and up to date than many who spend hours on here. Their worth going after me thinks.
Their = They're (I hate that kind of a spelling error) There = place and time Their = belonging to - possesive They're = They are or position
I love the use of "me thinks"
A VT friend of mine says "me duck" sometimes.
I be I know who that is.