|Posted: August 28, 2006, 9:11 am - IP Logged|
I want to thank everyone for their feedback and very thoughtful comments. This has been a very interesting debate and I certainly have a lot to digest.
I will close this discussion by saying a few words. Ratings are a completely new concept, something that has not been done before. The "stars" that existed before were not ratings, and they are simply replaced by more appealing graphics.
I am not running this site because it earns me a lot of money (if I was the site would be closed a long time ago), and as far as this site is concerned I am not motivated strictly by things that bring profit.
The ratings are not there to reward paying members. Paying members are rewarded by getting access to the best lottery resources on the Internet, as well as all the other things listed on the Premium Memberships page.
Also, a paying member can type their own Personalized Title, so they can enter whatever personal rating they wish on the left side of each post. If a premium member feels put-out by their participating rating, they can feel free to type "ELITE", "GURU", or whatever else they want on their title. Non-paying members do not have that option. (My Personalized Title that I chose is "Chief Bottle Washer" for example -- that's not a rating, it's just something I decided to enter as my Personalized Title.)
I deeply appreciate all the support that paying customers have given to Lottery Post over the years. Likewise, I hope paying customers have appreciated the efforts I have given them to make those memberships worthwhile.
To equate a participation rating with how much money someone has paid is wrong, and I will never go there. Someone looking for assistance from an experienced Lottery Post member does not give a HOOT how much money that person has paid. The rating indicates someone's length and breadth of participation, and is not tainted by money. It is a factual, unbiased indication of how much that person has participated.
There are several comments, such as pcnut's, that make sense. I think looking at additional aspects, like the predictions posted on the predictions board, is a terrific idea. I will look at adding that into the rating as well, so people who have posted daily predictions, but did not post very much on the forums, will be "credited" (for lack of a better word) for their sharing and consistency.
Lastly, like every other new function I add to this site, the uproar will fade, and the ratings will become part of the foundation of the site. This issue, like all the others in the past, will pass. We should all remember that we share a passion for the lottery, and what counts most is helping others and sharing ideas, because we all started as newbies at one point, and we all learned from other people. Let's all keep that in mind and not get bogged down be be overly-concerned over the things that don't really matter.