When commenting on an article, there is an optional Opinion Poll. Who collects this data and how is it used? I've always wondered?
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SearchWarp has been collecting this data ever since we started offering comments on articles. We have hopes of some day being able to use user ratings to pick which articles should be promoted most prominently, but so far the data isn't varied enough to be able to use it to pick out discernible patterns.
We're also collecting a few other pieces of user-rating data, such as what comes from the Readers' club and the fan clubs and the Thanks/No Thanks that sometimes appears, but that data hasn't really shown itself to be useful either.
Many people wonder if the ratings from the comments affect the ratings which appear as stars at the top of the articles. This never has been the case.
Those star ratings are derived from a number of sources which indicate patterns of spamminess. The editors have the ultimate say over the star ratings, but the information used to come up with those ratings is much more complex than one might think. It might also be surprising to know that anything less than 2 and a half stars isn't usually accepted on SearchWarp, but we get more than 5 times the articles that aren't accepted as we get articles which are accepted. If the editors had to look at those hundreds and hundreds of articles every day they wouldn't have any time left to help the deserving writers.
Thank you for the time you took to answer this, Bruce. It shows you took the question as seriously as I did. I have often been curious about it and never saw anything recognizable on the front-end to indicate how it was used.
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