Photo by World of Oddy on Flickr.
Imagine visiting YouTube and being presented with a nearly endless list of videos. All presented as equally valuable. No views count, no comments count, no user rating… It would make the platform nearly useless. There would be no way to easily find the videos you like or distinguish at first sight the worthwhile from the worthless.
With some exceptions, most online collections are like this imaginary YouTube. Whereas YouTube, Amazon and others offer numerous rating systems to help the visitor find what is most relevant to him, and discover stuff he might like, most museums simply offer their online collection as a big pile of information with some metadata.
There are good reasons not to include rating in your online collection. You can argue people don’t use online collections as they use YouTube or Amazon, which is true (at the moment). There’s the issue of moderation, especially if you use user comments for rating. And, of course, online collections have a (slightly) different function than YouTube and Amazon.
However, I believe that especially with the semantic web gaining ground and more of our collections online, rating will become an important issue in the near future. For some projects I’ve been thinking about this for quite a while now. Building upon an earlier post by Willem Velthoven I distinguished at least 10 different useful ways to rate online collections.
I’m curious about your opinion about them, rating in general and how you use rating in your online collection. Please add your thoughts so I can add them to the discussion we have about rating.
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