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Points-O-Matic F.A.Q.

Tue, 08/14/2018 - 4:28pm by andrewjmac

Review Reviewer

What is Review Reviewer mode and how do I play?

In Review Reviewer mode, you are given a random review that someone else has written about an item in the library catalog. It's up to you to help us figure out whether the review is truly Amazing, or if we should Keep It, or Trash It. Read the review, then give it the rating you feel it deserves by clicking on one of the three options. If you can't decide, you can click Skip, or if you think the review should be passed along to AADL staff, you can click Flag for Staff Review. Read on to learn more about the different types of reviews before you begin!

What makes a review Amazing?

As a general rule, Amazing reviews don't come up very often. These reviews are exceptionally helpful. Amazing reviews give you details about the title, or show carefully considered opinions that couldn't be applied to another title. They pique your interest... or make it abundantly clear that the book (or movie or album) isn't your cup of tea! Amazing reviews are almost always more than a sentence, tell you something you didn't know, and are unique to the reviewer and the review. Remember that Amazingness exists everywhere!  A short, sweet, and honest review that was written by a younger reviewer about a children's book can be just as Amazing as any other review. Does a review show that the reviewer put time and effort into adding value to the AADL catalog? Does it provide information that wouldn't otherwise have been found on that title's page? Does it just make you feel enlightened or entertained? Then it's probably an Amazing review. Use your best judgement, and have fun!

What reviews should be Kept?

We want to keep the reviews that aren't obviously great, but could still be helpful to someone checking out an item in the catalog, and represent an opinion that is relevant to that title. Most reviews are totally OK and should be kept! If there is anything thoughtful about the review but you're not positive it's Amazing, then it's safe to say Keep This!

What reviews should be Trashed?

A Trashable review is all nonsense or filler. Less than 4 words, a sentence fragment, or anything that wouldn't be helpful to anyone or could be said about anything else. If a review seems like it was written as spam or to get some quick and easy summer game points, then it's probably Trash. These are reviews that aren't helpful to other readers and shouldn't show up in the catalog at all!

What happens to an Amazing review?

If enough players mark a review as Amazing, then it will be determined to be an officially Amazing review! The reviewer will get a 500 point Summer Game bonus for writing an Amazing review, and eventually, the Amazing reviews will be highlighted on the item page and other places!

What happens to a Trashed review?

If enough players mark a review as Trash, it will be removed from the catalog page, and the reviewer who submitted it will lose the 100 points they got for writing it!

So, Aspire to Write Amazing Reviews, and Amazingness will find you!


Thanks for including the links to the AADL catalog records.
I've reviewed a few reviews, and requested one of the books. An unintended benefit ... or maybe you did intend for us to discover new items through the reviews....

What should we do with reviews that are fine, except that they contain spelling/grammatical errors? Is that something to flag staff for, or is that unnecessary?

I came across a review that was plagarized from goodreads' website. Should I mark it as 'Flag for review' or 'Trash it'? I assume keeping it is not an option (even though it's an ok review, it gets cut off in the middle that's how I knew it wasn't original)

It might be a good idea for staff to do a quick plagiarism check on any "amazing" reviews before the person gets the extra points.

I've flagged some great reviews as "amazing", but I wouldn't have any clue whether they were from another site. Some of them seem suspiciously well-written.

Are reviews that are not created during the Summer Game still reviewed even though they do not result in the person who created them earning points?

By "reviewed", I mean reviewed in Points-O-Matic. Also, will there be any other types of Points-O-Matic, such as the Textulating Recognizorator? I liked it more than the Review Reviewer (then called Helpful Reviews) because you could earn two points at a time, and it's not just clicking on a button.

I have an idea. When a review is officially declared to be amazing, the people who said that it is amazing should also get points (maybe 100 would be a good amount).

Just click on any item in our catalog, and you'll find at the bottom of the page a form to submit your review of that item. Thanks for asking!

Thanks for adding a FAQ page. I'm an enthusiastic reviewer of reviews, and it's nice to be able to compare notes with other people who are doing it, and ask questions.

I have some requests:

1) Somewhere on the screen, could I ask you to say what type of item is being reviewed? For example, add the words "Art Print" or "Book." That would be helpful to know, because, for example, a good review for an Art Print would sometimes be an overly short review of a book.

2) Whether or not I get points for it, I would love some way to mark reviews as Useful or Not Useful when I run across them in the wild. Like for example there are three one-word reviews of this cookbook: -- and I can't imagine those reviews ever being useful to anybody, so I would be glad to have a way to flag them as "not useful" so that nobody else ever has three seconds of their time wasted by those reviews. I realize that this change would open up the possibility where people could game the system by asking other people to review their reviews to give them points -- but surely there could be a way to code it so that that isn't a problem. And having a way to weed out un-helpful reviews and reward good ones would improve the whole catalog.

3) You could automatically delete any one-word reviews throughout the system and improve the review quality right there. When I was reviewing reviews today, I noticed that the system never asked me to review any one-word reviews, when in past years there have been lots of them, so maybe some steps toward this are already being added to the programming?

Thanks for reading my suggestions!

Thanks for your feedback, Valerie! 1) this is a great suggestion, we will add that in a future release. 2) From our experience, the only thing that prevents players from ganging up to boost reviews is the fact that they can't choose which reviews to review. Eventually we will be removed trashed reviews from the item pages, so they won't waste time forever. 3) I'm not convinced on this. While there are a lot of one-word reviews, there are also many young players who are posting to the net for the first time, so I don't want to automatically apply this standard. You may not be aware, but no player can submit a review they've submitted before, so even the one-word grinders have to keep coming up with new words.

In short, we're much more interested in highlighting great reviews than removing low-value reviews. Thanks for all your feedback and effort on this!

I just flagged my first book for staff review. I flagged it because the review said that one of the copies of the book smelled a bit moldy -- but I don't know if the reason why I flagged it will be obvious to the staffer who reviews it. So, if I haven't already driven you crazy with requests, I would like to suggest adding an option to include an explanation about why a person is flagging a review.

Thanks, as always!

How do you correct a Points-o-Matic where you clicked the wrong box? I intended to Trash a one-word review and instead clicked Keep. I couldn't figure out how to correct it. The previous suggestion that one word reviews be automatically flagged for staff review is a good one.

There isn't really a way to undo an action. We'll think about that for a future update, But for now don't worry about it if you misclick; we have to have 3 agreeing clicks on any image before it's affected by review reviews. Thanks for asking!

Thanks for the fast reply! Here's another suggestion. This time I inadvertently trashed an Amazing review. Before "Trash' is entered, there should be a place to indicate reason. It can partially be a checklist, such as one-word review or insignificant comment. This would also allow for mistake ratings to be corrected before being entered.

Hi - I'm trying to do News Sprinter on my phone (instead of a desktop computer) for my first time. It won't let me zoom in on the images, and without zoom I can't read the dates. Would it be possible to change the HTML to allow zoom?

As always, thanks for reading my suggestion!

An update: On my phone's browser (Chrome) I selected the menu option to see the desktop version of the site, and then it would let me zoom in on the images. It's an imperfect solution, but I thought I should post it here in case that's useful to anybody else.

Troyanth -- Thanks for looking into that. I just tried News Sprinter again, but it still won't zoom.

If it's useful, I'm using the Google Chrome browser on a Pixel 3a phone.

What do the stats on the page mean? It often says "Current player" and has a score for somebody (never me, even if I am currently playing) and it has some stats for daily totals, which don't seem to change, even when I score some points. So I am curious what those are?

Thanks for asking, valerie. The current player should show your player name; that's which player is getting the pointsomatic points for any upcoming pointsomatic actions. The Daily Progress box on top is the combined score for all players, so showing how pointsomatic as a whole is running that day. Let us know if you have any other questions!

Hm. Then I'd like to report a bug, because the Current Player always has somebody else's name there. Currently it says the current player is Matthieu Cras -- and that is someone who I don't know, definitely not me!

In case more detail is helpful for tracking down the bug: The "My players" page seems to be recording my points-o-matic points correctly. It's just the front page of the points-o-matic that shows somebody else's information.

Working on News-Sprinter this morning, I'm suddenly seeing images for different dates of "The Daily Times News, Ann Arbor, Mich." from 1911. Were these historical reproduction inserts to the Ann Arbor News, or are they misplaced, or do I treat them the same as the Ann Arbor News pages? The print on them is quite small and it's harder to make out the dates.

Hi Marian,

Thanks for the question! This is just a new batch of microfilm that is ready for information, this time from the Daily Times News. You can put in date and page information just like you do when you see Ann Arbor News pages. Sorry about the images; this was from the early days of microfilming so the quality isn't great. If it helps, you can always click on the images to open in a new tab and see a larger version of them. Thanks for working on News Sprinter!

- Clicking on the image isn't opening a new tab on the equipment I'm using. Is there a way to skip an entry the way you can in Review Reviewer?
- Does this mean we're nearing the end of the Ann Arbor News images? I've wondered about the size of the AA News project - how many images total and how many done; what time period (I've seen mostly 1960s and few early 1970s) - can't be the whole of paper's long run; and any other info. Thanks!

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