One of the more common confusions on the boards is what 30 day and 90 day rating score are, how they are used, and how one qualifies for writing stars – or how many stars one qualifies for.

First, if you didn’t know, you can find your scores (including writing) on your My Helium page.
Second, the rating scores and amount of rates needed to get stars is explained on our help wiki.

But, again, the question most commonly asked is “What’s the difference?”  Many users are confused because they’ll have many rates in the last 30 days and a high score, but a much lower score for their 90 day average and will be confused why they have only 1 star.

Basically, this is how it works:

  1. We check your 90 day rating score and amount of rates done in the past 90 days.  Do you qualify for any stars (done more than 30 rates and have a score >= 75%)?  If so, apply stars and done.  Else, go to 2.
  2. We check your 30 day rating score and amount of rates done in the past 30 days.  Do you have a score >= 75% and >= 10 rates in that time span?  If so, apply 1 star.

So again, we only check the 30 day score/rates if your 90 day score/rates doesn’t qualify you for a star and your 30 day total can only qualify you for, at max, one star.

The basic idea behind it is to allow new users to quickly come in, make a few rates (as few as 10) and start earning revenue payments right away – keeping them active and contributing to the site, which helps everyone.

I hope that helps.

Today I found another great board post that I wanted to repost.  This one is done by Lerrina Collins and is response to a very popular thread on the boards so far.  I had not heard Lerrina on the boards at all, and she had an interesting take on rating coming from a viewpoint of being very discouraged just a couple of weeks ago.

If you enjoy her thoughts, please take a look at some of her articles.  Thanks again Lerrina for letting me repost this.

Hello everyone,

I just wanted to make a ‘pro’ comment on rating. A couple of weeks ago I was a very frustrated Helium member, having lost my only star and unable to figure out why. As a result I contacted the ‘help’ desk and posted a few comments on the forum hoping to stir the pot and get some answers.

The help desk responded – kindly. And, while they gave me the ‘general’ information we all hear and read about, they made one point which is the basis for this post. They said most of the comments in the Forum are negative, written by disgruntled raters who are unhappy with the system.

While I personally believe the rating system has its issues (obviously I’ve had a few hairpulling moments), I also appreciate the sheer volume of Helium users and the obvious effort which has gone into making the system as user friendly yet fair as possible.

Since those posts I have obviously upped my rating stars. And, it has come from following a few simple principles – basically what has been posted in this thread.

Thus I am writing to encourage others who may feel frustrated with the system to keep plugging away. Watch your rating scores and pay attention to what increases or decreases your stars. I believe this is the most effective way to find what ‘works’ for you and fits into Helium’s mold.

For me this has been:

  1. Rating a few every day. This is the one change I made which appears to have made the biggest difference.
  2. Ask yourself if the article’s writer IMMEDIATELY gets into the subject. In other words, without knowing the title, would you be able to discern the article’s subject within the first paragraph (two at the max)?
  3. Look for paragraphs which are of a reasonable length (3 – 5 sentences, usually) and sentences which are clear and easy to read.
  4. Grammar and punctuation are also important. Misspelling and sentence structure count. However, while some grammar teachers go bananas over these things, it doesn’t appear they are as important as I would tend to expect.
  5. Interesting reading seems to be another point which, while important, isn’t key.

I’ve noticed some talking about using skips. While I’ve tried to use them infrequently, I can’t really tell any difference in my rating score – one way or the other.

I hope this helps others out there who, like me, are struggling to do a good job rating. I also wanted to be sure and say something positive after having been vocal in my negative response. We all like to hear some praise once in awhile!

Lerrina

There has been a lot of hubbub lately about the need for rating stars to earn payments.  In order to fully understand the requirements we were facing on users I took a few minutes each day for a week or so and rated – just to see how many stars I could earn.

In a little more than a week, I was able to earn 3 stars.  I have since let them fade, but I wanted to share what I learned about rating in the hope that it may help others out there who need to earn rating stars.

When presented with a rating pair I went through the following process:

  1. Read the title – am I knowledgeable on the subject matter and, sometimes more importantly, am I interested in it?  Knowledge helps to rate accurately – if I did not know the subject matter then typically I would skip. (Total, on average, I skipped more than half of the pairs I saw)  Interest helps to make rating fun – obviously we get more enjoyment about reading on subjects we enjoy then not.  If I’ve found no reason to skip, I move on to the next step.
  2. Review the items – at this point I’ve decided I’m going to rate the pair so I scan the items quickly.  Many times you find that one item is obviously inferior – either it’s extremely short, off topic, or something sticks out.  In that case I rate for the other item.  Otherwise I’ve committed to reading them thoroughly and move on to the next step.
  3. Read the items – I read each of the items and ask myself the following (in order of importance):
    1. Is the item on topic? – Does it cover the subject specifically?  Does it miss anything I would assume would be necessary for the subject? Does it go off on a tangent?
    2. Is the item well written? – Do I find it interesting?  Useful? If I was searching for the title, would this satisfy my curiosity or would I go back to the search results for something else?
    3. Is it formatted correctly? – Are their weird breaks/spaces?  Anything that would detract me from reading and finishing the item.
    4. Is it grammatically correct? – Are there blatant, noticeable and detracting spelling/grammar errors?
  4. Make my choice – based on what I found in #3, I would pick A or B.

Now, to be fair, I was not a perfect rater.  I did have a bonus star for awhile though and ranked in the 90s.

I hope this helps.