That Elusive Last Star
I'm sure the distribution of ratings in my iTunes music library says something about me.
Of 2720 rated songs in my library, exactly 15 are deemed worthy of a perfect 5 stars.
This seems way too stingy, especially when I glance at some other peoples ratings. If not stingy then at least pessimistic.
I mean, look at Amazon or any other site which employs the near-ubiquitous five-star ranking system. Better still, conduct a social research experiment where you look for patterns in the way that people assign ratings to things online. My guess is that 5 stars are pretty common.
Random-blogger-I-stumbled-across Matt Thommes seems to agree and says that this might be attributable to the commonly-used design where each star has an equal visual weight, thus biasing the 5 star rating. He might be onto something.
But it's nice to know that I'm not a complete freak of nature. On a recent O'Reilly Distributing The Future podcast, a professional photographer explained how he rated his photos. The short version is that he doesn't use 5 stars at all. Nope, according to him, the magical fifth star is reserved for future expansion!
Wow. I'd never thought about that. All those people with 5 stars and nowhere to go from there. What if they need that extra push over the cliff? Where's the iTunes that goes to 6 stars? Where?