Are You a Five Star Blog?

blogorator-title.jpg

For blog owners, producing world class content often isn’t good enough. You need to convince the millions of web users out there that your blog is worthy of their valuable time. There are already systems in place that compare the popularity of blogs, but these are largely based on backlinks. Blogorator is a system that rates your blog in a slightly different way. They ordered this ReviewMe review to get some much needed publicity and feedback.

One Star, Five Stars, and Everything in Between

I use the 5-star system on my blog when I do movie reviews and John uses the post rating plug-in so that you can give a certain number of stars to individual posts. Essentially, the Blogorater blog rating widget works much the same way. You place a small widget on your website (it looks sort of like the MyBlogLog recent readers widget) and visitors to your blog can click on the number of stars they think your site is worth.

blogorator-widget.jpg

The interface is fundamentally identical to the post rating plug-in, except that it takes registered votes as well as anonymous ones. In the widget, you’ll see the average rating, the number of votes, and the avatars of the five most recent raters. Anonymous voters get a paper bag guy.

What’s In a Name?

According to the header image on their site, Blogorator is the amalgamation of two terms: Blog, meaning a “website that contains an online personal journal,” and Orator, meaning “speaker, one who makes a public speech.”

My initial impression of the name was they were trying to merge the terms “blogosphere” with “rater”, because the system is designed to rate blogs. Instead, by using “orator”, they seem to placing more emphasis on the public expression of opinion. I guess both strategies make sense, but in my head, I still read it as blog-o-rater rather than blog orator. This slight ambiguity may have been intentional.

Top Blog Publicity

As I mentioned above, the Blogorator blog rating widget is distinctly different than what you find on Alexa or Technorati, which are based on traffic and incoming links, respectively. In this way, a Blogorator rating is more reflective of a blog’s quality rather than its popularity.

This brings me to a major issue with this blog rating system. When you go to the Top Blogs page, it lists the blogs that have the highest ratings. At the time that I wrote this review, the number one blog had a rating of five stars, but it only had one vote (probably the blog owner).

blogorator-topblogs.jpg

This problem is similar to the one at ReviewMe some time back where the most expensive blog was placed at the top. A one-star blog that was charging $1,000,000 for a review was showing up above John Chow dot Com, a five-star blog that charges much less than a cool million. Blogorator seriously needs to prevent this sort of abuse. The easiest solution would be to require at least X number of votes before a blog can appear on the top blog page.

Pros and Cons

Blogorator is still quite new, so they’re still ironing out the kinks. For example, they recently added in a few extra features that weren’t available originally, like displaying the avatars of users who most recently rated your blog, allowing comments, and showing the RSS feeds of registered blogs.

Going through the registration process was a piece of cake — all you need to do is provide a username, email address and password — but when I attempted to login to the user area, I got an Apache Tomcat/4.1.31 Error report as displayed below. Hopefully this glitch is being worked on and will be fixed soon. This error is why I used a screencap of the widget above rather than placing a live John Chow dot Com widget.

blogorator-apachetomcaterror.jpg

I appreciate that Blogorator is not based purely on backlinks and outright popularity, meaning that even the little guy can get some positive press. The rating system appears to be easy to use for the reader, because registration is not necessary and their input is immediately reflected in a blog’s overall rating.

As they expand further and the blog list gets longer, I can see Blogorator becoming a decent online community as well, serving as a complementary service to things like MyBlogLog and Twitter (both of which are featured on the Blogorator sidebar).

A Gold Star For You

In elementary school, you may have been rewarded with a gold star for doing well on a test or completing a certain assignment. The blogging world isn’t all that different. Using the Blogorator blog rating widget, you can be rewarded with up to five stars for a job well done. It’s just another way to boast how great you are, accompanying your #1 Technorati ranking and all those other numbers you’re chasing.

Keep up with the latest developments by reading the Blogorator team blog.

UPDATE: I just received an email from the Blogorator people stating:

you have recently signed up a my website Blogorator.com. Unfortunately we experienced a nasty error, that might have made it impossible for you to log in to your account. I would like to apologize for this problem and I’m happy to announce that Blogorator.com is now fully back and working. If you like you can now add blogs to get your rating widget.


71 thoughts on “Are You a Five Star Blog?”

  1. Looks okay.. but I’ll pass. *=) Sorry Blogerator.

    1. Jauhari says:

      Why you pass ❓

      1. People could exploit the loophole,submit and rate their blog with one 5 star rating and nest in the n°1 spot for a while, attracting traffic. They should fix it fast.
        I wonder if the color of the stars is only gold. If yes, it would not fit in my blog’s theme, a superbe refreshing blue azur :o)
        I think the johnchow effect will give blogorator a lot of new members.
        Oh it’s funny. blogorator / blogadollar. What’s the difference?

    2. Wahlau.NET says:

      nah..not for me either

      1. Jorge says:

        Me neitheir.

  2. dcr says:

    Once they work out the kinks, it sounds like it could be a promising service. Maybe a little iffy now, but definitely something to keep an eye on.

    1. Geedos says:

      I agree – it sounds like it’s still very much a project “in development”.

      1. Glen Allsopp says:

        yeah i agree but not a bad attempt

        1. Lewis Empire says:

          They can use all of us as Guinea Pigs.

  3. I like the idea of the “little guy” getting some props from time to time. There are some wonderful blogs out there that just don’t get the press that they should.

    1. Yeah, I think that is a cool feature, albeit one that the bigger bloggers may not care much about.

      DevDad

      1. Lewis Empire says:

        Of course it doesn’t look all that great if the big bloggers don’t want it and the small guys are rated by four or five people!

      2. Joshua says:

        Everyone starts at the bottom 🙂

  4. Lori says:

    Well, I rekon I’ll give it a try…not that my blog means anything to anyone. I definately don’t have anything to lose from it, except maybe my pride. That is, if I get really low ratings. That would be embarrassing!

    1. Rhys says:

      What’s the bet that somebody will set up rating’s exchanges for it?

      1. Geedos says:

        I was just thinking that!

        Just like everything else out there – I’ll give you 5 stars if you do the same for me, etc! 😆

  5. John, a little out of topic, but can you tell me what plugin are you using for your archives page? I can’t seem to find it.

    Thanks

    1. John Chow says:

      It comes with my theme. It’s not a plugin.

      1. Interesting, I noticed that Johntp has the same one. I did find some other ones but nothing close to yours

    2. mahdi yusuf says:

      search in google for wp archives! should help! 😀

    3. If you use Misty Look, just create a new page and set the Page Template to Archives.

  6. Michael Kwan says:

    Well, I just received an email from the Blogorator people fixing that Apache error. Their message is quoted in the update at the end of the post.

    1. mahdi yusuf says:

      thats some good stuff!

    2. Geedos says:

      It’s good to know that they were straight onto the issue – how long did it take for you from getting the error to receiving the email to say it had been fixed?

      1. Michael Kwan says:

        Within the day. I think I registered some time in the afternoon and I received the email that evening.

  7. Spud Oregon says:

    This would certainly put pressure on the blogger to churn out quality content, and for that reason, I’m going to pass! 😉

    1. Geedos says:

      Not necessarily!

      You can just review your own content and your one and only 5 star rating sits you at the top of the rating charts … at least until someone else comes along and spoils the party. 😆

    2. Budget Babe says:

      You’re not suggesting you churn out inferior content are you? 😯

    3. shman says:

      😉 It looks like You believe in content You write.

  8. Fair Review says:

    It’s always good to promote the little guy and get further links on your blog. I have started a service that does similar: allows you to review blogs to get included in the directory. People are having a huge amount of success with it at the moment too (after 4 days, some blogs have had 6 or 7 reviews!)

    Link is in my name 🙂

    But I’m going to try blogorator too 🙂

    1. I’m checking out your service right now. Was it really launched this week?

      DevDad

      1. Rhys says:

        Last Friday, the post on my personal blog that launched it is this one.

        http://www.gospelrhys.co.uk/2007/08/fair-review-launched.html

        1. shman says:

          Good work. 🙂 There was some coding with this.

      2. cooliojones says:

        I can attest, it really was, and it’s good so far. Rhys put in a lot of work on it.

        And I’m starting to see you around a lot of places DevDad! You’re cool people. 🙂

  9. Rhys says:

    It’s always good to promote the little guy and get further links on your blog. I have started a service that does similar: allows you to review blogs to get included in the directory. People are having a huge amount of success with it at the moment too (after 4 days, some blogs have had 6 or 7 reviews!)

    Link is in my name 🙂

    But I’m going to try blogorator too, seems like an awesome service that could help promote blogs, and that is a good thing 🙂

  10. keeyit says:

    yeah.. pretty cool.. will give a try on that.. :mrgreen:

  11. Geedos says:

    In my opinion this kind of thing gives readers of your blog comfort that they are viewing high quality content but doesn’t necessarily drive traffic to your site initially.

  12. Junping says:

    Will give blogorator a try. And hopefully, there is even ratings for me. At least that’s feedback to how good my blog is. 🙂 :mrgreen:

  13. luciano says:

    It sounds interesting but I do not know if really usefull…for the moment I not interested! 😐
    http://www.lucianobove.blogspot.com

  14. Pingback: Franky
  15. jsanderz says:

    I think that Blogorator could benefit old and new blogsites. If you dont get good ratings then it might just make you think a little more about your content.

    1. shman says:

      Good written.

  16. Budget Babe says:

    I think my blog is too new. I’ve only had a couple of people rate my posts and I suspect they’ve been personal friends. Ai yah.

    1. You might have some success with commenting on other people’s blogs. Obviously, you’re on here commenting, but I have found that it is best to comment on blogs that aren’t very heavy on traffic. You will almost always get a comment in return, and perhaps a link.

      DevDad

      1. Budget Babe says:

        Ahh, ok, I shall try that. I only started it a few days ago and really have no idea as to how to promote. But it really is very exciting! Thank you for the tip!!!

    2. cooliojones says:

      DevDad is right. Keep getting your name out there, and you have a cute avatar so that in itself will prompt people to check you out.

      Since you’re a ‘Babe’ then I too will check you out! 🙂 But you might have some competition with Sam Breadstone, Debo Hobo and video a day, they were here first. Be sure to give them a compliment or two!

      1. Budget Babe says:

        I’m blushing! Thank you!! Your avatar is not so bad either 😉

    3. shman says:

      I’m in similar situation.

  17. I wouldn’t get the plug in, ask me why. I co-blog with a patner, we are two writers. Sometimes his posts are incredible, and you know how my posts are. I do not think it would be advisable for us to get into a war of content based on ratings. He is my patner for sakes. I get more comments though, i guess you guys have more to good or bad to say about the things i write.

  18. I’ll give it a try, just added the rating widget to my blog.

  19. Graham says:

    I dunno. Bloggerator? Couldn’t they think of a better name? Something that doesn’t rhyme with alligator perhaps? Something that doesn’t sound like a kitchen appliance?

    I’m going to make a website called Kramerator and show funny clips from seinfeld and mad money. WHOS WITH ME?

    1. cooliojones says:

      Um….. yeah. 😯

      Good luck with that.

  20. Will says:

    I don’t know, it’s kind of a mess.

    And this does not really do much to promote the little guy. In the end, the Big guys will rise to the top with lots of readers rating 5 stars and the small guys will have far fewer readers and won’t be able to compete. So until you hit it big and have the hoards of readers ready to rate 5, you’ll always be 10 pages below John Chow (if he decides to use the service).

    Oh, and blogger doesn’t accept java scripts. That’s a huge market to ignore…

  21. Ginene says:

    I just signed up. I like how they make the person visit your site to vote. Pretty cool and easy method for traffic.

  22. I think this service has some potential, but there are some holes that need to be filled before it can be taken seriously…

  23. Jack says:

    I’m not really sold – seems like more clutter for your blog design. Almost unprofessional looking in my opinion.

    1. It is more clutter. But it may help promoting new blogs. I’ll try it for a couple of weeks and see what happens.

  24. kanute says:

    How many more widgets am I going to put on my blog. BASTA.

  25. cooliojones says:

    Judging by these comments, they qualify as a unofficial review, so I hope Michael can take the queries and incorporate any needed changes so that the project will be a success. He runs a great blog so I know he wants this to be great as well. I wish you all the best man.

    1. Michael Kwan says:

      Blogorator is not my project; I just wrote the review.

  26. Rich Minx says:

    I am trying to cut down on widgets, so maybe not this one. Always interesting to learn about new blog features, though.

  27. Geedos says:

    Either way – whether you think it’s a good idea or not – it’ll be interesting to see what the John Chow effect has on the sites traffic over the next few days!

  28. tim says:

    i might use this widget for my 1st .com blog soon 😮

    –blog for dream–
    http://ahtim-theblogger.blogspot.com

  29. Alex Mans says:

    It looks kind of like a poor man’s version of http://www.bloginterviewer.com . It’s an interesting concept, though.

    1. shman says:

      Yep, concept is good.

  30. OMGbay says:

    Innovative enough to work. Props ❗

  31. John Bennett says:

    Has anyone tried it out? It looks interesting.

  32. Sunnye says:

    Interesting, a lot of the top rated blogs on blogorator are readers of johnchow.com, hmmmmmmm.

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