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Let's see... I have seen many people in both sides of the spectrum regarding NG's star rating system. Some enraged because their collaborations to the site seem to get unfairly beat down with 0's, and some exhilarating with unmeasured pride for reaching ridiculous ammounts of 5's. Even when I myself fare pretty well, I won't lie, truth is that measuring the degree of "success" or "failure" of your works based on the "star ranking" NG provides is rather pointless, and does not represent a fair, "democratic" (if you will) reflection of people's "objective" degree of approval or rejection about your work, so for all of those (young artists or collaborators mostly, who seem to get the most beaten up here) out there, let me give you the reasons why you should take NG's star ranking just as a VERY vague meassurement, and not as a biblic command (I'll reffer myself mainly to the "art" category, since that's where I spend 95% of my time here):
1) Each vote has a different "weight": NG star rating system doesn't promotes "fair judgements", it promotes further participation on the site, regardless of the fairness or expertise (or lack of) to judge. The "weight" of your vote depends on the ammount of experience the user has accumulated by participating on a daily basis on the site (by voting, blamming, saving, etc.) Therefore, if out of 10 people, 9 think you deserve 5 stars, but only 1 with far more "experience points" thinks you deserve 0 (because he's a douche, let's be serious. You'd have to be really awful an artist to really deserve a fair 0), the outcome will get unbalanced, because his/her vote is worth maybe even more than that of 9 "low level" users... which doesn't make any sense, since voting should be equal. Your oppinion isn't worth more or less than that of your fellow users.
2) Non objective evaluation (0 or 5 syndrome): Let's be honest here... it's rather rare for many users to vote anything but 0 or 5, and most of their decision is based on "the content" of the piece rather than the technique itself. I, for example, draw a lot of adult oriented pieces, and therefore, a lot of people vote 5 because there are boobs, and a lot of other people vote 0 for the exact same reason. It's rare to see someone vote, for example, a 4, and base it's judgement with an objective mindset, focusing on your style, the time you took to come with the piece, the management of the color palette, and so on.
3) Trolls & grudges: Let's face it, people. The site is full of trolls. Now don't get me wrong, luckyly fair, reasoning users are still the majority around here, but you'll always end up being focused by some dumb kid who hasn't got any other way of feeling better with himself/herself that by trying to make everyone around him misserable (for some, it's easier to beat those better than him down and bring them to their level than to improve themselves... pityful, I know, but plausible nevertheless). And other times, voting can be used unfairly as a "punishment" or "payback" method from users you haven't been able to get along with (I have a couple of those, but I just block them instead of fueling a flame war... what's the point anyway?) to crap on your hard work regardless of the quality.
4) Excessive competition: I always found "rating systems" in some sites or media to be a way of meassuring your objectives, and if I got 2nd, 3rd, 4th place and so on, I tend to consider that an incentive to improve myself........... sadly, many users see this rating tool as a way to promote their own works by toning down their fellow artists ranking. In the end, being avobe everyone else gives you more exposition, and not everyone wishes to play fair when their egos are on the line. Fortunatelly, those kind of users are a big minority as you go "up in the ladder", since you can't become a good artist by spitting on the work of those of your equal skills (it's not a moral stand. It's a fact. Either you screw other's works, or you use that time to get better at what you do, so in that sense, the universe balances itself rather fairly. No artist has gone far by screwing those better than himself)
So those are my main four reasons why you shouldn't feel discouraged if your works don't get the first spot in the daily ranking or so on. The whole ranking system of NG isn't geared towards objective judgement, but rather towards "planning and participation on the site" (without regards of that participation being of good quality or not. The number is what counts.) Is it a bad way of ranking? I myself can think of many improvements that could be done, but again, the site isn't focused on fair evaluation, but more on popularity and activity, so my thoughts about it are rather pointless for those purposes... All I wanted to get across is that you shouldn't feel blue if a piece or game or soundtrack or whatever you have collaborated to the site doesn't get the recognition you expected. Keep your cool about the subject and just keep on rolling with what you enjoy to do, since those whose oppinion is really worth will always end up finding you, and that's all that matters.