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How to Be an Awesome Rater

by oozemutt1982


NEOBOARDS - Ever try to get some good feedback, and didn’t?

If you ever go on the boards, you will see several topics that sound like the following…

~Rating Galleries and Userlookups~ - rating lookups, gallerys.. - rmg please ill rate urs! - RaTING BOARD!!! - rate my lookup??... - can anyone rate my look up? - I'll critique. -Anyone willing to seriously rate my work? Rate mine, and I’ll rate urs…

And when you go into these topics, what do you find? Instead of insightful critiques you get…

i like your gally - I like it 7/10 - Good job!! - It's cool 7/10 - like your gallery 10/10! - thats great! 8/10 - cool..10 outta 10! -8.5

Do you see the running theme? Why are they getting the score they’re getting? What are they missing to get the perfect 10? What did they like about it to give it a perfect 10? They’re leaving out the details.

And whenever I had wanted some feedback for my own gallery, all I would get was something out of ten. I wanted to know what was liked about my gallery, what wasn’t, what should I change, get rid of, add? I starved for some real input.

For several days I rated people’s galleries and such, giving long details of what I liked, what I didn’t and why they got the score they did. People liked my style so much that I would get Neomails asking for me to rate their galleries, look-ups, poems, etc.

People appreciated the detailed input I had to give, so I’ve decided to share the knowledge, so that this more accurate way of rating can develop on the boards. My hope is that galleries, lookups, pet pages and such will benefit from detailed opinions from their fellow Neopians.

It takes a very careful eye to be a great rater. But don’t worry, I’m going to teach you some basics, and hopefully you too can help change Neopia for the better. So here’s how I’m going to do it. I’m going to break all the different things into categories, and give some ideas on how to properly rate it.


Two golden rules on rating galleries. First you can’t be biased toward a particular theme - Just because you personally hate the color pink, doesn’t mean a pink gallery can’t be good, and just because you like green doesn’t mean a green gallery is any good. So your personal opinion toward the theme should not affect your rating whatsoever. Second, do not be mean! It does no one any good to tear someone else down. You should sound professional, not snobbish. Say what you like about a gallery, before saying what they need to work on. They’ll appreciate it so much more.

Galleries are the easiest things to rate. First choose what areas you feel make a gallery special. When I rate a gallery, I base it off the following areas…

1. Is the theme easily recognizable? If you really can’t tell what the theme is, and there is nothing there telling you what it is, then you really can’t rate it.

2. Originality – How common or uncommon is the gallery type? Let’s face it, there are so many petpet, plushie, and color based galleries that they just aren’t unique. So when I’m given a gallery I’ve seen a bunch of, I immediately take off 1 point, so the highest the person could get would be a 9/10.

3. Background – Is there a background? Does it match the theme presented? Does it overpower the items? Can you see the names of the items? All these play an important factor. I will take away more points if they have a background that doesn’t match than if they don’t have a background at all.

4. Blogs, welcome banners, etc. – I feel a gallery really needs these kinds of things to be really good. But you should ask yourself; What does the blog say and does it have anything to do with the theme? Are the colors matching up nicely? Are they centered? Are they evenly spaced from one another? All of these are important. One creative thing I saw in one shop was a person wrote a story in the blog, explaining her gallery. What they do with these items is more important them having them.

5. Color theme – This is a big one. Do the colors match? And do they work with the theme? I had one gallery with a water theme, but she had a red background and green welcome banner. That works for Christmas, not water. Having a nice, consistent, matching color theme makes a nice gallery.

6. How many items do they have and how many rare ones – This area has to have some exceptions made, depending on the theme. One person had a jacket potato specific theme, but there are only around 35 jacket potatoes. You can’t fault him for having a small gallery, especially if he basically has every jacket potato. But for the people who have a color theme, size does matter. But not only size, but rare items. Something that puts that gallery on the map so to speak. If all they have are cheap easy-to-find items (unless of course that’s their theme), then it isn’t really fun to look at.

7. The little details – Did they find a matching cursor? What about the scrollbar? Do they having any dolls, or just little decorations in their gallery? What about music? Does it work for the theme? Do they have a matching user-lookup? The little details can make the difference between an okay gallery, and a great gallery. Like the example I gave in number 4 about the girl writing the story; that would be considered a little detail.

8. Categories- This being a new thing to hit the gallery world, don’t fault the person too much for not having his items categorized. Make sure the theme needs to be categorized as well. An all flower gallery doesn’t need to be categorized as flowers, because that’s the whole gallery. Categories are more for the people who have level 100 sized galleries with so many items that your eyes fall out of your head. These people should invest in the new way of organizing so items can be appreciated a little at a time with the focus on the better, more rare items.

9. Ranking- Ranking the items by importance shows a personal touch and a bit more in the way of being organized. The items should be put in a special order, but since this is another new thing for galleries, cut them a little slack.

And that’s what I do. Now you need to find what makes a gallery special to you. It does take a little longer to give a detailed description about a gallery, but if you’re doing ratings, usually you have the free time, so take your time, and make some gallery owner out there a little happier.


Poetry is one of the harder things to rate, because there are so many different types of poems. I have a confession; I entered my poem on one of those boards. I chose a limerick, and I specified that it was a limerick. I was given a low score and told it was weird. That was it. How was it weird? I asked her for more details, but she just decided to ignore me. Don’t do that! If you don’t know why it’s weird, then why the low score? So in this section, I’m just going to describe different kinds of poems.

When rating poetry, first tell everyone to say what kind of poem it is. Therefore you will get a more accurate perspective on what they’re trying to say. Now with poetry, you can say that you don’t personally like it, but don’t rate it off your personal likes and dislikes. Does it follow the way the poem is supposed to sound? But in order to do that you need to know the different types of poems.

And again, just because you prefer poems that rhyme, doesn’t mean a free verse poem can’t be good.

I must confess that I was insulted by a so called ‘rater’ when they said my poem was too short, so therefore gave me a 3/10. It was a haiku; it was supposed to be short. Please when rating a poem, take more then 10 seconds to consider what is being said.

Long poems aren’t necessarily better poems, just a different form of poem.

Some guidelines for rating poetry. 1. If you don’t like a poem, that’s perfectly within your right, but again, don’t be mean. There is nothing to be gained by cutting down a person. 2. Make sure you know what kind of poem is being presented, and rate it accordingly. For example, if someone is trying to write a sonnet, but it looks more like free verse, points should be taken away.

Most poems have a specific structure they follow, and that is why they are categorized as a certain poem. I’m not going to go into all the different poem types, for then I would be here all day. Simply ask people to state what kind of poem it is, and if you don’t know the structure, ask Mr. Google. Then rate the poem. State ahead of time for people to be patient, while you give them a great rating.

Free verse poems are just that, free verse. No set rhyme, or rhythm, or iambic pentameter. These kinds of poems are usually judged most harshly, so that is why I have decided to single them out. Rate the poem based on quality of work, not on personal opinion. You can even say that from a personal point of view, you're not too fond of it, but can see how others may enjoy it.

Always say what you like about the poem, before saying what you don’t like. Advice is usually taken better, and people are usually more willing to hear you out, and not get defensive. But don’t lie; you must find your balance.

User lookups and pet pages

I don’t have a whole lot to say about these, so I’ve decided to combine them. Again I repeat: when rating them, don’t be mean. That is my number one hope, that you will rate their look-up or pet pages to better Neopia as a whole.

As with galleries, ask yourself: do the colors match, what is the theme, are there little details like a matching cursor, or a personal picture?

With lookups it can be so variable that one can not possibly hold it all in one page. I personally feel that since it’s a lookup of the user it should be more personal. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t seen some awesome lookups out there. Base your rating on how neat it is, and how easy it is to see their trophies. And consistency throughout the page.

Same with pet pages. I have seen so many variables with pet pages, that it just has to be based on neatness, how well it flows, things of that nature. I saw one that had a very pretty purple flower picture, with falling petals in the background. I thought it was very nice; what made it great, though, was how she made it sound like it was her pet's favorite flower, and all the hard work her pet had put into it to make it so pretty.

It’s all in the details. Use your best judgment, if they have a water theme but they have a Christmas song, it really doesn’t work, so take off points.

So there you have it. My sole desire in writing this extremely long article, is the hope that Neopians everywhere, will be benefited. Be honest but not mean, and look at the whole thing, not just a brief glimpse. Don’t be afraid to make a suggestion, and don’t be insulted if it is ignored.

Have fun!

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