Hot Team: Social Ratings
Allan Gyorke recently lead a Hot Team to explore the concept of Social Ratings for content. He and his team looked at a couple of approaches and worked to expose some interesting use cases. Social rating systems are open systems that allow users to collectively evaluate the quality of nearly anything (e.g. books, blog posts, broadway shows, movies, news stories, hotels, etc…). In its simplest form, this may involve applying thumbs up/down or star ratings to a resource, and this can be extended to include reviews and discussions of the resources by multiple contributors. As more items are ranked, it is possible to utilize the rankings to generate sets of popular or important items, by sorting by applied relevancy ranking. In order to help maintain relevance, subsets of resources, and of people, may be required in order to rank items within the context of a course, semester, or group. This approach has huge implications in a distributed environment where courses are taking advantage of the Blogs at Penn State and faculty are looking to bring content into one location with ratings to help pull top posts to the surface.
An example can be found here.