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Opening Votes Explained

Understand how our polling system works and why every poll is preloaded with votes.

What Are Opening Votes?

Opening Votes are the initial votes applied to a particular item in a poll, such as movies, books, or TV shows, before the public can cast their votes. They serve as a foundational framework, aiming to create a fair and balanced environment for both existing and new artworks.

Why Do You Need Opening Votes?

So, there’s quite a few reasons why we have to have opening votes. But really it comes down to five reasons.

  1. Preventing Misrepresentation Opening Votes ensure that newcomers or occasional visitors to the poll don’t get a skewed impression of the general public’s sentiment towards specific items. They create a starting point that reflects a more considered and critical view, rather than possibly distorted early-stage voting trends.

  2. Security Considerations As a newly implemented system, the polling mechanism is still in its nascent stages. While there are no current indications of security breaches or vote contamination, bugs and vulnerabilities might still exist. Opening Votes act as a stabilizing factor, reducing the potential impact of any unidentified issues in the initial phase.

  3. Leveling the Playing Field for New Art Without Opening Votes, new pieces of art might not stand a chance against existing items with a substantial number of votes. For instance, if a new album is released after a poll has accumulated votes for older works, the new album might never catch up. Opening Votes mitigate this problem by allowing new art to enter the competition with a fair and equitable chance.

  4. Calculating Opening Votes The process of determining Opening Votes involves taking the average number of votes across all items in a list and then adjusting this figure based on critical reviews. The relative percentage of the rating from reputable sources like AllMusic for music or Metacritic/Rotten Tomatoes for movies informs the starting number of votes, either adding or subtracting based on the relative standing.

  5. Transparency and Adaptability The criteria for assigning Opening Votes are transparent and vary depending on the category of the item. By tailoring the methodology to the specific nature of each poll, Opening Votes ensure that all items, regardless of their release date or existing popularity, are judged on an equitable basis.

How Many Opening Votes Are There?

Typically, we distribute 100 votes amongst the various choices. This number serves as a baseline, ensuring that each option starts from a fair and balanced standpoint. These preloaded votes are not arbitrary but are allocated based on various criteria such as critical reviews and professional ratings, depending on the category.

The distribution of these 100 votes is typically calculated using relative search volume for each book, movie, album and whatever future categories we choose to add next. We’re not married to this solution (in fact we hate it), but the reality is that this is why VBOAT is needed. There simply isn’t  a clear, quantitative mechanism by which to gauge the proper starting point. If there was, VBOAT wouldn’t be needed. In the future, it may be category based: it’s music, ratings from sources like AllMusic might guide the distribution.

However this is something we simply HAVE to have. The preloading of these votes provides an initial structure to the poll, preventing a skewed or unrepresentative picture of public opinion, especially in the early stages of voting or when new options are introduced. It’s a method that encourages both accuracy and fairness, valuing the quality and context of each option.

Got A Better Idea?! No, seriously.

We’ve actually already had really helpful feedback for how to handle opening votes (such as making a limited amount of votes and making it a normal distribution). If you have a good idea for how we can better address opening votes, we employ you to contact us and let us know.