03-19-2011 02:53 AM
I agreed with everything in your post, except for:
"5. Make sure you deny anything less than a 3 star. Even though the star rating will bring down your average, negative comments are far more damaging."
That is an innapropriate use of the "deny review" feature. Reviews should only be denied if they contain foul language, inflamitory comments, or innacuracies. It shouldn't be used to censor comments from people who didn't like the app.
The best thing you can do about negative reviews is use them. Listen to your customer's complaints and fix the app. The rating will increase over time.
03-19-2011 01:52 PM
"It shouldn't be used to censor comments from people who didn't like the app."
That might be true were it not that the review system is inherently flawed and has a dramatic effect on the status of your app within App World.
In addition you are far more likely to receive a negative
review where someone has a problem with the app (which may in any case be directly due to App World), than to receive a
positive review from someone pleased with the app. I've even had the odd negative review from someone simply trolling for sexual partners. I guess they feel more people are likely to read negative reviews; and it is ridiculous that those reviews also affect the position in App World.
Since the position of your app is not affected by the "Denied" option and the star rating remains as it was, even when there are clear and obvious erroneous reviews, so its not as if you're gaining that much of an advantage.
And point 1 was that your app should do what you say it does.
With that assumption I'd say "censoring" negative reviews, many of which may be inaccurate or perhaps out of date against earlier releases is simply common sense. It's certainly not a question of morality, since the system is weighted unfairly toward emphasizing negative reviews.
In my experience two star and below reviews are seldom constructive, and are generally a knee jerk response to a problem with download, or simply people being angry because they had expected more from your app.
In part this is because RIM doesn't allow enough information to be made available about apps. Nor is the information that is provided presented well.
"The best thing you can do about negative reviews is use them". You still can, even if they're denied you have access to the review.
"The rating will increase over time." Not if noone downloads it won't.
There are huge problems with App World, most of which have nothing to do with developers. There are issues with Try and Buy, download issues, Error 3300 and numerous other problems. Until the platfom stabilizes I think making the occasional review Deny is fair.
03-20-2011 05:27 PM
It seems the system has changed -- now, striking an unfavorable review removes the rating as well as the review. i.e. An app may have 900 1-star reviews and 100 5-star reviews, and be showing a 5-star rating.
There's been a noticeable effect. I had a couple of products that were doing fine in competition with others, until the others got the ability to deny all their low ratings and their overall rating went from 1-star to 5-star, while my stuff shows 3 or 4-star since I'm leaving negative reviews that I consider fair to leave. Then I watch the competing product get slammed down to a lower rating again because it's got so many problems, and then it goes right back to 5-star or 4.5-star when the developer strikes the negative reviews.
This forces us to decide between denying all reviews that are less than 5-star, or being wiped out. My revenue has dropped seriously after this change in the system.
03-20-2011 05:38 PM
Are you sure thats the case?
If so it puts a completely different complexion on the situation and the balance has swung too far in favour of the developer.
You're sure they haven't just trolled for positive reviews? (There are ways).
The review system is a joke. Reviews shouldn't affect star rating without being moderated. There have been a number of suggestions on the board but I guess the cost is just too high.
I still think a pool of developer volunteers from across categories and cultures might be a better option for moderating reviews. It seems relatively easy for some vendors to get dozens of 5 star reviews.
03-20-2011 05:44 PM
Notice how in the portal, the number of reviews next to each app went down? Denied reviews no longer count there, and also no longer seem to count in the average rating, at least that's how it looks to me.
03-20-2011 05:57 PM
I guess you're right. I hadn't checked in a while but a couple of reviews I'd denied for the reasons mentioned earlier appear not to be counted.(I still don't have 5 stars though!)
If that's the case RIM needs to be more selective when denying low star reviews or the review system will be completely worthless.
03-20-2011 05:58 PM
Yes, that change was introduced about two weeks ago and is officially confirmed here on the forums. So denied reviews no longer affect overall rating. Which means that the era of 5-star apps has come...