poetry critical

online poetry workshop

Frequently Asked Questions

How are the ratings calculated?

The ratings displayed at the footer of a poem (which only show up after you have rated the poem) are in the format Rated 8.3 (7.5) by 20 users. The 8.3 here represents the weighted rating of a poem; it reflects the average rating of the poem with the highest and lowest votes dropped and considers only votes cast by active users. The parenthesized number represents this rating if votes by all users were considered. Hovering your mouse over the poem's rating will show the poem's individual ratings, both active and inactive.


How do the rankings work?

The rankings on this site are done by true Bayesian estimate, a formula that takes not only rating, but also amount of votes into account. By using this system, a top-ranked poem rated 8.3 by 20 users will not lose it's spot to a poem that one or two people give a perfect ten.


What do the link colors mean?

When you are logged in, the links appear in various colors. Dark blue links indicate a poem that you have not yet commented on, while red links indicate poems or forum posts that you have not viewed or that are new since you last logged in.


How can I sort or browse the poems?

You can browse poems randomly or by making use of the index of poems, which can be sorted by title, author, rating, comments, or date by clicking the plus or minus buttons under the category heading (to sort in ascending or descending order respectively). By default the listing is sorted in ascending order by the number of comments a poem has, oldest poems first. By default and if you are not logged in, commenting on or rating a piece you are taken to a new random piece. If you have created a user id, you can also choose to either be taken to the poem list or remain at the same poem after commenting.


Why can't I post?

There is a two poem per (rolling) seven day limit to keep the volume of new poems at a reasonable level. You can keep track of how much time you have to go by the countdown timer on the "my poems" page. Please stick around commenting and rating, and post your other work as soon as that time is up!


Where did my poem go?

While I try to preserve all poems submitted to the site, the internet is the internet. You are advised to always copy and paste your poem elsewhere before pressing the submit button and, of course, to always keep your own back-ups of your work.


What's the deal with the lists on the right?

There are four lists on display in the right hand column of the website. "Top Rated" is an all time top fifteen (each poem requiring a minimum of 5 votes), while "Recent Best" are the top 15 poems posted within the last two weeks. "Newest" and "Recently Commented" are self-explanatory. All lists can be expanded by clicking the link next to the list's title. The "Recent Best" expands from a two-week best to a thirty-day best.


What is my profile for?

The information in your profile is linked to from any poems or comments you post (unless anonymous). The edit profile page is also used to change any of your user settings or to remove poems from your 'favorites' list.


How do I add poems to my favorites?

If you are logged in, you can add a poem to your favorite by clicking on the link at the footer of the poem. You drop poems from your favorites by clicking the 'remove' link on the poem's page or from your user profile page.


Why is everyone such a jerk? Where is the constructive criticism?

This is the internet. People can be harsh or post meaningless dribble, but hopefully you can wade through the crap and find worthwhile criticism.


Who did all this?

All code and design for this site was done by me (donald tetto) in PHP (powered by a mySQL database). The idea and title for the site were borrowed from futurebird, who ran a smaller, now-defunct site whose spirit I can only hope to capture. The site is largely built on the feedback of its many users.

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