The Rate Hosting Help Desk | The Popjustice Forum

The Rate Hosting Help Desk

Discussion in 'Charts, rates etc' started by londonrain, Sep 6, 2019.

  1. Hosting a rate is fun, but it's also a lot of work!

    Here's a sense of the amount of time it takes:
    I know I tend to take about an hour per write-up including PJ formatting, and even that is quite a lot of time!

    What do you need to run a rate?

    1. Have an idea.

    Rates on the forum mostly fall into one of these categories:
    • Discography rates. These consist of an artist's entire discography, including all songs from all their albums, and sometimes including B-sides, soundtrack contributions, appearances on other artist's albums, unreleased tracks or other rarities, depending on how popular the act is and how long it makes the song list. (As a general rule, rates tend to vary between 50 and 100 songs in length. If you're going over 100 songs in a discography rate, make sure it's for an act who is so popular that you'll still get lots of voters. You may also consider splitting a discography rate into multiple parts to cover different periods of a prolific artist's career, as has been done with acts like Mariah Carey, Namie Amuro, the Pet Shop Boys and Ayumi Hamasaki.)
    • Singles rates. These are largely meant to cover all the singles by an artist and usually occur when the host is either unwilling to handle a huge discography or is not confident that the artist is so popular on the forum that there will be lots of voters keen to rate random B-sides by them. You can host a singles rate for an act who has had a discography rate already, or vice versa.
    • Multi-artist "versus" rates. Usually a set of songs by a small number of acts being pitted against each other. For example, you could choose to pit all of Lizzo's singles against all of Charli XCX's singles, since they each have a fairly small number of singles and the total song list would be relatively short. It's more common for rates to be organised around a concept, however, and it's important to have a clear concept that makes it self-evident what is and isn't in the song list. For example, the Billboard #1s of the '90s rate (run in two parts - 1990-1994 and 1995-1999) simply chose a song list that consisted of every song that hit #1 in that period. You could also choose to just take a bunch of albums that are similar in period and/or genre and pit those against each other - for example, the 2018 Big Pop Girls rate included the biggest pop albums by female artists and a few additional hit singles from acts whose albums couldn't make it into the rate for one reason or another. Whatever your concept is, make it clear.
    • Song contests. Song contests have their own scoring system and their own spreadsheet style. PM me separately if you want advice on how to run a song contest.

    2. Put yourself into the rate queue.

    • Propose your idea by posting in the Rate Queue to see if anyone is interested. This isn't compulsory but it will help you gauge whether your rate is DOA or not.
    • If you're a solo host who is hosting for the first time, find a backup host. A backup host is always a good idea, but it's particularly important to make sure there is someone else on hand to cover in case you are suddenly unable to post eliminations for some reason - life happens, and it's useful for someone else to be able to pick up where you left off, or to post guest eliminations if you’re going to be unable to post for a short period of time. Nobody likes to put the effort into voting in a rate and then find out that the host has delayed or abandoned the results halfway! If you can’t find a backup host, ask for one in this thread or the rate queue thread... and if you’re still unable to find one, ask me.
    • Tag or PM @RainOnFire to ask to be included in the queue. You will be assigned to a "list" according to the rules on page 1 of the thread. Please read those rules, because they also tell you things like when you will be allowed to start, how often you can use voting extensions, and so on.
    • The rate queue does not apply to Eurovision or K-pop rates. If you are running a rate of exclusively Eurovision songs, it's usual to run it in the Eurovision sub-forum rather than the Charts, rates, etc. sub-forum. The K-pop sub-forum has its own general rate thread, so if your rate consists exclusively of Korean acts then you should consider posting your idea there and running it in that sub-forum. There's nothing stopping you from running these rates in the Charts, rates, etc. forum if you want to - it's just that those sub-forums will have a ready-made audience for you!

    3. Put together a spreadsheet.
    • Familiarise yourself with Excel. I recommend using Google Sheets if you're likely to be posting from more than one device, but you can also use Microsoft Excel if you think you won't need to be able to access your sheets from the cloud.
    • Design your spreadsheet. It doesn't need to be pretty, but it does need to work. The basic formula that needs to work is the one that gives you the average for each song, but there are tons of other useful formulas which will give you ranks, album averages, the highest and lowest scores for each song, and much more! This is the one I used for my 2018 R&B Legends rate, which featured three full albums from 2018 and a number of extras. The second tab is the most relevant one, but I also had the first tab to help me calculate album averages and the highest and lowest scorers for each act. You do not need to use this spreadsheet as a template, but you're welcome to if you like.
    4. Design your graphics and choose an image hosting site.
    • Figure out your image format. I tend to use the official single covers where available and then create my own covers for tracks that don't have single covers, but you don't have to do this - some people create their own covers for all the songs. If, like me, you have the graphic design skills of a potato, you can either have a bash anyway or you can ask for help in the Graphics Help Desk.
    • Choose an image hosting site. I personally like but a lot of people swear by It doesn't really matter as long as the images embed properly - both imgur and Photobucket can be problematic on the forum.

    5. Set a voting deadline and hustle for voters.

    Remember to promote the rate by tagging people in the rate thread and/or posting in the artist threads and the Rate Queue thread. It's a shame if fans of a particular act don't know about that act being included in a rate, and a very small rate can have some very odd results!

    6. Choose a format and pace for your rate eliminations.

    This is quite important. Usually one or two eliminations a day tends to work fast enough for most people, but think through how many you can reasonably do in a week and how many songs you have. If you take too long, it delays the start of the next rate. If the result is that you're going to take 18 months to finish your rate, rethink the pace or number of songs!

    7. Enter your ballots and post your rate eliminations.

    This is hopefully self-explanatory. Some hosts don't really participate in the thread apart from posting each elimination, and some hosts (like me) like to engage in the inevitable drama between eliminations. If your songs are at all popular, people will have views about the scores other people gave, and that's fine. The arguments are part of the fun! If something gets massively out of hand, however, feel free to report the relevant posts.

    This is not an exhaustive list of answers to every question you might have, and this thread is meant to encourage discussion about things that are unclear. Feel free to post about your own experiences hosting or any questions that you have!
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2019
    myblood, Sail On, chanex and 27 others like this.
  2. 2014

    2014 Staff Member

  3. [​IMG]
  4. FINE.

    And Koda Kumi.

  5. Could you imagine the endless timeline you'd have if you did a full discography Rate for some of the traditional French ladies of music who had over 500 songs in their discography? A shame the likes of Sheila, France, Dalida, Mireille, Edith etc won't ever have that here but no one would want the 10 year timeline to complete this either lol

    A Spotlight or two for each of these fantastic artists is in order!
  6. Great idea @londonrain! I believe I will start to haunt this thread when I start my first only rate dddd
  7. Oh, that 2018 R&B Legends rate spreadsheet is fantastically detailed. I did something quite simpler for my last rate, but I think I'll use that one as the template for my next one. Having easy access to all those extra stats will be excellent.
  8. Thanks!

    Tab 2 was based on a template @beyoncésweave kindly made for me for my 1998 rate, which I then added to over time and fleshed out for the 2018 rate.
  9. Any advice on commentary sorting? For my first rate, sorting commentary was legit the most depressing activity dddddd. Send help, etc.
  10. I usually maintain a separate Google doc and copy the commentary into it as I receive ballots.

    For my 1998 rate I had a more elaborate document that went on a song-by-song basis and enabled me to write some of the eliminations in advance, but for my 2018 rate I found it faster and easier to just copy all the commentary in on a voter-by-voter basis and then write the eliminations on the fly, copying from the Google doc as I went.
    myblood, Vixen, Music Is Life and 9 others like this.
  11. Sorting commentary really isn't particularly fun, but I found the process is a lot smoother is you sort the commentary by song right from the get-go, even as soon as you get each ballot. Having to search through everyone's commentary every time is a real pain, it's much better to just have each elimination's commentary ready in advance.
  12. Very true! I went from notes on excel for each song score that had a comment from the first rate I did - to separating them by song for my second one. Thanks to @DJHazey for that tip at the time!
  13. Yeah, the system I used for the 1998 one was definitely neater than my slapdash 2018 one.

    It kind of depends on how much time you’ll have during the voting period. I had more time during the 1998 rate’s voting period so I could get a head start and sort by song, but for the 2018 rate I was in more of a rush so I spent less time during the voting period and more time searching through the document when I did each elimination.

    (Whatever you do, make sure you have all the commentary in one document and enter it as you receive each ballot. Searching through your PMs for commentary after the fact for each elimination is a recipe for disaster.)
  14. Something that migh be worth mentioning for new hosts, especially given that opening quote, is that writing very extensive elimation posts isn't mandatory at all. Plenty of people just go with a couple of lines or a paragraph for each song, which is perfectly fine as well, and is a lot less time consuming.
  15. Thanks girls! I'll also share my Spreadsheet and Commentary Doc for anyone interested. My rate consisted of 117 songs ddddd so enjoy the messery. ♡
  16. Absolutely.

    The Brandy discography rate is a good example of a well-run rate with quick pacing, minimal graphics and short elimination posts. Anything beyond that is pure bells and whistles.

    It’s important to decide in advance how elaborate your elimination posts should be. If you commit to long elimination posts from the beginning then you need to be able to keep that up all the way through the rate, with all the time commitment that involves.
  17. You can bet your ass whoever takes on the Nickelback Discography Rate around here shouldn't bother with more than one sentence posts for each elimination before reaching a 2.00 average for the Winner of the rate Ddddd
  18. Me.
  19. The first rate I ever participated in was the Sugababes discography rate. I had some very unrealistic standards of how long elimination posts should be dddddd.
  20. This thread is super helpful.

    Doing my first rate has been an experience and I’m glad it was Mandy. That said, I also probably underestimated the emotional attachment I had to her, which caused a certain style & pacing for the rate I didn’t quite plan for. I’m happy with how it all has gone so far, but I know it’s taking too long & I’m behind schedule from where I wanted to be with the reveals. If I decide to do another rate, I’ll try to not go as overboard as I have... though very few artists would be able to get all this out of me anyways!

    I hope people don’t think my first rate has been too bell & whistles, flashy, or extra... because that truly wasn’t my intent. It just kinda happened, because of my fandom & 20 years of thoughts coming out of my head.
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2019
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