Lets stop complaining for once and actually do something to instigate change. If we don't like things the way they are then lets be a positive force for change.
I never used to rate works, ever. It was a comment or nothing because I didn't trust the rating system. However, I came to realise that such a position was unworkable. Many of the site's features are based on ratings, so ignoring them only leads to other problems.
Those problems showed themselves when there was an influx of new, younger users. Many of the older users felt like the site was going downhill or that the quality of the writing on the site was dropping or worse, that the site's focus was moving away from writing and more towards the social networking aspects. People left the site, people joined, people came back but the real problem was never addressed. Complaints were made but nobody actually did anything to change things. Both camps were suffering because they were being ignored. Instead of pulling in opposite directions, we need to go back to the basics, the collaboration and start working together.
This is our manifesto.
Rate everything honestly and objectively.
Don't differentiate between ages when giving a rating. The rating system doesn't so neither should you.
A work is a work is a work, regardless of the author.
A rating is impersonal, so don't take it personally.
The published author with twenty bestsellers deserves a 0.5 for writing junk just as much as the 10 year old deserves a 5.0 for writing something mindblowing.
A rating can be changed - and should be - if the work requires it.
Comment on everything.
Ratings are impersonal but comments are the soul of Protagonize. Offer guidance, offer explanation, offer encouragement with every rating, regardless of whether it's a 5.00 or a 0.5.
Take ownership of low ratings and use your comments to explain why, to help the author grow and improve.
Always have something positive to say, especially with low ratings - no work is irredeemable.
No feedback is bad feedback. This works with both meanings.
If you don't want critique, don't ask for it. Turn off ratings.
The site doesn't segregate users, we are all on a level playing field and just as prone as each other to both praise and condemnation. We aren't old, we aren't young. We're writers and we're all judged equally.
Learn constantly, never back down, never let a rating stop you. Every rating is a challenge to improve.
Low ratings aren't a punishment, they're a lesson. Learn from them.
If it's just for fun, it doesn't need a rating - you aren't competing with other works. Disable them.
We are the writers, the authors, the architects of word and sentence. We build palaces just to tear them down and build them up again. We write not because we can, but because we must. Fun or profit, we have only one goal - to write - and to write as well as we can. We are the eternal students, forever apprentices honing our craft under the eyes of the masters that have come before us.
There is no winning, there is no losing, there is only learning, growing.
We are protagonizers and this is our manifesto.