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There are sites that I read, but am not a member of. This goes for a lot of people, including every anonymous user. From my time on the site, I will form opinions about it, although I can't inform the site as a meta post wouldn't be appropriate.

Wikipedia has a way to rate articles based on certain criteria (located at the bottom of articles), is there a way we could do the same thing for each site?

(Updated) Criteria could be:

  • References (If the site contains links to other sites)
  • Objective (If the site contains objective answers)
  • Instructive (How well the site explains its answers)
  • Appearance (How the site looks)


A meta post isn't a good way to give individual evaluations of a site, especially for non-members. It's useless as a post - it can't be measured and is forgotten within a week. Not to mention that voting on a meta post reflects the view of the site, not the outside world.

Voting is something which can be measured. It's by far more useful then a whiny rant, which is why SE is based around it. Leave meta to find solutions to the problems, not speculate on what they are.

Now, let me explain the use:

I read UX every now and then, mostly when it appears on the front page. I don't know much about user experience, but I still enjoy learning about it, and the site is a great way to do so. Now, I see several answers that are just an opinion with little explanation and I dislike that aspect of the site. I don't know where UX stands on this - I haven't read their meta posts, or even their FAQ (as I'm not a member), but I still feel that my input could have some use.

And so I would vote:

  • References -- 2/5
  • Objective --- 2/5
  • Instructive - 3/5
  • Appearance -- 4/5

And after a few months, enough data would be gathered to accurately represent the current site. This would then be used to improve the site.

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Why is a meta post not appropriate? – random Dec 23 '11 at 19:05
You want to rate entire sites? That doesn't sound analogous to Wikipedia's ratings for individual articles. – Bill the Lizard Dec 23 '11 at 19:08
@random How many anonymous users do you expect to post on meta? And meta posts usually care about why, which can't be provided from a casual reader. – Pubby Dec 23 '11 at 19:11
@NineShogsShogging That's a measure of the quality of an answer, not the quality of the site. I do use that feature, it just doesn't always reflect my view on the site. – Pubby Dec 23 '11 at 19:13
Rant on reddit. That's what all the kids are doing – random Dec 23 '11 at 19:14
So a "I'm a user who's never been on the site more than a day and I have all these ideas how you're all doing it wrong" type of thing? – random Dec 24 '11 at 5:40

Rating entire sites? Like, Stack Exchange sites? I just don't see the value in that. What would these ratings accomplish? And where would they be posted? On the site itself? So someone would have to use the site in order to see whether or not they would find the site useful? The act of using the site already pretty much accomplishes that.

Let's take a look at your proposed criteria...

  • Helpful - How can this be objectively measured? I personally don't find Server Fault to be helpful... to me. But it is a very helpful site. How do you measure yourself the helpfulness of a site to the community?
  • Objective - What would this one even mean in the context of an entire site?
  • Complete - How can a question and answer site ever be complete? When all possible questions are asked and answered? Pretty sure that's not going to happen.
  • Appearance - Layout? UI? If you have suggestions for improvements, post them on the site's Meta.

It really sounds like you're looking for a place to rant. Perhaps in response to a question which wasn't answered or some other bad experience you may have had (or imagine that you may have) on a Stack Exchange site. If you have a genuine complaint, then a Meta post is precisely how it should be addressed.

  • Have a question which isn't getting attention? Improve the question. Add context and information. Still no attention? Ask about it on Meta. Maybe there's a way to improve the question which didn't occur to you, or maybe the question just isn't a good fit. The people hanging around on Meta are happy to help with that. They may not be able to answer the question, but they can answer questions about the question.
  • Being bullied? Asked a question and got abusive responses? Flag for moderator attention, because bullying and rude behavior in general is not acceptable. If it's happening to you, it's an anomaly and not representative of the community in general. We'll want to get rid of it for you.
  • Getting bad information? Add more information to the question, vote down bad answers (if you can), add comments indicating why the answer isn't working for you.
  • Have suggestions for improving the site? Meta is exactly the place to do that. In fact, that's what you're doing right now. On Meta. Granted, this suggestion is pretty much being rejected. But that's ok. Don't take it personally. I'm glad you suggested it, and I thank you for taking the time to do so, I just disagree with it.

It's not about the sites. It's not about the users. It's about the content. Questions and answers (and to a lesser extent even comments). There are systems in place to rate content (vote up, vote down, flag) or, more importantly, improve content (edit). I see no reason to put the focus on anything else but the content.

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