Headline, December 22 2022/ ''' '' PASSIONATE STUDENTS PARAMOUNT '' '''



THE WORLD : A DOLEFUL STORY AND ITS RAW HEART. ''Welcome, to all mankind, from the global founder framers of !WOW! - the exclusive ownership of every student in the world 

IN 1999 - JASON DIETZ AND MARC DOYLE - graduates of the University of Southern California and Gould School of Law, had the idea for a website that would apply meta analysis to a range of media.

[The movie aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes went live that year, But Dietz was unaware of it.] 

In late 1999, Doyle's sister and her husband contributed most of Metacritic's start-up fund. This month, Metacritic and six other sites were acquired by Fandom, which develops entertainment platforms dedicated to superfans, in a deal estimated at $50 million.

Together, they began pouring over thousands of print and online reviews, compiling them into an Excel spreadsheet and organizing them according to their own schematics - what would soon become their trademark Metascores.

CRITICS - METRICS AND BATTLING FANS : Metascores aggregate the opinion of reviewers and turn into ammunition.

For Metacritc, a website that collects and quantifies reviews of music, music TV shows and video games, a Taylor Swift album drop is one of the best days of the year.

'' There's nothing quite like Taylor Swift,'' Marc Doyle, the site's 51-year-old founder, said in an interview this month. ''We get a great deal of traffic and user participation, a lot of people sharing it on social media.'' In 2020, when Swift released ''Folklore,'' her eighth studio album, traffic swelled by ''roughly a half million page views including user review pages, he said.

Metacritic, as its name suggests, aggregates entertainment criticism using a principle of meta-analysis, stripping reviews of their qualitative assessments and assigning them a value between 0 and 100. And it has helped turn pop culture into a game of sabermetrics.

Its tallies, known as Metascores, started off simply as a consumer guide. But over the past decade, as music superfans have gone to battle on social media wielding data - sales and streaming figures, Billboard chart positions, tour grosses, number of Grammys won -

Metascores have increasingly become ammunition. Passionate fan armies keep careful track of the scoreboard, and one of the most fervent is devoted to Swift, who released her 10th Studio album, '' Midnights, '' recently.

''Every time they publish a review, you throw it in the system,'' he said.'Once you get to four reviews, then you generate the Metascore, which is an average score.'' 

For the games section, the site sends outlets a list of questions ''so you can really get to know their scoring philosophy,'' he added, a process it has only recently started ''for potential movies-section partners.''

Metacritic went live in January 2001 with a film vertical and a rundown of how its staff calculated Metascores. For letter grades [used by publications like Entertainment Weekly], an A represents 100 while an F corresponds to zero.

For reviews that are not assigned an alphanumeric value, the site's staff - Metacritic has five full-time employees who work remotely from Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas and Portland, Ore - will assess the tone of the review before assigning a value themselves.

''We get comments all the time like ' This review seems so much better than a 3/10,' so then I'll take that comment to another editor, ask what they think, and we'll give it a reread,'' Doyle said in an email.

''Over the years, we've also been lobbied to either de-publish a review or drop a publication from our system for a variety of reasons. If it's not a case of plagiarism or fraud [ which usually is self-reported from a member publication], such appeals are generally unsuccessful.''

Before scores are averaged, they are weighted according to the critic's perceived prestige and volume of reviews.

''From the very beginning we've believed there are so many critics out there who are so incredible at what they do - why should they be treated exactly the same way as a brand-new critic at a regional paper,'' Doyle said.

But Metacritic declined to explain more about which publications and critics are given priority status. '' That's really the secret sauce,'' Doyle said. So, how do they avoid biases? ''You just have to trust us,'' he added.''We're a professional outfit.'' The site makes money from advertising, licensing Metascores and affiliate revenue.

''Kanye got 93 on Metacritic. Taylor Swift got 75. Yeezy Forever!'' one fan tweeted in 2010.

Among very online pop fans, data capital is tied to social capital. ''Metacritic is always brought up on Taylor Swift Twitter,'' said PJ Medina, a 21-year-old fan from the Philippines.

''If she gets a high score, it means that she is critically acclaimed. It means that more people will care.''

The Honour and Serving of the Latest Global Operational Research on Critics and Metrics, continues. The World Students Society thanks author Emma Madden.

With most loving and respectful dedication to The Global Founder Framers of !WOW! - and then Students, Professors and Teachers of the world. See Ya all prepare and register for Great Global Elections on The World Students Society : wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter - !E-WOW! - The Ecosystem 2011 :

Good Night and God Bless

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