How do you rate Apsense Business Center sites at the Apsense ABC Exchange?

by Thea Westra Adding Wings To Our Unique Life Journey!

How do you rate Apsense Business Center sites at the Apsense ABC Exchange?
In this blog I share with you my own, personal system.

I developed this 0 to 10 rating system so that I'd not be influenced by whether or not I liked the content, person or business being showcased at the ABC, and that I'd actually only be rating a more true quality and value of the Business Center.

I created a system that leaves it less to my personal feelings, and provided me with a much more uniform rating system for every ABC that I saw. The ABC then receives exactly the same score as they last received from me.
Their rating score changes when they've done some more work at their ABC.

Regardless of how tired I was, how late at night it was, in how much of a rush I was or, how the Apsense program might distort the look of the site, I could extremely quickly scan the site for the following items and give it a very equitable rating in no time at all.
It means I can rate more sites more quickly, yet equitably.

It also doesn't matter which language is used to create the ABC, so ABC's created by someone from any nationality background can be given a rating by me.

This list is also an excellent checklist for knowing what to do next, when you are just beginning to set up your Business Center.

So here goes....

1 point - having one or more images in the Slideshow.
Here's a great tool for resizing images to the ideal  250x200 pixels.

1 point - listing one or more Business Opportunities.
To do that go to 'Setup My Own Business Center' then to 'Affiliates' and 'Add Business Opportunity'. Remember to tick 'List this item in my A.B.C homepage'.

1 point - information in the About Business segment.
You'll find that under the heading 'Basic Settings'.

1 point - including one or more Interest Groups.
In your Apsense 'My Account' you can create your own Groups. In your ABC, check all items under 'Basic Settings', titled 'Site Options'.

1 point - one or more items in the Business Industry section.
Again under 'Basic Settings' check items in this list, lower down the page. Each time you make changes to 'About Our Business', you'll need to check the 'Business Industry' selections again.

1 point - one or more links in the Resources list.
You can add your own personal links for any of your favorite sites here.

1 point - one or more listed Featured Products or Services.
Under the blue tab 'Business Centers', click 'View My Products & Services' then click 'Add Product or Service'. Remember to check 'List this item in my A.B.C homepage'.

1 point - one or more Testimonials.
You can add your own testimonial here as well. You don't need to wait for another member to do that. Why not use that space to invite visitors to leave a testimonial.

1 point - a distinct Business Center Title.
Easy, just go to 'Set Up My Business Center', then 'Basic Settings' and name your site at 'Site Title'.

1 point - having a personally created voice audio or video loaded.
You can get a friend to do this for you or use the terrific Apsense Audio Creator. It has 'follow the bouncing ball' instructions. Find it at 'Tools & Others' at the bottom of this page.
Apsense Audio Creator is FREE for all VIP and Partner members. It is $49.95 for all Free members.
1 point - having something in the Additional Info. area. This is a new feature at the ABC centers.

That is a total of 10 points.

If their score is then less than 10 and I'd really, really, really like to give them another point then, a bonus point can be given if the 'Add A Link' feature is enabled.Or, if their score is zero and you need to give them 1 point to move to the next screen.

I find that the 'Add A Link' feature added, indicates community spirit and willingness to share success. Yes, you do get to approve which ones are shown at your Center and which ones are not!

So if you'd like a 10/10 rating in the Business Center Exchange from me, you'll now know exactly how to achieve including every single one of the above listed items on your ABC.

Plus, I've also now (today) made it a rule for myself, to only add a testimonial from me at an ABC if they score 8 or above, based on my personal rating system.
P.S. Where do you go to rate other ABC's?
At your 'My Account' you'll find a big blue button titled 'Biz Exchange', when you click on that you'll see a rating bar at the top.
You can rate after being at the ABC for 20 seconds, the button to the right will then indicate "Vote Now".

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About Thea Westra Professional     Adding Wings To Our Unique Life Journey!

1,660 connections, 22 recommendations, 4,270 honor points.
Joined APSense since, May 18th, 2007, From Perth, Australia.

Created on Dec 31st 1969 18:00. Viewed 0 times.


Eric Smith Senior   Online Professional

Exactly the system i use. Only i break it down into 5 areas and and give

- 0 if its nothing
- 1 if its started
- 2 if its great
Aug 30th 2007 23:33   
Thea Westra Professional   Adding Wings To Our Unique Life Journey!
Thanks Eric. Yes, I originally started rating the way you do/did.
Over time, I found that was too subjective for me.
So I created something that leaves it less to my personal feelings and provided me a more uniform rating system for every ABC I saw.
Regardless of how tired I was, how late at night it was or in how much of a rush I was.

Aug 31st 2007 07:13   
Eric Smith Senior   Online Professional
.... and it helps for remembering the last rating that was given on any individual ABC
Aug 31st 2007 15:34   
James Max Senior   Blog Network Community


The GoodNews team
Aug 31st 2007 16:14   
Thea Westra Professional   Adding Wings To Our Unique Life Journey!
Thank you Max, and you're right Eric.
It does mean that the ABC receives exactly the same score as they last received from you.
Their rating score only changes when they've done some more work at their ABC, and that's how it ought to be. Hadn't thought of that benefit as well.
Aug 31st 2007 16:39   
Ariela Gonzalez Advanced   
Great idea!! I'm just setting up my business center so I'll follow your guidelines. Thank you
Aug 31st 2007 21:48   
Thea Westra Professional   Adding Wings To Our Unique Life Journey!
Thank you Ariela. That's true...this rating list is also a great checklist for people just beginning to set up their business center, to make sure they've not left out anything. Another terrific purpose for my list that I'd not yet thought of. :)
Sep 1st 2007 00:00   
Teodor Muntean Professional   Business Consultant
Great! But how can I rate your site, for example,..? when I click on the exchange button I see only sites that I don't want to see, most of them with NOTHING there... How to find your site there?

Sep 2nd 2007 04:32   
Teodor Muntean Professional   Business Consultant
What I also do here at Apsense is to go through the good content blogs and articles and rate them by pushing the TOP IT! button. But you MUST have good content in order to get a TOP from me. Thanks Thea for great value of your articles content.
Sep 2nd 2007 04:39   
Bj aka Bill Brown Magnate I   Hosting and Backup Service provider
Hi Thea,

I have just read your rating system and I am sorry to say this but you are acting illegally in that you may be practicing discrimination against some members.

If a site has audio or not is not relevant. There are members that due to various ailments can not make audio.

I know one member that is deaf, I know another member that suffers from Cebral Paulsy and therefor can not talk clearly.

Both these ailments are classed as disabilities and it is illegal to discriminate against a person with a disability in many countries.

I also do not see what testimonials have to do with anything either.
What you are saying is if someone has worked hard and made their site look good and presentable but no one has bothered to post a comment on it they are going to be penalised by you.

Your system is seriously flawed and needs revising immediatly

Sep 2nd 2007 05:33   
Bj aka Bill Brown Magnate I   Hosting and Backup Service provider
Hi again,
this is a sort of PS as I forgot to mention that if the Add a Link is active or not is also irrelevant.

It will NEVER be active on my Business Center as I have no intention of being party to having links to programs that I would not be seen dead promoting being placed on my Business Center.

Sep 2nd 2007 05:42   
Thea Westra Professional   Adding Wings To Our Unique Life Journey!
Teodor, thank you.

I don't think we can select which sites we'd like to review, other than by selecting the likely category under which they'd be visible.
You'll see a "Choose Industry" drop down menu at the top of the Exchange area.

Yes, I too click 'Top It' if I read good quality content. That's great to remember to do when we see someone contributing to the whole.

Sep 2nd 2007 07:01   
Thea Westra Professional   Adding Wings To Our Unique Life Journey!
Thank you for your excellent feedback Bill. Though I do feel it's a little strong.

In response to one of your questions: Yes, someone with no testimonials would receive one point less from me.
That's not a hefty penalty, if they rate a '9' from me then I can still choose to give them an extra point for the 'Add A Link' if I really, really want them to get a 10 from me, yet they have no testimonials.
In fact, I could even choose to write them a quick testimonial and then give them the rating of 10. :)

With regard 'legals', I don't see a problem.
Firstly, it is "only 1 point" and secondly, anyone who can create all other aspects of the ABC would have the ability to create an audio or visual using someone else's voice or perhaps a visual display with no spoken word, only text screens e.g. have a look at this amazing display ~ ~ that could easily have been created by someone with physical challenges.

If they can operate all other aspects of Apsense then they could easily create a silent version or a music version such as my example in the YouTube link, above. However, again, I can give lee-way by giving them the bonus point for having the 'Add A Link' enabled.

Lastly, you mention not including links at your ABC which you "would not be seen dead promoting".
I totally agree. Me neither, and yet my Add A LInk is activated.

You see, there needs to be approval from you personally before the link is added and displayed. To approve or disapprove links, you go to 'Set Up My Own Business Center' then to 'Resources' and you'll see 'Approve' in blue letters, or a big red cross for those you don't approve.
Go to my ABC and you'll not see any distasteful links at my 'Resources' section.

Hope that clears up any concerns.

Sep 2nd 2007 07:21   
Jenny Stewart Professional   
Hi Thea

Interesting to see someone with a system for rating biz sites - it is a very good way of keeping subjectivity out of your ratings.

The only problem that I have with the Biz Sites is that we are rating people on their ability to set them up and NOT on the quality of their business opportunities or integrity. So it puts someone with technical knowledge at an advantage and vice versa.

My comment on your system is the following - there are some tools on the Biz Sites that are very difficult to use for people on dial up - especially anything using sound and visuals - as they can take up quite a lot of bandwidth.

Sep 2nd 2007 08:09   
Bj aka Bill Brown Magnate I   Hosting and Backup Service provider
Hi Thea,

I do not see what is strong about pointing out that you "may be discriminating against disabled members". This is something that many members may not have thought about and it does no harm to point it out.

I have not said you are doing it deliberatly, that would be strong and totally out of order.

As for getting someone else to make the audio for them that is their personal choice, as is having audio in the first place a personal choice for anyone disabled or not.
Just because you like audio does not mean eveyone does. Personally I do not like it if it is an autoplay as soon as the site opens.

As for how the business center works I am fully aware that you can approve or disaprove links, as I have written a complete 8 part series on how to set up a Business Center which you probably have seen.

However think about this for a moment. A refusal of a submitted link can offend the person submitting it. I prefer not to offend someone that personally believes in what they are promoting by refusing their submission because I will not support them in their promotion of that program/product.

So therefore I leave it switched off to prevent this happening.

Sep 2nd 2007 08:40   
James Max Senior   Blog Network Community
Hey Thea & Friends!

What a deep well we fell into when first planned to be objective!

The good thing about subjective ratings is you don't have to explain yourself to anyone - it's your secret.

Now, if someone would tell me where to find the rating block on the ABC, I go out and do my own wizardry.

And thanks to all who have taken the time to rate my Business Ctr. - regardless of what system you used - even "hinny-miney-mo!" is appreciated.

max2work - caring, sharing and mentoring
Sep 2nd 2007 10:09   
Thea Westra Professional   Adding Wings To Our Unique Life Journey!

Thank goodness for Max. :) Always bringing some sense to a situation.
You're a breath of fresh air!
Honestly, does any of this really matter when we're all worm food?
Max's ABC would get a 9 from me using my rating.

Bill, I was simply sharing my personal little system, and because it worked so well for me I thought that some others might like it too. This community is about sharing and no one is right or wrong.
From my perspective, saying that "you are acting illegally" is very strong.
By the way, yours also would receive a 9 rating from me, regardless of my subjective point of view in this moment of time.

Jenny, when you say that we are not rating on on the quality of their business opportunities or integrity - I think rating those qualities would be a challenging thing unless we had direct experience with the person or their business.

I'm very happy therefore to only rate on the quality of their ABC for now. If I like their integrity or quality of business and got to know them, then I'll do other favors.
Jenny, your ABC would get an 8 (you can list some of your own resources links & add them) that'd get you a 9 too.
Plus, I liked yours so much that I did a special post at one of my blogs about you. See

We can help each other in many varied ways at this community.
Further down the page at that same blog you'll recognise the product of another Apsense member.

As well as that I have created the following to help Apsense businesses:

Thank you for the lively conversation. Time for sleep in Perth, Australia! :)

Sep 2nd 2007 12:31   
Thea Westra Professional   Adding Wings To Our Unique Life Journey!
P.S. Max, just go to 'My Account' then click on the bid button labeled Business Exchange near the top of the page under your photo.
Then you'll see the rating "Top It" or "Drop It" numbered 1 to 10, at the top of that page i.e.

Sep 2nd 2007 12:36   
Jenny Stewart Professional   
Hi Thea

First of all thanks for the article in your blog! Itis greatly appreciated and I am happy you like my page and hav given me a great testimonial. I will be delighted to return the complement. as yours is even better!

I dont think we will ever get everyone to be happy with someelse's system! lol
Mine is a little more random - if it attracts me and is attractive I will give it a high mark - and it doesnt worry me to give a 10 when it is clear that the Biz Page is effective and has had a lot of effort put into it.

It still bothers me that we are able to rate so ramdomly WITHOUT accountability. I would rather not rate a Biz Site at all if it is poor.

But if f I see a page that is already rated and, for example, promotes a programme that is not a good one or is dodgy - I will give it a 1, however beautiful it is, as it is also a responsibility of all of us here not to encourage bad programmes.

A dilema - I'd still be happy if we could do away with the ratings without accountablilty and just look at 'em and add our testimonials.


p.s. The jury is still out on the Audio Visual. LOL Half my customers dont even have flash - and if I start putting audio visuals on it - half of them will miss 'em.
and I am not fond of link swops - so mine are disabled. Linking is something I have also looked at very carefully before adding anything. - So i guess I'll have to forego the points! lol

Sep 2nd 2007 14:42   
Eric Smith Senior   Online Professional
I'm a little confused at the negativity associated with Thea's rating system.

If there were no Testimonials on an ABC, one could easily add their own for the product or opportunity they are promoting.

Karen Weir had a great ABC with a song from (sorry mental blank..., but she is a country singer). I'm not a huge fan of Auto play audio on a page. But its a good thing to have an option - by way of a Play button. From a "Personally Created" point of view one could have a friend tell a story about "why" they are talking on behalf of the ABC owner. If it was video and the member knew sign language they could have someone talking while they are doing the signs. We need to look at a persons ABILITY not focus on their disability. Its not fair to say they "can't" have an audio or video because of a disability.

I think what Thea is doing is demonstrating how one can make the most benefit of each area of their ABC which, in turn will increase their ranking and as a result increase future sales of their business or product.
Sep 2nd 2007 16:00   
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