I'll spin off my comment from another thread into this stand-alone thread.
On the ChooseYourStory.com home page, there are two listings of "Top 5" stories.
To the left you have the "Top 5 Storygames by Rating." Everyone knows what those stories are, but the key point is that this is a listing of high-quality stories, as determined by player ratings.
However, on the right side of the home page, you have the list of "Top 5 Storygames in Need," which is identified not by quality but by quantity: these are stories that are inching close to 100 ratings, with no apparent filter for rating.
Scanning through the five needy stories currently listed, this is what I see (player rating / # of ratings / actual length):
5.56 / 95 / 3100 words
3.62 / 94 / 1200 words
3.78 / 93 / 2800 words
4.59 / 85 / 1600 words
4.43 / 82 / 9500 words
So maybe that first story deserves to be included, but otherwise that's a lot of 3s and 4s. How could it possibly be a priority to nudge that 3.62 story with 1200 words over 100 ratings? Does anyone expect it to be a contender for a top ranking? Nevertheless, this is a story that is getting promoted next to the stuff by EndMaster and BerkaZerka, at the expense of dozens of other stories.
There are several ways this "Top 5 in Need Listing" could be either retooled or replaced.
Prioritize by Quality
Possibly the simplest solution is to adjust the criteria for this list to include only stories with a player rating of 5 or higher. Thus you will see higher-quality stories on this list, which I'd expect to be identified sooner, perhaps when they reach 50 - 60 ratings.
The automated selection process could be replaced with a list of admin-selected stories, as proposed elsewhere. Using this space for that list would eliminate the need to create a new category.
Top New Stories
So if the EM/BZ listing is the top 5 games by rating of all time, then this would be the top 5 games by rating for games created in, say, the last six or twelve months. Stories would be ranked on this list by the player ratings, not the number of ratings. This would help stories that make a strong first impression remain visible for a longer period, and placement here would be competitive. On the other hand, these stories could slide back into obscurity once that first year passes and the story is no longer "new."
Increase the "Top 5" to "Top 10"
This would apply to both lists on the home page. Obviously, the intent is to cast a wider net for both lists. The "Top 5 Storygames by Rating" is currently redundant with the almost identical list of the top 6 stories found on the categories page.
So these are my suggestions. I do think the "Top 5 in Need" as it currently exists is somewhat meaningless, and not reflective of the actual writing quality this community is trying to promote and attract. Exactly how that listing is tweaked or replaced is certainly open for discussion. But the root issue we're trying to address is how the site directs readers to stories, and how new stories can find it mathematically impossible to compete with a top-rated story from years ago. The idea is to provide additional tools to help newer stories find and maintain an audience. Replacing/retooling the "Top 5 in Need" listing would avoid the need to start changing around the categories, which some have pointed out would lead to other problems.