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Recent ≠ Popular

Feb. 8, 2015

I've noticed that the Popular tab here weighs recency REALLY high. I think it's a little too high. At the moment there are a lot of posts on the second page (the page where posts go to die! ;-) ) that have 5 or 6 times the amount of votes as more recent posts.

Overall, the popular tab is where I spend 95% of all my time on this site, and I LOVE that tab. It's always really high quality stuff. But I wonder if it might be time to update the popular logic. Just a thought. Love what you all are doing here.

Comment
8 votes   Flag
Vladimir Prelovac

It is a matter of balancing the needs of people who visit the site very frequently (like one or more times a day) and those that visit it perhaps once a week or rarer. If the analytics are right, 65% of returning users use the site daily. These users probably do not want to see posts from 3 or 4 days ago on the popular (home) page. So the current algorithm is tweaked more in favor of them. Having said that I tweaked the algo just a bit to show what a slower 'decay' rate would bring to to the home page.

Perhaps the solution would be to include popular this week or this month link which would show all articles from that respective period?

Reply
Matt Cromwell

Wow. I didn't expect an immediate "tweaking"! I'm here every weekday several times a day, and this algorythm feels much more relevant at first glance. There are several articles there that I somehow missed, like the Sublime Text one and the Redis HHVM one. I like it.

I also like the idea of "popular this month". I could see that being a pretty awesome email digest as well.

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Olaf Lederer

"Perhaps the solution would be to include popular this week or this month link which would show all articles from that respective period?"

That would be a great idea. Is there also a way to favourite posts?

Reply
Tim Nash

Perhaps splitting popular and Homepage to use two different decay rates, making it harder to get to the homepage, but you stay there longer, while remain top of the "fresh" list is a combination of popularity and shorter decay.

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