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Best Replies Possible ?

by kschwab (Priest)
on Sep 10, 2002 at 00:38 UTC ( #196488=monkdiscuss: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

I'm not well versed in the Everything Engine, so I don't know if this is feasible or not.

Anyhow, I really like the Best Nodes feature, but I feel like it weights toplevel nodes better than replies. ( well, not that it "weights" them as such, but toplevel nodes tend to attract more votes than the replies...)

This is really too bad, because (IMO) the best content is usually found in the node replies.

Would it be possible to create a "Best Replies" node that would work just the same as Best Nodes, but includes only reply-type nodes ?

Thoughts ?

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: Best Replies Possible ?
by FoxtrotUniform (Prior) on Sep 10, 2002 at 01:27 UTC

    Depends. On the one hand, it'd be nice to have a more general version of that: best SoPWs, best Meditations, best replies, best Obfuscations, and so on. On the other hand, that's a lot of "best of" nodes, and with the same division (best of all time, best this week, best today), well, that way lies madness. On the gripping hand, maybe it'd be sufficiently easy to write a "best of <category>" template, then fill in the category.

    I dunno. It sounds like too much trouble to me, on balance.

    F o x t r o t U n i f o r m
    Found a typo in this node? /msg me
    The hell with paco, vote for Erudil!

Re: Best Replies Possible ?
by sauoq (Abbot) on Sep 10, 2002 at 02:36 UTC

    How about an additional "minimum reputation" criteria added to the Super Search?

    "My two cents aren't worth a dime.";
      Why do you want it? Often late replies recieve lower reputation than first posts. It is normal to get 0-3 for reply posted 2 days after question have been asked on SOPW even if it is the best reply in the thread. Especially if question is not frontpaged.

      Ilya Martynov (

        Why do you want it?

        I'm not sure that I do. It was an off the cuff response. That said, I wasn't suggesting it should return the "best" nodes, only those that surpassed a minimum reputation. The former would be, quite simply, impossible while the latter would probably be easy. What is the "best" reply depends almost as much on the reader as it does on the writer.

        As a base case, consider requesting only nodes that have a minimum reputation of zero. That might filter out many incorrect answers and still return enough correct ones to be informative.

        Instead of asking whether or not a feature would be useful, one should ask whether or not it will be used. I'd certainly use this one. I imagine others would as well.

        "My two cents aren't worth a dime.";

      IlyaM has a point. I especially think that it would be too tempting for newbies to choose to only see high-rep nodes and consequently miss valuable replies.

      Also, it'd be a backdoor to finding out about the rep of a node you haven't voted on. I don't like that idea at all.

      Makeshifts last the longest.

        I especially think that it would be too tempting for newbies to choose to only see high-rep nodes

        I think this concern is unjustified for a number of reasons. Humans learn more efficiently in open environments. If all you have is a hammer, the whole world looks like a nail. If, on the other hand, you have a whole toolbox, you learn to use the right tools for the right jobs. Artificial constraints are only useful in the case that they actually prevent harm. They don't foster learning. etc. etc. etc.

        Also, it'd be a backdoor to finding out about the rep of a node you haven't voted on. I don't like that idea at all.

        If someone is so determined that they are going to only upvote nodes with a high rep... let them. If this is a concern I think the problem is exaggerated. I understand the desire to prevent bandwagon voting but I think that the real danger of that is people doing it unconsciously rather than going out of their way to do it. I imagine the voting system would wash out the relatively non-existent anti-social votes.

        "My two cents aren't worth a dime.";
Re: Best Replies Possible ?
by Marza (Vicar) on Sep 10, 2002 at 00:47 UTC

    It depends on the voting. Somebody posts a good question, and you post a good answer. Well three guys may like the question and only one may like your answer.

    So yes the top level node does get the attention as it should since it is what draws people into the thread.

    I am not sure the work to create a Best replies section is worth it.

    Heck, why not have a best reply to the reply of the reply section! :P

Re: Best Replies Possible ?
by kschwab (Priest) on Sep 10, 2002 at 15:16 UTC
    Looks like I've got mostly negative feedback, so I'll try and make a few points

    • I'm not using "Best Whatever" to vote. I'm interested in using it to find the gems out there. I probably would never have seen erudil's camel code if it weren't for Best Nodes.
    • Over time, replies with high reps tend not to last on Best Nodes, because the top-level nodes garner more votes from being front-paged and/or visible one-click from the home page. Have a look at Best Nodes. There's plenty of reply-type nodes in the "Day" category, but very few make it to "Week", and "All Time".
    • I'm not suggesting "Best SOPW" or any other extension beyond "Best Replies". Just a Best Nodes with toplevel nodes weeded out.
    • I'm not even particularly interested in seeing the rep of the nodes. Just the top "Day", "Week" and "All Time" sorted by rep. I understand that "rep" isn't really the best indicator of quality, but it's all we have :)
Re: Best Replies Possible ?
by talexb (Canon) on Sep 10, 2002 at 15:03 UTC
    I don't think we need any more Best Nodes categories -- the less everyone knows about the reputation of a node, the less biased a view each node will have.

    It's better to come across useful nodes almost by accident (or as a reference from another node) rather than immediately going to a node that may have so-so information but got a pile of votes.

    I'd rather learn from the web site, than spend my time casting votes for a node that's already had quite a few.

    --t. alex
    but my friends call me T.

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