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Too much Front Paging

by tachyon (Chancellor)
on Sep 24, 2004 at 13:58 UTC ( #393506=monkdiscuss: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??

This has been annoying me for a while. It seems that of late every second node is being frontpaged. For example in the last 24 hours 12 of 27 SOPW have hit the Front Page. It used to be that a few (like 1-3) carefully selected nodes a day would hit the front page, now it is effectively just another Newest nodes, and as such has become a waste of space IMHO.

I would be interested if anyone wanted to pull some stats but my empirical observation is that there are a handful of rather enthusiastic front paging monks. I personally wish they would pull their heads in a use a little more thought/judgement/discretion.

Some time ago monks were prevented from Front Paging their own nodes as this was felt be be a form of XP abuse. IMHO a new abuse trend is to reply to a node, and then Front Page it, which has a similar effect.

I feel that front page nodes should be limited in number, certainly 50% of the daily node take seems excessive. Suggestions would be to move the power from ?level 5 or wherever it is to a higher level to limit the number of monks that can do it. I would suggest saint level actually as there are plenty of saints now and the desire to accumulate XP drops of at this level. This is also probably easiest to implement. Another option would be to issue FP chits like votes, at a rate of say 1 a week. Once you have front paged one node and spent your chit that is it for the next quanta of time.

While I am on the feature requests and Front Page topic it would look a lot better if it was more blog like ie: heading, brief description, readmore. If you made the front pager write the description as the price of front paging a node, and limited it to 160 chars and deducted 1 XP for every char the description went over length...... ;-)

cheers

tachyon

Comment on Too much Front Paging
Re: Too much Front Paging
by stvn (Monsignor) on Sep 24, 2004 at 14:08 UTC

    I agree on many of your points. But sometimes without front-paging a good SOPW question will just "fall off" becuase it gets pushed down the SOPW page by a flood of not-so-good questions. I have front paged sometimes because I really want to know the answer to an interesting question, and fear without the proper attention, the question will just get lost in the ether. Is that so wrong?

    -stvn

      Questions typically go unanswered because they have a poor title or an incomprehensible or overly long description. With 50% of SOPW on the front page it is no longer useful to highlight a worthy node. It did used to be useful for this. Now it is not.

      What would be useful would be a variation on dermephqs threaded newest nodes. Personally I don't like this in the form it is in beacuse you have pages and pages of data but it illustrates the fact that gathering replies, and therefore having in SOPW a format like this is quite possible:

      Some good title ( 3/7 replies ) Some bad title ( 1/1 replies ) HELP, URGENT!!!! ( -1/0 replies ;-) .... Some missed worthy node ( 0/0 replies )

      where you perhaps count primary replies / and all replies. Another interesting and possibly useful option would be the ability to sort by replies ASC or DESC as well as select a recency timeframe to display.

      cheers

      tachyon

        Questions typically go unanswered because they have a poor title or an incomprehensible or overly long description.

        Or the question was posted over the weekend, when fewer people visit the site.

        Or the question is difficult and no one has a good answer.

        There are many reasons. Frontpaging helps keep the nodes alive, but I agree with you that the system needs to be fixed. There should be some way of viewing nodes with fewer replies or identifying nodes you would like to see other people answer. I think threading NN helps, but will that feature remain in the sandpit forever?

        What would be useful would be a variation on dermephqs threaded newest nodes. Personally I don't like this in the form it is in beacuse you have pages and pages of data but it illustrates the fact that gathering replies,

        The sandpit has been changing quite steadily recently. Did you write this before I rolled out the "root-and-node" mode and added the child/descendent counts? If yes then are things better now, and if not then what would have to change?


        ---
        demerphq

          First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
          -- Gandhi

          Flux8


Re: Too much Front Paging
by Happy-the-monk (Monsignor) on Sep 24, 2004 at 14:16 UTC

    I can't remember if I ever frontpaged anything. Maybe this could start a rush now, frontpage while you can!

    I feel the idea of FP points is not the best. Some monks might frontpage some node, simply because they have an FP point left and want to spend it. I would feel better with a saintly power...

    Maybe your call for reason will just suffice?

    Cheers, Sören

      You could always give XP credits for unspent FP credits so there was no impetus to spend it ;-)

      When I looked into guidelines for front paging, I read (on somenode) that the node under consideration should be on topic and well written - reflecting well on the Monastery. tye's remarks notwithstanding, I wouldn't like to see a lot of cruft and dreck on the front page just because it's a "slow news day". If there aren't enough good nodes to keep the FP fresh, I think that reflects a different problem.

      I would support the suggestion to raise the FP privilege by 2 or more monk levels. That small change would be easy to implement, easy to understand and, I think, it would have the desired effect.

      ggg
Re: Too much Front Paging
by rinceWind (Monsignor) on Sep 24, 2004 at 14:21 UTC
    Another option would be to issue FP chits like votes, at a rate of say 1 a week
    The sister site Everything 2 has a notion of cools (or C! or Chings). Each person at level 4 or higher gets a number of chings per day.

    My point is that the PM software should easily be able to ration frontpaging, as this has already been designed in as an option.

    --
    I'm Not Just Another Perl Hacker

Re: Too much Front Paging
by DrHyde (Prior) on Sep 24, 2004 at 14:31 UTC
    Some time ago monks were prevented from Front Paging their own nodes as this was felt be be a form of XP abuse. IMHO a new abuse trend is to reply to a node, and then Front Page it, which has a similar effect.

    Oh come on. If I find a node to be particularly interesting, I am likely to front-page it - because I think other monks should have it shoved in their face. But also I am *far* more likely to reply to nodes I find interesting (and hence which I front-page) than nodes I find to be boring and irrelevant. If you think it's bad to reply and then front-page, I guess I'll just have to front-page and then reply instead :-)

Re: Too much Front Paging
by theguvnor (Chaplain) on Sep 24, 2004 at 14:32 UTC

    Must... resist.. front-paging this node ;-)

    Good post. I for one would certainly like a more compact front page.

    [Jon]

Re: Too much Front Paging
by grinder (Bishop) on Sep 24, 2004 at 14:39 UTC
    there are a handful of rather enthusiastic front paging monks

    I suppose I must be included in this category. Yes, I freely admit to front-paging lots of stuff these days. Just about anything that is well-written, interesting, not answered, answered well, FAQish with a twist, obscure, funny or otherwise strikes my fancy is meat for the grinder.

    The main reasons is to reduce the time that nodes stay on the front page, thus reducing the impact of reputation inflation. The faster a node moves off the front page, the lesser the effect.

    And as an added bonus, an irregular reader who visits will see a fresh page each time. And that is a Good Thing.

    And then there is the case of CUFP. I used to watch CUFPs stay on the front page for months. These days I front page nearly every CUFP posted, because Cool Uses For Perl are by definition worth showing off.

    I don't see why you think 50% is excessive. The question I ask myself is more along of the lines of "is this node and each and all of its answers so poor that it does not belong on the front page?" And I find that by and large I usually find that the answer is No.

    - another intruder with the mooring of the heat of the Perl

      Extraordinarily useful nodes or interesting nodes belong on the front page. Average, run of the mill, well answered nodes don't belong on the front page. It might warrant Cat. Q&A if it is something that you feel others would use. I may have front-paged 1 or 2 things since I have been a monk. I do so with great discretion. Statistically speaking, what belongs on the front page are positive outliers in the distribution of nodes by quality/usefulness.

      I had a node of mine front-paged a while back regarding EBCIDIC and COMP-3 handling. By no means am I trying to toot my own horn at all. I don't think my portion of the node was extraordinary, but the information held in that node and its replies was very useful stuff for handling a type of data that perl doesn't handle defaultly. To me nodes like that belong on the front.

      XP abuse on front page nodes may happen, but it only becomes abuse when people are voting just because its on the front page, so therefore it must be "good". Otherwise, a large number of people may have just found this node useful, in which case it's not abuse, personally

      anyhow... ramble off....FP with discretion ... to me that's the motto we should use.

Re: Never! Too much Front Paging
by tye (Cardinal) on Sep 24, 2004 at 14:55 UTC

    We still don't have enough front-paging.

    Most nodes should be front-paged.

    If you don't feel comfortable front-paging a node, then don't. If you do feel comfortable front-paging a node, please do! The end result should be that MOST nodes will end up front-paged because most nodes are reasonable nodes that most of our visitors deserve to see.

    Just a week or two ago I was looking at the front page and I saw nodes that were 3 and 4 days old because noone was bothering to front-page nodes. That sucks.

    now it is effectively just another Newest nodes, and as such has become a waste of space IMHO

    Yes, the front page is basically Newest Nodes but for casual visitors or those who don't want to look at quite everything (or those who want to read the root of the thread before deciding whether to click to view the reply or ...). So the front page should include all but the worst nodes, not some select 1 or 2 per day. Including about half of the nodes is not so bad but I think more than half of our nodes are worthy of the attention of the majority of visitors who don't use Newest Nodes.

    Statistics show that we have a lot more monks using the front page than using Newest Nodes. So not front-paging a node means that the majority of visitors will never see it. Do you really think that more than half of the threads on this site should be ignored by the lion's share of our readers??

    More front-paging!!

    - tye        

      ...most nodes are reasonable nodes that most of our visitors deserve to see.

      Doesn't that mean that casual visitors are likely to see a repetetive collection of mostly uninteresting questions and uninspiring answers?

      Perhaps leading to thoughts of "same-o, same-o", and never inspiring them to be anything other than casual visitors?

      I wonder how many copies of <Insert the name of your local newspaper> would sell if it published the headlines of every story inside, on it's front-page.

      1. "Tiddles the cat lost"
      2. "Tiddles the cat sighted"
      3. "Tiddles the cat found"
      4. "Mrs Brown's bunion clears up"

      That is where the "front page" analogy comes from isn't it?


      Examine what is said, not who speaks.
      "Efficiency is intelligent laziness." -David Dunham
      "Think for yourself!" - Abigail
      "Memory, processor, disk in that order on the hardware side. Algorithm, algorithm, algorithm on the code side." - tachyon

        I won't try to stetch your newspaper analogy.

        If we don't show the yucky stuff then most of our visitors won't realize there is any yucky stuff. And so they'll be more likely to ask the same yucky question that they've never seen.

        I said "most" not "all". If you feel comfortable front-paging a node, then do it. If you don't, then don't. Some yucky questions should be front-paged (so the FP stays somewhat representative of the site and so the majority of our audience see that we do get yucky questions and how we handle them and how we sometimes handle them badly), but it is nice if not all of the lowest-quality questions get front-page.

        Sometimes a run of near-duplicate questions should all be front-paged (for all of the same reasons).

        I still say that this boils down to "most". I feel that more than half of our SoPW threads on an average day are of reasonable quality and should be front-paged just because they don't suck. I believe that some of the other less-than-half should be front-paged in order to show some of the bad for any number of reasons (as examples, because they were bad in one way but good in another, just for variety).

        - tye        

      So accepting all that the question is then how do you highlight anything on the site? Also if the majority of users only use the Front Page then how about updating it to a heading/summary/readmore format. It was 20+ sceenfuls a few minutes ago. Other webstats show that most users never scoll much past 2 screenfuls, so there is about 90% of the FP that will not see many eyes.

        Yes, we don't have any great way to showcase nodes.

        We have Best Nodes and Selected Best Nodes and we have people trying to use Tutorials as a showcase for great nodes and lots of people showcase nodes on their home nodes.

        I particularly like having people showcase nodes on their home nodes. And this is because trying to have a consensus on which nodes to showcase sucks. If we had "cool" points, then each person could pick which nodes to showcase by putting them on their "cool" list (which boils down to showcasing them on your homenode but with more restrictions but also with the ability to find nodes that lots of people wanted to showcase).

        I'm sure someone from pmdev will get right on implementing "cool" points. But, in the mean time, you'll have to make due without that feature.

        "In the beginning", the front page was documented as a place to showcase our best nodes. A few years back I realized that this was not how the front page was actually being used -- by the people who most use (that is, view) the front page.

        So someone implement some other node showcase(s). But please don't try to treat the front page as one because that makes the main point of access to the site stale. Stale web sites suck. It also makes the front page unrepresentative of the site. If we don't ever show the yucky question on the front page, then a lot of newbies aren't going to have ever seen a yucky question nor how to fix it nor how good answers don't usual show up if they don't fix it.

        - tye        

      Statistics show that we have a lot more monks using the front page than using Newest Nodes.

      I doubt you can have good statistics about that. I mean, I download the The Monastery Gates because that's what comes up when I type perlmonks.com in the address bar, and I am too lazy to add ?node_id=3628 directly instead. I never read the The Monastery Gates itself. I read Newest Nodes or sometimes the categories. I guess there are some other monks like that too.

        So you are assuming that my statistics are based on number of downloads?

        One of the easy statistics is how much more voting happens on threads that get front-paged. This means that even if we restrict to monks who have votes (which excludes a large fraction of our audience), we have a pretty large bias towards use of (not downloading of) the front page. (Yes, you can argue that better nodes are more likely to get front-paged and also more likely to causing voting, but I'm pretty sure that many are quite convinced that such an explanation just doesn't cut it.)

        - tye        

      I personally disagree. IMO, the Monastery Gates shouldn't be just another SoPW page, we have the original SoPW page for that. IMO, the front page should only contain nodes that are worthwile reading for a sufficiently large portion of the audience: a selected digest, for those people who don't want to read it all. That probably means almost everybody, these days.
      So not front-paging a node means that the majority of visitors will never see it. Do you really think that more than half of the threads on this site should be ignored by the lion's share of our readers??
      Please don't try to force people to read stuff they likely won't even want to read. You'll just end up making people feel like they've been wasting their time coming here. I think that when people visit not more than the front page, it is mostly because it already holds far more than they can handle in one visit. I don't think most of these people even read most of what's been added to the front page, since their last visit. Adding even more to it, won't do any good, as people will just read a relatively smaller portion.

        Where did I say that the front page should be "another SoPW"? I said that I think that most of our threads are worth reading. So even with your view of what the front page is for, I would still put most of the SoPW nodes on it.

        Please don't try to force people to read stuff they likely won't even want to read.

        How can I force anyone to read anything? Putting it on the front page doesn't force anyone to do anything. Leaving it off of the front page forces people go looking for it or else they'll never find it (see how "force" can be turned around however you like?).

        Leaving it off of the front page means that most of our readers will never see it. And that is fine for most of the yucky threads.

        You'll just end up making people feel like they've been wasting their time coming here.

        All I advocated was making some of the less wonderful threads visible so that people have an awareness that such is here. You see a really dumb question on the front page and you can skip right over it. Or you can look at if you are curious. After you've looked at a few, you may decide to skip right over the next one. Or you may come up with an improvement. But let's not pretend that we don't have lousy threads. Let's not hide all of them. Filter some of them out and show some of them. Balance.

        I think that when people visit not more than the front page, it is mostly because it already holds far more than they can handle in one visit.

        My main statistic is the voting on threads that make it to the front page. So people aren't just visiting the front page, they are visiting threads that appear on the front page.

        I don't think most of these people even read most of what's been added to the front page, since their last visit.

        Scanning the front page for interesting threads doesn't take long at all. If they are only visiting for 2 minutes, then it is because they didn't find anything interesting. I certainly don't expect the typical visitor to read every thread that gets front-paged. I want to offer them a large selection so they can read quite a bit if they want to, starting with the items that look the most interesting.

        Adding even more to it, won't do any good

        You can't "add more to" the front page. It is mostly of fixed size. We are just rotating the content faster so that every day there are more than just a couple of new threads to see.

        - tye        

      I strongly disagree with tye (again ;) here on front-paging close to everything.

      For some time now, I haven't been as an active monk as I have used to be due to my job and what not. Before, I never checked the front page, for I was constantly watching Newest Nodes, but now that I don't have time to read all nodes, I'd like to view just a selection of good nodes/threads.

      Currently, the front page starts off with these nodes (to my surprise):

      Not to disrespect the authors of those nodes, I frankly believe these nodes are not interesting for the majority of people. These are personal itches that can be solved by a little googling (and a link to e.g. http://www.hotscripts.com/ would be enough).

      Due to this 'front-page close to everything'-behaviour, I went back to looking at Newest Nodes and filter out the interesting stuff, without bothering with the front page.

      Shouldn't the thinking be the other way around, though? I'd rather start off with reading 'good' stuff and put effort into reading 'less good' stuff, than putting effort into filtering 'less good' stuff out, to get the 'good' stuff.

      --
      b10m

      All code is usually tested, but rarely trusted.
Too much NON-front-paging!
by dragonchild (Archbishop) on Sep 24, 2004 at 15:21 UTC
    I'm second'ing tye on this one. Most of us in this discussion are regulars, but we number less than 200. There are over ?5000? registered users, averaging 1-5 visits per month. They want to see the Front Page, not the Newest Nodes. And, if we keep them from seeing half the threads, what does that say to them?

    IMHO, the meme should be reversed, as should the checkbox. Every approved thread should hit the front page upon 2 hours after posting, UNLESS someone explicitly clicks that it shouldn't.

    As for good nodes - that's what Best Nodes is for. Maybe, there should be a link to Best Nodes from the NavBar or the FrontPage.

    Update: Or, maybe every approved node should hit the front page after N page views, unless explicitly barred from the Front Page. That way, you don't have bad stuff auto-hitting the FP just cause not enough monks were around during the window.

    ------
    We are the carpenters and bricklayers of the Information Age.

    Then there are Damian modules.... *sigh* ... that's not about being less-lazy -- that's about being on some really good drugs -- you know, there is no spoon. - flyingmoose

    I shouldn't have to say this, but any code, unless otherwise stated, is untested

      There are some logical holes in your argument.

      The regulars have discovered Newest Nodes and use it so don't really matter either way.

      If an irregular vistits say 4 times a month what will they see on the Front Page? A: Who knows? The average node will spend 2 hours at the top of the FP before it starts descending. Say 10% of all FP nodes are excellent. So given the current rampant front paging what is the statistical probability of them seeing an excellent node? We can all work it out, but if you halve the number of FP nodes, while keeping the same number of excellent nodes you have then doubled the chance a random visitor will see a VHQ node.

      I struggle to see why this is bad. If they only visit once a week, and the FP turns over once a week they will always seen new content. If the turnover is low and quality related they will always see high quality posts.

      cheers

      tachyon

        From what I can tell, the largest fraction of visitors visit about once a day and hit the front page. The front page should be mostly brand new every day.

        - tye        

        So, what's preventing us from adding a link to Best Nodes? Or, even, making Best Nodes the Front Page? If you want people to only view quality nodes, then the monastery already has a system in place for determining the quality of the node. I don't want to argue the relative merits of XP, but it at least means that more than one person felt it was a quality node.

        In fact, to make it onto the Daily Best Nodes list, you generally have to break 20 XP. If you limited that to only root nodes, the threshold drops to, say, 10 XP. But, that means at least 10 people felt it was worthwhile. (And, given the personality voting that goes on, 10XP usually means at least 12-15 positive votes.)

        So, it almost sounds like you're arguing for replacing the Front Page with Best Nodes. Or, am I missing something?

        ------
        We are the carpenters and bricklayers of the Information Age.

        Then there are Damian modules.... *sigh* ... that's not about being less-lazy -- that's about being on some really good drugs -- you know, there is no spoon. - flyingmoose

        I shouldn't have to say this, but any code, unless otherwise stated, is untested

Re: Too much Front Paging
by demerphq (Chancellor) on Sep 24, 2004 at 15:48 UTC

    I'm in favour of preventing users from gaining XP from nodes that in threads that they frontpaged. This would serve as both an incentive and a disincentive for FP'ing. On one hand those of us who wont FP a thread we've replied to becuase we dont want to be seen to be XP whores will FP more often, and those that are frivilously FPing things to get an XP kick from the reply they posted will lay off as they won't profit from it anymore. Having said that I've never done a feasability analysis of this idea.

    Overall my position is similar to tyes in that i think the FP should be always have some new material on it, but dissimilar in that I don't beleive average nodes should be FP'ed just to maintain variety.


    ---
    demerphq

      First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
      -- Gandhi

      Flux8


      I'm in favour of preventing users from gaining XP from nodes that in threads that they frontpaged.

      That just somehow seems wrong. I'm very ambivalent about it (which means I really hate it and I really like it). But my extreme distaste for it is fading and my appreciation for it is growing, so I'll probably eventually decide that it is a great idea. (:

      - tye        

Re: Too much Front Paging (your estimation of the data is wrong)
by diotalevi (Canon) on Sep 24, 2004 at 16:26 UTC

    Bull pucky!

    Over the last eight days, only 28% of the 187 SoPQ nodes have been front paged and only three nodes total were front-paged and responded to by the same person. The problem, I think, is that you're just percieving this large volume of nodes as a small number so when it acts like a larger number, it magnifies your perception of the otherwise sparse front-paging activity.

    The data follows.

      I'd not throw insults unless the figure that he quoted was actually wrong.

      At a guess, he compiled statistics by hand. If I was in his position tackling that task, I'd have first thought of tackling it that way, and also likely would have stopped with a single day's data.

      The fact that it is more convenient for you to gather data is no cause to be insulting if a longer time sample disagrees with what his sample indicated. If you can show that he miscollected or deliberately misrepresented the facts that he presented, that might be different. But that isn't the situation here.

      For those who don't want to do the math: based on GMT +0 for Sep. 23: 24 total SOPWs and 9 FPs, or 37.5%, meaning tachyon's figures were most likely correct (the percent raises or lowers depending on the timezone). I would agree with dio that a larger time period would be needed in order to say "nodes are being FPed too much". I'd actually be curious what the monthly/yearly average is. (Calculations below)

      "Cogito cogito ergo cogito sum - I think that I think, therefore I think that I am." Ambrose Bierce

Re: Too much Front Paging
by talexb (Canon) on Sep 24, 2004 at 16:41 UTC

    I agree that the Front Page should be limited to really interesting nodes. When over half of the day's nodes end up there, it loses its significance.

    I wrote some OO code ages ago and was absolutely thrilled to see it front paged .. that meant more to me than the XP it garnered.

    Limiting the Front Page ability to Saints might work .. how about doing something along the lines of consideration, where it has to be nominated to be front paged by a minimum number of saints, say five.

    Alex / talexb / Toronto

    "Groklaw is the open-source mentality applied to legal research" ~ Linus Torvalds

Re: Too much Front Paging
by ikegami (Pope) on Sep 24, 2004 at 16:44 UTC
    Front paging to keep a node alive? Is that a valid reason to FP? Is there is a problem here, maybe it's not the number of FP nodes, but the lack of a 'bump' mechanism?
Re: Too much Front Paging
by Roy Johnson (Monsignor) on Sep 24, 2004 at 17:23 UTC
    It was my impression that the Front Page was intended for things that would have broad appeal among less-advanced Perl users. Esoteric questions would be less appropriate to front-page. Things that a lot of people should know, but many won't think of, would be perfect.

    If the idea is just to showcase the best of recent posts on PM, it could be automated: every two hours, the highest-rated root node of the past four hours would get front-paged. Or something like that.


    Caution: Contents may have been coded under pressure.
Re: Too much Front Paging
by johnnywang (Priest) on Sep 24, 2004 at 17:47 UTC
    May be we can look at what kind of users we have here, what they come here for, and what we want to provide.

    1. Submitters. I've submitted many questions, when I do that, the only thing I care is to get answers, probably from as many people as possible. I really don't care whether it's front paged. What keeps me coming back is that all my questions so far have gotten satisfactory anwsers, in contrast to some other sites. So I think the most important thing PM needs to provide is to make sure most questions are answered. Sumitters are PM's customers, keep them happy, everything else doesn't matter. If frontpage is the way to do it, so be it.

    2. New comers. This is PM's growth strategy, how to attract new users. I came to PM before, looked at it, and went away. I only came back because I had some questions that I couldn't get answers, and thought I'll give it a try here. Now I come back every day because my questions are answered, plus now I can sometimes even help someone else. I'd say PM should strive to have the reputation as a place where questions are answered, not necessarily as the place interesting questions are asked. In other words, a frontpage with interesting questions is fine, most important is whether my questions are answered regularly.

    3. Regular users. I'd suspect most of the regular users use Newst Nodes, so front page doesn't really matter.

    4. XP whores. Grow up, and find a life:-)

    So, I'd say, keep it as is, I'm a happy customer so far.

Re: Too much Front Paging
by CountZero (Bishop) on Sep 24, 2004 at 20:40 UTC
    I agree that Front-paged nodes should be special, but I'm against giving only Saints the power to front-page a node. Perhaps it is a good idea to Front-page a node only if it has received x votes in favour of front-paging, with the possibility to give votes against front-paging as well.

    A bit like moderation works.

    Or only allow nodes to be front-paged after 1 or 2 days. Then you would have few nodes front-paged with no matured discussion. That can only increase the value of the node. "Newest Nodes" would then have a real meaning: you go there for the bleeding edge, whereas the Front-page is for the well-laid out and well-discussed nodes.

    CountZero

    "If you have four groups working on a compiler, you'll get a 4-pass compiler." - Conway's Law

Re: Too much Front Paging
by ysth (Canon) on Sep 24, 2004 at 22:06 UTC
    There seem to be two conflicting schools of thought on how the front page should be used:

    One sees it as an amalgamation of the newest posts from the various section pages (and pretty much any reasonable root node belongs on it), and another sees it as a root node-only, hand-selected version of recent best nodes.

    Of the two, I feel the latter is already well handled by best nodes and the nodelets, so I prefer to see the front page used for the former purpose.

      I prefer to frontpage a node when it's not yet in best nodes. Often, a node I frontpage only has a rep of 2 at the time — including my own vote. Think of it as a tip, not as a hit parade — which is what best nodes is.

      Everybody knows hit parades don't contain everything that's worth your while.

      And I take pride in later finding nodes I frontpaged, ending up in best nodes.

Re: Too much Front Paging
by FoxtrotUniform (Prior) on Sep 26, 2004 at 01:42 UTC
    While I am on the feature requests and Front Page topic it would look a lot better if it was more blog like ie: heading, brief description, readmore. If you made the front pager write the description as the price of front paging a node, and limited it to 160 chars and deducted 1 XP for every char the description went over length...... ;-)

    That's not a bad idea. Well, it'd probably annoy a few people (extra effort and all that), but it would be sort of nifty to have "abstracts" for root nodes: list each node with title and abstract in section indices, and have a link to the full text. (People like me who mostly just bounce on Newest Nodes probably wouldn't notice.) If the author doesn't provide an abstract, use the first, say, 255 characters of the post.

    If nothing else, that would remove the need for most "EDIT: add <readmore> tags" considerations.

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Re: Too much Front Paging
by Courage (Parson) on Oct 10, 2004 at 15:51 UTC
    I do not hesitate frontpaging if I find a node contains something interesting.

    I very agreed with tye on this point.

    Even a node with little interesting but followed thoughtful and usefull replies very deserves frontpaging.

Re: Too much Front Paging
by tmoertel (Chaplain) on Oct 11, 2004 at 06:48 UTC

    (Updated 20041011. Editing pass: clarified wording.)

    There seem to be two points of view in this debate. The first is that the front page ought to be reserved for only the best content. The second is that the front page should emphasize the freshest content.

    Why can't we say that the front page is reserved for the most interesting nodes, where a node's "interest" is determined as a function of both its "bestness" and its freshness? In other words, why can't newer nodes have an easier time getting on the front page? And, as front-page nodes age, why can't we require them to earn their continued placement in the prime real estate? If a node doesn't pull in enough reputation to say on the front page, let's take if off.

    More specifically:

    1. Let's analyze the database and determine the distribution of node reputations w.r.t. age for ages in the range of new (0 hours hold) through semi-recent (say, 96 hours old).
    2. Based on our analysis, let's create a node-interest-index function f. Given a node n, let f(n) be the number of standard deviations above or below the mean that n's reputation is w.r.t. nodes of similar age.
    3. Let's set the front-page threshold at X and populate the front page with nodes n for which f(n) > X. The idea is that eligible nodes (e.g., those nominated by human front paging) will be promoted to the front page only if/after their interest index exceeds X. Similarly, nodes on the front page will be removed when their index falls below X minus a hysteresis constant H.

    The key characteristic of this approach is that its easier for newer nodes to hit the front page, but they only stay if they earn their place. At any given time, the front page will be populated with a smoothly blended and gently stirred mix of the newest nodes and older, higher-quality nodes – but everything should be of high interest. Newer nodes will tend to cycle through quicker, but the better ones will earn extended stays the front page.

    This seems like a solution that satisfies both points of view. What do you think about this approach?

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