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Re: Never! Too much Front Paging

by tye (Sage)
on Sep 24, 2004 at 14:55 UTC ( #393534=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Too much Front Paging

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        

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re^2: Never! Too much Front Paging
by BrowserUk (Pope) on Sep 24, 2004 at 15:29 UTC
    ...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        

        i agree with you, tye. the front page is not a place of honor, it's a representative sample of approved nodes. i'd go so far to say that all approved nodes should be automatically frontpaged, and that frontpage rights could then be taken away. at least, that would make this discussion moot. of course, that makes newest nodes almost moot, but with demerphq's proposed changes (with some additions, like approval & moderation status,) it would make the purpose of these two interfaces (front page and newest nodes) clear.

        ~Particle *accelerates*

Re^2: Never! Too much Front Paging
by tachyon (Chancellor) on Sep 24, 2004 at 15:29 UTC

    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        

Re^2: Never! Too much Front Paging
by bart (Canon) on Sep 25, 2004 at 01:01 UTC
    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        

Re^2: Never! Too much Front Paging
by ambrus (Abbot) on Sep 24, 2004 at 19:49 UTC
    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        

Re: Never! Too much Front Paging
by b10m (Vicar) on Oct 06, 2004 at 12:02 UTC

    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.

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