Can we sort by most visited/most clicked? March 9, 2002 6:44 AM   Subscribe

Has consideration been given previously for a Metafilter sort by most visited/most clicked on front page posts? Thanks.

posted by Voyageman to Feature Requests at 6:44 AM (11 comments total)


next question.
posted by jcterminal at 7:15 AM on March 9, 2002

*giggle* Nice, JC.
And for my answer: Why?
posted by Su at 8:18 AM on March 9, 2002

"Farkers have clicked on the above link 1102 times."

I hate fark so...
posted by Tacodog at 8:23 AM on March 9, 2002

Ignoring for a moment what other sites do or don't do - If "Most Comments" sort reflects what people are writing about the most, "Most Visited" would reflect what people are reading the most (assuming people read links they visit). Assuming there is a silent majority of readers who don't post comments, most commented front page posts could be very different from most read front page posts. Indeed, plenty of front page posts are "excellent " without warranting extensive commentary. Conversely, plenty of "mediocre" posts sometimes seem to elicit endless commentary. Just another way to approach the day. (Thought this would have been discusssed already, but could not find it)
posted by Voyageman at 9:14 AM on March 9, 2002

I'm not really for this idea, but I think that some of the problems I have with it (that it would make popular threads more popular and less popular threads even less popular, for instance) could be alleviated by putting a page showing the statistics a couple clicks in, so that people couldn't just scan the front page to see what the cool kids are reading.

But then, I still don't see how knowing this information would help. If people don't care about a link, then they just don't care about it, and there's nothing to change that. Sad but true.
posted by Hildago at 9:30 AM on March 9, 2002

The real problem with this idea is that every thread display would have to be recorded in the database. With the database server timing out on a regular basis, this doesn't really seem like a great idea to me.
posted by kindall at 10:03 AM on March 9, 2002

My main problem is, "Who cares?" In a wider sense, lots of people read Kottke. So? I still have to come up with my own interest. It's not even a quantity/quality argument, just quantity. I bet 1142 gets lots of clicks.
The fact that a link was clicked often says absolutely nothing other than that it was clicked often. There's some chance the reason is that it's actually good, but more than likely it just reflects curiosity, which might be a simple factor of vagueness. I sometimes click a link just to figure out what's going on because the post itself doesn't say much, other times just to see how long it takes the discussion to go on a violent tangent, because there are some topics that always do it.
On the other hand, number of comments does reflect something. A thread with lots of comments generally means a real discussion is going on(for better or worse). Sometimes you end up with another banter session, but that's been on the decline.
posted by Su at 10:05 AM on March 9, 2002

In most cases, popularity = mediocrity.

Isn't that already enough of a problem here?
posted by mark13 at 10:41 AM on March 9, 2002

I think I get Voyageman's point, though any counting mechanism is repellent to me. There are some very good posts that don't invite comment, mainly because one's out of one's depth, just learning about something interesting - bragadocchio's poetry post, for instance.

The solution, with no changes needed, is simply to screw coolness and thank the poster or simply comment "cool" or whatever; without feeling the need to add something critical or vaguely intelligent.

Why is this frowned upon? I don't get the tacit disapproval of "ditto" post either.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 11:20 AM on March 9, 2002

"That's cool" and "ditto" posts don't add anything new to a thread. If you're trying to keep track of interesting threads that are thought-provoking then it can be a bit of let-down to see that a thread has 4 new comments, click into it and discover that they all say the same thing - which is essentially nothing.

Voyageman: assuming people read links they visit

That's where this idea falls down, I'd say. Often I'll click on a link to find out what exactly it is or make sure that it is what I think it is and then close it right away. This gives no indication of whether I'm interested in the link content or not.
posted by MUD at 12:51 PM on March 9, 2002

Maybe, instead of typing "ditto," you could mark the comment with your approval, amazon-style (i.e. "the following number of readers found this review helpful") etc. and if you cared to, you could find out who they were.

in a fantasy world where the developer has infinite time and resources, of course....
posted by bingo at 9:07 PM on March 9, 2002

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