Define "Interesting." February 15, 2012 3:40 PM   Subscribe

Pony Request: Additional Posts and Comments on the "Popular" page.

So the Popular page lists the top 20 posts and comments which currently have the most favorites. Would it be possible to allow us to select an option (either in our preferences or as a link on the page,) which would display (say,) the most-favorited 20, 40 and 60 comments and posts? (Or any other breakdown that seems logical?) There are probably comments and posts that don't quite hit that magical 'favorited' threshold, but are still interesting.

I'm guessing the Popular page is server intensive. I'm hoping if this were an option we'd need to select, that might not be too much of an issue?
posted by zarq to Feature Requests at 3:40 PM (15 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

Sure, this is something we can discuss. We're not likely to add any new profile preferences for a single page on the site, but some sort of on-page control or paging to view more seems reasonable. Favorites are almost always contentious so we'll need to think it through a bit and discuss it.
posted by pb (staff) at 3:57 PM on February 15, 2012

To find a few more posts than are on the Popular page, you can always drill down to these site-specific pages: Ask: Most favorited posts in the past 7 days and MeFi: Most favorited posts in the past 7 days.
posted by pb (staff) at 4:02 PM on February 15, 2012 [1 favorite]

And at the top of those two pages you can shift the timeframe to favorites within the past 24 hours, 30 days, or All Time.
posted by pb (staff) at 4:04 PM on February 15, 2012 [1 favorite]

Awesome! Thanks!
posted by zarq at 4:08 PM on February 15, 2012

My name is shakespeherian and I approve this pony.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:48 PM on February 15, 2012 [2 favorites]

Do want. I would love to see more of the popular comments.

Also, is there any way possible to see popular threads/comments that fall under specific tags? So I could search for the most popular posts with the food tag or the most popular comments in posts with the music + obit tags.
posted by hydrophonic at 10:31 PM on February 15, 2012

As with many ponies, solutions already exist for this outside the site. For instance, in Google Reader, the RSS feed for "Popular Comments Across Metafilter" and "Popular Posts Across Metafilter" are (nearly) infinitely scrollable. Not saying this pony shouldn't or couldn't be implemented, but rather, it is not at all a problem for those of us who view the site through an RSS reader that caches items like this.
posted by mysterpigg at 7:22 AM on February 16, 2012

It seems unfair, and a little self-perpetuating. The popular comments have already been seen and enjoyed by a lot of people. Let's give the unpopular comments a chance, maybe with some exposure they could also become popular.
posted by Meatbomb at 8:11 AM on February 16, 2012

Also, is there any way possible to see popular threads/comments that fall under specific tags?

No, we don't offer any way to do that here. This is part of the balancing act we have to do with Favorites. I think the Popular pages we have now work pretty well for highlighting things the community finds interesting right now. It's very broad, and it's for a limited time. (Except for the "All Time" list on those site-specific pages.)

Tags range from broad to extremely narrow and they're permanent. So once we start using Favorites to sort tags it feels like we're veering into a Favorites contest territory to me. We don't want the site to be a contest to see who can get the most Favorites because that changes behavior. The Popular pages as they are now might encourage that to some extent, but it's not an easy game to win if you look at it that way. Winning a tag would be a different game with different incentives.

We also have to be very careful with comments. The Popular page and User Activity pages are the only places comments appear out of context. Comments are part of a larger conversation, and the more we take comments out of that conversation the more we change the dynamics of the site. So we probably won't do things like show a list of comments that have appeared in a conversation about a post tagged with x.

We're constantly balancing things though and gauging how people feel about Favorites. The important thing we always keep in mind is that we have a big community here, Favorites are contentious, and we don't want to accidentally set up incentives for bad behavior.
posted by pb (staff) at 8:11 AM on February 16, 2012

Let's give the unpopular comments a chance, maybe with some exposure they could also become popular.

I'm envisioning a tab that says 'Least popular comments'
posted by shakespeherian at 8:32 AM on February 16, 2012 [2 favorites]

"'Least popular comments'"

"Just twenty graphic descriptions of dipping one's dick in scalding hot coffee"

My own graphic description, which was pretty similar to that, actually got quite a few favorites.
posted by Blasdelb at 12:27 PM on February 16, 2012

We added this today. At the bottom of the Popular page you can click "more posts" or "more comments" and the page will bring in 10 more. You can use that up to five times. So the popular page will now show up to 70 posts and up to 70 comments using those new links.
posted by pb (staff) at 4:40 PM on February 22, 2012 [4 favorites]

I've just now come to experience this phenomenon first hand. Whatever the threshold is to get onto the popular page, once you have hit that everything snowballs. Something that gets 10 or 20 favs is organic and genuine but once you have hit the big times the fame monster takes over and the number of eyeballs / favourites grows at a bizarre and exponential rate.

How do I sign up for the monetization programme here?
posted by Meatbomb at 2:41 AM on February 23, 2012

Oh, yay! My very own pony! Thank you, pb! It looks great!
posted by zarq at 7:32 AM on February 23, 2012

pb, this is so very cool!
posted by Blasdelb at 6:44 AM on February 24, 2012

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