The Republicans' Farcical Candidates: A Club of Liars, Demagogues and Ignoramuses

Reply Sat 10 Dec, 2011 09:21 am
@Finn dAbuzz,
I wonder if we all get different "popular" lists.

when I click on popular toward the upper left, the list I'm provided with starts with

How old were you when you had your 1st boyfriend/girlfriend?
Forums: Dating, Crush, Relationships, Kindergarten, Boyfriend
Discussion by GracieGirl
Posted 12/03/11 3:21 PM
Replies: 195
Views: 2,392
Last Post by Eva
on 12/09/11 10:07 PM NEW

President Obama just made the best speech of his life
Forums: Politics, A Great Speech, Obama Speech, News, Hopeless Garbage
Discussion by BumbleBeeBoogie
Posted 12/06/11 2:51 PM
Replies: 89
Views: 1,196
Last Post by Finn dAbuzz
on 12/10/11 1:15 AM NEW

Broth: so there I was, cooking kale again.. kale water.
Forums: Food, Recipes, Vegetables, Kale, Kale Water
Discussion by ossobuco
Posted 12/04/11 6:44 PM
Replies: 34
Views: 387
Last Post by msolga
on 12/06/11 1:05 AM NEW

What happens when an adult takes the 10th grade test?
Forums: Education, American Education, Standardized Testing, N C L B, Opinion Piece
Question by boomerang
Posted 12/08/11 12:09 PM
Replies: 48
Views: 437
Last Post by boomerang
on 12/10/11 9:07 AM

Separate but equal: single gender classrooms
Forums: Education, Gender, Separate Classrooms
Question by boomerang
Posted 12/06/11 2:38 PM
Replies: 61
Views: 622
Last Post by engineer
on 12/08/11 11:52 AM NEW

doesn't make any more sense to me than the offerings you've mentioned
Reply Sat 10 Dec, 2011 09:51 am
I get the same list as you Beth.

I doubt anyone manually chooses which threads to make popular.

It is probably based on some formula that would include:

number of views
number of DIFFERENT people viewing.
Frequency of viewing
votes up/down
time frame of all the above, recent activity counts more than old activity
Reply Sat 10 Dec, 2011 10:07 am
Finn reports different results - I wonder if our viewing patterns could have an effect on what our ''popular'' results are.
0 Replies
Reply Sat 10 Dec, 2011 11:27 am
@Finn dAbuzz,
Finn dAbuzz wrote:

Except...now explain how the Dys thread with zero replies made "Popular."

The mechanics are simple. A reply or a thumbs up increases popularity by one. A thumbs down reduces popularity by one. Several people must have thumbed up that post.

My main criticism is that authors who are ignored by many people will not have their unpopularity reflected, because their threads will never appear on people's views in order to be voted down.

And please feel free to rebut the premise of this thread. Who do you think is the statesman in this group of candidates?
Reply Sat 10 Dec, 2011 11:46 am
It also appears that the list of popular threads only includes newer threads. As older threads age out, it makes room for newer threads even if they aren't as popular as the original threads.
0 Replies
Reply Sat 10 Dec, 2011 12:56 pm
Is this the whiners thread? Is this where one comes to whine about how mean everyone is conservatives?
0 Replies
Robert Gentel
Reply Sat 10 Dec, 2011 01:27 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Finn dAbuzz wrote:

The second I hit "reply," I realized it was unfair to question Robert on this issue.

This is how he makes his living.

That's not why it's unfair to address it to me. One reason is because nobody makes a living off able2know (it has made less than it has cost). I make a living off our other businesses (we operate one of the largest nursing job boards and other nursing sites), able2know represents 1/50th the company revenue and about 3/4ths the server cost to my company and that is before any human resources for it are factored in (the majority of which is just donated).

A2k is a hobby. It's a hobby I think will one day be the core of a lot of our other ventures but the way we approach it is that we need to do other things for profit so that we can so a2k for fun (and not have to prioritize profit).

Right now a2k is stagnant because we need to focus on the profit centers of our business, but once we can safely afford to pay ourselves to work on what we want a2k is going to get another big overhaul.

Anyway, the actual reason it's unfair to address this to me because I am not a person who decides what is and what is not popular. The membership is, and you shouldn't marvel that left-leaning perspectives are more popular than right-leaning ones.

The forum is predominately left-wing.

It makes good business sense to feature patently left-wing threads as "Popular."

"Popular" is just the highest voted threads, there is no manual intervention on the behalf of anyone on the site (other than their own votes, of course).

Presumably, his income is based on # of "hits" since we pay no fee, and since most of the A2K "hits" are left-wing, that's the audience he has to serve.

Totally understandable.

It's just based on votes. Now I finally get why you keep addressing this question to me, but I can assure you that for the most part I'm just crazy busy on my nursing businesses and don't even tend to read a2k, much less decide on the popular threads. Nobody does, almost everything that happens on the site is community-driven and we try to make the manual intervention are rare as possible (because the site can't afford HR resources, and must rely on the community to run itself as much as possible).

Does anyone know where I can find a forum that requires members to pay a fee?

The most similar one I know of to a2k that tried that was the straight dope site's forums. They couldn't handle the server costs and went paywall. But right now it seems open again (not sure, not willing to poke around too much) and you can see it here:


Pay-only forums are pretty rare, and don't tend to succeed as well as open ones (so they tend to be smaller, or take down their paywall).
0 Replies
Robert Gentel
Reply Sat 10 Dec, 2011 01:30 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Finn dAbuzz wrote:
And why does any thread by J Goldman achieve a "Popular" rating

Because people can't help but reply to him (it makes them feel superior) and replying to a thread votes it up (it can be reversed but most people leave it that way once they reply).

Because the patrons of A2K have indicated a perverse and bullying desire to dump on the young man; irrespective of what he posts.

If you just look at the list, you'll notice it's sorted by the most votes to the least votes. It's not manual.

The ranking algorithm is going to change one day to a more complex one (the simple version is that it will be a % rating instead of a total in the future) but it will always be a community-driven metric and not a manual one.
0 Replies
Robert Gentel
Reply Sat 10 Dec, 2011 01:31 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Exactly, there is no ghost in the machine. The inmates are in charge of the asylum, for better and for worse. And I should have read further before replying and saved time.
0 Replies
Reply Mon 12 Dec, 2011 09:11 am

Obama, February 2009: If this economy hasn’t rebounded in three years, I’m a one-termer
0 Replies

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