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posted by hubie on Wednesday August 16 2023, @03:55AM   Printer-friendly
from the just-asking dept.

"Everywhere I came I got the impression that I was surrounded by people who were emitting, but not receiving. Narcissism, I thought, is a corruption of focus, a version of attention which is only directed towards yourself and your own ego."

(Stolen Focus, Johann Hari, Bloomsbury Publishing Plc, London, 2022.)

How many subs should we publish on this site?

If we'd put on just a single story for each topic (software, hardware, news, science, security, politics and so on), and keep it on the frontpage for a week, would that work for you? If we'd publish hundred stories each day, would you start or continue commenting?

In short, can you think of a magic cast, in terms of number and frequency of stories, to lure an optimum number of people into posting here? If so, which would be the factors in your mathematical formula?

(Audio interviews for the quoted book, here).


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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by ikanreed on Wednesday August 16 2023, @03:58AM (6 children)

    by ikanreed (3164) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday August 16 2023, @03:58AM (#1320472) Journal

    I don't check at specific times. I sometimes come in and if a story seems interesting in the first half dozen or so(and I have something to say about it), I'll comment.

    Relatedly I pretty much only submit stories I'm 100% confident will make the front page, which is very rarely.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Samantha Wright on Wednesday August 16 2023, @04:39PM

      by Samantha Wright (4062) on Wednesday August 16 2023, @04:39PM (#1320561)

      That definitely seems to suggest a higher frequency of story posts is better than a lower one. Contributors will not stay around to comment if they feel their submissions are in vain!

    • (Score: 2) by mhajicek on Wednesday August 16 2023, @07:20PM (4 children)

      by mhajicek (51) on Wednesday August 16 2023, @07:20PM (#1320584)

      I check about three times a day.

      One thing I wonder about; is it tracked how many people preview submissions, and is that factored into selecting which to post?

      --
      The spacelike surfaces of time foliations can have a cusp at the surface of discontinuity. - P. Hajicek
      • (Score: 4, Informative) by Fnord666 on Thursday August 17 2023, @03:33AM

        by Fnord666 (652) on Thursday August 17 2023, @03:33AM (#1320647) Homepage

        [...] One thing I wonder about; is it tracked how many people preview submissions, and is that factored into selecting which to post?

        To the best of my knowledge, there is nothing that indicates how often a submission has been viewed. As an editor I'm looking for interesting submissions that I think will generate meaningful discussion. It helps if it has been submitted by a community member rather than by a submissions bot and bonus points if it has been properly quoted and formatted.

      • (Score: 2) by quietus on Thursday August 17 2023, @10:51AM (2 children)

        by quietus (6328) on Thursday August 17 2023, @10:51AM (#1320680) Journal

        One can imagine a mechanism where publication of submissions is decided by the number of upvotes it gets, in the submission queue. (Those upvotes could be randomly distributed to ordinary users, like we do now with the comment moderation system.)

        Do you think such a mechanism might work/ would be interesting to try out? If so, should we also permit the possibility of down-voting of submissions?

        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by requerdanos on Thursday August 17 2023, @02:53PM (1 child)

          by requerdanos (5997) on Thursday August 17 2023, @02:53PM (#1320712) Journal

          A potential problem with this approach might be that "[Current|Former|Aspiring] President So-and-so Did So-and-so" submissions would likely be insanely voted up/down with righteous indignation/righteous anger/etc. I say that based on observations on comments on such stories that we have run in the past--high comment count, very low quality. Applying a human touch, editors seem to tend to shy away from running such stories despite their popularity in terms of views and comments because of this low-quality interaction.

          Whereas, "Scientists Discover Interesting-scientific-thing" doesn't have such a rabid following, even if the comments on those stories tend to be much higher quality.

          • (Score: 2) by quietus on Friday August 18 2023, @05:30AM

            by quietus (6328) on Friday August 18 2023, @05:30AM (#1320796) Journal

            Maybe the problem of [political] up-and-down voting could be handled by only allowing 'vested' users (i.e. long-time users, with karma above a certain level) to do the voting. If we'd let the current editors vote, we'd get a balanced view on whether a submission is worth it; the same might be true if we'd also allow the regulars a vote.

            In addition, we could make the vote non-anonymous.

            Any way, if emotions would run too high, we could shut down the experiment, no?

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 16 2023, @05:21AM (11 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 16 2023, @05:21AM (#1320475)

    How often does the same visitor refresh the home page? (How about during their waking hours?)

    Do they refresh once a day? once every hour? once every three hours? Probably they've got a minute of free time and want to fill it with a piece of information-candy. Probably that interval is "best" to publish an additional thing. Larger things, like the 8086 processor workings, probably no more than once a day. Smaller news that can be consumed in just a few minutes, multiple times a day.

    What do the statistics say people are doing?

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by turgid on Wednesday August 16 2023, @06:48AM

      by turgid (4318) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday August 16 2023, @06:48AM (#1320483) Journal

      Sometimes I'll see several good stories I want to read and leave them open in browser tabs to come back to later, sometimes very much later like a week or a fortnight. At other times there may be a couple of stories I want to read and comment on straight away. Most days there are two, three or four stories that I want to read briefly and look at the comments. If there's a good comment thread going, I will refresh it several times every few minutes.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by bart9h on Wednesday August 16 2023, @01:00PM (9 children)

      by bart9h (767) on Wednesday August 16 2023, @01:00PM (#1320532)

      Home page? I never open it, in fact I mostly forget it exists.

      I only consume SN from the RSS feed.

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by iWantToKeepAnon on Wednesday August 16 2023, @07:03PM

        by iWantToKeepAnon (686) on Wednesday August 16 2023, @07:03PM (#1320581) Homepage Journal
        +1, rss only unless I find an article interesting and open it to comment/read comments.
        --
        "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." -- Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
      • (Score: 4, Interesting) by quietus on Thursday August 17 2023, @10:59AM (7 children)

        by quietus (6328) on Thursday August 17 2023, @10:59AM (#1320681) Journal

        What is the reason you only arrive at articles here through your rss feed, and not through the home page of this site: is it only for efficiency reasons, or is there something else (e.g. the website being very confusing when accessing through a screen reader)?

        • (Score: 2) by Ox0000 on Thursday August 17 2023, @12:38PM (5 children)

          by Ox0000 (5111) on Thursday August 17 2023, @12:38PM (#1320694)

          To be clear: I'm not trying to be antagonistic here, so please don't read any such intonation in my words. I'm just trying to explain my personal experience as an RSS feed user.

          Because the RSS feed makes the homepage somewhat useless to you.
          Once you use the RSS feed, you see every story float by in your reader anyway. Those you are interested in, you interact with and mark to keep around, those you aren't, you mark as read so they disappear from your horizon and move on. What else is there on the front page that would possibly be of interest? The poll? I can easily live without that.

          So in a way yes, it's efficiency. I think it's also slightly more "power-user-ness" (without trying to be arrogant)

          • (Score: 4, Informative) by requerdanos on Thursday August 17 2023, @02:57PM (1 child)

            by requerdanos (5997) on Thursday August 17 2023, @02:57PM (#1320713) Journal

            What else is there on the front page that would possibly be of interest?

            Journal entries [soylentnews.org], I'd say. Some official, some unofficial, some inane, but many very interesting.

            • (Score: 3, Interesting) by bart9h on Thursday August 17 2023, @08:48PM

              by bart9h (767) on Thursday August 17 2023, @08:48PM (#1320756)

              I wish the feed could include journal entries.

              But at least I get notified of journal entries by my SN friends via the SN messaging system.

          • (Score: 2) by quietus on Friday August 18 2023, @05:14AM (2 children)

            by quietus (6328) on Friday August 18 2023, @05:14AM (#1320792) Journal

            One of the surprising things, for me at least, is that 4 or 5 out of about 30 people who've commented mentioned RSS (and, in one case, email digest) as their principal way of accessing content here. That's a significant proportion; and the reason I asked about your motivations for using RSS.

            Thanks for the info so far. One more question: can the RSS feed be improved (e.g. also adding journal entries, as mentioned by another commenter) in your opinion?

            (Ofcourse, anybody else who uses that feed, feel free to chime in.)

            • (Score: 2) by Ox0000 on Friday August 18 2023, @05:40PM (1 child)

              by Ox0000 (5111) on Friday August 18 2023, @05:40PM (#1320856)

              I don't think I'm the right person to answer that question since I've never really done anything in the journal entry space (either write them or read them).
              This could be a product of my RSS usage, but my RSS usage could also be a product of me really only caring about the stories being posted. And I don't really know which way around it is.
              At this point in time, based on my MO, you could kill the entire journal functionality and my world or usage of Soylent would not change.

              For my genuine education, could you point me to some interesting journals or journal entries? Maybe that could get me started with interacting with those...

              • (Score: 2) by quietus on Tuesday August 22 2023, @01:05PM

                by quietus (6328) on Tuesday August 22 2023, @01:05PM (#1321358) Journal

                Define interesting. The journals are a place for posting stuff you don't expect to make it to the frontpage. As such, you can find an article about the restoration of a NASCAR racing track next to a discussion about how to grow potatoes, an informative post about the next-generation nvidia GPUs or a debate about a court decision that people who use marijuana don't loose their second amendment rights. (Me, I sometimes post interesting tidbits about Chinese and Russian politics.)

                There is joy in exploring.

        • (Score: 2) by bart9h on Thursday August 17 2023, @08:46PM

          by bart9h (767) on Thursday August 17 2023, @08:46PM (#1320755)

          It's nothing wrong with the site.

          It's just a habit. Instead of opening dozens of sites to see which were updated, I just check my feed. Comics, news, podcasts, even Youtube channels and github notifications.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by atwork on Wednesday August 16 2023, @05:39AM

    by atwork (34426) on Wednesday August 16 2023, @05:39AM (#1320477)

    Perhaps a touch too few recently, but the lack of click-bait political ones is probably an improvement.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by psa on Wednesday August 16 2023, @05:40AM

    by psa (220) on Wednesday August 16 2023, @05:40AM (#1320478) Homepage

    I tend to read through all of the new stories once or twice a day. And I tend to only comment on those about which I think I have something to say; i.e. seldom. Perhaps with more stories I would find more to comment on, but perhaps I would have less time to spend on them if I was reading more. Hard to say. I very rarely comment at any news site, though, as it mostly doesn't seem like a useful exercise unless I have actual information or unique experience that I feel could add to the topic.

    I think I could comfortably read twice as many stories as we're currently seeing on here. Beyond that, I don't know if my reading would fall off, or if I'd spend more time here and less elsewhere. It would very much depend on the quality and type of stories being posted. I'd love to see this become a primary source of news and educated commentary.

  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 16 2023, @06:29AM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 16 2023, @06:29AM (#1320482)

    How about a guaranteed story every 4 or 6 hours, plan that 2-3 days in advance, then fill in the gaps aggressively until no subs are left.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by kazzie on Wednesday August 16 2023, @04:59PM

      by kazzie (5309) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday August 16 2023, @04:59PM (#1320564)

      Or perhaps until no good subs are left. Not every submission is worth running with (for quality, topic, or perhaps repetition reasons).

  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Ox0000 on Wednesday August 16 2023, @07:21AM (3 children)

    by Ox0000 (5111) on Wednesday August 16 2023, @07:21AM (#1320484)

    4 to 6 stories per day is a sweet spot for me. When stuff gets posted is irrelevant because of RSS.

    In terms of keeping track of or engaging with stories that interest me: I use an RSS reader (so do _NOT_ get rid of the feed!) and mark/keep interesting stories for me in said reader to revisit them again for a certain amount of time after publishing (typically until commenting dies down), regardless of whether I commented on them or not.

    Frequency of publication doesn't matter to me, because my RSS reader will pick them up regardless of when they are published. I (almost) never get to a story from the front page, which uses a layout that feels un-surveillable to me anyway (but that's a different topic). A summarizing story per topic kept on the front page may be an interesting experiment but as long as the RSS feed exists, it will probably not affect me nor my MO.

    Volume of stories does not influence whether I comment on them; the subject matter of the stories, and previous comments do. That being said, I can imagine/recall that if there are more than 7-ish stories per day, my engagement drops because I only have a finite amount of attention I can dedicate during the day. The volume can quickly become overwhelming.
    If you publish too many stories, they will all drown out one another.

    Pick a handful (4-6) of good, meaningful stories and publish those. Ignore the rest.
    (Lastly, also ignore anything related to the cantankerous, spoiled child of a South African apartheid-era mining mogul - that too would cut down on undesired noise.)

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 16 2023, @12:30PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 16 2023, @12:30PM (#1320525)

      I also use an RSS reader (+1 to keep the RSS feed!) and 4-6 or 5-10 as mentioned in another comment is an acceptable number of stories per day.

      My preference is for having stories spread out every day rather than collected and published once a week, for two combined reasons:
      1- I can more easily find small amounts of time every day to read and think about the stories than a big amount of time once a week; and
      2- My RSS reader has many feeds and I read the aggregation of all feeds in chronological order. Having to filter out a big chunk of SN articles that appears once a week is not convenient.

    • (Score: 2) by quietus on Thursday August 17 2023, @11:14AM (1 child)

      by quietus (6328) on Thursday August 17 2023, @11:14AM (#1320685) Journal

      I (almost) never get to a story from the front page, which uses a layout that feels un-surveillable to me anyway (but that's a different topic).

      Statistically speaking, about 10% of this site's public should use a screen reader. The current code, however, is somewhat of a disaster for those [potential] users.

      A summarizing story per topic kept on the front page may be an interesting experiment but as long as the RSS feed exists, it will probably not affect me nor my MO.

      Would a page with monthly summaries for the topic be of interest?

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Ox0000 on Thursday August 17 2023, @12:42PM

        by Ox0000 (5111) on Thursday August 17 2023, @12:42PM (#1320695)

        Would a page with monthly summaries for the topic be of interest?

        I doubt it, because by that time, the 'action' on those threads are done. Now that I think of it, as long as that RSS feed is around, I don't think the summarizing story would be of value. I have the summary in my RSS reader anyway...
        If you would really want such a summarizing story, there's no need to pollute the story feed; instead just add a link to the front page that dynamically aggregates all stories where posted_date >= current_timestamp - interval '1 week';

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by coolgopher on Wednesday August 16 2023, @07:27AM (9 children)

    by coolgopher (1157) on Wednesday August 16 2023, @07:27AM (#1320485)

    Personally, something like 5-10 stories per day would be the sweet spot I think. That should mean that when I refresh a few times during the day I'd see something new, and with that number of stories there's likely to be something that takes my fancy. Above 20 per day and I'd probably end up skimming over most of them. Quality of qantity, for sure.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Mykl on Wednesday August 16 2023, @10:04AM

      by Mykl (1112) on Wednesday August 16 2023, @10:04AM (#1320500)

      Agree - 5-10 for me is good.

    • (Score: 5, Informative) by janrinok on Wednesday August 16 2023, @11:00AM (7 children)

      by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday August 16 2023, @11:00AM (#1320507) Journal

      Normally, the weekday rate is 8 stories per day, dropping to 5 stories a day over the weekend and public holidays. To maintain these rates we need, on average, double the number of required stories per day in the form of submissions that are interesting, not repeating discussions that we have had recently, and on topic.

      The time taken to prepare a story for release depends on the quality of the submission. A submission via upstart (a bot) only gives us a URL. That means that the editor has to do everything from preparing a submission, processing it into a releasable story, and placing it in an appropriate space in the following day's story queue. This can take as long as 30 minutes or more in some cases. We try to vary stories by topic as much as we can so that we do not have a run of science stories or hardware stories in succession.

      A submission via Arthur (another bot) is slightly better in that it extracts the story from an html page automatically, but it doesn't understand what that story actually means. It helps remove one stage in the preparation (no submission work is required) as it is already formatted to be almost releasable. But it still requires an editor to remove unwanted content, and to cut it down to a reasonable size bearing in mind fair use etc. From this stage onwards it follows the same path as all other stories.

      Submissions from community members are usually much better, and those from former editors are often completely ready for release very quickly. We prioritise submissions from actual people but, when needs must, we have to use those provided by the bots.

      As an example, there were 21 submissions in the queue yesterday, but 17 of those came from the bots.

      At the moment we are overstretched by having to write bylaws and address other governance issues, in addition to all of the usual site management that must take place. Much of this, but by no means all, is being done by editors. We cannot do everything all the time, and we only have some much time in a day to give. We elected to reduce the daily output to 5 stories a day to free up some editor time for addressing other site tasks.

      The community is shrinking. This started with Covid but has also been exacerbated by recent on-site problems. Thus the number of submissions each day is decreasing meaning that we must spend more time finding the submissions for ourselves or relying on the bots. We think that currently we have a manageable situation. Once the site issues are resolved I would expect to return to the more usual cadence of 8/5 but I am no longer the team leader. It will be up to him to decide.

      --
      I am not interested in knowing who people are or where they live. My interest starts and stops at our servers.
      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by looorg on Wednesday August 16 2023, @11:54AM (2 children)

        by looorg (578) on Wednesday August 16 2023, @11:54AM (#1320514)

        As an example, there were 21 submissions in the queue yesterday, but 17 of those came from the bots.

        There might be some overlap, some of those bot submissions might have been submitted by people at some point or eventually. But once they are there you don't really bother making a submission since the bot has already done it. It works the other way around to I guess, I did submit a story a few days ago and it made the front page and now I notice it's in the submission queue again from the bots. So it's doubling down in some regard.

        If we'd put on just a single story for each topic (software, hardware, news, science, security, politics and so on), and keep it on the frontpage for a week, would that work for you? If we'd publish hundred stories each day, would you start or continue commenting?

        The first idea here seems a bit odd since there is no guarantee that there will be a story on or in each topic. It might also change over time, I suspect next year there will be a slow of Trump-bad-man posts as the election gets closer etc. Or are we talking a completely different front page where you have six:ish slots or so -- one for each topic and they just stay there until a new story in that topic comes around? As noted some of them might be around for a while then.

        While silly if there was submissions to post that many, hundreds of stories, per day I am not sure anyone would notice them all. It would be about 4-5 stories per hour then. Nobody is keeping up with that unless this is some kind of full time job. I would say the current rate of about a story every four-six hours or so is probably enough. Perhaps the schedule should change depending on when most of the users are here? Not sure when that is, one gets the impression that this place is mostly filled with Americans, but that might be wrong, so in some regard it might make sense to post more stories when they are "awake" and active and less the other hours of the day. But that might be overthinking the whole thing. It might be just easier to push them on the clock around the clock.

        • (Score: 2) by acid andy on Wednesday August 16 2023, @12:54PM (1 child)

          by acid andy (1683) on Wednesday August 16 2023, @12:54PM (#1320531) Homepage Journal

          But once they are there you don't really bother making a submission since the bot has already done it. It works the other way around to I guess,

          Yeah same here and I just wrote [soylentnews.org] in another thread that I wouldn't tend to go looking for stories at all when the queue is full. But now I know differently, I won't let that put me off making submissions. If I can't find any of my own stories I might even consider looking through the bot ones and resubmitting them nicely formatted. Now I just need to find a bit of time...

          By the way, aren't most of the upstart submissions stories human Soylentils posted on IRC? If non staff in the community are still doing that, wouldn't it be preferable if they spent a bit more time formatting a smaller number of submissions instead?

          --
          Consumerism is poison.
          • (Score: 4, Informative) by Fnord666 on Thursday August 17 2023, @03:46AM

            by Fnord666 (652) on Thursday August 17 2023, @03:46AM (#1320649) Homepage

            But once they are there you don't really bother making a submission since the bot has already done it. It works the other way around to I guess,

            Yeah same here and I just wrote [soylentnews.org] in another thread that I wouldn't tend to go looking for stories at all when the queue is full. But now I know differently, I won't let that put me off making submissions. If I can't find any of my own stories I might even consider looking through the bot ones and resubmitting them nicely formatted. Now I just need to find a bit of time...

            By the way, aren't most of the upstart submissions stories human Soylentils posted on IRC? If non staff in the community are still doing that, wouldn't it be preferable if they spent a bit more time formatting a smaller number of submissions instead?

            Yes, submissions from upstart come from a bot that runs in IRC. It does its best to extract the source article, an appropriate headline, and a scholarly reference if one is included in the source article. As Janrinok has said however, those submissions need to be heavily worked by the editors before posting to the front page. It takes a decent amount of time and thus limits how many stories an editor can process.

            If you find a bot submission in the queue that interests you, please feel free to write it up and submit it. Reducing the effort that the editors need to put in to get a story to the front page is always appreciated.

      • (Score: 2) by coolgopher on Wednesday August 16 2023, @12:15PM (2 children)

        by coolgopher (1157) on Wednesday August 16 2023, @12:15PM (#1320522)

        I hope my post didn't come across as a demand - that was not the intent at all. I appreciate all the work everyone is putting in! 3

        • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Wednesday August 16 2023, @12:39PM

          by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday August 16 2023, @12:39PM (#1320528) Journal

          No, not at all. I was just trying to provide an explanation about what is involved and why the current story rate is lower than one might expect.

          --
          I am not interested in knowing who people are or where they live. My interest starts and stops at our servers.
        • (Score: 4, Funny) by coolgopher on Wednesday August 16 2023, @01:12PM

          by coolgopher (1157) on Wednesday August 16 2023, @01:12PM (#1320534)

          Also a bug report - in Plain Old Text mode it consumes the less-than sign. Looks like &lt; is required to achieve a <.

          Yeah I know, I should've paid better attention to the preview :)

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Reziac on Thursday August 17 2023, @02:43AM

        by Reziac (2489) on Thursday August 17 2023, @02:43AM (#1320642) Homepage

        I find the 5-to-8 is a nice number. Quick to skim, not so much that it becomes tedious. A few more or less is not a big deal. How things are is perfectly good by me.

        --
        And there is no Alkibiades to come back and save us from ourselves.
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Gaaark on Wednesday August 16 2023, @11:04AM (2 children)

    by Gaaark (41) on Wednesday August 16 2023, @11:04AM (#1320508) Journal

    Same as it is, maybe a bit more.

    I read everything, but even if interesting i may not comment.

    --
    --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
    • (Score: 2) by inertnet on Wednesday August 16 2023, @11:58AM (1 child)

      by inertnet (4071) on Wednesday August 16 2023, @11:58AM (#1320518) Journal

      Same goes for me. I could comment on more stories, but don't want to overdo it. I refrain from goofing around too much, and from posting too many hard to believe anecdotes.

      P.S., This subject line must be a Talking Heads reference.

      • (Score: 3, Funny) by Gaaark on Wednesday August 16 2023, @10:40PM

        by Gaaark (41) on Wednesday August 16 2023, @10:40PM (#1320603) Journal

        "You may ask yourself, am I right, am I wrong? You may say to yourself, my god, what have I done?"

        No. You are right. :)

        --
        --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by WeekendMonkey on Wednesday August 16 2023, @12:37PM

    by WeekendMonkey (5209) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday August 16 2023, @12:37PM (#1320527)

    I might dip in a couple of times per day during the week, but at weekends or during holidays my visits are much less frequent. So the frequency of posting is less important to me than the daily number of articles. I would welcome a few more articles per-day - I'm not a regular commenter, but more articles would increase the probability of me having something to contribute. However, I'm unlikely to reply to anything over a day old because comment threads seem to have a short shelf-life.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Freeman on Wednesday August 16 2023, @01:38PM

    by Freeman (732) on Wednesday August 16 2023, @01:38PM (#1320540) Journal

    4-6, 5-10 ish, all sound reasonablish? Yeah, reasonablish is not a word, blah, blah, blah.

    I submit a few things as time permits, but usually am not active during the weekend due to the fact that Wife+Kiddo == 0 time. I also try to squeeze in a bit of play time too.

    --
    Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"
  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by VLM on Wednesday August 16 2023, @03:58PM

    by VLM (445) on Wednesday August 16 2023, @03:58PM (#1320558)

    One thing I know for sure is the data must exist in the logs, could just plot the number of stories posted on a scatter plot vs number of comments or whatever other indicator of interaction along the other axis.

    Would be interesting to compare the guesses made by posters vs the appearance of the graph of actual data described above.

    I make a guess; when there's "nothing going on" people will not be online either suggesting stories or posting comments, so my controversial guess is the two data sets are uncorrelated and the amount of posts naturally matches the amount of commenting. The scatter plot would look rather linear-ish to random-ish.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by istartedi on Wednesday August 16 2023, @05:47PM

    by istartedi (123) on Wednesday August 16 2023, @05:47PM (#1320569) Journal

    OK, it's not that bad. This is nowhere near as cringe-worthy as multi-$billion companies touting "dark mode" as if returning our color choices from 1 to 2 when they were previously an astronomical number is some kind of accomplishment.

    What I'm saying is, "make it configurable for the user".

    That might seem impossible. Story frequency sounds like something that has to be shared by everybody, but if you have fine-grained filtering you effectively customize frequency. How? By filtering on topic, number of comments, rating of comments, author, etc. The frequency of posts that meet a filter is naturally going to vary based on how you filter, with unfiltered content having the highest frequency.

    We're already kind of doing this with journals. If the daily dose on the front page isn't enough, I'll check out some journals.

    BTW, I put "rating of comments" in there just now because it's food for thought--God forbid Soyent ever becomes as rage-baity as big social media, but if it does then filtering out stories that garner lots of negative mods and/or back and forth moderation might be an effective rage-bait shield. If you don't believe me, you're a racist. /sarcasm.

    And yes, I know that might be a challenge for devs in this environment of flux, so if it's too much then the short answer is:

    I favor higher frequency because I can ignore more easily than I can conjure.

    --
    Appended to the end of comments you post. Max: 120 chars.
  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Reziac on Thursday August 17 2023, @02:31AM

    by Reziac (2489) on Thursday August 17 2023, @02:31AM (#1320641) Homepage

    What is currently typical is nice. A good handful, enough that probably something will interest, not so many that it's a chore to dig through them. More than about ten and I'm unlikely to scroll down the list.

    I never look at the homepage, in fact I forgot there is one until someone here said the same thing. I check the daily mailer (I use both), or sometimes the RSS. Cruise past whatever stories interest me, may or may not comment (because I may or may not have anything halfway intelligent or intelligible to say). When I get a reply or mod notice, I often ramble around the adjacent comments, or skim through someone's comment history from there. It's enough that I usually wind up spending all my mod points.

    An "optimum number of people posting here" is what we already have. Not so many that everyone remains a stranger; not so few that there's never anything new to say. With our current numbers, we're a community, not a mob.

    Having done this online commenting thing for 30 years now in every sort of venue, I've reached the conclusion that bigger is not better. Growth tends to become cancerous. Reasonably stable is much more pleasant.

    --
    And there is no Alkibiades to come back and save us from ourselves.
  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by dw861 on Thursday August 17 2023, @03:41AM

    by dw861 (1561) Subscriber Badge on Thursday August 17 2023, @03:41AM (#1320648) Journal

    I like the current number. Frequency is not so important as I read the stories in Alpine via the daily email digest. Mostly once per day, but sometimes I collect a backlog and read two or three emails at a time.

    From the "In this issue" headlines, I already start deciding which stories I want to read in detail. I make the decision to visit a particular story on the site because I am curious as to what others' comments will say. Most often, because I want to know more about a topic, and I frequently learn more from the comments than the stories. I make the jump from email to site much less frequently, because I want to comment myself.

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