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Need more Front Page stories

By Paul Johnson in Meta
Sat Mar 24, 2001 at 05:43:35 PM EST
Tags: Kuro5hin.org (all tags)

At present we only seem to get a front page story every few days. More stuff should be posted to FP.

Sponsor: rusty
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comments (24)
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AIUI the current threshold for FP is that half the "+1" votes should be "+1 FP". Obviously Rusty could decrease this to, say, 1/4 of the +1 votes. But how about having a target number of stories instead?

The simplest implementation would be that every night the K5 server takes the story with the highest number of FP votes and puts that up. But that has a number of disadvantages.

A better system would have an adjustable threshold so that if comparitively few stories have been posted to FP recently then the threshold is dropped. If there is a sudden rush of FP stories then it gets increased a bit.

Does this make sense? Would it be a good idea?


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Need more Front Page stories | 28 comments (24 topical, 4 editorial, 0 hidden)
The problem isn't lack of +1FP votes (4.48 / 25) (#1)
by Anonymous 242 on Wed Mar 21, 2001 at 04:09:29 PM EST

The problem is lack of +1FP stories. Consider writing one.

Everything section (4.00 / 3) (#2)
by tnt on Wed Mar 21, 2001 at 04:16:31 PM EST

I always read the Everything section anyways, so it doesn't really make a difference to me.

     Charles Iliya Krempeaux, B.Sc.
  Kuro5hin user #279

Are you also for social promotion? (4.58 / 12) (#5)
by Carnage4Life on Wed Mar 21, 2001 at 04:36:47 PM EST

So on average more than half the people who vote for a story think it is worth being on K5's front page and your solution to this isn't that people should write better quality articles or that people should write stuff targetted at a broader audience but instead that we should lower the threshold for putting stories on the front page? Interesting.

If rusty actually does do anything like that I guess you can expect more -1's from me since there are a lot of stories that I voted +1 section with the belief that they'd get there but would vote -1 on than rather they went to the front page.

Irony... (2.80 / 5) (#6)
by Faulty Dreamer on Wed Mar 21, 2001 at 05:03:41 PM EST

So on average more than half the people who vote for a story think it is worth being on K5's front page and your solution to this isn't that people should write better quality articles or that people should write stuff targetted at a broader audience but instead that we should lower the threshold for putting stories on the front page? Interesting.

I wouldn't call that interesting. I'd call it par for the course. After all, this is the way we work the school systems now too. When students are doing poorly, we sure as hell won't ask for teachers to start doing a better job teaching (and maybe pay them to do it), and we sure as hell wouldn't want to ask the students to try harder. No, no, the better solution is to lower our standards. That way no one gets their feelings hurt. Grumble, grumble. I'm having a non PC (as in Politically Correct, not as in Personal Computer) day to celebrate the fact that I'm surrounded by idiots in the real world.

Faulty Dreams - Barking at the moon 24/7...

If you think I'm an asshole, it's only because you haven't realized what a fucking idiot I am. - Faulty Dreamer
[ Parent ]

The system is indeed somewhat imperfect (3.00 / 1) (#8)
by pmk on Wed Mar 21, 2001 at 07:44:33 PM EST

If I know (from reading #kuro5hin, say) that a story is about to post, and I think that it deserves to be on the FP but won't have sufficient votes, I vote it -1 so that it stands a better chance.

There are many section stories that, by themselves, deserve to post that way, but which later accumulate wonderful comments that then make the whole package FP material. There should be some way in which stories could be promoted to the FP after first being posted to a section.

[ Parent ]

Turnover (4.42 / 7) (#7)
by Dolohov on Wed Mar 21, 2001 at 05:38:58 PM EST

Personally, I've considered the slow turnover rate a good thing. People are more likely to read through all the comments and comments to comments, etc. when there is not a new story. Front page topics in this situation get more and longer attention, and so correspondingly more and longer thought.

It's nice to be able to return to a two-day-old discussion and find fresh ideas and insight. I'm not sure that this would continue to be the case if new stories were added more frequently.

Is this the answer? (3.00 / 2) (#9)
by nurikochan on Wed Mar 21, 2001 at 08:23:25 PM EST

First, I voted +1 normal because I think this is something that needs to be discussed.

But I honestly don't think lowering the bar is the way to do things. As Ward Connerly has criticized, "If at first you don't succede, redefine success." I think the system that you are proposing is an embodiment of this statement.

Personally, I think the system needs reform, as I'd like to see more stuff on the front page, but this could be solved by an option in the Scoop engine to let us see everything by default, instead of throwing us onto the front page. Or how about a system where we can make our own front pages automatically based on criteria; the opposite of filtering certain subjects in Slashcode? It's one of the few options I miss from their engine.

A better solution.... (4.00 / 3) (#10)
by RangerBob on Wed Mar 21, 2001 at 09:12:49 PM EST

Perhaps a better solution to this "problem" would be to.... post interesting things that are worthy of a front page post :) Not a rehash of "K5 is dying", not "I don't wanna do my homework, tell me what I need to know", not "I'm better than you are so :P". It kinda reminds me of places like IRC where a complainer whines about no one saying anything and then doesn't post another word.

The current number of FP's is good (3.83 / 6) (#11)
by The Cunctator on Wed Mar 21, 2001 at 09:36:21 PM EST

I don't mind the low number of FP's, and I even think the nonconfigurable front page is good, even though from a selfish viewpoint it would be nice to configure everything to look how I wanted.

The importance of everyone seeing the same front page is an idea that has been kicking around media theorists for a while in terms of the question of personalizable newspapers, and was popularized in Neal Stephenson's Diamond Age. In the Diamond Age, society was extremely stratified, though noone experienced poverty as we now know it, because of nanotechnology. The masses received personalizable news (usually in video form, as they were largely illiterate); the elite New Victorians all read the same newspaper, printed out on real paper. They maintained their elite status, culture, and knowledge by sharing in the same news.

I suspect Rusty has the same intention.

If we want more FP's, then we should write more FP's.

Same FP. (5.00 / 1) (#12)
by Paradocis on Wed Mar 21, 2001 at 09:59:01 PM EST

I don't think what is being proposed is a personalized front page. If I'm reading correctly, the idea is to lower the FP vote threshold in the moderation queue so that more stories would make it to the front page, leading to a front page that's more current.


BTW, another thing Rusty might want to fix, that I noticed while reading your post: if you leave an italic or bold tag open, the "reply to this" line stays italic, or bold, like this...

"El sueño de la razon produce monstruos." -Goya

[ Parent ]
Dumb-as <i>italics</i> (none / 0) (#14)
by The Cunctator on Wed Mar 21, 2001 at 11:49:19 PM EST

Yeah, sorry about the italics. One of us should be super-nice and submit the bug at sourceforge. Any takers?

[ Parent ]
It's not quite on-topic, but I agree anyway (none / 0) (#13)
by imperium on Wed Mar 21, 2001 at 10:46:22 PM EST

The last line, however, is bang on.

[ Parent ]

Maybe (3.50 / 2) (#15)
by spacejack on Thu Mar 22, 2001 at 12:26:48 AM EST

one or two sections should automatically qualify for FP. News would be a good one. If it's not good enough for front-page News, put it in MLP. Others could still be voted FP or section. It just raises the bar for those special sections.

Personally I don't mind one way or the other because a) I use 'Everything' to see posted stories, and b) often by the time a story gets posted it lies dormant :/ (Not always though.)

Anyways, this would seem to have more to do with hooking new readers than for the benefit of regular users.

Daily front page updates (none / 0) (#18)
by GusherJizmac on Thu Mar 22, 2001 at 04:29:33 PM EST

What about every day the story posted that day with the most front page votes goes up. That would ensure at least a daily update to the front page. I've been looking at that Government guy got fired story for what seems like weeks....

I think having the front page be so stale makes it not ever used. I like everything, and usually go straight to that. Maybe if someone could make everything their front page, that might be a good solution.
<sig> G u s h e r J i z m a c </sig>
K5 needs faster story turnover (none / 0) (#26)
by meldroc on Mon Mar 26, 2001 at 02:18:46 AM EST

I have to agree - the front page is stagnant, so some way needs to made to increase the number of stories that circulate to the Front Page. Maybe let the user choose the front-page threshold that works for him. Or maybe just lower the threshold.

No, the solution is not "Write better stories!" Not all of us are professional writers and journalists, and a story doesn't need to be absolutely perfect to have something to say.

[ Parent ]

Good idea (3.00 / 1) (#19)
by Rhamadanth on Thu Mar 22, 2001 at 10:29:14 PM EST

I think too many items that have interesting discussions are being relegated to places where they won't see the discussion that they deserve. In fact, the reason why I like scoring the submissions so much is because a lot of interesting stuff passes through there, and I'm almost certain that I'll never see it if I don't get there quickly. I check the sidebars, but I often miss things that are there. They certainly don't get as much discussion, which stands to reason.

I don't think there should be 15 new FP articles a day, like /., but I think that it's sad that so many good topics get pushed aside.

Take the OSX article that's currently up for submission. I don't think it'll see the front page, but there's a lot of interesting stuff to talk about there. Heck, even the /. folks had a lot of interesting things to say about it, and I'm usually loathe to read most of the postings. I'm sure that we could do even better.

-- The /bin/truth is out there.
Current system doesn't work (3.50 / 2) (#20)
by RandomPeon on Fri Mar 23, 2001 at 12:02:05 AM EST

We saw the "Scientist fired for web post" as the top story on the front page for at least a couple days. An online publication gets readership because it has lots of content and it's immediate. Wired and Salon have a 5-10 new front page stories a day, for example. This seems to be enough information that the reader can establish a rapid rapport with the site, come back once a day and find at least one story on the "front page" that they find interesting enough to read. Kuro5hin is undershooting the target by a lot.

Of course, it's our own damn fault, we're far too stingy in handy out front page votes. I think it's a result of the famed Kuro5hin elitism, which really does exist.

Been there, done that (4.00 / 1) (#21)
by jesterzog on Fri Mar 23, 2001 at 06:46:54 AM EST

(Side editorial note:) Sorry I had to vote this down. It doesn't seem to have enough meat on it, imo, and what does AIUI mean? But even if it did we've discussed this lots of times already either directly, or in sub-discussions.

See here, here and here for starters.

With respect to your idea, I don't really agree. If I vote something to a section it means I'd prefer not to see it on the front page. Often this is because it's not an ultra-high standard.

If we don't have any really good stories for a while, what good will it be for the system to start issuing ultimatums about putting average stories on the front page? Change the voters' attitudes - not the way that their vote is interpreted based on a desired outcome. If it's desirable to have more front page votes, offer an incentive for people to vote front page.

The front page is just for marketing to people who haven't seen the site much before, and they're not likely to have seen the same story there for ages anyway.

jesterzog Fight the light

AIUI (none / 0) (#25)
by DeepDarkSky on Sat Mar 24, 2001 at 07:58:50 AM EST

ITISF (I Think It Stands For) As I Understand It. IJAG (It's Just A Guess)

[ Parent ]
Leave it alone (none / 0) (#22)
by hardburn on Fri Mar 23, 2001 at 09:52:34 AM EST

There is enough stuff on the front page. Most of the stories belong in the section areas. Leave it alone.

while($story = K5::Story->new()) { $story->vote(-1) if($story->section() == $POLITICS); }

-1 Dump (1.00 / 1) (#23)
by Ratnik on Fri Mar 23, 2001 at 12:36:14 PM EST

Because I really hate being told how I should vote.

Solution (none / 0) (#24)
by enterfornone on Sat Mar 24, 2001 at 12:20:27 AM EST

Write good stories. I'd hate to see anything posted lately get to the front page (including most of what is on the front page).

efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
Yes, we do need more FP stories (none / 0) (#27)
by infraoctarine on Mon Mar 26, 2001 at 04:07:46 AM EST

I like the idea, in fact, a while ago when there hadn't been a single new FP story for 4-5 days, I was thinking along the same lines; the threshold should be adjusted dynamically to ensure a relatively even flow of FP stories.

It depends on how you think FP should be used: as a space to promote good stories period, or as a space to showcase the most interresting stories of the day. I would prefer the latter, as it makes the site look more alive (especially in the eyes of a newcomer). Quality could be promoted some other way, maybe there could be a "best stories" top list?

That said, I would not like to see the furious pace of FP stories of, for instance, slashdot. It makes it hard to participate in the discussions (the story often drops of FP and discussion dies within hours), but 1-3 new stories a day would be nice.

Writing better stories would be an appealing solution, unfortunately it is not just magically going to happen. Until (and if) the quality increases, I don't think K5 should be ashamed to show what it's got.

Problems with the System (4.00 / 2) (#28)
by MrAcheson on Mon Mar 26, 2001 at 02:06:34 PM EST

I think one reason we have the front page problem is that the plus/minus interface is not how the system really works internally. IIRC the stories are actually rated on the basis of a 1-5 scale similar to comments. The "score" displayed is actually only to decide whether it gets posted but not where it gets posted. So the post needs a 3.5ish to get to the FP and something lower to get posted to section.

This raises the following question. Why don't we just moderate stories directly 1-5 like comments? Thats basically what we are doing anyway right? It would be more transparent and people would know what is going on. Stories above 4.0 go to front page, above 3.0 go to section, and below 3.0 do not get posted. Stories are posted/rejected when they have a significant number of votes as a percentage of the K5 membership and their score reaches some sort of relatively stable value.

What do you guys think? Bad idea?

These opinions do not represent those of the US Army, DoD, or US Government.

Need more Front Page stories | 28 comments (24 topical, 4 editorial, 0 hidden)
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