No, your measurements are still wrong because they are not directly correlated to the level of interest in the story. The same phenomenon that posts more front page stories on the weekend will skew this false correlation you made. The proportion of people who are casual readers vs. people who will actually vote will change non-uniformly given the demographics of the site at the current time.
Even measuring against different stories doesn't work. Some stories take a long time to accrue the voting threshold, and others take a shorter time. For instance, any story by Rusty about changes to the site software will make it to the front page very quickly. However, from the point of view of kuro5hin, both stories have equal merit once they are posted. You cannot preserve this change if you tie all voting together. In fact, the destruction of independence of polls is a serious reason not to do this.
Some may argue that you only want the relatively good stories to post, but I doubt that's the goal of the site proprietors. As I understand it, they want truly good stories to post, not just the best of the lot. If this means the site moves slowly relative to the rate of submissions, that's fine.
The alternative would be to allow spam or low quality postings to weight the system down in a serious way. Also, since it's easier to post crap, it will also be downward force on the quality of stories.
Since there is no good way to measure baseline interest, there is nothing to compare against except for magic numbers. Those magic numbers are likely to be very wrong on a routine basis.
The real solution is to find some way of expanding the size of the Commons (the submission queue page). The best recent solution was the addition of diaries. Diaries significantly reduced pressure on the queue by allowing authors to write material of limited interest somewhere without burdening the rest of the site. The other major advance in increasing the size of the Commons was the addition of sections to split the front page (the other major Commons).
The floated suggestion of disallowing topical comments while in the queue has no direct effect on this solution, but it has an indirect result of encouraging the quick promotion of material in the queue. This increases the space in the queue along the temporal axis (more stories in the same amount of space over the same period of time). For the short term, this will work famously. And it's also a way of encouraging people like myself to move out of the queue onto the rest of kuro5hin.
In the long term, a much more radical solution is needed. The floated suggestion of having an editorial queue in addition to the submission queue will reduce the size of the Commons. Consequently, since the editorial queue will be happening shortly, a serious rethinking of the submission process is in order. Perhaps splitting the queue into one queue per section? But even that is limited.
Actually, I think the One Face to Kuro5hin goal is the limiting pressure. If you continue to have the kind of traffic growth as experienced here over the last year, kuro5hin will no longer be able to maintain a single Commons. It will need to break into smaller Commons with at best a larger Commons where people can congregate. This would make kuro5hin a hierarchy of individual boards, and it would disrupt the common community feeling here. The other option is to thwart the pressure to grow. (Hey, growth is bad.)
The other option is to think more about social dynamics and organizational structure to come up with a more scalable solution.
"Haven't thought of anything, have you? No, neither have I. Think, think, think." -- Winnie the Pooh from The Honey Tree by A.A. Milne
"Look! You're free! Go, and be free!" and everyone hated it for that. --r
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