Organizing the best forum posts

[This post was split from another topic.]

There’s a way to do that. I could create collaboratively-edited posts where people could add links to posts that have the most useful content. Maybe one post like that for each major topic?

Let me know if you think that it would be useful.

To provide some structure, maybe the format could be something like the example below?

  • [link to post] – brief description
  • [link to post] – brief description
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So this will be a weighted indexing of the information on this forum. This will be relevant than a basic search. Yes please.

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Here’s an experimental “wiki” post that regular users will be able to edit.

Feel free to try to edit it and we can see if it works. If the results are useful, we can add more of them on various topics.

Feedback is welcome. :slight_smile:

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A quick tip about linking to forum posts:

The URL at the top of a topic looks like this:

https://forum.artofmemory.com/t/organizing-the-best-forum-posts/41207

To link to a specific post, the URL will have a slash and the post index number appended to it like this:

https://forum.artofmemory.com/t/organizing-the-best-forum-posts/41207/3

To get the direct link, click on the time indicator on the top left of any post:

image

A “share” link will pop up. That’s the direct link to that specific post.

image

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I think that could work very well. I like the open edit format. That’s likely to get a lot more contributions but then again the content has to be managed.

You could state upfront that contributions are welcome but that content is culled and edited, unlike forum posts.

@tusharvjoshi mentioned a weighting system. I think so too. Perhaps it’s enough to just to sort the links in each topic by simple click count? If it’s a useful post, I’ll likely go back several times. I think that’s typical.

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It would be great if the links came with number of likes.

If this compilation of links works out, I think there will be a very long list and the longer the better but seeing the ones that have likes and how many could help us prioritize not only on description and interest but curiosity as well.

Personally, I would like to see ALL examples together liked or not but I m maybe a bit too much of a nut in my curiosity and love of what others do with their imagination.

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‘Likes’ are a possibility. It should be a more direct measure of how much people value the linked material but it’s very prone to distortions. 'Like’s become politicized. People tend to give more upvotes to people they like personally and are grudging with those that annoy them. Nor is it unknown for people to game a system like this and get their friends to ‘like’ them.

This was very much my experience at Stack Overflow, up and down votes are very politicized and it’s the main reason I don’t participate in discussions there. This is a smaller, more intimate group and the dynamics are different - so it might work here. Those are my reservations.

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@Cameri,

This was your initiative. You mentioned it twice. The details have yet to be worked out but it looks like something’s going to happen. I think it will be a significant asset to this forum. Well done!

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Except for a few notable exceptions, I do not believe that most folk here lay claim on the ideas in the forum. We have a few authors, and sellers of courses where infringement is possible but most information seems to come from trial and error, and historical sources.

Sticky posts are great but I might suggest going further and starting to promote that individuals update the wiki for important and meaningful information. There is a fairly deep repository of knowledge in the last few years of posts. The dialogue is entertaining to me but often there are too many extra adjectives and verbs in the way of clear understanding and similarly explanations can be skipped or left as assumed knowledge. Josh can’t do it all.

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Perhaps there’s someone available to summarize the contents of the posts. That would be a lot of work. More realistic to think in terms of aggregating the existing material with some light editing.

I don’t think there are any real copyright issues here but in general this forum does not have my permission to take posts that I write, edit them and repost them elsewhere without first getting my permission. I suspect other’s may feel the same. Even if you make just one person unhappy this way, it can sour the project.

If you follow the thread where Josh split it off, the current suggestion is to have pages of links to actual posts with a descriptive note about it’s contents.

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Just links to posts makes me very Happy! I am gathering method of loci example links has we speak.

Perhaps there’s a way to rank according to time spent on given post ?

Or some other way Josh? Likes would still do a good basic job if any other method is not possible or too much.

PS. I am thrilled that you are giving this idea a shot, thank you so much for everything, sincerely.

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The results of a few SQL experiments gave mixed results. I’ve added a poll at the bottom of this post. I will keep thinking about how this could be implemented. Feel free to propose additional ideas. :slight_smile:

Number of clicks

I just did some queries to see how that would work, and I don’t think it would produce the best topics. Sometimes there are topics that get extra traffic from search engines, and then people click on a link in a post not because it’s the most interesting, but because it was where they landed.

Number of likes

A query by likes isn’t turning up the best results either. A “like” can sometimes convey things other than “this is one of the most interesting posts on the forum that everyone should read.”

Number of bookmarks

This does turn up some interesting content, but I think there isn’t enough data to make it really useful. If more people intentionally use the bookmarking feature as a kind of voting system, then it might work.

A bookmark typically means, “this is useful and I might want to read it again later.”

To bookmark a post, look for the bookmark icon behind the three dots next to the like button. It looks like this:
image

Average time

I queried by average time spent on topics, and that doesn’t turn up the most relevant content, because sometimes it’s an embedded video that is a little off-topic.

Poll

Please cast a vote:

The “wiki post” refers to this example (you can click the “edit” button on the post to experiment with editing it – it’s just a prototype of an idea at the moment).

  • I would be interested in helping to curate “wiki” posts like in the example linked to above.
  • I would be interested in “bookmarking” interesting content in order to cast a vote for inclusion in a list of most useful posts.
  • I prefer another idea (comment below)

0 voters

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Ideas can be restricted (by not publicly disclosing them), but they can’t be copyrighted in the US.

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I do like the idea. Back in the old days we had a wiki page with memory palace sources, finding a way to create a list that shows what others have been wanting to see is pretty interesting.

So, just spitting out a random idea here.

How about a categorized list in a user-picked order as what people will see. You want pre-made memory palaces? Go to that category and find a list of topics containing that in the order you select in your filters or whatever. Alphabetically, by likes, by bookmarks or just completely random.

Every topic gets a button where one can nominate a topic, a few people can then look and judge if it is list-worthy. To make sure the forummers are heard as well, you could also say that if a certain number of people have nominated a topic, it will appear on the list regardless of what the selecting group thinks (though josh can of course always remove them if he needs to)

The same goes the other way. If you feel a topic is outdated, you can flag it for revision.

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Tis a difficult problem. Not everyone uses BMs. I’ve had to coach a few people on the basics. Not everyone here is a computer jock. Some people are haphazard about it.

The problem is if you ask people to BM as a gesture of approval, than it will have all the same issues as ‘likes’.

It’s a multivariate optimization problem. If you think those various metrics do have useful signal in them but it is conflated with other effects, perhaps a weighted sum might produce a better indicator (Knapsack Problem)

And one could have constraints, a min number of visits etc…

That approach may not be enough to produce an actual ranking but it might give a threshold below which the entries are culled.

I do think it important that some point in the process someone should exercise human judgement rather than trying to automate the whole process.

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That is why nominated topics are judged by some people. That way there is some control on what gets on the list

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Yes, I meant to say that I liked your kind of idea for that reason :slight_smile:

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I’m wondering why “Number of replies” has not been considered as a filter?

A dump of replies sorted by quantity would show all the thread titles, which would allow people to weed out unlikely candidates (such as “Card deck memorisation… (1.7k)”).

But maybe I’ve missed something.

Thanks.

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I’m finding myself revisiting this thread throughout the day…but always with a slightly unsettled feeling.

I don’t mean to put too fine a point on this, but: None of the filtering/bookmarking that’s been suggested seems to have anything to do with the best forum posts. Not really. Instead, they point to the ones that got the most likes (for any number of reasons), the ones with the most responses, etc., etc. But none of the criteria—to my mind, at least—say anything about the inherent value of the messages. I think that’s because that would be an impossible task.

With such a broad cultural and experiential base of users here, I don’t see how we can make qualitative judgments like this. “Best” for who? Will a memory competitor who wants to get faster at speed cards really find a thread on how to use fine art for memory palaces among the “best” threads?

If this organizational approach becomes an integral part of the forum, I’d suggest that we describe it as “most popular threads” or even break it out further into specific categories: “most popular threads for newcomers,” “… memory athletes,” “…memory palaces,” and so on.

In other forums I’ve been in—that don’t look anything like the software in use here—these threads would be “stickies” that are always at the top of the main Forum page. Is that the idea for here as well? Or would they work my like the tag links we currently have?

Bob

Bob

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