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Number of views of a particular topic

arulk pillai
Author
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 31, 2007
Posts: 3219
Why not sho the numebr of views of a particular topic?


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Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Why should it be shown?

When making a change (such as adding a feature) the onus is borne by the new state. Is there a good reason to do this?

--Mark
[ February 07, 2008: Message edited by: Mark Herschberg ]
Ulf Dittmer
Marshal

Joined: Mar 22, 2005
Posts: 41182
    
  45
So the answer is really: because the current forum software does not support it, and we're at a point where we're loth to make changes that cause the server to have to do more work. Once we migrate to some other forum software this may be available, or if it isn't, we may implement it.


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Andrew Monkhouse
author and jackaroo
Marshal Commander

Joined: Mar 28, 2003
Posts: 11404
    
  81

I must admit that I don't see a value in this.

If 'x' number of people look at a question and don't reply, does it mean that the question makes no sense? Or that it is too difficult? Or that they feel that an existing reply has already answered the question? We have no way of knowing. So the metric gives us no value in that case. All we get from it is a raw percentage of views versus replies which will vary from topic to topic and forum to forum and day by day with no insight into why this might be.

Likewise, if a larger percentage of people respond to a different topic compared to those who view it, what does that really tell us? Again, we know nothing - it may be that this is a simpler question, or it may be a controversial question, or it may be that people want to correspond with the original poster.

So what do you see as being the value of this?

Regards, Andrew


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Ulf Dittmer
Marshal

Joined: Mar 22, 2005
Posts: 41182
    
  45
I agree that the value would not be in the early days of a topic, when it is still being replied to. It would come over time, as a topic is accessed through the internal search and through search engines. At that point, the view count becomes a measure of how relevant and/or useful a topic is. A small feature, to be sure, but worthwhile IMO if it can be gotten for little effort.
Andrew Monkhouse
author and jackaroo
Marshal Commander

Joined: Mar 28, 2003
Posts: 11404
    
  81

Interesting use case. Thanks for explaining it to me.

Regards, Andrew
Jeanne Boyarsky
internet detective
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Joined: May 26, 2003
Posts: 30138
    
150

Originally posted by Ulf Dittmer:
but worthwhile IMO if it can be gotten for little effort.

Or no effort if new software supports it and there would be effort to turn it off


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Jim Yingst
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Joined: Jan 30, 2000
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That's purely hypothetical of course.


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Ilja Preuss
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Sheriff

Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 14112
Originally posted by Ulf Dittmer:
I agree that the value would not be in the early days of a topic, when it is still being replied to. It would come over time, as a topic is accessed through the internal search and through search engines. At that point, the view count becomes a measure of how relevant and/or useful a topic is.


I don't see how that's the case. After all, I only know whether a topic is relevant and/or useful *after* I viewed it. But then I'm already part of the statistic...

It seems to me as if the number of views is more a measure of how appealing the subject line of a thread is.


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Ulf Dittmer
Marshal

Joined: Mar 22, 2005
Posts: 41182
    
  45
It seems to me as if the number of views is more a measure of how appealing the subject line of a thread is.

The subject line is what drives the traffic as long as the topic is visible on the main page. Later on, it's search traffic, and that's based more on the content of the post, and how relevant that is with respect to search terms, than the subject line.
Ben Souther
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Joined: Dec 11, 2004
Posts: 13410

A large number of views but no responses can also be a good indicator to the original poster that the question was not well written.


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Ulf Dittmer
Marshal

Joined: Mar 22, 2005
Posts: 41182
    
  45
Originally posted by Ben Souther:
A large number of views but no responses can also be a good indicator to the original poster that the question was not well written.

True. In which case smart search engines like Google will hopefully pick up on that by not ranking it highly, even if a naive search (like the one in use here) won't.

(As an aside, I'm not even sure why I'm arguing for this feature - it's no biggie, IMO. More important to have easy integration with del.ici.ous, Digg It, Reddit, Stumble Upon etc. so that good content can be actively promoted.)
Jeanne Boyarsky
internet detective
Marshal

Joined: May 26, 2003
Posts: 30138
    
150

Originally posted by Ilja Preuss:
It seems to me as if the number of views is more a measure of how appealing the subject line of a thread is.

Or how poor it is. After all, I'm more likely to click on "question about remote calls" than "server xyz throws foo using x language in internationalization". In the first case, I could conceivably know the answer. In the second case, I know I don't from the subject. I would say that the second subject line is better even though it has less clicks.
 
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