User Engagement

I walk up to a burger van and ask, "What'cha got?" "Burgers." comes the not too helpful reply. It takes a bit of teasing to find out that they do beef burgers, cheese burgers, chilly burgers of various heats, vegie burgers, egg burgers, bacon burgers, they even do spam spam spam spam spam burger and spam ... without the burger. (apologies Mony Python)

It would have been a damn sight easier if they'd just given me the bloody menu! Unless they LIKE to stand there talking to me, that is, instead of actually selling me some of their mouth-watering bovine product. (perhaps they just don't "relish" dealing with the onions! Ha!)

You get the gist.

FetLife had a good mechanism. Called Kinky And Popular, or K&P for short. Articles that had received a lot of votes were top of the charts. However, it has a serious problem. Closed chains.

There are two main ways that a person will see content. One is a feed of things that the people they are watching, are watching. So if you and I are friends and I like an article, then it will pop up under your nose as well. If you like it, then the people that follow you will see it and be able to pass a judgement on it as well. If something gets enough likes then it gets propelled up on to K&P and everyone sees it.

The problem is if something is outside this chain of people. It will get very little eyeball and will sink in to obscurity; no matter how good it is.

Also, on FetLife, you have to actually agree to a friendship. It's a problem because, lets say I want to follow you, but you look at me and I'm posting too frequently; if we become friends then my feed will drown yours out completely and your other friends will drop off the bottom of your radar; so the friendship becomes declined and I can't follow you. (There is the possiblity to silence them, like on Twitter, but what's the point of befriending someone simply to shut them up? "Yes! I'll be friends with you! Now stick this in your gob..." Fortunately, on BookLikes, that doesn't happen; we're free to follow whoever we like without having an impact on their feeds.

The FetLife algorythm works. It works well. Too well.

I pondered on a weighting system of, "likes versus time," so that a post that was new and had two likes would get more preferential treatment over something which was five days old and had five likes.

I also pondered a, "today only!" tab which would pull up posts made in the last 24 hours. A thumbnail shot, similar to what does with their "Noise" feed.

Also a, "review," tab which would pull up book reviews only.

Basically ... a number of different, "windows," on the BookLikes blogging community; that need little or no input or oversight from the administration team, other than programming the system.

That is, of course, the start. This isn't perfect either and some form of intervention thing is needed ... but I'm working on that. Part 2 will come ... um ... sometime.

Reblogged from Michelle's corner