Monday, November 26, 2012

Stale Top Comments

I've been watching Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Thriftshop video. If you can stand to hear a lot of cuss words, you should jump in because it's a funny and entertaining video.

This Youtube video has already cleared 20,000,000 views. The number of comments exceeds (as of today) 26,000. However, the "Top Comment," as shown above, has hit a paltry 37 thumbs up. How did 20,000,000 people/views get reduced to 37?

Without incentives, you're not going to get people to rank anything. has an interesting system in which users can earn "Geek Gold" which can then be spent on the site. However, incentives are not the purpose of this blog.

What I'm curious about is a perpetual cycle. The "Top Comments" (usually just two) get the most views because they require no further clicking to see. This kind of built-in advertising solidifies in many cases the Top Comment hegemony. Two suggestions here: 1) make it impossible to vote for the Top Comment or 2) program staleness into the thumbs up so that a top position degrades over time.

The general idea is that a viewer should see more than just two comments out of 26,000, and building in a kind of comment renewal is a strong way to encourage more user interaction. Sure, I could scour all of the comments and cast my vote every time, but I'm just not the voting type. However, I believe that the attention and votes of people today count more than they do six months, a year, or five years ago.

Rating comments is very democratic. Everyone gets a vote, if they want it. Integrating comment degradation would not be an attempt to undermine the inherent democracy of the comment world, but rather to introduce a new rule to spice things up.

Just a thought.