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    • CommentAuthorquid
    • CommentTimeJun 5th 2013

    The purpose of this post is two-fold. On the one hand it is a request for clarfication from those that actually know how this works, viz. math.SE users. On the other hand, it is a request about thoughts if (what it does) is a potential problem.

    What is this about, my understanding: As far as I understand, from reading around on relevant metas at SE reminded by the mention of it in a related discussion, in the analog of the MO inbox on SE, the StackExchange™ MultiCollider SuperDropdown™ (in the sequel I will abreviate it as in the title to MultiCollider) seems to contain a feature of giving a list of "hot" questions across the full network. And (possibly) there are other places on the network where this list is also displayed.

    If a question for some reason or another happens to make this list, it gains significant visibility and thus likely gets even "hotter" and so will (depending on precise subject) attract contributors from throughout the network. These then can vote and comment (due to association bonus) and might somehow interfere with the 'normal' workings of the site. (This issue already is present sometimes, my worry is it could get a lot worse. In particular, popular question on math.SE often have comments like 'This is so great! I only registered to vote this up.').

    Based on my understanding of the situation:

    I would like if MO would opt-out of being included in the listings of this MultiCollider (as well as other network-wide listings of "hot" questions).

    My (vague) understanding is that there are or were some other sites that are not included in this cross-network promotion of questions, for one reason or another. (So this might be a more feasible wish then not giving any assciation bonus at all for MO, which might be still better.)

    ps: This is in more implict form burried in a recent other thread, but I thought not many will have read everything there.

    • CommentAuthorgrp
    • CommentTimeJun 5th 2013
    I find myself in a position of wanting to psychoanalyze my own response. I post it as a caution to people who may find themselves excessively attached to things.

    I see some benefit in MathOverflow contributing to but otherwise not participating in such a cross-forum event. I am resistant enough to change that the idea of "outsiders" influencing vote counts, page views, and reputation on MathOverflow bothers me. However, I have no problem with a question and answer being selected, copied, and the copy given over to be used in this event. I would also not deny whatever badges or reputation points might be garnered from such a copy, but I would be also comfortable with such copies being automatically placed in CW mode.

    I share some of quid's level of concern about how a Multicollider will impact MathOverflow, but I also wonder if quid and I are perhaps too attached to the status quo.

    Gerhard "Needs To Watch 'Groundhog Day'" Paseman, 2013.06.05
    • CommentAuthorquid
    • CommentTimeJun 5th 2013 edited

    @grp: thank your for the input. I do see the point you want to make, however as I am also looking forward to some of the changes (for example, the new type of meta) I can at least say that I do not want to preserve each and every status quo. As a further data-point. It seems the post on meta.math.SE (mentioned in the frontpage thead) got some things moving there, too. Specifically, the answer there since recently includes a link to the newly created suggestion on meta.SO to the extent that the association bonus should not give voting privileges.

    Added: in addition I am not the first to bring up this or related issues, but it came up in earlier migration threads too. Indeed, I think my request is relatively more moderate than earlier ones in that I only ask, so to say, for not inviting visitors but to still permit them access if they show up without invitation. Furthermore, my main concern are actually not the upvotes, but on the one hand comments to the extent mentioned is something I actually saw, and on the other hand I thought it'd be better not to spread too much negativity and sketch out a lot more annoying hypothetical scenarios (not that I could not envision such things).


    I personally don't pay any attention at all to the "hot" questions in the drop down. Nor do I know anyone who does.

    The interface is such that notifications that actually concerns you (your inbox which contains activities on your posts [comments, edits] and comments addressed to you, and system messages to you such as badge notifications) are displayed in separate tabs from the hot questions tab. In so far as hot questions are concerned I would posit that more users will be funneled toward the hot questions by the network wide hot questions page and the Cross-Site advertisements (this discusses how those are chosen and see also this).

    (As a tangential remark, I expect that MO will make the same demand as MSE in that no cross-site advertisements of any kind are shown on the MathOverflow pages?)

    Historically at least at MSE we have not often seen much influx from either of those mechanisms. In fact, many of the occurrences where a question got a uncharacteristically large number of views and votes are actually due to external advertisement efforts, such as users (or passers-by) posting a link to the question on services like Reddit, Tumblr, YCombinator and such.

    • CommentAuthorquid
    • CommentTimeJun 6th 2013

    @Willie Wong: thank you for these details. If the huge amount of views rather comes from other sources to a certain extent I might have been barking up the wrong tree with my request. Though, I still think there is no good in being listed anywhere.

    However, regarding whether MO has announcements of other sites, personally, I am completely indifferent towards this. But I agree that when they were still on math.SE (I think they were earlier on) they sometimes looked a bit "funny" and some might mind this. Yet then, a bit of distraction from the "hard work" on MO by reading some of the other sites, might be even good.


    @quid: I am not a social scientist, but I would assume that users are more likely to follow a link personally recommended by someone they barely know (on Reddit, on Facebook, etc) compare to a link served up by "a machine".

    Also, I think I understand what you meant when you wrote "I still think there is no good in being listed anywhere" and to a certain extent I agree with that. But what you wrote is ... well, a bit off, no? What's the point of having a Q&A site if no-one can find it? :-)

    • CommentAuthorquid
    • CommentTimeJun 7th 2013

    @Willie Wong: yes this was a sloppy formulation; I meant the 'anywhere' to refer to the network, more specifically I meant it to repeat without spelling it out what I said in OP, that is "the listings of this MultiCollider (as well as other network-wide listings of "hot" questions)". Moreover, I always meant this as restricted to listings of individual questions. By contrast, I have no problem at all with the site as a whole being mentioned in the list of all sites, and at the bottom of the page and so on like any other site in the network (while there once, IIRC, was some discussion of even this not being desirable); at least I have no problem with this if the description of the site is appropriate, but this is subject in another current thread.

    Almost OT: Yet, I think it would even be true that I see no good in most any kind of selected lists of (links to) individual MO question as well as in many kinds of link-sharing; but then this not something I can influence so I did not think too much about it. Excluding those, still leaves open various ways to get to know the site.