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Clearing out old votes

We’re experimenting with making votes “expire” after a certain period. This stops the oldest suggestions from becoming the most popular ones just by virtue of sticking around longer, and means that we’re more likely to prioritise the most popular suggestions at this point in time, not ones that people wanted years ago that are no longer relevant.

I’ve deleted all votes from before 2017, so you may have noticed vote counts dropped sharply on some suggestions, and if you like, you might want to go back and re-add your vote to anything that’s no longer listed as voted up by you.

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Tagged as Removed

Created 19 March by Josh Sharp

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  • avatar
    Ben Creasy

    Going forward, will this be happening on a schedule? Or will you just be running a script every so often, with some sort of public post about it?

    19 March
  • avatar
    Josh Sharp

    It’ll probably be built into changemap and happen automatically on a schedule. It won’t be very often.

    19 March
  • avatar
    R M

    how does the time of a request mean that it’s not desired? why would an old vote not matter? if anything i think it could help better show how long or priority something should be - for example if you had 2 suggestions with the same number of votes and one had been outstanding longer it should show that people have been waiting just that long. how does zeroing out a vote count bc of dates help? that means a user has to go back and think to revote on things they may be long awaiting....not sure how this helps achieve better prioritisation

    25 March
  • avatar
    Belle B. Cooper

    There are a couple of reasons why old votes may not be as valid as more recent votes. One is that users can delete their Exist accounts and no longer be active users, but their votes don’t disappear. For some of those users, they’ve decided Exist is not for them and aren’t planning on signing up again in future, so counting their votes would mean we’re building features for users who’ll never use or pay for them.

    Another reason is that user preferences can change. Many users will stop using a particular app that they previously wanted us to integrate, or they may find that a different integration or new feature in Exist fills the need for a different feature/integration they previously voted for. These old votes then inflate our idea of how many users truly care about a particular feature/integration and make it difficult to rely on vote counts for an accurate representation of interest among our current userbase.

    Although it does require more effort for users to re-vote, this is by design. If a user doesn’t care enough to re-vote for something when their vote expires, that’s a good indication to us that our time would be better spent in other areas.

    25 March
  • avatar
    Josh Sharp

    Well put.

    26 March
  • avatar
    John Eder

    Perhaps aging would work better… if am item hasn’t been receiving votes lately, then it ages and loses relevance (I would actual leave the vote count alone, and just move it down on the sort, as you may turn off some users who feel like deleting their votes is like deleting their contributions.)

    26 March
  • avatar
    John Eder

    Program at I call you – add a hidden “relevence” variable that lives between 0.1 and 1.0… and this gets adjusted up and down by latest post activity. To figure out sort, this gets multiplied with votes…

    26 March
  • avatar
    Josh Sharp

    Or the simpler method of always ordering by votes, and expiring old votes!

    Long-term plan will be to automatically expire and then notify users of expired votes, as part of Changemap, so if they care enough, they have the chance and reminder to vote again.

    27 March