What's Hot in the Sidebar

Category Idea Jam


Bruce asked me to write a little bit about the new What's Hot section of the sidebar. At first we had a league table of votes for all ideas over time but several people noticed that it was beginning to skew the results. So after a long discussion we decided to take the first leap of redesigning the sidebar. So what you see now when you open the Idea Jam is the top 20 most active ideas in the last 28 days.

But what does "most active" mean? Well the way we've designed it, we can apply a weighting for each vote (be it positive or negative) and each comment. We compile a list in the system to show all of the votes and comments for each idea, apply the weighting and then sort the resulting list. The idea that has the most votes and comments will be at the top, the least active at the bottom. And it does seem to be having an effect. When we made the change initially, the idea that has the most votes (Move HTML signature into mailfile) was also at the top of the activity list. But now, a couple of weeks later, it has slipped down the activity league to only 13th position while the most active idea (Better Date/Time Control Display in Read Mode) was only submitted a few weeks ago and is at the top because it has attracted so much voting and comments in a short period of time.

Of course you can still see the all time league of popular ideas by going to the Popular screen. It's also important to note that this is just a beginning, as we learn what the Idea Jam's usage patterns look like we will tweak the screens to make the whole experience better, so any ideas you have for improvements are much appreciated, either here, or by email to Bruce or myself.