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101questions Updates

[cross-posted to the 101questions blog]

Here are the top-level updates for 101questions:

  1. You have better quality control rankings. I'm no longer listing the top ten most perplexing people on the site. We can bring that list back if we miss it, but my sense from conversations on this blog and at Stanford is that it was ultimately more divisive than useful. I've also split the top ten lists for photos and videos and added a "right now" option alongside the "all time" rankings, so we can see what's recently perplexing.
  2. You can bookmark questions now. Maybe your first act received eighty questions, but those eighty questions are really only composed of four or five distinct questions. You can now click a bookmark icon and put them in order from most common to least. You'll help other people (and yourself) get a better sense of the questions people asked about your first act. (See what I mean with US Bank.)
  3. Comments. You asked for comments. You got 'em.
  4. You can delete your own first acts now. Maybe someone's comment gave you a better idea for your timelapse video of grass growing on your lawn. Now you can delete the old one before you upload the new one.
  5. You have better access to the feedback on all your first acts. I'm really happy with the new "latest" tab in your profile. It has more information — you'll see questions and skips like before but also comments and bookmarks — in a cleaner layout.
  6. You won't be able to upload itty-bitty images anymore. The uploader makes sure your pictures are at least the size of the viewing window.
  7. I got rid of Facebook, Twitter, and G+ sharing. No one used them and Twitter uses them to stalk you around the web. So I got rid of them and replaced them with a "Copy Link" option that puts the shortlink on your clipboard. You decide what you want to do with it.
  8. Animated GIFs are now supported.
  9. You can search the site. Something that's a little fun is that even though you haven't tagged your first acts in any particular way, other users have. They're asking questions about your photos and videos and our search engine finds in those questions the semantic goodness it craves. (ie. "Everyone is asking questions about a basketball?" says our genial and dimwitted search engine. "Maybe this first act is about a basketball!") I'll be messing with the algorithm over time but ideally, at some point in the near future, you'll come to the site saying to yourself, "I'd love to motivate completing the square with a video of Australian rugby" (or something equally unlikely) and the site will deliver.

Add in a slew of of performance tweaks and other odds and ends and you have a site update that's been a long time in the making. If you see anything fun or funny, don't hesitate to let me know.

5 Responses to “101questions Updates”

  1. on 06 Jul 2012 at 6:11 amBob Lochel

    Dan, what does the “participation” heading under Profile indicate. Right now, mine says 1+ ?

    Awesome work on the improvements. Love the new Top 10 lists. Some of the best videos had become buried before.

  2. on 06 Jul 2012 at 6:25 amDan Meyer

    Bob Lochel:

    Dan, what does the “participation” heading under Profile indicate. Right now, mine says 1+ ?

    Thanks for the bug report. Eventually that will list the total of your questions asked and skips. Right now everyone shows “+1″ for some reason.

  3. on 06 Jul 2012 at 5:18 pmAndy Martinson

    How does the “right now” top ten work. Curious if it’s kinda like how you did top 10 before: a first act needed 25 qs before it could make the list. Is this the opposite? Like after 10 qs it’s off? Curious.

  4. on 06 Jul 2012 at 7:57 pmAndrew Stadel

    Hi Dan,
    I love the updates and snappier performance. My top 3 favorites are:
    1. Search: Say no more!
    2. Comments: I like to offer praise or constructive feedback to other users. I hope that people use it respectfully.
    3. My Questions: I’m especially looking forward to using this feature for going back and finding first acts in which I asked questions, but forgot to bookmark.

    Thanks for taking all the feedback from us and using it to make improvements. Great job! I feel my 101qs.com addiction flaring up again!

  5. on 06 Jul 2012 at 8:56 pmDan Meyer

    Andy:

    How does the “right now” top ten work. Curious if it’s kinda like how you did top 10 before: a first act needed 25 qs before it could make the list. Is this the opposite? Like after 10 qs it’s off? Curious.

    The algorithm looks at all the first acts that have fewer than 100 responses. (“Open” first acts, as they’re called.) Then it calculates the perplexity of all the responses they have received in the last seven days. Then it displays them in descending order of that perplexity.

    So if a first act had 14 skips no questions, but then in the last seven days it had 7 questions and no skips, it would lead the “right now” pack with 100 in its tally.