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I think the growth of Daily Kos has brought us to the point where the Recommended Diaries need to be expanded and categorized.  I believe the Recommend button has become too generic.  Eight Recommended spots are not enough.

But rather than simply making a longer list of Recommended Diaries (though that may be an interim solution because it's easier to program), I think we would benefit by having more categories, 4 by my proposal, perhaps still with 8 recommended diaries each.  

First, I'll summarize some things I've observed that I think are shortcomings.  Of course, not everyone will agree with me:

  1. Popular authors, rather than being subscribed to, are often recommended faster than anyone could possibly have actually read their diaries.  (You shouldn't vote for a bill without reading it, as we're all well aware now.)

  2. Politicians, candidates, and semi-politicians (or other famous people) get recommended automatically and leave one less spot for other diaries.

  3. Breaking news diaries are written hastily in an effort to be the first to have spotted a story.  (I've succumbed to that myself.  And I'm not proud.)  There are often duplicates.

  4. Many good diaries go away too quickly even if recommended by a fair number of people.

Now for the proposal part. I think it would be better at this point to move to a four-recommended-list format. One for Featured Authors, one for Politicians/Candidates, one for Breaking News, and one for plain ol' diaries.  It's almost like an Op-Ed page setup. You have Columnists, Guest Op-Eds, and letters to the editor (and of course, breaking news in other parts of the paper).

The Featured Authors can be the 20 or 30 that have been recommended the most times as an author. These are the diarists like Jerome a Paris, Meteor Blades, SusanHu, georgia10, etc. This gives us easy access to their stuff. That tally could presumably be kept rather easily, and the list of Featured Authors could be listed somewhere and updated continuously. This can work in one of two ways: 1) If a diary becomes Recommended, it gets placed in the Featured Authors Recommended List if that author is on the current Featured Authors list; or 2) Featured Authors get Recommended status automatically for whatever they post (still one per day!), as long as they remain on the Featured list, and the diaries appear chronologically. I'm slanting toward No. 1 because people might be less likely to recommend a worthy work if they know the author has automatic status, thus unjustly decreasing that author's recommend total.  

As for the other three categories, they can be split by readers. There would be three Recommend buttons, one generic, as we have now, one for Breaking News, and one for Politicians/Candidates. That third one is needed because there's probably no good way to recognize "Senator Russ Feingold" as a politician in an automated way. Too much room for screw-ups. The diary reader then decides which, if any, Recommend button to hit, and she/he can only choose one. Then the diaries get into the Recommended lists much as they do now.

That gives the general reader a nice categorization of different types of diaries, and it also helps good diaries from lesser-knowns get a chance to stick around a little longer if they're worthy of it.

At the very least, it accommodates the continuing growth of the site.  

I'll continue to enjoy reading and posting no matter what happens. I'm thankful that Kos started this whole thing, and that he's done a great job in managing its growth and keeping it relevant, useful, and fun. Just thought I'd share some ideas, and I'm happy to have the chance to do it here.

Originally posted to skralyx on Thu Nov 17, 2005 at 09:32 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  recommended (4.00)


    by michael1104 on Thu Nov 17, 2005 at 09:37:45 PM PST

    •  Hee hee hee (4.00)
      Cut it out, now :)
    •  RECOMMENDED!! (4.00)
      We should have another tier of diaries.

      1. Front Paged
      2. Most Recommended.
      3. Recommended.
      4. General Submissions.

      Most of us are just reading the titles and headlines. Why not promote the best 50 diaries per day, and not just the best 20? It's not like scanning the headlines takes that much time.

      God Bless Kos!

      George Bush doesn't care about Black people.... and Andrea Mitchell doesn't care about the Truth....

      by DeanFan84 on Thu Nov 17, 2005 at 10:54:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I like these proposals (none)
        I disagree however with giving elected officials their own Recommended List. Let them compete like the rest of us mortals. If they are consitently good they might make featured authors. But frankly most of them aren'tthat great. They get a lot of recommends because of their names, but also because they don't post too often. Giving them their own list would encourage them to do more of what they presently do: post highly calculated self-promotional pieces that usually have precious little news value.
        •  They'd still... (4.00)
          ...have to get recommended to get up there, though.  So if they write drivel, they won't be around long.  I just like the idea of having them arranged in one list so we can quickly see which ones have posted recently.
        •  No (none)
          I think the point was that nationally recognized figures (not just politicians but also figures like Cindy Sheehan) are going to be recommended no matter what they say. In some cases, the diaries are written by staffers. That's fine with me, but give them their own spot. It might even encourage them to write more often.

          Lead, follow, or get out of the way.

          by TerraByte on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 08:38:04 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Victim of Its Own Success (3.60)
        The site is now so popular that new diaries have a very small time window in which to achieve recommended "critical mass" before scrolling off the page and being lost to eternity.

        I propose giving extra time on the "new diary" list for those that have an encouraging number of recommendations, not purely based on order of entry.  I guess this implies a ranking algorithm taking the form:

        Score = C1 * Recommendations / (T - T0).

        •  Unintended Consequence (4.00)
          I think the problem with this it it would simply accelerate those unrecommended diaries off the list.  If you don't pick up a recommend in the first few minutes, you'd be off the new diary list and mostly out of sight.  Only if you'd expand the recent diary list would you be able to accommodate this longer lifetime without exacerbating the problem you're trying to fix.
  •  One Point (4.00)
    I wish we would eliminate diaries from the recommended list when they have been promoted to the frontpage.  It seems kind of silly to have duplicates.

    Freedom is what you do with what's been done to you. Jean-Paul Sartre

    by Stevo on Thu Nov 17, 2005 at 09:39:51 PM PST

    •  Yeah... (none)
      ...that does make sense.  Thanks for pointing that out.
    •  that always burns me up (4.00)
      the thought that something on the front page is taking up one of those coveted slot that might belong to another very well-written diary I'd enjoy reading and discussing.  Especially on days when we all get in a craze over Katrina or PlameGate or something and all the recommended diaries are about the same damn thing.
      •  On Katrina (4.00)
        I posted a diary about the missing coastal parishes in Louisiana.

        It was not until the next day that someone read it and thought it important enough to repost the subject and refenced my dairy.

        My dairy got did not give many comments the first day and none afterwards. But the subject spread across the country and made national news.

        There needs to be some way to bring old diaries back onto the recemmended list if they are discovered to be important as mine was.

        Dairies are off the list in as little as an hour, or less.

    •  Good suggestion (none)
      But you know what would happen.  People would see the diary disappear from the recommended list, not bother to look at the front page, and conclude that it had been "censored."
    •  Not so sure (4.00)
      In my experience as an infrequently front paged diarist, the readership is pretty different on the front page and in the diaries. (Front page stories get less attention from the hard core members and more from the general public).

      In the long run, we're all dead (Keynes)
      Read more on the European Tribune - bringing dKos to Europe

      by Jerome a Paris on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 02:21:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Disagree (4.00)
      The lifetime of a front page story is maybe half a day before other front page stories push it off. A diary that's recieved a couple hundred recommnendations can easily spend a day and a half on the Recommended list, and remain active long after a FP story has scrolled off.

      Two different things, and if a diary hits both, all the more power to it.


    •  actually, I disagree with this one (4.00)
      When something is frontpaged it only stays visible on the top of the home page for an hour or two before being pushed down by other front page stories.  But a great diary can stay on the rec list all day--title and author visible right near the top of the front page for 24 hours or more.

      So I actually prefer the current system where once something is frontpaged it can no longer be recommended.  then it naturally falls off the rec list like any other diary that stops getting recommended.

      Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.

      by TrueBlueMajority on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 04:54:10 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes...drop 'em from one when promo'd (4.00)
      I like that idea. Drop a diary from the rec'd list if it shows on the front page.

      Great catch.

      •  Separate list for diaries moved to Front Page? (none)
        Can more use be made of the right hand column on the page? For  

        Haven't read all the ideas yet, but, wow, on some days, a diary ain't got no chance at'all if the author isn't a known commodity, so good diaries get swept into archives.

        And I'm up to 40 diaries on my list--need to check on max I can list up front.

        And I do often come here to check on breaking news--so a listing for such items would be great. And make it easier for duplicates to be combined somehow?

        Will continue reading now.

  •  These are good ideas. (4.00)
    Yes, I see lots of people's valuable diaries go by the wayside because they slip so fast and are not written by a top attraction, a known quantity.
    •  I disagree (4.00)
      To change tactics and strategies now would only bring aid and comfort to the enemy.  I'm baffled as to why this author is now joining the extreme-left-Michael-Moore wing of DailyKos and advocating what amounts to journalistic surrender.

      (this is a joke, by the way).

      "While there is a lower class, I am in it. While there is a criminal element, I am of it. While there is a soul in prison, I am not free." - Eugene Debs

      by matthewc on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 04:40:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  At the very least I'd like a separate category (4.00)
      for "new items".  I understand why people don't want to put them into the open thread because they generally will get lost in that thread.  But some days there are a lot of small, but important bits and pieces that will add up.

      A separate way of filing a "news item" would cover breaking + news and might allieviate the pressure on the more thoughtful pieces.  In fact there are days when I would love to just be able to quickly scan news items as identified by Kossacks and I think strategically speaking there is merit to that approach in terms of getting the less MSM controlled facts out.

      •  I meant "NewS Items"... n/t (none)
      •  Please - categories for News, Rants & Humor (none)
        I definitely agree on the News category -- it would also make a quicker check to see if a news item had already been diaried and was being discussed.

        I know a lot of folks love the rants, especially by some of the well-known posters. I also know it's very satisfying to vent ones' rage and have a lot of folks agree with you. But there are a lot of people putting good work, thought, and research into diaries that scroll off too quickly to be seen except by people who reload every few minutes, when the top spots are occupied all day just with rants.   There are times that we all want to rant, or say "fuck, yeah!" to someone else's, so I think they really should be easy to find. But they should also be easy to skip and shouldn't push everything else off.

        Some of the humor here is priceless, and it really deserves a category of its own so the best (recommended) humor can quickly be found and enjoyed. It also would help folks who are looking for news, and not humor, distinguish so they aren't frustrated when following what looks like it might be important news, only to find they've been lured into a satire.

        Such a wealth of content here on Kos -- and I think categories of recommended diaries really would make it more valuable and accessibly.


  •  Yes! thank you (4.00)
    Expanded recommended recommended.  Longer list of recommendeds and categories would also be helpful.  

    Support the Troops - demand the Truth!

    by annefrank on Thu Nov 17, 2005 at 09:43:13 PM PST

    •  Yep (4.00)
      something along the lines of BoomanTribune's structure would be nice, with separate categories per subject.
    •  Off topic, I know, but (none)
      I love your quote.
    •  List of all Recommended Diaries (4.00)
      I think many issues could be resolved by simply having a place where all diaries that have been recommend (using the same formula that currently ranks the recommended list) can be seen (obviously there would need to be some floor--there is no need to list a diary that got 1 recommend 3 days ago). Or a chance to set the number of recommended diaries you see. Currently you can set the number of recent diaries you see. Recommeded diaries could be handled the same way. If you want to see the top 20 recommended diaries you could. That way if one drops of your list before you get to reading it you could expand your number and find it without having to search for it. Also you can now have a page showing all the recent diaries. Recommended diaries could be done the same way.
  •  These are great ideas (4.00)
    and would make the site more attractive.

    "I think the President should look across the country and find the most qualified man, woman, or minority."-Trent Lott

    by starkravinglunaticradical on Thu Nov 17, 2005 at 09:44:04 PM PST

    •  And more interesting (4.00)
      While I am a great fan of probably all the "frequently recommended" there does seem to be a "barrier to entry" for lesser known diarists and posters.  

      That said, I certainly would not want to limit my access to to the leading lights of the site, as they lend vitally important continuity in perspective and in information, which allows for greater depth of analysis and discussion.   The frequently recommended have indeed become the op ed page of dailykos.  

      So, I heartily agree with the effort to provide more recommended slots, and I much prefer the idea of doing it via "categories" which will keep our star performers as accessible as they are now, and allow lesser known voices to be amplified.  Most importantly, it feels like it will give all kossacks a more meaningful vote when we click that "recommended" button, which is good for democracy too!  

      Reality addict - can't get enough of seeing it all clearly

      by writeout on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 09:36:09 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  nice ideas (4.00)
    really, very nice! recommended!
    •  o also (4.00)
      i think users should be able to set their preferences for where they live .. and users from that area can recommend a 'local' diary .. like, i live in VA, so i would see a special VA recommended list with action diaries specific to my state... maybe it's not worth it, but could be nice.
      •  Yeah, that's not bad... (none)
        ...because there are some diaries of intense local interest that leave the rest of us going 'Huh?' and they get dropped without giving the interested minority a chance to get a look.

        Might be tough to program, though?  (Like I know what the hell I'm talking about in web programming!)

      •  Doesn't the tagging feature take care of this? (none)
        If you wanna see local diaries, just click on the tag for your locality.

        -Legalize Freedom!-
        truth > lies = my blog

        by JohnnyCougar on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 12:50:49 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't really think so (none)
          some of the local interest ones catch my attention and are important to me, but i don't come to the site looking for them.  E.g., diaries about discrimination based on gender or ethnicity/race are ones I always read and often comment on and recommend, but that's not what I come here for.
          •  let me add (4.00)
            that calling "discrimination" a local interest is problematic, of course, but I think that it is treated here too often as - if you'll excuse this horrible pun - of minority interest.
        •  Besides (none)
          tagging is really user friendly. I mean how many people really use it? Not many I would guess.

          The additional feature being talked about in this diary need to be on the front page where they are easy to find and use.

          An Expanded Recommended List is Probably the fastest and easiest solution.

          Look at the link at the bottom of the new diary list. It says "Recent Diary List". If a link like that was on the bottom of the recommended list that would be very helpful.

          The other problem is how fast the new diaries spin by. I have mine set to show twenty and they are still a blur. That is one reason I do not do diaries myself. A good one takes hours to craft and if you post it at the 'wrong time' of day it has the life span of about 5 minutes and a good chance of not getting recommended no matter how good it is.

  •  I am not so sure (none)
    Street Prophet was an attempt to categorize, but it gets little traffic and good religious threads still generate a better conversation right here on Daily Kos.  I think the recommend list could be expanded to more than 8 diaries, but too much categorization might serve to stiffle discussion on certain topics.  
    •  But it wouldn't... (none)
      ...go by topic so much as by type.  You could easily have a discussion about, say, religion, going on in all four categories.
      •  One thing that I believe would help, (4.00)
        before we drastically change everything, would be to bump threads to the top of the unrecommend list everytime it gets a new recommend.  This would keep a lot more well written diaries in the most visible positions for a much longer period of time, the cream would rise to the top and the poorly written and unintresting diaries would sink.  
        •  The 'unrecommend' list? (none)
          Could you clarify?  I'm not quite following.  Do you mean there would be an option to do the opposite of recommending, to kill bad diaries faster?  (Quite a hit to the ego for people who get that foisted on them!)
        •  Interesting idea... (none)
          That might actually eliminate the need for a separate Recommended Diaries section altogether, if you think about it.
        •  I don't know if I like this (none)
          That is almost similar to that of Democratic Underground.  That way, even old, tired diaries would get bumped simply because somebody 3 days later decides to reccomend it.  It works better for DU because that is a discussion forum.  I don't think it would work for a blog.

          -Legalize Freedom!-
          truth > lies = my blog

          by JohnnyCougar on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 12:53:09 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's easy... (none)
            To check the creation date of a diary, which allows for a developer to implement a simple piece of code that limits how long a diary can be at the top of the recent diaries list. It's also easy to "weight" the recommends based on the age of the diary. So, say a recommend on a diary that is two days old has less "weight" than one that is 1 day old, the newer diary will take precedent, but not so much as to push the other completely off the list.
            •  Also... (none)
              The system already has a built in 'time period' to recommend a diary. IF a diary that is 3 days old is still relevant enough and good enough to get a recommend, then why should it not stay fresh so others can read it? There are so many people posting so MUCH here that often, good diaries are 50 entries down before anyone can spot them. The most that would happen is that a decent diary would hover on the first page of Recent diaries, and would slowly taper off, or it would become a recommended diary and have it's time in the sun. It would also let people become acquainted with better authors who may not have been here as long or as loudly as the front page crowd.

              I second (third? ninth? 70th?) the idea to move diaries that get recommended back to the top of the Recent diaries list. Or at least, a user configurable option to enable this behavior, with front page post about it.

              Condemnant qui non intelligent.
              Economic: -6.75
              Social : -5.03

              by cognizant on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 09:55:53 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  Tweaking the 4 Categories (none)
      What drives me crazy is the competition between the various purposes of recommended diaries with limited slots. Some days I only have time to see the "hot topics", other days I am into being educated on  a subject.

      I would propose these 4 categories to be more functional:

      1. Public Figure Authors - including Government officials, candidates/parties, activists, celebrities and other accalimed experts. (maybe Hans Blix or Walter Pincus will post here..)

      2. Breaking News and Hot Topics. Everything that is in the headlines as current "news". (The House debate right now surely is there now, as is ?)

      3. Expert and In-depth analyses and presentations. Topics of Science, Religion, Education, Health, Economy and Culture, International, etc. Note- these are often closely related to "hot topics", but include more of the author's views and information than just what is current MSM news.

      4. Kos Community. Rants, Snark, Personal Stories, metajesus, pie etc.

      They are all worthy, and I'd like to see the best of the best in each category.

      "This man poses a much graver threat than anybody could have possibly imagined." - President Bush, 9/26/02

      by TaraIst on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 01:46:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  This owuld be helpful--I am always afraid (none)
    I'll miss a posted diary becasue ti goes away too quickly. Breakign the recommended into categories makes sure I own't msis soemoen I want to read, whiule allowing mores space for less-known writers to get seen.

    The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

    by irishwitch on Thu Nov 17, 2005 at 09:57:49 PM PST

  •  Great Idea (4.00)
    And I think your suggestion on how to go about organizing all of this is excellent.
  •  Good idea (4.00)
    Why stop with categories for recommend? Let's have categories for Diaries. The creator of a Diary can put it into different categories. There could even be a farce category for those attempts at humor.

    At times of high activity, there could be a temporary category... like when everyone was writing about Fitzmas, or religion.

    Readers can choose to view ALL or select from the list.

    A President in his own league. The Bush League!

    by Tuba Les on Thu Nov 17, 2005 at 10:02:56 PM PST

    •  I figured... (none)'d have to let the writers OR the readers make the categorization choice.  It could get too complicated if writers and readers thought their diaries belonged in different categories.  If I had to choose, I'd rather leave it up to the readers, in the interest of democracy.  
  •  Yay; recommended. (4.00)
    I was just posting a comment about the case for expanding the recommended list, actually. I say this all the time, and it's nice to hear another person with some ideas on this.

    • I'd like it if we could choose to expand the recommended list, or all such lists, as we can with the recent diaries list. Stick a box at the bottom and let us pick 8, or 10, or 20, or 50, yay!
    • I think it'd be neat if we could have the items on such lists cluster together based on their similar tags. This would require a bit of programming and know-how to make it work, but I've managed to do something similar (though rudimentary) with RSS feeds--it's not so complex, really.
    • I like some of your ideas with the multiple categories as well--I'd suggest making sure that no diary appears in more than one list at a time, if you haven't mentioned that already.
    • I second the suggestion above about removing diaries from the list(s) when they get promoted to the Front Page.
    •  Way to break down the numbers... (4.00) your comment.  I was thinking about doing a little monitoring like that, but you've answered it pretty well for me.
      •  more details, if you like... (4.00)
        Feel free to add any of that to your diary, if you feel it helps. I just browsed through the Recent Diaries list and kept track of some of the dates (#307 is where I counted ~24 hours from #1):

        1. 11/17/2005 22:09:28 PST
        2. 11/17/2005 17:17:24 PST
        3. 11/17/2005 14:13:48 PST
        4. 11/17/2005 11:29:06 PST
        5. 11/17/2005 09:17:48 PST
        6. 11/17/2005 07:07:14 PST
        7. 11/16/2005 23:36:50 PST
        8. 11/16/2005 22:11:51 PST
        9. 11/16/2005 18:43:24 PST
  •  These are all great diaries (4.00)
    There are some important subjects that scroll off the page so fast because they were posted by someone other than one of the superstars.

    Judging from one of my recent diaries which had 19 recs and still scrolled off the page in less than 2 hours the lifetime is far too short.

    -4.25, -6.87: Someday, after the forest fire of the Right has died we'll say "Whew, I'm happy that's over."

    by CanYouBeAngryAndStillDream on Thu Nov 17, 2005 at 10:27:05 PM PST

    •  i agree (4.00)
      although under the current system, when I get one on the list, I'm happy all day like it's my birthday.

      There've been times where I put something up that I'd genuinely like to discuss and off the page it goes in no time.

      It's sad too because the other forums I have to discuss these things just aren't equal to dKos.  There is:

      1. My family (who may or may not want to talk about it.  My mom is a lefty but doesn't follow it.  Dad's a lefty but far more moderate than me and watches the MSM for news...thinks I wear a tinfoil hat.  Brother is a lefty but cynical and pissed and he'd rather be self medicating with herbal remedies a la Ben Masel than discussing solutions to the mess our country is in)
      2. My friends (usually this one doesn't happen.  I will get a polite smile and nod from most of them, or an out-and-out fight from a few)
      3. LiveJournal (which tends to be less educated about politics & issues in my opinion).
  •  I'd agree that change is needed (4.00)
    I'd agree that change is needed due to the growth of the site and I think you correctly identified the problems.

    I'd also add that the max number of diaries you can display should be expanded.  At the moment the maximum is 50 "recent diaries" before your diary scrolls off into oblivion.  This usually takes an hour or two under the best circumstances, less under worse ones.  That could happen because 15 different people think they are the first to report on some news item and don't delete their diaries or because you happened to pick the wrong time of day to post.  If the goal is to give people a better chance to find and recommend good diaries then this would need to be changed as well.

    Take your country back one dollar at a time at
    -5.88 -6.87

    by Raven Brooks on Thu Nov 17, 2005 at 10:28:09 PM PST

  •  Here Here! (none)
    It works fine over at Boomantribune.
  •  Simpler Short Term Solution (4.00)
    How about just adding a [More...] button to the bottom of the Recommended List?  It would take you to a page listing the top {20,50,100,whatever} diaries.

    Should be easy enough to implement, as theres a database somewhere with each diary's ranking already.

    •  Yes. PLEASE. (4.00)
      I constantly find I want to recommend something I saw yesterday or a few days ago to people, or I want to go back and see what were those things I didn't have time to read but sounded Important last night...

      Besides, it would be great to have a history of diaries on the recommended list, that you could scroll back through maybe 12 hours or so at a time to see snapshots of the rec list.

    •  At one point (none)
      I suggested a simple implementation of this: Have the software automatically add a "Recommended Diary" tag to any diary that makes the list. Then, a complete list could be generated by simply going to that tag.

      I tried adding this tag to a bunch of diaries by hand, but got into a remove-tag war with someone and gave it up.

      Maybe this could be revisisted.


      •  I am guilty (none)
        Sorry, I've done the "remove war" stuff with recommend tags - just does not seem right to use a tag called "recommend" - I see the tags as a topic searching tool...

        Perhaps I'm wrong. Hope I didn't kill one of your tags. :-)


        •  I think the problem with my approach (none)
          is that you can't (yet) search on two or more tags simultaneously. The idea was that you could enter a search term of (for example) "Harriet Miers" AND "Recommended Diaries" to see all of the highly-rated diaries on Miers.

          Sadly, the software doesn't support that. Maybe in the next upgrade cycle.


  •  ya know, if a diary is well written (3.66)
    then it is the responsibility of the writer to post it elsewhere also.  

    it's no one's fault or to no one's credit, other than the author's, if a diary does or does not reach the audience it deserves.

    i post on two other blogs, including my own.

    my words are recorded for posterity (which, in blogtopia, is about a day (and yes, i did coin that phrase, thanks for asking!)).

    tis a sorry, sorry writer that doesn't make sure his/her words get to their audience.

    •  I'm already dizzy enough... (none)
      ...keeping up with all that goes on here.  If I put up a diary, I feel obligated to go searching for anything similar so as not to duplicate, and I also feel like keeping up with the general goings-on on the site is good for understanding the context of what people are saying.  I'm afraid my brain might explode if I tried to keep up with more than one.  It's mon-blog-amy for me!
  •  Increase the Reco List to 15-20 Diaries (4.00)
    the Reco List is like skimming the headlines.

    It barely takes a minute, and it helps to direct your attention to the front page news.

    Frankly, I'd like to see three tiers of Diaries.

    Most Recommended.
    Any and All Submissions.

    George Bush doesn't care about Black people.... and Andrea Mitchell doesn't care about the Truth....

    by DeanFan84 on Thu Nov 17, 2005 at 10:52:09 PM PST

  •  I agree with your suggestions. n/t (none)
  •  I would like to add a category. (4.00)

                                                Complete Crap

    It would require a second button designated as "Complete Crap" which would then detonate a small white phosphorus explosive within the diary, obliterating it from the face of Daily Kos.

    Sure, go ahead and call it censorship if you want.  I call it "entering Falluja."

    Is Dick Cheney in favor of torturing Scooter Libby in order to gain "actionable intelligence?"

    by Bob Johnson on Thu Nov 17, 2005 at 10:59:21 PM PST

  •  wow (4.00)
    are you saying I don't have to set my alarm for 6am to have a shot at getting on the list?
  •  The Entire Spectrum of Human Thought (none)
    at our disposal, and we categorize by urgency and popularity?

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Thu Nov 17, 2005 at 11:10:16 PM PST

  •  I Recommended (none)
    I recommended because its an intriguing idea but you need to add a poll.

    I would say 'leave it as it is, but maybe make it a top twelve'.

    In another forum we used to rig the system by emailing our little group with the url and having them vote us up.  I didn't like doing it, felt dirty somehow, but we were all part of the clique.

    I thought I hated cliques until I became part of one, I guess.  I would not do that with dkos, btw.  It is a rigging of the system.  Cross-posting seems also somehow scammish, ya think?

  •  An entire day's worth (4.00)
    What I'd like is a separate page which would list all the reccomended diarys for at least an entire day.  Perhaps they could be listed with some statistics like when they entered the reccomended list and when they fell off, number of reccomends and so forth.  

    I usually check Daily Kos in the evenings, and on busy news days I'm sure that there are diarys that have appeared and vanished by the time I look for them.  

    Economic Left/Right: -6.00 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.21

    by cevad on Thu Nov 17, 2005 at 11:28:31 PM PST

    •  That actually exists (4.00)
      It's done daily by jotter

      In the long run, we're all dead (Keynes)
      Read more on the European Tribune - bringing dKos to Europe

      by Jerome a Paris on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 02:40:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Maybe we need a "Jotter" button-- (none)
        Thanks for the tip. Thot I'd commented on this earlier, but maybe it was during my DSL flickering on and off.

        My neighbor is having contruction done, and sometimes, it seems the vibrations from the big trucks rattle my DSL's synch cage--or something.

        Cheap is DSL--but reliable not totally.

      •  Thanks!! (none)
        Jotter's page is pretty close to what I was thinking of.   The first of his pages I checked revealed quite a few diarys I'd never seen when they were first up.

        Now, a page more or less like that that was generated on the fly so it was totally up to date would be just what I wanted.  

        Jotter should also get more publicity. It's a good page to know about.

        Economic Left/Right: -6.00 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.21

        by cevad on Sun Nov 20, 2005 at 12:14:35 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Change the ending of the address (none)
      in the address window of Internet Explorer so it ends in and then click on Go.

      This will create a new entry in the Internet Explorer drop down address list.

  •  Good idea, but... (none)

    First, I'm all for SOME type of categorization that lets us qualify our recommendations.

    But I've seen this suggested over and over and over again. It's never been adopted. I haven't paid enough attention to know why, exactly, but it doesn't appear to be on Kos' agenda.

  •  I'm not so sure about a 'celebrities' section... (none)
    Sometimes we go for days or weeks without a diary from a politician or candidate -- if there were permanent slots for them, we'd sometimes end up with stale diaries taking up space. And on the other extreme, what if half a dozen politicians posted on something at the same time? The first ones would get bumped off before anyone had a chance to read them.

    I think that, rather than having a set number of sections and slots, you could use a weighted algorithm that would do much the same thing without being so rigid. For instance, instead of a separate "Breaking News" section, make it so diaries with "BREAKING:" in the title can make it to the Recommended List with fewer recommends, but they scroll down the Recent List faster, and don't stay on the Rec. List as long.

    Also, you could weight diaries based on their tags to reduce repeat diaries -- make it harder for a diary to get on the list if it's got a lot of the same tags as other currently-recommended diaries.

    •  On the other hand (none)
      A section for just celebrities/politicians might encourage more celebrities/politicians to post here because they know their stuff will be seen very easily.

      "I remember when the answer seemed so clear. We had never lived without or tasted fear." The Monkees

      by kisler1224 on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 06:20:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  How about a retention time variable (none)
      24 hours for recommended diaries
      48 hours for celeb diaries

      Lead, follow, or get out of the way.

      by TerraByte on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 08:49:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Or, to be more flexible (none)
        the length of time a diary stays on the list could vary depending on how many previous recommended diaries that diarist has had.

        I'm not sure, though, whether the diarist is arguing that celebrity diaries are getting too little attention, or too much...

        •  Too Much (none)
          My understanding of the diary is that it's hard for some writers to make the recommended list because:
          • Diaries by Celebs and Popular writers (those who have built up a readership by writing well and being here a long time) automatically get recommended

          • Breaking diaries, rant-type diaries, and simple-minded diaries clog the recent list so longer analysis-type diaries move off the recent list too fast to be recommended.

          So, keeping diaries by popular writers on the recent list longer exacerbates the problem. The proposal was to have separate categories for these types diaries so that writers in the general pool of diarists have a better chance to be read and recommended.

          Lead, follow, or get out of the way.

          by TerraByte on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 11:53:11 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Neither, really... (none)
          ...I don't think it's as either-or as that.  I'm just looking for a way to distinguish interests in diaries that seem to arise for different fundamental reasons.  Not trying to counter them, but rather to accept them and work with them.
          •  Are you just suggesting visual segregation, then? (none)
            Or actually changing the mechanics of how easily these diaries get listed, and how long they stay listed for?
            •  Well, again... (none)
              ...there are aspects of both.  I think we have some broad agreement that in SOME form, the growth of the site simply warrants a bit more space in the Recommended List.  But the mechanics of how to actually implement that are certainly a topic for debate.  Some like the simple expansion (just a longer list), some like categories (as I do), etc.  I personally WOULD like to see some visual segregation.  I was going to put that into my diary, but I haven't gotten the table thing down yet.  But you'd see perhaps four columns, one with "Blah Blah Blah" by Jerome a Paris; "Blah Blah Blah" by Sharon Jumper, etc. - the Featured Authors.  Then the other three columns would be politicians, news, and general.

              I don't know if it would be best to have a link that takes you to a layout like this or to try to get it all onto the front page, maybe by decreasing the font size or something.

              •  What about icons instead of sections? (none)
                What if diaries had icons indicating if the diarist was an elected official, a candidate, a popular diarist, etc., and if the diary was breaking news, analysis, or humor? (This could all be determined by the diary's tags.)

                An advantage would be that diaries could be easily recognized as such while still in the recent list, before they reached the recommended list(s). And we wouldn't have to have slots reserved for diaries that may not exist on any given day -- or have visual space used up by the title bars of four or more sections...

  •  You Forgot (none)

    but i think your ideas are sound...

    and that leads me to...
    Sound File Diaries? Kos-pods?

    if only i had  Harry Shearer's voice.

    (-6.88, -8.31)-- "fuck your war... and your president."--Snake Plissken

    by binFranklin on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 12:32:12 AM PST

  •  Bravo--I like this idea (none)
    we need more than eight diaries--if for no other reason than that a quality diary that DOES make the list often doesn't stay there for more than 4 or 5 hours these days...
  •  additional suggestions (4.00)
    1st suggestion: I know how to see a list of all the comments I have rated, but there seems not to be anything that would allow me to see a list of all the diaries I have recommended. This would be fun and convenient. There are many times I am struggling to remember some dairy I had really liked and that I know I've recommended but I can't quite remember enough details about to access it.  This could be in the form of an additional tab entitled "recommendations" in the user page (perhaps located between "ratings" and "subscription").

    2rd suggestion: Start a suggestion box where we could make just these sorts of suggestions. It would be nice if other people's suggestions could be accessed and commented upon as well.

    3rd suggestion: Add a link on the home page for reporting bugs.  I know that this is an option within "contact us" link, but it might be useful to make it more prominent.

    4th suggestion: [this basically mirrors one of the comments above] Why not have a link at the bottom of the recommended diaries pane saying "theres more..." and linking to previous recommended diaries in chronological order. Sometimes I have been away for a few days and I want to see what the most important diaries were during the period I was gone. Also, sometimes I have been reading a recommended and had to run out the door for something. When I get back, it's gone and is no longer in the 50 most recent. If I can't recal some phrase or who the diarist was I can't get back to it with ease.

    •  2nd suggestion for a "Clink for more rec'd (none)

      Excellent idea.

      Don't know how difficult to implement, how much storage space it takes, broadband, etc. But sounds really good.

    •  Existing solutions-- (none)
      You could get the same effect as #1 if you hotlisted diaries as you recommended them. That might also be the easiest way of implementing your suggestion -- just have a user preference you could set so the Recommend button simultaneously added the diary to your hotlist.

      #2 (and perhaps #3) are already implemented, in effect, via the tag feature: just tag your diary with the site improvement tag.

      #4 is basically being done by jotter as a series of separate diaries.

  •  Good ideas, but (none)
    one concern is that it may make the site format too messy/crowded.

    Also, having only one rec list does help to filter out the big stories, though I agree that many important diaries go unnoticed.  

  •  I think 4 lists will be too messy. (none)
    Perhaps expanding the list to 10 is a good idea either way.  The only logical division I see that would be easily discriminable and practical is the one between "breaking news" and commentary/punditry.  There is a clear division between diaries that are meant to inform people of new news and ones that are to discuss not so new matters of the political realm.

    This way, the first diary to say "BREAKING" will not kick a good discussion over the direction of Democratic policy off the list.  Posters could easily discern if their diary was breaking news or not.  We should have 10 reccomended diaries for each list.  Politicians post too infrequently to have their own category.  And any other category would not generate enough interest or be divergent enough from the two I listed to have its own "reccomended" list.

    -Legalize Freedom!-
    truth > lies = my blog

    by JohnnyCougar on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 01:01:12 AM PST

  •  Interesting and simple fix (4.00)
    I am not sure I entirely agree with it overall, but I think it could present an interim solution, or at least a starting point for further growth.

    I suggested that there be a form of peer review last week and got a HUGE number of excellent suggestions (along with a lot of vitriolic criticisms)...

    I am currently working that experience into a follow-up diary, and I will include some of what you suggested, with your permission, because it represents a simple, practical end-member in a vast array of possibilities.

    One thing that I think we should, as a community, do is to clearly identify what we see as fundamental problems, lay out WHY they are problems, provide a rationale, and then, perhaps, coming up with simple, practical, low risk solutions will be made easier??

    For example:

    Problem number ONE in my book is sheer volume. The rate of posting and the number of diaries posted guarantees that a significant fraction of all diaries are practically unread.

    Problem number two is repeat diaries.

    Problem number three is "breaking" diaries that are one line plus a link.

    Problem number four MAY BE self-selected groups gaming the system, however Jotter recently did some stellar research suggesting that this is not actually the case...more work on it is forthcoming.

    Problem number five arises out of angst generated by the first four problems...namely the proliferation of "meta diaries" that take up valuable real estate with navel gazing and moaning..

    Take a look at

    They use a three-track parallel system: 1. is "breaking news" one liners. 2. is "free-for all" general submissions exactly like our current diary system, and 3. is a "peer review" queue system that takes more time and effort with the payoff being a longer-lasting, highly ranked and highly visible diary that sticks around longer and gets read by more folks.

    Good diary, good suggestion.

    The only way to ensure a free press is to own one

    by RedDan on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 01:03:06 AM PST

    •  Dan... (none)
      I wanted to reply specifically to item four you mentioned above.

      I don't know if I would call it "gaming the system", but there are in fact a handful of Yahoo groups that have been set up - C&J Cafe, Texas Kos and others - where members will send an email to the group to alert them of new diaries they may have written.

      This is hardly an automatic recommend, but it is a way to get your work out there to those you have become friends with. I know personally that I read many of the diaries that are written by the members of the group I am in, but never recommend solely on the fact that the writer is a member of the group.

      With hundreds of diaries posted daily, is it really wrong to try to get more exposure for your efforts?

      One final thing, these groups - at least the C&J Cafe - are about far more than whoring diaries, just ask the people who are involved.

      Also, they are not closed communities, anyone can join...

      like a stake through the head of your ding dong...the white trash poet

      by the white trash poet on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 06:30:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I liked your suggestion... (none)
      ...from that earlier diary that everyone would have to review four diaries before posting their own.  That was an interesting concept.  That way, you'd have to be a little more vested in the site rather than just being able to dump something in.  Could be a way to trim up some of the fat.
    •  What about a breaking news section on the left? (none)
      Really, sometimes it seems no one has anything about some action in Congress but right here.

      Keeping all the "breakings" together would be a good way to eliminate dupes--and some means of combining duplicates would be good, as one may have more info than other and would be waste to lose.

      Can this be done?

  •  Great ideas (none)
    If DK is to remain viable and useful as its membership increases and similar blogs grow in prominence, quality and capability, it's going to have to evolve along such lines, and I'm sure that it will do so, reasonably soon. Otherwise, it will become too big, cumbersome and unwieldy, for the reasons discussed here.

    Like many people I have lots of ideas for how DK can be enhanced, but I'll defer to those who've been around here a lot longer than me for now and keep them to myself. Suffice it to say that I like a lot of these ideas, and am sure that many of them will be implemented in one form or another.

    I seem to recall Kos making a short post recently about a number of ideas he has for evolving the site, and that he hoped to implement some of them soon. I can't wait, as we really do need to move onto the next iteration of DK.

  •  Use of Both Number of Comments and Recommends (4.00)
    After reading skralyx's diary and the first 20-26 comments, I wrote the following thoughts. Some of the comments added after I stopped reading appear to overlap with some of mine. Wish I had time to edit and give recognition, but I've must stop now.

    It seems to me that there are two key things that indicate reader interest in specific diaries: (1) number of recommends and (2)number of comments. I am wondering if a system that takes both of these into consideration could help meet the needs outlined by skralyx. As everyone reading this likely knows, the current system uses only the number of recommends.  

    One way that both recommends and comments could be taken into consideration is to add an addition category to the current two, producing: Recommended Diaries, High Discussion Diaries, and Recent Diaries.

    The Recommended Diaries category could be like it is now, except with a greater number of diaries (as suggested by skralyx) and with deletion of those diaries that have been promoted to the front page (as suggested by Stevo). At the bottom of this category could be a link to view a list of all recent Recommended Diaries (OK, I will take time to recognize that spin2cool has already suggested this!). Given this link (and one other possibility which is discussed below), perhaps the number of diaries in this category need not be greater than 10 or so, which will leave more room for other categories.

    High Discussion Diaries could be those diaries that have received at least 10 comments (just a suggestion - not sure about the best number). Each time a High Discussion Diary receives a new comment, it is bumped to the top of this category. When it stops receiving comments, it slides off this list. This procedure could allow the high discussion diaries to receive more exposure and could give greater opportunity for those good diaries by lesser known authors to make it to the recommended list. This category also might keep Breaking diaries up longer and help reduce duplication (because they are the current Hot Topic), but I am not sure about this and would appreciate any thoughts. Diaries that are promoted to Recommended or front page could be deleted from this category. At the bottom of this category could be a link to a list of all recent High Discussion Diaries. By the way, I'm not too fond of the term High Discussion Diaries - too looong. Better title suggestion?

    The Recent Diaries category could be like it is now - diaries slide off as more recent diaries replace them. And people can determine the length of the list that shows on their front dKos pages, as now. And of course, the link to the list of all recent diaries would be kept.

    One Other Possibility - Lists of Recommended and High Discussion Diaries with Their Respective Introductions

    On the front page of dKos, in the upper righthand corner is the word Diaries. Click on this link and you get a list of Recent Diaries, each with its Introduction. I use this link all the time and wish, wish, wish for an identical link for the Recommended Diaries. So one other possibility is to add three links, one for each of the three catergories. Actually I would love a link to a list of Recommended Diaries with Their Respective Introductions even if no other changes are made on the current front page.

    Just some thoughts on something that might work. Inspired by skralyx, but don't blame skralyx if you don't like my comments.

  •  Right now... (4.00)
    ...the artists (general term...not just referring to visual arts) don't have much of a chance against the onslaught of breaking stories.  In fact, we mostly get criticized for taking up "important diary space" by people who haven't even taken the time to recognize that the art is our way of participating in the debates and that it often takes more than 30 seconds to absorb the impact the artist intended.

    Makes us feel unwanted, unloved, unwelcome.


    Teacher's Lounge opens each Saturday, sometime between 10am and 11am EST

    by rserven on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 01:31:26 AM PST

  •  Best (none)
    This is probably the best "categorization" suggestion I've ever seen. Most are patently unworkable (ie, would require far too much co-operation and time from individual users) or would require insane amounts of programming.

    This one actually addresses real problems in a pretty elegant way. Ideally, each of the 4 reco boxes could be added or removed depending on each user's personal settings.

  •  A button to review last 100 diaries or so (4.00)
    that have scrolled off the page would be nice. It could be like in the comments or hidden comments lists.

    "In the name of fighting terror, we have terrorized, and in the name of defending our values, we have betrayed them." Leonard Pitts

    by maybeeso in michigan on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 02:52:30 AM PST

  •  This proposal is too complicated (none)
    At Newsfare you can look at an example of a longer list of recommended posts from the Indy Weblogs group. Scroll down and look in the left column for the heading "Recommended Indy Posts."

    Since Newsfare's readership is smaller than Daily Kos's, we show every post which has been recommended by anyone. Also we show all unrecommended posts from the prior four-hour period.

    For Daily Kos, I suggest presenting a larger (reader-adjustable) number of recommended diaries, followed by a larger (as now, reader-adjustable) number of unrecommended diaries. The recommended diaries should not be redisplayed in the unrecommended list, saving a bit of space.

    •  I disagree (none)
      This proposal is a good way to separate and organize the flood of writing that hits this site daily. As noted above, the "breaking" diaries and the "opinion" diaries are completely different, yet when something hits the news, we get tens of "breaking" diaries that force everything else off the bottom of the list. I've got my Recent Diaries set as high as it will go, and I regularly scroll the full length of it, but even so some things go off way too fast.

      I also think it would be helpful to have a separate section for the "analysis" diaries: those that take a topic and work it up in long form. Some of those are amazing pieces of research and analysis, and deserve to have a longer shelf life.

      Finally -- I've got a wide-screen laptop. It would be great to have a setting to put the various lists side-by-side, which would still leave plenty of room for the middle pane of text.

      While I may not agree with all the sections suggested in the diary, I think the idea is excellent.

      Bruce in Louisville

    •  Thru your comment, just discovered NewsFare (none)
      Now, just to not forget and lose it!
  •  Yes. Yes. and Yes again! (none)
    (Sorry. I'm done impersonating Molly Bloom.)

    This is an excellent suggestion! We might also want a fifth category for meta-diaries.

    "You don't lead by pointing and telling people some place to go. You lead by going to that place and making a case." - Ken Kesey

    by Glinda on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 04:07:26 AM PST

  •  shameless plug for Political Cortex (none)
    At PC, there is a "more recommended diaries" link so you can see EVERY diary with a recommend, ranked.

    There is also the ability to front page your post, rather than have it go the recommended list.

    Moreover, you can mark pieces  as "spam" , offer editorial advice, AND there is a separate list for breaking news.

    Come join us, sign up. :)

    (site was spotty this morning because of something, check back though, should be up soon!)

  •  I think this is a great idea. (none)
  •  Regional Diaries (4.00)
    I've heard this idea floated at DK also.  Many of us write about local or statewide political issues.  My rants about AZ politics may not be of interest to those who don't have to live under the Kyl-McCain cabal.  
    It's a shame, that diaries often contain much research and multiple links, yet fall off the page quickly, before others even get the chance to read them.
    Good ideas, skralyx.

    If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything-Mark Twain

    by Desert Rose on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 05:06:06 AM PST

  •  I wish we could "Dis-recommend" (4.00)
    There are lots of recommended diaries that I wish I could cast a vote AGAINST rather than just not recommend it. That happens a lot when I read bad diaries by regular diarists. And silly off-topic stuff.

    Maybe disrecommending can just go to trusted users as well. Dunno.

    George Bush: The Most Catastrophic Presidency Ever

    by TX Unmuzzled on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 05:11:19 AM PST

  •  Putting tags to work... (none)
    Perhaps a split - whether along the lines suggested in the diary or not - could benefit from the use and sorting of tag-related relevance on a "hot topics" section.

    The top five tags in use would cluster "x" number of stories per tag, based on Rec'd value, for the last 12-24 hours. The next "x" number of most-currently/recently used tags would simply display the tags and the # of diaries tied to them in the last 24 hours. If one of the sub-categories begins to get more rec'd marks than one of the displayed/opened tags, it exchanges position.

    There'd then be the general "recent diaries" list in a second column.

    Finally, to address "heavy hitters", the top "X" folks who get "Y" number of comments on average with "Z" # of recommends, who have posted within the past 12 hours, would be displayed in a small section of popular authors. The list displayed there would hold "X" entries something like a bestseller list - if, for example, Kos sets that value to hold 5, and only four of the "heavy hitters" who meet the other criteria (set by kos or admins who can compile stats and set a reasonable threshold) show up, the fifth spot could hold and continue to show an entry by another of the heavy hitters even if outside the time limits until a more recent entry is made by a remaining heavy hitter to replace it.

    Complex? Yeah.

    But the sets of criteria are doable. Formatting could be tricky, but filling the data and selecting the criteria are straightforward database tasks.

  •  Good ideas (none)
    Though I think combining the politicians' and featured writers' diary lists would solve the problem of the pols writing infrequently.

    I also second (third? fourth? nth?) the idea of a button to click to the day's rec'd diaries.

  •  We need an "UN-RECOMMEND" button (none)
    If you read a recommended (or other) diary and find it to be trivial, overrated or offesive, then there should a way of voting to "unrecommend" it so it falls of the recommended list sooner.

    Most recommended diaries are great, but once in a while some fall into the above categories and I wish  I could vote against it.

  •  I'd Settle For Archive List Of Recommended Diaries (none)
      Just a link on the front page to a list of every diary that's ever made the recommended list, ordered by when they first hit the Reco List.

      Solves the problem of things scrolling off too fast to some extent and gives another way to find that nugget of information you vaguely remember from that great diary three weeks ago, etc.

  •  Re: Good ideas (4.00)
    Some good ideas here.

    I think the breakdown really comes in two areas: quick-and-dirty posts, which link to the news as a means to starting a discussion thread, and; more substantive posts, based on research, more extensive analysis, or whatever.

    I'm new at this, but my bias as a diarist is toward the latter (the "Somerby model"?). I like to take the time to really explore a topic, and diaries like that are the diaries I enjoy the most.

    So, maybe a "from the news" section, with smaller items, and an "Op-Ed" section, for more in depth writing.

    Just a thought.

  •  While we're in Metaland (none)
    Can we automate the Highest Rated Comments section as well, especially since Social Democrat has fallen off the earth, or at least become an anti-social democrat? I really enjoy that feature and miss it terribly and it doesn't seem like it would be too hard to set up the old criterion (no more than 3 HR comments from any one diary, no authors comments from their own diaries, no C&J comments) in an automated framework.

    Bring back the highly rated comments!

  •  Good ideas (4.00)
    But I think the main problems could be addressed by simply expanding the rec list. I would personally prefer that it not be divided, though. I like seeing posts from John Conyers next to Cindy Sheehan, next to my favorite resident dKos user. I don't want to have to switch to a different category to see them.

    If the rec list were longer it would help this, but it would also help if people simply un-recommended those diaries that have occupied a top spot on this rec list for a long time. That would help keep things moving and allow other diaries to make it on the list...

    Lately there have been alot of diaries asking for changes to the mechanics of the site, but there are features already in place for many of these...

  •  8 BREAKING diaries?? (none)
    do you really think that there are 8 breaking diaries at a time?

    and if they stay up on the list for too long, they're no longer breaking and that won't stop everyone else from posting their own diary about the no longer 'breaking' news.

    i do like the idea of making the list larger than 8 though... i could even be happy with 16 recco diaries.. but i'm leaning towards 12 or so.

    maybe a slight expansion, one extra a month until we reach 12 ...  kos, what do you think?

    "Infinite love is the only truth. Everything else is illusion." - David Icke (exposing the reptilian agenda since 1991)

    by Dr Seuss on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 06:49:53 AM PST

    •  How bout a Threshold instead of a hard 8? (none)
      I suggest that -- if there's a split like this -- each list have it's own reco 'threshold' instead of a hard-coded limit of 8 or whatever.  That way depending on how things were shaking out at any given time each list could grow or shrink depending on how many well-recommended diaries fell into that category.  

      You could also set minimums and maximums if you wanted, that would work in conjunction with the threshold to balance things out.

      Maybe they'd all end up with the same threshold and min/max, but ideally that's something the site admin would be able to tune as they saw how things shook out over time.  I suspect it would work best if each list was set to different numbers.  No way to know until we try.

      I realize this probably sounds complicated, but if someone were going to the trouble to code separate lists at all, making the lists separately customizable as I'm describing probably wouldn't be so hard, and might make it all much more workable to cope with the inevitable ups & downs of the popularity of various lists.  Indeed, since as another commentor noted already uses multiple reco lists, a fair amount of this capability may already exist in the latest Scoop.  

      Any Scoop/dkos/booman techies out there want to fill us in on that?

      I had to destroy my tinfoil hat because it was beaming coded messages into my brain.

      by stevelu on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 10:58:10 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Better Titles (none)
    I think that one of the lessons of all this is that people should really give thought to the titles of their diaries.

     Some diaries with good content but poor titles (for instance, titles that don't indicate the subject of the diary at all) are read by so few they cannot get recommends.

    I realize that tags deal with this - but only to some extent.

    Good ideas, well-thought out.  I'm new to dKos (4 weeks?), but have spent hours a day getting caught up (and profound thanks to all the diarists, commenters, et al.)

    Two additional suggestions:

    1. I like dKos's simple visual layout very much.  How do Kos'ins feel about color-coding the four proposed sections?  Could be somewhat subtle:  four warm shades.  Or a different colored halftone margin.  This way the user knows instantly in which section a diary can be found.  Remember, it is not just to promote good diaries that we are changing dKos -- it's also to aid navigation and site understanding.

    2.  I would very much like for there to be a LINK EXTRACTOR for each thread or for all of dKos.  I don't know how this might work and/or be organized.  I would leave out images posted to the diaries and threads, as what I am really after is the ability to find articles and pages which have been linked.

    Thank you for considering these.

    -5.13;-6.92 De-Bu$hify NOW! Remove *every* Bu$hCo appointee and revoke their security clearances

    by Yellow Canary on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 07:24:44 AM PST

  •  Hard to fit (none)
    I think it would be quite difficult to handle the layout for all those separate recommended lists.  

    Oh when the frogs. . Come marching in. . Oh when the FROGS COME MARCH-ING IN!

    by pontificator on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 07:26:03 AM PST

  •  So many good diary's (none)
    ... scroll off so fast.  I like the idea of changing and splitting the recommended list.  I think that four categories is probably too much to handle site wise.  I peeked over at Booman and they have three, two recommendeds and one regular.

    I have always wanted a recommended list for the economic diarys since I look for those.  (Bonddad writes great stuff and many times it scrolls right off, even with a bunch of recommends).  However, if we had a "featured writer" recommended list, as suggested, he would often end up in that group, as would many of my other favs.  That would certainly clean off the general recommended list making space for others.  In my opinion the politicians should compete with the rest of us.  But again, if the some of our best folks had their own list, there would be more room for the pols to make the general list.

    Great idea.  

  •  If it ain't broke, (none)
    dont' fix it. There is a reason DailyKos has grown so much- the current format works. If the topic is important to the community, a diary on that topic will eventually make the recommended list and/or front page anyway.
    •  Actually it doesn't. (4.00)
      It takes months to figure out how to use kos if you don't live here 18 hours a day.

      I used to only read the front page stuff because the recommended side stuff was so difficult to figure out.

      If you only have an hour in the evening to look at kos and any other blog you care to follow, guaranteed you miss 90% of the good stuff here simply because it's so difficult to find after it's scrolled off the recommended list, never mind if it's only appeared on the Recent diaries list.

      You have to be lucky enough to catch a reference to Jotter's diary in a comment somewhere to find out that there's a daily compilation of diaries. In my mind, that should ALWAYS be linked to from the front page just so that people who are trying to fit kos into daily sched can find it easily and actually benefit from the rankings given by others.

      At a minimum we need more entries in the Recommended list. I do like the concept of multiple recommend categories but I don't have a lot of time to spend analyzing all the good suggestions here so I'll just say, "Change is good and this needs changing."
      •  Exactly my point. (none)
        It takes months to figure out how to use kos if you don't live here 18 hours a day.

            Current format is as simple as it can be. If you add multiple categories of recommended diaries and such, most people won't be able to figure it out anyway. My basic point is that if it is really good stuff , you'll get to read it here sooner or later. Most relevant topics make it to recommended list and frontpage anyway. Those who want to read everything have the tags option available to them now. DailyKos has probably the best format among all political blogs if you are a newbie to the system.

    •  That's the point (none)
      People are saying it is broke because, among other things, diaries scroll by too quickly and new writers have a tough time getting recommended.

      Lead, follow, or get out of the way.

      by TerraByte on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 09:01:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Humor area (none)
    I'd love to see a designated area for humor pieces. We have some great satirists working for us!

    Occasionally a Snark is miscontrued as Breaking News, and the comments are mostly - "is this true?" type of stuff. Or people are griping because they got suckered into reading a humor piece.

    "Unpatriotic, my ASS!"

    by WV Democrat on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 07:50:21 AM PST

  •  I like this idea. (none)
    In addition, I would like to take this opportunity to whore my site idea.  
  •  News items as separate is a fantastic idea! (none)
    I like this idea a lot.  I actually come here for breaking news headlines as I expect many others do too.  And I don't care if its just a BREAKING title and then just a link.  Usually, the comments that are included within the diary carry the discussion on the breaking news forward.  The only argument I can understand against all the breaking news diaries is that they bump other thoughtful diaries off the list.  A separate category for news headlines would eliminate this problem and strengthen Daily Kos as a source for headlines and the immediate reaction of our community to the news.
  •  Something Simple - 40 Recent Diaries (none)
    In the meantime, I have done something simple that I think improves my dKos experience.

    Just changing the Recent Diaries shown to 40 from 20 makes them stay around longer. I think it is an improvement.

  •  Diaries do NOT scroll by too fast... (4.00)
    ...if you expand your "Show Diaries" listing number to about 50 or more.  It's easy to do; go to the bottom of the current diaries and enter a number.  Then hit "Set."  If you're monitoring fewer than 50 current diaries, no wonder you feel like you're missing a lot.  You are!

    The recommended list is only of interest to me in passing.  I do check it when I first log in, but mostly I scroll down my list of 75 "recent" diaries and pick and choose from the titles there.  Plenty good enough for me.

    One change that would be helpful would be to add a timestamp to the diaries on the current list.

    Jotter's lists are mega-mega-helpful.  He sorts diaries by number of recommends and number of comments, which is a pretty decent way to gauge a diary's "impact." The only problem with his lists is that they are dated since he has to collect the data, organize it, then publish it the next day.  There's a "simple" fix for this.  Jotter-like data should be available real time via the on-site search function.  Markos agrees with this idea and is working on adding this feature, but as far as I know he has not mentioned a timeline.  I say "simple" as in simple for the user.  I understand the coding requirements to make this happen are not all that "simple."

    Once we can search diaries by "number of recommends" and "number of comments" (and, I would add, a way to search comments by "mojo"), the recommended list becomes even more anachronistic.

    re: categories.  I'm not excited about someone else choosing in which category to pigeonhole any particular diary.  I can figure that out well enough for myself.

    re: "popular writers."  I am even less excited about someone else choosing who goes in this category.  Besides, we already have a way to "flag" our own favorites.  It's part of "Your Hotlist." When you develop a liking for a particular author, just click the "Subscribe" button and add him or her to your list.  You can also flag particular diaries there for later reference without necessarily adding the author to your subscription list. I get the feeling that these features are underutilized.  

    General stuff:  the current system's main weakness is its emphasis on super-current stuff.  Once a diary is 24 hours old it "disappears" for all practical purposes, unless you earmarked it earlier or run across it on one of jotter's lists later.  This is okay for diaries that are written specifically to be timely and up-to-the minute.  But lots of great diaries are not all that time sensitive and deserve a longer lifespan.  I'd like to see a quick button to jump to "yesterday's recommended list" or even "The past week's (or month's) recommended list."

    The most un-American thing you can say is, "You can't say that." -G. Keillor

    by Eddie Haskell on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 08:35:01 AM PST

  •  What you suggest already exists (none)
    at PoliticalCortex It has other features too.
  •  I'd like to see diary catagories (none)
    So that you can click on a specific catagory and scroll through the list of those posted in the past 24 hours in the subject you are in interested in.

    Seems like catagories might be things like these:

    Breaking news,  
    Commentary on the media,
    Internal to Kos (like this one),
    Philosophical (as in: why a 3-branch government, not necessarily about metaphysics),
    Comic relief,
    Personal saga(including GBCW),
    Informative (as in the China diary from OrangeClouds115),  

    Etc. Nothing sacred about these suggestions--they're just sort of meant to show what I'm thinking in terms of this suggestion.

    This would not replace a recommended section.

    Republicans are people who don't believe that government works and then they get elected so they can prove it.

    by murasaki on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 09:46:18 AM PST

  •  another example (none)
    Take a look at They have a pretty good system for handling recommendations that includes categories in a useful way.
  •  Alternate suggestion (none)
    (1) Leave the recommended list more or less the way it is, but rename it "Most Recommended".

    (2) Make a second list: "Recently Recommended".  Every time that a recommendation is made to a diary that is not currently on the "Most Recommended" list, it is bumped to the top of the "Recently Recommended" list.

    I think this would get a lot more good diaries easily visible.

    It would work even better if, for when you are logged in, the "Recently Recommended" list did not display any diaries that you personally have recommended.

    And even better still if (again for when you are logged in) you had a "Hide this Diary" button, so that you won't keep seeing diaries that you're not interested in.  To be clear: I don't mean "Hide this Diary" to affect anyone except you - me clicking "Hide this Diary" for some particular diary does not cause the diary to be hidden for you (or even to be influenced towards that).

  •  Counter Proposals (none)
    First, there isn't room enough on each page to show multiple categories unless the number of recommended entries in each is reduced.  So if the categorization is to take place, it should occur on a page dedicated just to recommended diaries.  The main recommended list should still show the top recommends from all the categories.  The list should also be expanded, at least to 12.

    Second, I'm not so sure about categorization at all.  We could break things down too many different ways.  The only information I need beyond the diary title is whether it is simply a link to some news elsewhere, or a true blue commentary.  This has some overlap, of course, because a diary can contain commentary on linked news, which begins to just muddy everything.

    The primary problem seems to be the ever increasing bulk of postings, and the speed at which they move on.  Certainly the Recommended Archive or "More" button would be a vast and easy improvement.

    Also, the idea of an "Unrecommend" (not in the context of an already recommended diary but simply in the sense of "dump this crap faster") would help in the recent diary section.

    Which leads to the possibility of doing a second-tier weighting of recent diaries.  Instead of simply bumping down every entry when a new one comes along, let those getting some traction reflect that traction by not floating directly down.  This, of course, could lead to lots of problems in having to find the real new entries as opposed to the not so new entries, but a color coding system should easily solve this.  White would be brand new with no traction yet, then run through a color scale right up to those about to bust into the main recommended list.  Perhaps this color coding alone is sufficient, and "floating up" need not occur beyond keeping the post from dropping off prematurely as compared to less popular entries.

    None of this may really be necessary beyond the "More" button for the recommended diaries.  That is simply a must, and would not be a technological leap of any prohibitive significance.

  •  Learn to love the tag index (none)
    I've found lots of great diaries I never would have seen otherwise.  Good diaries invariably drop off, but now they don't just die (IF properly tagged).  Practice safe diarying.
  •  How about a "Keep It Up" button? (none)
    The "Keep It Up" button would slow the sinking of a diary. Get enough of them, and the diary bumps UP a notch on the recent diaries list. A good diary could float for a while on the list - exposing it to more readers - rather than sink quickly out of sight.

    This would be useful for a diary that you can't quite recommend, but which still shows promise. Eventually, it will either sink to the bottom or rise to the recommended list, just like any other diary. But this would give the readership more time to decide which way it should go.

    Just a thought...

    "It is not skeptics or explorers but fanatics and ideologues who menace decency and progress." --Daniel J. Boorstin

    by mrhelper on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 10:45:17 AM PST

    •  This could actually... (none)
      ...make it tougher for a new diary to get exposure, though, if a backlog of Kept-Up diaries is holding court.  You might be pushed down to 16th right off the bat.

      I still like the purity of the Recent Diaries list, because it is an unbiased look at what has just been posted, whatever it is.  

      I think an expanded Reco list would serve the same purpose as you're getting at while avoiding clogging the pipe.

      •  Yeah, you're probably right (none)
        Actually, I would be quite pleased if your ideas were implemented. They're good ones.

        "It is not skeptics or explorers but fanatics and ideologues who menace decency and progress." --Daniel J. Boorstin

        by mrhelper on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 03:06:20 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I'd like to see (4.00)
    16 recommended diaries....10 for the regular topics as usual....and 6 for action diaries...I don't think we take enough action here....
    •  Hi Elise (none)
      Thank you for all the 4's!  

      Action List is an interesting category proposal.  It might help the people looking for specific actions to join in on, since there's no "action" tag that I'm aware of.

  •  Anti-Recommend (none)
    With no offense to PastorDan personally, any time I read his posts I want to gag.  So much so that I wish there was a way I could communicate that feeling in a way not likely to be lost (like this comment will be lost).

    "Why can't we all get along" and "everyone's ideas are just as important" are fine slogans...I just find them to be untrue.

    Currently Kos is only measuring one side of the (emotional?) equation.

    Expanding the Recommend concept is a great idea, but please make it more then a touchy-feely exercise.

    •  Oh, no... (4.00)
      ...who'd be offended by that? :)

      I see what you're getting at, but clearly pastordan has a good following, and I think that's actually quite all right.  But that kind of following is distinct from an appreciation of diaries from lesser-knowns.  And a Featured Authors list would just acknowledge that difference and work with it.

    •  I anti-recomend your idea (none)
      Any such button should be utilized not for disparaging what you disagree with, but for separating the wheat from the chaff.  Maybe you don't like wheat, but that's not the point.  A lot of diaries just do not have enough significance to anybody to warrant bumping off other posts that might be worthy of exposure.  

      And you must like to gag.  Nothing is forcing you to click a PastorDan diary. ;-)

      Which brings up the possibility of a personalized "blocked diarist" feature...but I'd imagine that to be way more trouble than it is worth.

      As for measuring one side of the emotional equation, that is sort of addressed in the comment ratings, but given that "recommend" is for temporary placement purposes, I don't see where a non-click of the recommend button is substantially different than an anti-recommend.  Anti-recommend would just lead to "recommend wars" where people appreciating a post and those who don't have to compete to balance things out.

      Maybe DailyKos is just fine the way it a Recommended Diary Archive, that is.

  •  i like it (none)
    this site is far too susceptible to clubbiness and celebrity hero-worship, which tends to manifest in perfunctory auto-recommends for anything penned by our handful of "respected" diarists...

    it would be nice to give the lesser-knowns a shot at the recommended list, without dumping the (usually) worthy content offered by those who would still get recommended even if they posted nothing but knock-knock jokes and pictures of their cats.

    if this proposal is technologically feasible, i say run with it!

    "i am outside of history. i wish i had some peanuts; it looks hungry there in its cage. i am inside of history. its hungrier than i thot." -- Ishmael Reed

    by buffalobreath on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 11:20:35 AM PST

  •  a great idea! (none)
    I most sincerely and whole-heartedly agree!

    Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel. -Samuel Johnson

    by bhlogger on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 01:24:49 PM PST

  •  Not all diaries by "Featured Authors" (none)
    If you pay attention you will see that even Armando and other front pagers have their offbeat, off the front page stuff.

    I suggest the decision to post it in the Featured Author section or not be left to the authors (perhaps a "super mojo" score of Diary recs would give them the FA status ?).

  •  Love the "Breaking News" idea (none)
    It is perfect to keep kossacks informed and still get good timeless diaries the attention they deserve.
  •  A "new kid on the block" section (none)
    To encourage new authors, we could create a section to pimp and promote newbie diaries, even if they are still rough around the edges.

    MaryScott used to do this a lot and as a newbie last year I felt soo welcome to Kosdom by her and other kind "oldies"!  

  •  The 8 recommended diaries (none)
    is a deep and subtle design decision, and one I have come to see as the correct one.

    (And for more reasons than I lay out there.)

    The tags should do much of what you want, if implemented well, along with better search.

    But keep thinking up ideas and criticisms.

    The dark at the end of the tunnel is an oncoming age.

    by peeder on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 03:57:57 PM PST

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