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I've recently noticed that the, uh, enthusiasm on the site has been a bit... not so strong as before:

zero upvotes

Does anyone have any guesses as to why this might have happened? Has anything changed recently, and can we do anything about this?

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Click another tab – random Mar 17 '11 at 0:33
@random: I just clicked the "hot" tab and it looks pretty much the same... except now there's also negatives. – Mehrdad Mar 17 '11 at 0:34
Not exactly a statistically sound sample. India is not awake yet, Europe has just fallen asleep, America is having dinner. But sure, it's drooping. Dup:… – Uphill Luge Mar 17 '11 at 1:53
up vote 7 down vote accepted

I think you are referring to the homepage changes, which suppress posts that have upvotes and answers.

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I was like "Ohhhh this must be the reason!!! Thanks!" until I noticed that my active tab and my interesting tab display the exact same things... both of which are like the one above. – Mehrdad Mar 17 '11 at 3:36
@mehr sam removed support for that last I checked try in google chrome incognito mode – Jeff Atwood Mar 17 '11 at 3:38
@Jeff: Oh what?! I'd complain about that, but instead, here's another observation instead: the hot tab is pretty much the same way. :\ – Mehrdad Mar 17 '11 at 3:41
@mehr isn't that a natural consequence of suppressing items from the front page as they have votes and answers? It's all covered in the blog post... – Jeff Atwood Mar 17 '11 at 3:44
@Jeff: Huh? Wait I'm a bit confused -- I thought those changes were just for the interesting tab, not the other tabs... the hot tab's description is Questions with the most views, answers, and votes over the last few days, so I assumed that I'd see more votes... but that was hardly the case. :( – Mehrdad Mar 17 '11 at 3:47
@mehr we explicitly de optimize for hotness (or if you prefer, we optimize the homepage for coldness), as in, the more answers and upvotes something has, the less likely it is to ever appear on the homepage at all. Was the blog post not clear? – Jeff Atwood Mar 17 '11 at 3:49
@Jeff: Honestly, no -- all I understood from the blog post was that there was a new tab introduced, and that the old active tab was gone, and that it's "personalized" to my taste (which I dislike, btw -- I've turned off every search engine tracking page I've ever come across). Other than that, I didn't expect any difference. But now I guess the question is, why does the hot tab say "Questions with the most votes" when in fact it's with the least votes? – Mehrdad Mar 17 '11 at 3:51
@mehr I guess I am not being clear, it seems obvious to me. As a direct consequence of suppressing hotness on the homepage, daily hotness will inevitably suffer because posts with lots of votes and answers are not simply not seen as much -- the rationale is that we want UNANSWERED questions to get answers, not have people juggle 'what is your favorite programming food?' questions on the homepage all day long. You may wish to switch to the weekly (hot) or monthly (hot) if you are looking for those kinds of things. – Jeff Atwood Mar 17 '11 at 4:01
@Jeff: I understand why you did that (I'm not confused about that part), but the problem is, the tooltip for the hot tab is just misleading: if it's displaying questions with the least votes, it shouldn't say the contrary. – Mehrdad Mar 17 '11 at 4:08
@mehr the hot tab has not changed, there are simply less hot posts in general because the homepage actively suppresses hotness. You can compare with SU and SF, because the homepage setting is specific to SO, which is the only site we have that gets 3k questions per day. – Jeff Atwood Mar 17 '11 at 4:11
@Jeff: Ohhhhh now I see what you mean by the "less hot posts in general"... yeah okay, now it makes sense. I thought you meant you actively remove hot posts (since your answer said "which suppress posts that have upvotes", implying that you're not showing something that actually exists), but now [I think] I get what you mean; thanks a lot! :) – Mehrdad Mar 17 '11 at 4:15

I can't speak for anyone else, but for me the amount of effort required to sift through the dross and find questions worth voting on, never mind answering, has become too large for me to participate in StackOverflow et al. as much as I used to.

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Are you making good use of the "Ignored tags" and "Prefs -> Hide Ignored tags" features? I find that this combination helps a lot. I went through the tags, sorted by popularity, and made a list of a couple hundred tags that I wanted to ignore. – Kevin Vermeer Mar 17 '11 at 1:40
It's not the dross in uninteresting tags, rather the dross within the tags for which I am qualified to answer - that is, the tag in which I am interested. – Lawrence Dol Mar 17 '11 at 17:52

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