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I happened to notice a brand new question on meta.stackexchange.com:

Question as seen on the main page when it happens to be updated.

What I failed to notice is that the units are different for this question than for the rest of the main page:

votes => kvotes
view  => kviews

The distinction is a bit more clear when you sort all the questions by votes:

Question as seen in the sorted view.

I think it would be more clear what was going on if the units remained the same, but the values were presented differently:

1  => 1k
30 => 30k

Or:

1  => 1e3
30 => 3e4

The second has the advantage of preventing the number of characters from exceeding 3 for the foreseeable future.

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  • 12
    1e3 and 3e4 look horrible, even to me. I would prefer 1k votes over 1 kvotes though Nov 1 '12 at 19:44
  • That's not exactly a brand new question.
    – Servy
    Nov 1 '12 at 19:47
  • 2
    "kvotes" is certainly the most misleading one. It's single digit, and the usual black color. The only thing that gives them away is the fact that questions with >1k votes has always had >10k views - which appears brown or orange. Only a double-take glance will make you realize that the question has 1k, 2k, or 3k votes (rather than 1, 2, or 3 votes).
    – Mysticial
    Nov 1 '12 at 19:48
  • 1
    @NullUserException อ_อ: Then you probably wouldn't like the idea I rejected: Babylonian numbering. Nov 1 '12 at 19:50
  • @JonEricson There's a feature request to change the color of "kvotes". Which isn't an exact duplicate of this.
    – Mysticial
    Nov 1 '12 at 19:55
  • @Mysticial: Ah. Color would be lost on me. I honestly did not notice the color change on views until you mentioned it. Nov 1 '12 at 19:57
  • On meta the color difference is laughable. But on SO, it's a lot more obvious.
    – Mysticial
    Nov 1 '12 at 19:57
  • The important message to take home here is that this is all Adam Davis' fault.
    – Tim Stone
    Nov 2 '12 at 10:37
  • @Tim Stone: And there's nothing new under the sun. Nov 2 '12 at 15:44
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1
12
123
1.2k
12k
123k
1.2m
12m
123m

All using at most 4 characters and easy to understand!

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    And it most nearly conforms to the way large numbers are usually represented on the site. Your reputation at the moment is 20.4k, for instance. (That could be shortened to 20k if the space were limited for some reason.) Nov 1 '12 at 20:49
  • @JonEricson: interestingly enough, this answer was my very last post - I didn't post any new answers/questions since then. Now, my reputation is 27.4k! Dec 18 '15 at 22:59

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