Similar Topics

We're doing it wrong...we know
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trilobyte
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Similar Topics

Postby trilobyte » Thu Mar 17, 2016 12:15 pm

One of the many things we picked up in the big upgrade was that in many (but not all) sections of the site the board displays a list of Similar Topics at the bottom of a thread. Here's an example...

Image

This kind of takes the "you might also like" and "related articles" functionality that you see on some news or social media sites and uses it to help people possibly find other interesting stuff or further engage with the site (instead of selling them stuff or taking them to advertiser sponsored articles).

As I have it currently configured, it only looks back through the last 2 years, which makes sure we cover the current year's burn as well as the whole previous season. I also have it excluding some boards from what it indexes (stuff like tickets wanted and offered, etc). Those settings may be tweaked and adjusted over time.

To be honest, I'm also a little curious over what kind of unexpected results you might see on the board. ePlaya not only has a lot of diverse and unusual topics compared to a lot of other message boards, but we've got world-class thread drift, and some discussions are nothing but banter. Feel free to post pics of the weirdest and funniest ones you see in replies below.

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Ratty
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Re: Similar Topics

Postby Ratty » Thu Mar 17, 2016 4:45 pm

Thank you for explaining this. I had been puzzling over it.
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trilobyte
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Re: Similar Topics

Postby trilobyte » Thu Mar 17, 2016 8:09 pm

I think similar topics can come in really handy for occasional lurkers (who make up the majority of people who come here) and for casual users and visitors. Since they aren't here that often they're probably not as familiar with other recent topics on the subject, and they often either don't take (or have) the time to dig around. Similar topics serves up what it thinks may be of interest based on the contents of that thread. If it helps people find solutions to problems and projects or gets them to engage with the community, then I'm all for it.

It's curated by machines and not humans, so it could wind up with some totally left-field suggestions. We'll see how weird or useful it turns out to be.

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theCryptofishist
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Re: Similar Topics

Postby theCryptofishist » Mon Apr 25, 2016 7:57 pm

I mentioned this in the thread in question, then ran into this.
The "Donald Trump is My Hero" thread suggests a bunch of lost and found threads about Go Pro Heroes.
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Token
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Re: Similar Topics

Postby Token » Tue Apr 26, 2016 11:07 am

And if you absolutely hate this feature, you can turn it off in your User Control Panel under Display Options.

Too bad I can't kill it for my Phone but not my PC. That would be slick as snot.

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trilobyte
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Re: Similar Topics

Postby trilobyte » Tue Apr 26, 2016 3:40 pm

I like that example, Fishy... random, but I totally get where the database made that connection.

I agree, Token. The big PHPBB 3.1 update is the jumping-off point for their responsive design efforts - maybe at some point down the road there will be an opportunity for responsive design preference options.


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