Sandi MacPherson, Editor-in-Chief at Quibb

Read what else Sandi MacPherson is reading for work

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Well, as long as the option to submit a comment still exists users can at least decide to opt-in to adding post-comments.

Does the "Home" view of the Quibb website use the same algorithm that selects posts for the digest? Without some kind of filtering and/or curation I fear Quibb runs the risk of looking very similar to my nearly-completely unfiltered Feedly or Prismatic feeds. I really appreciate anything that helps with separating the wheat from the chaff.

Product Manager at Facebook

It's great to see that you're constantly testing and tweaking, Sandi. You raise an interesting point about more data points (i.e., links even those without comments) yielding higher quality feeds when run through the right algorithm. This reminds me of an article I read today on NY Times about a poker bot that can beat almost any human at 1-on-1 limit Texas Hold'em http://goo.gl/qO5I9h . The poker bot uses sophisticated neural networks to learn how to play poker. But the creator had to run the poker bot through billions of simulation games in order to enable it to learn how to play poker well.

Your algorithm for generating the feed already works well. I'm sure that you're already using the obvious metrics to measure post quality (follower/followee relationship between author and member, # of unique readers for the post, # of likes, # of comments). Here are a couple more suggestions of some other factors you may want to consider in creating a quality score for each Quibb post (if you're not already using them).

* Reputation score for each reader, liker and commenter. The algorithm could weight each view, like or comment on the article based on the reputation score for the member that took that action. (This assumes that Quibb has some kind of reputation score for each member that isn't visible right now.)

* Time reading article / bounce rate. You could measure how much time members spend reading the article and whether they bounce out of Quibb after reading the article. This would give a better indication of quality of the actual content rather than just the # of viewers. Viewers might click an article's link because the title seemed enticing. But they'll only stick around and read it if the article is good.

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Startup Edition, Product Hunt

Thanks for sharing, Sandi. Transparency is one of the reasons why I love Quibb.

Likewise Sandi, thanks for letting us know how the experiment turned out. I'm a little surprised (I was heavily in favor of requiring comments) but hard to argue with results. I hope you'll evaluate some of the alternative ways some Quibbers have mentioned for adding even a little more context into links posted -- even something g like "2 of the people you follow posted this" (although I understand some of the difficulties you and Andrew have mentioned regarding this).

Strategic Advisor to carefully curated media, digital media and related companies. at Digitec Global Advisors

I'm surprised/disappointed to. If you're carefully curating your Twitter feeds danger here is...with too many links on Quibb, what's the difference/differentiator? I mean besides the fact you have a carefully curated community here. Quibb could become the platform for detailed commenting on Tweets. Are you sure taking a short-term hit on #posts/links in the interest of building a strong feed of posts/links where Quibb users are forced to add value wouldn't ultimately be more..well, valuable? I'm sure you've looked very, very closely but still, this outcome feels counter-intuitive to me.

Senior User Experience Designer at Return Path

I think it was a great test but, as an avid Quibb fan, I'm glad it's not required. The cognitive overhead of posting a comment with each link can be daunting (especially when I know it may be seen by my peers). To me, the act of submitting a link is an act of engagement that captures the epitome of Quibb. That is, sharing the best content I find on the web even if my voice is not a part of that content.

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Product & Co-founder at Pie.co

Sandi, great to read transparent posts like this, it really contributes to the open culture on Quibb. On the mandatory commenting: friction (almost) always loses.

Head of Customer Success at GrooveHQ

Thanks for the heads up Sandi! I was a big fan of the required comment. I was initially worried about link dumping and thought it would help curb that behavior all while increasing engagement. But in practice it occasionally causes friction when you just wanted to share a good price of reading and don't necessarily have anything to say. Comments can provide great context and insight, but when forced they sometime become less genuine and powerful.

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Found Palettes, Sara Studio, UX + Branding

I like that there's less of a roadblock. I do think the Quibb community can provide much needed context, but it shouldn't be forced. Nice work in listening to your users and tweaking.

Independent, Erik Moe Creative, Independent

I wasn't a member during the initial discussion, but would like to go on the record in favor of required comments. I think they force you to think about why you are sharing and the relevance of your content to this community. Fewer links might be a good thing if it is due to users' curation process being more rigorous and thoughtful. The site's resulting content and experience should end up being of higher quality than the many sites out there where people can currently post links with little effort.

I feel requiring a comment to post an article does make you share your opinion about the article or atleast the reason why you felt it should be shared (which is good) but does not necessarily increase engagement or invoke further discussion from others reading that article.

There might be other ways to encourage conversations around some of these topics. One thing I have seen work in several different models is 'gamification' (from language learning to corporate customer support) and perhaps encourage people to interact more than just reading the article. I am not suggesting turning this into a Reddit or a competitive forum but if you look at Duolingo's model, you'll get an idea.

I do agree with some of the other sentiments here regarding curating the feed and the need to push for more quality vs quantity of links that are getting submitted.

Andrew Chen, Quibb, Uber Andrew Chen
Quibb, Uber
Andrew Goldner, Quibb, GrowthX, Kauffman Foundation Andrew Goldner
Quibb, GrowthX, Kauffman Foundation