Town Square

How are "Today's Top Posts" determined?

Original post made by Lynn, Palo Verde, on Nov 17, 2006

Can someone please explain the algorithm for placing a topic on the home page under "Today's Top Posts?" Topics that are still being actively viewed and commented on sometimes fall off the list, like Los Altos Hills redistricting, while some, like Romeo and Juliet at Paly, stay on for days after the last comment.

Don't get me wrong, I love the play, and my son is even in it, but it doesn't surpass many other topics in either the number of views or recent comments.

I think if top posts are on the home page, they should reflect those that have the most views and/or comments of the day.


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Posted by whoisPeriwinkle
a resident of another community
on Nov 17, 2006 at 12:06 pm

I've wondered too. Maybe it is because JForte sometimes writes for the Weekly. And so called Periwinkle is her husband. Periwinkle often writes to agree with his own posts.

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Posted by Bill Johnson
publisher of the Palo Alto Weekly
on Nov 17, 2006 at 4:39 pm

Bill Johnson is a registered user.

The home page "top posts" are manually done and we try to make sure that they are changing every day....usually by adding newer posts to the top and moving others down and off. When there is active commenting on posts we will generally leave them up until the discussion begins to wane, and if a top post doesn't get much activity we'll usually take it down.

When a post pertains to a timely event, such as an upcoming school board meeting or a school play, we'll try to leave them up until the event even if there aren't a lot of comments. We don't want Town Square to be viewed only as a place to express opinions; we want to encourage Palo Altans to post their own "news" as well. So a post on the results of a youth sports event might be a top post for a short period, just to communicate we welcome that type of posting.

It's obviously an inexact process, and one that can easily be thrown off by staff absences or coverage requirements of breaking news.

As for who Periwinkle is, and what his or her strategies are for using Town Square, I have no idea!

Thanks for the question and observations.

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Posted by Periwinkle
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 18, 2006 at 1:11 am

whois, keep guessing! :)

btw, I think this forum does a pretty good job of putting a variety of posts up in front of the public. I hope you saw the play at Paly, it was great!

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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 17, 2007 at 8:23 pm

Are the strategies still the same or have they changed? Sometimes they appear and disappear within hours and sometimes they are for threads that have only one comment. They are also unchanged over the weekends which may be due to the fact that they are weekends, but since last weekend many topics have appeared and disappeared and today is only Tuesday!!