back to article Reader Top 10s: an experiment in crowd pleasing

In recent weeks, reghardware has run a series of top 10s - rounds up of "essential" or "best" apps and peripherals. And very popular they have proved too, especially this one: Ten free apps to install on every new PC. This prompted 187 comments, with readers in their dozens suggesting dozens more apps - and slating us for …


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  1. Tipjip

    Back to the future

    It would be nice if the "back to the article" link took me back to page of the article where I cast my vote instead of the first page only.


  2. nickrw

    "but for boring reasons, we can't easily add voting on stories already published."

    Have you forgotten your audience?

    We demand to know!

    1. Drewc (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

      Re: "but for boring reasons, we can't easily add voting on stories already published."

      To be strictly accurate, yes we can... but the cost and time required outweighs the benefits.

    2. Minty (Written by Reg staff)

      Have you forgotten your audience?

      fwiw, I can assure you we spend a substantial amount of time thinking about our readers/users/commentards and making stuff better for them. The balance is always what is the most valuable use of the time/resources.

      Obviously we *can* add voting to already published stories. We opted not to here.

      The issue here was simply that we wanted subtle differences when compiling a list of the best stuff (Android apps) than we wanted when having a more free-form discussion.

      The former wanted a url for the thing being rated, which made no sense for a regular discussion. The icons ("Where's the Paris Hilton angle?") also didn't seem approriate when building the list of top ten iphone games, etc. although I grant you that this could be debated. Possibly at length ;)



      Then there is the list of suggestions/posts. Mixing (new) suggestions in between (older) discussion about stuff seemed like it might be more confusing than helpful.

      And so we concluded: either it's a list of user suggestions to rate, or it's a discussion. And articles already published with discussion attached remain as that.

      It's not perfect and we are curious how you'd like to see it work.

      1. KenBW2

        "The balance is always what is the most valuable use of the time/resources."

        I think you misinterpreted the question. I suspect he was asking the same question as I was when I saw it.

        Surely the "boring" reasons aren't boring to people who already go out of their way to understand these things? Not to say that you should add them to old articles, but that we want to to know why - curiosity etc etc.

        We demand to know what the boring reasons are!

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    Jolly good show, what? etc. etc.

    No, seriously, might be both amusing and shockingly useful. I actually just bought my first android device recently, and the comments on the top ten androids apps "article" were more useful than the piece itself. I'm barticularly grateful for the suggestion of Juicedefender, which is a really handy thing.

    Other than all the swearing, arguing and lunacy, some gems could result. Might even help fix the fact that lately, the Reg has been more and more like reading the Daily Mail. Well done, peeps.

  4. Mage Silver badge


    Where do I vote on this Article?

    "Vote Early and Often" is the motto in Norn Iron. A study showed it didn't affect results as all parties do it equally.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Another suggestion

    Make sure the top N is an actual top of something. Just picking ten you like then calling it a top list isn't: For that it needs to be a much longer list of which you can actually skim the top N. I'd expect at very minimum 2*N, but only as minimum. That would also make the votes much more meaningful.

  6. cre@mstick360

    Two way communication.

    RH thank you.

    Always a pleasure to be informed of what's going on.

    It's been obvious to see recent changes to the site of late (most of which positive).

    Publishers from my experience make changes without even consulting the people who matter most - the readers. These changes are usually made to fulfill the needs of ad people. So bravo!!

    Keep up the good work and importantly keep us involved.

  7. AleDrinker
    Paris Hilton

    But why can't I vote on this article?

    Am guessing there's a boring reason for that too

    Paris, cos she's a natural vote winner.

  8. Scho


    considering the similarities with the current UK voting at the moment....

    "Let's call it Voting Live Beta: it's clumsy - and we haven't figured out a good way yet to show the results. But then crowd-pleasing is very new to us."

  9. The Original Ash

    An irritation

    We're taken away from the main article when we vote. Surely this can be closer to the "Rate this article" system, and we're presented with either the up- or down-vote icon depending on which we chose, instead of being directed to another webpage?

    Just an idea.

    1. Drewc (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

      Re: An irritation

      We'll have a think about this: but it reminds me that I should switch on "rate this article" for reghardware stories. We'll do that when we get some coding time free.

      [For historic reasons, rate this article was applied for UK readers only and then only in some sections. And not in reghardware at all.]

      1. heyrick Silver badge

        Rate this article

        Why UK readers only? Are you saying the rest of us don't count? <stir!><stir!>

        This at least, explains, why I saw it when reading via a UK-based proxy and then not using my (French) connection. To think I spent half an hour reading stuff I wasn't interested in looking for "rate this article" links.

        I'll tell you one tihng, I'd vote down every Orlowski article that doesn't also have comments. Surely I'm not the only person who finds comments add greatly to the article?

        1. Drewc (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

          Re: Rate this article

          I am a bit hazy on details, as I was living in the US at the time of their introduction. But article raters began life as an experiment to test UK reader engagement .. whatever that means.

          The experiment ended and raters remained - as they were. In the UK only.

          I can't speak for The Reg, not about this anyway. But we will introduce article raters on reghardware for readers worldwide. When we get round to it.

          Lastly, Andrew O's decision to switch off comments for some of his article is understandable to me - and to publishers and journalists everywhere - and anyone who has had to moderate the 1000 or so comments posted each working day here.

          Interesting article here about Gawker's tough love with its commenters

          What about it, guys? A class system here?

          1. Anonymous Coward

            Class system could be tricky

            No-one ever wants to roll a healer. We'd just get a load of ADHD rogues trying to rambo into the.. no wait...

            Why yes, that is my cloak, I'll be going now.

  10. Si 1

    Daily Fail

    While I hate to mention the Daily Fail, but they have their green and red arrows system and clicking one of them adds to a vote without taking you away from the page you're on. Is there any way El Reg could include this? It's a bit of a pain going back and forth all the time, particularly since it doesn't take you back to the part of the page you had previously scrolled to.

    1. ThomH Silver badge

      Same comment for up and down on comments

      You know, while you're looking into the topic. Having to go through several pages to achieve an action rather than having the actions occur while you're still on the page is very 2000.

  11. It'sa Mea... Mario
    IT Angle

    How come... is the iPhone games and Android app articles that you have implemented this on when it was the apps for new PCs one that prompted all the replies?

    Anyway nice idea, but please please please do fix the voting for both this and forum posts so that it does not take you to a new page.

    Also (I said before but will say again) having (sometimes, very) delayed posting of forum/comment posts - due to moderation - AND 'report this post' buttons is a bit overkill do you not think?

    IT? icon - because using the way voting and the 'forums' work on El Reg does feel a bit last century.. ('Required' titles on Forum posts etc)

  12. dogged

    This is ridulous

    If you're recommending iPhone games, you can be safely assumed to have an iPhone. Therefore, you are unlikely to be able to gauge the accuracy of an article on Android apps.

    Pick better candidates, please.

    1. Drewc (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

      Re: This is ridulous

      I am baffled. They are two different, standalone articles! Different people will vote on different things.

      If you have an iPhone and have a game to recommend it then do so.

      If you don't have an Android phone, or have never owned an Android phone, you are not in a position to make a recommendation on that article.

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