Longtime reader Todd Gamblin ’02 writes:

Dear EphBlog:

There’s been a lot of talk lately about what people want to read, what kinds of posts should be on EphBlog, and what kind shouldn’t. I think the best way to figure this out would be to let the readers (all of them, not just the loudest ones) decide.

Now, I’m a big fan of reddit, and reddit lets you vote posts up or down. The popular things percolate up to the top while the not so popular things fall to the bottom. I don’t think we need quite that system for EphBlog, but it would be nice to get a similar sense of what people think of posts here.

I suggest that we install Vote It Up so we can get a little favorability gauge next to each post. It could look like, say, the one on the right here:
Or that’s my favorite, at least, mainly because it has both up and down.

I mentioned reddit, but I think we should keep the blog format where things on the front page always appear in reverse chronological order. i.e., you can’t vote something off the front page, as much as I know a lot of us would like to.

However, it might also be nice to have a “most popular” sidebar link, where you could go to see just the popular EphBlog posts. I guess we could also have a “least popular” link, too. I think I know what would go there, though.

Opinions? I think this would add something to the front page and might lower the noise factor in the comments by relegating some of the more strident ones to simple down votes. It might also let us know what kinds of things people should post more of. I have a feeling EphBlog’s readers will not hesitate to vote.


1) I think that this is a great idea! Indeed, I have argued for (and tried to implement) similar technology for years. Harder to do than it looks!

2) I am not on the Board, but I am confident that EphBlog would welcome Todd (or anyone else) to join us as an Administrator, i.e., with as many of the required permissions as necessary to implement these (and other) ideas. Eric, Ronit and Ken do great stuff, but there are only so many hours in the day . . .

3) I wonder about just how many readers would bother to vote and/or how informative those votes will be. Ephs are busy. Also, my experience has been that different people like different aspects of EphBlog. Even if you don’t like posts of type X (and I have my preferences like everyone else), you may be surprised to discover that other people do like these posts. But, the nice thing is that this is an empirical question.

Todd: Care to join us?

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