Suggested topics vs. Featured topics


(Charles Walter) #1

On our community, we seem to get people who stay in one particular category. We have a strange behavior where our top performing landing page is not our homepage, but a specific category homepage.

I’ve considered activating suggested topics in the past, but it just offers users more of the same, and often lists topics that are no longer relevant. What I ultimately would like to guide is the discovery of fresh, interesting discussion from lesser visited categories.

What would people think of an option to provide a query parameter for featured topics, instead of suggested topics, with the ability to select topics to appear on this “widget”. A mix of dynamic query and editorial.

As more and more traffic originates from search engines to topic pages, users may not discover the homepage or the category page, so it’s helpful to drive to keep engagement going with fresh content.

Would be interested to hear other’s perspectives, and whether a plugin could be better suited to address engagement.


(Jeff Atwood) #2

Just modify the site setting that determines the max age of suggested topics. There is also a setting that locks suggested to the current category as well.


(Charles Walter) #3

Thx @codinghorror. I tried it out just now putting 7 or 8 days, but it does return topics older than that. Is it possible that if the logic is not finding something that, it just tries to go back further in history? I’m also seeing cases where it returns my posts. Would be interesting to review the query, or at least understand the logic.

While Discourse has an option to restrict to posts from the same category, what I’m trying to do is figure out how to promote unrelated posts, that are interesting, and where the user would have likely never seen them.

I do like the text at the bottom that says
"There are 243 unread and 414 new topics remaining, or browse other topics in
X category"


(Jeff Atwood) #4

You may need to wait a while for the change to take effect, but it should work.


(Charles Walter) #5

Thx. I’ve left it enabled, but topics hidden with CSS so I can check in the morn
#suggested-topics .topics {display: none;}

Would still be interested in knowing what the logic is behind it, even if high-level. I’ve noticed that on Discourse Meta I see a lot of posts that I’ve participated in.

There is likely a big opportunity with recommendations.


(Jeff Atwood) #6

Once it exhausts your unread and new it is simply random in the given timeframe.


(Charles Walter) #7

Still see old topics. I forgot to hide on mobile…


(Charles Walter) #8

Is the time frame window working for any other sites? or should this be filed as a bug?


(Jeff Atwood) #9

You’re not actually getting to suggested in that screenshot.

You have 242 unread and 429 new. Dismiss those first.


(Charles Walter) #10

oh, thanks. I thought you meant it would show unread and new from the given timeframe and then start showing random topics from the timeframe.

it’s hard to imagine many of our users reviewing every unread and new topic, and so many will likely not see the other suggestions.

Is there a reason why the logic wouldn’t at least return the newest of the unread/new? or does it try to find related unread/new topics to show based on the topic the user is reading?

Either way, I think I will leave it on for mobile users, as it does look like a good experience for users landing from search engines.


(Jeff Atwood) #11

Yes, it is in order of the topics being updated. So the unread with the latest posts, the newest of the new, etcetera.