Wouldn't "related topics" be better than "suggested"?


(Erlend Sogge Heggen) #1

Continuing the discussion from Suggested Topics could be better:

Do you have any statistics on how many clicks you get on the “Suggested Topics” widget? Something tells me it’s not very widely used. Most blogs have eventually figured out that readers much prefer a “related posts” widget over “suggested posts”.


How does Suggested Topics work and how can we improve it?
(Robin Ward) #2

I use that widget constantly. I would be very upset if we got rid of it or changed it to related topics. I use it as a way to find the next topic that needs my attention when I’m done reading something.


(Jeff Atwood) #3

Yes, that is the primary way I navigate every Discourse forum I get to.

I read to the bottom of a topic, then I click through to the next thing that needs reading – and suggested topics prioritizes topics I’ve participated in, and new topics.

Suggested topics is the proverbial pot o’ gold at the end of the reading rainbow.

As a reward for reading all the way to the end of the reading rainbow, you are rewarded with… opportunities for even more reading, because Reading Is Fundamental.


(Neil Lalonde) #4

Related topics would probably show me stuff I’ve already read, so it would be useless. To people new to the community, the Latest and Categories pages are where they want to be to discover content.

Also, pot of gold cake. Yum.


(Sam Saffron) #5

The funny thing is that for my workflow I would prefer if the list showed me some stuff I already very recently read in absence of unread/new topics.

Like amazon do with last 5 books you looked at.

Rainbows indeed.


(Erlend Sogge Heggen) #6

That’s very interesting. My workflow is quite different. I’ll scroll through the “new” and “unread” sections and open a new tab for any thread that peaks my interest. So when I’m done reading about a certain topic, chances are I’m looking to find out more about that topic, not go off to a whole new path which is usually what the “suggested topics” has to offer.

Question about statistics still stands. Also I’d be very interested to hear from other users.


(Jeff Atwood) #7

Not quite, since if the topic has a category, and you have no unread or new topics left, you’ll only see other suggested topics from the same category as the current topic you are on.

More topics (picked at random, granted) from the same category is not exactly “a whole new path” is it?


(Erlend Sogge Heggen) #8

Well first off, seeing as I’m not gonna be interested in all the ‘new’ topics, some of those are gonna make it in there. Second, even with just a few hundred posts in each category, Discourse Meta exemplifies a great diversity of topics. 5/300 topics picked at random? The chances of them being closely related to my topic of interest are rather slim.

But that’s not the argument here. I’m just trying to figure out if people are actually finding the ‘suggested topics’ to be a useful part of their workflow, and feedback so far points to ‘yes, it is. stop it, you’re being weird’.


(Jeff Atwood) #9

Well, random-from-same-category is certainly not an ideal selection algorithm once we’ve worked through

  • topics you have replied to, that other people have replied to, with unread posts

  • new topics

So I am fine with the proposal that we need better “suggestions” from the same category that you’re already on.

You could also propose that we should prioritize new topics in the same category you’re already on, as well.


(TheLoneCuber) #10

Given all the varying preferences for “Related Topics”, is there any support to make the title editable (via admin/site_settings)? For my current use case displaying the section as “Related X” makes sense, and displaying it as “Suggested X” doesn’t. In my current use case, “topics” doesn’t make any sense at all.

Allowing the admin to set the title accordingly would give some relative freedom here.