Less than a week since we deployed it, the Suggest a Session for OpenWorld 2008 offer made by the Events team on Mix has been a big hit.
Traffic was up over 250% over the weekend, and the voting page is already among the top pages on Mix in terms of pageviews over the past 30 days. That’s compared to a full month of traffic for other pages and only four days of traffic for the session page.
This is good news and I think, something of a surprise to the people running the event. While they expected participation, this is more than anticipated. And we want to sustain the momentum.
I need your help (again). Paul immediately identified a problem when he checked out the sessions. We need a way to filter the list effectively. The two tabs on the voting page, “Latest” and “Greatest“, tend to neglect the middle, i.e. not highly voted or recent ideas. As the list grows, people are less likely to page through all the sessions (there are already 39), which hurts the suggestions in the middle. This is another manifestation of the Google effect, i.e. people are unlikely to page beyond the first set of results.
We could append high-level product families (e.g. database, middleware, apps) to the session ideas, but not all ideas fit a product neatly. A tag cloud was suggested, since most of the session ideas have been nicely tagged. Tag clouds tend to focus the user on the largest tags, though, introducing a new problem.
How do you think we should solve this problem? This problem has been around for a while, and no one has solved it completely. So, I think maybe some good old crowdsourcing is in order.
If you have an idea, drop a note in comments, but know that there are no promises here. We reserve the right to make executive decisions.
And don’t let this deter you from entering your suggestions. We’ll work out a way to give them all equal time. I promise, even though suggestions from the ‘Lab are the top two right now 🙂 We want to have all the ideas out there. I’d rather sit in a session than give one; it’s way easier.
Rich is exception here, since if you read here, you get exposed to my babble all the time. A session at OpenWorld would just be more of the same. But seriously, why wouldn’t you want to hear Rich talk about JRuby? The guy’s a JRuby maven.
I hear he’s available for weddings and all your special events too.