Recommender Systems for Yahoo! Answers?

I'm curious as to how the questions displayed on the Y! Answers homepage determined? From my observations they are simply current, "open" questions from any category/subject area.

For those that are not sure what I mean by recommender systems, take Amazon for example. Amazon's site makes use of several recommender systems and as a result we see product recommendations upon loggin into the site or have a populated shopping-cart.

My question is, are the questions on the homepage generated and customized to user preferences (which maybe calculated from algorithms that take into account implicit data such as the amount of time or the number of questions/answers users spend in specific question/answer categories). If not, is implementing such a recommender system beneficial?

The argument is that for many users, sub-group affiliation is not as relevant, and many people simply contribute to any open question they come across, defeating the purpose of having such a rec. system.

Update:

edit:

I forgot to mention, I realize there is also the option of showing the "popular" questions instead of the default "recent" questions. Nevertheless, I am still interesting in why a recommender system isn't implemented, and what the Y! community feels about this.

2 Answers

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Well, I can think of about 19 things I would like to have before Yahoo takes time on ranking the questions. At a bare minimum, I would like my choice of looking at lowest number of answers to be "sticky" for even the session if not for everytime I come in.

    You want to take out the variety approach because you want some kind of choice made on what you see on the home page. Most of us look at the home page to see if something answerable is mixed in then go and look at the specialty areas. Some people with very high numbers clearly go straight to their area of expertise and answer only there, getting 60%+ best answers. Others mix expertise and fun and correcting errors or offering contrary opinions. I answer 20-30 questions every time I come on and vote on 30-40 more answers. Why should I expect Yahoo to figure out a pattern and limit me to that pattern when I come on.

    If you haven't noticed, during certain times of the day, the second question is pushed off screen 1 by new questions while you are answering the first question - or you can watch this happen just by hitting refresh on your browser once a minute or so. I would like Yahoo to number the questions so people are aware of how many go whizzing by.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    It is far less complicated than that, it is in the reverse order of when they are asked.

    The newest goes to the top of the list.

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