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PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 9:05 pm 
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How is the order of listings within a category determined?

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2009 10:10 pm 
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Hi there

All ordering is done by the listing title in ascending order. :)

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 4:36 pm 
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Any update on this? It definitely seems not to be the case that the ordering is alphabetical, just look at the listings.

I for one think that the JRD should be organized based off of:

- rating (highest rated first)
- number of comments
- some other measure of quality, maybe PR of the company's website?

If the goal is to direct users to the most highly qualified support, we need to sort this by some kind of indicator of that quality. This will provide a better experience for users and also motivate companies to provide excellent support, lest they receive negative reviews and be bumped down the list.

Furthermore, what makes a listing "popular"? It seems like those tend to be higher on the list. If that weighs into ordering and "popular" is just a measure of the number of hits that the listing receives, this is a clear example of a positive feedback loop, wherein popular listings will be ranked higher, will get more clickthroughs on the directory, and will continue to reinforce their "popularity".

JRD team, please weigh in on this, and keep up the good work!

Thanks!

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 11:16 pm 
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The directory listing is alphabetical now. We are considering other options (i.e., randomizing) but that's not currently a feature. We definitely want it to be fair for all involved.

hathwaytech wrote:
If the goal is to direct users to the most highly qualified support, we need to sort this by some kind of indicator of that quality.


That is technically not the end-goal of the Resources directory. The goal is to provide a directory of available resources :) "Most highly qualified" is a relative phrase.

Additionally other advanced listing options are being considered (See Wendy Robinson's blog post: http://community.joomla.org/blogs/commu ... tings.html )

As to the "Popular" designation, you bring up a good question - "Where does it come from?" The short answer - a set number of minimum average "hits" per day to that listing. It really has no practical application for the Resources Directory and could "skew" an end-user's view of the listing. So - it's been removed.

Thank you for bringing this up - all suggestions are welcome!

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 2:52 am 
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Thanks for the reply and for making the directory more fair. Now it's time to change the name of my company to "A1 Website Development" so I show up first ;)

I guess you can't have your cake and eat it too... any way you put it it won't truly be fair unless you randomize it or sort it by some indicator of value (which as you mention is hard to do objectively).

Let's keep throwing this one around.

+1 for ratings and sorting by average rating on the JRD!

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 2:46 pm 
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I agree with being fair- but alpha is defiantly not fair - we went from first to almost last in the directory. How about sub categories ordering by country to make it easier for users to find a host in their area?

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2010 6:10 pm 
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The original ordering was alpha ascending. This, during upgrades and/or changes to the site, was somehow overwritten back to the default order. We corrected it back to the original alpha ascending order. We are looking into the possibility of random ordering, but nothing is definite on that yet.

I understand that it can be frustrating to see your listing go to a different area of the page or even to a different page entirely.

The country-specific subcategories sound like a good idea, but I assume that those in Zimbabwe may not like it. :)

Since we are looking at enhanced JRD listings it may very well help "balance the scales" of the alphabetical ordering. We want it to be fair for everyone and, as importantly, logically organized for the end visitor.

Take a moment to read Wendy Robinson's blog post: http://community.joomla.org/blogs/commu ... tings.html and review some of the ideas that have been listed so far. Feel free to comment and share your ideas on that blog post as well.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2010 6:28 pm 
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How about something like user voice to determine this, so we can actually come up with an equitable solution for all? The way I see it is that we have three main "customers" of the JRD:

1. Companies/freelancers posting listings, who are relying on the JRD to [drive] qualified traffic to their websites
2. Potential or current Joomla users who are going to the JRD to find qualified assistance in any of the categories.
3. Joomla/OSM/JRD personnel, who are relying on the JRD to connect users with appropriate developers (tie the first to customer groups together), thus helping spread the word about Joomla as an easy-to-use CMS (or at least easy-to-hire-somebody-to-train-me-or-do-it-himself).

We'll need to make sure that these things are all factored in, but I certainly don't feel that one thread of comments on a blog post will suffice.

I believe the JRD is one of the most significant tools for expanding the reach of Joomla throughout the world as we compete with other CMSs. If you read any wordpress v. Joomla article, most say that Joomla is way more powerful but way harder to figure out. Furthermore, I have had countless companies come to me because their first attempt at building a Joomla site was a nightmare because they hired somebody who didn't know what they were doing.

This is no lie, I once had a new client come to me and say "I hate joomla because it is so inflexible and so hard to update my content. I'm fed up, and if you can't help me fix this site, I am moving to another CMS entirely)." Well, sure enough, I took a look at the template the other company designed, and they had not included a single module position! It took a few thousand bucks and a few weeks, but we turned her perception of Joomla around completely and now she sings its praises daily.

If we gear the JRD towards helping the second class of users (those looking for assistance) find the most relevant and highly qualified resources, it will help out the third class of users (JRD team, Joomla team, etc), and thus provide an income stream for the first class of users (the companies building joomla websites, extensions, templates, and providing training and tutorials).

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2010 8:24 pm 
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Very well thought out hathwaytech. I made similar comments on the blog but not nearly as nicely put as you did here.

There seems to be a perception within the post by Wendy and subsequent comments that the JRD should be used as a way to assist in the funding of further Joomla development.

In my category I can guarantee once a large hosting company gets in they will buy up the premium listing making it unreasonable for the more personal shops to compete. Just check Google to see who is paying for ads under hosting. The range is well over $5 for a single click.

I think many of us would agree that the larger companies provide some of the worst support for Joomla. This causes frustration on the part of the end user. There needs to be some very serious consideration here before changes are made and I agree that a blog post is not the way to do it.

In the end, the real losers could very well be the people in category 1,2, and 3.

The winners would be the large corporations gaining customers without providing the proper support.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2010 8:33 pm 
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mlipscomb wrote:
The country-specific subcategories sound like a good idea, but I assume that those in Zimbabwe may not like it. :)


I am not really sure how that applies. If you live in Zimbabwe and you go to the JRD you likely want a company in Zimbabwe. The same applies for me in the USA. I don't mind scrolling down to "U" to work with a company in my part of the world. It is a time saver for those looking for help. The ordering is really a way for an end user to find the most qualified company for their needs quickly.

We had a system based on clicks. Since that is now out and if there is no other system other than alpha then at least region should be added.

Honestly, we were listed first in our category and it came from hard work. I go to the forums as often as I can and try to help people out. People clicked on us and entered the JRD and we rose through the ranks. I really don't see how that is unfair to anyone else in the JRD. It was a reward for hard work.

I don't think it should have been discouraged and by making it alpha you have made the playing field uneven instead of even.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2010 9:06 pm 
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CptDecker-

Thanks for the compliments. I believe that the "popular" rating was removed because it presented a "positive feedback loop" - check out this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Positive_feedback.

The main problem with having a "popular" rating that also factors into the ordering/ranking of results in a list is that if a listing becomes popular for whatever reason, it will be moved to the top of the list and will thus get more organic page views by people who go to the JRD and click on the listings at the top. This will continue indefinitely, so all you really need to do is get a ton of people to view your listing one day and then you are set for a while. Heck, with that method, you could even pay for google ads directly to your listing for a day and then just sit back and relax.

I do agree with your desire to order the listings by level of forum participation. I believe that we should have a few factors that are used to calculate the ordering/ranking:

1. Level of Joomla Forum Participation - number of forum posts, forum Karma, etc
2. Level of Joomla experience - number of Joomla sites built, maybe a score on some kind of Joomla knowledge assessment relative to the category of the listing, maybe a score on some kind of general assessment test of relative knowledge?
3. Number of comments on listing (good or bad)
4. Reviews/Ratings of Listing (like JED)

With that said, "1" above would be easy to calculate in theory, but if you add in different forum accounts for each member of a company and other factors, it could get murky, plus you might see people giving negative karma to competitors. "2" would be very valuable, but you would need a team willing and qualified to create such tests for each category. "3" is very valuable and easy to calculate, but in theory you could have a listing with a ton of negative comments at the top. Then, only "4" makes sense and is easiest to accomplish. You could even factor in the rating and the number of comments, which it seems is how the JED does it. Furthermore, "4" would easily incorporate "2" by extension just because if people get better reviews it is likely because they know their stuff. Finally, "4" would also incorporate "1" if you motivate people to give you a good rating in the JRD in your forum signature. Help more people, get more positive reviews, get to the top of the JRD.

Thoughts?

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2010 9:31 pm 
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While I agree that there could can be the issue of people at the top staying there and yes, there is a possibility of manipulation, the truth is the system worked.

We started at the bottom of our category and worked our way to the top. While there is a chance for manipulation, it is not a reason not to do something. If manipulation does occur than that company should be dealt with in a way that the JRD staff feels is appropriate.

There needs to be a better way for sure. Reviews/Ratings are a great option but remember, it is a lot easier to get someone to say something negative than positive. It is also just as easy to manipulate.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2010 9:54 pm 
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I agree it might have worked to get you there, but it seems the problem is that the system can only measure popularity based on the pageviews of the listing and can't actually tell the referrer. Would you give more credit to links coming from joomla forum signatures rather than other sites or emails, and then completely ignore traffic from the JRD category pages/latest modules themselves?

I agree that it is easier to leave a negative review, but won't that make people all the more likely to try harder to meet expectations with their customers? It really seems like the JED has it all handled on the browse view, though searching is still sub-par to say the least!

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2010 10:29 pm 
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If you do not mind me asking hathwaytech did you move up or down in your category and did you feel that the listing method previously was fair to you and your company?

I appreciate your thoughts on this.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2010 10:55 pm 
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Actually by some stroke of chance, I remained in pretty much exactly the same spot directly after the change to true alphabetical (about ten spots down on the first page of freelancers).

For the reasons outlined in my other posts, I did and still do not feel that a "popular" designation, either as a badge on your listing title link or as a factor in rankings, provides any value to users looking for resources unless the problems with it's calculation are fixed.

So to answer your questions, I guess that it wasn't fair before, and now it is more fair, but still not as fair as can be (goldilocks anyone?). One benefit for alphabetical I guess might be that it is fairly obviously ranked as such, and people would be less likely to think that the ones on top are the best options.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2010 11:18 pm 
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Quote:
One benefit for alphabetical I guess might be that it is fairly obviously ranked as such, and people would be less likely to think that the ones on top are the best options.


The thing is, the people on page 2 may not feel the same way. There is a listing in your category that starts with Y. He never gets a chance with alpha to be up front and he hopes people even notice page 2. Problem with random is that it could take months in a busy category such as yours to see the top spots.

Anyway - thanks for answering. I appreciate all of your comments. Funny thing is, no one complained when it was the other way.

I don't mean to seem bitter. Just disappointed a bit after having worked so hard to get where we were.

I hope the JRD finds a fair method soon and gives us all a chance to speak out about it.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 12:00 am 
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Random might actually work pretty well. Say you have thirty listings in the category and it shows twenty on the first page. One out of thirty times you will be the top listing, and 2/3 of the time you will be on the first page. 1/3 of the time anybody visits the site you'd be in the top ten. That's actually not too bad (way better than being on the last page at the bottom).

Or, just for fun, let's order it reverse alpha on alternate days. Then everybody get's a chance to be on top (except of course the people in the middle). So then we would need to do alpha starting with a, reverse alpha starting with z, alpha starting with m-z then a-l, and reverse alpha starting with l-a then z-m. :D

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 1:12 am 
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Now that's funny :-)

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 3:42 am 
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hathwaytech wrote:
Or, just for fun, let's order it reverse alpha on alternate days. Then everybody get's a chance to be on top (except of course the people in the middle). So then we would need to do alpha starting with a, reverse alpha starting with z, alpha starting with m-z then a-l, and reverse alpha starting with l-a then z-m. :D


My head is spinning now :)

Here's what the idea is for randomizing listings. While there is not a logical way to randomize multi-page listings, we can have a module at the top of the category that shows a random listing from that category (for any categories that have more than one page of listings). This would mean that the listing order will remain as Alpha-ascending which has the least possibility of being artificially manipulated. (Not that anyone would do that, but it minimizes the possibility.)

Additionally, a sort-by option is being investigated to allow for the option to sort in the category level by Country, Recently Updated, Top Rated, etc. (The sort options are not determined yet - just tossing around ideas).

One of the issues with listing the countries as a sub-category is that with 195 countries in the world it could eventually make the JRD illogical to an end visitor.

Thoughts?

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 4:43 am 
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Quote:
Additionally, a sort-by option is being investigated to allow for the option to sort in the category level by Country, Recently Updated, Top Rated, etc. (The sort options are not determined yet - just tossing around ideas).

One of the issues with listing the countries as a sub-category is that with 195 countries in the world it could eventually make the JRD illogical to an end visitor.


Sort Options and a random top listing seem like ideas that would make things a little more fair. It is defiantly a move in the right direction. How about sorting by continent instead of country?

To be honest thought there are only about four or so countries represented in my category but certainly more could be added over time.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 4:12 pm 
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Matt -

I think you are right on, multiple sort-by options could be a good way to go.

How about Google Map integration? On each category page we could have a map with a marker for each resource listing. That way people can find resources close to them. If there are a ton of resources in a given area, we could implement the marker clustering feature. This would also be a good way to showcase the global reach of Joomla, and might serve as a good research tool for Joomla presentation.

Heck, it might even be a valuable statistic if joomla.org started to ask for the city, state/region/province, and country that they website's owner or business is based when you download Joomla.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 11:00 pm 
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hathwaytech wrote:
Heck, it might even be a valuable statistic if joomla.org started to ask for the city, state/region/province, and country that they website's owner or business is based when you download Joomla.

I don't think that would even happen, or go down well if suggested ;)

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 11:19 pm 
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Haha yah, but think of how valuable that info would be!

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 12:45 am 
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.. and how many people we'd upset.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 2:12 am 
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imagine how annoying it would be if you bought a stamp and they ask you for your postcode/zip code, the postcode you sending it to, have you bought a stamp before, how often, did you like the taste of the glue.... for their "demographics research" and what would people do with all that data...

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 2:30 am 
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I think it is great that hathwaytech has posted his ideas and should be encouraged to continue to do so.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 4:40 am 
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CptDecker wrote:
It is defiantly a move in the right direction. How about sorting by continent instead of country?


Continents are not included in the listings info. To make the "sort by" work it would require retroactive updates to the current listings. I think country will be sufficient for most people.

hathwaytech wrote:
How about Google Map integration? On each category page we could have a map with a marker for each resource listing. That way people can find resources close to them. If there are a ton of resources in a given area, we could implement the marker clustering feature. This would also be a good way to showcase the global reach of Joomla, and might serve as a good research tool for Joomla presentation.


Google Maps integration is already built-in to the extension and that may be a great option to consider. Thanks for pointing it out! It would be pretty cool to land on the resources page and be presented with a world map showing markers for everywhere listings are located. I'll definitely bring it up with the team.

hathwaytech wrote:
Heck, it might even be a valuable statistic if joomla.org started to ask for the city, state/region/province, and country that they website's owner or business is based when you download Joomla.


mandville wrote:
imagine how annoying it would be if you bought a stamp and they ask you...... did you like the taste of the glue.....

OffTopic (but reminded me of a paper I did on this quote) - “All of life is a dispute over taste and tasting.” ~Friedrich Nietzsche

I totally agree with this - asking "too much" simply to have the information is useless. I do think that data about the who, what, when and where are important for products and analysis of their performance. But, I'm 99.9% certain this data is all collected inherently through the already-present analytics tracking.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 5:45 am 
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I am not really sure how that applies. If you live in Zimbabwe and you go to the JRD you likely want a company in Zimbabwe. The same applies for me in the USA. I don't mind scrolling down to "U" to work with a company in my part of the world.


I am using the above for reference but other suggestions to Country, Region specific listings relate as well. These are all based on the assumption that the majority if not all persons seeking Joomla Professional Services will only look for companies in their Country, State, ect... I think this is totally wrong. 95% of my client base ( 5% referred by my JRD listing ) is made up of clients from the UK, USA and Europe. The Web Design and Development 'business" is such that you do not necessarily have to site in your your clients office or Vice Versa, thats a fact.

If a visitor to the JRD had the option to sort his/her shortlist on his/her own that is fine, but do not exclude fair exposure to all on the JRD based on location.

Regional based listing may be the solution for some not for all of US. I agree that something needs to be done, but we cannot rely on the JRD alone to market ourselves.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 12:38 pm 
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mlipscomb wrote:
I totally agree with this - asking "too much" simply to have the information is useless. I do think that data about the who, what, when and where are important for products and analysis of their performance. But, I'm 99.9% certain this data is all collected inherently through the already-present analytics tracking.

Which was my point. Most of my design work is not done with "local" people. My training works covers 150 miles.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 1:15 pm 
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I think the point is thought that alpha listing are very unfair to companies listed on the second or third page.

The previous method, in my opinion, worked better because it rewarded those who helped out by posting in the forums.

No one is suggesting we require someone to sort but the option to do so should be present at the least.

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