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[Vectr Weekly #20] How can you filter the knowledge exchange?

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December 9 · Issue #20 · View online
Vectr Weekly
Listening to you 👂

A question: How can you filter the knowledge exchange?
For those of you unfamiliar with the app experience, the knowledge exchange is where you see answers to your questions and questions that you might want to answer.
And to answer the question, filtering options are very limited today. You have two options, use the default sorting mechanism, or sort chronologically.
After a recent feedback session with a group of students, it became woefully clear to us that the current sorting options are dramatically insufficient. And I can’t say that this is a complete surprise, but we underappreciated the degree to which this is a challenge for people using Vectr.
So to put it simply, this is something that will start to address in the next release and something we are thinking deeply about. But before sharing a few tidbits about how we might address this, I first want to give a bit of context.
Over the long-term, the hope is that we can build algorithmic sorting capabilities that handle this problem for you. But this, in and of itself, can be problematic. Think about Facebook’s algorithm for a moment. As one of the best examples of content recommendation systems, they have mastered the ability to give users what they want to see. Or put differently, give users the content that they are most likely to engage with. The problem is that people are most likely to engage with sensational content, irrespective of the trustworthy-ness of the source or the veracity of the content. So it turns out that giving people what they want is not always ideal.
Also, confirmation bias is a thing. People will always seek out information that confirms their existing beliefs while ignoring information to the contrary.
So that is thing 1. Automatic sorting is hard and flush with philosophical land mines.
But that is a problem that is far off for us so let’s shift focus to today. How can we help people with organizing the content in their knowledge exchange?
Off the bat, there are a few obvious sorting mechanisms that might make sense. Giving the user an ability to filter based on topics or categories of questions seems logical. Also, pushing content to the top that has already received high engagement could make sense.
However, in combination with these types of mechanisms, we also want to be thoughtful about finding ways to surface content that someone might not otherwise find. We have a core belief that the questions that are obscure and that most people aren’t asking are sometimes the most important ones to consider.
So as you can see, there is a bit of a catch 22. But we will continue iterating on this and trying to improve. And we welcome and and all feedback in that regard.

Stay curios!
-Jeremy & Jake
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