That right side list of topics

Very unclear what the criteria is for the right side list, after I click on the MF Cap. It doesn’t seem to be any particular Category, but in fact is more annoying as one of the only 2 members I’ve purposely Muted shows up there, and there is no way I’ve found to either Mark Read or Hide any of those in the list. Reading it, only lightens the item, but it’s still there… There needs to be a Dismiss or Hide button or checkbox…


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I assume you refer to the list of “Top” posts, i.e. this one:

What ends up there is based on a score, which is calculated from a somewhat complicated formula. It’s based on number of likes on the original post, average number of likes in the thread, number of views, number of replies, and maybe some other factors.

There’s no way (that I’m aware of) to filter that list. It shows the posts with highest score for the selected time period, and it makes no difference whether a visitor is logged in or not. Think of it as a somewhat broken rudimentary global top 10, i.e. reading of dismissing posts there makes no difference.

I believe that’s the idea and intent, anyway.

Thanks for helping me with a bit of understanding, at least with other lists they can be selected, dismissed…

What’s odd is that some are as far as 28 days old, yet remain.

Ahh, well… (resigned)

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I never go there, as I don’t find any use for that page. So I went and looked.

At first glance, that list seems to be selections from Saul’s Investing Discussions. But I suspect Ray is more technically correct than I am. It’s just after applying the various criteria, what you end up with is Saul’s board and nothing else.


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Well, I managed to Mute/Block/Hide Saul’s board, a while back, so it’s a mix of what TMF thinks are ‘Top’ posts per their magic formula…

OTOH, the tabs have a Top button, but that’s whole different list, and can be sorted in multiple ways, might be useful someday…

I guess I miss the simplicity of ‘Favorite Boards’ of the olden days…


Happy to help out. The list on the front page shows the “top” topics/threads of the last 30 days or so:


If you don’t wanna see that list you can make it disappear with e.g. an “ad” blocker, and get something like this instead:


Then how do you find the boards categories?

I suspect you’re more technically correct than I am. Elaborations may contain inaccuracies. :wink: Anyway, perfect assessment. The top post was “The new interface sucks” a while back, for example.

Since Discourse is totally intuitive and consistent and all, I figure it might be helpful to add a bit more detail on this “Top” feature for anyone reading this thread topic.

First, it’s important to note that “Top” may refer to (at least) two different places:

  1. - This is the one with “Top” as a second column to the right.

    • This one is more static in nature. The period is about a month and you have a little ? in the corner that you can click on an get a short description as to how it works:
    • I believe this one is global and same for all users. I might be wrong on this though.
    • Icons show the last poster in respective topic. This can be confusing! For example, here’s a part of the list from a couple of day ago:
      This might make you wonder. “Why are there two topics in the top 10 with some Raylight dude I haven’t heard about?” Well, it’s a list of topics. In the first topic above, I’m simply the last one to reply.
  2. - This is “Everything” sorted by “Top”.

    • This one is more or less just a another way to sort the list of topics.
    • There’s a dropdown where you can choose among different intervals:
    • I haven’t fully looked into this, but it would be natural to assume that this list doesn’t show muted categories, i.e. it’s behavior should be the same as “latest” or any other way of sorting the topics.

As far as I can tell, the criteria and ranking is the same regardless of which one you look at. The behavior and look is different, though.

With that out the way, we can look at the “magic formula”. Note that this isn’t TMF’s doing. Not directly, anyway. TMF chose Discourse, and with that they got Discourse’s idea of “Top”.

Simplified, in plain English :wink: , it goes something like this:

:exploding_head: = log(views) * 2 + log(posts) + likes_on_first_post * 0.5 + lesser_of(likes / posts, 3)

…or not. The code is a mess, if you ask me, and it might have changed since last time I looked. Anyway, it gives us an idea.

There are (at least) four factors in play, and TMF can configure how much each individual factor matter. (That is, you can change those multiply by two and so on.) Note that there’s no such thing as “top posts”, and there’s no way in that formula for a great reply to have a meaningful impact on the topic’s score. You’re pretty much stuck with:

  • How much should the number of impressions (views) matter?
  • How much should likes on the first post in the topic matter?
  • How much should the number of replies matter?
  • How much should the average number of likes per post matter?

TMF can fine-tune it, and it wouldn’t surprise me if they have. That said, without changing the code or requesting a change, their options are limited.

Take this thread, for example. It doesn’t matter much if someone wrote an epic useful reply here that got a ton of likes. (Not that it would, since it would require a lot of views.) You could change that “average number of likes per post” to try make it matter. But it’s still an average, though.

(cc @38Packard and @tamhas: I remember you wondered about ranking some time ago.)


I use a combination of 20+ years of experience with the boards plus the sidebar.

But mainly the sidebar, as the experience has been mostly tossed out the window with these new boards collections of categories.


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This is the one that appears to be uncontrollable by these… Apparently the ‘Hidden’ poster replies to more posts so shows up in this column more often… Nothing major just there when this Tab opens… Thanks for all the insights, I’d clicked on the ‘?’ before, but your explanation make more sense, even though it’s not user adjustable… Or at least I don’t want to Mute all the threads to just clear out the one poster… ‘Hidden’ works, just not in that column…

I’ve been a bit confused by this discussion as I don’t have a right side bar. I don’t know why, but it sounds like I should be happy about it.*

I navigate this place using the left sidebar. I have Categories set up, which so far as been workable. The Tags don’t do much for me here, but I find them useful on the Premium side.

*(Perhaps because in my Profile, under Prefences, for Live Notifications I selected Disable Notifications? Maybe? I don’t know.)

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Good catch! Added a screenshot to my first reply in this thread topic. Forgot about that there’s a setting that controls where you end up when you visit the main/home page:


Hmmm, couldn’t find that “Default Home Page” option…

But did find this from Discourse:

It might have been answered somewhere, but finding stuff here ain’t easy. It’s located under PreferencesInterface:

Hope that helps!

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Seeing it now, don’t know how I missed it earlier… Now to see what changes…


OK, yes, that at least gets me away from the annoyances I had earlier today. Opening the Preferences in another Tab, making changes, then the original TMF tab has to be reloaded to see the changes made…

Excellent… So many nooks n crannies, not all make a lot of sense, but little by little I think I’m winning…

I think it is worth noting how much more effective explanations are here thanks to being able to post images. Powerful!