#### moderated What is the algorithm for the display order of groups after entering a keyword search?

Mark,
In "Find or Create a Group," if you enter a search term, what is the algorithm for the display order? I can't discern any pattern. Thanks.
--
J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author, especially the fishy ones.
My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together. - Desmond Tutu

Duane

On Tue, Nov 17, 2020 at 11:20 PM, J_Catlady wrote:
In "Find or Create a Group," if you enter a search term, what is the algorithm for the display order? I can't discern any pattern.
I believe the default is descending lower case, followed by descending upper case, according to group name.  For example:
water
balloon
Water
Balloon

Duane

Duane,

No comprendo. What’s the search term in that? And is that display top to bottom? Are you saying that if the search term is “balloon,” then groups with balloon capitalized in their name are displayed below, not above, groups with that word in all lowercase? If so I don’t understand the rationale. And this says nothing about other criteria - activity, number of members, various dates (creation, etc). I’m sure these exist.???

On Nov 18, 2020, at 5:39 AM, Duane <txpigeon@...> wrote:

﻿On Tue, Nov 17, 2020 at 11:20 PM, J_Catlady wrote:
In "Find or Create a Group," if you enter a search term, what is the algorithm for the display order? I can't discern any pattern.
I believe the default is descending lower case, followed by descending upper case, according to group name.  For example:
water
balloon
Water
Balloon

Duane

--
J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author, especially the fishy ones.
My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together. - Desmond Tutu

Duane

On Wed, Nov 18, 2020 at 07:53 AM, J_Catlady wrote:
No comprendo. What’s the search term in that?
It was a hypothetical example.  If all of the group descriptions contained the word FUN, and those were the only groups that did, that's the order they'd show up, top to bottom.  It would include the other information normally found with a group listing.  The results page shows as Publicly Listed Groups (by Name).  For an actual example, use the word GIFT (upper or lower case is fine.)  The sort order is probably a function of the way Elasticsearch finds things.

Duane

Thanks but I still don't understand the example. Hopefully Mark will explain. It seems that my group is appearing lower and lower in the ordering (and is now on page 2) for groups containing the word "feline," despite having more activity than some others appearing closer to the top, more members, etc. It seemed to me for awhile that maybe the newer groups are displaying first despite less activity (etc) but that does not seem to be the case, either. It seemed that maybe groups with the word "feline" appearing in the title, rather than in just the description, are displaying first, but that also does not seem to be the case. I cannot discern any criterion and that's why I'm asking Mark.
--
J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author, especially the fishy ones.
My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together. - Desmond Tutu

On Wed, Nov 18, 2020 at 06:14 AM, J_Catlady wrote:
and that's why I'm asking Mark
...what the algorithm is. If it's just Elastisearch, then that implies there's nothing about group population, creation date, last activity date, etc. And that seems wrong.

--
J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author, especially the fishy ones.
My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together. - Desmond Tutu

For example, a group without the word "feline" in the title (upper or lower case), with these stats
"32 Members, 6 Topics, Private Archive, Restricted, Last Post: Sep 10"

now displays third. Whereas my group, with an order of magnitude more members and thousand more topics, and with last post yesterday, does not show up until you scroll to page 2. The smaller group *was* created later than my group (10/30/19) but that does not explain its high order, either, because a group showing up above it was created five years ago.

I can't see any rhyme or reason to the display order and am concerned that my group is showing up lower and lower down for some unknown reason, and despite a lot of activity, more members than some others, created before some others (and simultaneously those others have less activity and fewer members), and lower than others that don't even have the word in their titles but rather just in their descriptions.

--
J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author, especially the fishy ones.
My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together. - Desmond Tutu

Tracy <tracy@...>

Speaking of ordering, no one ever did take under consideration the other week my suggestion about "Manage my Subscriptions" to be at the top of the "Your Groups" pull down did they?

On 11/18/20 9:14 AM, J_Catlady wrote:
Thanks but I still don't understand the example. Hopefully Mark will explain. It seems that my group is appearing lower and lower in the ordering (and is now on page 2) for groups containing the word "feline," despite having more activity than some others appearing closer to the top, more members, etc. It seemed to me for awhile that maybe the newer groups are displaying first despite less activity (etc) but that does not seem to be the case, either. It seemed that maybe groups with the word "feline" appearing in the title, rather than in just the description, are displaying first, but that also does not seem to be the case. I cannot discern any criterion and that's why I'm asking Mark.
--
J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author, especially the fishy ones.
My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together. - Desmond Tutu

```--
Tracy Johnson
BT

NNNN```

Another incompehensible example: this group
1 Member, 1 Topic, Public Archive, Last Post: Mar 14
displays nearly at the top of the list. Whereas my group, with hundreds of members, thousands of topics, and last post yesterday (rather than 7 months ago) is pages below it.

--
J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author, especially the fishy ones.
My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together. - Desmond Tutu

Duane is right. When I search for "feline", the groups are sorted like:

winn
tanyackd
petdiabetes
nierenkranke-katze
nhff
. . .
bengalcatrescue
WholeCatHealthIO
SpaceFrontiers
. . .

(They all have "feline" in the description.)

That's reverse alphabetical order by lowercase, followed by reverse alphabetical order by uppercase, without regard to group size or history or activity.

Someone could create a group "zzzzzzzzzzz" with a bunch of terms in the description and appear at the top of the search results for each of those terms.

I'm not sure of the limitations of Elasticsearch, but there should be a better way to sort the list, probably by reverse message volume (higher number of messages means higher in the results). Possibly premium groups before basic groups, which would be another perk of premium.

JohnF

I'm still not making this clear. What is the search algorithm and why does it not take into account the categories "Newest," "Most Popular," and "Most Active" available on the left? If you enter a name, those go out the window and the search reverts to "By Name." And even in "By Name" I don't understand the criterion. When you say "Alpha order by lowercase,..." etc., are you saying that the group title is not included in that, and that the description takes precedence? Because that's seemingly what happens in some cases (but again, not all, and seems completely random). I'm waiting for Mark to explain the algorithm. I don't care about Premium vs. Basic (although my group is premium and could benefit from the boost, that's not a criterion I would want to see as a user/non-mod - I'd just want to see ALL the groups irrespective of whether or not they're paying money to be in the list).

My immediate suggestion would be that when someone enters a word for the search, rather than reverting to "By Name" you could still select one of "Newest," "Most Popular," and "Most Active" (rather than those being disabled). And even if we get that, I still don't have any conception of how the by-name ordering is calculated.
--
J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author, especially the fishy ones.
My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together. - Desmond Tutu

I think I see what you're saying. You're both saying the search returns all the possible results, and then sorts them according to the actual group name with no consideration of (a) where the search term appears in the group (in the name? only in the description? early or late in the description?) or (b) any other criteria relating to the group (dates and other stats). So a group "Bananas for Monkeys" with description "Bananas for monkeys is the only allowable topic in this group," 2,000 members, 10,000 topics, and last post one hour ago, that will display BELOW the group "jungle fun" with description "Anything about jungles can be discussed here, including wild animals, rain forests, ecology, and bananas" with 1 member, last post 1 year ago, and 2 topics simply because its name is lowercase. Is that what you're saying?
--
J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author, especially the fishy ones.
My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together. - Desmond Tutu

On Wed, Nov 18, 2020 at 07:05 AM, J_Catlady wrote:
So a group "Bananas for Monkeys"
assuming the search term is "bananas"

--
J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author, especially the fishy ones.
My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together. - Desmond Tutu

Ok, I want to turn this thread into a #suggestion.

1. In Find or Create a group, when someone enters a search term, don't eliminate the other criteria. Let the user still select between "Newest," "Most Popular," and "Most Active" if there are ties within the names.

2. Within the categories above, if entered:
• prioritize groups that have the search term within the actual group name as opposed to just within the description
• prioritize upper case (not lowercase) names, or if possible don't use that criterion at all (preferable IMO)
• prioritize alpha, rather than reverse alpha, names as currently (or possibly don't use that criterion at all, preferable IMO - the group name is irrelevant except as it relates to the actual search term)
• If possible: If the term is in the group description only, rather than in the group name, prioritize groups where the term occurs earlier on in the description (e.g. "This group is for bananas" takes priority over "This group is about anything having to do with jungles, wild animals, ecology, and bananas" if the search term is "bananas")
--
J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author, especially the fishy ones.
My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together. - Desmond Tutu

Duane

On Wed, Nov 18, 2020 at 09:05 AM, J_Catlady wrote:
Is that what you're saying?
Correct.  By playing with various parameters that can be included with in the URL, I found that https://groups.io/search?p=SubsCount,,%22feline%22,20,2,0,0 will sort them by popularity, most topics first.  Likewise, https://groups.io/search?p=ThreadsCount,,%22feline%22,20,2,0,0 sorts them by activity, most first, and https://groups.io/search?p=Created,,%22feline%22,20,2,0,0 sorts by newest first.  By changing the parameter that has a 2 to a 1, the sorts can be reversed.  Changing the 20 to another number will show that many results per page.  Changing the first 0 will begin displaying the results at that number +1.

Maybe some day there will be an Advanced Search function (popup, button ?) that makes these all easier to include so that you can specify what's important in your search.

I do like JohnF's suggestion to list Premium first, if that's one of the parameters available (or easily added.)

Duane

Duane,

I don't know how you accomplished that, but it seems convoluated and hard to figure out. I think those categories - Most Popular, Most Active, Newest - along the left should be clickable even after entering a search term. Instead, the minute you enter a search term they go away and the search defaults to "By Name," when the actual ordering of the display by name has absolutely nothing to do with the search term. I think that is very wrong.

It doesn't seem like any sort of advanced option to, by default, (a)  prioritize groups by whatever left-side category the user has entered, *even* if they enter a search term; and (b) within that, order by if and where the search term appears in the name (actual group name priority over description). I don't see any use at all for alpha ordering (let alone reverse alpha ordering, as now) or upper vs. lower case names, but that could be the last criterion if deemed needed.

I don't think any of that is "advanced." The display order as it acts currently is completly unintuitive and does not serve users well who are looking for groups that actually deal with the subject they entered.
--
J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author, especially the fishy ones.
My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together. - Desmond Tutu

On Wed, Nov 18, 2020 at 08:11 AM, J_Catlady wrote:
I don't know how you accomplished that,
I do see your URLs. Very clever. :)

--
J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author, especially the fishy ones.
My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together. - Desmond Tutu

Marv Waschke

I give Mark credit for providing functionality here without a lot of work on his part. I'm sure it's all priorities.

That being said, J_Catlady has a point. Ease in finding groups to join is important to both group owners and potential group members. A lot could be done to improve this interface. Very few people are capable of sussing out url search syntax like Duane. Perhaps we can do Mark a service by figuring out what could be done to make the interface more useful.

The simplest value add that I can see is to use the choice of sort orders on the left (Most Popular, Most Active, Newest, By Name) to sort the results of a search, not just the unfiltered list. I would also change the collation sequence of the By Name sort to be case insensitive. Much more sophisticated Google-search-like approaches are possible, I suppose, but this sounds relatively simple to implement.

Let me repeat: I would give this some priority because it would make gio groups more accessible.
Best, Marv

Sandi D <sandi.asgtechie@...>

I just searched for an Apple-Mac group on my iPad. There we 72 results listed on one page. What I found useful was the full description of the groups. So even those with somewhat "weird" group names were included. It wasn't hard for me to scroll down the list and determine those that were of interest to me.

I then search for feline and got 47 hits on "one page".
Many people use mobile devices and being able to scroll down the entire list is very helpful instead of having to click a new page of results.

It would have been nice to see which of groups were closed or charged a member fee so I didnt spend time considering if those groups were a good fit. A few of the pages that I visited didn't put that information into their description. I wasn't interested in paying to join a group.

I do like that the search captured terms used in their description and not just their group name. I have experience in Boolean searches so having some sort of advanced feature search would be welcome.
--
Sandi Dickenson
ASG Volunteers Group.

Drew

It may be helpful to group owners to consider all of the possible keywords that pertain to their group's particular interest and include those words in a separate section of your group description. There are very few, if any, group categories that can't be narrowed to one page or less of results with just a two- or three-word search.

I suspect that most people who type in terms for a group search are probably inputting multiple word searches rather than just "cats", "dogs", "cars", etc. For exampel "cats illness", or "american cars", etc narrows multiple page results to just one page. At that point it's not particularly useful to order the results by creation date or number of subscribers, etc. since it's so easy to scan by eye.

Drew

On 11/19/20 14:35, Marv Waschke wrote:
I give Mark credit for providing functionality here without a lot of work on his part. I'm sure it's all priorities.
That being said, J_Catlady has a point. Ease in finding groups to join is important to both group owners and potential group members. A lot could be done to improve this interface. Very few people are capable of sussing out url search syntax like Duane. Perhaps we can do Mark a service by figuring out what could be done to make the interface more useful.
The simplest value add that I can see is to use the choice of sort orders on the left (Most Popular, Most Active, Newest, By Name) to sort the results of a search, not just the unfiltered list. I would also change the collation sequence of the By Name sort to be case insensitive. Much more sophisticated Google-search-like approaches are possible, I suppose, but this sounds relatively simple to implement.
Let me repeat: I would give this some priority because it would make gio groups more accessible.
Best, Marv

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