As a "new" user on MemeStreams, a few comments.
It's hard to tell whether my blog is being read, but my memes are just not generating replies or re-recommendations, or if I'm just being ignored / not seen by the other users. There is a lack of feedback about what's happening. I can't 'see' site activity unless other users post entries of their own, and even then that doesn't necessarily correlate with a visit to the front page or the agent.
At the outset, I might be satisfied with just some click-throughs, even if I'm not garnering recommendations just yet. But I can't tell. After 39 straight posts with no response of any kind, a person can start to get discouraged. Whether 7 responses to 58 posts (12%) is a "good" feedback ratio is perhaps a matter for debate. I note that most "regular" users enjoy substantially higher feedback ratios. Although it only took a few days for me to get four of the top ten MemeStreams users into my "audience" graph, I can't really tell how meaningful this is. Below a certain threshold, being in a user's agent table is of marginal value, because there are so many total posts that mine never rise to the top, except on the slowest of days. (Back to "slow days" in a minute.)
If "community" is supposed to be an attribute of MemeStreams which separates it from a run-of-the-mill blog-hosting service, feedback for new entrants seems like a nice thing to have. (Should MemeStreams have a welcome wagon? Would it improve retention? Can it be institutionalized, like a jury duty kind of thing?)
I don't think regular users spend much time on the front page, which means that new users end up at the very bottom of a very long list in the agent. Especially as volume goes up on the system, it will be very hard for a new user to "break in."
One possible "break in" strategy is to go around the site, re-recommending memes previously posted by others -- particularly the ones that rank highest in each topic area. (As a new user, am I "supposed" to do this?)
If I'm new to the system, but already know a lot of people with blogs here, it's hard to get myself established. I have to spend a lot of time teaching the agent over a period of time, and quickly re-posting a bunch of old stuff in my friends' blogs to 'teach' the agent is unlikely to win me many new friends, because I'll appear to be completely "out of the loop" on things. If new users flood in, it may be particularly difficult to sort out the please-ignore-me-I'm-just-training-my-agent memes from the truly new stuff.
Basically, because all of the training is "on line", in the AI sense, there is no quick-start mechanism which does not have ripple effects. If my MemeStreams friends wanted to train their agents to rank me highly without waiting for this to happen 'naturally', they'd likely have to bias their response to my initial blog entries, which would create a ripple of these memes across my friends' social networks. This mig... [ Read More (0.3k in body) ]