The Popular page is the focus of much attention, and we work to keep it dynamic, eclectic, and fair – driven by a combination of blogging and our site usage. It employs a different level of filtering than our Most Blogged Artists chart, which is the pure representation of the most-posted artists in the given week.
Ever since our update in December where we started merging blog mentions of individual tracks together, we’ve been working on a new Popular page algorithm. We’ve made some changes, and I wanted to share with you how the new page works.
For a track to be eligible for being on the Popular page, it must have been blogged in the past 3 days, and received some amount of new favorites. The tracks are placed on the Popular page in order of how many new favorites they are getting. To prevent a track from staying on top of the chart by being constantly reblogged and favorited (because it’s already number one), there is a time limit of 3 days for its presence. Once the 3 days pass, the track can’t enter the Popular page for at least two weeks, so that the charts remain fresh.
We’ve also hidden the favorite numbers from the Popular page, because of their “distracting” nature when it comes to helping people interpret culture (especially numbers that no longer represent the reason why a track is in its position on the chart). The favorite counts for a track are now cumulative for its entire existence in the blogosphere, from the first post to the most recent, but old favorites are not counted in the Popular chart. You can still see the totals if you click on the track name, of course.
What does matter though, is the rate of new favorites, and we’ve added a small bar display that expands to a larger graph of favoriting activity during the past week. Typically, the spikes in this graph help explain a track’s position in the chart.
We made the page to be a useful and fun for everyone; artists, bloggers, music fans, and industry pros.
What do you think? What would you like to see?