Machine Shop: Hype Machine Team Blog

Popular page changes

We love discovering new music (that’s why we started the site, after all). Today, we made a small change to the Popular page to keep everyone finding more new stuff.

Popular keeps track of songs that Hype Machine users are favoriting the most on the site. There are thousands of new reviews posted on music blogs every day, so this is a great filter to see which tracks are catching people’s attention. We used to display this list of 50 songs starting with 1, but now the direction has been reversed, so when you click Popular, you’ll start listening at the 50th most loved track.

Why the change? We wanted to adjust for the cumulative advantage in our charts. Cumulative advantage is the idea that the more popular something is, the more likely we are to choose it, thus making it more popular. (If you’re interested in the research behind this, download “Experimental Study of Inequality and Unpredictability in an Artificial Cultural Market” (PDF) by Salganik et al). The lower end of the chart is more fluid and more open to entry, so you’re more likely to keep discovering something good as you listen all the way down to #1.

UPDATE June 30, 2012: We’ve added a few awesome ways to sort the contents of the popular page. Check them out!

UPDATE July Β 26, 2012: The familiar 1-50 order is back, but the awesome ways of sorting the Popular page remain. Enjoy!

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