An Experiment in Determining FOL Preference

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If there is one thing I have learned in bringing Cuusoo projects to your attention it is that FOLs have radically different tastes in LEGO builds.

In the interest of figuring out what projects appeal the most to FOLs, I have set up this piece of code that I'm calling Cuusocomp (it's a working title).

Now it just needs your input.

Cuusoo is a direct vote system. This means people find a project they like and they vote for it. This system of course biases popular subjects. Nothing wrong with this inherently, if you are making a system where you want to make products that will be bought by the most people, you figure out what the 'people' want.

The problem with this however, is that FOLs views of great projects are often not in line with popular culture. The even further complication is that FOLs are not even consistent as a community in what they like.

Cuusocomp is an attempt to figure out what the community really likes, both individually and as a community.

It works on the basis of Random Ballot voting. Cuuscomp shows the LEGO Expert (that's you) two projects from the selected category. The user then picks their favorite project of the two. The winner tallies a win and the loser tallies a loss. Simple.

These wins and losses are recorded to create a personal preference profile but also pool into a community preference profile. Projects that appeal to the community will rise to the top and those that don't will sink.

Now it is all still in beta, and I will be the first to say that it could use a facelift but I am hoping that most of the technical hurdles have been jumped at this point. Of course, some technical issues can only be seen when you open these projects up to the public.

Questions?

Please feel free to give any feedback you like but there are a few question that I will address presently as they were the most common in the early beta groups.

What qualifications should I base my selection on?

Whatever you want. Literally. You can come up with a system or just go with your gut. You are even free to

Why do I need to Login with Facebook or Google?

I need to uniquely identify each user. All I do with this data is create a username on the Cuuscomp system. By using the Google/Facebook api I am able to have a login system without building a system to create logins and save passwords and reset passwords when people forget and I don't need to store your personal data like email addresses in order to email you when you want to reset your password. I am using these APIs to keep your data more secure by not having it as part of my system.

If you really hate Facebook and Google but really want to participate, I suggest you make a throw away account for the one you hate least.

What if I don't like either project?

A user is a LEGO Expert who is determining which project is the best of the two independent of how much they might dislike both of them. A single win for a project does not mean it is a good project, just like a loss does not mean a project is a bad project. Pick which one you dislike the least and vote for that one.

Where can I see the Results?

There is a link on the page titled Review Your Results which offers a few different views of the results.

What are the Categories

Top is all projects with 500 or more support.

Popular is all projects with 250 or more support.

New is approximately the latest 54 projects. That mean this population updates often but the quality of projects is the most questionable.

Where can I find the project's rank

I intend to add a lot of project statistics later but for now you can see it by hovering over the project image on the review pages.

I am not showing the ranking of any project that is below a certain threshold (currently set to 25) because the point of this system is to showcase projects that a lot of FOLs like, not embarrass the low ranking projects.

Top is all projects with 500 or more support.

Popular is all projects with 250 or more support.

New is approximately the latest 54 projects. That mean this population updates often but the quality of projects is the most questionable.

What is the point of this?

Well, primarily I like data and crowd-sourcing of information. But it has a few more purposes. One is that it gives FOLs an interesting way to peruse the Catalog of Cuusoo projects while supporting projects they like and voting down projects they don't. Additionally this will help to showcase the projects that the community likes, for one of course is the page that sorts the projects by the ranking. I will try to develop some better pages for showcasing this data over time but of course, I need the data in order to present it and that is where we are now.

19 comments on this article

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By in United States,

I think the idea of "best"/"great" projects is not in line with what LEGO Cuusoo is about. On my first visit I got two projects: "Disney Parks Castles Collection" and the "Rhinoceros" robot. Naturally, I think the Rhinoceros is the most amazing model of the two. It is also a model I would never have any interest whatsoever in owning. It's an engineering marvel, but also tremendously boring except when in motion. The Disney Parks project is much more appealing, even though it would barely stand a chance of passing review just because it's a "collection" rather than a single model. Since I tend to give my support based on what I'd like as a set, regardless of its chances in review, I would probably have chosen it.

And then once I logged in, I got Cavegod's UCS AT-AT and "The C.C.S. Gryphon - Galaxy Command". In this case, I have no interest in owning EITHER. The UCS AT-AT would no doubt be prohibitively expensive, and larger than I'd ever want or need. But the other project feels a bit boring in its drab Earth Blue color scheme. I ended up supporting it because it has a nice, exciting interior, but in terms of play features and display value alike I think it leaves a lot to be desired.

My next matchup put the aforementioned Disney Parks project against the motorized Tumbler. The tumbler, being a single model, is more optimized for Cuusoo, but it's not as pretty as the Disney Parks castles.

All in all, what makes a great model does not necessarily make a great Cuusoo project or even a great potential set. Still, I look forward to hearing what the results of this little experiment are. I just can't say for sure whether they adequately reflect how AFOLs would actually cast their support within LEGO Cuusoo.

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By in United States,

This is like the "Hot Or Not" Version of LEGO/Cuusoo. I like it! But is there any way to login without Google or FB?

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By in United States,

This is cool. You need a link/section on the front page so I remember to do a few each day!

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By in United States,

"Winner" - someone who wins.
"Looser" - someone that goes around and loosens things, usually without your consent.

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By in Ukraine,

It's an excellent idea, but again, I think it will be more way exciting and more comprehensive and complete if you include ALL of the projects in the voting pool from the start, and not just the ones that are above 250 already.

If the projects that are still between 50 and 250 votes are good quality then it will be exciting to see them rise up in weeks rather than years, and if they are junk then people will vote them down and you will never see them again.

Simply put, if you are including every single brand new project, even horrible ones that only have 1 or 2 votes, then why not go ahead and include all the projects that are still moving between 50 and 250? Why would you chop out the middle ground like that? That doesn't make sense.

Plus, if you include all of the projects, then you can easily improve the interface and search and filter features, and then everyone will want to come and look at your database first and foremost, even more than the official Cuusoo site! =)

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By in Canada,

Personally, I think this is a great idea. I can see myself spending hours voting and discovering new projects to support. I'll probably use this instead of the official Cuusoo site to find things I like.

Something you could add to your intro: if a user doesn't like either project, just refresh the page and you'll have two new projects to choose from.

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By in Germany,

Nice idea. I am missing a button to skip a duel though.

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By in Germany,

I cannot log in with Google. I click on "Login [sic!] with Google", then on "Accept", then it hangs for well over a minute saying "Waiting for brick-hero.com", then I get a 500 Internal Server Error. Tried it three times now. I understand you may be working on the backend as we speak, so this is probably a temporary issue and I'll try again at a later time. ("Login" is still not a verb, though.)

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By in United States,

@ All,

Thank you for trying out the system!

@therealindy

Perhaps someday but the launch of open beta is not the time for it. Your request is that I add 4800 more untested projects to the system. With only 250 of the most supported project, you are the only user asking for more while many users are asking for a reject both button. I estimate about 90% of the projects on Cuusoo offend the sensibilities of the average FOL. Ideally at least one of each pair should have some minimal appeal to each user and expanding the population to the lowest supported projects would not help this situation.

@figura

The button is not missing. One of your roles on the site is to provide your Lego expertise to evaluate projects you might not have a personal interest in. Go with your gut.

@Schwallex.

Please contact me directly so that I can figure out the particulars of your situations. I have not had any issues with anyone logging in with Google for a week, nor am I having issues now.

Login is a verb according to Dictionary.com http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/login

however they do note that:
Many who are neither professionals in the computer field nor amateur tech enthusiasts condemn the use of the solid form login as a verb, and with reason. It doesn’t behave like a normal verb. You cannot say you have loginned, and you are never in the process of loginning.

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By in United States,

People are still going to automatically reject certain themes regardless of which of the 2 they are picking from is actually better...

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By in Ukraine,

Ah, OK, well if you would have to add all the older ones manually, then I totally see your point!

So if a new Cuusoo project is submitted now, then will it be added to your voting pool automatically, and will it stay in your voting pool forever? If it stays in forever, then I may just go ahead and create an additional "theme-page" that features all of my projects together on one page like everyone else does. I have been thinking about doing that anyway as a test, to see if it boosts votes overall or just disperses them. This might be a good reason to go ahead and do it.

Again, this is a great idea. Looking at your charts again, it seems like we are coming up to a year-long-lull with almost no projects passing 10k during all of 2014. It looks like we are going to have to identify some good popular projects to rally upwards.

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By in United States,

I tried it out, and first comment is it's a nicely-designed platform you programmed. The first two choices I got were hard to choose between; one was a great Star Wars project and the other was a great Star Trek project. I couldn't choose between the two!

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By in United States,

@Meiko,

Thanks!

@therealindy

The Top projects category is all active projects with at least 500 support

The Popular projects category is all active projects with at least 250 support

The New Projects category is "around" the 60 most recent active projects.

Top and Popular automatically update daily though it is rare for projects to enter those categories and extremely rare for projects to leave.

New project updates often as new projects come in on almost every buisness day. New projects coming in will bump tje oldest projects out. This category is set up to be very dynamic and fluid to showcase attractive new content.

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By in Ukraine,

Ah, I gotcha. So I'll have a new page approved some time this week. If it doesn't hit 250 within its first week, then what happens to it? Does it just disappear for a while until it hits 250?

And again, this is a great idea. As a fun alternative, you could also try doing it like that old web site called "Hot or Not" like a few people mentioned. There, people just look at images one at a time, and then just rank them individually on a scale from 1-10. It is very straightforward, and no one would have to agonize over a close comparison. It would give you a similar kind data, and people would feel like they were actively "voting down" the childish ones. It might be fun!

Also, how long do you think it will take before the ranking order begins to really solidify?

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By in Germany,

Thank you for the offer, Glen, check your inbox for the not-so-many additional details I could think of.

As to dictionary.com, all they are really trying to say, in a frighteningly clumsy way, is that "log in" is a phrasal verb. Which are always spelled as two words in English. Whence the very name, "phrasal verbs". You dive in, put up, drive off, hang out, think over, look up, pass for, pass on, screw up, give up, give in, log in, sign out. The corresponding nouns, on the other hand, are traditionally spelled as a single word.

By the way, "many who are neither professionals in the computer field nor amateur tech enthusiasts condemn this spelling" is just a euphemism for "professionals in the computer field and amateur tech enthusiasts cannot spell". (And the style and wording are dead giveaways that it was in fact *written* by a disgruntled professional in the computer field, rather than by a professional dictionary editor.) I am saying that in my capacity as a professional in the computer field myself, surrounded by dozens of professionals in the computer field and amateur tech enthusiasts all day long.

Anyway. What I should really be pointing out is that your site now says "Login in" (or actually "Login in with login with Google"). The best of both worlds, I guess. :-)

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By in Germany,

Glen, how do you determine the score that I can see by hovering over a thumbnail in the Global Results?

Appears to be simply the percentage of duels won.

If so, two interesting things immediately stick out to me: one, that The Wind Waker wins 96 duels out of 100, and two, that less than 200 projects fare better than if we just went and flipped a coin on them.

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