Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Analysis of Moment of Paralysis of Momentum

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Many ideas in the halfbakery stop. In fact, almost none of them go on forever, being contributed to and remaining current every single day since the beginning. Almost all ideas simply drop from favour after some time, and this has always perturbed me. It seems irrational that an idea which is good one day becomes not good another day, if visibility and current contribution is any guide to goodness.

I propose a kind of study into the metrics and dynamics of how an idea which has some quantity of momentum and is there today just as it was every day since it was posted, suddenly one day starts to flag and not be in the daily running. Within a week it has sunk out of the charts to never surface again until some spurious event in the future brings it back as a novel oddity for a few days.

What exactly are the factors involved in the momentum pausing or stalling? Could things be arranged to keep it up much longer? Could a more optimal dynamic be superimposed to stop it peaking but also stop it troughing? Could this be applied to almost any other product out there, to keep things bubbling along for decades instead of sweeping in with a big flourish and then disappearing a season later?

I think some duty of care for ideas is required, to steer their success and popularity such that almost all ideas on the halfbakery remain in the top ten forever.

Ian Tindale, May 19 2019


       Well, it makes more sense than quite a few grant proposals we've read ...   

       Not quite in the same league as [MB]'s successful application to research "The long-term effects of dilute quinine-ethanol aqueous mixtures on human oral mucosa" which involved him getting paid to sit around for years drinking ever more gin and tonics.
8th of 7, May 19 2019

       It's just the "New Toy" effect. When there's a new thing to play with, the old thing quickly gets forgotten. There are exceptions, of course, if the old thing is substantially more awesome than the new thing.
neutrinos_shadow, May 20 2019

       The annotations have an effect too - for example it could be that "evil laugh activated hand dryer" doesn't receive regular updates any more because all the clever/witty things that can be said about that idea have already been said. The dynamic is interesting though - if an idea receives a flood of annotations and then no one can think of anything further to say about it for the next week, by that time it's fallen down the 'recent' list so far that we are not reminded of its presence but will have to actively seek it out if we want to annotate it.
hippo, May 20 2019

       Did you ever notice how much navels resemble miniature Sarlacc pits?
RayfordSteele, May 20 2019

       Dunno about yours, but mine seems to be lacking tentacles...
neutrinos_shadow, May 20 2019

       Hmm... contemplation needed
RayfordSteele, May 20 2019


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