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Implement 'related random' functionality that shows users a random page related to the current page
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Description

Yuvi made a proof of concept for a pseudo random function which results in pages that seem random, but are tangentially related to the current page the user is on.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Yuvipanda/lost.js

would be great if we could replace the basic random on site with this pseudo random which is more likely to bring users to random but likely more topically related to what the user is viewing now.


Version: 1.24rc
Severity: enhancement
See Also:
https://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/show_bug.cgi?id=65366

Details

Reference
bz66142

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Event Timeline

bzimport raised the priority of this task from to Low.Nov 22 2014, 3:13 AM
bzimport set Reference to bz66142.
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Chad has implemented a better Special:Random using CirrusSearch, see bug 65366

(In reply to Jared Zimmerman (WMF) from comment #0)

would be great if we could replace the basic random on site with this pseudo
random which is more likely to bring users to random but likely more
topically related to what the user is viewing now.

I suggest WONTFIX, this is not what users expect from Special:Random (which is already pseudorandom of course, though a bit less now thanks to bug 65366). We make a new Special:RandomRelatedPage though.

This would be easy enough to test — "this is not what users expect"

(In reply to Jared Zimmerman (WMF) from comment #3)

This would be easy enough to test — "this is not what users expect"

How? Until you conduct tests, I know dozens or hundreds of editors who use Special:Random to find unexpected areas (pages) of the wiki in need of tender loving care.

How would it be tested?

I'm sure there are plenty of options, but the simplest would be to initially implement "linky random" as a url parameter to Special:Random. Start users on a page that is both of interest to them and one that is not of interest to them and within 10-20 clicks on random with and without that argument, do the users feel that the the pages shown to them are of interest or not.

Also to your point about it being used to find pages in need of help, I don't doubt that happens, but its a pretty poor recommendation system, we can do better for that use case. Also it would be totally possible to have one behavior for logged in users and logged out users.

Just a point of note here, the existing random function is pseudo random.

I agree with Nemo here. Well a "randomly related" feature might be cool, I think the use cases for getting a random page are different from getting a sort of related page

Edited title to be less controversial, since I think this would be useful feature. I also personally don't think it should replace Special:Random, but that's an argument for another bug.