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Wish list for Brilliant

First off, I think BRILLIANT is an absolutely brilliant site, a much better past time than crushing candies or searching through streams of silly cat videos.

Anyway, now that I've been on BRILLIANT for a bit, I'd like to share my wish list with the community to see what everyone might think, mostly coming from a publisher perspective.

These are a few things I'd love to see as part of the BRILLIANT site:


1) Being able to see "incorrect" answers posted to your problems. Often, I post a new problem, and I see something like "48 views (100%)   16 attempts (33%)   0 solvers (0%)". And I think, "Uh oh, maybe my answer was wrong." I am relieved once I see someone get it right. (I follow them almost immediately as a way of saying thanks that I can sleep soundly that night knowing that my answer was likely OK ;0) )

It would be great to be able to see the "incorrect" answers as they are posted. That way, if I see a stream of the same answers I might realize, in fact, that it was my answer that was wrong, and fix up the question accordingly, before more people get frustrated by getting it, incorrectly, wrong.


2) Being able to organize all your problems in a table format, with all the salient details listed in the columns, like "Likes", "Views", "Attempts", "Solvers", "Rating", "Points", etc. So, I could quickly see which problems people like the most, which are maybe too easy etc. Helps me decide what type of problem(s?) to post next! :)


3) Being able to sort by two or more search criteria like Author and Title. Sometimes I sit down and think... "Oh yeah, maybe I'll try that Platonic Solids problem that Calvin posted the other day. So, if I could quickly search by "Calvin" and "Platonic Solids" I could find it more efficiently than endlessly scrolling through Calvin's problems.


4) Being able to add hash tags to problems, so people could quickly find similar problems on the site. e.g. #platonicsolids or #montyhall etc.


Anyone have any other thoughts here?

Thanks,

Geoff

Note by Geoff Pilling
5 months, 2 weeks ago

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There was a time when Brilliant had "Recent Activity", which was convenient because then we are easily able to go back and review work we have been doing. That's been removed, along with any references to dates when the problems were posted. Both problems and wikis are still largely in "invisible space"---we know they are there somewhere, but we have no idea what's actually in that space. More so than ever, Brilliant is all about "now", the present, the current problems posted and their recent solvers, and the new problems whiz by quickly, here today gone tomorrow, having vanished into the invisible space. It has a kind of a impermanence that might be appropriate for user focused on quickly improving their skills for use in schools and eventually the job market, but I think it kind of discourages other users from investing their time into "building" things that would depend on some kind of a permanence. Michael Mendrin · 5 months, 2 weeks ago

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@Michael Mendrin I agree with you, Michael. If problems had a longer shelf life or some kind of permanence, I think users would put more effort into making great problems... i.e. if people could search for "The Best of... Monty Hall Problems" or something... Anyway, just a thought...

e.g. If someone hasn't done an older problem, but it was really popular, perhaps it should show up in their stream before a more recent problem... Geoff Pilling · 5 months, 2 weeks ago

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@Geoff Pilling Of course, it isn't practical to try to ensure "longer shelf life" of posted problems, because everybody wants to have and should have the opportunity to post their own. It's a creative activity we want to encourage. What's needed here, as your note suggests, are better tools in which to generally track things. Instead of removing such tools.

Brilliant by now does have a good number of wonderful wikis, but where are they, and what is there? Nobody knows. Maybe I am old fashioned, I've always loved grabbing a math book and just perusing through all the interesting things and ideas that can be found in it. I notice that math books are rapidly disappearing from book stores and even libraries. Maybe it's a fading paradigm, like the idea of cars that we own and drive around ourselves? Michael Mendrin · 5 months, 2 weeks ago

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@Michael Mendrin Just to add wiki's can never replace books anyway. Reading wikis is a good way to have a refreshing and pretty broad general view of the important terms of a subject and the way they are traditionally viewed and they are a great instrument for such refreshing and for initial educative purposes maybe yet they do not cover a lot of important , so to say background , things which gives knowledge of a domain it's stability.

Books , being more detailed cover a lot of "gaps" making the domain presented more complete which should be the interest of anyone who wants to obtain a serious and solid understanding and knowledge of a domain. Actually the understanding of anything if it is to be authentic understanding at all (which has to be supposed anyway) implies , as seen by merely practice of something (and therefore conferred by simple experience) the density of those details without which the understanding is just novice and superficial not being able to stand on it's feet without having therefore the true completeness , continuity , unity , depth offered by rigor. Therefore I think there is nothing old fashioned about reading good books as they are pretty necessary. The only so to say "grumpy" thing would be to complain that the youth is superficial and reads just wikis but anyway. A A · 5 months, 2 weeks ago

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@A A What's the internet analog to going to the public library or book stores [new and used] and checking out the rows of math books [they used to have], and find unexpected things? And when you do find a good book, often it covers a variety of subjects you weren't aware of before?

Today, sure, I can find things on the internet, it's quite powerful in finding things. If you already know what you are looking for. But that element of surprise and discovery has faded, I think. It's the difference between being afoot exploring a German town dating back to medieval times, not knowing what you could run into, and getting into those self-guided cars and telling it where to go.

You're talking about the value of a given book, I'm talking about the fun of exploring an used book store and be surprised by what I could find in there. Michael Mendrin · 5 months, 2 weeks ago

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@Michael Mendrin The internet is very good at finding new things too. There a lot of sites with book recommendations and such things anyway but I think you mean more of the substantial and concrete implication provided into the world.

I do agree with you that the substantial understanding and implication has somehow faded and so to say anyway it faded not just in speaking of books but in anything man does along with the raise of technology. Because technology does rise , we become more estranged of the world itself as it is not a direct connectivity with that world anyway as it is mediated by the use of technology and somehow is a little bit more superficial. I think it's this intimacy you have in mind when you speak of this element of surprise that has faded and anyway I totally agree with you and yes I was speaking of the cognitive value of books in what I said anyway. Maybe indeed that element of surprise can appear old fashioned but it has some depth to it and is important in authentically understanding things anyway. A A · 5 months, 2 weeks ago

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@A A As a matter of fact, there are websites such as The Geometry Junkyard that gives one that kind of experience I'm talking about (after you've found such a thing). My wish is for Brilliant to have something like that for its wikis. It does have a study course, but I wonder where all the new wikis being featured are going after they are---many don't end up anywhere in the study course. Michael Mendrin · 5 months, 2 weeks ago

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@Michael Mendrin Hmmmm , you should add that as a request.

Actually maybe brilliant should have an idea box or something like that anyway in which members could tell their ideas for making it better and more interesting and thanks for sharing that site anyway. A A · 5 months, 2 weeks ago

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@A A Yeah, an idea box is a great idea!

(In fact, so good, it should go in an idea box! ;) ) Geoff Pilling · 5 months, 2 weeks ago

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@Geoff Pilling Haha , right! A A · 5 months, 2 weeks ago

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@Silas Hundt @Calvin Lin Agnishom Chattopadhyay · 5 months, 2 weeks ago

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@Geoff Pilling -- thanks for writing this up. I've added it to our internal wishlist. As others on this thread have mentioned, some or all of these features have been around at one time or another in the history of Brilliant but demoted or turned off due to disuse. But times change, and some of these ideas will almost certainly be added back again in the near future. Silas Hundt Staff · 5 months, 2 weeks ago

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@Silas Hundt Great, thanks @Silas Hundt! Geoff Pilling · 5 months, 2 weeks ago

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I agree especially about number 1 Finn C · 5 months, 2 weeks ago

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Great thought sir! liked & re-shared.

I have the same requests to brilliant staff it would be very nice if this process is done soon. And the idea of an "idea box" is truly amazing. Would really help 'The Brilliant ' Brilliant.org . I love this site and would be very happy to see it keep improving! :-) Rishabh Tiwari · 5 months, 2 weeks ago

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I agree with you BRILLIANT is really brilliant. Its the best site for problem solvers! Your wishlist is great, I really want them to come true. I would like to add my one wish also - "I want brilliant to show a detailed history of our improvement in problem solving since the day we joined BRILLIANT , this will help bring more confidence! Nashita Rahman · 3 months ago

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