Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Funniest

The Funniest is one of three website side-projects by Randall Munroe of xkcd.com fame. The three sister sites (TheCutest.info, TheFairest.info, and TheFunniest.info) all work the same way. They are each a continuously-running contest to find the cutest picture, the fairest picture, and the funniest picture, respectively. Randall explains:
People vote to select the best choice from a large pool of user-submitted options. Instead of the usual voting methods where people rank things or vote things up or down, we let people choose which of two things is better. Then every few minutes the server does some analysis, and comes up with a list of the best things. It's a good system, and is free of a lot of problems other web-voting systems have, like a bias toward older items.
To vote you simply click on the best picture. The site will refresh with new pictures. Repeat ad nauseam. The pictures are user-submitted and most have been floating around newsgroups and such for years. Thus Randall does not lay claim to any of them, nor does he keep track of authors (besides what you can see in the source URL).

Users like to submit meta-pictures by taking screen shots of two related funny pictures making a serendipitous funny due to placement.

The best part of the site is the "top" page, where you can see which pictures are currently winning. The sad part of the site is, the "top" page is broken. Or maybe the update mechanism is broken. The winning pictures have been stuck that way for months. I kept holding off writing this entry hoping that the site would be fixed, but alas.

I assure you, this all once worked fine. There is a large notice up top stating, "These sites are broken. Fixed versions coming!" Note the convenient lack of time frame on the notice. I'm still waiting. So far, I'm guessing they will be coming sometime near the 2nd coming of Christ. NO ONE KNOWS THE DAY OR THE HOUR. C'mon Randall, fix it.

The voting portion still works though.

Grade: B for broken. Would have been an A+. Tsk tsk.
(From the funniest.)

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