Recently I noticed the stories suggested to me in the sidebar are often ones that I just finished reading (and kudoing). The sidebar is often how I find new or different users, and I'm curious why this is happening rather than the algorithm suggesting something further. Anyone else having this issue? I will continue to go through individual users' stories too, of course, but I do like the random jumps that sometimes happen when you poke around via the sidebar.
Ha! I have not had that in a while, but it did used to happen to me, too. I wonder if that's simply because I post less consistently than I used to - now I tend to do random bursts every so often instead of a little here, a little there - and the algorithm somehow incorporates how frequently a user is active. Which would make sense, otherwise we would see many old posts from inactive users instead of posts from users who are here and posting and kudoing, but it is funny nonetheless.
The only stories I see are the main travel stories as people post them, and then my sidebar is the three "trending stories." So, it sounds like maybe people see different things based on their computer browsers/systems??
Or maybe whatever preferences we all checked off when we filled out our profiles. For instance, surely there must be stories about casinos floating around, but "rarely to never" describes how often I see them unprompted, because I don't have that checked as an interest.
Usually, I see trending stories until I start digging a little deeper, and then they seem to be stories related by some kind of key word (a story about Niagara Falls leading to other stories about Niagara Falls, etc).
I think you might be right about the preferences. I also just discovered that if a person edits their older stories or adds details, they will show up in "Latest Stories" sidebar at times. I just tested this on one of my older stories and it now shows up in my sidebar. Interesting.