I have been on Area51 for years, you can change the sort order of example questions between "my votes", "activity", "newest" or "votes"; with first not available to new users. Once you make a selection that becomes your default sort order as you visit other proposals, if you are logged on it stays with that selection until you modify it.

I just visited a proposal with a browser that does not have any Area51 history as a new visitor. The new visitor default sort is by 'vote' which means that the highest voted questions are displayed first to new visitors.

I believe that altering the default sort order of example questions presented to new users, to either 'active' or 'newest' would encourage new visitors to vote on questions based on quality rather then previous vote getting. While it is not going to make a huge difference, it will modify the first impressions new visitors get.

New visitors to proposals in definition phase, are asked to vote for the questions they would most like to see on the proposal, by offering them a list that is presorted in the order of questions everyone else would like to see we are subtly suggesting they follow the crowd. If we offer the selection ordered by 'active' or 'newest' new visitors will be more likely to make decisions based on personal choice.


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