A phenomenon, maybe perceived, maybe real, that I've noticed when my nodes amble down the new writeups
Although clouded by perception, XP-anticipation-induced time dilation, server lag and other artifacts, I think that there are two times when a node receives the most votes as it passes through the new writeups. One is when it is approximately two or three writeups in. Making it about 1/3 of the way down the list. This is probably the flurry of attention that occurs when people look for the new nodes that have arrived. Then, there is a dead time while the writeup jerks forward and stops through the body of the nodlet. Suddenly, approximately 2/3 of the way down, a new wave of voting starts to occur.
Here's a possible explanation ... the golden ratio, besides being a mathematical oddity, is recognized by artists as pleasing to the human eye. da Vinci described the proportions of the human body in terms of symmetry and the golden ratio. When looking at a painting, our eyes are naturally drawn first to the point where the area above and below give the golden ratio.
Therefore, the connection which I am trying to establish is that as one scrolls down a refreshed E2 page, one arrives at the New Writeups nodelet. Since the eyes are scanning down during the scrolling process, they naturally fall on two places in the column - the golden ratio from the bottom and the golden ratio from the top - the two areas of highest voting density.
Pure, unfettered bullshit? Probably. I wonder if the logs store the data in such a way that someone with access to the code could establish or invalidate this idea with statistics. Either way, there is no way to use this fact to your advantage if you're fishing for an XP fix. The progression through the nodelet is affected by other variables such as node title length and the rate of new node generation. If you want more votes, node for the ages - i.e. write nodes with more substance than this =).