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September 3, 2007 6:07 AM   Subscribe

MeTa-pony-request: Can we highlight the mods' responses in MeTa threads? [MI]
posted by allkindsoftime to Feature Requests at 6:07 AM (51 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

Take this one, for instance. It took me more than a little scrolling to locate the actual answer to the question, and if I had perchance missed it, I had only 180-some comments to sort through. Sometimes its easier to see their response but sometimes (no call-outs, just sayin') it turns fairly chatty before the mods make it there with their clarification/ruling/etc..

I'm plenty open to different methods for formatting the call-out, but I'd guess it would be something similar to the best-answer function on AskMe. Maybe an optional function that the mod could use when directly answering the orig question... Thoughts?
posted by allkindsoftime at 6:07 AM on September 3, 2007


It's not a bad idea, though I think there is also a Greasemonkey script that does this iirc.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:10 AM on September 3, 2007


Maybe the mod responses can blink!
posted by gomichild at 6:17 AM on September 3, 2007


Indeed, it's a feature of MeFi Navigator.
posted by Partial Law at 6:17 AM on September 3, 2007 [2 favorites]


I totally agree, I was wondering the same thing about that exact same thread.
posted by Brittanie at 6:27 AM on September 3, 2007


I like it now that mathowie, jessamyn, and cortex get the emails whenever a MeTa thread is posted. It usually means they are one of the first responses in the thread (like here :). However, when they're not you're right—it can be difficult to locate their responses without reading the entire thread. Instead, I do CTRL-F pagesearch for their usernames. While it is not as precise as highlighting moderator responses, it doesn't involve more work for the site admins nor does it require you to install anything extra on your computer.
posted by carsonb at 6:29 AM on September 3, 2007


I guess that works, carsonb, thanks.
posted by allkindsoftime at 6:33 AM on September 3, 2007


Always happy to offer the low-tech solution. Peace.
posted by carsonb at 6:35 AM on September 3, 2007


Firefox allows you to do this. Just type in a name (or any word, really), and it will go right to that name. Ctrl-G to scroll through subsequent instances.
posted by Eideteker at 6:42 AM on September 3, 2007


MeFi navigator page says it "Works with Firefox 1.5 (not 1.0.7)". Is anyone using it in more recent FF versions?
posted by taz at 6:42 AM on September 3, 2007


Can we add the line "People who don't have the MeFi Navigator are teh gay" to the FAQ page?
posted by Jofus at 6:50 AM on September 3, 2007


Can we add the line "People who don't have the MeFi Navigator are teh gay" to the FAQ page?

No?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:51 AM on September 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


Is anyone using it in more recent FF versions?

Yes.
posted by Partial Law at 7:02 AM on September 3, 2007


No?

Pfft. Ghey.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:17 AM on September 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


Yeah, just doing a find on the admin's names works for me.

Also, highlighting each mods response, even if only in MeTa, is overkill, as it seems to make their responses more important, which is fine for most MeTa stuff, but the occasional joke would also be highlight, which is just silly. Sure, they could stop making jokes or puns, but that would losing something to gain...what, that a simple page find wouldn't cure.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:19 AM on September 3, 2007


Pfft. Grey.
posted by allkindsoftime at 7:20 AM on September 3, 2007


taz, it works with any version of Firefox newer than 1.0.7.
posted by matthewr at 7:22 AM on September 3, 2007


taz: "MeFi navigator page says it "Works with Firefox 1.5 (not 1.0.7)". Is anyone using it in more recent FF versions?"

Runs fine on 2.0.0.6
posted by octothorpe at 7:28 AM on September 3, 2007


Thanks, you guys - I'll try it out.
posted by taz at 7:39 AM on September 3, 2007


I'd like this feature as well.
posted by dobbs at 7:41 AM on September 3, 2007


Why not just delete all the unhelpful quips and non-sequiturs from MeTa threads? Then it will be easy to find the sensible answers to queries.
Highlighting mods' answers in this thread would disclose gems such as this and this, which are not more valuable than answers from Partial Law or Eideteker.
Signal-to-noise is a big problem in MeTa, to the extent that it is all but impossible to discuss anything sensibly, but this is not the solution.
posted by nowonmai at 7:53 AM on September 3, 2007


If there was an ascii representation of their mod status on their posts (ie. "posted by mathowie (mod) at 12:20 AM"), then we could do a search for that and find any of the mod's posts in the thread, not just one.
posted by Kickstart70 at 8:18 AM on September 3, 2007


I'm happy to rely on cmd-f for this.
posted by djgh at 8:32 AM on September 3, 2007


we usually pop in early to answer, but it was a holiday weekend here in the states and we were all in and out for hours and missed the first 179 comments (when I saw it, it was about 10 comments after jessamyn's answer).
posted by mathowie (staff) at 8:47 AM on September 3, 2007


The really important question here is what color would the highlighting be? red? orange? pink flamingo? ocean mist?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:49 AM on September 3, 2007


Misty Buff!
posted by Jofus at 9:14 AM on September 3, 2007


Signal-to-noise is a big problem in MeTa,

No! MeTa is the only place where threads completely filled with noise are not a problem. AskMe threads are pared to the bone with extreme prejudice, and noisy comments are flagged/deleted commonly on the blue and replaced with a "take it to MeTa" directive.

Really, most times when there's a serious question, like a feature request or a "how should I...", at least the first couple dozen comments, and typically the bulk of the thread, are substantive and on-point such that the topic gets sufficiently debated. As for lame call-out threads... how serious can you expect them to remain?
posted by rkent at 9:30 AM on September 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


This request reminds me of the WoW forums where GM posts are in blue instead of the default color. The only issue with this is the threads soon start revolving solely around GM comments instead of the content at hand. Granted, you're dealing with a different population in WoW, but I wonder if the same thing would happen here- people just look for mod-marked comments and ignore the rest.
posted by jmd82 at 9:32 AM on September 3, 2007


No! MeTa is the only place where threads completely filled with noise are not a problem.
Hence this thread.
posted by nowonmai at 9:32 AM on September 3, 2007


It's not a bad idea. I first encountered this on Mark Pilgrim's site and it works well-- not so much for skipping right to an admin comment (searching works better for that, as described above) but when you're scanning a 100+ comment thread, it's useful to see quickly where the admin comments are without having to read each name at the end of each comment first.
posted by gwint at 10:10 AM on September 3, 2007


This seems a lot like a rehashing of the A hiatus isn't a moratorium thread. In that, to have moderator comments automatically made special misses the point of flatness, self policing, community site, and etc.
posted by Chuckles at 10:19 AM on September 3, 2007


"teh gay" is teh anti-gay.
posted by univac at 10:21 AM on September 3, 2007


Maybe they could code up avatars too so that we can find anyone with a quick skim instead of actually having to make the effort to read the site.
posted by Mitheral at 11:51 AM on September 3, 2007


I considered making this very pony request in response to the same thread allkindsoftime references. I think it is a good idea. I don't buy that adding this feature would make the site less egalitarian or something; it isn't all that egalitarian to begin with. We're not self-policing... we're 40000 snitches feeding tips to three cops.
posted by thinman at 11:57 AM on September 3, 2007


Terrible idea. A non-solution to a non-problem. Why do you want to gather at the mods' feet and wait for their pearls of wisdom? If you need to find mathowie's comments, search on "mathowie." To have his comments glowing and throwing off sparks would be silly and insulting. Talk about yer personality cult.
posted by languagehat at 1:04 PM on September 3, 2007


No! MeTa is the only place where threads completely filled with noise are not a problem.

That may be your impression, but I'd suggest that it's just as annoying and counterproductive here as anywhere else. Because a thread can be a jocular cokcbukketfest of japery and circlejerking doesn't mean it should be.

Also, what LH said, but less crankily. The more Metatalk veers more toward and toward 'callout metality' and the kind of noise that rkent suggests is welcome and away from the userbase actually trying to figure out what's best for the site (and therefore letting everything fall onto the shoulders of the Moderators up in the Metaheaven), the worse for the site and more counter to its underlying ethos, I reckon.

If anything, the mods comments on policy should appear in really small type in a really hard-to-read grey.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:38 PM on September 3, 2007


We're not self-policing... we're 40000 snitches feeding tips to three cops.

There's some truth to that -- and I still have the suspicion I did at the time that silent moderation (although we've since gotten a public 'mod up' to match the invisible 'mod down'), though useful for the actual moderators, is and has been the worst thing for the ethos of the site since the invention of the low-fat pancake.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:42 PM on September 3, 2007


...the introduction of silent moderation...
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:44 PM on September 3, 2007


Wonderchicken, are you accusing me of crankiness?? It's on, clucker! Shaken-up beers at five paces, and may the wettest man buy the next round!
posted by languagehat at 2:26 PM on September 3, 2007


*takes ringside seat at MeFi beerfight of the century*
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:48 PM on September 3, 2007


I'd love to see MefiNavigator made a standard part of the site... It not only highlights the mod comments, but also comments by the original poster and by yourself...

It also has navigation arrows to allow you to jump between all comments for a particular poster...

In short, I love it and I really, really miss it when I'm on a public computer!
posted by ranglin at 4:52 PM on September 3, 2007


languagehat sneered: Why do you want to gather at the mods' feet and wait for their pearls of wisdom?

A less histrionic way of putting it might be, "Why do you want a no-effort way to quickly see the mods' comments in MetaTalk?"

The answer might be, "Because their comments are often the only real answers to questions being asked." When someone asks why a thread was deleted, or what some redacted comment was, or why a new site behavior was introduced, or if they can have a pony, it is usually true that only a mod has information necessary to provide an answer. As valuable as your shrill hyperbole is here, it isn't as valuable in a thread like this if mathowie shows up and says, "I don't like that idea, and I'm not going to add it to the site. Also, languagehat should stop waving his arms around like that. He looks like an ass."

If you need to find mathowie's comments, search on "mathowie."

And if you need to find moderators' comments, search on "mathowie." And then search on "jessamyn." And then search on "cortex." Elegant.

To have his comments glowing and throwing off sparks would be silly and insulting.

And to have moderators' comments on a slightly lighter background, similar to user comments in Recent Activity, would be unobtrusive and often helpful. Also, you're too easily insulted.

Talk about yer personality cult.

Talk about yer rhetorical bullshit.
posted by thinman at 5:08 PM on September 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


Somewhere in the space between those two positions, I can see the sense of why this would be useful, but I don't think it's a great idea for default site behavior and would be a bit weird.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:36 PM on September 3, 2007


Weird for you maybe.
posted by smackfu at 8:21 PM on September 3, 2007


Well, yeah.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:57 PM on September 3, 2007


You don't think the mods get enough attention as it is?
posted by Dave Faris at 9:11 PM on September 3, 2007


Dave Faris: You don't think the mods get enough attention as it is?

They get just enough. Perfect and spot on, is the amount of attention the mods 'round here get day in and day out plus nighttime, all the time.
posted by carsonb at 9:19 PM on September 3, 2007


I don't think it's a good idea to highlight all admin comments.

Could you maybe add a checkbox to the admin posting interface so that you can pre-mark your administrating comments to be highlighted in a best-answer-style box?
posted by blasdelf at 9:30 PM on September 3, 2007


Dave Faris: You don't think the mods get enough attention as it is?

They don't get nearly as much attention as you, Dave Faris, deserve. Who do they think they are?
posted by blasdelf at 9:32 PM on September 3, 2007


Can we highlight the mods' responses?

Dude, this is 2007, the heyday of Greasemonkey and other browser scripting add-ons. You own your side of the browser interaction—within the wide limits of JavaScript and other available languages— and can change about anything the browser displays that you want in response to almost any kind of input you care to detect. There are at least three existent scripts to highlight an administrator's post on MetaFilter one way or another, and it would be very simple, should you know programming, to write your very own customized script that acts exactly as you wish should no scripts already do that.

All hail personal, browser, and user interface freedom...
posted by mdevore at 10:10 PM on September 3, 2007


Just click on each moderator's name to get to their userpage, and don't click on anybody else. There, now their names show up as the "clicked this link already" colour, and stand out. That's what I do.
posted by tehloki at 6:51 AM on September 4, 2007


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