On Currying Favor... October 16, 2008 7:44 AM   Subscribe

Semantics, semantics, semantics. Can we rename 'favorites' to 'watched' or add a 'watched' category?

Often I see something that is certainly not my favorite post, but I'd like to watch it - whether its a train-wreck flameout, our friend the re-donkey-lous fedora man, or something about to be Godwinned, there are often threads one doesn't want to encourage, exactly, or give the impression to the OP that their question/thread was good, exactly... Just that you think its going to make good watching (or in the case of AxeMe, you'll learn from it). Isn't "favoriting" it implying rewarding the person, when you actually just want to "watch" it for the future?
posted by yonation to Etiquette/Policy at 7:44 AM (86 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

We can, but we won't.
posted by Meatbomb at 7:50 AM on October 16, 2008


*adds post to favorites*
posted by box at 7:55 AM on October 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


Why not just favorite it while you're "watching," and then unfavorite it later? No unjust rewards! In fact, that way, you can even induce the sting of losing favorites.
posted by solipsophistocracy at 7:59 AM on October 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


Hide-able favorites. It's the only way to sanity.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:59 AM on October 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


Oh, for pete's sake.
posted by amro at 8:00 AM on October 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


I never use favorites as "watching". I always consider my click a reward. I imagine a little food pellet coming out of their floppy drive.

BECAUSE WHAT ELSE IS IT BEING USED FOR AMIRITE
posted by Plutor at 8:00 AM on October 16, 2008 [13 favorites]


This is definitely a feature I need. The ability to more easily gawk at internet drama. Clicking refresh just isn't cutting it.
posted by DU at 8:04 AM on October 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens...[/J. Andrews]
[The Police]...I'll be watching you.
posted by blueberry at 8:04 AM on October 16, 2008


I vote we call it cortexing. ie:

My post got 23 cortexes!

Click to cortex this post.

Popular cortexes of the last seven days.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:05 AM on October 16, 2008


huh. none of you are my favorite people. but i do like solipsophistocracy's sadistic reversal-of-favorite!
posted by yonation at 8:06 AM on October 16, 2008


They're called favourites in honour of George Villiers, First Duke of Buckingham. We're very big on Stuart history here, but watch out for cortex's upcoming twenty years of personal rule and the extension of Ship Tax to [more inside].
posted by Abiezer at 8:21 AM on October 16, 2008 [3 favorites]


There are probably hundreds of categories that many of us wish were available for sorting our favorites. Personally, I click the favorite + link for things I don't have time to read now, things that I agree with, things that I'll use in the future and things I find funny. I'm sure other people like collecting stupid comments, or comments that rhyme. Rather than add just one category, would it make sense to be able to add personal tags to our favorites, even if they just showed up on our individual favorites pages?

As I add more and more favorites, they get harder to sort through and maintain. It would be nice to be able to see all of my delayed reading or rainy day flash game favorites without having to burrow through my list.

This request probably represents a significant amount of work, but it would be nice...
posted by Alison at 8:25 AM on October 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


What I'd like is an ajaxy way to post a drunken flameout.
posted by Pants! at 8:27 AM on October 16, 2008


"Watching" is such a passive word. Favouriting implies decisiveness! Vim! Vigour! Zest!

No one ever plucked a bicky from the bicky barrel and cried "A custard cream! I will watch this with relish!"

On the contrary, they leap across the kitchen with girlish glee, tear the top off the packet and cry "A custard cream! My FAVOURITE!"

(Not to mention, "OM NOM NOM!")
posted by Jofus at 8:32 AM on October 16, 2008 [8 favorites]


In fact, that way, you can even induce the sting of losing favorites.

Why do you support catapulting bunnies into bonfires, solipsophistocracy? It just seems cruel and unnecessary.
posted by quin at 8:32 AM on October 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


References and translations.
posted by Jofus at 8:34 AM on October 16, 2008


Ceiling cat is watching you favorite.
posted by netbros at 8:34 AM on October 16, 2008


"Marked" is as good as "watched", isn't it? Maybe we could replace the + with a little icon of a dog cocking his leg beside the timestamp.
posted by Wolfdog at 8:43 AM on October 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


Pants!: What I'd like is an ajaxy way to post a drunken flameout.

Here's a start. (previously.)

I should make a note of this, so that I can find it later if I ever want to flameout.
posted by Pronoiac at 8:47 AM on October 16, 2008


I think we should have two options for tagging comments and posts: "Favorites," and "WTF?!"
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 8:50 AM on October 16, 2008 [4 favorites]


P.S. When you flameout, pls use the words "microtarded douchetruck" because they are awesome. kthxbai!
posted by Pronoiac at 8:51 AM on October 16, 2008


Isn't "favoriting" it implying rewarding the person, when you actually just want to "watch" it for the future?

Eh, like you say: semantics. If it implies that from a literal reading, but then people turn around and say "yes but no that's not really all people mean by it, so, no, don't worry about it", is there a problem? Folks use favorites for a number of reasons, and by and large no one cares what anyone else does with their favorites, so there's not a lot of social danger wrapped up in a possible mistaken inference.

Which is neither for or against the notion of categorized or labeled favorites, something I remain personally kind of shruggo about (although if it ever happened it could make for some interesting analysis). I only want to emphasize that of all the possible arguments for any sort of watch/label/category feature expansion, "'favorites' isn't the right word" isn't one of the keepers.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:55 AM on October 16, 2008


Surely it would be easy-peasy for someone to make a GreaseMonkey script that could swap "Favorites" for a word of the user's choosing, a la the Welcome Back, MeFite script.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:56 AM on October 16, 2008


Oh man. I would finally use GreaseMonkey for that. I would change it to "schmavorites".
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:01 AM on October 16, 2008


Oh, for pete's sake.

Quoted for truth. Jesus, if you don't like the name, call it something else in your head. NOBODY CARES WHO YOU FAVORITE OR DON'T FAVORITE.
posted by languagehat at 9:05 AM on October 16, 2008 [4 favorites]


I favorite things just to know I'm alive.
posted by drezdn at 9:07 AM on October 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


We should call them recollectables. For recollecting.
posted by bonaldi at 9:10 AM on October 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


I, also, remain personally kind of shruggo
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:11 AM on October 16, 2008 [3 favorites]


NOBODY CARES WHO YOU FAVORITE OR DON'T FAVORITE.

Yes.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:16 AM on October 16, 2008


NOBODY CARES WHO YOU FAVORITE OR DON'T FAVORITE.

I disagree with this. If I come across something that makes me personally go WTF and dozens of people have favorited it, my WTF reaction increases considerably. Based on some of the ill will and/or celebration others have expressed re favorites, I don't think I'm alone in caring.
posted by and hosted from Uranus at 9:27 AM on October 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


NOBODY CARES

I care, you big cynic. I care.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 9:29 AM on October 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


Often I see something that is certainly not my favorite post, but I'd like to watch it - whether its a train-wreck flameout, our friend the re-donkey-lous fedora man, or something about to be Godwinned, there are often threads one doesn't want to encourage, exactly, or give the impression to the OP that their question/thread was good, exactly... Just that you think its going to make good watching (or in the case of AxeMe, you'll learn from it). Isn't "favoriting" it implying rewarding the person, when you actually just want to "watch" it for the future?

None of that is a problem if you interpret "favorite" the way it actually applies here -- that is, "favorite to return to for whatever reason," including because you want to see a "train-wreck flameout." Seems like it'd be a lot easier to just mentally infer that meaning, rather than to re-code the whole site.
posted by Jaltcoh at 9:31 AM on October 16, 2008


NOBODY CARES THAT YOU CARE. well, maybe a little bit
posted by blue_beetle at 9:31 AM on October 16, 2008


Standard mod answer 25: I remain personally kind of shruggo.
posted by bru at 9:31 AM on October 16, 2008




We'd call them bookmarks but mathowie is an unrepentant IE user.

That's it. I said it
posted by stet at 9:45 AM on October 16, 2008


I agree. The notion of categorized or labeled favorites seems to have a high shruggocity factor not only with the mods, but with much of the community here.
posted by Nick Verstayne at 9:49 AM on October 16, 2008


Shruggo is a really funny word.
posted by Pax at 9:53 AM on October 16, 2008


Shruggo is my new favorite word.
posted by Caduceus at 9:55 AM on October 16, 2008


I, also, remain personally kind of shruggo

what about his girlfriend, Blandcy?
posted by jonmc at 9:59 AM on October 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


I do use mine as a positive vote, never as a bookmark, so calling it "watched" is too neutral and would not reflect my usage.

(See what happens when you try to change things?)
posted by smackfu at 10:06 AM on October 16, 2008


You don't want to encourage people to make posts that you're interested in following up on? That's odd.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 10:37 AM on October 16, 2008


seems that everyone sees my idea, even if you've made my day go all shruggo (and the weather already was so gray!). and ok, point taken about recoding the whole site. still, to favorite someone i hate, to think of their little faces lighting up after realizing that someone - yes, someone out there on the internets, the alienated networks of bits - thinks they are the shit, makes me pissed off. not that you care what i think, i guess.
posted by yonation at 10:56 AM on October 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


President Elvis, did you not understand what I was saying? see smackfu immediately above you.
posted by yonation at 10:56 AM on October 16, 2008


to favorite someone i hate, to think of their little faces lighting up...

You are terrifying.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:08 AM on October 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


Can we change "New Post" to "New Journey" and call all the comments "stepping stones"?
posted by katillathehun at 11:10 AM on October 16, 2008 [16 favorites]


Clearly what we need is a little more nuance in the favorites system. After one clicks the little [+] to add a favorite, another little Ajax options box should pop up asking, "Are you favoriting this in an ironic manner?" and the options will be "No" and "AMIRITE"
posted by anifinder at 11:14 AM on October 16, 2008 [9 favorites]


well, one thing that occurs to me is that your idea makes some sense re: posts, but very little re: comments. you can't really follow a comment.
posted by shmegegge at 11:18 AM on October 16, 2008


It would be so depressing to have your New Journey deleted.
posted by Wolfdog at 11:19 AM on October 16, 2008


Why do you support catapulting bunnies into bonfires, solipsophistocracy? It just seems cruel and unnecessary.

Is it fair to go ahead and consider the vacillating favorite count for that particular bit of wisdom my comeuppance?
posted by solipsophistocracy at 11:19 AM on October 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


President Elvis, did you not understand what I was saying? see smackfu immediately above you.

It seems that what you actually do like isn't necessarily what you think you ought to like. This isn't a problem with the site.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 11:22 AM on October 16, 2008


Shruggo Enemy Favoriting Hack Technique

1. Think of the worst possible user name in the world.
2. Make it twice as bad
3. Repeat step two as needed. It should be REALLY bad. Like, omgers bad, y'all.
4. Sign up for a sockpuppet with this name.
5. Log in with the puppet.
6. Favorite your enemies.
7. Think of their little faces lighting up, clicking to see who favorited them, and then dimming considerably.
8. Realize that you have DONE GOOD IN THE WORLD.
posted by SpiffyRob at 11:23 AM on October 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


It would be so depressing to have your New Journey deleted.

Deleting will henceforth be known as "re-centering".
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:26 AM on October 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


LOLenemies.
posted by lunit at 11:37 AM on October 16, 2008


Doesn't everybody here use RSS Readers? I subscribe to posts that I'm "watching". It's the perfect application of RSS.
posted by iguanapolitico at 12:08 PM on October 16, 2008


I keep seeing folks asking for a way to show support for a comment and have those be separate from the bookmark-y use of favourites. From other conversations on this topic, I know still others want to be able to thumbs-down comments, too. I kind of like the combined use, myself, but that might be because I'm used to it.

Maybe being able to categorise favourites the way flags are done (with a drop down with a few choices in it - tracking, liked, reference, and the like) would be cool.

Using favourites/whatever to ease participation in the popcorn-brigade seems encouraging of a broken community to me, though. Keep a notepad open with links to schadenfreude threads/comments and you don't have to worry about the intent of favourites nor accidentally seem like you're giving a vote of confidence.
posted by batmonkey at 12:08 PM on October 16, 2008


New Journey? They aren' t the same without Steve Perry.
posted by Pronoiac at 12:13 PM on October 16, 2008


by and large no one cares what anyone else does with their favorites, so there's not a lot of social danger wrapped up in a possible mistaken inference

Completely disagree. Favourites are a popularity contest and many (many) people here fish for them and measure worth (theirs and others) by them.

As someone above said, if they are truly a way to bookmark or save then they should be hidden.
posted by terrapin at 12:27 PM on October 16, 2008


It used to be that I would see a fascinating post, rich in links, on Metafilter, but I would lack the time to click all the links and take in their content, so I'd think "I must remember that post and return to it later". Then I'd forget about it, and be left with a nagging sense that I had missed out on something good, or information that could have been of use to me, but I couldn't put my finger on what it was.

Now, when I see a promising post that I don't have time to go through, I favourite it, so that it's easy to find later, then forget about it and never remember it at all, untroubled by any nagging sense of missing out on something. So it works out great for me

Well, not always. Once or twice I've gone through my favourites, all the time thinking "I earmarked this? A 37-minute Youtube film of a gorilla with a toy truck? A 45,000-word Macleans article on geese migration patterns? What was I thinking?
posted by WPW at 12:28 PM on October 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


NOBODY CARES WHO YOU FAVORITE OR DON'T FAVORITE.

Actually. I wasn't going to say anything. But. I care. Because...

I am judging you.

Dude.


I am totally judging you all
posted by kittens for breakfast at 12:31 PM on October 16, 2008


Completely disagree. Favourites are a popularity contest and many (many) people here fish for them and measure worth (theirs and others) by them.

Let me rephrase: no one except maybe one or another crazy obsessive cares what you do with your favorites except when what you do with your favorite is favorite something of theirs, in which case they probably still won't care that it's you who did the favoriting most of the time.

I largely disagree with your complete disagreement insofar as I don't think that the popularity contest aspect is nearly as profoundly influential on this place than some folks aver. But for all that, I've actually been in favor of the idea of replacing "n favorites" with some non-count marker for comments that have been favorited at all, as an experiment in short-circuiting what displayed-count effects do exist.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:33 PM on October 16, 2008


And sometimes I think: "There's that arsehat I hate doing that arsehatty thing I hate. I will favourite it for later reference, when I am compiling the comprehensive, cross-referenced, footnoted encyclopedic MeTa callout that will prove once and for all that he is an arsehat. Who's the arsehat now, arsehat? You! Hahahahahahaha!"
posted by WPW at 12:34 PM on October 16, 2008


Let's call them whuffie.

(running away)
posted by davejay at 12:44 PM on October 16, 2008


We could institute a sort of Unit Rule thingy whereby the poster/commenter who gets the most number of favorites over a given period of time (day, week, month or even your year) wins the whole shebang and everyone else just has theirs wiped off the slate. Sort a favoritical college type of approach. Then there'd be no argument.

No really.
posted by Nick Verstayne at 12:48 PM on October 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


Is someone from Webster's and OED keeping track of jessamyn's apt neologisms? Shruggo, fighty... Alas, I notice spell check has not been enlightened as to the legitimacy of these words.
posted by Cranberry at 12:49 PM on October 16, 2008


Hey now, I'll give Jessamyn unqualified props on pervasive usage of fighty, but the record on shruggo is pretty clear.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:55 PM on October 16, 2008


I keep a leatherish mental journal of jessamisms. One day I will trade them in for memories of a billionaire playboy on vacation for two weeks in Cabo.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:00 PM on October 16, 2008


cortex makes a good point--it's clear that 'shruggo' never caught on until Jessamyn said it.
posted by box at 1:02 PM on October 16, 2008


my favorite thing about metafilter is that it's filled with people like jessamyn, who are creative and clever enough to come up with words like shruggo.
posted by shmegegge at 1:21 PM on October 16, 2008


*joins Plastic*
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:35 PM on October 16, 2008


* preens *
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:38 PM on October 16, 2008


katillathehun: "Can we change "New Post" to "New Journey" and call all the comments "stepping stones"?"

Yeah, like MetaTalk needs more rocks lying around for people to use as ammunition.
posted by dg at 1:42 PM on October 16, 2008


Why don't you let users set up a verb and a noun in their profile, store it in the cookie, and replace the word favorite client side?

I would use "Old Iron Side".

Hehehe, I just Old Iron Sided your comment there.
posted by dirty lies at 1:51 PM on October 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


Man, I'm glad I favorited that guy!
posted by kosem at 1:54 PM on October 16, 2008


* Crosses kosem off my list *
posted by yonation at 2:07 PM on October 16, 2008


I lost a favorite once. They say some wounds never heal, but only fade with time. They were right.
posted by Tehanu at 3:29 PM on October 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


I suggest a descriptivist approach:

posted by solipsophistocracy at 10:59 AM on October 16 [2 people clicked on the plus symbol +] [!]


Clicked on the plus symbol: 675
Other people clicked on the plus symbol near users' posts: 2086

posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 4:44 PM on October 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


dirty lies writes 'Why don't you let users set up a verb and a noun in their profile, store it in the cookie, and replace the word favorite client side?'

Even better: a freeform MetaFilterFilterer.

I would set 'OP' to read 'poster', and 'FPP' to read 'post', saving myself over 9000 joules of pointless annoyance energy per month. 'Favorites' would become 'Favourites', obviously.

No doubt others would enjoy automatically changing 'John McCain' to 'Blinky "Hitler" McFascist', 'Obama' to 'CHARMING IMMINENT PRESIDENT', 'steampunk' to 'twatcunt', &c..
posted by jack_mo at 6:11 PM on October 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


jack_mo, I tried to twatcunt your comment, but all I see is a plus sign. Can I add you to my list of twatcunt users insted?
posted by dirty lies at 8:04 PM on October 16, 2008


Favourites are a popularity contest and many (many) people here fish for them and measure worth (theirs and others) by them.

Oh, balls.

I've said this before - usually in reaction to complaints that Favorites 'encouraged' jokey clutter - but MeFites were trying to edify or amuse their peers long before [+] made its appearance. Sure the occasional pompous and grandstandy 'This is not just my comment, this is a POWERFUL COMMENT OF SERIOUSNESS AND IMPORT' stuff that has become more frequent as we near the US election often rubs me the wrong way, particularly when it's quoted by another MeFite who adds a trite and hey-look-how-moved-I-am-by-the-POWERFUL-COMMENT-OF-SERIOUSNESS-AND-IMPORT 'This.', but heck, there has always been an element of performance to commenting.

Even though the more serious expression of that sentiment is not my cup of meat (And I'm sure there are people who feel the same way about my jokey nattering), I recognize that those people aren't fishing for favorites any more than I am, they're just articulating themselves to the best of their ability in an environment which they find stimulating and worth contributing to, just like the rest of us.

People are sharing their thoughts and opinions with one another, and just as in every social situation, trying to do so in a manner that appeals to or provokes the other person's imagination. If anything, Favorites cuts down on threads being littered with more 'LOL's, 'QFT's, and 'This.'s than they already are.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:41 PM on October 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


Favorite, schmavorite. Call it whatever you want.

That's 2 drinks so far. Drinks available on request, reasonable requests only, requests will be honored in order of receipt, one drink per user unless number of drinks on offer is greater than number of users in attendance. GODDAMMIT I need a drink.
posted by jacalata at 12:16 AM on October 17, 2008 [2 favorites]


Gonna be a long night, the way you're going ;-) There's a lot of threads between here and 21 November.
posted by dg at 2:08 AM on October 17, 2008


That's ace, jacalata!

It doesn't quite work when adding favourites, though, presumably because the Greasemonkey script does its business when the page loads, but doesn't pay attention when the AJAX favouritiser thingy inserts the 'Favorite added!' text? I suppose I can just shield my delicate eyes when adding favourites, then refresh the page.
posted by jack_mo at 3:35 AM on October 17, 2008


SHRUGGOS! In my head I'm calling favorites SHRUGGOS!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:10 AM on October 17, 2008


Ceiling Cat is favoriting you.

See, they are not interchangeable.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 7:09 PM on October 17, 2008


I use RSS feeds for posts I want to watch, favorite posts by my own interest in the topic (or because it's hilarious), and I favorite comments if I think someone really knocked it out of the park or hit on something I would never have come across otherwise, like the Ask V. Guess culture thing, or the how to get rid of a body post, or Grumblebee's ruminations on finding your passion.

I noticed I don't favorite as much as some people, so I think a lot of people use favoriting comments as a way of saying 'I agree with this person' and now and then I do that if I feel like there's some reason the weight of consensus might be important (like, hey, we all really think you should go to the hospital since you just ate an entire bottle of Vicodin), but if I do it too much I lose favorites as a way of marking stuff I thought was really insightful or original, as opposed to just 'right answer'.

I'm afraid if I do too much favoriting of any kind I'll have so much stuff marked I won't be able to go back and look at it on occasion and it'll be hard to find stuff. I've shared that ask v. guess thing with a bunch of people, for example.

Now that I think of it -- I'm kind of treating favorites like memorabilia-stuff I might want to go through later.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 8:32 AM on October 18, 2008


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