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November 6, 2008 10:36 AM   Subscribe

Pony: A button to notify contacts you choose about an interesting FPP, or an AskMe they're qualified to answer. For example, one of my contacts could easily give me a heads-up when there's a post about geography, or I could notify Astro Zombie about a Minneapolis-related thread. No more "paging languagehat" answers to etymology questions. If it gets spammy/annoying for th recipient, they can opt out or send me a STFU MeMail.

I'm picturing something like a "notify a contact about this post" button after the post content, which would generate a dropdown box and an automated MeMail to the contact with a link to the post. If they're not your contact, you have to MeMail them the old-fashioned way.

Yes, I know I can look for geography posts on my own or subscribe to tags/categories via RSS, but if a thread derails into a discussion about a favorite topic, I'd love to know about it.
posted by desjardins to Feature Requests at 10:36 AM (38 comments total)

Previously. I figure MeMail is perfectly suitable for this. Adding in functionality for coyping and pasting a link into a MeMail seems like a lot of work for pb considering how few people would use it/want it used on them.
posted by sjuhawk31 at 10:41 AM on November 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Honestly, I think this is more of a mefimail/email thing; if it's too much bother to drop them a line, then it's probably not worth bugging them about. And that's probably a far more robust and automatically-moderated system for handling this kind of thing than any facebookian poke widget, in my humble.

The customizable contact activity page and the expandable sidebar on the front page both provide a good opt-in option for folks who want to see what their direct contacts are up to, RSS allows as you note for folks to keep an eye on stuff, etc.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:43 AM on November 6, 2008


Yeah, we've covered this before. It would be handy, but you have to think people on the other end getting these batsignal emails would be kind of pissed after a while. For someone that answers a lot of questions about a subject out of the goodness of their heart, waking up every morning to 35 emails about half a dozen questions on ask mefi can start to feel like a job and take the fun out of it.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 10:50 AM on November 6, 2008


On first read I was thinking this would be great, since I'd opt in for all questions about Macs and masturbation (two different topics) , since I am an expert in both! But I already work with Macs as my job, and the last thing I need is masturbation to start feeling like a job and having the fun taken out of it.
posted by cjorgensen at 11:02 AM on November 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


...Macs and masturbation (two different topics)...

Not always.

[NOT FANBOYIST]
posted by davejay at 11:05 AM on November 6, 2008


People don't say stuff like "Paging languagehat" in order to perform a useful service (i.e., page someone), they say it to proclaim "Look, I have learned the name of a well-known user on this site!"
posted by Wolfdog at 11:06 AM on November 6, 2008 [7 favorites]


I bet this could be done with Greasemonkey. Paging Plutor.
posted by Plutor at 11:09 AM on November 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


not that i would ever be paged like this, but if i were someone like languagehat or ikkyu2 or mutant, my immediate response would be "oh dear god in heaven, no!" but then, i'm not them. maybe they really want to be paged all the time.
posted by shmegegge at 11:09 AM on November 6, 2008


Stop paging me, I'm trying to sleep.
posted by Plutor at 11:09 AM on November 6, 2008


but if a thread derails into a discussion about a favorite topic, I'd love to know about it.

What are your favorite topics?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:11 AM on November 6, 2008


but if a thread derails into a discussion about a favorite topic, I'd love to know about it

Alternately, you could just derail every thread into a discussion of one of your favorite topics. That might get you banned pretty quick, though.
posted by sjuhawk31 at 11:20 AM on November 6, 2008


Could we link it up to an actual hardware pager? I'm sure you can get old-timey, 2 line pagers by the barrel on eBay, these days. We'd all pay, say, $19.95 a month (w/2yr commitment) and when somebody wanted you to come to a thread the pager would blow up with a code that you'd enter into the MetaFilterPager Toolbar (FF, IE, Opera, Chrome. No mac yet, sorry) and it would autoMAGICALLY send you to the right page.

OOh! You could have THREE different pagers! A green one, a gray one and a blue one. No, four. A RED one, too, that meant faaaaaavorites, and every time it went off it meant somebody FAVORITED you. So all night long your little family of pagers would be bleating and buzzing on your night table, reminding you of how loved and indispensable you are here on MetaFilter. Yeah.
posted by dirtdirt at 11:31 AM on November 6, 2008 [5 favorites]


Ohhh shiiiit, somebody just got Wolfdogged!
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:37 AM on November 6, 2008


dirtdirt: "Could we link it up to an actual hardware pager?"

I like this idea
posted by Plutor at 11:49 AM on November 6, 2008 [5 favorites]


SPAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAM!!!!!
posted by blue_beetle at 11:57 AM on November 6, 2008


Hey, how do you spell that one user's name that looks a little like smegma? I always spell it wrong when I type it out; is there anyone we could ask?
posted by yhbc at 12:26 PM on November 6, 2008


I actually like the idea of a "SUMMON COOL PAPA BELL" button.

I don't know if anyone would actually use it. And if it were made, hopefully the person at the other end could check an opt-out button.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 12:31 PM on November 6, 2008


This is covered better both by MefiMail & My AskMe.
posted by Pronoiac at 12:34 PM on November 6, 2008


Also, the previous thread makes me want a slice of pie.
posted by Pronoiac at 12:42 PM on November 6, 2008


Can we make it faster/easier to send a MeMail?
Maybe a blank mail form that allows us to choose from one of our existing contacts. Autocomplete would be nice too...
posted by Deathalicious at 1:23 PM on November 6, 2008


I think an easy solution would be to create the button so people can press it but don't bother making it do anything.
posted by milkrate at 1:40 PM on November 6, 2008 [3 favorites]


If you have a question about Data from Star Trek, just shout "GREG!" and I'll appear. I've asked pb to build a widget that connects everyone's computer to a megaphone that shouts my name automatically, but he gave me some tech-speak gobbledygook about how it was "inpractical" or some crap. I was like "hello dude i don't speak your css language"

anyway Data's eyes are gold and so is his heart
posted by Greg Nog at 1:46 PM on November 6, 2008


Some people are good at everything. This would destroy them.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:01 PM on November 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


Well I guess they aren't so good at not being destroyed by an official paging system, then.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:30 PM on November 6, 2008 [4 favorites]


Plus, we'd have to keep everyone's warm and fuzzy feelings by distributing ever-shrinking, increasingly obscure areas of expertise. I am Poindexter, lesser angel over bratwurst and the color puce. Please, ask me about how these two talents combine.
posted by adipocere at 2:52 PM on November 6, 2008


The Push Button Pony
posted by Burhanistan at 2:54 PM on November 6, 2008


Okay, so this will not really resolve this particular pony, but for all those who get tired of having to go to a member's page to contact them, this GreaseMonkey script puts an e-mail icon next to everyone's name which, when clicked, sends you to a MeMail form to that member.

Hope you find it useful!
posted by Deathalicious at 3:20 PM on November 6, 2008


Metafilter: Look, I have learned the name of a well-known user on this site!



I am so sorry
posted by The Whelk at 4:04 PM on November 6, 2008


"I don't know if anyone would actually use it."

I frequently have questions that only a dead Negro League center fielder could answer.
posted by klangklangston at 4:33 PM on November 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Did someone just page me?
posted by Astro Zombie at 5:01 PM on November 6, 2008


I peruse AskMe occasionally, but if anyone wants to let me know when there's a good touch/bad touch or baklava question on that'd be fine by me. MeMail in profile.
posted by carsonb at 5:42 PM on November 6, 2008


How 'bout a "Poke Cortex" button?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:56 PM on November 6, 2008


Did someone just page me?

Yea, well we have a situation down here that can only be solved by an undead spaceman.

Really. Shit is fucking crazy.
posted by clearly at 8:45 PM on November 6, 2008


Did someone just page me?

Um. Yes. You see. About the flowers, and the chocolates, and the dancing bear ..just take in good will. Friendly! okay? Just, go on ...and ..live your life. ...and be happy ..and the *choke* best person you can be.


Stupid! Stupid! Stupid! all the best ones! Oh, no. Wait, No. don't fret Bear, you'll patch things up with Colin. He's just going through a lot now. Okay? Lets go get a martini...
posted by The Whelk at 9:54 PM on November 6, 2008


This is a great idea. Every new member could be issued one of these programmed with the member's areas of expertise.
posted by madamjujujive at 3:44 AM on November 7, 2008


This is basically asking for a feature whereby you can email languagehat about linguistics questions and email jessamyn about librarian questions. Those aren't examples; those are literally the only two users who would be contacted.

But Metafilter already has a feature that lets you email them and tell them they should answer a question. You can just send an email -- I'm sure they'd love to hear from you.
posted by Jaltcoh at 4:38 AM on November 7, 2008


I am actually fortunate that there are many capable library types here who can answer library questions as well as or better than me. But we have one (out) neurologist, only a few out lawyers, one out refrigerator repairman and one out folklorist. We have a few people who work for major media [not quite as out] and a few people who I believe are the only MeFites living in their particular country on earth. I've always thought that for most people here who don't take pains to keep their identity private, the information they give out in their questions and comments could be triangulated to pretty much narrow them down to just one actual real life person even if their name or possibly even location, were never given.

It's always been a fun parlor game for me, thinking about what the shortest possible list of descriptors would be that would uniquely identify me, besides totally specific stuff like "MeFi Girl Moderator" I htink for most people on the site, MetaFilter is just one of many places where they answer people's questions, no matter what your skillset.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:03 AM on November 7, 2008


On the other hand, if anyone wants a feed of their pages, let me know.

*plays with Yahoo Pipes*
posted by Pronoiac at 7:19 PM on November 7, 2008


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