I've got these iPhone Metafilerin' Blues
December 5, 2010 11:23 AM   Subscribe

Is it possible to start a new post (in AskMe or MetaTalk, say) using the mobile version of Metafilter? Is it possible to contact the mods using the mobile version? I looked, but I didn't see any way to do so.
posted by leahwrenn to Feature Requests at 11:23 AM (24 comments total)

Not yet. But I hope so soon.

And Random, please? As long as we are kicking around ponies. Nothing I like better than randoming when I'm bored which is usually phone-only time.

Thanks!
posted by tilde at 11:35 AM on December 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm pretty sure both of those things can be done using the regular MeFi web page. The mobile version is supposed to be a sort of stripped-down version of the site for quick reading and commenting. Here's a longer slightly outdated discussion of what we built into the mobile site. You can contact us individually via MeMail using the mobile site, but not get to the contact form.

And, as an aside, we'd like people to be able to access and interact with the site using whatever device they choose, but it would be nice if people didn't do things that would otherwise be sort of not-okay [not making links in AskMe, not using capital letters and whatnot] just because they were posting from their phone. There are a few people in AskMe who have pretty clearly switched to mostly posting from their phones [and doing some of those things] and it's one of those things that doesn't scale well. If you don't have time or tools to make a proper hyperlink or a capital letter, feel free to wait until you're by your computer.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:41 AM on December 5, 2010 [7 favorites]


I so agree with that in practice, jessamyn, but for some reason in principle it makes me cringe. Sorta kinda in the way those requests for automated site-do baubles that are easily addressed on the user end do.
posted by carsonb at 12:55 PM on December 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


We secretly posted some of our AskMe questions via the leading household browser on the regular version of Metafilter.com, and other questions using the new BlackBerry browser, featuring copy-and-paste technology, on the mobile version of Metafilter.

Posting via the mobile version of Metafilter.com: If you can't tell the difference, why should we? ;-)
posted by 2bucksplus at 12:57 PM on December 5, 2010


But seriously, I post questions from my smart phone all the time.
posted by 2bucksplus at 12:59 PM on December 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Don't kick ponies! What'd they ever to do to you?
posted by axiom at 1:32 PM on December 5, 2010


i hardly ever access mefi from my phone and i don't use capital letters. this is a stylistic choice i made long ago and it's weird to see it grouped as a "sort of not ok" behavior.
posted by nadawi at 1:45 PM on December 5, 2010 [3 favorites]


But seriously, I post questions from my smart phone all the time.
posted by 2bucksplus at 3:59 PM on December 5 [+] [!]


You mean just bookmark /random and the post a new question link to work around un-enabled UI? I guess that's fewer therbligs than Jessamyn's idea.
posted by tilde at 2:15 PM on December 5, 2010


The mobile version is supposed to be a sort of stripped-down version of the site for quick reading and commenting.

Speaking only for myself, that's changing, where the mobile version feels underpowered and frustrating to use at times. More and more, I'm living off some sort of mobile device, FWIW. It's not an OMG CHANGE NOW, but it's happening. I would be curious if ya'll are experiencing an uptick in mobile devices using the site, and if so, how much and which ones.
posted by nomadicink at 2:31 PM on December 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


But seriously, I post questions from my smart phone all the time.


Yes, but do you post them from the mobile interface, or do you switch back to the "classic" view?
posted by leahwrenn at 2:32 PM on December 5, 2010


i hardly ever access mefi from my phone and i don't use capital letters. this is a stylistic choice i made long ago and it's weird to see it grouped as a "sort of not ok" behavior.

fuli agri thoz pesci gramer rools are reeli anoyin
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 2:34 PM on December 5, 2010



Yes, but do you post them from the mobile interface, or do you switch back to the "classic" view?


I'm guessing the latter. I should probably test and find out.

One less therblig than Jessamyn's step, once set up, but over a lifetime ...
posted by tilde at 3:30 PM on December 5, 2010


It would be cool if we could remove threads from Recent Activity on the mobile version.

And play Minecraft too.
posted by nomadicink at 3:53 PM on December 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Nope, it's staying as the "mobile" version - no need to go back to "standard site".

The "post a new question" links I tested were:

http://metatalk.metafilter.com/contribute/post.cfm

http://www.metafilter.com/contribute/post.cfm

http://ask.metafilter.com/contribute/post.cfm

Though I didn't actually commit posts.

Contact works as well:

http://www.metafilter.com/contact

Random appears to work for the mainsite, but you're probably best off entering that url manually:

http://www.metafilter.com/random
http://ask.metafilter.com/random

So they are functional, just not applied as shortcuts to the interface. Bookmark 'em until they're added, I guess. At least we don't have to force it back and forth to the standard site, squeeze and pinch and juggle, etc. I just was being a stupid user and assuming if it weren't linked, it was not coded and non-functional.
posted by tilde at 4:02 PM on December 5, 2010


The urls work, but there is no navigation to them. You could just bookmark them in non-mobile then switch back.
posted by Artw at 4:14 PM on December 5, 2010


I post from the mobile site all the time, BTW. It works fine.

A word of warning: the chances of some kind of embarassing screw up creeping in are much, much higher when posting from a phone.
posted by Artw at 4:17 PM on December 5, 2010


I find it a bit short sighted in 2010 to consider the mobile site to be inferior to the standard site, considering the percentage of smart phones out there. The phones will work, the pages will work, the browsers work, why not update the page?
posted by cavalier at 4:44 PM on December 5, 2010


I find it a bit short sighted in 2010 to consider the mobile site to be inferior to the standard site, considering the percentage of smart phones out there. The phones will work, the pages will work, the browsers work, why not update the page

At last count (no cite, just heard it recently) 38% of cell phones in use in the US are smart phones (I don't usually do work for int'l or L10N so I don't have numbers for non US).

I actually thought that was kind of high; then again I just saw a graph of market share and was surprised crackberries were so huge.

Maybe the frequency at which this question is asked, coupled with an updated analysis of site traffic will prompt a change.

Just adding all these ponies we want strung at the bottom might not be great. Longer ui than content. Maybe one link for "new post" that is smart enough to throw you to the one for the subsite you are on (same for random).

Alternatively, if a smart link like that is impractical, open a page that lets you pick where to post or random.

And contact the mods make three added links. You could lose profile, mail, and recent activity by sticking them on the preferecens page.

Another idea ( though more expensive) would be to allow mobile users to DIY their menu.

Or be able to set one custom link, either just above the menu or opposite the menu jump.

Also, could add FAQ to the new pref page. Or the main menu; we have to design not only for current but also future users. I would have put that more logically in my post sequence here, but I have not yet mastered the delicate art of scrolling through the tiny "enter text" box on the touchscreen. I can do it but it is ($&&)$$5,)7 annoying.
posted by tilde at 5:59 PM on December 5, 2010


Stop posting and drive the damned school bus.
posted by jonmc at 6:29 PM on December 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


What's a "automated site-do baubles" do?
posted by cjorgensen at 6:35 PM on December 5, 2010


I find it a bit short sighted in 2010 to consider the mobile site to be inferior to the standard site, considering the percentage of smart phones out there. The phones will work, the pages will work, the browsers work, why not update the page?

It's not a question of considering the mobile site "inferior", it's a question of not wanting to have to support and maintain two full-featured interfaces to the same site, especially when the mobile site is such a moving target and a potential pain in the ass to make work for a variety of mobile browsers and form factors.

I would bet good donuts that over time we will see refinements to how the mobile stylesheet works. That said, at the moment if you need something from the standard stylesheet, you can get at it by enabling that. We're not crippling the site on phones, we're providing a stripped down interface as a default for mobile devices because the full interface is not a great fit for the current generation of smart phones. The current mobile interface is also fairly simple to maintain, and I get the feeling Matt and Paul would like to keep it that way for the sake of their ongoing sanity.

"Update the page" is one of those things that sounds simple but is in practice not remotely simple. If it were simple, we'd do it in a heartbeat.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:08 PM on December 5, 2010 [3 favorites]


I find it a bit short sighted in 2010 to consider the mobile site to be inferior to the standard site, considering the percentage of smart phones out there. The phones will work, the pages will work, the browsers work, why not update the page?

You had me until that last bit. MeFi works fine on my iPhone. (I presume it works as well on comparable phones, it's not a flash-heavy site or anything otherwise problematic.) I've never felt the need to use an app.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 8:58 PM on December 5, 2010


What modern smartphone even needs the mobile site? Even my decidedly not-modern E75 does fine with the full meta.
posted by wierdo at 11:59 AM on December 6, 2010


What modern smartphone even needs the mobile site? Even my decidedly not-modern E75 does fine with the full meta.
posted by wierdo at 2:59 PM on December 6 [+] [!]


Not everyone has the latest and coolest phone so it's reasonable to have a basic CSS most can handle.

My phone theoreticasky can handle the full meta but not to my heavy user standards; too much pinching and squeezing and crap to read it.

Contrast to mobile one that is quick and seamless, but missing a few heavily used options (boy did I miss remove from recent activity today!!!).

In usability terms, you dont want to be font fondling. Detect a mobile browser, send a cookie to set mobile or full meta CSS and work without fuss.

The stripped speedy site works. Love it would almost never come here on phone on full meta. Just want a few ponies I try not to whine for too much.
posted by tilde at 11:14 AM on December 7, 2010


« Older America's copyeditors would li...  |  Life, as it turns out can be s... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments