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IRL Alerts
December 9, 2010 11:38 AM   Subscribe

Introducing: IRL Alerts. Find out when someone posts an IRL event taking place near you via MeFi Mail.

Ever since we launched IRL in August we've had a steady stream of requests for making IRL events more visible. We've discussed several options, weighed their pros and cons, and decided to go with nightly MeFi Mail Alerts. Around midnight Pacific Time, the server will check and see if any new events have been posted near you within the last 24 hours. If so, you'll get a MeFi Mail listing the events. The alerts will include all event categories and proposed events. If that sounds like something you'd like to get, here's how you can turn on IRL alerts:
  1. Make sure you set a longitude/latitude for your profile if you haven't already.
  2. Check the value for Nearby is in your site preferences to make sure it's realistic. The default is 100 miles, but "near" will be wildly different depending on where you live. (Google is a handy way to convert km to miles if you need to.)
  3. Check the new "Receive IRL alerts?" option in your site preferences and click "Save your Preferences" at the bottom of the page.
That will tell us you want IRL Alerts. If you have the option checked to "Forward MeFi Mail to email?" you'll also receive IRL Alerts in your email inbox. And of course IRL Alerts won't be an option if you don't have a longitude/latitude set or if you have MeFi Mail disabled.

Post here if you have any questions, concerns, or problems. Thanks!
posted by pb to Feature Requests at 11:38 AM (58 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

Yay! Thank you!
posted by rtha at 11:40 AM on December 9, 2010


My pony! It came to life! Thank you!
posted by stoneweaver at 11:46 AM on December 9, 2010


I came here to post "Yay!" but rtha took my answer.
posted by FishBike at 11:46 AM on December 9, 2010


Neato! Thanks!

on preview, what FishBike said.
posted by ibmcginty at 11:47 AM on December 9, 2010


yippppppeeee!
posted by typewriter at 11:48 AM on December 9, 2010


This combined with my pony that made the nearby customizable is the bees knees.

THE BEES KNEES.
posted by deezil at 11:50 AM on December 9, 2010


This has cured my hangover, it's a miracle!!
posted by nomadicink at 11:57 AM on December 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Thank you. I totally forgot about IRL, which is weird, because it's right next to "metatalk" which I click on ~50 times a day.

Now I will be able to read metatalk with my friends, IRL!
posted by Think_Long at 11:57 AM on December 9, 2010


Love this!
posted by ColdChef at 12:01 PM on December 9, 2010


Thanks, that's great!
posted by restless_nomad at 12:03 PM on December 9, 2010


Yay! Thank you!
posted by Elsa at 12:04 PM on December 9, 2010


Very cute pony.
posted by JanetLand at 12:09 PM on December 9, 2010


Thanks.
posted by Splunge at 12:09 PM on December 9, 2010


Woo!
posted by rhapsodie at 12:12 PM on December 9, 2010


Excellent. 100 miles of local events!

any day now...
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:17 PM on December 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


Very nice, thank you. I often forget to check IRL.
posted by QIbHom at 12:20 PM on December 9, 2010


Kind of perfect that Google's default ground zero for NYC is a Radio Shack near the corner of Duane and Reade.


Also, yay and thanks!
posted by CunningLinguist at 12:24 PM on December 9, 2010


yay! thanks!
posted by rmd1023 at 12:31 PM on December 9, 2010


You are the Duke of IRL, pb.
posted by Abiezer at 12:40 PM on December 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


IRLerts!
posted by dirtdirt at 12:41 PM on December 9, 2010


This is what I pictured when I read "IRL alerts".
FADE IN

INT. DESK IN CUBICLE

A man sits at a keyboard. He is working
diligently, but not particularly passionately.

INT. ELEVATOR DOORS

Elevator doors open, revealing Jessamyn

INT. GENERIC CUBICLE FARM

Jessamyn walks between the cubicles. She
turns left, then right. At the next intersection,
she stops and pulls a small piece of paper from
her pocket. We can't see what it says. She
turns around.

INT. DESK IN CUBICLE

The man sighs. He takes a sip of coffee. It is
lukewarm. He scowls at it, but then takes
another sip.

INT. GENERIC CUBICLE FARM

Jessamyn turns a corner.

                                JESSAMYN
               Hey, uh, --

Jessamyn looks at the piece of paper in her hand.

               -- Plutor?

INT. DESK IN CUBICLE

The man turns around in his chair. Jessamyn
is standing just behind him.

                                PLUTOR
               Yes?

                                JESSAMYN
               There's a new comment in that AskMe thread you
               posted about your rash.

                                PLUTOR
               Oh, great. Thanks.

Plutor turns back to his computer. He
opens a web browser, and clicks a bookmark
labeled "MetaFilter".

INT. OUTSIDE ELEVATOR

Jessamyn steps onto the elevator. The doors
close.

FADE OUT
posted by Plutor at 12:44 PM on December 9, 2010 [36 favorites]


What a fantastic idea! Thank you!
posted by EatTheWeak at 12:48 PM on December 9, 2010


100 miles. That's half our country.
How am I going to chose among all the Dutch meetups?
posted by joost de vries at 12:57 PM on December 9, 2010


pb: Check the value for Nearby is in your site preferences to make sure it's realistic.

Was this there before? If not, thanks so much for adding it! If I missed it, never mind!

And thanks for the potential for notices!
posted by filthy light thief at 12:59 PM on December 9, 2010


Can you add an algorithm to slowly ratchet up the passive-aggressive tone of the Mail to get people to attend events? I'm thinking something like this:

2 weeks out - "Hey! There's a meetup in your area soon!"
10 days out - "Just wanted to remind you about that meetup. Doesn't look like there's anything in your calender for that day just yet... and you haven't looked the IRL page yet."
1 week out - "So you're going to attend the meetup, right? I mean, it's not like you have anything better to do. Your blood elf will be fine alone for an evening."
5 days out - "I noticed you haven't noted on the IRL page that you're attending the meetup. I mean you're going, right? I'll just set your status to 'attending' for you."
4 days out - "Your Metafilter t-shirt was still in the laundry, so I cleaned it for you so you can wear it to the meetup!"
3 days out - hyperlinks to Miss Manners, the venue's web page, Google Maps directions, and a coupon for Tide Stain Pens
2 days out - "Jeff called, something about wanting to hang out in a couple days? I told him you were busy meeting some friends from the Internet."
Day before - "Hope you're still going to the meetup. I know you wouldn't want to disappoint your Internet Friends."
2 hours before - "I called you a cab. It'll be here in 15 minutes, you'd better get your Metafilter shirt on!"
posted by backseatpilot at 1:00 PM on December 9, 2010 [6 favorites]


What a fantastic idea! Thank you!

Whoa, dial it down it notch. We can't all be fit in Plutor's cubicle.
posted by nomadicink at 1:04 PM on December 9, 2010


joost de vries: 100 miles. That's half our country.

100 miles in my area is far enough to get to another moderately large city, but no one really lives there.

100 miles = 38 other MeFites in my area
125 miles = 53 other MeFites
150 miles = 175 other MeFites
175 miles = 429 other MeFites
200 miles = 800 other MeFites
posted by filthy light thief at 1:06 PM on December 9, 2010


...and suddenly it is useful.
posted by Artw at 1:07 PM on December 9, 2010


Sadly, this reinforces the fact I'm the only MeFite within 150 miles, and apparently there are only 5 of us in my province. I should recruit more.
posted by lizbunny at 1:09 PM on December 9, 2010


Was this there before?

Yep! We added variable "nearby" distances shortly after the IRL launch.

Can you add an algorithm to slowly ratchet up...

You joke, but that has been a fairly frequent request. (Well, not exactly like that.) We discussed recurring reminders and decided that one alert when the post is new is enough. We have lots of features including adding to Google Calendar, iCal/RSS feeds, and Recent Activity that can help you remember the date or keep up with the thread.
posted by pb (staff) at 1:11 PM on December 9, 2010


My pony! It came to life! Thank you!

Your pony?!

Seriously, though, this is great. So far I'm batting 1.000 in pony requests! What to ask for next? One question, though: What happened to the beer stein widget idea? There were some questions about technical feasibility, I remember. Anyway, thanks again. This will be a great help in trying to get Tokyo folk together.
posted by Ghidorah at 1:24 PM on December 9, 2010


What happened to the beer stein widget idea?

We liked the idea and it almost happened, but we ultimately decided that MeFi Mail would be more visible. We worried that a tiny beer stein icon would be missed by a good number of folks, but MeFi Mail mail (with the option to go to your email address) would be hard to ignore.
posted by pb (staff) at 1:29 PM on December 9, 2010


This is good, thanks!

Now if you could only fix the bug that makes it so there are hardly any Boston area meet-ups, that would rule.

Yes, I know I have the power to do something about that myself but it's much easier if someone else does it.
posted by bondcliff at 1:39 PM on December 9, 2010


Elevator doors open, revealing Jessamyn
--Plutor

take it to alt.slashfic.metafilter please

By the way, pb, this is great, thanks!
posted by not_on_display at 1:54 PM on December 9, 2010


It's a quonsar miracle! Thanks pb! You're the man!
posted by chara at 2:00 PM on December 9, 2010


good to know, pb. Thanks again for the pony. I'm gonna name it Sparkles!
posted by Ghidorah at 2:01 PM on December 9, 2010


This is fantastic, thanks!

I think I've mentioned something like this before, but would it be possible to set it so that you can enter a location in your profile but hide it from the public view? I'm not super concerned about this and I know that I could just mark a location in the middle of town or something but it would be fantastic if I could include my general ocation but not have it visible, and I suspect that there are a number of MeFites who are concerned about privacy issues who would appreciate this as well. Either way, thank you, this is awesome!
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 2:03 PM on December 9, 2010


This is super-neato! Thanks!
posted by gomichild at 2:11 PM on December 9, 2010


Thanks, pb, for this longed-for pony!
posted by Lynsey at 2:24 PM on December 9, 2010


This is great. Shame that I'm never going to get a notification.
posted by Memo at 2:30 PM on December 9, 2010


In my dreams, I made a little stuffed pony with IRL stitched on its bridle. I meant to send it to you, but it was just so cuddly I kept it.

(In retrospect, my excitement over it coming to life did make it sound like I proposed it. Which is not what I meant at all. I just need to make nice little padded shoes so it stops scratching the floor while it runs around the house excitedly.)
posted by stoneweaver at 2:31 PM on December 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is for all events, right? There is currently no way to set it for only specific types of IRL events, correct?
posted by Eideteker at 2:48 PM on December 9, 2010


Hellz yes.
posted by Scientist at 2:49 PM on December 9, 2010


Now I'll never miss a meet-up because I didn't know about it again!

From now on, we'll all know it's through sheer fecklessness.
posted by Zed at 2:56 PM on December 9, 2010


This is for all events, right?

Yep, all events of any type including proposed.
posted by pb (staff) at 3:00 PM on December 9, 2010


Thanks much.
posted by AugustWest at 3:25 PM on December 9, 2010


100 miles. That's half our country.

Actually, given that a circle with a 100-mile radius has a 200-mile diameter, such a circle can accommodate most of the area of the Netherlands — chopping off parts of Groningen, Zeeland and/or Limburg depending on the circle's centre.

Given my prejudices toward the outer provinces, I would support the creation of such a circle.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 4:11 PM on December 9, 2010 [4 favorites]


Nifty!
posted by deborah at 5:13 PM on December 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


I might get some MeMail now!
posted by Night_owl at 5:55 PM on December 9, 2010


Thanks pb, this will be great.

joost de vries writes "100 miles. That's half our country. "

100 miles barely gets me out of my regional district and less than half way to my province's capital. There are only 3 users within 100 miles of me. It's not till I crank it up to 320 kilometres to grab Vancouver in the net that I get significant nearby users (and then only 98).
posted by Mitheral at 7:10 PM on December 9, 2010


Thank you.
posted by galadriel at 8:02 PM on December 9, 2010


100 miles will get me Austin and San Antonio but I may need to up it to get Houston. This is a great pony. Thanks ever so much!
posted by immlass at 8:06 PM on December 9, 2010


Wow, not even Christmas and everyone gets ponies.
posted by Deathalicious at 6:13 AM on December 10, 2010


This is terrific. Thanks, pb.
posted by tangerine at 8:29 PM on December 10, 2010


Very cool.

Wish you could program it to catch anyone traveling within 100 miles from me (near Fethiye, Turkey?) ... right now there aren't any mefites within 300 miles of me!!

No meetups, I guess?
posted by Surfurrus at 3:41 AM on December 11, 2010


There is no box on my profile page to click on where it says receive IRL alerts. Also, the boxes for the other choices seem to be in the wrong places. Am I on AlterMefi?
posted by Hobgoblin at 4:25 AM on December 28, 2010


It's in the second box, which is labeled "Contact Preferences". It's the fourth of five checkboxes, between "Opt-out of MeFi Mail reminders?" and "Opt-out of MeFi Mail?"
posted by Plutor at 5:40 AM on December 28, 2010


Also, this is on your preferences page, not your actual profile. That might also be a source of confusion.
posted by Plutor at 5:40 AM on December 28, 2010


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