Flagged as appreciative March 26, 2012 8:44 PM   Subscribe

Whether it's by happenstance or by design, the increasing sidebarring of fantastic posts is greatly appreciated.

I'm a user that can't dig into every post on all three subsites, and I really appreciate the sidebar surfacing the great stuff. Whether there's more great stuff, more use of the "fantastic" flag, or just an effort by the mods to sidebar more, I like it a lot. Thanks!
posted by stupidsexyFlanders to Etiquette/Policy at 8:44 PM (37 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

Previously. Also previously.

Also, thanks, Team Mod. Doin' a great job on the sidebar!
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 8:49 PM on March 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


Ditto. I learn some amazingly cool stuff via the sidebar, which I would otherwise miss because the question/post didn't originally grab my attention.
posted by malibustacey9999 at 8:57 PM on March 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yes, I'm thrilled to see the sidebar being more active. It's led me to things I would have otherwise overlooked, and hope to see it continue well into the future. Thanks much to Team Mod for keeping the sidebar active!
posted by hippybear at 9:19 PM on March 26, 2012


Also useful, the popular favorited comments list mirrors the sidebar pretty closely.
posted by smackfu at 9:21 PM on March 26, 2012


The many of the comments on the popular favorited comments list got there because of the sidebar, so Yay sidebar!
posted by Blasdelb at 9:57 PM on March 26, 2012


Yes, thank you sidebar fairys!
posted by not_on_display at 9:59 PM on March 26, 2012


Also useful, the popular favorited comments list mirrors the sidebar pretty closely.

It'd be interesting to compare the time of sidebarring with the time of favoriting. These comments will have received many favorites before sidebarring, and after it as many new eyes are drawn to the comment.
posted by grouse at 10:32 PM on March 26, 2012


Yah, there's been some really good stuff lately.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 11:38 PM on March 26, 2012


Can we get an option in our settings to hide deck ads permanently, and get more sidebar?

Guess what? I gotta fever. And the only prescription is more sidebar.
posted by karathrace at 11:49 PM on March 26, 2012


Isn't there a hide link on the Deck ads? Not sure how long it persists for until it pops up again.
posted by arcticseal at 12:07 AM on March 27, 2012


Am I the only one that thinks it weird to thank the mods for the great comments showing up on the sidebar?

Assuming the quality distribution of comments is relatively stable over time, then an increased rate to the sidebar means the mods are less discerning, not more. And in any case, users are making the comments, not mods.
posted by DU at 2:57 AM on March 27, 2012


DU, we're thanking the mods for bringing interesting stuff to our attention that we may have otherwise missed. Nothing more or less than that.

I personally don't care about the level of assumption of quality distribution of comments, or if the mods are less discerning or not. Insert shrugging of shoulders here.

I just find that more often now the sidebar leads me to read something that I may not have read, and I enjoy it, and it's good manners to thank people for doing something that you enjoy.
posted by malibustacey9999 at 3:16 AM on March 27, 2012


DU: Am I the only one that thinks it weird to thank the mods for the great comments showing up on the sidebar?

You'll be able to tell how popular that idea is by whether or not your comment shows up on the sidebar.
posted by gman at 3:53 AM on March 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


Also loving the sidebar. Thanks mods!
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 4:27 AM on March 27, 2012


Assuming the quality distribution of comments is relatively stable over time, then an increased rate to the sidebar means the mods are less discerning, not more.

This absolutely makes no sense.
posted by mediareport at 4:39 AM on March 27, 2012


Yes, some great sidebar posts lately.
posted by rmd1023 at 4:48 AM on March 27, 2012


I think the increasing rate to the sidebar just means someone reminded the mods they were actually supposed to be looking at the flags and adding stuff.
posted by smackfu at 5:36 AM on March 27, 2012


And reminded users that flagging stuff as fantastic was worth doing if they wanted to see more fantastic stuff on the sidebar.
posted by mediareport at 5:42 AM on March 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


I, for one, welcome our new MetaMetaFilterFilter.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 5:45 AM on March 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've been trying to flag fantastic more often. Dunno if that makes me all "yay groupthink" or not..
posted by k5.user at 6:39 AM on March 27, 2012


Assuming the quality distribution of comments is relatively stable over time, then an increased rate to the sidebar means the mods are less discerning, not more. And in any case, users are making the comments, not mods.

There's a combination of stuff really. In order for stuff to get on the sidebar usually

- the community has to notice it, then
- the mods notice it, then
- the mods check to see if it's one of the people who is always getting favorited/sidebarred, then
- the mods check to see if the comment is one of those super-personal things that might not benefit from more eyeballs, then
- the mods write a little blurb and toss it up there, then
- usually then I fix the typos I made the first time ;)

someone reminded the mods they were actually supposed to be looking at the flags and adding stuff.

That's sort of a weird way to put it, but yeah really once hippybear made the post in MeTa "Hey more sidebar stuff please" I've made more of an effort to try to get stuff up there more regularly. A lot of the moderating work is sort of dealing with stuff as it comes up, email and flags and whatnot. Stuff like maintaining the FAQ or the wiki pages or the sidebar can sometimes get pushed further down the list because the site is busy or we are traveling or just plain old forgetful. Thanks for continuing to use the fantastic flag, it helps.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:43 AM on March 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


The only problem I have with the Sidebar is that I sometimes ignore it because it gets buried "below the fold" due to Contact Activity. I know I can hide Contact Activity, but if I hide that, I forget to unhide it, and I miss seeing what my victims buddies are up to.

Would it be possible to allow a three-column view via Preferences?
posted by Rock Steady at 7:21 AM on March 27, 2012


I think we have some sidebar-enhancing ideas planned that I don't know too much about so I think a three panel view isn't likely but another way to get access to the great content of the sidebar and elsewhere is in the works [we've discussed it a bit, not sure when and if its coming to fruition] so a definite maybe for better access.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:42 AM on March 27, 2012


It'd be interesting to compare the time of sidebarring with the time of favoriting. These comments will have received many favorites before sidebarring, and after it as many new eyes are drawn to the comment.

This is in principle doable, if anyone feels like wanking the data; you can certainly look at favoriting activity very finely on a time scale because the Infodump has to-the-millisecond timestamp info on when favorites were added. I don't know for sure if we have fine-grained time info for the sidebar posts or if it's visible or internal data if we do, but in any case you could probably safely identify the moment of sidebarring just based on the sudden inflection in the rate of favoriting of that item.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:33 AM on March 27, 2012


another way to get access to the great content of the sidebar and elsewhere

Is it a video of cortex walking into the bottom of the screen and announcing new sidebar items? Because I hope it is.
posted by Rock Steady at 10:07 AM on March 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Interesting. I had not once looked at the sidebar, not even briefly, until I read this. I guess my brain just says "that’s where the ads are". It took me a few minutes to even figure out what anyone was talking about. I’m still not sure what exactly it’s telling me.
posted by bongo_x at 10:42 AM on March 27, 2012


wanking the data

You've just thrown my plans for this evening -- sitting alone in the lab wrestling massaging analysing some data -- into a very strange new light. I'm not sure how I feel about this.
posted by metaBugs at 11:50 AM on March 27, 2012


That could very nearly have been witty if only I could type. That'll teach me not to trust the live preview.
No, it probably won't
posted by metaBugs at 11:54 AM on March 27, 2012


I hate to see a tag-matching debacle run away, so I tried to fix it, but now you mentioned the error so everybody knows your shame anyway. It's like the Gift of the Magi but for metatalk comment editing.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:55 AM on March 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well, if I was ever to have a public shaming in metatalk, this is probably one of the softer alternatives.
posted by metaBugs at 12:02 PM on March 27, 2012


The sidebar isn't covered in the Infodump, & there are other reasons for inflection points - shoutouts on Metatalk come to mind.
posted by Pronoiac at 2:53 PM on March 27, 2012


True, but you can get at minimum the date of a sidebar entry from the archives, and actual timestamp from the RSS feed for recent items. If you want to dig into this stuff I'm sure we could whip up a proper timestamped dump of the full sidebar archives.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:58 PM on March 27, 2012


Assuming the quality distribution of comments is relatively stable over time, then an increased rate to the sidebar means the mods are less discerning, not more. And in any case, users are making the comments, not mods.

The sidebar was completely inactive for nearly a month not too long ago.

In the month of March, there have been 10 posts to the sidebar.

February had 10 posts to the sidebar; January had 15.

Randon clicking through the sidebar archive shows that any typical month will get between 7 and 15 items put in the sidebar.

I don't know if that's too many, but it doesn't seem like many to me and feels like it's enough to keep me looking back to see if anything new has been added without making me feel like I'm having lower-quality things posted there. Of course, when it comes to judgements about quality, YMMV.

It's just nice to see it active instead of not seeing anything new there for weeks and weeks like we did in December.
posted by hippybear at 8:30 PM on March 27, 2012


I've been wondering for a while about the official name of the sidebar. When did it change from "sideblog" to "sidebar"? It's clear that everyone in this thread is calling it the "sidebar" and the action has almost always been "sidebarring," rather than "sideblogging but the archives show conflicting usage for the label itself, almost from the get-go. All the MetaFilter site navigation, RSS urls and Twitter presence use the term "sideblog" but that seems increasingly out of touch with actual usage. Are the links and feed titles difficult to change?
posted by Jeff Howard at 1:39 AM on March 28, 2012


The sidebar was completely inactive for nearly a month not too long ago. ...

instead of not seeing anything new there for weeks and weeks like we did in December.


Yes, it was US holidaytime and I was getting ready to have surgery so had other things on my mind. We were all pretty busy. Before that, we hadn't had a three week period with no sidebar posts since December 2007 if you want to get nitpicky about it. There may be other gaps in the future and we'd appreciate your patience and understanding.

Are the links and feed titles difficult to change?

The sidebar used to be a Blogger blog that we repurposed the RSS feed from into the sidebar format. At some point we stopped using Blogger and went to a homegrown solution. It's a small blog that runs on the sidebar, so if you're reading it somewhere that is not the site itself, it looks like its own blog. If you're reading it on the site, it's pretty clearly the sidebar.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:38 AM on March 28, 2012


I've noticed this and appreciated it as well. Thanks mods!
posted by Defenestrator at 11:09 PM on March 28, 2012


I favorited and flagged as fantastic, but I think this comment in AskMe about early 20th century American restaurant fare is fascinating, and anyone who likes good comments should check it out.
posted by Night_owl at 12:07 AM on March 30, 2012


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