, I've been running a little Mefi experiment where I strictly use favorites as references. Please join me inside for some bean cake and snark counseling.
In the previous MeTa I requested an overhaul of the favorites system so we could have upvotes and references. Some hours after posting that MeTa I removed all my favorites so that I could use favorites for references only, i.e. things that I want to read later or follow up on. Now that I've been doing this for almost four months, I would like to share my thoughts.
Removing thousands of favorites took hours and I lost several comments that I really wanted to save (didn't bother reading every single one, just removed them as fast as possible) which kinda sucked.
Not using favorites as upvotes took some time to get used to. I slowly realized that I favorited stuff for a variety of reasons, e.g. to agree with someone, to express gratitude, to express sympathies, etc. Just using favorites for references removed a layer of social interaction, and honestly it often feels asocial and rude not to favorite as the least I can do when someone has written a nice and long comment is to hit the + link.
My new favorites system essentially created a todo list with items I wanted to read later on or stuff that I needed to use as references. For example, I kept a FPP about Hong Kong films for a long time just so I could examine the many individual links.
One thing I've realized with this new approach to favorites is that it's become much easier not
to read stuff. I can favorite FPP's and if I haven't read them within a couple of days I just remove it as a favorite because chances are that I will never read it at all. Less information angst in other words.
To collect interesting comments and posts, I've made a basic list of my Mefi profile page
where I add comments that really strike a chord (interestingly enough, I don't feel the need to keep track of entire FPP's like this). I still haven't found a substitute for the social layer that favorites used to provide (expressing sympathies, saying thanks, etc) without actually writing a comment.
I find the Favorited by others
counter on my profile page a bit addicting, so maybe it is jerk-y that I don't extend the same favoriting courtesy to others.
I'm not sure what the point of this MeTa is beyond providing some anecdata for future discussions. That and I really
needed to get this out of my system.