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Noprocrast
December 28, 2012 11:22 AM   Subscribe

What do people think about adding an anti-procrastination pony to MetaFilter?

This feature comes straight from Hacker News. If a user likes, he or she can enable "noprocrast" in their profile settings, which lets them visit for X minutes before blocking that user for Y minutes. The default is something like 30 minutes with 180 minutes of no procrastination afterwards. It doesn't time out someone making a post. Unlike StayFocusd and other browser- or system- level browsers, that user account can't get around the temporary block because it is on the server.

As someone who has disabled and re-enabled his account twice during especially busy times, I'd like to know if others would find this helpful here on MetaFilter and what the staff thinks about implementing it. I tried searching and I don't believe this is a duplicate request.
posted by michaelh to Feature Requests at 11:22 AM (66 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

I completely understand the need to get things done, but I think this is a feature that works better on the client side. Once you're locked out of Hacker News or MetaFilter there are a million other sites you can visit. If you put a procrastination blocker on your computer, you can block any site you want. I don't think it should be up to each individual website to help people stop procrastinating.
posted by pb (staff) at 11:25 AM on December 28, 2012 [21 favorites]


As a pure concept, I think it's a neat idea.

As something that we'd actually have to implement, I'm not really seeing it. As you note, there do exist client-side solutions for this sort of thing, which may be imperfect but seem like they're 95% of the solution and the other 5% is a skosh of willpower. That's not really a situation where we're likely to put the effort into implementing and maintaining and doing user education for a whole new feature.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:26 AM on December 28, 2012


I just never get around to installing procrastination stuff.
posted by Cranberry at 11:29 AM on December 28, 2012 [28 favorites]


More of a smidge than a skosh, don't you think?
posted by carsonb at 11:29 AM on December 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


Now this is an idea I could spend all day arguing about!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:31 AM on December 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


I think just block Lifehacker and your productivity will soar.
posted by mph at 11:34 AM on December 28, 2012 [5 favorites]


Ooh, ooh, I know! I know! Pick me!

*ahem* The location of this pony is hidden inside of Jessamyn's Frog and Toad story.
posted by gauche at 11:35 AM on December 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


IF THINGS WORKED THAT WELL ON THE CLIENT SIDE WE WOULDNT HAVE TO ASK FOR IT SPECIFICALLY NOW WOULD WE
posted by Madamina at 11:38 AM on December 28, 2012


I don't floss enough. Could PB maybe add an interface to a robot that runs nylon string through my teeth every night before I go to bed?
posted by bondcliff at 11:39 AM on December 28, 2012 [6 favorites]


The problem with Jessamyn's Frog and Toad story is that birds are just as likely to eat Frog and Toad as the cookies, depending on what type of birds they were. Which changes the moral to: might as well eat all the cookies, because tomorrow, you die.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:41 AM on December 28, 2012 [7 favorites]


IF THINGS WORKED THAT WELL ON THE CLIENT SIDE WE WOULDNT HAVE TO ASK FOR IT SPECIFICALLY NOW WOULD WE

There are several options available. Maybe you haven't found one that works well for you yet? Maybe you're joking and I'm not getting it? I don't think it's practical to ask every website that people might use to procrastinate to add this feature. It's not a MetaFilter-specific problem to solve.
posted by pb (staff) at 11:42 AM on December 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


Dear MetaFilter: Please be less interesting.

Thanks,
IRFH
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:43 AM on December 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


I was kidding...................................

I'm really sorry
posted by Madamina at 11:44 AM on December 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


It's not a MetaFilter-specific problem to solve.

Exactly. As much as I'd like to think we put the "attractive" in "attractive nuisance", this is a problem that we do not have a unique need to provide a solution for.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:45 AM on December 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


If you can't control your usage of this site, you are a bad person and one of these days you should think about maybe eventually starting to feel bad about yourself.
posted by drlith at 11:46 AM on December 28, 2012


I want this, but for buzzfeed. I always feel a little dumber when I fall into their click traps of listicles and 20min later I've seen the 15 cutest pugs and 11 hottest celeb butts and learned the 18 funniest autocorrect texts that ended up on the 8 most embarrassing facebook posts.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:47 AM on December 28, 2012 [14 favorites]


If you can't control your usage of this site, you are a bad person and one of these days you should think about maybe eventually starting to feel bad about yourself.

i already do
posted by Madamina at 11:48 AM on December 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


I do feel bad about myself. But as an evil supervillian, that's pretty much a job requirement.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:48 AM on December 28, 2012


I could personally benefit from this but I think it's not going to fly. Mainly because it's a social problem with a technological solution proposed. I totally hear where you're coming from and think it's sort of neat that SE decided to go that way, but they've got a different relationship with their userbase than we do, among other things.

So feel free to just change your password to something you no longer know and that should increase the friction level enough to catch yourself. Also: frog and toad.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:48 AM on December 28, 2012


Michaelh, if you mention what OS and what version you're using, others can chime in with solutions specific to your system.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:51 AM on December 28, 2012


I use Freedom for my Mac. I should be using it right now, but that's on me.
posted by Bookhouse at 11:55 AM on December 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Jessamyn's frog and toad need to post those cookies to themselves. I can vouch for the fact that that works for at least a day or so.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:03 PM on December 28, 2012


If you can't control your usage of this site, you are a bad person and one of these days you should think about maybe eventually starting to feel bad about yourself.

This answer would not fly on AskMe. Clearly, the correct answer is "seek therapy."

The other possible answer is "DTMFA," but, if you had taken that advice, you wouldn't be reading this now, would you, smart guy?
posted by GenjiandProust at 12:18 PM on December 28, 2012


Metafilter: putting the "attractive" in "attractive nuisance"
posted by John Cohen at 12:21 PM on December 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


I always feel a little dumber when I fall into their click traps of listicles and 20min later I've seen the 15 cutest pugs and 11 hottest celeb butts and learned the 18 funniest autocorrect texts that ended up on the 8 most embarrassing facebook posts.

This sounds like a great FPP.
posted by grouse at 1:11 PM on December 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


I use Leechblock personally.

It's trivial for me to get around but that's kind of a feature. If it was hard to get around I'd get too much of a thrill getting around it.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 1:14 PM on December 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


I can stop anytime I want.
posted by Sailormom at 1:45 PM on December 28, 2012


It's not a problem.
posted by Sailormom at 1:46 PM on December 28, 2012


Really.
posted by Sailormom at 1:46 PM on December 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


I always feel a little dumber when I fall into their click traps of listicles and 20min later I've seen the 15 cutest pugs and 11 hottest celeb butts and learned the 18 funniest autocorrect texts that ended up on the 8 most embarrassing facebook posts.

Oh, oh, I know the answer to this one! If you're using Leechblocker, you can add outbrain.com and the other link-handling websites to the list of blocked addresses. This presumably works with other procrastination-blocking apps as well.

Sure, when I hit the block page, I could just google "buzzfeed 10 most delicious chocolate sculptures of birds" or whatever, but that's just too embarrassing. This has changed my life for the better.
posted by daisyk at 1:55 PM on December 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


I always recommend SelfControl.
posted by lalochezia at 2:02 PM on December 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


I use LeechBlock during the semester. On semester break like this, I use my own will power.

...I will be online for the next twelve hours, favoriting answers on AskMe.
posted by RainyJay at 2:19 PM on December 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


I could just google "buzzfeed 10 most delicious chocolate sculptures of birds" or whatever, but that's just too embarrassing.

For the record, this list doesn't exist. I am oddly disappointed.
posted by jeather at 2:19 PM on December 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Productivity is for robots anyway.
posted by The Whelk at 2:36 PM on December 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


Skosh and soda for me, thanks.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 2:38 PM on December 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Double Macallan 18, neat. And a coney dog, with. Keep the change.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:43 PM on December 28, 2012


Double Jameson with a winter ale back, I'm in Dublin and I feel like being cliched.
posted by The Whelk at 2:47 PM on December 28, 2012


Speaking as someone who is not allowed to install ANYTHING AT ALL on my work computer, this would be a godsend.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 3:03 PM on December 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


*Orders double Laphroaig 18.*
*Cliches the Whelk*
posted by trip and a half at 3:04 PM on December 28, 2012


*fully cliched the whelk sings molly malone at the top of his lungs until thrown out *
posted by The Whelk at 3:05 PM on December 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


reminds me to go post thank-yous and mark best answers on my last askme
posted by jfuller at 3:08 PM on December 28, 2012


Thanks all. What works for me about Hacker News' system vs client-side is that I cannot disable it and get to my account and it works on phones, too. It, MeFi and Reddit I find to be engrossing communities at a level above other sites, and I've mostly solved the Reddit problem by subscribing to a few slow-moving subreddits. Server/account based time limiting is a feature that really does work well for me in a way other things don't.
posted by michaelh at 3:32 PM on December 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


I haven't been that great about this lately, but what works for me is not "avoidance of" but "turning towards" something else. I.e., finding something else that captures my interest.

The rules are that it has to be tangible and it can't have a screen.
posted by desjardins at 3:44 PM on December 28, 2012


I think I sounded too simplistic there, but it's really just a perspective shift from negative to positive. I'm not running away from mefi, I'm running towards something else.
posted by desjardins at 3:45 PM on December 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


"See Dougal, this Metafilter is very small, whereas that Metafilter is far away".
posted by arcticseal at 4:20 PM on December 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


Only if visiting Metafilter during the procrastination period would play Storm Troopers of Death "Anti-Procrastination Song"
posted by drezdn at 4:37 PM on December 28, 2012


This is exactly what self control (osx) does. And it's not limited to blocking Mefi. It cannot be undone by a restart so enable carefully. Although every time I do this I end up browsing on my phone.
posted by special-k at 5:15 PM on December 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Is this a first world problem?
posted by JohnnyGunn at 5:17 PM on December 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


I always find that getting arrested and going to jail for a few days or weeks helps me curb my Metafilter usage. Really, you should try it.
posted by item at 5:42 PM on December 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


* six hour and fifteen minute delayed headdesk *
posted by mph at 5:49 PM on December 28, 2012


I'm not running away from mefi, I'm running towards something else.

Don't think you're my first ex to say that.
posted by Meta Filter at 5:55 PM on December 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Absurd.
posted by spitbull at 6:26 PM on December 28, 2012


Skosh and soda for me, thanks.

Sloshed and Skoda for me, if you please.
posted by davejay at 9:18 PM on December 28, 2012


Mefitini
-------
Gin
Smidge of vermouth
Skosh of olives
Shake
posted by special-k at 10:46 PM on December 28, 2012


Why put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow?
posted by Joseph Gurl at 1:50 AM on December 29, 2012


My advice is to develop a cocaine habit, let it get its hooks deep, then cold turkey that shit with style.

After that, keeping yourself from visiting websites will seem trivially easy.

I understand that what has worked for me less from planning than the random milestones of hard-won experience may not work for everyone. This is why I rarely offer advice on AskMe.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:46 AM on December 29, 2012


special-k: "Mefitini
-------
Gin
Smidge of vermouth
Skosh of olives
Shake
"

What the hell?

A WHOLE SMIDGE OF VERMOUTH!

GAAAAAH!

Maybe a pinch, but that's pushing it.
posted by Samizdata at 2:26 PM on December 29, 2012


just shut up and admit you want to drink a whole glass of gin already, all this "scaring" the gin stuff just reeks of compensatiion.
posted by The Whelk at 2:58 PM on December 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


It is like putting the cart before the horse pony.

Use woolgatharing in a sentence.
posted by Pudhoho at 6:21 PM on December 29, 2012


"What? Sorry, I was picking all of a randomly chosen letter out of my alphabet soup. Woo, l-gathering!"
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:28 PM on December 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Swish and dump the vermouth.
No gin; vodka.
posted by maggieb at 8:22 PM on December 29, 2012


Randomly chosen how, Cortex? Do you roll a 26-sided die?
posted by Pudhoho at 8:54 PM on December 29, 2012


Don't be silly. You throw a dart at the bowl of soup.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:54 PM on December 29, 2012


All I have are lawn darts. It's messy. Lemme get a bigger bowl...
posted by Pudhoho at 11:27 PM on December 29, 2012


Anyone know of something similar for iPad?
posted by Homeskillet Freshy Fresh at 12:26 AM on December 30, 2012


That's just called "typing", no?
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane (staff) at 1:23 PM on December 30, 2012


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