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diachronic panposticon May 3, 2013 3:30 PM   Subscribe

Now you can use MeFi in the present and the past! jjwiseman made this cool thing.

According to the creator: Secret Metafilter highlights discussions that are still active on older Metafilter posts. The idea comes from Metafilter user painquale, who wished there was a way to easily find older, active threads, and called the body of such threads "Secret Metafilter."

Thought this would be worth posting outside of Projects since the dark-blue (can this be a thing?) seems to get pretty low traffic, and this tool struck me as a neat way to keep abreast of the undead stirrings of posts one might not otherwise think to go back to.

(Originally posted this to the blue but was recommended to put it here instead.)
posted by threeants to MetaFilter-Related at 3:30 PM (58 comments total) 56 users marked this as a favorite

Otherwise known as "Homunculus' blog".

but seriously this is cool
posted by selfnoise at 3:35 PM on May 3, 2013 [25 favorites]


Great, I might as well just fall into the fucking computer, or go up stairs and take a electric shower.
posted by QueerAngel28 at 3:37 PM on May 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


I really like hanging out in threads that go on for weeks and weeks, and feel lucky when I accidentally find myself in one. I'm pleased that there's now a way to easily find others that are going on. Thanks for making this, jjwiseman. It's something I've wanted for a long time.
posted by painquale at 3:42 PM on May 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


Aka: We Are Still Talking About Mad Men.
posted by The Whelk at 3:44 PM on May 3, 2013 [10 favorites]


Rumor has it they'll be rolling out the prototype for Future Metafilter within the week. I can't reveal too much, but the Victorianpunk rebranding as Meta Fucking Filter is a pretty interesting turn of events. (Some really intense introspective poetry being posted to the black, in any case.)
posted by threeants at 3:46 PM on May 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


This is amazing. Adding to the list of things I must obsessively check.
posted by ocherdraco at 3:48 PM on May 3, 2013


I can imagine that people who are spoiler-sensitive should use this with caution. Threads about TV shows tend to turn into spoilerville after the non-diehards leave.
posted by painquale at 3:56 PM on May 3, 2013


cool.bookmarked.thanks.muchly.
posted by lampshade at 3:57 PM on May 3, 2013


Ah, shit. I guess we're going to have to close down the 2005 cybersex orgy thread now.
posted by Decani at 3:59 PM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


I imagine a MetaFilter cyber sex thread as the equivalent of being fucked by somebody who you thought was really hot and talented but who just won't end even though it's obvious you're already done with the whole deal.

That said, I already love Secret Metafilter.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 4:02 PM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Wow, really shows homunculus at work. I did some analysis on favorites in another MeTa thread and wondered how he ended up this extreme position on the scatter plot of favorites-to-comment ratio vs. comments, but I guess if a large proportion of your comments are made way after most people stop reading the thread, it's difficult to scoop up the favorites.
posted by pravit at 4:04 PM on May 3, 2013 [6 favorites]


I'm not taking it seriously until it's available in black text on white background, the way Metafilter is supposed to be viewed.
posted by item at 4:11 PM on May 3, 2013 [5 favorites]


because seeing the blue background jars the everliving fuck out of me for some reason. I feel like I'm reading mefi at the library or something.
posted by item at 4:12 PM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


I guess if a large proportion of your comments are made way after most people stop reading the thread, it's difficult to scoop up the favorites.

A lot of my favorite commenters have pretty low favorite/comment ratios, and I've often suspected that it's because they get into conversations.
posted by painquale at 4:32 PM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Whoa, you ever suddenly get the feeling that you're being watched? Weird.

*shivers*
posted by homunculus at 4:54 PM on May 3, 2013 [13 favorites]


Dang, now I really miss ericb.
posted by homunculus at 4:55 PM on May 3, 2013 [7 favorites]


Now there can be fewer Game of Thrones threads?
posted by cjorgensen at 5:10 PM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Quick! We've got 29 days to do a version for the gray and close the MeTa meta MeTa loop!

(this is seriously GREAT)
posted by iamkimiam at 5:12 PM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


I don't comment a lot, and had only seen occasional threads in my Recent Activity that went on long after the original post, so it's been eye-opening to see just how much discussion there is long after a post goes up.

It's made me feel a little sad about the still-active threads that are coming up on their termination dates, like the Bitcoin thread and the Mad Men thread. Suddenly Metafilter feels a little more like Logan's Run.

This was a sick day project, and I'm still not totally recovered so maybe I'll add some of the other popular color themes before I get healthy.
posted by jjwiseman at 5:20 PM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Also, I'm glad many of you like it, and thanks for the inspiration, painquale.
posted by jjwiseman at 5:21 PM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


This is rather good and will get used by me. Thanks for extending the rabbithole.
posted by arcticseal at 6:11 PM on May 3, 2013


Definitely cool. What happened to ericb? I mean, he's not dead or something like that, right?
posted by Mister_A at 6:36 PM on May 3, 2013


That scatter plot makes me miss flex.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 6:36 PM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


What happened to ericb?

Here.
posted by homunculus at 6:41 PM on May 3, 2013


Whoa. Cool thing.
posted by rtha at 6:56 PM on May 3, 2013


This is awesome.
posted by Phire at 7:39 PM on May 3, 2013


What a neat thing.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:57 PM on May 3, 2013


This is great, thanks jjwiseman. I also like the long threads that spark conversations. I've been trying to get in the habit of using Recent Activity, but something about the layout makes me give up after two seconds of scrolling and I keep defaulting to my 400-Tabs Method of keeping up with posts.

homunculus: "Dang, now I really miss ericb."

Aw, crap.
posted by Room 641-A at 8:55 PM on May 3, 2013


Doesn't anyone else just use the "recent comments" tab?
posted by Curious Artificer at 8:56 PM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Just to note, please do not post content-free comments to amuse users of this tool. I get that it's a fun new toy, but...
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 8:59 PM on May 3, 2013


Doesn't anyone else just use the "recent comments" tab?

Oh, hey, that's a thing that exists.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 9:01 PM on May 3, 2013


Rustic Etruscan: " Oh, hey, that's a thing that exists."

Whoa. I have so many bad user-habits to unlearn.
posted by Room 641-A at 9:47 PM on May 3, 2013


It took me an embarrassingly long time to realize that, under "Recent Activity", there's a "My Favorites" tab to see activity from posts I've favorited.
posted by jcreigh at 10:47 PM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


item, you should be able to change color now. (Unless you're using Firefox. Sorry.)
posted by jjwiseman at 11:47 PM on May 3, 2013


This is great, because it always used to annoy me when people would say "post it as a comment in the open thread" and I'd be like "sure thing, where no one will read it ever".
posted by DecemberBoy at 2:50 AM on May 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


People, I'm telling you. If you are not using Recent Activity you are missing out! I know, I know, I was once like you, but it improves the MeFi experience so much.

This is really cool, and will make it easier to find active Doctor Who threads.
posted by Rock Steady at 5:04 AM on May 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


Careful; nanny's watching.
posted by adamvasco at 7:01 AM on May 4, 2013


under "Recent Activity", there's a "My Favorites" tab to see activity from posts I've favorited

Mind blown.
posted by arcticseal at 7:06 AM on May 4, 2013 [4 favorites]


I feel like I should become a prophet of Recent Activity, threads you thought dead will rise again my brothers!
posted by The Whelk at 7:19 AM on May 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


A question for the moderators: What, if any, are the guidelines/rules for scraping MetaFilter?
posted by JeffL at 9:58 AM on May 4, 2013


You mean there's stuff that happens outside of Recent Activity? *peers around screen*
posted by infini at 10:43 AM on May 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


I will investigate this app, which looks awesome, but I also want to say how much I love Recent Activity. I am totally one of those people who is happy to see older threads pop up, and sometimes even to add links to them.
posted by immlass at 10:55 AM on May 4, 2013


What, if any, are the guidelines/rules for scraping MetaFilter?

We don't have any formal guidelines. You can drop us a note via the Contact Form with specifics of your project and we can take a look. If you're easy on the server we probably won't notice. If you're making a dozen requests per second that can have an impact. So we just ask that you put in a delay between requests.

If you're re-publishing things you scrape that might not be ok. But we'd have to take a look at your specific application to make that call.
posted by pb (staff) at 11:31 AM on May 4, 2013


Thanks, pb.
posted by JeffL at 12:12 PM on May 4, 2013


Yeah, what pb said. Depending on what your idea is, I'm generally happy to talk as well about whether it makes more sense to scrape or to just put together a one-off dump for you directly. Feel free to write to the contact form or to my mefimail if you want to hash out an idea.

Careful; nanny's watching.

?
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:12 PM on May 4, 2013


It's made me feel a little sad about the still-active threads that are coming up on their termination dates, like the Bitcoin thread and the Mad Men thread.

Darn, and just as one of MeFi's own wrote an interesting piece about Bitcoin too.

Suddenly Metafilter feels a little more like Logan's Run.

MetaFilter, like the teachings of the Buddha, reminds us that all things are impermanent and attachment is the source of suffering.
posted by homunculus at 1:25 PM on May 4, 2013 [6 favorites]


Just to note, please do not post content-free comments to amuse users of this tool

No problem. Those bastards can work to amuse themselves, like the rest of us.
posted by thelonius at 1:41 PM on May 4, 2013


I don't know if this has been suggested before, but maybe a way to help more people be aware of the existence of Recent Activity would be to add another 'Recent Activity' link to the bottom of each page next to '« Older posts | Newer posts »', so it would look like

« Older posts | Recent Activity »

on the front page and

« Older posts | Newer posts | Recent Activity »

on the rest.
posted by homunculus at 2:38 PM on May 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm discovering that one could put a 30 foot badly kerned sign up on the roof and still people may not notice...
posted by infini at 11:50 PM on May 4, 2013


Careful; nanny's watching.

?


It's one of those "kinky" things.
posted by threeants at 12:17 AM on May 5, 2013


Holy crap, that Thatcher thread is still going.
posted by krinklyfig at 2:46 AM on May 5, 2013


It's made me feel a little sad about the still-active threads that are coming up on their termination dates, like the Bitcoin thread and the Mad Men thread. Suddenly Metafilter feels a little more like Logan's Run.

There's basically been a new Drone post every two weeks for like, six months now. It's great! The conversation evolves as new information and perspectives come in, new details, new justifications, new events! Love it. One thread closes and another opens. I also appreciate the efforts by other users to drive conversation from fast-moving open threads into new threads, most memorably used in the Boston Marathon attacks ---> Boston manhunt thread.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 5:08 PM on May 5, 2013


I can imagine that people who are spoiler-sensitive should use this with caution. Threads about TV shows tend to turn into spoilerville after the non-diehards leave.

Secret Metafilter has claimed its first spoiler scalp.
posted by homunculus at 10:50 AM on May 6, 2013


Would it be worth adding a way to hide threads? Would that help with spoilering?

The conversation evolves as new information and perspectives come in

Yes, I see a new Mad Men thread has started just as the old one was about to die. I like this more positive view on the persistence of conversation (still retaining the beneficial & necessary transformation of thread death).
posted by jjwiseman at 10:56 AM on May 6, 2013


Needs more a more professional white background. [NOT BACKGROUNDIST]
posted by blue_beetle at 11:37 AM on May 6, 2013


blue_beetle, there's a little blue/white dropdown menu on the upper right that should do that, and is sticky. (Or maybe I misunderstood--let me know.)
posted by jjwiseman at 12:22 PM on May 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


This is really cool, and will make it easier to find active Doctor Who threads.

There appear to be no active Doctor Who threads.
posted by homunculus at 8:20 PM on May 10, 2013




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