pony request: linking to comments May 6, 2014 10:05 AM   Subscribe

I was wondering what MeFites and the mod team think about changing the front pages so that the "[#] comments" link goes to the start of comments in the post, and not to the start of the post body.

I often want to access the discussion on a post without reading or re-reading the body, which currently means scrolling past the text of the post to reach the comments. This can be pretty unwieldy when viewing longish posts on mobile devices or small browser windows. Even on a fullscreen laptop browser, there are megaposts and very detailed AskMe questions that span a few pages.

Currently there are two other ways to access the body of a post: clicking on the title or on "more inside", so I thought it might be useful to have a way to access the comments. I also think there is value in having "[#] comments" accurately describe the link's destination.

What say ye?
posted by lalex to Feature Requests at 10:05 AM (22 comments total)

It's the way it is by design really, I'm not interested in giving people a way to skip reading a post, and in practice it's not that big of a deal to scroll past most short posts (the more inside ones do let you skip down a little, yeah).
posted by mathowie (staff) at 10:09 AM on May 6, 2014 [19 favorites]


I kind of like it the way it is. Sort of encouraging people to actually look at the links and the content of the post, and not just jump right to commenting.
posted by cashman at 10:09 AM on May 6, 2014


Yeah I get what you're saying about having the links be more accurate. I think we created the whole thing back when megaposts were really not done that often and, of course, before AskMe. But we really do want people to engage with the posts before dropping down to the comments.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:14 AM on May 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


goes to the start of comments in the post, and not to the start of the post body.

Isn't that pretty much the same thing? You're wanting it to go to comment #1, rather than the original post...which is only a few lines or a tenth of a good vertical scroll away. Just scroll.

Or you can click on the "x new comments" which will take you to the first comment you didn't read in the thread anyways.

Does clicking that work as a workaround?
posted by hal_c_on at 10:18 AM on May 6, 2014


Yeah I get what you're saying about having the links be more accurate. I think we created the whole thing back when megaposts were really not done that often and, of course, before AskMe.

And also before the titles appearing on the posts, which I think is a big thing.

I feel like it used to actually go to the comments directly, but was changed because it was the main way into the thread, and having it go to the comments meant people were missing the more inside. I could be wrong about that, though, my memory is hazy.
posted by jacquilynne at 10:26 AM on May 6, 2014


Oh well, but thanks for the quick responses Matt and Jessamyn!

Just to be clear, I don't participate in threads if I haven't read the post. Most of the time when I want this feature it is because I have already read the post and want to check back in to see what other folks are saying, or it's stuff like this or this where I definitely am not going to view the links but for some reason I am interested in what the community is saying.

Isn't that pretty much the same thing? You're wanting it to go to comment #1, rather than the original post...which is only a few lines or a tenth of a good vertical scroll away. Just scroll.

Lots and lots of posts are longer than a few lines, and for me the scrolling can get pretty unwieldy on smaller screens. This happens on the blue but is really common on AskMe; here's the one from a few hours ago that finally triggered this request.

Or you can click on the "x new comments" which will take you to the first comment you didn't read in the thread anyways.

Does clicking that work as a workaround?


No, I don't know if this is how it's supposed to work but that feature shows me, for example, "26 comments (2 new)" even for posts I've never clicked into.
posted by lalex at 10:38 AM on May 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


And also before the titles appearing on the posts, which I think is a big thing.

Yes, the existence of titles is one reason I thought this change might be feasible, especially since two of the rationales given for that change were a) having a big click target to jump into a thread and b) consistency with how the rest of the web operates. (Most of the other sites I visit go to comments when you click on the comments link.)

But if the responses here are representative of the community I am in the minority; c'est la vie!
posted by lalex at 11:00 AM on May 6, 2014


This is only even a perceptible issue due to the growth in use of the posting box as a handy place to write essays, research papers, and laundry lists.
posted by Wolfdog at 11:14 AM on May 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


I like the idea of posts over a certain length getting a "skip to comments" link at the top as a pressure valve of sorts to keep the loquacious 1% from holding the rest of us hostage.

Maybe it could be a MeFiGold feature.
posted by michaelh at 12:01 PM on May 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


No, I don't know if this is how it's supposed to work but that feature shows me, for example, "26 comments (2 new)" even for posts I've never clicked into.

Yep, it shows how many new comments were posted since your last login, whether you have previously read the thread or not. It is a useful feature for me but only if I am logging on one machine per day. If I check Metafilter on my tablet and then open it again on my work computer, the site seems to think I have not visited yet that day and won't provide the right linkage.
posted by chainsofreedom at 12:06 PM on May 6, 2014


Maybe it could be a MeFiGold feature.
MeFiGold — you get your threaded comments, you get your "skip to comments", you get your MeFi draft mode
MeFiPlatinum — you get all your personal pony requests fulfilled.
posted by beagle at 12:10 PM on May 6, 2014


MeFi Gold sounds like a malt liquor.
posted by jonmc at 12:18 PM on May 6, 2014 [4 favorites]



:)

Every time I see the word "pony" here I am reminded of the one I had for many, many years. He was delightful in every way (excepting the Great Cart Incident, which of course was not his fault).

Today, I think of the time we won musical chairs and they had to rewrite the rules because my pony would ground tie with my shout of "YOU STAND!" as I slid off and dashed for the nearest empty chair, often several yards away. Attempts by other riders to distract him always failed.

I am sure, however, he would not have approved skipping anything, for any reason. ;)
posted by AllieTessKipp at 12:27 PM on May 6, 2014 [2 favorites]


Maybe it could be a MeFiGold feature.
It already is. Maybe you are a bit behind in your subscription fees?
posted by dg at 1:50 PM on May 6, 2014


Stay MeFiGold, Ponyboy.
posted by Jahaza at 1:56 PM on May 6, 2014 [4 favorites]


You played musical chairs while riding ponies? How does this work? My googling isn't turning up any flavor of this activity that involves actual chairs.
posted by chazlarson at 3:32 PM on May 6, 2014


I like the idea of posts over a certain length getting a "skip to comments" link at the top as a pressure valve of sorts to keep the loquacious 1% from holding the rest of us hostage.

Ah, and there could be a "skip to next comment" on those loquacious comments over a certain length. Say, the novella-length ones. ;)

I kid because I love.
posted by Celsius1414 at 4:11 PM on May 6, 2014


Also, since not everyone reads MetaTalk, changing the behavior of the link would probably confuse a lot of people who would have to scroll back to see the body of the post.
posted by double block and bleed at 5:22 PM on May 6, 2014


jonmc wrote:

MeFi Gold sounds like a malt liquor.

MeFi Gold: it works every time.
posted by Songdog at 5:29 PM on May 6, 2014 [2 favorites]


jacquilynne: "I feel like it used to actually go to the comments directly, but was changed because it was the main way into the thread, and having it go to the comments meant people were missing the more inside. I could be wrong about that, though, my memory is hazy.

We didn't used to have more inside baked into the site so the more inside was the first comment of the post. Or sometimes the second, third or fourth comment on the post if the Op wasn't quick enough
posted by Mitheral at 6:24 PM on May 6, 2014


MeFi Gold: for relaxing times...
posted by arcticseal at 9:43 PM on May 6, 2014


I like it the way it is now, for reasons already articulated above. Glad to hear that it's not likely to change.
posted by Scientist at 12:23 PM on May 7, 2014


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