Fantastic commenters will never know they're fantastic July 17, 2014 5:27 PM   Subscribe

I'm seeing a lot of great comments on the blue lately; I mark them as favorites, of course, but sometimes I flag them as "Fantastic". However, the commenter doesn't receive this feedback.

Thing is, people will never know they're fantastic; how would people feel about automatically receiving a MeFi mail letting them know that their contribution was marked as fantastic?

What do you all think? It wouldn't have to Name Names, it could be something like, "Thanks for contributing to the conversation - this comment (link) was marked as fantastic by (xnumber) people."

(I have looked at the previous discussion of flagging in 2011.)
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome to Feature Requests at 5:27 PM (78 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

It's not something we're comfortable adding, no. We've always drawn a bright line about surfacing flagging information for public view; I get that the motivation here is much more positive in intent than a notional "let's see how many negative flags there are" proposal, but it's also a pretty narrow channel of information to cross that line for when there's a pretty good general correspondence with already-public favorites for the (proportionally much smaller) use of fantastic flags that we do see.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:29 PM on July 17, 2014 [7 favorites]


Great job everyone!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:31 PM on July 17, 2014 [7 favorites]


I love all of my favorites, give them names, and count them up as if they were the finest minted gold coins - so from my perspective, favorites are enough.

*pets her favorites and gives them pie*
posted by Deoridhe at 5:31 PM on July 17, 2014 [31 favorites]


Also, it's totally okay, if you want someone to get a mefimail letting them know you flagged their comment as fantastic, to just straight up write them a mefimail saying "hey, I thought this post/comment/whatever was pretty fantastic!".
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:34 PM on July 17, 2014 [40 favorites]


Alternatively (and given the "bright line" above), sending a quick "Fantastic comment!" memail to the commenter might be a cool way to go.
posted by Celsius1414 at 5:34 PM on July 17, 2014


It's okay. Every time a comment gets flagged as fantastic an angel get its wings, and a bell rings.
posted by bleep at 5:34 PM on July 17, 2014


Jinx!

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10.

I'm pretty sure cortex owes me a coke now.
posted by Celsius1414 at 5:35 PM on July 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


The Fantastic flags were for the BestOf blog, weren't they?
posted by Lyn Never at 5:42 PM on July 17, 2014


They're one of the things we look at, yeah, along with favorites and contact form mentions and just general happenstance site awareness.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:45 PM on July 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


I just send people a note to tell them they're awesome. I guess that doesn't work if they have MeMail turned off.
posted by winna at 5:45 PM on July 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


You guys are favoriting my comment about loving favorites. Are these, like, the chocolate truffles of favorites? Or recursive favorites which become darker and richer with each iteration?
posted by Deoridhe at 5:51 PM on July 17, 2014 [11 favorites]


I guess I'm too shy to do that - also, it's a tad more labor-intensive; I edit and re-edit a lot, so a brief note would probably take me ten minutes. I kind of like the anon thing, too.

OK I guess that's a no-go, then. I thought it might be a neat idea.

No pony for you! :)
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 5:51 PM on July 17, 2014


Is there a greesemonkey script that would send me a note letting me know that I'm fantastic, even if no one marks any of my comments as such?
posted by SpacemanStix at 5:51 PM on July 17, 2014 [18 favorites]


(Thanks.)
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 5:52 PM on July 17, 2014


Well shoot. I could use a pony. I could get a smart little cart and tool around town like a boss.
posted by winna at 6:26 PM on July 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


The Fantastic flags were for the BestOf blog, weren't they?

Right, but the Best Of blog (and the sidebar) are so infrequently updated that flagging as Fantastic almost always feels like wasted effort. (Much more so than the negative flags.)

The Popular Favorites page is useful -- and I'm subscribed on the popular posts and comments RSS feeds which do quite often surface things that I would otherwise have missed. But it does have quite a short horizon, and it is by definition populist. Many Fantastic comments are sleepers in old posts; or standout contributions in odd little-read posts; and won't ever make it onto Popular.

So it feels to me like there's a middle ground of wonderful content that's being flagged as Fantastic but is too niche to make it onto Popular algorithmically; and which doesn't tickle any one mod's fancy sufficiently to make it onto Best Of manually. And it also feels like I probably miss an awful lot of content because I don't -- and can't! -- drink the entire MeFi firehose.

It'd be nice if that content could be surfaced more automatically; and the Fantastic flag seems like a useful signal for that. Potential for abuse of course, but there's also potential for cliques to cartel in-group comments onto Popular and that doesn't happen.

(And reading this back I realize it went off in a completely different direction to joseph conrad's pony, which was about surfacing that information as feedback to the poster/commenter. I too am shy about sending "hey that was great" MeMail but I think I should fight that and do it anyway.)
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 6:36 PM on July 17, 2014 [6 favorites]


Thing is, people will never know they're fantastic; how would people feel about automatically receiving a MeFi mail letting them know that their contribution was marked as fantastic?

But if it became known that such mails were being sent out, not all the same things would be marked as fantastic.
posted by John Cohen at 6:43 PM on July 17, 2014 [7 favorites]


It's a nice idea, but given how easy it is to misclick the flag reason on a touchscreen phone, I think it could create a lot of confusion and drama. I know that my chubby little fingers have sometimes slipped and clicked "fantastic comment" when I actually meant "mods, please kill this with fire."
posted by Jacqueline at 7:01 PM on July 17, 2014 [6 favorites]


Those buttons really should be farther apart...
posted by Deoridhe at 7:04 PM on July 17, 2014


You don't know you're fantastic.
That's what makes you fantastic.
posted by uosuaq at 7:17 PM on July 17, 2014 [8 favorites]


sometimes I copy the comment and add "flagged as fantastic" so the commenter knows.
posted by sweetkid at 7:28 PM on July 17, 2014 [5 favorites]


Yes I'm not sure that the sidebar really reflects all the Fantastics that I feel are going on at this site. It could be a lot more robust, I think. But maybe my idea of how active the sidebar can be, and the reality of how the mods utilize it, are different. That's cool.

But anyways. Thanks for letting my air out my idea.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 8:04 PM on July 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


I think there's a musical called 'The Fantasticks.' Maybe somebody who knows more about musicals than I do would be better equipped to make some kind of joke about it.
posted by box at 8:15 PM on July 17, 2014


We are still undecided as a community about showing the favorite count or even if a favorite should always be a sign of agreement or positive. Many use favorites as a bookmarking tool.
posted by humanfont at 8:24 PM on July 17, 2014


I think there's a musical called 'The Fantasticks.

There is.

Longest-running musical in history - 42 years, according to the Wikipedia.
posted by soundguy99 at 8:24 PM on July 17, 2014


Every time a comment is flagged as fantastic, one of the member's AskMe answers gets randomly marked as best answer.
posted by michaelh at 8:33 PM on July 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


I just assume all my comments are flagged as fantastic.
posted by Dip Flash at 8:50 PM on July 17, 2014 [6 favorites]


You can also flag your own comments as fantastic.

I'm Good Enough, I'm Smart Enough, and Doggone It, People Like Me!: Daily Affirmations with Metafilter.
posted by SpacemanStix at 9:02 PM on July 17, 2014 [4 favorites]


Many Fantastic comments are sleepers in old posts; or standout contributions in odd little-read posts; and won't ever make it onto Popular.

I agree with this idea of a fantastic comment, but I've come to use "fantastic comment" in lieu of agreement favorites. It's probably noisy for the mods, but it's useful in threads where everyone is shouting at each other.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 9:03 PM on July 17, 2014


Metafilter: It's a nice idea, but ... it could create a lot of confusion and drama
posted by John Cohen at 9:04 PM on July 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


I don't see a downside to automating this* so long as it only involves comments and posts flagged as "fantastic" and the information is only available to the author of the FPP or comment and is invisible to the rest of the community.

I do see an upside in that it might help to mitigate the groupthink, pileons, and algorithm gaming [not much of that here except that which "Popular Contacts" unintentionally facilitates] that has been the death of many a popular website.

*Except for being a pain for pb at a time when he is working on other things.
posted by vapidave at 9:58 PM on July 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


To the tune of Try To Remember:

Flag as fantastic
when you're enthusiastic
a comment's smart, or fun, or clever

Flag as fantastic
It's not a stochastic
That comments here are Best of the Web... er.

Flag as fantastic
But don't think it bombastic
To also favorite for the endeavor

Flag as fantastic
And if you're more drastic
Then memail, memail, memail.

posted by mochapickle at 10:50 PM on July 17, 2014 [8 favorites]


Oop, better link for the song by the lovely Julie Andrews!
posted by mochapickle at 10:57 PM on July 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


Thing is, people will never know they're fantastic; how would people feel about automatically receiving a MeFi mail letting them know that their contribution was marked as fantastic?
...
I guess I'm too shy to do that - also, it's a tad more labor-intensive; I edit and re-edit a lot, so a brief note would probably take me ten minutes. I kind of like the anon thing, too.


I get where you're coming from, but I think an auto-email would be impersonal. I also understand being shy, but I say try to overcome that. I am large, I contain multitudes of reasons to favorite comments. But sometimes they are simply because somebody wrote something that is my absolute favorite! In the absence of a "Favorited 1000 times" button or an automatic "somebody flagged your comment as fantastic" consider sending a brief MeMail. A one sentence "your comment 10 minutes/1 day/2 weeks/4 years ago was fantastic" email would brighten my day. Your 17 posts so far on the 17th day of julybywomen (257 tags as of this comment) have been fully awesome.

ps I found I am Truly Fully Licensed Hairstylist through your profile during julybywomen and it was worth it all for just that, even without all the great posts! I have played it for everyone.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 1:07 AM on July 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


I guess I'm too shy to do that - also, it's a tad more labor-intensive; I edit and re-edit a lot, so a brief note would probably take me ten minutes. I kind of like the anon thing, too.

OK I guess that's a no-go, then. I thought it might be a neat idea.

No pony for you! :)


Flagged as fantastic.






(See? That wasn't hard.)
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 1:37 AM on July 18, 2014


The first few times I applied the fantastic flag it was for posts I considered not even wrong.
posted by Pudhoho at 3:08 AM on July 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


I've wondered about this too. I'd like people to know when I've flagged something of theirs as fantastic, and sending a memail myself seemed like it might be a little fangirl-y. But if that's what the gmods decree then, citizens of MetaFilter, prepare yourself for even more gushing memails from yours truly.
posted by billiebee at 3:49 AM on July 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


I use fantastic flags as bookmarks.
posted by Rock Steady at 5:35 AM on July 18, 2014 [4 favorites]


My brain-radio has this permanently linked to the word 'fantastic'. I'm pretty sure I saw it via Metafilter in the first place. So, thanks for that - changed my life.

I endorse sending the link in a memail to express admiration in a warm, supportive, not remotely discomfiting or ambiguous way.

Hey hey hey.
posted by Lou Stuells at 5:49 AM on July 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'd like a t-shirt that says "Flagged as Fantastic!"
posted by Obscure Reference at 5:54 AM on July 18, 2014 [10 favorites]


At this point, I would just dump the fantastic flag, and just have all the flags be negative.
posted by smackfu at 7:02 AM on July 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


So, it's pretty universally accepted that the favorites are effectively an upvote system, and not actually a way to save comments to read later, right? I've been around MeFi for a while but only created an account recently, and had never paid much attention to the favoriting system.

(I should note that my confusion mostly stems from how they're described in the FAQ)
posted by Wandering Idiot at 7:22 AM on July 18, 2014


I've always gotten good reactions when I've sent people MeMails complimenting them on posts or comments, and I should try to remember to do it more often. It doesn't have to be a carefully honed composition; a simple "Loved your comment!" can make somebody's day.
posted by languagehat at 7:30 AM on July 18, 2014 [8 favorites]


So, it's pretty universally accepted that the favorites are effectively an upvote system, and not actually a way to save comments to read later, right?

I don't have the MeTas on hand, but this is actually a pretty controversial point. I for one used to use favorites to mark the mildest possible agreement or amusement, but it made my favorites nigh-impossible to look through later. Now I'm trying to cut down.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 7:30 AM on July 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


So, it's pretty universally accepted that the favorites are effectively an upvote system, and not actually a way to save comments to read later, right?

I do favorite anything I happen to appreciate, like an upvote, but if you click your favorites count on your profile, the search window on that page is limited to a search within your own favorites, and I do use that to find old content I want to look at again. So for me, it's both.
posted by Monsieur Caution at 7:34 AM on July 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


So, it's pretty universally accepted that the favorites are effectively an upvote system, and not actually a way to save comments to read later, right?

No.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:37 AM on July 18, 2014 [5 favorites]


I assign favourites in an elaborate system of upvotes, chuckles, and bookmarks, that's basically predicated on all the mefites who notice them being psychic.
posted by metaBugs at 7:53 AM on July 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


Wandering Idiot: So, it's pretty universally accepted that the favorites are effectively an upvote system, and not actually a way to save comments to read later, right?

I think that's how the vast majority of users use them, yes. The thing is, it's not useful to think of favorites in that way for a number of reasons. 1. Some users don't use or see favorites at all. 2. Some subset of users that do use favorites do indeed use them as bookmarks. 3. Even amongst the users that do use favorites as upvotes, favorites don't confer any kind of authority or status. Well-favorited comments are just as subject to deletion as non-favorited comments, and an appeal to favorites as a way of bolstering an argument is not likely to be looked upon fondly.
posted by Rock Steady at 7:59 AM on July 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Is there a place I can see the comments that I have flagged as fantastic?

Also, sometimes I wonder if the mods roll their eyes when they see yet another message that wenestvedt has flagged a comment as fantastic, like I am a bother or they don't agree with me. Then I feel bad and go away for a while, which probably wasn't anyone's intent.
posted by wenestvedt at 8:00 AM on July 18, 2014


WHERE ARE ALL MY COMPLIMENTARY MEMAILS
posted by shakespeherian at 8:21 AM on July 18, 2014 [4 favorites]


Oh good, my confusion is warranted then. Wouldn't it be better to separate the two functions into a public "upvote" of some sort and a "save comment" button that doesn't make anything publically visible, then?

I had no idea of the existance of the fantastic flag, since I haven't tried to report anything. That seems like kind of a redundant feature. But apparently you can use them as personal bookmarks, so it could take the place of the proposed "save comment" button and favorites could continue to be used as upvotes, even though that's not how they're named or originally intended...

Y'alls public approval system is kind of weird, MeFi.
posted by Wandering Idiot at 8:26 AM on July 18, 2014


So, it's pretty universally accepted that the favorites are effectively an upvote system, and not actually a way to save comments to read later, right?

INSERT my regular comment at this point that "favorite" should be replaced with "note", which is kind of a dull word indicating nothing more than someone found something of interest in the given comment/post. Though this would remove some elation from the Metafilter experience, it would also deconfusionize things, which is essential in these times of much confusion.
posted by philip-random at 8:35 AM on July 18, 2014


So, it's pretty universally accepted that the favorites are effectively an upvote system, and not actually a way to save comments to read later, right?

I think it's fair to say it's pretty universally acknowledged that favorites operate in aggregate as a way of noting popular or notable or otherwise shiny/sparkly/standout content, at least. But they also get used as bookmarks/references by a lot of people.

They differ critically from an upvote system in that aside from a couple of secondary effects on other pages they have no effect on the display or placement of the content. The order of posts on the page and of comments in a given thread are a matter of historical record, not democracy.

Y'alls public approval system is kind of weird, MeFi.

Such is the curious charm of the place.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:36 AM on July 18, 2014 [9 favorites]


But apparently you can use them as personal bookmarks

I think this was a joke.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 8:39 AM on July 18, 2014


I go back and look at things I've favorited in the past. It's less bookmarks and more of a way to see how I felt about something at a particular time, whether I also commented or not.
posted by sweetkid at 9:04 AM on July 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


I think this was a joke.

Yeah, sorry for being confusing. If you were a MeFi Prime subscriber you would have seen the "Joke" glyph I added to my comment's metadata.

Also a joke
posted by Rock Steady at 9:07 AM on July 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


considering I didn't know the "Recent Comments" tab on the front page even existed until this year, after two years of using the site, I figured it was totally plausible there was a Super-Ultra-Bookmark-Mark-Two feature I'd missed because it had been counter-intuitively squirreled away into a secret corner's secret corner
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 9:13 AM on July 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


I didn't know about Recent Comments until Rebecca Watson/ElevatorGate and can't imagine how I navigated the site without it.
posted by sweetkid at 9:18 AM on July 18, 2014


There are so many legitimate uses of favorites beyond its intended use. For example, it can be a hard-vote-of-approval or head-nodding-support-without-saying-anything or dropping-a-happiness-coin-in-your-bucket-for-the-good-story and a number of other things, such that I wonder about some people's lack of imagination regarding it only being a ego feeder of some kind. There is certainly an emergent use of favorites here that allows for personal interconnection that is probably more than was intended in its creation (either favorite or bookmark), but most definitely adds to the unique charm of metafilter.

I've told this story before, but I found that I grew to like someone once that I had previously not been too crazy about, either because they favorited something of mine that made me think we could be somewhat like-minded (seriously, there's no way it was just a bookmark to remember how lame I was), or because they also favorited something else that I thought put us on a similar path of understanding.

Favorites have become a non-propositional and emergent interconnected web of personal interaction here that needs some subtlety to discern at times, but it's defintely more than a popularity contest or reference tool for many people who use them.
posted by SpacemanStix at 11:26 AM on July 18, 2014 [10 favorites]


Yeah... there was a user who'd misinterpreted one of my comments recently and seemed pretty upset by it, but now this user has given me a few favorites and vice versa... It's been a helpful way to know things are OK. So if you're reading this, unnamed user, we are cool and I'm glad you're around.
posted by mochapickle at 11:32 AM on July 18, 2014 [6 favorites]


I sometimes favorite things that seem aimed at me to acknowledge that I read it without adding a low content comment that might seem deraily or "noise" or whatever. So, yeah, lots of different ways to use them.
posted by Michele in California at 11:34 AM on July 18, 2014 [6 favorites]


hey, isn't there nudity in The Fantasticks? Fanatastic!
posted by janey47 at 2:32 PM on July 18, 2014


Flagged as fantastic!

Do you want to send [user] a gift? Click here to order a $10 Amazon Card
Do yo want to send [user] a MeMail? Click here!
Do you want to send [user] anonymous internet email complimenting the post using canned verbiage and no trace back to you? Click here!

Mostly kidding
posted by aydeejones at 5:00 PM on July 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


Right, but the Best Of blog (and the sidebar) are so infrequently updated that flagging as Fantastic almost always feels like wasted effort.

Someone should probably get on that.

Also my favorites are still mostly for "stuff I want to mention on the podcast" and "You are so right but I have maybe already commented too much in this thread so here's a favorite for you"
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 7:50 PM on July 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


On comments, I use favorites as upvotes/likes. On posts, I use favorites as bookmarks.
posted by Jacqueline at 7:55 PM on July 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Right, but the Best Of blog (and the sidebar) are so infrequently updated that flagging as Fantastic almost always feels like wasted effort.

Agreed a thousand times. I have been banging on for years that the sidebar is both infrequently and seemingly randomly updated (unquestioningly brilliant comments I've flagged [as I'm sure have others] pass by, whilst sometimes merely interesting or 'celebrity' comments make it up there).

I frankly think it's disappointing if not a little weird that there is this already-existing, terrific resource on the site (see a distillation of one of the things you love about the community but might otherwise miss!), it's super popular with mefites as every thread on it demonstrates, and people regularly clamour for more. And it makes people feel good, and fosters exactly the kind of engagement the community seems to want.

And yet every. single. time. the mod response is "huh. Oh yeah, we should get on that." And then there's a very slight uptick in sidebarred things that lasts for maybe three weeks, and then we go quickly back to virtually nothing.

I know you guys put out a lot of fires, but I feel like this is a real value-add to the community and I'm genuinely perplexed with you don't spend even just a tiny soupcon of time on it. I mean, you must get several fantastic flags every single day, and surely out of those flags, there's a terrific comment or post two or three times a week at least. It seems like it would be a literally fifteen minute job to duck in and take a look, pick one out and make a genuine, dedicated effort to update that damned sidebar - please do correct me if I'm wrong. It would add so much to a lot of people's experience of the site, for the time investment I feel, but instead, it's like a half-dead blog, just kinda limping along (and the blog is not the same, for me, at least, as it's mostly posts (90% from the blue) and those I see already.) .

If it is a resource issue, then I have no doubt whatsoever a dozen mefites would volunteer to see only "fantastic flags" and set about updating it.

I really wish you guys would listen to those of us who regularly ask for this feature to be utilised. What's the point of the fantastic flags, otherwise?
posted by smoke at 8:34 PM on July 18, 2014 [5 favorites]


Or build yourself a mod tool that you can use to sidebar things quickly and easily. The Best Of blog is pretty, but it feels like it's reduced the frequency of sidebarred items; maybe because now they have to be a blog post with a pullquote and a pretty picture that has to be composed manually?
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 9:45 PM on July 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


I've gotten MeMail telling me a comment I made was good once or twice.

It's the best thing in the world.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 10:28 PM on July 18, 2014 [6 favorites]


SpacemanStix: Is there a greesemonkey script that would send me a note letting me know that I'm fantastic, even if no one marks any of my comments as such?

As I picture it, it would be highlighted like the original poster's name on AskMe, and followed by:
posted by username - oh, hey, that's you! You made that comment! You are awesome, you know that? [all the favorites!]
posted by Pronoiac at 11:48 PM on July 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


Or build yourself a mod tool that you can use to sidebar things quickly and easily.

Sorry for my earlier snark. The BestOf blog used to be sort of my job, now it may be no one's job, though taz seems like she's been trying to do stuff. The BestOfMeFi page on facebook does automatically pull in stuff that hits a favoriting threshhold (very different from what gets hand picked for the blog) and is good for seeing what's popular. Maintaining the BestOf blog may be one of those things that falls by the wayside in a more thinly-staffed MeFi.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 6:34 AM on July 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


Y'all can take it as read that I only ever favourite comments when I think they're fantastic.
posted by Decani at 12:06 AM on July 20, 2014


Wait... what? There's a "Recent Comments" feature?

*facepalm*
posted by Decani at 12:11 AM on July 20, 2014


I think there's a musical called 'The Fantasticks.

>THIS FAVE IS TO RIPE!
>SORRY!
posted by NoraReed at 9:52 AM on July 20, 2014


We had a deal, Kyle: "Or build yourself a mod tool that you can use to sidebar things quickly and easily. The Best Of blog is pretty, but it feels like it's reduced the frequency of sidebarred items; maybe because now they have to be a blog post with a pullquote and a pretty picture that has to be composed manually?"

Yeah. I check MeFi way more frequently than I check the Best Of blog (can't remember the last time I checked the blog, actually). Personally, I don't care about the Best Of blog. I would like to see awesome and interesting comments and posts called out in the sidebar.

(Mutter mutter grumble why do we (for certain values of "we") spend so much time and energy on making MeFi content appealing to non-MeFites? Put awesome things on the sidebar where those of us who already love the place can find it. Harrumph.)
posted by Lexica at 6:36 PM on July 20, 2014 [4 favorites]


I believe we changed it last winter, so that BestOf items now automatically go on the sidebar too.

It's still possible that sidebar/BestOf post frequency is down now compared to six months ago, I'm not sure about that.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 7:36 PM on July 20, 2014 [1 favorite]


So, it's pretty universally accepted that the favorites are effectively an upvote system, and not actually a way to save comments to read later, right?

No, I reject that notion; therefore, it is not "universally accepted."

On Metafiter, I avoid favoriting just to say "I agree." I try to keep it limited to comments I'd like to return to. Of course, there's no need for any hard-and-fast rule. Individual Mefites will spontaneously shape their favoriting approach without any need for a "universal" standard.

Your description of Mefi favorites makes them sound more like "likes" on Facebook. Since there's no simple way to view all my Facebook likes (you can view them in your "Activity Log," but that seems rather unwieldy and obscure), I use them purely to express agreement or appreciation.

Also, cortex is of course right that an "upvote" technically doesn't exist on Mefi. Upvoting is what's used on Reddit, and on certain Facebook pages with many comments on each post, such as Humans of New York.

Hope that clears things up! :^)
posted by John Cohen at 10:27 AM on July 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


In addition to faving some comments like a form of read receipt, I also fav FPPs and Asks that I want to be able to find again for some reason. Often, I fav them without really reading them thoroughly -- I mean the question or the post itself, never mind the actual comments/answers. This is probably the reason I have yet to post a MeTa asking people to help me find a comment/ask/whatever that I am sure I saw and can't quite remember: It is way easier to search my own favs than to do a site-wide search.

I really don't think that use can be likened to upvoting/liking/agreeing. If there were a convenient-for-ME means to file that type thing away without making the info public, I would do that. Unlike my "read receipt" use of comment favs, it isn't intended to have any kind of social function.
posted by Michele in California at 12:24 PM on July 21, 2014


I'm appreciating everyone's perspective here (having just re-visited the thread yesterday).

I wanted to pop back in and re-iterate that I have started flagging comments as 'fantastic' and additionally sending a very brief, minimalist email to the commenter to let them know that their comment was flagged (as fantastic, of course!).

THIS WAS VERY TIME CONSUMING AND EXHAUSTING. I gave up eventually.

So I just wanted to re-iterate my sentiments at the top of this thread (in my original pony request).

Thanks to the moderators for their time and patience and putting up with me! :)
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 8:48 AM on July 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


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