Pony request: "Related Posts" post-thread and in megathreads March 28, 2017 1:54 PM   Subscribe

As per Rock Steady's comment in the mega-thread ...thread, I thought i'd set up a separate post about this related content widget pony.

The gist of it would be the creation of an in-line widget, styled differently from conversational content and containing links to other threads happening, as well as top threads (the choice of what content to go within is flexible)

The aim would be four-fold (as far as I can measure)

1) Encourage those reading political mega-threads to think about contributing more widely across the site by providing visibility across the network to less contentious posts
2) Encourage those finding MeFi through organic means to explore threads beyond the one they clicked onto
3) have quick visibility into the most active/interesting parts of the site
4) Encourage people to click onto another thread once they reach the end of the post, as happens frequently on blogs.
posted by softlord to Feature Requests at 1:54 PM (13 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

I think something along these lines is very possible, and it's a matter of working out the details of how to do it in a Mefi-appropriate way that doesn't feel intrusive or weird.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 1:55 PM on March 28 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I like the general idea. I've thought a bunch about (and probably at least a couple times mentioned in MetaTalk) a notion in the same spirit of e.g. adding a small widget to front pages of all the subsites mentioning various cool/interesting/fun stuff from all over the site. Basically a low-stakes way to sorta say "hey, there's a whole dang site out there!" and help people remember (or for newer folks, maybe discover) the bits of the site they don't regularly visit.

So extending something in that spirit to the occasional mid-thread poke for looong threads in particular seems like it could be a nice thing.

Lots of little details to think about, not least what degree of automation vs. hands-on curation would be required to stock the list of referenced threads. But I'm happy to hear thoughts and brainstorms there.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:02 PM on March 28 [3 favorites]


My vote would be to have it displayed every X number of comments per-thread (a large number like 300) and then at the end of each post (I will leave it to the UX folks as to whether below or above the comment box is best).
posted by softlord at 2:04 PM on March 28


Metafilter: it's a matter of working out the details of how to do it in a Mefi-appropriate way that doesn't feel intrusive or weird.
posted by Melismata at 2:06 PM on March 28 [3 favorites]


My vote would be to have it displayed every X number of comments per-thread (a large number like 300) and then at the end of each post (I will leave it to the UX folks as to whether below or above the comment box is best).


I'm not active in mega political threads, but I do like reading them. I would dislike this very much. So, hopefully, it could be a thing we could turn off.
posted by bluefly at 4:06 PM on March 28 [2 favorites]


Whatever it is, it better be lowish on the resource requirements given the highishness of the resources required to load up a three or four day old megathread.
posted by notyou at 5:10 PM on March 28


So extending something in that spirit to the occasional mid-thread poke for looong threads in particular seems like it could be a nice thing.

How about a standard mod message where something like the Random link from the top bar takes you to a currently open thread? "Hey, need a break from politics? Click here for a random current post!" (Assuming frimble is magic, of course, and could exclude posts tagged with politics. I have no idea how this stuff works.)
posted by MonkeyToes at 8:11 PM on March 28


One thing that happens for me is that I check into a thread early on, read a bit, and then discover later I missed out on some really awesome stuff that happened later on. The phsyician/med student wellness/mental health thread is a perfect example. I read the first few comments, closed the tab because it's not a topic I have a strong connection to, and moved on. Only this evening I discovered that the thread was now chock full of some really fantastic personal experiences from mefites. And I was glad I happened to make it back to the thread and didn't miss this. In this case, I only discovered this discussion because one of my contacts posted one such experience and it got a bunch of favorites, so it showed up at the top of the sidebar. Likewise, it took me a while to discover that something really special was happening in the emotional labor thread.

I guess some of this could be done in the existing sideblog (many thanks mods for keeping it updated!), but I feel like I miss out on stuff like this sometimes, and it would be great to miss fewer of these kinds of things in the future.
posted by zachlipton at 10:18 PM on March 28 [4 favorites]


What about just including the already-curated new & noteworthy sidebar (which personally, I rarely read/notice while scrolling through, especially on mobile) to somewhere where posters are likely to see it, like below the comment box? Or on top of the comment box once you've submitted a comment? I particularly like the latter because, in most (not just mega-) threads, commenting should mean you're definitely caught up and maybe it's a good time to go do something else for a while.
posted by R a c h e l at 12:28 AM on March 29 [1 favorite]


zachlipton, do you use recent activity? That page is awesome for following conversations that you're interested in (either because you participated or because you clicked "add to recent activity"), for as long as they exist. Unless I'm misunderstanding what you're saying, in which case, apologies!
posted by R a c h e l at 12:31 AM on March 29 [1 favorite]


I don't want this and don't think casual passersby do either.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 12:58 AM on March 29 [2 favorites]


I particularly like the latter because, in most (not just mega-) threads, commenting should mean you're definitely caught up and maybe it's a good time to go do something else for a while.

Yes! This is an excellent insight.
posted by Jpfed at 5:19 AM on March 29


I do use recent activity, but I don't know to add these really great conversations to recent activity because they haven't started yet when I read the thread and so I end up missing them.

I like the idea of surfacing the new & noteworthy sidebar more, because I often don't remember to scroll to it and look at it.
posted by zachlipton at 3:37 PM on March 29


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