Good reason to have "favorites" function May 15, 2006 1:50 AM   Subscribe

This is a great example of why the 'favorites' function rocks.
posted by maryh to MetaFilter-Related at 1:50 AM (85 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

Here's a fantastic post that probably won't get a ton of comments, but the poster will get to feel the love anyway. And lazy people like me will be able to look the post up quickly over the next month or six on our own MeFi page. What can I say? I'm loving this function to death.
Thanks, Matt!
posted by maryh at 1:53 AM on May 15, 2006


Ooh, I hadn't noticed that the favouriteers were displayed. I like that, it adds a nice new way to cruise the site: 'Well, if so-and-so likes this, I'd better see what else they like, and what they've posted themselves... oh bugger, I've been reading MetaFilter for three hours'.
posted by jack_mo at 2:30 AM on May 15, 2006


[[this is good] is good]
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:15 AM on May 15, 2006


I'm working on a most-favorited page today that will show you what posts/comments people loved like this.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 5:40 AM on May 15, 2006


Man, I go away for a few days and there's all these new features in MeFi. Good job, matt. How would you feel about [♥] instead of [+faves]? It'd be keeping with the iconic feel of [!].
posted by boo_radley at 5:44 AM on May 15, 2006


what in the hell does | mean to anyone? God this thread is so good I totally want to pipe it!

If I was going to minimize it, I would go with [+] which at least seems intuitive.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 5:50 AM on May 15, 2006


I agree with boo radley. As nice as the fave function is, I think it would be better if it were a bit more subtle, seeing as how it appears everywhere. A grey [+] or something simmilar would be just as useful and gets rid of that bright [+fave] that pops up everything (lovely as it is).
posted by Serial Killer Slumber Party at 5:51 AM on May 15, 2006


On preview, it seems I've been spoken for.
posted by Serial Killer Slumber Party at 5:52 AM on May 15, 2006


Err, in my view of this thread, boo's suggestion is a little heart, not a |. Which is at least as intuitive as +, but not good if even Matt doesn't see it that way.
posted by jacquilynne at 5:58 AM on May 15, 2006


It's a Mac font thing, I think--I've never seen anything but a |, but I know what the intended symbol is.
posted by onalark at 6:09 AM on May 15, 2006


How hard would it be to use a little red mini-heart icon, with the + sign as alternative text?
posted by onalark at 6:17 AM on May 15, 2006


Speaking (hypothetically) in the slightly-too-clean shoes of a user who's only just joined the site, has looked at a couple of threads and now noticed these brackety thingies, I would guess that [+] meant "read more of this comment", or "reply/add to this comment".

The [!] is good at conveying alarm or importance (even if it doesn't look like a link... gripe gripe), but [+] has the wrong implication.
If we could find a cross-browser display of affection, that would be maaarvellous.
[hart]
[favr]
[love]
[i moisten noticeably]
.. I don't know. Use your imagination.

(onalark - that would require an icon, it seems, and you don't see many of them round these parts.)
posted by NinjaTadpole at 6:28 AM on May 15, 2006


♥ shows up as a pipe? How about using the numeric entity instead of the named one: "♥"? Any better there?
posted by boo_radley at 6:40 AM on May 15, 2006


I'm still seeing pipes.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 7:25 AM on May 15, 2006


What happens when there are 250 users who mark a post as a fave? Do we really have to scroll through all those names to get to the comments?

Minority opinion here, apparently, but can we please move the list of users who clicked "+fave" to the *bottom* of the page?
posted by mediareport at 7:25 AM on May 15, 2006


why not create a white heart gif and put it between [ and ]?
posted by null terminated at 7:42 AM on May 15, 2006


Matt, can you see these? How about everybody else?

10084 - [&#10084]
10085 - [&#10085]
10086 - [&#10086]
10087 - [&#10087]

That previous number is the decimal reference.
Here they are a little bigger:


[&#10084] [&#10085] [&#10086] [&#10087]

posted by onalark at 7:56 AM on May 15, 2006


Damn you live Preview!
posted by onalark at 7:57 AM on May 15, 2006


10084 - [< ❤>]
10085 - [< ❥>]
10086 - [< ❦>]
10087 - [< ❧>]
posted by onalark at 7:58 AM on May 15, 2006


Oh, and reference.
posted by onalark at 8:02 AM on May 15, 2006


[Oh, I didn't mean for my comment above to be snarky, just brief. To clarify, the faves thing is fine, but the list of "favouriteers" seems secondary and seems a bit too much like interfering noise before the discussion, a distraction that could probably be moved to a secondary position and still serve its purpose.]
posted by mediareport at 8:04 AM on May 15, 2006


The proper way to do a hear in HTML is &hearts;: like this: "♥", which should work with all browsers.
posted by delmoi at 8:05 AM on May 15, 2006


The next feature is the ability for other users to add supplementary tags to posts.
posted by delmoi at 8:07 AM on May 15, 2006


delmoi, ♥ works in Safari (OS X.4 - 2.0.3), but doesn't work in FireFox for OS X. Apparently mathowie uses FireFox as his primary browser (and so do I). The Dingbat heart I used above works in both browsers for me.
posted by onalark at 8:14 AM on May 15, 2006


Minority opinion here, apparently, but can we please move the list of users who clicked "+fave" to the *bottom* of the page?

Yeah, I'm not so sure the people that marked favorites need to be displayed inline immediately after the post. This was just a first crack at it and I'll probably do something like delicious where it just says (39 people saved this as a favorite) and there will be a link to a page with who marked it as a favorite and when.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 8:16 AM on May 15, 2006


Great - thanks, Matt.
posted by mediareport at 8:24 AM on May 15, 2006


To clarify, the faves thing is fine, but the list of "favouriteers" seems secondary and seems a bit too much like interfering noise before the discussion, a distraction that could probably be moved to a secondary position and still serve its purpose.

You are certainly right about a long list being a problem. Ideally, I think the list should collapse (well.. see below) once you get over 5-10 user names on it. However, I think it is good to keep some favorites info at the top, it may improve the tone of discussion in some threads. Before you even have a chance to piss you get confronted with the fact that 3 users think it is great..

My guess is that moving the list is easier than another page, or UI to have it expand and collapse. So, when there are only a couple of user names it is great how it is. When the list gets to some threshold, the count should remain, but the user list should be moved to the bottom. The count could link to an anchor which would make the user list easy to find.


As for the heart thing, I think [+] is fine. Better even, because I like plain text. I admit, the definition of plain text is a little arbitrary, like 'proper english', still..
posted by Chuckles at 8:34 AM on May 15, 2006


It wasn't meant to be a responce to mathowie's comment. Oh well..
posted by Chuckles at 8:36 AM on May 15, 2006


The next feature is the ability for other users to add supplementary tags to posts

too many assholes would vandalize other people's threads, bad idea. me, I'd never dream of tagging another user's fpp -- what's next, ability to edit other people's fpps?


but the poster will get to feel the love anyway

I agree with the sentiment, but what's wrong with adding a "great post, thanks" comment?
posted by matteo at 8:42 AM on May 15, 2006


I actually like boo_radley's suggestion. AOL uses a heart icon to indicate its "favorites" function, as well; and while we probably don't want to rampantly imitate AOL, that suggests that the icon might prove sufficiently intuitive.

As for adding tags, utility versus vandalism: There's a middle ground, which is for admins to add tags where appropriate — and, when that happens, for the FPP poster not to come running to MeTa to complain. (What's next, MeTa threads when an FPP poster doesn't like the comment someone attached?)
posted by cribcage at 9:04 AM on May 15, 2006


oh, this is way too much pressure.
posted by crunchland at 9:08 AM on May 15, 2006


I agree with the sentiment, but what's wrong with adding a "great post, thanks" comment?

Nothing, really, but a lot of folks seem to shy away from that.
posted by cortex at 9:17 AM on May 15, 2006


Onalark's symbols were the only ones that worked for me in this thread. I'm using Camino 1.0.1.

Still, I like [+] more than fancy symbols.
posted by heresiarch at 9:25 AM on May 15, 2006


I just copied a cool css/hover thing to hide it a bit, but I can't seem to get this to work in safari:

add favorites mouseover div

If anyone sees what's wrong with safari, I can clean it up and deploy (I was just guessing on other functions -- one could post to delicious another could look up other blogs talking about that post on technorati)
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:25 AM on May 15, 2006 [1 favorite]


I disagree with the original poster. I don't want every post I really like added to my favorite list. My list would get huge after a couple years. Maybe a couple months. It's just that the list of things I really like, and the list of things I want to have on my favorites list is rather different.

Having one "this is good" list, tied to the thread, and one "favorites" list tied to the user, seems like it would be more logical and flexible.

But admittedly, I'm being whiny about it.
posted by y6y6y6 at 9:46 AM on May 15, 2006


naw, you're right y6y6y6, I was thinking about adding the same voting we have on Projects to the other sites.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:52 AM on May 15, 2006


Having one "this is good" list, tied to the thread,

Isn't that a lot like voting for a thread, then (except that you can't vote "this sucks")?
posted by Godbert at 9:53 AM on May 15, 2006


I don't like the mouseover. Why not just make it hide/show a div with the names? That seems pretty easy to make cross-platform.
posted by smackfu at 9:57 AM on May 15, 2006


So people are trying to make hearts when they are typing |? Onalark's is the only one I am seeing -- mac osx, firefox. Better to stick with a tiny gif for now I woud think.
posted by Rumple at 10:44 AM on May 15, 2006


nah, onalark's looks good in windows/firefox and ie6. What do you say, matt? Can &#10084; (&#10084;) be the favorite dealie?
posted by boo_radley at 10:47 AM on May 15, 2006


Also, I just removed afu's post from faves and it removed my name from the list -- I'd agree that a method that makes the fave vote into a fantastic vote with more archival properties would be better.
posted by Rumple at 10:47 AM on May 15, 2006


Rumple : "So people are trying to make hearts when they are typing |? "

Actually, I think they're trying to make hearts when they type &hearts; but your point still stands: if it doesn't work on a common platform running a common browser, it's best avoided.
posted by Bugbread at 11:03 AM on May 15, 2006


MetaFilter: I | you.
posted by twiggy at 11:05 AM on May 15, 2006


What's it mean to pipe a thread? Insert your own Tonya Harding joke here.
posted by boo_radley at 11:20 AM on May 15, 2006


onalark's looks good in windows/firefox and ie6. What do you say, matt? Can &#10084; (&#10084;) be the favorite dealie?

Sorry, it's an ugly looking heart, not iconic enough. [+] works better.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:58 AM on May 15, 2006


How hard would it be to use a little red mini-heart icon, with the + sign as alternative text?

Just do this. Someone here should be able to draw a monochrome 16x16 heart.
posted by smackfu at 12:13 PM on May 15, 2006


How hard would it be to use a little red mini-heart icon, with the + sign as alternative text?

Thirded, except that the heart doesn't have to be red. A monochome one, like smackfu said, would probably fit better.
posted by Godbert at 12:22 PM on May 15, 2006


why not create a white heart gif and put it between [ and ]? - null terminated

Because it would disappear on the white background in the plain theme. I <3 /b> the plain theme.
posted by raedyn at 12:52 PM on May 15, 2006


Eeek, I broke my own html. Sorry.
posted by raedyn at 12:52 PM on May 15, 2006


(still waiting for anyone offering css/js help in safari. Anyone?)
posted by mathowie (staff) at 12:57 PM on May 15, 2006


(no one has a mac at work)
posted by smackfu at 1:06 PM on May 15, 2006


(it's funny because it's true, smackfu)
posted by raedyn at 1:32 PM on May 15, 2006


If it's any consolation, Matt, it works fine in Konqueror (which shares code with Safari). I think it would be a nice addition, except for the colors.
posted by bkudria at 1:34 PM on May 15, 2006


What on earth is wrong with [+fave]? It's short and to the point; it makes it absolutely clear what's going on. Why switch to a hip, abstruse symbol that will simply lead to MeTa "what does + mean?" threads? Does everything have to be fashionably obscure?
posted by languagehat at 1:59 PM on May 15, 2006


Before I add a thread to my favourites, I need to know: can I remove a thread from my favourites?
posted by five fresh fish at 2:00 PM on May 15, 2006


Why not just use an image of a heart?
posted by delmoi at 2:08 PM on May 15, 2006


Well, here's the obvious suggestion:

If we're avoiding "favorite" because it's too long,
And we like hearts,
But we can't work out how to use a heart symbol without either breaking it on Firefox+Mac or with the plain theme,
How about "[+heart]"?
posted by Bugbread at 2:29 PM on May 15, 2006


five fresh fish, of course you can.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 2:31 PM on May 15, 2006


i agree. with everyone.
posted by shmegegge at 2:51 PM on May 15, 2006


I'm not sure how you're going to take this, languagehat, so I suggest you sit down.

Everything has to be fashionably obscure.
posted by cortex at 3:11 PM on May 15, 2006


But we can't work out how to use a heart symbol without either breaking it on Firefox+Mac or with the plain theme

Doesn't the plain theme use a different css? If we had a heart icon wouldn't it be replaced by (+heart) or whatever in text?

I like the idea of a little heart, nobody else seems hot on using red, but I think I'd be almost as happy if it was gray.
posted by onalark at 3:33 PM on May 15, 2006


I'm not sure how you're going to take this, languagehat, so I suggest you sit down.
Everything has to be fashionably obscure.


*cries*
posted by languagehat at 5:04 PM on May 15, 2006


I heart the heart idea. The +fave sticks out like a sore thumb, and + by itself will always mean something is expandable to me. A little gif would be nice:

posted by team lowkey at 5:57 PM PST on May 14 [add to favorites][!][↑]
posted by team lowkey at 5:29 PM on May 15, 2006


team lowkey:

That's cool, but since it's an image, it has a fixed height unrelated to the line height. So, since I probably use a smaller default font than you, this is what I see:



It could be worked around by making the image only 10x10, since I doubt many people have smaller text than that, but it would probably look too small to the majority of the users.
posted by odinsdream at 6:25 PM on May 15, 2006


I'm going with a [+] with a mouseover div explaining. If anyone can solve the safari issue.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 6:55 PM on May 15, 2006


Well, yeah, the inline image isn't the right thing to do in the css mindset, because it doesn't adjust to people using different styles. The unicode hearts are the right thing to do, but they're ugly. Personally, as a compromise, I'd drop the brackets and make a small gif for the favorites and flag. Something that is subtle enough to fit in most themes. Something like this:

posted by team lowkey at 5:29 PM PST on May 15 - add to favoritesflag this post-

It threatens to get a little cartoony, but it is font size independent. Now that I actually see it, I'm not sure how much I like it. I like the brackets and plain text. I guess I can live with [+]. It just really doesn't represent "add to favorites" to me in any way.
posted by team lowkey at 8:09 PM on May 15, 2006


I like raedyn's use of <3 Too obscure?
posted by MikeKD at 8:13 PM on May 15, 2006


is it too late to say that the + mouseover works in Safari? :P
posted by ckolderup at 9:19 PM on May 15, 2006


I fixed it, yeah, it works now.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 10:06 PM on May 15, 2006


Late back into the thread, but there was a post a while back at one of the weblogs of a Respected Designer Guy lamenting all the iconic cutesy cruft being added to the footers of blog posts these days, and I have to agree. Little hearts and whatnot are too much, I'd say.

Which mathowie has already weighed in on, but just my two bits.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:43 PM on May 15, 2006


Also, niggling: after you've favorited a thread or comment, the [+ add to favorites] should probably disappear or change somehow.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:00 PM on May 15, 2006


How about [2.99]? Is that obscure enough?

(my2cents: I like the + or +faves with no mouse over)
posted by kechi at 11:06 PM on May 15, 2006


I like +faves. Remember, if it's too cryptic and newfangled, we might scare away a perfectly good curmudgeon who would have otherwise fit in nicely with all the pissing and moaning that goes on around here.

Why not make the inline appearance of all the favoritizers an option in our user settings?
posted by GooseOnTheLoose at 12:10 AM on May 16, 2006


text! text text text. I <3 text. [+fave] if you use icons i'm going to curses.br>
On the main page, shamelessly steal the convention from del.icio.us of "and n other people". On second thought, get some greasemonkey punk to do "n other people" except call it something else.

re: some random designer guy recently on icons, what about some random guy many years ago lamenting "mystery meat" navigation. ever since then I love the phrase.

Ps. is there a way to turn off live preview? oh dear invisible sky wizard I beseech you. on second though keep it on, it will discourage me from making long rambling posts.

Pps. It is 6:34 am over here, and I am punchy!
posted by bleary at 4:36 AM on May 16, 2006


I still don't understand why there's a problem that needs fixing. Is something wrong with +faves? Oh well. Whatever, as you young whippersnappers say.
posted by languagehat at 5:48 AM on May 16, 2006


what ,what? I <3 [+faves]. nothing else will do. if he uses icons I'm going to write a curses based metafilter browser.
posted by bleary at 6:11 AM on May 16, 2006


hearts is stupids.
posted by shmegegge at 6:14 AM on May 16, 2006


oh, and for tags, experiment with personal tags. example: not only do I want faves, I want "hey go read this later when I have more time and dang it if these posts just don't fall off the page while I'm waiting" or in other words, marked as to.read and no telling what else in my del account. but now that we have this faves thing, damn the del account. I get to use this for faves, and only for to.reads that are also faves.

and personal tags could be browsable from a user's profile page, hence giving one the ability to add tags to post without encouraging the trickster tag god. who would want to add silly tags to the side bar, like "thingee" or "fred".

yet I think it would be nice to see other usesr added tags on the side there in the same posts, so maybe you could add consensus tags where people [+] them or maybe just added them to their own page--this would require a collusion of trickster tag fiends, or at least someone who with too many fives on his hands. but if you sort by score instead of alpha, maybe it would help.
posted by bleary at 6:20 AM on May 16, 2006


I'm going with a [+] with a mouseover div explaining.

Thank god - cutesy heart icons on MetaFilter would just be horribly, horribly wrong.

Is something wrong with +faves?

Yes: it makes the site look like the pencil case palimpsest of a 13 year old girl in the mid-to-late 1980s, updated weekly to best reflect said girls' current position on the relative attractiveness of the three members of Bros.

If it were [+fave] I could probably stand it, as the singular is more suggestive of the pathos of a has-been early-to-mid 1970s Radio 1 DJ clinging grimly to the slang he spouted many years earlier on Radio Caroline, in a desperate bid to appear hip to an audience that despises him.
posted by jack_mo at 6:36 AM on May 16, 2006


Thank god - cutesy heart icons on MetaFilter would just be horribly, horribly wrong.

So wrong it's right.
posted by smackfu at 6:48 AM on May 16, 2006


So, looking at the test page, it appears you are adding several functions to the [+] div, yes?

Now that makes sense. The plus sign is an expandable list of things you add. I was worried that the plus sign would quickly become confusing if another feature appeared which had an additive quality to it. That's been nipped in the bud. Perfect.

I pipe you!
posted by team lowkey at 11:46 AM on May 16, 2006


If it were [+fave]

Oh. Whoops.
posted by jack_mo at 1:21 PM on May 16, 2006


if you're cramming things into [+], you might as well do the "flag post" in there as well.
posted by boo_radley at 1:39 PM on May 16, 2006


I don't think flagging should get crammed into the [+]. I like the logical separation of "I want to do something +more with this." and "This needs attention!", but the icons should behave similarly. The [!] could also expand to show the list of flag options. Clicking the [+] or the [!] itself could bring you to a separate page of actions, but if the mouseover div works for you, you have a shortcut to those actions.

If the explanation and warning is a necessary part of the flagging process, the links in the div could take you to a confirmation page saying "You just chose to flag this as x. That means y. Is this what you want to do? [Confirm].
posted by team lowkey at 2:24 PM on May 16, 2006


[!] as a mouseover would also be neat.
posted by boo_radley at 2:36 PM on May 16, 2006


« Older 'All' tags on AskMetafilter   |   London meetup reminder Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments