How can I monitor specific threads? June 17, 2006 6:53 AM   Subscribe

How can I browse MeFi the way I'd like to (or can I)? [More Inside]
posted by Bugbread to MetaFilter-Related at 6:53 AM (13 comments total)

There may be no way to do what I'm trying to do, but I'm not sure.

What I'd like to do is mark (somehow) threads that I'm interested in, and then later be able to tell at a glance if any of these marked threads have gotten new comments since I've looked at them last.

On the blue, I can do something similar to this by sorting by "my comments". It will sort all the FPPs in which I have commented in chronological order by when the last comment appeared, and will show "2 new comments" or the like. This is great, as I can easily see which threads I've been involved in that have something new to read, but:
  • it only works for threads in which I have commented, not threads where I haven't commented but am reading the conversation anyway
  • it only works on the blue (no such option on the grey)
  • I've been informed it's going away (which is what inspired me to post this)
Another approach is "faving" comments, but that doesn't show which ones have gotten new comments, and which ones have stayed the same.

Another approach is clicking on the "My Comments" button, but that only shows how many comments have been made since I last said something, and not whether these comments are new or are comments I've already read.

Obviously, another approach is just plain bookmarking, but that doesn't show me recent activity either.

Basically, I want a way to find which of the threads I'm interested in have new comments to read. Is there some other option or approach or page somewhere in Metafilter which will do what I want to do?

Note: This is not a complaint, nor is it a pony request. If the functionality doesn't exist, I can live with that, but it would suck if it existed and I just didn't know where to look.
posted by Bugbread at 6:54 AM on June 17, 2006

A per thread feed?
posted by peacay at 8:25 AM on June 17, 2006

Would the per-thread feed somehow indicate if there were new comments? (I don't know much about feeds, so I don't know if, for example, new activity on a thread bumps the feed to the top of the list. If so, that would be absoperfect. Is that the way feeds work?)
posted by Bugbread at 8:34 AM on June 17, 2006

If you use an email client like Thunderbird as your newsreader, it highlights the feeds with new activity, and as you read the comments it unbolds them.
posted by klangklangston at 8:40 AM on June 17, 2006

I only know bloglines which is dead easy and if you subscribe to a feed it will indicate when something new is added. So what you want is on the to-do list for mathowie and you will need to put 'find a feed reader' on your to-do list.

At the moment I *think* we only have MeFi/Meta/Ask main page feeds plus individual tag feeds.
posted by peacay at 8:40 AM on June 17, 2006

klangklangston, peacay:

Thank you. And, sweeeet!! I just installed the Sage reader for Firefox (I use Thunderbird, but I have a bit of a mental block regarding browsing via a mail program), and from what I can see it's pretty neat. I anxiously look forward to Matt setting up the per-thread feeds.

And matt, in case you're reading this, could you not delete the "sort by my comments" drop down until after the feed feature is in place? It would be really appreciated.
posted by Bugbread at 9:34 AM on June 17, 2006

Please ignore this comment right here, I'm testing something.
posted by Bugbread at 9:38 AM on June 17, 2006

This sentence is a lie. I do not speak English. I am ignoring the last comment.
posted by anotherpanacea at 9:54 AM on June 17, 2006

In the mean time you might want to check out They have a little bookmarklet that you can just click on whenever you are viewing a post that you want to track. Then you later visit the co.mments site and it lists all the pages you're tracking and whether they have new comments or not. I think it's been reported in previous threads that it works fine with Metafilter.
posted by Rhomboid at 3:53 PM on June 17, 2006 [1 favorite]


Holy fuck. That. Is. Awesome. I just tested it out, and it works fine with MeFi. It has a feed, too, so I don't even need to go to the site, I can just check from the feed.
posted by Bugbread at 4:10 PM on June 17, 2006

Rhomboid, thank you for that co.mments link!
posted by LeeJay at 5:44 PM on June 17, 2006

I wish this functionality was here too. Most vBulletin sites support this via "subscriptions", which works the same basic way but gives you complete control over what goes in and out of the list. You can automatically include threads you comment in, which is what I use it for, but I can also delete threads I get tired of following.
posted by smackfu at 7:24 AM on June 19, 2006

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