Intra-filter trackbacks July 3, 2006 12:16 PM   Subscribe

For the big pile of stuff: How about a wikipedia-style "Mefi posts that link to this post" box on the side of each thread (that has been linked back to)? So when someone links back to a post, that old post now links forward to the new thread. Especially useful if you search and find an older thread, and would like also to read the subsequent threads which say "previously discussed on MetaFilter..." Ideally, it would pick up on comments as well as posts that link to a specific thread (not to a specific comment in the thread, though).
posted by Eideteker to Feature Requests at 12:16 PM (16 comments total)

That would be pretty nifty. Not "stop the presses and work on this now" nifty, but "might be nice to see someday, like customized user pages again" nifty.
posted by Gator at 12:25 PM on July 3, 2006

Exactly. Near the bottom of the list maybe, but handy.
posted by Eideteker at 1:13 PM on July 3, 2006

Care to cite an example? I don't quite get what you mean, in a programmatic sense. Any new thread with links to an old one, or somehow magically find old related-by-subject-matter threads when new ones are posted? If it's the former, it's easy to program, the latter is almost impossible.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 1:14 PM on July 3, 2006

Interesting. Kind of like "soft links" at everything2.
posted by brundlefly at 1:16 PM on July 3, 2006

I think we are talking about the former. Here is a post I made in which I link to several previous related threads so as to include as much previous awesomeness as possible (albeit in the first comment, not in the FPP itself). It might be useful (or at least interesting) if those threads I linked to had a "This had been mentioned in this other thread" spot on their own page, no?
posted by Gator at 1:20 PM on July 3, 2006

Oops, I meant to link to this thread. Anyway. Links to previous threads, not general "related by subject" stuff.
posted by Gator at 1:28 PM on July 3, 2006

Right, so if I did a search, and turned up the older nudibrachs page, it would have a link to the more recent page by Gator, with links that aren't expired. This way, if Gator used a different word, or if his post was further down on the search history, I'd have a better chance of finding it. The goal is to increase MeFi's value as an information resource. See also Wikipedia's "What Links Here."
posted by Eideteker at 1:32 PM on July 3, 2006

posted by cillit bang at 1:53 PM on July 3, 2006

I would love to have "what links here" across the sites. Even if it does somewhat bring forward the time when Metafilter becomes self-aware and takes over the world.
posted by teleskiving at 1:55 PM on July 3, 2006

I'd be more worried about server load/increased downtime. Maybe for starters Matt could have it just scan FPPs for internal links, and then if that doesn't make things kerplode he could upgrade it to follow comments as well.
posted by Eideteker at 2:59 PM on July 3, 2006

It would only really need to be done once in a while, every week or month or so, presumably when there is low server load. It could be done in batches, if necessary. Shouldn't be too hard to search the fpp/comment data for "*" in each page, then add a link to that page on the linked page.

I really like the sound of this idea as there's an impressive amount of information in the archives, the more navigable it is the merrier.
posted by MetaMonkey at 5:28 PM on July 3, 2006

I'd love if MeFi had the "what links here" functionality, a la Wikipedia.
posted by danb at 7:45 PM on July 3, 2006

It shouldn't add much server load. Every time a URL pointing at MeFi is posted you follow it and add a database entry. Not significant, I expect (not a web developer). Now implementing it is another issue..

It is a great idea. In lieu of some kind of improved tagging, this would make researching topics of interest quite a bit easier.. I think.
posted by Chuckles at 7:56 PM on July 3, 2006

YES, DO IT! This feature should be near the top of your 'innovate' pile, right underneath finishing up µFi.
posted by blasdelf at 8:06 PM on July 3, 2006

I like how ILX's trackback system works. For example, people have linked to this post on the ILX boards twice, and it says "2 trackbacks" under the post. The trackbacks link gives all the info on who linked, where, and when.
posted by apple scruff at 9:51 PM on July 3, 2006

Ah, the ILX trackback system. It works by sending actual Movable Type TrackBack pings to itself when you post a new message, rather than indexing them later.

Matt already parses the HTML when saving messages, so looking for links at the same time will not add much overhead.
posted by cillit bang at 6:51 AM on July 4, 2006

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