Hod do you use favorites? July 6, 2006 10:05 PM   Subscribe

Are MeFi favorites a permanent part of your profile, or do they change when the mood strikes you? I've been wondering about people marking favorites lately and my biggest question is, "How many of you use the system to bookmark things for a permanent reminder and how many use the system as a temporary way to keep track of a certain thread or comment?" In addition, do you find yourself using the system and your past favorites a couple months down the road, or is it a once and done thing that you never pay attention to after a couple of days?
posted by SeizeTheDay to MetaFilter-Related at 10:05 PM (32 comments total)

I usually go through them every few weeks and weed out the one's that I have no idea why I marked. I also appreciate the good ones. Like this comment.
posted by puke & cry at 10:25 PM on July 6, 2006

Mark and forget about. Sort of a quick note of appreciation, more for the others than for me (the posts and comments I want to find again I put on my profile page).
posted by Tuwa at 10:38 PM on July 6, 2006

Roughtly, I use favorites for tracking posts (semi-permanent) and remember faboo comments (permanent).

I'll favorite a new AskMe or MeFi thread that shows promise—those may get de-favorited a week later. I also favorite threads that I want to have quick reference to—those are permanent. I favorite comments that make me smile—those stay around.
posted by cortex at 10:43 PM on July 6, 2006

Here's the thing about favorites, and I've argued with people about it in the past: they are for whatever you want them to be for, whether that's long-term storage or just temp bookmarks to return to later that day.

I'm planning to add search within your favorites, to help mine the backlog of old stuff you know you marked but can't find anymore.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 10:45 PM on July 6, 2006

I just found favorites* and have been going a little crazy. I use it as a subtle way of telling the other person "I like that!" Is that wrong?

*I also didn't know metatalk existed until last Fall...
posted by Pacheco at 10:46 PM on July 6, 2006

7713. Wow dude.
posted by puke & cry at 10:48 PM on July 6, 2006

Let's just say I have tunnel vision.
posted by Pacheco at 10:49 PM on July 6, 2006

What do you mean temporarily keep track of a thread or comment? Like, it's going to go somewhere? What's wrong with My Comments?

"Is that wrong?"

I don't know, but I'm thinking about starting a separate MetaTalk thread just to call you out on it.

Metafilter: I once called a man out in MeTa, just to watch him flameout.

I use favorites for posts I want to keep a record of forever, and don't trust the search function (sorry, Matt, but there it is) to find.
posted by Eideteker at 10:53 PM on July 6, 2006 [1 favorite]

What's wrong with My Comments?

If you just saw an interesting question in Ask MeFi about a phone you just bought, but you didn't leave a pointless "hey, I have that phone!" comment to have it show up in My Comments.

If you don't comment on something, but still want quick access to it, marking as a favorite is perfect for that.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:02 PM on July 6, 2006

What do you mean temporarily keep track of a thread or comment?

I see a thread/comment. For whatever reason*, I want to look at it again a day or a week later. At that point, I'll evaluate its true utility, and may or may not discard it by unfavoriting it.

*Examples: I see a use for that comment in my next Refi post; I suspect that thread will develop into an interesting or entertaining conversation; it reminds me of something but I'm not sure what...
posted by cortex at 11:02 PM on July 6, 2006

And what Matt said.
posted by cortex at 11:03 PM on July 6, 2006

I played around with favourites for a while, and I realized that deliciousing the posts i want to refer to forever is still the best way. So I now mark the ones I like as favourites, like Tuwa said, as a mark of appreciation, but dont really look at the page again.
posted by dhruva at 11:13 PM on July 6, 2006

I use it to bookmark interesting stuff and to express my appreciation. Usually, it's posts for the former and comments for the later. That changes from situation to situation, of course. Like mathowie says, it's whatever you want it to be.

I have not gone through and deleted stuff, but I feel I'll have to soon... so I can make sense of what I've favorited.

Q. If I delete a fav., is it erased from the original poster's list of favs. as well? I'd actually feel kind of bad about that.
posted by brundlefly at 11:44 PM on July 6, 2006

None of you say or post anything worthy enough.

I've got a handful at delicious and I've saved one post here but even under the threat of blowtorch I couldn't remember what that one is without looking. It's just more crack from mathowie to stop anyone leaving.
posted by peacay at 11:55 PM on July 6, 2006

Yeah, but the first one's free!
posted by brundlefly at 12:22 AM on July 7, 2006

Btw, your saved post is about contemporary Islamic art.

*breaks out blowtorch*
posted by brundlefly at 12:23 AM on July 7, 2006

I use it both ways - marking posts I think are great, and to keep track of threads that I don't want to comment in. I haven't deleted anything yet (didn't know you could) but will probably start pruning the threads I was temporarily interested in so older favourites really are favourites.

It is almost a shame that it's dual purpose, really - the social possibilities of 'x others marked this as a favourite' were interesting (eg. subscribing to the RSS feeds for a user's posts after spotting that you both keep favouriting the same stuff) but since you have no idea whether someone really considers a post a favourite, that potential for the feature has disappeared. (Not that I'd want it split into 'bookmarks' and 'favourites' - too fiddly.)

I'm planning to add search within your favorites, to help mine the backlog of old stuff you know you marked but can't find anymore.

posted by jack_mo at 3:11 AM on July 7, 2006

I intended to use it to keep track of posts I wanted to go back to, but am in the process over moving my favorites over to del.icio.us, which I was using before. Perhaps the search function will help, but without any sort of categorization scheme it was a real bitch to browse thorough favorites after you'd accumulated a certain amount.
posted by youarenothere at 5:51 AM on July 7, 2006

I use del.icio.us to permanently bookmark, co.mments.com to mark a thread whose progress I want to watch, and favorites just to indicate to someone that I liked the comment (so if you see that I've faved a comment of yours, it indicates that I liked it, not that I was just bookmarking it for later).
posted by Bugbread at 5:51 AM on July 7, 2006

I don't use it for me, I favorite threads that I want to encourage more of.
posted by empath at 5:54 AM on July 7, 2006

So far, one of my favorite uses for the tool is to go scan the site through my contacts' eyes. I've found some wonderful old posts that way, and some riotous comments in threads I wouldn't otherwise have read.
posted by CunningLinguist at 6:06 AM on July 7, 2006

What CL said. I do use it to remember stuff I want to check on, and the occasional really good post (none of peacay's, of course), but I like surfing other people's favorites quite a bit right now.
posted by OmieWise at 6:12 AM on July 7, 2006

Mine are almost all things I've clicked accidentally.
posted by cillit bang at 6:30 AM on July 7, 2006

I'm using it to gather information for when the revolution comes.
posted by blue_beetle at 6:38 AM on July 7, 2006

I use it to keep track of stuff I want to be able to find later, really good comments/posts, and one or two really dumb ones just for spite.
posted by signal at 6:59 AM on July 7, 2006

So how about splitting up favorites by the part of the site they come from? It's pretty messy having a little column of 50+ posts, with music, ask, mefi all mixed together. The easiest way I can think of is just having a filter for the subsite you want - 'show only Music favorites'. Unless of course this is part of the favorite search thing mentioned already.

I would also split up favorite posts and favorite comments, instead of having them side by side. It's a bit frustrating reading little squashed text, and when there is an imbalance you end up with half the screen empty.
posted by MetaMonkey at 7:35 AM on July 7, 2006

Well, if favoriting something is a way to give imaginary kudos to the poster, then isn't some people later unfavoriting it going to make them cry to the baby Jesus?

"Whoo, let me see if I have more favorited contributions this morning!"
"What? LESS? What did I do?" *runs to MetaTalk to look for latest insane, trumped up callout*

It just seems like people are using it for two contradictory things, and one of those methods doesn't work if everybody's not using it the same way. That is to say, you can't use favorite to say "good job" if it also means "bookmark, then delete once you've read all followups at the end of 30 days" because it is no longer safe to assume the former. So by now you're rolling your eyes, going "who cares?" (assuming you're even still reading), but I'm just saying that as a community, we can't have it both ways because one undermines the other.

I'm going to go on using favorites to mean "keep forever, for MetaFilter reference" and using my actual browser bookmarks (OMG, you can bookmark stuff with your browser now, and you don't even have to go to one particular site to maintain the list!), My Comments, and tabs/SessionSaver to keep track of stuff for the near future. But then, I can't even begin to follow the deluge that is AskMe, let alone have time to go back to individual threads on it. If I did, I imagine I'd use del.icio or even just e-mail myself the link like we did in the old days, and then leave the message marked unread until it was time to delete (or not delete, if you decided to use GMail to make it a searchable index).
posted by Eideteker at 9:34 AM on July 7, 2006

I never save comments for any length of time, but favorited posts are generally for things I want to save for later use. Sometimes, I'll mark something just out of sheer spectacle.
posted by absalom at 9:36 AM on July 7, 2006

Mine are almost all things I've clicked accidentally.

This explains why some of my content-free comments have been faved. This comment, for instance, can't be worth remembering. I'd like to see a similar mechanism to favorite-posts for tracking who's doing the favoring in comments. I mean, a tagline? That must be a missclick.
posted by anotherpanacea at 9:36 AM on July 7, 2006

OmieWise writes "(none of peacay's, of course)"

Stokes corncob pipe, trains musket on Baltimore.
posted by peacay at 10:08 AM on July 7, 2006

Your puny musket train doesn't scare me!

*hides behind Washington, D.C.*
posted by OmieWise at 10:35 AM on July 7, 2006

*trains muskrat to gnaw through Washington's breeches*
posted by peacay at 10:47 AM on July 7, 2006

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