Post-specific summary statistics January 9, 2007 11:17 PM   Subscribe

Post-specific summary statistics. [mi]
posted by Saucy Intruder to Feature Requests at 11:17 PM (33 comments total)

Picture the following, for each thread, right below the list of tags:
Learn About the Stock Market While Wasting Time Online
Posted by: The Pink Superhero on January 9, 2007 10:49 PM EST
Latest comment by: The Pink Superhero on January 9, 2007 11:24 PM EST
Contributors (7 total, 5 unique): 13 users marked this as a favorite [add to favorites]
Why, you ask? This makes for a useful "executive summary" of the comments for each post. In threads with hundreds of comments, typically there are between two and five users taking up most of the real estate. The executive summary can help members evaluate whether the thread is a lively discussion or a flamewar, and proceed accordingly.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 11:18 PM on January 9, 2007


From a numbers-whore perspective: delicious. From a joe-average mefi reader perspective: eh. Why?
posted by cortex at 11:30 PM on January 9, 2007


If 80 people comment in the thread, that would take up a hell of a lot of real estate. Also, this could be done with Greasemonkey, no?
posted by Roger Dodger at 11:31 PM on January 9, 2007


Debate The Everyman Qualities of the Best Rock 'N Roll Bands Ever
Posted by: jonmc on January 27, 2007 8:32 PM EST
Latest comment by: jonmc on January 27, 2007 10:21 PM EST
Contributors (193 total, 5 unique): 930 users marked this as a favorite [add to favorites] I kid! I kid! (that was way too much work)
posted by The God Complex at 11:38 PM on January 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


A Gini coefficient of the comments would measure the relative concentration or dispersion of the comments in the thread to users.
posted by milkrate at 11:39 PM on January 9, 2007


That's very nice. Who gives a shit?
posted by bob sarabia at 12:02 AM on January 10, 2007


Metadazzle overfizzle, I reckon.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:17 AM on January 10, 2007


The servers here are on their knees during prime time as it is. And you want to quadruple the amount of CPU time it takes to display every page? Good plan!
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 12:17 AM on January 10, 2007


I would support this idea only if MeTa threads had statistics showing statistics such as snarks, jokes, voices of reason and pissed off moderators.
posted by Effigy2000 at 12:33 AM on January 10, 2007


And you want to quadruple the amount of CPU time it takes to display every page?

Yet another totally erroneous factoid pulled from SCDB's ass.

Considering all the other overhead I doubt this would add more than a small fraction to it. I don't really know how useful the feature itself is, but it wouldn't be that resource heavy.

(I have a small working grasp of CF and SQL, but I'm not a webdev.)
posted by loquacious at 12:35 AM on January 10, 2007


I would support this idea only if MeTa threads had statistics showing statistics such as snarks, jokes, voices of reason and pissed off moderators.

Pissed off moderators: 2
posted by loquacious at 12:37 AM on January 10, 2007


Metafilter: Yet another totally erroneous factoid

Left out the remainder of your comment, loq, to make it a bit more... universal.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 12:42 AM on January 10, 2007


Metafilter: snarks, jokes, voices of reason and pissed off moderators.

I agree that this is going to look like arse on threads with lots of comments. I'm sure a few people will compete to be at the top of the list in popular threads too.
posted by shelleycat at 12:55 AM on January 10, 2007


Actually, I take that back. It looks like arse even in the example given.
posted by shelleycat at 12:57 AM on January 10, 2007


Seriously, what the fuck? You actually think this won't make the front page look like total ass to list the contributors for every post? Putting aside the increased load on the database, CPU, and bandwidth, I just don't see how this could possibly be useful. It's sipping from the fire hose, information overload. What does a list of 50 names after each thread really accomplish other than to uglify the heck ouf of things?

Digg used to do this bullshit by showing "users who dugg this" and it was completely ridiculous, it was like a list of 500 random names at the bottom of every story.
posted by Rhomboid at 1:05 AM on January 10, 2007


Oh. Now I see you were not talking about the front page but listing this on each thread's own page. I still fail to see the point, because if you've already loaded the comments page you can pretty much scan up and down to see the nature of the conversation, especially if you have the MeFi Navigator installed. (Not to mention that you could probably modify MeFi navigator to do what you want without too much work.) This would just be adding redundant clutter. Isn't one of the halmarks of metafilter that it is relatively simple and clean layout wise? Or in other words... metadazzle overfizzle.
posted by Rhomboid at 1:09 AM on January 10, 2007


Yo, Rhomboid, careful with the +8 Nerd Rage Acid Spittle there. Gonna let the magic smoke out.
posted by loquacious at 1:18 AM on January 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


Well there you have it, from opposite sides of the globe, opinion is unanimous: it's either gonna look like "arse" or look like "ass".
posted by flapjax at midnite at 1:43 AM on January 10, 2007


And it should be collapsible!
posted by liquorice at 3:21 AM on January 10, 2007


So... I'll put you guys down for great idea.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 4:30 AM on January 10, 2007


I strongly agree with previous posters that this -- like many such suggestions for design change -- falls into the realm of a customized wish-list item. Often these items share two attributes: 1) they aren't in high demand by other users and 2) they work best on the client side.

I've been guilty of banging the greasemonkey/firefox extension drum on MetaTalk a fair amount lately. Yet it doesn't appear that the whole "keep small-demand customizations on the client side of the equation" idea is making any headway. So here's what we'll do for ya...

This is a Greasemonkey script or a Firefox extension (no Greasemonkey required) that, more or less, does what you requested. The formatting and location is a little off, but it has all the info. Frankly, I think if you try it for a bit, you'll find that your original concept doesn't work all that well, but if it does work out for you, that's all to the good. Easy to tweak if you want a better formatting fit, too. Unfortunately, if you have a slower machine or open a topic with several hundred comments in it, the script/extension will merrily grind statistical thoughts through its pointy little head for long enough to go make a sandwich.

So why bother? Well, with a concrete example maybe, just maybe, people will see that these script dealies aren't all that hard to implement on the client side. They'll personalize their Meta experience their way on their machine without drawing on MetaFilter-side resources. Everybody stays happy, flowers bloom, children chortle, and they hang the jerk who invented work.

Disclaimers abound: Requires Firefox. Minimally debugged, minimally tested, unoptimized, and slow. Written in the early AM hours, so programming elegance is minimal. Not collapsible, but it could well collapse. Stat output looks like crap, although that's a personal opinion and doesn't mean I don't think you're a perfectly excellent person.
posted by mdevore at 4:31 AM on January 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


...so people begin suffering chronic logorrhea to push their name up in thread stats? Is there a possible reason for doing this which is neither bad nor dull trivia? If I wanted to know how many times Member X had commented, I could use the text search available in the Browser Of My Choice and count the hits.
posted by ardgedee at 5:06 AM on January 10, 2007


very cool, mdevore! Now can you squish it into the sidebar, or am I asking too much?
posted by Saucy Intruder at 5:14 AM on January 10, 2007


You're, uhh, sure you don't program? Easy stuff that JavaScript. Fun. Way fun. Fun fun fun.

Well, after I get some sleep maybe I can take a look, if nobody else volunteers before then. And if I get bored and/or tired of real work.
posted by mdevore at 5:20 AM on January 10, 2007


They do this on vBulletin boards, if you click on the number of responses in the main thread listing.

The only time I've ever seen it used is when people want to point out that someone is posting too many times in a thread.
posted by smackfu at 6:34 AM on January 10, 2007


The executive summary can help members evaluate whether the thread is a lively discussion or a flamewar,

How would the number of users posting in a long thread indicate whether it's a flamewar or a healthy discussion? To be honest, I'm not even sure if you're suggesting that you would skip a long thread with only a few commenters because it's likely to be a flamewar, or that you would skip a long thread with a lot of commenters because it's likely to be a flame war.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:50 AM on January 10, 2007


fewer commenters = lilkely flamewar.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 10:40 AM on January 10, 2007


I dunno, lots of times there are non-flame protracted discussions that evolve out of an extended back-and-forth between several posters. A good example was the John Cage 4:33 subthread that emerged in the recent piano virtuoso youtube thread. That was totally civil and respectful but still had a relatively small number of posters and a lot of comments.
posted by Rhomboid at 11:16 AM on January 10, 2007


What's great about this idea though is that you can see if particular users who you know have an inclination to erupt into flamewars racking up 10 posts each in a thread, you can most likely avoid it. Or think about it from a moderation standpoint... moderator can tell at a glance if there's probably a flamewar going on and whether or not they should review a thread they might have otherwise been uninterested in -- before it gets meta'd.

Won't you think of the moderators?
posted by empyrean at 11:43 PM on January 10, 2007


can you squish it into the sidebar

Right floated and aligned the Mondo StatMe output so it's kinda like a cheap sidebar along the comments stream. Anything more elegant requires actual thought of which I am in short supply. Also broke the Latest Comment sentence in two and reduced the font so it doesn't take up half the screen width. If you want anything else, you have, ohhh, about eight hours to ask for it before I put cutting edge version 1.1 up.
posted by mdevore at 3:19 PM on January 11, 2007


Can you incorporate a pony?
posted by cortex at 3:22 PM on January 11, 2007


pony IMG, sure. Bind it to a mouse gesture, maybe.
posted by mdevore at 3:29 PM on January 11, 2007


maybe a little sort of side-to-side whipping motion, to call to mind that of a crop
posted by cortex at 3:42 PM on January 11, 2007


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