Categories for Favorites January 18, 2007 12:13 PM   Subscribe

Would it be possible to allow users to set up categories for favorites, similar to what YouTube lets you do? I find myself favoriting comments/threads in a few particular areas (copyright, politics, music, misc. funny/memorable, etc.) so it would be useful to be able to categorize them a bit, especially as my number of favorites continues to grow. You could have set categories or preferably, allow the user to name their own.

(I did a quick search and didn't see this asked but apologies if it's already been suggested.)
posted by Jaybo to Feature Requests at 12:13 PM (13 comments total)

Community-powered tagging! Community-powered tagging!
posted by Plutor at 12:22 PM on January 18, 2007

Since we're talking about favorites here, here's my idea:

Keep the obnoxious, but now-ingrained, "favorites" regime in place, but remove the ability of all but the admins to see how many favorites any given comment has, or who has favorited it. That way, people can still see what comments they've favorited, but they won't know what other people have, or how many. This wouldn't entail complete redesign of the site-- just removing the "X users marked this as favorite" bit after every post/comment would do it-- and it would kill the silly popularity games that favorites encourage.
posted by koeselitz at 12:29 PM on January 18, 2007 [1 favorite]

I like Jaybo's suggestion a lot. Can we have a pony, Matt? Can we? Please?
posted by sveskemus at 12:32 PM on January 18, 2007

Bookmark This Page ... Ctrl+D
posted by monju_bosatsu at 12:36 PM on January 18, 2007

Great suggestion. I've been meaning to ask for this.
posted by timeistight at 12:42 PM on January 18, 2007

I've wished for this myself. I've found myself deleting some of my more frivolous favorites in order to keep the list short enough to wade through when I go back to look for a specific item.
posted by textilephile at 12:48 PM on January 18, 2007

A suggestion -- the Ask MeFi categories could be a good starting point.
posted by danb at 12:49 PM on January 18, 2007

I am very much in favor of this.
posted by Terminal Verbosity at 2:22 PM on January 18, 2007

Isn't this the sort of thing it's easier and more efficient to do outwith the site? Folders in you browser bookmarks, tags on, that sort of thing.
posted by jack_mo at 2:28 PM on January 18, 2007

I say 'sort of thing' way too much.
posted by jack_mo at 2:29 PM on January 18, 2007

I've considered tagging/descriptions when you favorite something, yeah.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 3:09 PM on January 18, 2007

No offense intended to anyone, but I think this is a bad idea. We just got the snazzy new favorites thing that removes the need for any interstitial pages, and now you want to bring those back so people can categorize their favorites?

Just as there are many pony requests that are ultimately better solved with a FF extension or Greasemonkey userscript, I think this one is also better served with a non-site based approach. If you are having trouble keeping your favorites straight, a) stop favoriting stuff you'll never want to come back to (i.e. funny comments) - I'm guilty of this too from time to time but wish people would stop; and/or b) start using browser bookmarks,, etc. to keep it all straight.

What would an in-site favorites system with tags or categories or something like the one proposed here accomplish that, for example, the extension or browser bookmarklets would not?

Let's cut the man a break. Just because Matt can do something with the site doesn't mean he should.
posted by joshuaconner at 12:55 AM on January 19, 2007

Joshuaconner: I wasn't asking Matt to implement this tomorrow. Just throwing out an idea for a future improvement - whenever it happens *if* it happens.

I'd like to respond to the alternate suggestions of a couple of the people who don't like this idea...

Tagging is definitely useful but only to a point. Without a single authoritative guide (in libraries, it's the Dewey Decimal System or the Library of Congress Subject Headings and even they're not perfect), different people will focus on different things with their tags - somebody's "politics" is somebody else's "president" is somebody else's "republican" and so on. Also, tags can't be applied to individual comments which is the level that I see this feature operating at for the most part.

It's a similar problem with the AskMF categories but instead of being fairly specific like tags, they're extremely broad and don't provide for nearly the same level of personalization that this feature would.

Some of you are suggesting page-level alternate solutions (Bookmark the page) but again, I'm mainly thinking of comment-level categorization. I do realise that you can achieve a similar effect by using delicious or your own bookmarks folder.

But I think there is a big advantage in having all your fav$ourited and categorized comments and threads right on MetaFilter rather than using a third-party site (even one as reliable and well-known as delicious). A MeFi specific solution would likely result in a much more user-friendly interface than the "right click" then click "bookmark this" then "rename 12:51 or whatever default name for the bookmark is" then cut & paste a portion of the comment to help remember why you saved it in the first place and so on. Having an option for "Favourites Folders" built right into Metafilter is an improvement that would be very user-friendly, customizable and which just makes sense.

(At least I hope it does - I'm not sure if I do!)
posted by Jaybo at 7:49 AM on January 19, 2007

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