My Post Wishlist June 11, 2007 1:56 PM   Subscribe

I was wondering how feasible a few adds on for people who post threads would be. I was thinking would it be possible for the OP to be able to see stats like how many people viewed the full thread and how many clicked on the different links? it would give a fairly good idea of how much interest a post generated, over and above what you can see from the number of favourites, etc.
posted by criticalbill to Feature Requests at 1:56 PM (43 comments total)

Oddly enough this thread hasnt shown up on the MetaTalk frontpage as yet, some minutes after i posted it. Is there a queueing system I'd never noticed before?
posted by criticalbill at 2:02 PM on June 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


1. I'd have to start tracking how many pageviews every thread gets (adding a db write to every pageview), and I'd have to start rewriting all links to track clicks. Given those two major changes, I would say the likelihood of doing this is low, given the stats are just a minor "gee, that's cool" kind of thing.

2. Yeah, stuff takes 1-5 minutes to update the front page cache.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 2:05 PM on June 11, 2007


Ah, but one man's "gee, that's kind of cool" is another man's deep personal sense of validation and meaning. But I was just thinking something like this would be interesting also, but if it takes a lot of work to realize, then maybe not so much.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:08 PM on June 11, 2007


another man's deep personal sense of validation and meaning

this is pretty much where i am coming from...
posted by criticalbill at 2:12 PM on June 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


I would have said what Matt said even without having to do the work. Throwing every link through a rewrite seems pretty silly—there's nothing about Metafilter that makes it necessary to capture outgoing linkthrough stats, even if some sort of heatmap tracking could be neat to look at.

I like neat metrics, but it doesn't seem worth the effort required to implement. And to put a kind of hippy-dippy spin on that, I think that posting to the front page should be its own satisfaction, more or less. A good post doesn't really need post hoc validation by clickthrough counts, and a bad post certainly doesn't need justification based on same ("a lot of people clicked it, though!").
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:19 PM on June 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


And to put a kind of hippy-dippy spin on that, I think that posting to the front page should be its own satisfaction, more or less.

And if that's not good enough for you, you could always determine your personal worth based on the number of favorites you have received :-P
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 2:28 PM on June 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


Gosh! I wasn't ready for that pink background to scream at me like that.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:29 PM on June 11, 2007


How feasible would it be to have brick post here? That would rule.
posted by dios at 2:30 PM on June 11, 2007


Is "brick" a person?
posted by cgc373 at 2:33 PM on June 11, 2007


you could always determine your personal worth based on the number of favorites you have received

well thats just it, i dont get very many, so i was hoping i might find out that hundreds of people had clicked my links, just not bothered to favourite them

but also i think it would be interesting to see how many of your links people bother to click thru on, ie. do people actually take that much interest in the secondary links that you dredge up to make your post more worthy?

Apart from the personal validation thing, these stats might help posters refine their posting technique, thereby making metafilter even better and stronger. But I have no idea how much programming work it would be and accede with much doffing of cap to the top bananas
posted by criticalbill at 2:33 PM on June 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


Speaking of personal worth, everytime someone complains about the color of my profile, I win :-D
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 2:34 PM on June 11, 2007 [2 favorites]


"Is "brick" a person?"

No, it's the platonic ideal of masonry.
posted by klangklangston at 2:36 PM on June 11, 2007


Oh, and hey Matt, I really like how Activity's at the top and Comments are at the bottom. Just saying that before some luzer complains and you change it.
posted by klangklangston at 2:37 PM on June 11, 2007


Brick can post here as often as he like.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:37 PM on June 11, 2007


I bet you'd like to know how many people clicked on that wouldn't ya
posted by criticalbill at 2:39 PM on June 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


Maybe Matt could put a special box in our profiles that links to our HotOrNot.com profiles, which some sort of coding that will produce a list that ranks us in descending order? I say yes.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 2:42 PM on June 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


I bet you'd like to know how many people clicked on that wouldn't ya


You're darn right. Maybe a feature that gauges subjective reaction could be implemented in the future so I could have more currency than just hard viewing stats.

And, via the magic of "related videos" on the youtube, I give you this random weird stump by a random weird Texas state representative to the random weird Texas House for a failed bill.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:49 PM on June 11, 2007


well thats just it, i dont get very many, so i was hoping i might find out that hundreds of people had clicked my links, just not bothered to favourite them

Prepare to feel validated: measuring from a few situations where I've had the opportunity to measure, something linked off the front page will pull in several thousand referrered clicks that day even if it's relatively weird or niche.

People are clicking the hell out of the stuff you post, have no fear. If you get valid criticism in a thread you've posted, by all means take that into account, but don't worry about a lack of favorites or comments—it generally has more to do with the nature and genre of the post than the quality. (Is it something that fires people up? Comments ahoy! Is it link-heavy or likely to "develop" over time? Favorites jump way up! Do either of those things alone measure objective quality? Not really.)

Apart from the personal validation thing, these stats might help posters refine their posting technique, thereby making metafilter even better and stronger.

Heck, if you're posting something and it doesn't die a miserable flagged-and-deleted death, you can't be doing too badly. Folks would probably get more from reading Metatalk and the sidebar regularly than from scrutinizing hit counts trying to suss out what sells and what doesn't.

I know that's not a tremendously satisfying response, but embracing it is probably a better path to enlightenment than worrying about the numbers.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:50 PM on June 11, 2007


but embracing it is probably a better path to enlightenment than worrying about the numbers.

If I'd realised that posting to metafilter was on the path to enlightenment, I'd have gone about it in a totally different way. Now I'm really gonna have to refine my technique
posted by criticalbill at 3:09 PM on June 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


Something similar to this was requested for Music some time ago. In that occasion the poster was asking if we could find out how many times our songs were being played online and how many times they were downloaded.

It didn't generate much enthusiasm that time either, but I still think it would have been cool. It's a shame that it is so complicated to implement.
posted by micayetoca at 3:09 PM on June 11, 2007


Maybe Metafilter needs less widgets and more good content.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:19 PM on June 11, 2007


"brick post" probably means a post that doesn't get any rim or backboard. No hits, no diggs, no beans. I missed the basketball reference earlier.
posted by Burhanistan at 3:20 PM on June 11, 2007


needs less widgets? isn't that a logical impossibility?
posted by criticalbill at 3:25 PM on June 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


Easy fix criticalbill. Find an interesting YouTube video. Work it in to an fpp. Write down how many views it has before you post it. Then check it obsessively every 10 minutes or so for the next day or two to see how many people watched it.
posted by vronsky at 3:38 PM on June 11, 2007


I'm assuming Blatcher is going with the edgy less = not more construction.

Although if your Mefi ProTM account is paid up you do get access to the AgendaFilter module, which is pretty handy for tracking axe-grinding schedules.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:41 PM on June 11, 2007


Oh, you're the guy who posted The Battle of Cable Street post! FWIW, I clicked the hell out of that one.
posted by soundofsuburbia at 3:45 PM on June 11, 2007


yeah but that was my big hit, soundofsuburbia; since then i've had chronic second album syndrome...
posted by criticalbill at 3:50 PM on June 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


vronsky, if the LRB gets a stat counter, we could be in business

While I'm in the making suggestions that get dismissed out of hand zone, how about some sort of email ping whenever a new comment gets posted in your thread? save my mouse button a couple of years worth of clickin'

should i bother with those two last comments?
posted by criticalbill at 4:01 PM on June 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


"...if the LRB gets a stat counter..."

The Little River Band?

(Seriously, what's the LRB?)
posted by mr_crash_davis at 4:08 PM on June 11, 2007


The Lady in Red's Balls?
posted by criticalbill at 4:11 PM on June 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


LRB - London Review of Books
posted by vronsky at 4:35 PM on June 11, 2007


The London Review of Books. Peasants!
I have favourited each of criticalbill's comments, just to cheer him up, as this pony isn't getting out the barn by the looks of things.
posted by Abiezer at 4:45 PM on June 11, 2007


criticalbill: I posted this to metachat the other day, it relates to a fairly niche Mefi post that didn't get a lot of comments but as you can see the clickthroughs were mistaken for a DDOS attack

_____________

So the site I linked to yesterday on Mefi went down. I queried the librarian of the host site & got this reply, which partially answers a question I've always wondered about, re: number of people that actually click on the links on mefi.

"FYI, starting at approx 2:30pm yesterday, there has been a huge amount of traffic for the gateway on the /spcoll/Digit/Geddes/* pages. The traffic originates from approx 8000 different IP addresses, including broadband DSL/cable connections and foreign IPs (.ru, .hu, .jp, etc.)

This is either a DDOS attack or there has been some sudden worldwide interest in these pages.

Regardless of the cause, last night alarms started going off about the CPU load on the gateway servers. I disabled off-campus access to these pages overnight, which settled things down. I've turned it back on this morning. There are still constant requests coming in for these pages, but at a slightly slower rate. If it gets out of hand again, I may have to turn the off-campus block back on."
posted by Rumple at 5:00 PM on June 11, 2007


omg someone on the internets dumped a truckload in our tubes!
posted by mr_crash_davis at 5:35 PM on June 11, 2007


:: pant pant ::

Sorry, just got here. Is this where I come for validation?
posted by The Deej at 6:33 PM on June 11, 2007


No, sorry. This is only where they validate that you came.
posted by Burhanistan at 6:35 PM on June 11, 2007


I'll take it!!!!
posted by The Deej at 6:47 PM on June 11, 2007


"...how much interest a post generated..."

I think a little mystery in life is a good thing. Must everything be quantified?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:01 PM on June 11, 2007


Validation? I just wait for languagehat or nickyskye to show up and say something along the lines of "good post" or "nobody will like this, but I'm glad you did it."

Then I can get my rocks off.
posted by carsonb at 7:38 PM on June 11, 2007


I have this vague recollection of someone posting a 1-pixel image in a thread or a link once in order to track traffic. The result was a total freakout, IIRC.
posted by Mid at 7:56 PM on June 11, 2007


Mid, was it this?
posted by carsonb at 8:05 PM on June 11, 2007


No, but I forgot about that freakout.
posted by Mid at 8:14 PM on June 11, 2007


mathowie writes "I'd have to start rewriting all links to track clicks"

Please no link rewriting. Not only is it an additional hit on the server but it would mean extra work to strip the redirect out of links every time Metafilter went down.
posted by Mitheral at 2:08 PM on June 12, 2007


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