Updates from Contacts November 2, 2007 3:11 PM   Subscribe

We just launched contacts activity (looks like this, also on the sidebar of the front page showing the most recent 10 things). More explanation inside.

I've been thinking of ways to make the contacts feature actually do something. We had the page of your contacts along with posts from your contacts (scroll down), but that wasn't very interesting or useful. Facebook obviously did this very well and we tailored a similar approach with this new feature.

You add people as contacts that you like to read. Then you get notified when they post a question, job, main page post, etc, you get notified when they get a best answer, when any comment or post gets more than a dozen favorites, and when they add other people (that you probably also know and like).

Bonus feature: click the icons on the full page and it will filter the page to show just those similar items.

Anyway, in the few days of testing it, I'm finding all sorts of interesting stuff. Posts from friends, funny comments I missed, etc. Me and Jessamyn talked about the feature today in a podcast that I'm uploading hopefully this weekend, but add a few contacts and try it out if you're curious.
posted by mathowie to Feature Requests at 3:11 PM (171 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

What the McWhat What?!?!
posted by blue_beetle at 3:15 PM on November 2, 2007


This better tell me who's humping who.
posted by SassHat at 3:15 PM on November 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


MY STALKING POWERS ARE NOW COMPLETE!
posted by ColdChef at 3:16 PM on November 2, 2007 [2 favorites]


cool!
posted by cell divide at 3:16 PM on November 2, 2007


I'm not spamming. I'm just enthusiastic.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:16 PM on November 2, 2007


Wow, that's really cool. So many new good things lately, I'm getting all tingly.
posted by quin at 3:19 PM on November 2, 2007


I wondered WTF when I saw all this 'add contacts' activity from kindall in the sidebar - I was afraid it was an admin bug or something at first. Then I figured it out.
posted by mwhybark at 3:21 PM on November 2, 2007


Heh. It's a great big contacting orgy right now, in fact; nothing on the contact activity page but people adding each other.

Bonus feature: click the icons on the full page and it will filter the page to show just those similar items.

Hey, Matt, what if we add the full list of icons in a little row at the top of that page, so people can check those specific filters without having to hunt for an item that matches?
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:29 PM on November 2, 2007


Yeah, we might hide the add contact activity on the sidebar, or collapse it or something. It's ok on the full page feed, but kinda annoying on the sidebar.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 3:29 PM on November 2, 2007


Don't you people understand? I'm using this Internet thing to AVOID contact!!!
posted by wendell at 3:30 PM on November 2, 2007 [4 favorites]


Nice.

Any chance of changing the links to posts and comments using the new URL form (/12345/) instead of the old (/mefi/12345)?

It's just that Safari loses the anchor bit of the URL during the redirect, so instead of jumping to the comment, you just end up at the top of the page. (Alternatively, I guess someone could fix Safari.)
posted by chrismear at 3:33 PM on November 2, 2007


I have to add a whack a people if I want to follow their posts, because I have neglected thus far to do so. I got tired after 5. Is there a faster way to do this? Like a big list, and I just check'em off? (God I'm lazy today.)
posted by typewriter at 3:35 PM on November 2, 2007


This better tell me who's humping who.

That's simple enough... Everyone is humping everyone else. I'm the pivot point.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 3:40 PM on November 2, 2007


typewriter, I've just been surfing for usernames, opening their profiles in a new window, clicking "add", clicking okay, boom. Rinse and repeat. It's not lightning, but it works okay.

Slower going if you start with someone in mind, of course, because you have to (one way or another) track 'em down.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:42 PM on November 2, 2007


Uh, yeah, I was trying to think of people. That was slowing me down.
posted by typewriter at 3:43 PM on November 2, 2007


I am trying, TRYING not to freak out that I know nobody on here. It's OK. :::breathe::: Not a popularity contest...repeat after me, here, Stew. Not. A. Popularity. Contest.
posted by Stewriffic at 3:45 PM on November 2, 2007


I am adding people whose posts/comments I like. I have not met 98% of the people here.
posted by typewriter at 3:49 PM on November 2, 2007


Again with the coolness. Will it never end?
posted by rtha at 3:50 PM on November 2, 2007


*hugs Stew*

I know how you feel. It's ok to not be popular. Just let the hatred build up in you, and then, one day, unleash it as it erupts into an orgy of blood, fire, violence, and penguins.

Works for me every time.
posted by quin at 3:53 PM on November 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


I should have named this "Updates from Cortex" because that's all I see now.

pb just added a filter dropdown, so you can see other stuff happening from your contacts aside from adding contacts (all hail pb!).
posted by mathowie (staff) at 3:56 PM on November 2, 2007


Alriiiight. I added you random three people too. Now your posts/comments will be drawn to my attention! How do you feel about that?

nice to meet you
posted by typewriter at 3:57 PM on November 2, 2007


Shiny. Now I need some contacts.
posted by backseatpilot at 3:57 PM on November 2, 2007


come and get it ladies. plenty to go around.
posted by docpops at 4:01 PM on November 2, 2007


Wow, Typewriter I have a crush on you for adding me! I added you back. THANKS!
posted by Stewriffic at 4:04 PM on November 2, 2007


(that wasn't meant to be sound overly obnoxious, but it sure did)
posted by Stewriffic at 4:05 PM on November 2, 2007


This is interesting. Can I filter it so I only see who adds me as a crush? I always do something *special* for those who crush on me, so it would be nice to see just those.
posted by dios at 4:07 PM on November 2, 2007


You so just got crushed.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 4:18 PM on November 2, 2007


Yarr. I am a terrible misanthrope, and consequently only have a single former coworker as a contact.

If this is to be used to track favorite users' contributions, ought we not find a different term than contact? Contacts/links made sense earlier, with the XFN mojo, and further with the addition of mail, making my contact list an address book of people I'm likely to contact. This new functionality, however, is gonna make me want to use it much as typewriter is, to track people who produce quality stuff, but whom I don't know... Oh, never mind. I'm already seeing this as the new "what are favorites supposed to be for?" issue. It's all a plate of beans in the end.
posted by mumkin at 4:20 PM on November 2, 2007


mumkin, it was either "contacts" or "friends" and calling someone who writes well but you've never met your friend feels a bit weird on other sites. "contact" is a non-committal way to say there's some sort of connect.

I suppose we could call one-way contacts "fans" like they do on other sites ("bob is a fan of alice") and reciprocal linked users might be "friends", dunno.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 4:31 PM on November 2, 2007


Will you be making MeFi an Open Social container? Because that would be pretty sweet.
posted by empath at 4:34 PM on November 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


great stuff mathowie. the hits keep on coming.
posted by three blind mice at 4:34 PM on November 2, 2007


I suppose we could call one-way contacts "fans" like they do on other sites ("bob is a fan of alice") and reciprocal linked users might be "friends", dunno.

FWIW, I happen to think "contacts" is a perfectly good all-purpose word for MeFi.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:36 PM on November 2, 2007


Will you be making MeFi an Open Social container?

Yeah, whenever they hammer that thing out and there's some simple code floating around and people start building apps on it, we'll definitely do what we can to make your contacts/activity here a shareable thing.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 4:38 PM on November 2, 2007


Is there any way for me to disable it? I'd like that choice, if it's possible.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 4:38 PM on November 2, 2007


Is there any way for me to disable it? I'd like that choice, if it's possible.

Curmudgeon!
posted by dersins at 4:44 PM on November 2, 2007


I would like an option to disable it as well. I also am a curmudgeon.

However, on top of or besides that, it would be nice if it only showed the most recent couple of things per contact, so, say, select the ten contacts who have had the most recent activity, and show their most recent actions.

This will avoid the cortex spam. I mean, enthusiasm.
posted by blacklite at 4:49 PM on November 2, 2007


Can we see our own log anywhere? Maybe on our profile page?
posted by cillit bang at 4:49 PM on November 2, 2007


Err.

Could this not perhaps go under the Social column in My Profile where one's contacts are listed?

Optionally, I'd like to turn it off or something. I hate to be an ungrateful peon, but I don't like it on my front page.

However, what I WOULD like on the front page is the same list for me, rather than the people whom I stalk. Because I really do care that much more about myself than I care about you.
posted by DarlingBri at 4:51 PM on November 2, 2007


Is there any way for me to disable it?

At the moment, you can remove contacts you have (esp. if you aren't really using the feature).
posted by mathowie (staff) at 4:55 PM on November 2, 2007


Mine is now just a great big list of everyone that cortex has added as a contact in the last thirty minutes. Once again his heavy handed moderation of the site ruins the usability, excitement, and thrill of life for all of us.
posted by cmonkey at 4:57 PM on November 2, 2007 [3 favorites]


Can we see our own log anywhere? Maybe on our profile page?

seconded
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 4:57 PM on November 2, 2007


At the moment, you can remove contacts you have (esp. if you aren't really using the feature)

But you can't remove people who have added YOU as a contact, and their activity still appears to show up.
posted by dersins at 5:00 PM on November 2, 2007


I never thought of my own feed on my userpage. Where a list of "here's what your contacts are doing" seems informative, throwing a "here's everything I've done" on the profile page seems weird and stalkery.

Plus, your entire profile page already shows every comment, favorite, and contact you've made. This is just a new interface for the same information in that context.

Lemme think about it.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 5:00 PM on November 2, 2007


But you can't remove people who have added YOU as a contact, and their activity still appears to show up.

It shouldn't. You should only see activity on the people you added. If you added zero contacts, the feature should drop away from the sidebar altogether.

People that add you aren't your contacts, you're on their contacts.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 5:01 PM on November 2, 2007


Also, dershins, you have 18 contacts. Updates from those people are showing up for you. Remove them all and it should go away.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 5:03 PM on November 2, 2007


my god. it's full of stars.
posted by clockwork at 5:03 PM on November 2, 2007


Matt, I didn't mean MY own feed, though that sounds like ti might be interesting, I mean a longer log of contact activity. The page in your flickr pic: where is it?
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 5:06 PM on November 2, 2007


Ambrosia, the longer log of your contact activity is linked below the sidebar feed.

http://www.metafilter.com/contribute/contact-news.mefi
posted by mathowie (staff) at 5:09 PM on November 2, 2007


Updates from those people are showing up for you

Indeed. But when typewriter added me as a contact, her (?) updates began to appear on the sidebar thingy before I reciprocated. I think. Unless I misremember, which is not entirely unlikely.

Also, there's no "h" in "dersins," Mr. Haughhhey.

Dammit.
posted by dersins at 5:09 PM on November 2, 2007


Yeah, people that add you will show up, but only after you have a few contacts.

So:

1. you add three friends as contacts
2. some random person adds you (they like your posts), you get a notification in the feed

Every other system does it this way (I have the 5,000 annoying flickr emails to prove it) and it works pretty well for discovering new users or fans of your work.

If you have zero contacts, you won't have this feature on the sidebar, and it will go away, no matter who adds you.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 5:13 PM on November 2, 2007


my mefi stalking just got a whole lot easier.
posted by Dillonlikescookies at 5:13 PM on November 2, 2007


Thanks, Matt. Designwise, a rule beneath that link might be a good idea. I don't know why but I took it for an archival link, like those immediately below it.

Linking back to that page from somewhere on the My Contacts page seems advisable too.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 5:16 PM on November 2, 2007


How about just putting it all below the regular sidebar? It's useful, but extremely distracting.
posted by interrobang at 5:22 PM on November 2, 2007


This will be so cool for those hundreds of MeFites that follow my every word.

Hello?

Um.


Hello?

posted by The Deej at 5:32 PM on November 2, 2007


This basic idea seems like it would be a good way for a user to track their favorite categories on AskMefi.

and it would be nice to to be able to take it off the front page, while still retaining contacts. I like the contact feature, but I don't want to see everyday, which will quickly get annoying, I love thinking "Hey, what are x,y and z up to? Lemmee go see!"
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:33 PM on November 2, 2007


Does it show if someone subtracts someone as a contact?
posted by iconomy at 5:36 PM on November 2, 2007


Oh boy, look at all these people with more friends than me.


Mother would be ashamed.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 5:37 PM on November 2, 2007


Well, I guess I better go link to some folks with activity more recent than "a long time ago".
posted by itchylick at 5:40 PM on November 2, 2007


Does it show if someone subtracts someone as a contact?

Just tried. Added you; message there about it. Removed you; add message disappeared from list. So it looks like it doesn't explicitly, no.

Then I added you again.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:41 PM on November 2, 2007


and it would be nice to to be able to take it off the front page, while still retaining contacts.

Seconded. Or thirded, I guess, since SCDB has weighed in, too.

I would much rather be able to turn this feature off than get rid of the couple of contacts I have.
posted by briank at 5:43 PM on November 2, 2007


cortex you're a fucking contacting maniac.
posted by dersins at 5:46 PM on November 2, 2007


“At the moment, you can remove contacts you have (esp. if you aren't really using the feature).”

Yeah, but the problem with that is that it's socially rude. When people are adding you as a contact, most people feel some pressure to reciprocate.

I've mostly resisted that, but sometime earlier this year a related topic came up in MeTa and I looked at my 29:81 ratio and got to thinking about it and decided that it made me look sort of snobbish because of that implicit reciprocity. I haven't changed how I decide to add someone as a contact, but I'm not comfortable with acting in a way that other people will interpret as unfriendly.

Anyway, my point is that not having contacts is an extreme solution to the problem of this new feature when it's unwanted.

Because I certainly don't want all that new clutter on the front page.

Also, I suspect this is a bad architectural decision on your part. That's a whole bunch of dynamically generated unique content for every logged-in view of the front page.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 5:47 PM on November 2, 2007


This will be so cool for those hundreds of MeFites that follow my every word.

It doesn't cover comments, that'd be too much churn, so it just highlights posts made to the various sites.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 5:53 PM on November 2, 2007


and it would be nice to to be able to take it off the front page, while still retaining contacts.

(Large ordinal)ed.
posted by Wolfdog at 5:58 PM on November 2, 2007


I looked at my 29:81 ratio and got to thinking about it and decided that it made me look sort of snobbish because of that implicit reciprocity

That's an odd reaction, not in a "you're doing it WRONG" way, just odd. I've never felt the pull to add people that add me on other services. I always figured everyone uses the service as they see fit. For something that is purely social, like say, friendster back in the day, it did seem like someone walking up to you and saying "I am your friend" so you'd likely connect back.

But with things like flickr (more about sharing photos), twitter (posting short updates), and mefi (commenting about threads or making posts themselves), the social aspects are secondary and if some random person I've never heard of adds me in flickr, I figure they like my photos or something. I only add people back if their photos are amazing and/or I know them in real life.

Because I certainly don't want all that new clutter on the front page.

It's new, but it's half way down the page in a 160px (probably only 10-15% of screen for most) sidebar and the sidebar wasn't really updating very often. I suspect this is a reaction to having something there that wasn't before, but I'd like to let it sit for a few days before we start piling on the turn off/turn on, show features/hide features, add more/take away changes to it.

Just try it out for a few days and if it's still in your way come next week, we'll put some way to hide it.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 6:01 PM on November 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


That's interesting, but what's the point? It seems like you guys are adding lots of social networking features, but is Metafilter really a social networking site? I mean, is metafilter going to add a Wall and implement Google's Open Social API so we can add widgets and whatnot? How about a facebook app that lets you syndicate your metafilter activity on facebook?

Metafilter, as I see it, is mostly about having discussions on the blue and asking and answering questions on the green. So I'd much rather see features that address those two concerns.

For example, take the tags on questions that people have answered, and if new questions come in that match those tags, then find some way to notify the user. I think that would be one way to really increase the answer rate on ask me. Sort of like automatically subscribing to askme tags.

I know you also want to build a community, but a social network is kind of the opposite of a community, they're all about building cliques and talking amongst yourselves. Or do you see Metafilter as getting so large that some balkanization will be necessary? That would be kind of interesting too, Different, but interesting.

(Of course, for all I know a bunch of people have been asking for this *shrug*)
posted by delmoi at 6:20 PM on November 2, 2007


I wish I had a way to hide it. Or, at the very least, I wish it was below the sidebar. I dunno if other people said that. I skipped ahead.
posted by absalom at 6:22 PM on November 2, 2007


I've mostly resisted that, but sometime earlier this year a related topic came up in MeTa and I looked at my 29:81 ratio and got to thinking about it and decided that it made me look sort of snobbish because of that implicit reciprocity.

See, my ratio is incalculable, and therefore even trying to worry about it is impossible.
posted by delmoi at 6:23 PM on November 2, 2007


I too wish that that this thing was hideable or below the sidebar.
posted by item at 6:29 PM on November 2, 2007


Phew. Bye bye to what I loathe about facebook. Bummer I had to remove all two of my contacts to do it.

Matt -- I don't think this one was an especially good idea. Everything else has been, but this.. too facebooky.

I'd be down with it if it lived on my profile, or even if there was just a "collapse" option for the sidebar. But man, I almost freaked out for a minute there.
posted by rusty at 6:37 PM on November 2, 2007


Must. Be. More. Popular.
posted by liquorice at 6:42 PM on November 2, 2007


I guess it's because I have my minimum font size set relatively high or something, but I just found that way, way too cluttered and busy. I had to remove the sidebar completely.
posted by puke & cry at 6:43 PM on November 2, 2007


I say, thank you admins for adding some shiny new features. Obviously you can't make everyone happy, but if my vote counts, I for one, like it.
posted by SassHat at 6:44 PM on November 2, 2007


I'm really interesting. Really I am.
posted by amro at 6:46 PM on November 2, 2007


I for one, like it.

And I, for two. It even looks cool.
posted by timeistight at 6:52 PM on November 2, 2007


That's interesting, but what's the point?

It's to surface what your friends are doing on the site, if you don't have all the time in the world to read everything they write. It's hard to tell what it's good for on day one, but we've been using it for a week internally and it's really great at highlighting stuff I'd normally miss.

I found two friends asking questions this week that I could help out on, but I didn't notice they asked the questions when I was browsing ask mefi (they were generic questions I figured were answered by dozens already). I found out that languagehat gets a best answer on his comments almost once a day, and it's great stuff I never would have stumbled upon. The x number of favorites on a post or comment by friends means I caught a great post by fandango_matt and a handful of funny things cortex said.

Trust me, let it lie around for a week and you'll find it useful. I'll add a show/hide link at the bottom of it in the next day or two because clearly people want that.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 7:04 PM on November 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


Trust me, let it lie around for a week and you'll find it useful. I'll add a show/hide link at the bottom of it in the next day or two because clearly people want that.

I would also need to add some users as contacts, which I've never actually done (thus my joke about an incalculable ratio) . It's not something that ever appealed to me in the past, and now I have no idea what this feature even looks like :P. I didn't even know it appeared on the front page until Rusty mentioned trying to get rid of it.

I guess for me, Metafilter is a list of discussions posted too by people, rather then a list of people who post to discussions. (I've been working on a software project that involves indexing connections between things and I've been thinking about things that in that sort of way way to much lately)
posted by delmoi at 7:31 PM on November 2, 2007


Can there be a way to get to the contact activity page from the contacts page you get to from your own profile? I mean this page which you get to by clicking on the part that says Links to 1 user (for example). Or just a way to get to that page other than from the sidebar? I mainly read Music and AskMe, so I don't really see the activity on the front page that much. Thanks, this is cool.
posted by bluefly at 7:45 PM on November 2, 2007


Can there be a way to get to the contact activity page from the contacts page you get to from your own profile? I mean this page which you get to by clicking on the part that says Links to 1 user (for example).

Perfect!
posted by DarlingBri at 7:52 PM on November 2, 2007


This will be so cool for those hundreds of MeFites that follow my every word.
---
It doesn't cover comments, that'd be too much churn, so it just highlights posts made to the various sites.
posted by mathowie


Well then I better make a post! Don't want to let my fans down.
posted by The Deej at 7:53 PM on November 2, 2007



Trust me, let it lie around for a week and you'll find it useful.


I hope so, but in the meantime, it's annoying. I tend to hit the front page fairly regularly in short time spans, like a couple times an hour and because my contact list is small, only 7 people, it's not seeing much movement, so I'm starting to tune it out a bit.

Another interesting point is that, for the moment, it is telling me info I already know. For instance, it says smackfu just got a best answer over in AskMefi. I knew this hours ago, because I was the one who marked it best answer and I already knew that miss lynnster had posted a question in AskMefi, 'cause I had put a comment there. So I'm looking at it, thinking "yeah, yeah, I know, I KNOW dammit"

But then again, the "welcome back" verbiage annoys me too. I haven't gone anywhere, Mefi, I'm still here!

So maybe it would be more useful if stuff you had already done in connection to that contact was filtered. If you've made a comment in a contact's thread, do you really need to be told that X has made a thread? If you're already favorited a comment by a contact, do you really need to be told that X has gotten y number of favorites?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:57 PM on November 2, 2007


I would like to request that under types of contact there be a write in option, which is only allowed if the contact approves. For example, some people here might be on a team together or something. I have a few people I would like to add as "frien-emy"
posted by SassHat at 8:13 PM on November 2, 2007


Aargh. I never did "contacts", even for the old crowd from back in the day, and I now have no idea who I have met over the years or not, and if I start adding real contacts now, I think I'd miss more than I add.

Someone please tell me if this is or is not a feature I should be using to enhance my MetaFilter experience; and if so, why, before I worry about it too much.
posted by yhbc at 8:15 PM on November 2, 2007


Okay, I just read matt's comment above, which pretty much answers my questions. I guess I'll add contacts and see if it does work like he says, and I'll apologize in advance to anyone I don't add immediately.

Give me a few days to add people, though. Man, I didn't know there was going to be a quiz.
posted by yhbc at 8:19 PM on November 2, 2007


I don't know what it is about the whole 'social' thing that's got Matt so excited these days. It's a bit disconcerting, although since it's the flavour of the moment, I suppose it adds perceived value, if not much utility.

I remain unconvinced of the usefulness of website tools to replace or even supplement the ways we've made and kept friends in the past -- by talking to them, by sharing experience. Seems false and faux to me.

I'm not sure how much that front page thing annoys me yet. If I un-contact you, it's because I don't want to see it any more and am removing all contacts, not because I don't love you any more.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:41 PM on November 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


yhbc, I met you.

I've been looking at stuff so much though RSS and Recent Activity, I don't go to the front page as much, this may encourage me to start. I'm just sad it pushes the sideblog down. What I'd like to see in the sidebars all over the site: widgets!
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:44 PM on November 2, 2007


Or do you see Metafilter as getting so large that some balkanization will be necessary?

Ambrosiana is accepting all refugees. Sign the allegiance pledge, learn the anthem "Your Pic Is Beautiful, Your Benevolence Divine", contribute snark to the collective daily and you shall have a pony.*


*pony may be sick in the lung, of a "My Little" variety, holographic or dead.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 9:20 PM on November 2, 2007


[This is Good]
posted by yeoz at 9:30 PM on November 2, 2007


This would be totally awesome if I had some contacts friends.
posted by sparkletone at 9:57 PM on November 2, 2007


On second thought, this will aid stalking of various users.

Approval!
posted by sparkletone at 9:57 PM on November 2, 2007


Ack. Okay, I am going to confess that I've only read 1/3 of the comments in this thread, (also, I've had like 1000 beers and that's just counting the alcohol) but the sidebar contacts thing is TMI.

Right now, It's Raining Florence Henderson, who is a contact of mine, and I adore the man, a beautiful person and all, but he's adding contacts like mad. Great, and that's good for him and all his new contacts, but honestly it seems to me that that's his business. I would prefer to ignore it. Alas, it's all over the sidebar and, well, frankly, it's like watching him brush his teeth. It's eeping me out. He's picking up everyone. Damn, IRFH! Discretion! Hee.

Underneath IRFH's sudden lovefest is my friend loquacious, who's getting 30 and 40 favorites on every single comment he writes. This is making me feel competitive and jealous (I got 7 once! Yeah! 7 on one comment! Match that! Oh, wait, you did. Well, fuck.) and I hate feeling all eepy like that. If I didn't have to see it immediately and could see it when I check in on my profile, which I could and did, before, then I would just think, Damn! Good for loquacious! He's a brilliant writer! and move on.

Anyway. The recent comments and posts and all is one thing - limited to posts only would be even better - but the letting me know whenever they've added or dropped someone is way, way TMI. Also, I miss the sidebar. Now it's down at the bottom and it's going to take me a while to find the latest incredibly cool thing, which is a pity, because I clicked on sidebar links all the damn time before.
posted by mygothlaundry at 9:58 PM on November 2, 2007 [3 favorites]


quonsar scratched his balls. two minutes ago.
posted by quonsar at 10:04 PM on November 2, 2007


I've had one person, ONE person add me during this apparent "deluge" of crazy contact adding. The 60,000+ who haven't yet, I've got my eye on you (all)...
posted by liquorice at 10:14 PM on November 2, 2007


Wow, you took the most annoying part of Facebook and added it to MeFi.

Is there any way to make it go away?
posted by Afroblanco at 10:15 PM on November 2, 2007


Write a greasemonkey script or something?
posted by Afroblanco at 10:17 PM on November 2, 2007


Anything?
posted by Afroblanco at 10:17 PM on November 2, 2007


ohgodpleasemakeitstop.
posted by Afroblanco at 10:17 PM on November 2, 2007


Afroblanco: Delete all contacts.

EXTERMINATEEXTERMINATEEXTERMINATE.
posted by sparkletone at 10:18 PM on November 2, 2007


Nthing the call for a greasemonkey script to make this go away. ASAP. Not next week (which may very likely turn into never). I hate it with a passion.

I don't necessarily want to follow every word and gesture made by my contacts. Nor is deleting my contacts an acceptable option. Also, I don't want flickr or Facebook or twitter--or wherever this came from--in my Metafilter. I don't. I really, really don't.
posted by who squared at 10:57 PM on November 2, 2007


I feel weird about this, but it's not stopping me from adding contacts. There are so many mefites I really dig, but who I sort of felt I was intruding on by using the contacts feature. Oh well, my apologies, new contacts.
posted by maryh at 10:59 PM on November 2, 2007


Anyone got a screenshot of the frontpage with this palaver en show?
posted by peacay at 11:25 PM on November 2, 2007


When can I THROW SHEEP at people?
posted by meehawl at 11:29 PM on November 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


show/hide is now on for the front page.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:52 PM on November 2, 2007


Also, I'll add a link to your contacts activity from the recent activity page soon. There'll be a new tab marked "contacts" next to posts, comments, and favorites so you have a second logical way to find the info without having it on the front page sidebar.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:53 PM on November 2, 2007


I realize Matt's already working on this but I figure here's the place to offer input.

I agree that I don't want to see this automatically. Letting it be something I can get to with several clicks (to my profile page, then to my contacts list) would work better for me.

My contact list is mostly a list of people whose usernames I wanted to remember for one idiosyncratic reason or another; it's not a list of people I know or who I want to stalk. I don't want to see their every move; it feels a little creepy to, in the way the mygothlaundry articulated.
posted by LobsterMitten at 12:11 AM on November 3, 2007


Ah. And that's why we preview.
posted by LobsterMitten at 12:12 AM on November 3, 2007


Dude, I seriously need to add more contacts. Right now it's just miss lynnster which, yeah, is kinda awesome but it's all like "miss lynnster did this. miss lynnster did that. miss lynster did this other thing" and I'm all like dude chill already.
posted by Deathalicious at 1:44 AM on November 3, 2007


delmoi: "That's interesting, but what's the point? It seems like you guys are adding lots of social networking features, but is Metafilter really a social networking site?"
It is now.
posted by dg at 2:03 AM on November 3, 2007


......the one thing I really love about this is I can go back and see best answers from my contracts, many of whom I added specifically because I like the way they write, I appreciate the advice they give. I have never met my most influential contacts, the ones I follow as much as possible on Meta and I don't need to in order to appreciate their particular worldview.
But somewhere along the line we also meet Mefites in social settings and we add them for different reasons.
This saves me a huge amount of time ploughing through all the past activity of Matteo, Languagehat, Paulsc, etc... I can now go straight to their recent best answers & faves. The fact that I have to see that all my contacts here are busying adding everyone they forgot up to now (Oh yes you did OhPollo!) is a small price to pay for that AFAIAC
posted by Wilder at 2:08 AM on November 3, 2007


Matt, that seriously changes everything for the better.

Having it below the profile page is rendering it a further perk of making contacts. Fine. Putting it on the front page raises the importance level of the performance of others, and encourages the addition of people who are heavy duty posters. It would encourage the popular kid cabal to swell contact/favorite/recognitionwise, and they in turn would face a lot of contact activity to turn down or ignore, which does leave impressions on the rest. We are enough of a cult of personality for this to be the tipping point toward fullblown mefrottage. Or maybe I'm a goddamn reactionary. Whatever, having a sugar sweet pic in my profile is making me bold. ttyl xoxo
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 2:10 AM on November 3, 2007


If you choose "Choose" from the dropdown, it breaks.
We're sorry — A Server Error Occurred
This might be a one-time thing. But if you continue to have this problem, please contact the MeFi Admins with the following information:

The element at position 0 of dimension 1, of array variable "SITENAME," cannot be found.
The error occurred on line 104.
posted by Eideteker at 6:03 AM on November 3, 2007


i choo-choo-choose you!
posted by quonsar at 7:20 AM on November 3, 2007


Thanks Eideteker, should be working now.
posted by pb (staff) at 7:46 AM on November 3, 2007


Thank you, very much, for the show/hide feature. I'm sorry to have been a whiner.

I do actually really like this feature, for the record, just not the front-page position in which it was launched. I'm delighted it is being moved to a logical drill-down position. That's ideal - thanks a lot!
posted by DarlingBri at 8:45 AM on November 3, 2007


This is so awesome I just double posted about it.

Sorry.
posted by danb at 9:19 AM on November 3, 2007

Mathowie hath smiled upon thee, and granted thee collapsible contact activity!
Thanks, Matt!
posted by Afroblanco at 9:53 AM on November 3, 2007


Aw, cortex, no fair! You closed that other thread before I could cite my favorite Christmas carol, Encomium All Ye Faithful.
posted by GrammarMoses at 10:08 AM on November 3, 2007


None of my contacts ever actually do anything. They just add new contacts.

It's just like every other social networking site ever!
posted by grouse at 10:20 AM on November 3, 2007


There is at least one user that has me as their only contact. That means whenever they log in they get a summary of my activities on the front page. Creepalicious.
posted by grouse at 10:22 AM on November 3, 2007


This would be great for me with a little revision. There's one of my contacts whose activity I want to follow this closely, but my other contacts', I don't. But I don't want to remove those other folks as contacts altogether. So, I'd love to be able to filter which contacts' activities show up here, with a filter like the one that's already there for activity type.
posted by daisyace at 11:36 AM on November 3, 2007


Small bug: On the Your Contacts' Activity in the plain text theme the word MetaFilter in the top left corner is not in bold like it is on every other page.

Also, it's in Helvetica whereas MetaFilter is written in Arial everywhere else. It looks much better in Helvetica but I guess it wasn't intended?

(I have Helvetica set as my "smaller font" in my preferences -- could that have something to do with it?)
posted by sveskemus at 11:45 AM on November 3, 2007


Thank you for giving us the "hide" option.

I disliked this feature as soon as I saw it.
posted by jokeefe at 11:55 AM on November 3, 2007


And because MGL said this so well, I'm going to quote her entire post. Imagine me shouting AMEN at the end of every sentence:

Ack. Okay, I am going to confess that I've only read 1/3 of the comments in this thread, (also, I've had like 1000 beers and that's just counting the alcohol) but the sidebar contacts thing is TMI.

Right now, It's Raining Florence Henderson, who is a contact of mine, and I adore the man, a beautiful person and all, but he's adding contacts like mad. Great, and that's good for him and all his new contacts, but honestly it seems to me that that's his business. I would prefer to ignore it. Alas, it's all over the sidebar and, well, frankly, it's like watching him brush his teeth. It's eeping me out. He's picking up everyone. Damn, IRFH! Discretion! Hee.

Underneath IRFH's sudden lovefest is my friend loquacious, who's getting 30 and 40 favorites on every single comment he writes. This is making me feel competitive and jealous (I got 7 once! Yeah! 7 on one comment! Match that! Oh, wait, you did. Well, fuck.) and I hate feeling all eepy like that. If I didn't have to see it immediately and could see it when I check in on my profile, which I could and did, before, then I would just think, Damn! Good for loquacious! He's a brilliant writer! and move on.

Anyway. The recent comments and posts and all is one thing - limited to posts only would be even better - but the letting me know whenever they've added or dropped someone is way, way TMI. Also, I miss the sidebar. Now it's down at the bottom and it's going to take me a while to find the latest incredibly cool thing, which is a pity, because I clicked on sidebar links all the damn time before.

posted by jokeefe at 11:57 AM on November 3, 2007


jokeefe, MGL and simpaticos: if you hide the contact activity, which you can now do, the sideblog pops back up to the top. That should alleviate most of these concerns, no?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:03 PM on November 3, 2007


mathowie: It's to surface what your friends are doing on the site, if you don't have all the time in the world to read everything they write. It's hard to tell what it's good for on day one, but we've been using it for a week internally and it's really great at highlighting stuff I'd normally miss.

I found two friends asking questions this week that I could help out on, but I didn't notice they asked the questions when I was browsing ask mefi (they were generic questions I figured were answered by dozens already).


Well, one thing I have liked about all areas of MeFi is how good links, questions, songs etc. get a good response even if the author doesn't already have a million friends. I can see how the updates-from-contacts widgie could change this for the worse.
posted by Anything at 12:34 PM on November 3, 2007


Not to be alarmist, though. I have no idea how people will generally end up using this.
posted by Anything at 12:40 PM on November 3, 2007


I like it. It's good to see everyone doing so much good commenting and making new friends.
posted by Weighted Companion Cube at 12:45 PM on November 3, 2007


A related potential horror scenario is that people start getting lax about the content that pops up outside their contact-o-sphere. Main page fills with crud because, hey, if you don't like it, keep me out of your contacts. And if they never look at it, they also won't flag it.

Once again, I don't know whether I'm really serious or not.
posted by Anything at 12:53 PM on November 3, 2007


Anything, I don't think being able to follow your friends is going to ruin MetaFilter.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 1:01 PM on November 3, 2007


A related potential horror scenario is that people start getting lax about the content that pops up outside their contact-o-sphere.

I doubt that anyone with a regular mefi reading habit is going to abandon that in favor of the tiny slice of activity represented by the contacts info. I imagine it'll play a role more like what Popular Favorites and other such things do—a way to look at the site a little differently when you're finished your normal reading, or want to see if you missed something cool, or suddenly wonder what other folks have been up to.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:15 PM on November 3, 2007


:click:
I can see what my peeps are doing.

:click:
No longer distracted by peeps.

Thanks Matt!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:20 PM on November 3, 2007


In the main Updates from Contacts page, is there any chance we could get an excerpt from posts and comments? At the moment, 'So-and-so made a comment that got 23 favourites' requires an extra click to actually see the comment, and often it's something I've seen before. Showing the first few sentences or so of a comment/post would be great.
posted by Aloysius Bear at 1:23 PM on November 3, 2007


Y'all are probably right. Let's see how it goes!
posted by Anything at 1:50 PM on November 3, 2007


whir added whir as a contact. new!

How'd he do that?
posted by trip and a half at 2:46 PM on November 3, 2007


MetaFilter is not Facebook. Please don't make MetaFilter Facebook.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 3:52 PM on November 3, 2007 [2 favorites]


Right now, It's Raining Florence Henderson, who is a contact of mine, and I adore the man, a beautiful person and all, but he's adding contacts like mad. Great, and that's good for him and all his new contacts, but honestly it seems to me that that's his business.

nthing this. I don't think it's my business to know who people are deciding to add as contacts. This is intrusive.
posted by jason's_planet at 4:01 PM on November 3, 2007


I just wish there were an easier way to know who / when someone has added me as a contact. Absent that sidebar, which, frankly, gives me too much information, the only way I know if someone has added me as a contact is if I happen to notice that the number in "Linked by:" has increased. Then I have to look through the list and try to remember who was and wasn't there before.

This is marginally a pain now, when I have fewer than 20 people on that list. It would be a huge hassle, though, if I had 50 or 100 or more, as some people do...
posted by dersins at 4:11 PM on November 3, 2007


whir added whir as a contact.
How'd he do that?


Go to http://www.metafilter.com/contribute/xfnlinkbuilder.mefi?to_user=1234 where 1234 is your user number. Then you can add yourself.
posted by Aloysius Bear at 4:16 PM on November 3, 2007


This (and sock puppets) is why we need the "Self" attribute.
posted by timeistight at 4:41 PM on November 3, 2007


You can add whatever attributes you want, as grouse's profile shows (he's added Pretty_Generic as 'cool cat' and Specklet as 'prickly'). Alas, I've never worked out how to do this.
posted by Aloysius Bear at 4:52 PM on November 3, 2007


I've never worked out how to do this.

there was an early bug that allowed people to inject any text they want, but that was fixed (but not retroactively, so the early hacks still live on).
posted by mathowie (staff) at 4:59 PM on November 3, 2007


I just wish there were an easier way to know who / when someone has added me as a contact....It would be a huge hassle, though, if I had 50 or 100 or more, as some people do...

It's not a hassle; it's completely impossible.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 5:10 PM on November 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


It's not a hassle; it's completely impossible.

Yeah, I just get all Pirahã on it "one... two... many" on it. I can't remember the number. I will note this for the record, for all the self-contacters I've noticed....

whir on whir (friend met co-worker colleague co-resident)
timeistight on timeistight (friend met colleague co-resident muse)
dersins on dersins (acquaintance met co-worker colleague co-resident spouse muse crush date sweetheart)
jessamyn on jessamyn (met sweetheart)
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:51 PM on November 3, 2007


So do folks get creeped out when they're added as your contact if they feel like they don't know you all that well? I don't want to impose on anyone's contactibility...
posted by solipsophistocracy at 6:37 PM on November 3, 2007


I think everyone has the right to react to contact-related activity however they like, but I'm personally taking the no-bullshit approach of contacting people if I feel like it for whatever motivation-neutral reasons I do so. Probably best if people don't either (a) make too much of whether or not and by whom contacting occurs, or (b) worry too much about how others might approach (a).
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:59 PM on November 3, 2007


Everyone does have the right indeed.

But Matt opened this can of worms (thinking about it, a can of worms that directly contradicts his long-repeated exhortation to the userbase over the years: 'pay attention to the discussion, not the person', and that makes me uncomfortable, coupled as it is with the raft of 'features' introduced lately that have bugger-all to do with the core mission of the site, but instead are fluffy social windowdressing, in my humble), and I think people should also discuss it exactly as much as they feel appropriate.

Me, I decided to uncontactize the few people I had on my short list, because I'm starting to get a real bad vibe from all this social-networky stuff. Of course, Matt would probably just respond to such concerns in his customary way 'you're afraid of change/lalalalala I can't hear you' if I wanted to discuss it, so I'm not going to spend too much time in pointless bean-counting (beyond the time I've already spent).
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:07 PM on November 3, 2007


When breezeway added me as a contact somehow the date and time showed up as well. You can see it in both of our profiles. And breezeway's profile shows the dates and times of most of the people he added. I don't know if it was a bug or a feature that was never implemented.
posted by deborah at 7:11 PM on November 3, 2007


cortex took over my contact bar, with all his contact antics, so I uncontacted him. If he settles down, I'll add'em again, but definitely not as muse this time.

and stavros has a point there.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:15 PM on November 3, 2007


Wow, IRFH you might want to slow down on the contact-adding because, damn!
posted by The Deej at 9:25 PM on November 3, 2007


...and yay for the profile picture. I added mine. I am wearing sunglasses, so you can't see my squinty eyes. My daughter often looks at my eyes and asks, "How you can see out of those things?"
posted by The Deej at 9:28 PM on November 3, 2007


Stavros does indeed have a point. I've been following the get-rich-quick story of this Facebook kid, and I can't help but think that Matt must have on eye on the market value of a well developed social networking site.
posted by nowonmai at 9:38 PM on November 3, 2007


Me, I decided to uncontactize the few people I had on my short list...

You... you... *sniff*, you broke-a my heart, stavros!

And here I'd just added you to my list.... But I'll always love you, man. Always.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:40 PM on November 3, 2007


and I think people should also discuss it exactly as much as they feel appropriate.

Absolutely. I just don't think they should presume, out of nowhere, that the default reaction to each bit of contacting they do or do not engage in will be intense scrutiny.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:40 PM on November 3, 2007


y'all wanna contact? well fuck dat!
(fuuuck dat, fuck dat!)
posted by quonsar at 10:18 PM on November 3, 2007


Absolutely. I just don't think they should presume, out of nowhere, that the default reaction to each bit of contacting they do or do not engage in will be intense scrutiny.

But isn't that what the internet is all about?! Everyone cares about every little thing I'm doing, right? Right?
posted by liquorice at 10:19 PM on November 3, 2007


Absolutely. I just don't think they should presume, out of nowhere, that the default reaction to each bit of contacting they do or do not engage in will be intense scrutiny.

Heh. Well, not to put too painstakingly fine a point on it, but the entire history of Metafilter would militate towards the contrary conclusion, my friend.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:05 PM on November 3, 2007


Heh.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:47 PM on November 3, 2007


Um, why aren't my contacts showing up? Not to be TOO vain or anything, but wtf? I'm getting a little paranoid here.
posted by maryh at 2:35 AM on November 4, 2007


One day, we're gonna all look back on this and laugh. Thursday.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 2:49 AM on November 4, 2007


I missed something elemental, didn't I. I'm wishing myself to the cornfield right this moment.
posted by maryh at 3:12 AM on November 4, 2007


I think it should be noted here that with his use of "uncontactize", stavrosthewonderchicken may well have coined a brand new word. And that's no small feat. The word doesn't show up in a Google search!

Congratulations, stav!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:20 AM on November 4, 2007


Could we get a cookie or preference to control the hide/show contacts. As it is, everytime I hit mefi, I see the contact list, which kinda defeats the purpose of hide/show.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:10 AM on November 4, 2007


It stays hidden for me BB, are you using the same browser each time?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:37 AM on November 4, 2007


Yeah, camino. Though of course, now it's working properly, even after quitting and restarting the application. Maybe it was a user error...
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:56 AM on November 4, 2007


Please store the show/hide information for update from contacts server-side instead of in a cookie.
posted by 3.2.3 at 8:00 AM on November 4, 2007


Absolutely love everything about it. I think it's important for people to keep in mind that, unlike Facebook, your Metafilter contacts should represent interest rather than real-life relationships (though there's often overlap).

If there are 10 Metafilter users that always add posts/comments/answers that you love, add them as a contact whether you know them or not, and you'll find the activity feed begins surfacing all of that.

In that way, this is much closer to Del.icio.us subscriptions than traditional social networks, since it's a way of personalizing the site to make your own experience better.
posted by waxpancake at 3:23 PM on November 4, 2007


Is there any way the "All Activity" link can go up top next to the "hide" link?
posted by SassHat at 6:40 PM on November 4, 2007


Congratulations, stav!

I'd like to thank the Academy, Facebook, Matt Haughey, Jeffrey Lebowski, the letter 'e', and all the wonderful MeFites who made this possible.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:23 PM on November 4, 2007


I've got my own personal skyecam.
posted by Wolfdog at 4:13 AM on November 5, 2007


I think it's important for people to keep in mind that, unlike Facebook, your Metafilter contacts should represent interest rather than real-life relationships (though there's often overlap).

I think it's important to remember there's no "should".
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:05 AM on November 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


This might be quite hard to implement, but it would be nice if favourited comments and posts appeared in a more logical order.

At the moment, they suddenly appear halfway-down the list of recent activity, because they are inserted at the point in the list corresponding to when they were initially posted. To avoid comments and posts which are slowly favourited always being buried down the list, it would be great if they were displayed at a point in the list corresponding to the time at which they became sufficiently favourited.
posted by Aloysius Bear at 5:45 PM on November 5, 2007


« Older pictures in profiles   |   LOLcrap! Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments