feed for personal activity October 19, 2008 5:53 PM   Subscribe

I've been playing with a lifestream app, and it would be interesting to be able to pull my metafilter posting/commenting history into that. The most streamlined way for that to happen would be via RSS. It doesn't seem like there's any way to do that currently. Obviously this is a low priority, but if it's just a matter of flipping a switch, it could be interesting.

Just to be clear, this would be different from the "recent activity" -- it would include only one's own comments and posts, rather than all new activity on threads one has participated in. It would be equivalent to feeds for http://www.metafilter.com/activity/[usernumber]/comments/ and http://www.metafilter.com/activity/[usernumber]/posts/
posted by adamrice to Feature Requests at 5:53 PM (11 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

Yeah, I've been thinking of how to get mefi activity into a format that would work for "lifestream" type things (like Michael Sippey's site here).

Right now we have all those mis-mash of new posts RSS feeds but it'd probably be best to just have one feed of all posts you make to any part of the site and all comments you make to any part of the site, in a single feed sorted by date you contributed the items.

Would that be good enough? I imagine the output would look something like
mathowie added a comment to "feed for personal activity" in MetaTalk 2 minutes ago

mathowie added a comment to "Portland meetup on the 17th?" in MetaTalk 14 hours ago

mathowie posted "Does this look infected to you?" in Ask MetaFilter 2 days ago

posted by mathowie (staff) at 6:27 PM on October 19, 2008 [1 favorite]

I second this motion.
posted by chrisamiller at 7:51 PM on October 19, 2008

posted by Deathalicious at 7:56 PM on October 19, 2008

posted by blue_beetle at 9:39 PM on October 19, 2008

I imagine the output would look something like

mathowie added a comment to "feed for personal activity" in MetaTalk 2 minutes ago

That's how it would end up on users' sites, but it might not be a good idea to output the feed formatted in that way - like the bloke you link to, I use the Action Streams plugin for Movable Type for my homepage, and it would take a hell of a lot more work to get it working with a feed containing all that "added a comment" type gubbins in it than it would to add a more straightforward feed, like the current one for a user's posts. The same is true of SweetCron, and was true of the various Wordpress plugins that do lifestreamy stuff last time I checked them out.

Also, it'd be much easier to deal with individual post 'n' comment feeds from each subsite than a big jumble of absolutely everything from MetaFilter/MeTa/AskMe/&c.
posted by jack_mo at 5:42 AM on October 20, 2008

Actually, I'd imagined including the actual content of the post or comment (and title of the FPP), and not including the username (since that should be implicit in the feed).

The fact that a message was posted is less interesting than the message itself, and the additional overhead would be marginal. If a lifestream app wanted to reduce the message to a simple pointer, I'd prefer it happened there.
posted by adamrice at 6:34 AM on October 20, 2008

Oh, and for the purposes of a lifestream app, it would be much easier to deal with a big jumble of everything than separate post and comment feeds for each subsite.
posted by adamrice at 6:35 AM on October 20, 2008

Well, it would be easier at the site's end, but it would make life a lot harder for users: a big jumble of everything type feed would require relatively tricky filtering to do standard lifestream stuff - including their contributions to MetaFilter but not MetaTalk, styling content from the different subsites in different ways, presenting posts in one way, comments another, &c.
posted by jack_mo at 9:59 AM on October 20, 2008

Maybe e-mail the guy (or guys) who write lifestream plugins and/or the folks at FriendFeed and ask them for tips on format?
posted by WCityMike at 10:50 AM on October 20, 2008

Here are the feeds we currently offer by user:

MetaFilter Posts:
http://www.metafilter.com/user/[user ID]/postsrss

Ask MetaFilter Questions:
http://www.metafilter.com/user/[user ID]/askpostsrss

Music Posts:
http://www.metafilter.com/user/[user ID]/musicpostsrss

MetaTalk Posts:
http://www.metafilter.com/user/[user ID]/metatalkpostsrss

So those are a place to start, and any of the lifestreaming apps should be able to pick up these feeds and show posting activity from that particular sub-site.

If you view all of the sub-sites as under one big MetaFilter umbrella, then I can see how having all posts in one feed is helpful. But if you ever want to show activity from one sub-site and not another you'd have to come up with some filtering when you parse the feed. So my initial reaction is that separate feeds for each sub-site are the way to go for showing activity at another site.

There are no comments or favorites feeds yet and I agree that those would be handy for showing MeFi activity on another site too.
posted by pb (staff) at 2:15 PM on October 20, 2008

A feed of favourited posts would be really cool. At the moment I have to bookmark other people's posts on del.icio.us to get them onto my homepage - terribly laborious!

Also, all the current user feeds all work perfectly with the MT Action Streams plugin, the Wordpress Lifestream plugin and SweetCron, so no special fancy formatting would be needed for any new feeds. (Er, I'm not weirdly obsessed with lifestreams - surely the worst web neologism since 'blog' - or anything, it's just that the first vaguely difficult website-making task I accomplished was a lifestream type thing I made a couple of years ago, so I like to tinker with new scripts and plugins when they come out to see how proper coders do it. SweetCron is probably the best, most flexible app so far, if anyone was wondering.)
posted by jack_mo at 3:11 PM on October 20, 2008

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