Is there a MeFi distinguished service cross? February 25, 2009 11:34 PM   Subscribe

Can the you guys put some at least put some oak leaf clusters or something on You's profile page - for this?

I mean that is just forged out of solid Awesome and then plated with purest Kick Ass to resist corrosion!
posted by Kid Charlemagne to MetaFilter-Related at 11:34 PM (257 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

I am going to ignore this MeTa post until it reaches my threshold for favorites.
posted by clearly at 11:48 PM on February 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


"Well, if you're ignoring it clearly why are you commenting here?"

because I am staaaarrrttting........ NOW!

posted by clearly at 11:50 PM on February 25, 2009 [3 favorites]


*throws scrambled eggs*
posted by loquacious at 11:52 PM on February 25, 2009 [3 favorites]


That's pretty cool.
posted by dead cousin ted at 12:05 AM on February 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


Ecch. It's neat, but I hate the idea of using it.

1) It relies on everyone else to do the work for you. Works great until enough people are using that only a few people actually see comments and bump them up to "visible" level.

2) In my experience, the highest favorited comments are not always the most interesting. It seems like filtering this way will make MeFi look even more in-jokey and self-indulgent than it is.

3) I forget what 3 was for but 4) is for everything everything everything everything.
posted by freebird at 12:18 AM on February 26, 2009 [18 favorites]


Why not just call it the "MeFi in-joke/asavage/miguel/woz/comment-fable filter" and be done with it?
posted by Pinback at 12:36 AM on February 26, 2009 [4 favorites]


Yeah, [this is not good].
posted by delfuego at 12:54 AM on February 26, 2009 [4 favorites]


I think it's pretty neat in a gadgety way, most definitely.

I also think that favorite counts on comments aren't really very good any more, if they ever were, as a tool to winnow out The Best Of.

Still, neato.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:03 AM on February 26, 2009 [3 favorites]


Huh, now I have both Freebird & Cowgirl stuck in my head. Thanks.
posted by Pronoiac at 1:14 AM on February 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


Just doing my part to make this thread readable for everyone, including those who use the filter.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:21 AM on February 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


I like it. I wouldn't assume that people will only - or even mostly - use it in the way you're describing, freebird. I won't, anyway. I read comments because I like to see the back and forth of ideas and information, and I like to see what direction the discussion takes, where it veers and wiggles - so I'm not going to filter so that I only see highly favorited comments, or so that I don't see some commenters (kill files), yet I'll definitely use this as one way to shuffle the data.
posted by taz at 1:24 AM on February 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


It would be great for skimming long, long threads you just don't have the time and inclination to read in detail. Go in, read the highlights, and move on. (Or go in, get interested, and go back to read everything.)
posted by pracowity at 1:38 AM on February 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


I set it to 8,000. The resulting thread is reminiscent of Neo's skinned-over face in the Matrix.

It's lonely now, but I like it.
posted by carsonb at 1:45 AM on February 26, 2009 [3 favorites]


Wait, what? WHAT?

SAY SOMETHING WITTIER
posted by carsonb at 1:46 AM on February 26, 2009 [4 favorites]


This presumes that Metafilter is just to be read, not actively participated in. It also presumes that favorites are a measure of readworthiness.

I'll file this with muting members via Greasemonkey- technically cool but it sets up a bad dynamic.
posted by dunkadunc at 1:55 AM on February 26, 2009 [8 favorites]


The coffee today is fingertip-shakingly strong.
posted by From Bklyn at 1:57 AM on February 26, 2009 [3 favorites]


How do I undo it?
posted by Science! at 3:36 AM on February 26, 2009 [3 favorites]


Besides loading a new page.
posted by Science! at 3:36 AM on February 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


Yeah, a "good" use would be to look at something like the givewell, various churchy spice or crooked cartoonist threads with an eye for the zingers and bon mots. Otherwise, meh.
posted by maxwelton at 3:45 AM on February 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


If you can work with pb to create something similar to filter out comments which don't have at least x amount of flags, I'd really enjoy that.
posted by gman at 4:00 AM on February 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


I'm only seeing something about scrambled eggs in this thread.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:04 AM on February 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


OMG! My comment got a favorite! Does that mean you like me?! It does doesn't it! Gosh. Thanks, Pope. I'll look to return the favorite soon as I post this comment.
posted by From Bklyn at 4:10 AM on February 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


In fact, while I'm at it...
posted by From Bklyn at 4:12 AM on February 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


I'm reconsidering my position on kill files.
posted by taz at 4:25 AM on February 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


I just link to Miko and same the time.
posted by kisch mokusch at 4:25 AM on February 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


"Favorites" are not a useful filter, as is illustrated above.
posted by reflecked at 4:25 AM on February 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


is this the thread where i can post anything at all, because everybody's handing out joke favourites?

ok, here goes: i've always thought that an ayn rand - ann coulter - nelson mandela threesome would make for the best porno video in all of history.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:36 AM on February 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


This comment has 2 favorites.
posted by DU at 4:37 AM on February 26, 2009 [5 favorites]


Tehloki could make or break the coherent continuity of an entire thread.
posted by gman at 4:40 AM on February 26, 2009 [3 favorites]


This blank wall of grey is soothing to my eyes.
posted by liquorice at 4:47 AM on February 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


I'm surprised no one has commented in this thread.
posted by Stonestock Relentless at 4:56 AM on February 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


i've always thought that an ayn rand - ann coulter - nelson mandela threesome would make for the best porno video in all of history.

I just threw up in my mouth a little bit.
posted by Bango Skank at 5:05 AM on February 26, 2009 [4 favorites]


I'm surprised no one has commented in this thread.

I didn't think anyone even read the comments down here.

Actually it looks like a pretty nifty little gadget; even if some people doubt its utility it is nice to see members putting forth an effort to add functionality to the site.
posted by TedW at 5:14 AM on February 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


Is this the thread where I comment and automatically get 2 favorites?
posted by Grither at 5:14 AM on February 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


Blah blah blah, Slashdot, blah blah blah, popularity contest, blah blah blobbity blah.

Not something I'd use personally, but if it'll keep other people from reading my words, it seems like a win-win. Wait, what's the other one?
posted by box at 5:16 AM on February 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


Well this sucks. I honestly can't see the bonus of having this sort of filter on.

First of all, it changes the favoriting dynamic - as Pope Guilty has demonstrated, comments can now be favorited in order to bump them over other people's filter threshold.

Second, I can't believe some of the same people I've seen adamantly rail against killfiling would like this filter. Filtering out comments that the rest of the community has deemed not favoritable, or not favoritable enough, is still filtering out comments - you know, so that entire "blocking comments destroys real dialogue between users" argument holds little water if you also think "I'm OK with filtering out comments as not worth seeing based on the favorites count."

Third, I think this filter encourages a sort of groupthink mentality. Wouldn't you rather see the entire dialogue of a thread and decide for yourself which comments are noteworthy? This filter pretty much substitutes your own taste for that of others.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:24 AM on February 26, 2009 [6 favorites]


Also, what the hell is that first sentence supposed to mean? Too many "you"s and "put some"s in there for me to understand.
posted by Grither at 5:28 AM on February 26, 2009 [3 favorites]


Second, I can't believe some of the same people I've seen adamantly rail against killfiling would like this filter.

If you're talking about me, I think I've reached the low ebb point, as I do in a kind of sinusoidal pattern with about a 180-day frequency, where I just don't give a shit any more, so, you know, *shrug*.

Also, I'd never use this thing for the reasons people have outlined already, amongst other. Me, I just like clever codey things.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:41 AM on February 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


I loaded a new page. It really is that every single comment is favorited.
posted by lunit at 5:47 AM on February 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


Fuck all of you.
posted by gman at 5:52 AM on February 26, 2009 [8 favorites]


If you're talking about me, I think I've reached the low ebb point, as I do in a kind of sinusoidal pattern with about a 180-day frequency, where I just don't give a shit any more, so, you know, *shrug*.

So you're like a geocentric satellite's orbit!
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:54 AM on February 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


I'm just here for the favorites bump. Two, please.
posted by not_on_display at 6:03 AM on February 26, 2009 [3 favorites]


I think this filter encourages a sort of groupthink mentality

So it's perfect for this site!
posted by Hovercraft Eel at 6:08 AM on February 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


So it's perfect for this site!

Being reflexively contrarian and "edgy" is another kind of groupthink.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 6:14 AM on February 26, 2009 [6 favorites]


I like the way it neatly hides the site navigation. Sort of functionality I wouldn't use, obscuring functionality I would.
posted by mattoxic at 6:15 AM on February 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


So you're like a geocentric satellite's orbit!

You just freaked me out. There's an orbit conversation going on right outside my office. WORLDS ARE COLLIDING
posted by DU at 6:19 AM on February 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


If you must have something to point out the highly favorited comments, the "Metafilter Multifavorited Multiwidth" greasemonkey script is much better.
posted by Rhomboid at 6:20 AM on February 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


Sometimes when I am feeling lonely, I look for comments that have more than 10 favourites. I cut and paste them into a text file. Then I turn out the lights, take off my pants, read them, and play with my pee-pee.

This is the most useful masturbation aid anyone has ever offered me.
posted by Meatbomb at 6:28 AM on February 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


This would actually be a perfect tool for that UserFriendly dude to locate his punchlines in a more efficient manner.
posted by gman at 6:30 AM on February 26, 2009 [4 favorites]


Yeah, not only did he use Mefi as a replacement for creative juices- he used favorites to pick out the comments with the extra punch-line ZING!.
posted by dunkadunc at 6:35 AM on February 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


This is the most useful masturbation aid anyone has ever offered me.

Cheaper than a SexDoll, too.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:35 AM on February 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


Being reflexively contrarian and "edgy" is another kind of groupthink.

I wish I could favorite your comments more than once.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:36 AM on February 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


This is clearly only a tool for those who love in-jokes and amusing anecdotes. For one thing, impressive counter-points make no sense without the arguments leading up to them. It is like showing only the winning side of a debate.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:44 AM on February 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


Hey, I don't seem to be able to comment!
posted by cjorgensen at 6:45 AM on February 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


Testing. Testing.
posted by cjorgensen at 6:45 AM on February 26, 2009 [3 favorites]


Nope. Still broke! I'm off to email the mods on why my comments don't show up.

Seriously though, I can see the use in really long threads that I don't plan on contributing to, but other than that, not so sure.

Also, in Safari once invoked the tiny pop up won't go away (and worse it pops up over the metatalk link). There's no way to undo it so I can go back to seeing all comments. I can't seem to set the threshold higher than 1.

So no oak leaf clusters from me.
posted by cjorgensen at 6:49 AM on February 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


I wish I could favorite your comments more than once.

Now that would be a more useful script.
posted by gman at 6:49 AM on February 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


Your favorite sucks.
posted by Joe Beese at 6:51 AM on February 26, 2009 [4 favorites]


Hai guyz, I'm contributing: [+] [!]
posted by Curry at 6:57 AM on February 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


This is an awful idea.

The idea of visible favorites on comments was, with respect to the quality of the dialogue, has been the most damaging addition to Metafilter. The negative effects it has had far, far outweigh any utility that be assigned to them.

This just exacerbates the problem and shows, yet again, how the idea of visible favorites is driving this site in the wrong direction towards more laziness, cliquishness and insularity.
posted by dios at 6:59 AM on February 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


What a great way to filter out people who disagree with the majority.
posted by Afroblanco at 7:10 AM on February 26, 2009 [3 favorites]


Would it be possible to have a "visible favorite" holiday, say for 24 or 48 hours, or even a week? I also worry about the effect on the site, and it might be interesting to see what it's like without them for a while.
posted by chinston at 7:14 AM on February 26, 2009 [5 favorites]


That's a great idea. A week even.
posted by CunningLinguist at 7:19 AM on February 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


This comment has [10 favorites +]
posted by slogger at 7:21 AM on February 26, 2009 [5 favorites]


Nope. Doesn't work.
posted by slogger at 7:22 AM on February 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


My comment still doesn't have 10 favorites.
posted by slogger at 7:23 AM on February 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


The idea of visible favorites on comments was, with respect to the quality of the dialogue, has been the most damaging addition to Metafilter.

Huh? The feature mentioned at the top of this thread could lead to bad things because it changes peoples' behavior (as shown in this thread filled with pointless favorites).

As favorites worked yesterday (ignoring this hack), I don't see the existence of favorites being "the most damaging addition to Metafilter". That seems like hyperbole, but feel free to explain further (again, ignoring this feature for a second) because I'm curious how I ruined Metafilter with favorites. I haven't seen much appreciable difference in comment quality or tone due to the existence of favorites, and I take this shit very seriously. Are you just saying something outlandish to be outlandish or can you point at a few examples of this negative reinforcement in action?
posted by mathowie (staff) at 7:27 AM on February 26, 2009 [8 favorites]


The negative effects it has had far, far outweigh any utility that be assigned to them.

As an indicted favorites whore myself, I'd be sincerely interested in a fuller presentation of that statement.
posted by Joe Beese at 7:32 AM on February 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


I agree with the majority that this shouldn't be the default behavior. That said, when I show up late to a thread with 500+ comments, I'm not going to read the whole thing - get real.

I already filter those threads by hitting "CTRL-F favorites" then hitting "Next" repeatedly. This just makes it more convenient.
posted by chrisamiller at 7:34 AM on February 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


Joe, you're my favourite whore.
posted by gman at 7:35 AM on February 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


No thanks, I prefer to live amongst the mediocre.
posted by mrmojoflying at 7:40 AM on February 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


There's a difference between saying "oh hey this is a neat thing this person made" [it is] and saying "there shoudl be some sort of site-wide top-down adulation for people that make things like this" [there shouldn't] I get what he's trying to do and it's nifty but honestly it's not really like such a feature is a great direction for the site as a whole.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:41 AM on February 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


What a great way to filter for people who argue on behalf of empty-headed contrariness, who stack up favorites for simply going against the grain for the sake of being edgy.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:47 AM on February 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


Would it be possible to have a "visible favorite" holiday, say for 24 or 48 hours, or even a week? I also worry about the effect on the site, and it might be interesting to see what it's like without them for a while.

Me too.

There, that's what it would be like.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:50 AM on February 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


This week my most favourited comment was a correction to the grammar of my previous comment, in which case the filter would be less than useless...

...although if it saves people from having to read my usual half-assed crap maybe it's a good thing after all.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 7:59 AM on February 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


What a great way to filter for people who argue on behalf of empty-headed contrariness, who stack up favorites for simply going against the grain for the sake of being edgy.

yes, but we're not talking about you right now, Blazecock.

I keed. I keed. You're totally with the grain.
posted by shmegegge at 8:04 AM on February 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


What a great way to filter for people who argue on behalf of empty-headed contrariness, who stack up favorites for simply going against the grain for the sake of being edgy.

In my own experience, edgy contrariness - empty-headed or otherwise - has not been a favorites magnet.

In any case, blaming favorites seems like scapegoating to me. To use a purely hypothetical example [glances about nervously], if I interrupted a thoughtful discussion of a tragic subject to make a glib in-joke, the fault would surely be mine - not the fact that other people on my irreverent wavelength were able to indicate that they'd found it funny. My comment could be flagged - and if the moderators thought it detracted from what they wanted the site to be, they could delete it.

To whatever extent favorites encourage people to think of what others will gain from a potential comment - even if that's nothing more than a rollicking sense of the fun we have here in the clubhouse - that seems to me not a bad thing.
posted by Joe Beese at 8:06 AM on February 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


If only there were a script to automatically favorite all the comments in a thread (until your daily ration ran out)…
posted by klangklangston at 8:08 AM on February 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


I keed. I keed. You're totally with the grain.

Pbbt!

posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:09 AM on February 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


I admire the elegance of the concept as well as the technical virtuosity that must have been required to make something ostensibly complicated seem so simple. However, I agree with the others who have said that favorites are not a metric of the best comments in a thread, and filtering just for that will mean that a lot of great comments will be missed.

Besides, a better way of filtering for the very best of the best comments here is just to search on the page for "quin". Everyone should know that by now.
posted by quin at 8:19 AM on February 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


Two things.

1

The problem is that we have two extremely strong forces competing in Metafilter: Openness, and Quality.

Openness is one of the great things about the Web, we get interesting conversations where anybody can join (minus $5 to PayPal-land), and varied perspectives. One of the best things about Metafilter is that people who are recognized experts in their field or at least have a lot of experience frequent this site. The flip side is Quality. One merely has to glance at the joy that is Youtube comments and MySpace pages to know that we want to be Open, not OPEN.

For a long time, Metafilter has resisted placing a 'score' on comments, and just let the threads fall in a nice horizontal drop. Also, there is no group moderation, but paid moderators work very well (and do an amazing job!) trying to keep threads free of the basest sorts of comments. I think this works very well for a smaller knit community, but I am not sure this will scale to something sustainable.

OS X has a tool called Summarize. It parses through a large piece of text and tries to condense it down to the most important points by just grabbing leading sentences and such. An important feature of Summarize is that it is flexible, you can take something down to three pages or just a single entire sentence. I think in the future, we should be able to do this automatically with machine learning tools, but we also should be allowed to give 'hints' manually about what we like and what others might like. Along come favorites, a first step towards these 'hints', and everything is still Open, but if people want Quality quickly they can summarize to some threshold. I don't find this solution particularly sustainable either, for reasons people have enumerated above.

So what are the solutions? How do we maintain Open and still allow Quality? How will onalark finish this extremely long comment in a deeply satisfying way? I can't, but I don't think we should be afraid to continue to try new things. For example, I like the idea of exposing more information to the non-casual surfer about the quality of a comment, putting information in the HTML that allows the browser to make judicious decisions about whether to display or not. Also, I want a GreaseMonkey script that allows me to filter to only my contacts + favorited comments + pivotal comments. Finally, it's long past time that the server allowed me to page threads X comments at a time.

2. I think it would be a good idea to try turning visible favorites off by default for a month, just to see how the site feels when it is a little less favorite-capitalistic. Of course, this sounds like a lot of work, and I am not sure it would be worth the investment of time that could be done on implementing the features I suggested above.
posted by onalark at 8:21 AM on February 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


Oh, and very clever Devils Advocate. You needed a few more "Me Too"s in there.
posted by onalark at 8:24 AM on February 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


favorite-capitalistic

I am offering my favorites to the highest bidder. I am also looking to trade high quality favorites for the least amount of overhead, in terms of labor and others means of production. Hopefully, we can work out an anti-protectionist, globalizing mechanism by which the traffic of favorites flows freely, and the tide lifts all boats, so that even developing posters can experience a good rise in favorites, just as much as the industrialized posters.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:27 AM on February 26, 2009 [3 favorites]


Some of us have been doing this for a long time anyway. I usually like to read the whole thread, but if I'm jumping into a 200+ comment thread already in progress, I often search for "favorites +" to skim through all the comments with 2+ favorites. I know I'm not the only person to do this because I've seen it mentioned on MetaTalk before.

I am utterly unconvinced by the people who say that favorites have ruined the site. Sorry guys, I just don't see it. People might make particular comments in the hopes of garnering favorites, but before they might have done it in the hopes of garnering a "FTW" or "wins the thread." We've had a lot less "wins the thread" since the introduction of favorites. I think that is an improvement.
posted by grouse at 8:27 AM on February 26, 2009 [3 favorites]


A That seems like hyperbole, but feel free to explain further (again, ignoring this feature for a second) because I'm curious how I ruined Metafilter with favorites. I haven't seen much appreciable difference in comment quality or tone due to the existence of favorites, and I take this shit very seriously. Are you just saying something outlandish to be outlandish or can you point at a few examples of this negative reinforcement in action?
posted by mathowie at 9:27 AM on February 26


I don't think you have ruined Metafilter. I just said that it has been the one addition that has the most damage to the overall dialogue. Of course, it does not have a lot of competitors for the title in that regard. So, I think it is an accurate statement, and I did not say, nor do I believe, that the site has been ruined by them.

But I guess I do need to expand on that, though I suspect most everyone knows what the critique is. We've addressed many times in Metatalk threads what exactly favorites are, and I think we've heard that they are different things to do different people. But I'll take two cases which I think hurt the site:

1. Favorite trolling comments -- it seems evident to me that there is a certain number of comments which are made to be as snarky as possible or as shrill as possible or as inside-jokey as possible in order to get favorites as if they are some applause. I cannot provide any scientific basis to prove that this exists. But it certainly seems that way to me. Yet, whenever we good things about this site or whenever we get around to patting someone on the back, it is always for well-thought out, reasoned, or interesting sharing of links. We don't seem to get a lot of pride from the snarky, in-jokey, or shrill comments. Yet I suspect that public favorites--to the extent they provide some incentive or motivation to post a comment--more frequently induce the latter instead of the former.

2. Me-too-ing groupthink -- some people view favorites as a way to "me too" a comment. For purposes of dialogue, me-too-ing is nothing but noise and does not advance the ball at all. But it does have the effect that there are, for the lack of a better word, "teams." So some comments are made as calls to the choir for an amen, and the amen is forthcoming with a favorite. In this regard, favorites seem to provide some sort of incentive to make the call to the choir, as well as having the negative effect of making the site look cliquish with the "team." Perhaps I'm not describing this as clearly as I could, but let me suggest an example only to make a point. The comment "anyone who uses a windows machine is a moron" will call a response in the form of favorites. If I am new user Joe, and I'm a windows user, I get the impression that at least some people think I'm an idiot and take that negative feedback, reinforced by a number of supporting people. So Joe sees something cliquish and hostile. In such an example, what possible utility would come from having public favorites of that comment? Do people really need to bookmark such a comment? But what are the potential negatives? It encourages such noise in the future and shows a cliquish mentality.

Now, I get that there is utility in using favorites as bookmarking of useful comments in hopes of tracking them down later. Of course, that feature can be completely private and does not need to be made public to give the user the benefit of the bookmark.

That leaves only one useful effect I can see from favorites: somehow seeing that there was a really great comment that someone missed that lots of people bookmarked. While I appreciate that might be useful, I wonder how . I look at the three most popularly-marked comments on the blue as I post this, and I fail to see how any of those comments (1, 2, 3) are such can't miss quality. Not a single one of those are what I would identify as exemplars of what makes this site great. Nor do I think putting them front and center as what kind of comments are "popular" around here is a good signal to prospective commenters.

While I get there may some utility. In reality, I think they do more harm than good and encourage what I think to be the worst kind of contributions: snarky, shrill, insular, or in-jokey. The site loses very little about what makes it special by getting rid of public favorites on the blue and gray, and doing so may take away the incentive to act out.

That was my point. I certainly am willing to accept that I am wrong or in the minority view.
posted by dios at 8:36 AM on February 26, 2009 [6 favorites]


If only someone had ever done something like this before.
posted by Plutor at 8:37 AM on February 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


While I appreciate that might be useful, I wonder how .... often this is the case when looking at what is "popular".

To finish that sentence.
posted by dios at 8:40 AM on February 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


I like Plutor's scripts, because they use Greasemonkey and I can turn them off/on really easily and don't have to delete them if they aren't what I want (like I did with this one).

Can we give him a gold star instead?
posted by misha at 8:58 AM on February 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


"I use Metafilter and all I got was this lousy t-shirt."
posted by gman at 8:59 AM on February 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


Wrong fucking thread.
posted by gman at 8:59 AM on February 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


To take this is a step further, here is what the FAQ says about favorites:

Favorites are an internal bookmark system for MetaFilter -- a way to save a good thread or comment to a central place that you can come back to later to catch up or read again.

This is, currently, the most "popular" comment on this site according to the link "popular":

You've got to give the Republicans this: they stay on message, regardless of context or logic. Society could be in the midst of a zombie apocalypse and the GOP would be wringing its hands over the government giving out shotguns rather than giving tax cuts to shotgun makers.
posted by Bromius at 2:33 PM on February 25 [162 favorites +]


Now of those 162 favorites, how many people do you suspect are favoriting it in order to "come back to later to catch up or read again"? How many are favoriting to say "me too" or to say amen on the call to the choir? Well, it's a political snark. It does not need to be poured over or recalled. It's just a snarky quip. Maybe there are some people who think it is so snarky that they'd like to use the line themselves and want to remember what it is. Okay, fine. But to fulfill that task, why do the favorites need to be public?

But what is the signal from the 162 favorites and top heading on the "popular" page of that comment? It perhaps signals that such comments are what we want here more than anything else. It perhaps signals that the most popular thing said on this website in a week is a comment categorically insulting a plurality of this country. It perhaps signals that Bromius is really insightful or funny. I don't know. But what I do know is that it is not a thoughtful, useful or exemplary kind of comment that we like to pat our backs about here whenever we receive praise or talk about how high the level of discourse is here.

Sorry, I just do not see any benefit to the site of having public favorites that indicate the above comment being the most popular said on this site in the past week. But I do see a number of potential detriments with regards to sending signals to readers and commenters about what it is "popular" around here.
posted by dios at 9:03 AM on February 26, 2009


I fail to see how any of those comments are such can't miss quality. Not a single one of those are what I would identify as exemplars of what makes this site great.

They're not what I paid the five bucks for either. But it's not like they're inhibiting anyone from making more substantive comments - which inevitably draw their own favorites.

It's true that the mass favoriting of the particular comments you chose does signal loud and clear the anti-right wing, anti-Christianist bias of the community as a whole. But that bias will exist whether or not there's a favoriting mechanism in place through which it can be expressed. If a conservative is going to be intimidated or shouted down here, at least the favoriting of those comments gives them advance warning of what to expect.
posted by Joe Beese at 9:10 AM on February 26, 2009


On preview, I agree with you that favorites are not used for their stated purpose. But my remedy would be to revise the stated purpose - not eliminate the favorites.
posted by Joe Beese at 9:12 AM on February 26, 2009


That leaves only one useful effect I can see from favorites: somehow seeing that there was a really great comment that someone missed that lots of people bookmarked. While I appreciate that might be useful, I wonder how . I look at the three most popularly-marked comments on the blue as I post this, and I fail to see how any of those comments (1, 2, 3) are such can't miss quality.

First of all, my comment was awesome. Don't disrespect my awesome comment.

Seriously, though? I'd say the first two comments in your parenthetical list fit the bill perfectly. Both were extremely witty and insightful, and both were pretty representative of the sort of ethic we have around here.

(I suspect my own comment got so many favorites mostly because it was a big ol' fuck-you to someone who seemed to be shitting in the thread, so it may prove your "me-too" point. But note that it only got about half as many favorites as the other two, both of which stand really well on their own, even devoid of any context.)

Plus: What the favorites don't achieve in regards to singling out the good stuff, the sideblog does. And the sideblog isn't simply a list of the most-favorited comments or posts. Between those two tools, it's fairly easy to skim the quality stuff on Metafilter.

posted by hifiparasol at 9:13 AM on February 26, 2009


If a conservative is going to be intimidated or shouted down here, at least the favoriting of those comments gives them advance warning of what to expect.

I don't see this as a good thing.
posted by onalark at 9:14 AM on February 26, 2009


Do not want.
posted by Lynsey at 9:14 AM on February 26, 2009


Whoops, forgot to unsmall after my parentheses. You should biggify that last paragraph, in your mind, when you read it.
posted by hifiparasol at 9:15 AM on February 26, 2009


To take this is a step further, here is what the FAQ says about favorites:

Favorites are an internal bookmark system for MetaFilter -- a way to save a good thread or comment to a central place that you can come back to later to catch up or read again.

This is, currently, the most "popular" comment on this site according to the link "popular":

You've got to give the Republicans this: they stay on message, regardless of context or logic. Society could be in the midst of a zombie apocalypse and the GOP would be wringing its hands over the government giving out shotguns rather than giving tax cuts to shotgun makers.
posted by Bromius at 2:33 PM on February 25 [162 favorites +]

Now of those 162 favorites, how many people do you suspect are favoriting it in order to "come back to later to catch up or read again"? How many are favoriting to say "me too" or to say amen on the call to the choir? Well, it's a political snark. It does not need to be poured over or recalled. It's just a snarky quip. Maybe there are some people who think it is so snarky that they'd like to use the line themselves and want to remember what it is. Okay, fine. But to fulfill that task, why do the favorites need to be public?

But what is the signal from the 162 favorites and top heading on the "popular" page of that comment? It perhaps signals that such comments are what we want here more than anything else. It perhaps signals that the most popular thing said on this website in a week is a comment categorically insulting a plurality of this country. It perhaps signals that Bromius is really insightful or funny. I don't know. But what I do know is that it is not a thoughtful, useful or exemplary kind of comment that we like to pat our backs about here whenever we receive praise or talk about how high the level of discourse is here.

Sorry, I just do not see any benefit to the site of having public favorites that indicate the above comment being the most popular said on this site in the past week. But I do see a number of potential detriments with regards to sending signals to readers and commenters about what it is "popular" around here.


I agree.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:17 AM on February 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


Now add threading.
posted by Artw at 9:18 AM on February 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


grouse FTW!

(this is NOT a favorite whoring comment, please refrain from any and all favorite-ing of this comment)
posted by Grither at 9:22 AM on February 26, 2009 [3 favorites]


Huh, that took me a LOT longer to type than I thought, apparently.
posted by Grither at 9:23 AM on February 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


dios, I actually think that's a bad example. It's actually a funny (not mean, not snarky) comment that has a lot of truth to it. I know what you are getting at though, and I've seen the most popular comment of the moment be something really mean and nasty and not good before, but the comment you pointed out and painted as ugly snark is something you might hear from any of the late night talkshow comedians in their monologues.

I'll admit that favorites work great on threads, and frequently I find amazing, amazing things on MeFi and Ask MeFi by following the popular favorites threads feed. I also follow the popular favorites comments feed and it's about 50-50% on throwaway jokes vs. amazing stories/experiences in comments. We use the latter half of material for the sideblog, podcast, etc. and it's very useful. It would be nice to think of ways to curtail the lamer use of the feature.

I suppose one solution would be to remove favorites from commenting (keeping it on threads only), and then asking people to use the invisible "fantastic comment" flag. That would give us mods a way to continue highlighting amazing things on the site without the whoring and race to the bottom that people sometimes engage in. It's just an idea though and I'm not committing to doing it just yet.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:34 AM on February 26, 2009 [5 favorites]


dios' profile
send MeFi Mail
Add as a contact

...

View all activity

Favorites: 0
Favorited by others: 1494


The man's got principles.
posted by ALongDecember at 9:38 AM on February 26, 2009 [7 favorites]


2. Me-too-ing groupthink -- some people view favorites as a way to "me too" a comment. For purposes of dialogue, me-too-ing is nothing but noise and does not advance the ball at all. But it does have the effect that there are, for the lack of a better word, "teams." So some comments are made as calls to the choir for an amen, and the amen is forthcoming with a favorite.

I use favorites to do this sometimes. I think it's less noisy than 162 people (or however many) cutting and pasting the first few words of a comment - or the whole thing - and then saying "Me too!" in comment upon comment.
posted by rtha at 9:38 AM on February 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


How about people use favorites how the fuck they want without getting shamed by other users for how they use the favorites feature?
posted by The Straightener at 9:40 AM on February 26, 2009 [7 favorites]


I think it would be interesting to have a week where all favorites were invisble, but I really think the popular favorites pages are neat and a good way to see what's cool on the site and MUCH better than just the mods saying "well *I* liked this..." [and people never like when I put on the sidebar anyhow]. I know there's a difference between how mathowie intended them and how they're being used, but I really don't see what other people are referring to, favorites-whoring and the like, most of the time.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:40 AM on February 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


if I'm jumping into a 200+ comment thread already in progress, I often search for "favorites +" to skim through all the comments with 2+ favorites

For ridiculously long threads I do this all the time as well and I'd be unhappy if favorites were to become invisible.
posted by metaname at 9:42 AM on February 26, 2009


***TATERS***
posted by Mister_A at 9:43 AM on February 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


I suppose one solution would be to remove favorites from commenting (keeping it on threads only), and then asking people to use the invisible "fantastic comment" flag. That would give us mods a way to continue highlighting amazing things on the site without the whoring and race to the bottom that people sometimes engage in. It's just an idea though and I'm not committing to doing it just yet.
posted by mathowie at 11:34 AM on February 26


That's actually what I meant to put in my previous comment.

Favorites seem like a good idea for posts to the blue, as well as post and comments on the green. The green is quality all around, so there the use of favorites has value--quality is likely what is being indexed. So I would propose favorites as is on the green and on posts only on the blue and gray. People can direct mods to great comments by using the flagging system. People can bookmark comments having private comment bookmarks if they so choose. That seems to encompass all that is good about favorites without all the negative consequences of the public comment favoriting system.

As for the whether that example proves my point or disproves it, I guess we will have to agree to disagree. Whatever the reason for giving recognition to that comment, it just does not strike me as being held out as the most popular comment on this site as if it was an indication of the best Metafilter has to offer.
posted by dios at 9:44 AM on February 26, 2009


It would be nice to think of ways to curtail the lamer use of the feature.

You could simply add "favorite whoring" to the flagging menu and delete any comment that meets your definition of the term.

But the fact that another moderator isn't sure what the phrase refers to suggests to me that it's only a code word for "comment that I'm irritated that other people like despite my disapproval".
posted by Joe Beese at 9:46 AM on February 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


I use favorites to do this sometimes. I think it's less noisy than 162 people (or however many) cutting and pasting the first few words of a comment - or the whole thing - and then saying "Me too!" in comment upon comment.
posted by rtha at 11:38 AM on February 26


Most of the time "me too" alone is just noise. I've never grasped what that adds to anything. If one wants to agree with a different point of emphasis or different explanation, that advances the dialogue. But if we already have X as part of the discussion, "me too" does not add anything, in my opinion. The exception to this is if we are voting on something, and a dialogue is rarely ever a vote. So (what I am assuming to be) Devil Advocate's point in cut and pasting my comment and agreeing isn't really a problem with removing public favorites in my opinion. If all one has to offer is "I agree.", then we don't really need that contribution.
posted by dios at 9:51 AM on February 26, 2009


Can the you guys put some at least put some oak leaf clusters or something on You's profile page - for this?

Mmmm... AAH!... bad grammar overload. Error. Error. *ka-BOOM!*
posted by Sys Rq at 9:52 AM on February 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


We don't seem to get a lot of pride from the snarky, in-jokey, or shrill comments

I joined before favourites were introduced. And I recall pretty clearly that there were a lot of snarky, in-jokey and shrill comments around then too. I mean, that was why I joined.
posted by GuyZero at 10:00 AM on February 26, 2009 [4 favorites]


If all one has to offer is "I agree.", then we don't really need that contribution.

Well, according to you. Other members obviously feel differently, both in the doling out and receiving of favorites.

I like the "me too" use of favorites in part because it helps me curb my tendency (and I know I'm not the only one who does this) to post a comment that says something like "I agree with [previous comment], especially where they say [my own version of what they said] and I also think that [incredibly minor point that adds nothing to the discussion]." That's noisy.

So, what The Straightener said; but it wouldn't break my heart if favorites went invisible.
posted by rtha at 10:02 AM on February 26, 2009


If all one has to offer is "I agree.", then we don't really need that contribution.

There's a difference between "don't really need" and "can get people not to post." People are going to indicate their approval of comments they agree with one way or another. Get rid of visible favorites, and you get "me too" and "FTW" comments. Get the mods to delete those, and you get people trying to scrape by with the least possible additional content with their "me too" posts to pass muster. ("Me too. Also, Bobby Jindal sucks.") It seems to me that visible favorites are a less obtrusive way to allow people to express their agreement.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 10:04 AM on February 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


I suppose one solution would be to remove favorites from commenting (keeping it on threads only), and then asking people to use the invisible "fantastic comment" flag. That would give us mods a way to continue highlighting amazing things on the site without the whoring and race to the bottom that people sometimes engage in. It's just an idea though and I'm not committing to doing it just yet.

I've often wondered why, when favorites are not intended as a popularity contest, they are visible to everyone. I wonder what would happen if favorites (for comments at least) were blind, as in a user can see they favorited something but it doesn't have a number attached to it. The server would still quietly count them though, and a top N could still appear on the Popular page -- I hope, because I too love that page fiercely.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 10:05 AM on February 26, 2009


GuyZero, it would not get rid of them, of course.

But the fact it does not get rid of them does not weigh in favor of removing a feedback loop that celebrates them.

Again, I cannot say with any statistical or factual certainty that there are more (in frequency or intensity) but it sure feels that way to me. I could be wrong. Nevertheless, I still have not seen any benefit to having a feedback loop that aggrandizes such things.
posted by dios at 10:05 AM on February 26, 2009


goodnewsfortheinsane, I made favorites on comments public and easily visible to encourage people to spot highly-regarded (for whatever reason) comments in a thread. I made favorites loose and flexible to see how people use them and we're seeing that people have several distinct uses for it and I forgot to say that none of those are wrong are bad, but I'll reconsider any design choices now that they've been around for a couple years.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 10:09 AM on February 26, 2009


How about people use favorites how the fuck they want without getting shamed by other users for how they use the favorites feature?

But that would prevent one loud person from being repetitively shrill and passive-aggressive in trying, once again, to control discourse on Metafilter.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:09 AM on February 26, 2009 [4 favorites]


If this comment gets less than [37 favorites +] will it still show up in the comment filter?
posted by dersins at 10:09 AM on February 26, 2009


Vision from the future of MetaTalk

- I turned off public favorites for comments in MetaFilter. Post bugs or issues inside.

- New sideblog info: posts will be more regular and based on flags.

- Why can't I know how many "fantastic comment" flags I received?

- Why is voting secret for who gets on the sidebar? Can't you open up the results?

- Why can't the sideblog be based on Favorites?

- Why are favorites hidden anyway?

- I turned on public favorites for comments in MetaFilter. Post bugs or issues inside.
posted by ALongDecember at 10:10 AM on February 26, 2009


Most of the time "me too" alone is just noise. I've never grasped what that adds to anything.

I haven't grasped how that small-print [X favorites +] after the date makes the site "noisier" for you. If it's eyestrain, perhaps there's a Greasemonkey script that will prevent it from being displayed.

But if it's just an unpleasant reminder of how small a minority your opinions place you in here, maybe you could just deal with it.
posted by Joe Beese at 10:14 AM on February 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


it just does not strike me as being held out as the most popular comment on this site as if it was an indication of the best Metafilter has to offer.

dios, I think you're letting your political views cloud your judgment on this favorites-bashing kick. The top three comments you pointed out were all political in nature, but I found them funny and thought-provoking and didn't see them as ugly examples of snark or the lowest that MeFi has to offer.

In fact, I'd go further to say these funny political quips rise above mere jabs, and in a way, the favorites are working to elevate someone that can make a funny and astute comment on political news that makes you laugh and think. I'm not just saying that because I agree with the political sentiment, I'd say the same thing about a well-tuned comment about democrats if it made me chuckle at the same time highlighting a hypocrisy.

And again, I think there have been cases and examples in the past where the most popular comment on mefi was an in-joke that made no sense to more than 100 people on earth, or a really ugly swipe at some pop-culture icon, or even a typo, but the examples you are presenting are far from the worst of the worst and actually point to a system that works, which hurts your argument a bit.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 10:15 AM on February 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


Most of the time "me too" alone is just noise. I've never grasped what that adds to anything. If one wants to agree with a different point of emphasis or different explanation, that advances the dialogue. But if we already have X as part of the discussion, "me too" does not add anything, in my opinion.

That doesn't really counter the argument that 162 "I agrees" would be less noise though. You're just saying you think saying "me too" is also noise. Yeah, no kidding.

In the end, I'm not seeing a lot of substance behind your complaints here. This screed here is basically saying "I think favorites induces trolling, I think it encourages groupthink, and I don't think the most-favorited comments here are all that." That's it. So this is All About Dios' Speculations and Personal Taste, then. In 800 words or so. And you're complaining about noise? Oh the ironing.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:15 AM on February 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


But if it's just an unpleasant reminder of how small a minority your opinions place you in here, maybe you could just deal with it.

Way to launch a personal attack there, Joe. And I suppose you would like this place better if everybody agreed with everybody else all the time?
posted by onalark at 10:20 AM on February 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


dios, I think you're letting your political views cloud your judgment on this favorites-bashing kick.

Well, then I won't waste anymore time and space if it what I am saying is going to be pigeon-holed like that. I could pour through the history looking for non-political or non-religious or non-whatever type of comments. At the end of the day, that would largely be a waste of time because (1) you've already pigeon-holed what I thought was a reasonable position into a partisan one, and (2) I'm not likely to find such examples among apolitical topics because we don't get this kind of problem in apolitical threads. Cripes, now politics is infecting discussions about site administration.
posted by dios at 10:24 AM on February 26, 2009


DevilsAdvocate: "There's a difference between "don't really need" and "can get people not to post." People are going to indicate their approval of comments they agree with one way or another. Get rid of visible favorites, and you get "me too" and "FTW" comments."

This. I used to avoid the comments sections on blogs all together because they were usually just a parade of metooism. Favorites decrease noise. I personally think that there should be an "I agree" button and a "bookmark" button. That relegates all of the "Me too" noise to a little number by the comment, and the utility of actually returning later. Conflating the two has never made sense. Mathowie has always said that they are free-form-go-nuts so you can then use them however you want, but you really have to choose one or the other. Most people choose them to mean "I agree".
posted by team lowkey at 10:27 AM on February 26, 2009 [3 favorites]


A lot of the questioning about favourites clogging up dialog seem to miss the point that a dialog is a conversation. How many times in an average conversation do you say "U-huh", "Yeah" or utter some form of agreement? I don't really see anything wrong with people favouriting things because they agree with them, nor do I see anything wrong with comments that are re-hashes of previous comments getting favourited as that seems pretty damn conversational. I do despair at the occasional echo-chamber threads, but I don't really see what favourites have to do with that. It's great when really personal or deeply moving comments get lots of favourites but it's also great when genuinely funny comments get the same. In short, it ain't broke so please can we not fix it?
posted by ob at 10:28 AM on February 26, 2009 [3 favorites]


This is like not getting innoculated but hoping everybody else does.

God, I hope someone favorties this comment so others can see it.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:29 AM on February 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


Wow. I grammared the fuck out of that.
posted by team lowkey at 10:32 AM on February 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


We can talk about this ONLY in terms of breaking the in-thread feedback loop dios is getting at. I don't see any reason to bring the other pages that aggregate comments based on faves into it. The favorites report is totally cool, I don't think anyone is suggesting abandoning that information.

The real question is what is the value to having that information inline in the conversation? I totally see how it could color an ongoing discourse.
posted by butterstick at 10:39 AM on February 26, 2009


I've got my eye on you stirfry and Hovercraft Eel. Though I suppose two troublemakers out of 30,000+ ain't bad.
posted by Grither at 10:46 AM on February 26, 2009


Way to launch a personal attack there, Joe.

That really wasn't my intention - so I apologize if it came across that way. dios was actually the first individual MeFi-er who I ever noticed - albeit from other people yelling at him all the time - and I liked that he remained articulate and unflappable in the face of so much hostility. If he's a gadfly, I think he's a valuable one - and the site would be poorer without him.

But let's be honest: All three of his "There, you see!" examples were people ridiculing political/religious views with which - I think it's safe to say - dios has been well-identified. Given the weakness of his "noisiness" argument, I hope I can be forgiven for assuming that it's the ridicule - not the noise - that is the real issue here.
posted by Joe Beese at 10:47 AM on February 26, 2009


Without favorites, how would illiad know which comments to steal?
posted by frecklefaerie at 10:50 AM on February 26, 2009


The fact that no one has favorited this gives me hope.
posted by Mister_A at 10:51 AM on February 26, 2009


HA
posted by hifiparasol at 10:55 AM on February 26, 2009


There's so much pretty space now! I can write whatever I like! *gets out sharpie*
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 10:57 AM on February 26, 2009


There is no problem with favorites. If dios doesn't like them, he doesn't have to use them, which he doesn't: problem solved. Like GuyZero said, there were a lot of snarky, in-jokey and shrill comments around before favorites. The site is what it is, and most of us seem to like it that way. (Note: It is not a law review and should not be judged by those standards.)
posted by languagehat at 11:00 AM on February 26, 2009 [6 favorites]


Hope is replaced with ruination and weird gray stuff...
posted by Mister_A at 11:00 AM on February 26, 2009


Astro Zombie That comment isn't funny enough for a favorite. I only get 100 a day now. Screw you if you think I'm going to waste one of them on that!
posted by cjorgensen at 11:01 AM on February 26, 2009


ok, lets see, Pancakes, beans on plates, cameras, this will wendell, [ranting about religion], Forrest Gump sucks, as does your favorite band, circumcisions, people who are fat, CATS, cats and XRAYS, er... brand new day, Obama, [ranting about Bush, Gonzales... etc] Zombie Reagan, zombies in general, especially when combined with robots and ninjas, portobello mushrooms, [really popular X has died], SFM...

I know I missed a few but this should be the start of a favorite maelstrom, and be whole indicative of the worth of a favorite screen capability.
posted by edgeways at 11:04 AM on February 26, 2009


I feel dirty for having that thing in my browser.

And not in the good dirty way that other things in my browser have made me feel.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:08 AM on February 26, 2009


And dios, thanks for pointing out the zombie comment. I forgot to favorite it the first time around!

And I will confess to some of the behavior dios is upset about. I seldom flag a comment as a "fantastic comment," even if I think so. It kind of feels like going to the teacher and telling her that Suzi deserves a gold star instead of just telling Suzi I really liked what she said.

I also have to admit I forget I can favorite a whole thread. I somehow only seem to remember when I want it as a "bookmark." So my favorites in comments generally mean I liked what was written.

I have made comments where as soon as I posted it I thought, "I wonder how many favorites that will get." Then I obsessively checked back. This behavior has lost it's appeal though, since all you people are fickle! Sometimes I think I am being do over the top clever that it will pry a favorite even out of dios. Other times I come back and see I've gotten way more than I could have ever imagine for a contribution.

I like favorites, and are usually the first thing I check when I log in (under my profile). Sometimes I use this as an indicator that my presence within a thread is being noted (not necessarily appreciated). But I find it an easy way to come back to a thread that's well off the front page, but is still interesting and active.

I wouldn't care if they weren't visible within a thread, but if I couldn't see what people were marking I would be a bit sad.

Of course, it kind of does annoy me when people say stupid things and rather than just giving it a - I have only rebut or flag as choices.
posted by cjorgensen at 11:12 AM on February 26, 2009


dios is absolutely right.

mathowie: but the examples you are presenting are far from the worst of the worst and actually point to a system that works, which hurts your argument a bit.

Sure, dios' examples aren't the worst of the worst. They are actually good comments. Is that really the threshold you are aiming for with the feature though?
posted by Chuckles at 11:13 AM on February 26, 2009


I wonder what would have been different if they'd just been called bookmarks from the start.
posted by Chuckles at 11:14 AM on February 26, 2009


butterstick: "The real question is what is the value to having that information inline in the conversation? I totally see how it could color an ongoing discourse."

It does color the ongoing discourse. And it's a good thing. First, it reduces the noise of people who just want to say that they like what someone else said. Secondly, it shows how your statements are being perceived by the audience. I can understand the concern about people just issuing "call to arms" or "team up" statements for no other reason than to get favorites (though I think that just shows that we need to figure out a way to devalue favorites, not eliminate them), but that feedback is actually valuable in a conversation where you can't see people's reactions. If you're in a room full of people and you make a statement that no one agrees with, you have plenty of cues to let you know how you are coming across, even if no one directly confronts you. Favorites give you a cue on how to read the room.

Now, I'm guessing (and, really, just guessing) that dios would prefer that discussions here were limited just to rational argument, wherein the perceptions of the audience wouldn't matter. But that's not what goes on here. Or any community that I've ever come across.

I guess I'm just not seeing how a mechanism that lets people know that their contributions are appreciated lowers the discourse. It sounds like the main argument is that it might encourage people to say things only because they think it will be popular. That doesn't seem so bad. Unless you don't like the population.
posted by team lowkey at 11:15 AM on February 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


cjorgensen, I flag each and every comment you make as "other". Always, every time. I just felt I should come clearn about that now.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:19 AM on February 26, 2009


My two cents filter: There are in-joke, popularity contest, and overly harsh aspects of metafilter culture that I dislike. I don't particularly see favorites as a feature as contributing to these aspects though.
posted by serazin at 11:23 AM on February 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


Again, I cannot say with any statistical or factual certainty that there are more (in frequency or intensity) but it sure feels that way to me. I could be wrong. Nevertheless, I still have not seen any benefit to having a feedback loop that aggrandizes such things.

So I agree with your sentiment in general but I do not feel it has gotten a lot worse, although now it seems a bit more obvious that everyone loves the lulz via favourites, whereas before you had to read a lot of threads before it because obvious that this place is a class comprised mostly of clowns. But I don't think there's any more of it relative to a couple years ago when there were no faves.

One might theorize that it reduces the number of meaningless comments because people have the outlet to simply hit "+" instead of feeling compelled to post a comment like "yah, har, hurf durf" just to join in. So it may have actually had the opposite effect.

Ultimately, we'd need data or this becomes a my opinion vs your opinion argument which really don't go anywhere.
posted by GuyZero at 11:23 AM on February 26, 2009


I agree.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:26 AM on February 26, 2009


I agree with this comment.
posted by grouse at 11:31 AM on February 26, 2009


I suppose one solution would be to remove favorites from commenting (keeping it on threads only), and then asking people to use the invisible "fantastic comment" flag.

Better would be just to make the fave count on comments invisible. We could still bookmark stuff we like, the quipper could still revel in his or her favorite count and we could all find great comments through the "popular favorites" feature. The one thing you wouldn't be able to do is scan a thread for the most favorited comments.


dios, one day you will realize to what extent you always undermine your own arguments by bringing politics into the discussion. By using three anti-GOP examples to illustrate your argument about the pernicious effect of favorites, which I agree with, you effectively turned this into a "whah people favorite stuff I don't like" whine. Not useful. Then you complained that other people politicized your argument.
posted by CunningLinguist at 11:35 AM on February 26, 2009


Guys...Hey! Psssst! We're having a proper MeTa thread at last!
posted by Jofus at 11:38 AM on February 26, 2009


I'm happy that Matt is considering revisiting the favorites system. I really dislike the me-tooist voting aspect of them. I used to think that some of the problems could be solved just by renaming them 'bookmarks', but it's too late for that -- their use has been settled and they will be thought of as favorites now and forever.

I think the idea of making favorites on comments private and favorites on threads public is an excellent idea.
posted by painquale at 11:40 AM on February 26, 2009


I guess I'm just not seeing how a mechanism that lets people know that their contributions are appreciated lowers the discourse. It sounds like the main argument is that it might encourage people to say things only because they think it will be popular. That doesn't seem so bad. Unless you don't like the population.

I'm not sure if this is more insightful than you intended, but it is spot on. I think I agree with both you and (necessarily) dios, but on balance? I imagine that the ability for the audience to feedback to the commenter without adding noise far outweighs the opportunity for groupthink as outlined by dios.

Sold.
posted by butterstick at 11:40 AM on February 26, 2009


IM IN UR COMMENTS, BYPASSING UR FILTER
posted by teraflop at 11:48 AM on February 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


But back to the plugin in question...

I think it breaks the single threaded nature of the discussion. I know the lack of comment threading is very intentional, and I believe it should stay that way. This plugin adds another dimension that requires you to really abandon the flow of conversation, and makes it much harder to participate and follow along.

I could see this being used when people are trying to catch up with an epic thread, but once you do you really have to turn it off. And that faves fluctuate over time, as others follow the thread at their own pace. That encourages the user to refresh the thread and re-scan it for new favorite spikes. As a user I would really have a hard time trying to follow a conversation using something like this.
posted by butterstick at 11:54 AM on February 26, 2009


CL, that's not completely fair (and I'm done defending dios in this thread, which is not having the effect I intended), dios pointed to three of the top jokey comments in today's most popular favorites page. It doesn't appear that he went digging for them, I have noticed the very same thing about the usage of favorites in axe-grind comments for a while now.
posted by onalark at 11:55 AM on February 26, 2009


Now that I think of it, what I really dislike about the publicity of favorites is that, because the number of favorites of a comment is presented right there in the thread, it becomes part of the content of a discussion. The popularity of a comment is inseparable from what is said.

I think it could still make sense to make some aspects of favorites public. I'd still like to see popular comments of my contacts in the sidebar, for instance. I just wish they weren't rated in the thread.
posted by painquale at 11:57 AM on February 26, 2009


For those who don't give out favorites and don't want the rest of us using favorites, I propose a feature that makes any comments with |favorites| >= 1 invisible to you, and you only. That way you don't have to worry your pretty little heads over how other people use the site.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:02 PM on February 26, 2009 [3 favorites]


I like favorites as they exist. I enjoy giving them out when someone says something that I appreciate, I like being the first to catch a clever comment and favorite it before anyone else, and I like being the one to push someone over the twelve or so comment threshold and get them to show up on their contacts activity sidebar. I also appreciate seeing that something I wrote collected a few, as it tells me that I'm not shouting into a bottomless pit and that some of the things that I say are resonating with others on the site.

That may be indulging in the me-too culture, but I honestly don't care. It is a simple tool that allows me to show others that I like what they had to say.

And as long as they exist, I will continue to use them this way.
posted by quin at 12:19 PM on February 26, 2009 [5 favorites]


My two cents filter: There are in-joke, popularity contest, and overly harsh aspects of metafilter culture that I dislike. I don't particularly see favorites as a feature as contributing to these aspects though.

The.

But I do agree with what's being said here. I'd be curious to see what a favorites holiday would do, but I don't think it would have any noticeable effect on any of these things.
posted by SpiffyRob at 12:49 PM on February 26, 2009


I see what you did there.
posted by Rhomboid at 12:50 PM on February 26, 2009


I'm coming out in favor of keeping favorites just as they are. I like being able to indicate that I find something clever or insightful or thought-provoking or hilarious without having to memail someone or send a flag off into the void (I know you guys are watching them but I enjoy the instant feedback of adding a a favorite.) I also like seeing what other members find interesting. I've found a lot of really brilliant comments buried in long threads that I would have missed otherwise by looking for favorites and I like being able to let someone know that they're brightened my day by making me laugh or making me think without having to add a useless comment noting it. I've been reading Metafilter a lot longer than my username would indicate and I just don't see this decline in quality that others seem to. I guess a comment favorites vacation would be an interesting experiment but I know I would miss them and would hope it wouldn't be permanent.
posted by lysistrata at 12:54 PM on February 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


Secondly, it shows how your statements are being perceived by the audience.

Pow! Right there, that's one of the worst things about how favorites are implemented on this site. The statement sums up the why the implementation of favorites is absolutely horrible on MetaFilter.

Favorites don't show audience perception in any meaningful way. People could be favoriting a remark as a bookmark (remember bookmarks?), or as a joke, or to keep in with the cool crowd, as a reminder to themselves what an idiot the other user is, or because that string of text happens to trigger amusing epileptic seizures in their cat. You don't know, I don't know, nobody except the person banging the favorite plus knows—and not always then, based on the frequency of mistakes and posts under the influence.

This perception alone has severely crippled favorites for me, and I'll wager for many others. I restrict favoriting to links that are both good bookmarks and which I don't mind my favoriting being counted as a "this is good" feature.

So why should anyone care what others may think if they want to use them as a bookmark while those others people think of them as something else? Well, that's a bad question for any one of you "this is a community, favorites help influence the community behavior". You're encouraging us bookmarking users to mess with your community metric. Or what if someone makes a post containing a lot of political tripe, along with actually useful links I might want to temporary bookmark? No way in hell I'm favoriting a comment that will make people think I endorse the tripe. I'm at least that self-conscious about my online behavior.

There there are all those automatic favorites on relationship questions in AskMe, when people do that "tough love" comment, or the "stern talking to from a disinterested bystander". People love that crap, they favorite it up and down the posts across AskMe. Why is that bad? Because a lot of people who really need help with their screwed-up life will think that the best advice is the most popular. This, after they have already demonstrated questionable judgement, in my opinion, by assuming that serious advice on complicated relationship issues can be offered from, and as a response of, one or a few paragraphs of text.

Don't me started on all the favorites slathered on kneejerk inspirational posts where you can practically hear the swell of violins, as the post rises to a stirring crescendo of written illumination which would make Edward Bulwer-Lytton blush. That particular favorites irritation is, I freely admit, my own personal peeve.

At a minimum, favorites should be decoupled form bookmarks.

I do think it amusing to see people who speak out against kill-files, where one person makes their own decisions on a few messages they don't see, supporting a mechanism where a bunch of other people make decisions about all the messages which they do see.

It's also kind of funny, in a different way, to observe how script discoveries here go in cycles. As has been pointed out upthread, there are already scripts with features which let readers do things like this one does, scripts which have been around for a while. One of these days, some script-boosting poster is going to read about regular expressions and find out, by gum, that yes you can use scripts to set all sorts of weird rule-based decisions on what you do or don't see.
posted by mdevore at 12:57 PM on February 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


This perception alone has severely crippled favorites for me, and I'll wager for many others. I restrict favoriting to links that are both good bookmarks and which I don't mind my favoriting being counted as a "this is good" feature.

It's generally not very mysterious why someone favorited your post, if they're one of your contacts, or you know their posting history, or view how they've commented on similar issues, and so forth. I see favorites as both bookmarks and shorthand, plain and simple, and I reckon most others do, too. What a favorite you get means usually isn't too difficult to decypher.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:04 PM on February 26, 2009


I used this and now all I see are a thousand jonmc one-liners.
posted by gtr at 1:04 PM on February 26, 2009


People love that crap...

People really are the worst, aren't they?

They almost never act the way they should. And when you point out how stupid they're being, they either get huffy or - even worse - ignore you. Completely incognizant of how much better everything would be if they would just do what you say!

I'm fed up with the lot of them.
posted by Joe Beese at 1:10 PM on February 26, 2009


Lots of people in this thread are saying that they like favorites because they like giving commenters kudos, and they like seeing which comments others have liked. Both of these features could be preserved without having favorites be presented in the thread.

Remember the way that CNN had that little meter during the presidential debates that displayed the opinions of a select set of viewers? It was interesting but obtrusive. Favorites are like that. There's a difference between seeking out polls after the fact and having them invade the experience itself.
posted by painquale at 1:12 PM on February 26, 2009


I love it. I will use it regularly. Sure I'll occasionally miss a good comment but for the most part lots of people say dumb things and try too hard to be clever. This will weed out people who just feel like they have to make a comment even if they have nothing to add, which is awfully frequent.
posted by vito90 at 1:13 PM on February 26, 2009


I'm sure Dios can appreciate Sartre's observation that "Hell is other people's favorites."
posted by found missing at 1:15 PM on February 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


Lots of people in this thread are saying that they like favorites because they like giving commenters kudos, and they like seeing which comments others have liked. Both of these features could be preserved without having favorites be presented in the thread.

How? I can see how you would accomplish the first but not the second. If I want to see which comments others have enjoyed wouldn't there need to be some way of noting that and wouldn't that cause the same problems that you have with favorites now?
posted by lysistrata at 1:19 PM on February 26, 2009


People really are the worst, aren't they?

Aw, did I hurt your feelings by disagreeing with you and having my own opinions? You might have to get over that some day. Or not, you seem to be doing pretty well so far.

Thanks for avoiding the point-by-point rebuttal, carefully picking through the message to find the one thing you can hang a not-terribly-clever retort upon, and going straight to questioning personal motivations based on, hmmm, well, I don't know what it is based on, but I'm sure it's something really impressive.
posted by mdevore at 1:20 PM on February 26, 2009


Remember the way that CNN had that little meter during the presidential debates that displayed the opinions of a select set of viewers? It was interesting but obtrusive. Favorites are like that. There's a difference between seeking out polls after the fact and having them invade the experience itself.

I'm not entirely sure people's personal opinions on an issue are so easily influenced that seeing a comment with multiple favorites will make them change their minds on the thread's subject, though. Not sure how they "invade" the dialogue. Does anyone really second-guess their views based on a comment taking an opposite position of their own having 20+ favorites?
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:21 PM on February 26, 2009


Marisa Stole the Precious Thing, some one should write a script that does that for you.

You know, what would be really ego swelling and cool, would be when someone does actually flag a comment as "fantastic comment" the poster would get to see this under his profile page. Even anonymously this might be neat.
posted by cjorgensen at 1:27 PM on February 26, 2009


Geeky aside: I've meant for a long time to do some research into the distribution of favorites in a thread over time. Just eyeballing it for the last couple years, it's safe to say a couple things:

1. The rate at which favorites are distributed in a thread decrease with time—the longer it's been since a thread was posted, the fewer people per unit of time trip across it for the first time and so the fewer favorites occur per unit of time.

2. The likely number of favorites a comment receives decreases with the time between when the post was made and when the comment was made—again, fewer eyeballs = fewer favorites.

I'd bet the average curve would involve a shelf in the first hour or two of a thread's life followed by a nice quarter-pipe dropoff, though individual threads would obviously be very spikeful compared to the aggregate trend.

It'd be interesting to look at, too, the way the rate of growth of comments in a thread correlates with favoriting for the individual comments. Maybe also look at how the favorites-per-unit-time graph compares to the favorites-per-comment graph, to see how the temporal vs. volume effects compare.

All of which is a roundabout way of saying that without modeling for the time distribution of favorites and weighting late-thread comments accordingly, this sort of script unnecessarily favors early-thread commentary.

Also, I think faves are fine by and large, but would be interested in the vacation project if we decide to give it a shot, and in that case I've always favored the idea of a binary has-been-/hasn't-been-favorited tag of some sort replacing the count (with the link still going through to the faving-details page as it does now).
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:28 PM on February 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


I too think that visible favourites distort conversation here. Do they reinforce group-think? If 163 users "agree" with a comment, does that suppress contrary opinions? How many people now walk away rather than contribute?

While certain members thrive on being contrary, I certainly don't think everyone or even a minority do. In my opinion, herd consensus tends to drive away other (sincere, non-trollish) points of view. It's hard to have your brain stretched by an echo-chamber. I don't think mechanisms which reinforce certain points of view leads to constructive or healthy discussion.
posted by bonehead at 1:29 PM on February 26, 2009


Thanks for avoiding the point-by-point rebuttal...

Oh, was there a point-by-point rebuttal in there? I guess I overlooked it among your observations of: 1) how other people try to seem cool, 2) how self-conscious you are in your online behavior, 3) how other people love crap, 4) how other people wanting advice will be too stupid to avoid misinterpreting favorites, and 5) how saccharine are the posts other people are moved by.

To be clear: I'm not questioning your personal motivations. I have a very clear sense of what they are.
posted by Joe Beese at 1:30 PM on February 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


a binary has-been-/hasn't-been-favorited tag of some sort replacing the count (with the link still going through to the faving-details page as it does now).

Ooooo, THAT's an interesting thought.
posted by CunningLinguist at 1:32 PM on February 26, 2009


Let's see... if I use the tool mentioned in this post, on this thread, nearly all the comments from those who don't want favorites disappear. Well then.
posted by netbros at 1:33 PM on February 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


What a favorite you get means usually isn't too difficult to decypher.

But you don't have the data to say that, nobody does. Oh sure, if there are a lot of favorites, it's trivial to figure out why. But a few favorites? Can't do it, the noise possibilities are just too high. And most favorites here, near as I can tell, are not high-count favorites.

I can, however, give you hard data that I, and some others posting here, have said that coupling favorites with bookmarks inhibits their use as bookmarks. It's anecdotal evidence, but that's all we got. Without true research, it's hard to get more hard data than that.
posted by mdevore at 1:34 PM on February 26, 2009


A little less conversation, a little more action please
All this aggravation ain't satisfactioning me
A little more bite and a little less bark
A little less fight and a little more snark
Close your mouth and open up your heart and baby favorite me
Favorite me baby
posted by Dumsnill at 1:35 PM on February 26, 2009


WARNING: This caused my javascript to get all wonky and not allow me to actually favorite others' comments. Just another reason why, cool as this is tech-wise, it's probably not a good idea.
posted by Navelgazer at 1:35 PM on February 26, 2009


I've always favored the idea of a binary has-been-/hasn't-been-favorited tag of some sort replacing the count (with the link still going through to the faving-details page as it does now).

That's an interesting idea and answers the question I asked in my last post. I wouldn't mind seeing how that would work out.
posted by lysistrata at 1:37 PM on February 26, 2009


But you don't have the data to say that, nobody does.

If by "data" you mean some sort of pie chart, no, I don't, but you *can* see who posted the favorites, and then see their comment history to get a fairly accurate idea of whether they favorited the comment to say "I agree" or "Gawd, look at this asshat".
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:42 PM on February 26, 2009


How? I can see how you would accomplish the first but not the second. If I want to see which comments others have enjoyed wouldn't there need to be some way of noting that and wouldn't that cause the same problems that you have with favorites now?

You could still have a popular favorites page, and heavily favorited comments by your contacts could still appear in the sidebar. I think this would make it so that using favorites as a polling feature would be less successful, and so it would be done less often.

Not sure how they "invade" the dialogue.

If they didn't, then people wouldn't bother to favorite comments in order to say "me too!" to the world, but plenty of people here have been admitting they do that. To mark a favorite is to add a semantic contribution to the thread, in between conversational turns. Either it has an effect, in which case it invades the dialogue, or it's otiose and doesn't, in which case there would be no harm in getting rid of public in-thread favorites.
posted by painquale at 1:45 PM on February 26, 2009


Reading comprehension and interpretation 101 for Joe Beese:

1) how other people try to seem cool.

Let me introduce you to the concept of "could be". In context, it means as a "possibility with no percentage of actuality attached". I could have said "people favoriting to see if it will blow up the earth." No, wait, I can see this one coming. Because I said it, I must really mean it deep down in my id or ego or superego or wherever the heck that stuff is supposed to live. Just like that epilectic seizure in cats remark I made, I'm probably hoping for a million cats jerking about in bizarre ways. Dude, I'm way too old to worry about the cool kids think; too old to even know what it cool and what isn't.

2) how self-conscious you are in your online behavior.

Yup, I worry if I favorite some slavering stupidity that people will think I support it. You don't do that, huh? Never, ever, ever once were concerned about what others' perceive of your behavior based on how you act or what you do? Wow, saints walk amongst us. Or is that sociopaths? I forget. Oh, the old person comment about what's cool? Applies here, too.

3) how other people love crap

Yup, they sure do. I love me some types of crap too, I think the video for "Total Eclipse of the Heart" is great. I have absolutely no defense for that completely ridiculous opinion, but I hold it nonetheless. Perhaps you have too refined of taste to like any crap. I kinda feel sorry for you about that.

4) how other people wanting advice will be too stupid to avoid misinterpreting favorites

Ahh, I didn't say "stupid", you did. Lot of other reasons for the problem to occur. I think you betray more of yourself with that remark than anyone. Tsk, task, calling people stupid. How callous.

5) how saccharine are the posts other people are moved by

Yup. Same answer as #3.

Re:I have a very clear sense of what they are.

Obviously you have a very clear sense of something, but you don't know what they are in the real world. But, as they say, perception is often reality.
posted by mdevore at 1:50 PM on February 26, 2009


Either it has an effect, in which case it invades the dialogue

The second concept does not follow from the first.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:53 PM on February 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


To mark a favorite is to add a semantic contribution to the thread, in between conversational turns. Either it has an effect, in which case it invades the dialogue, or it's otiose and doesn't, in which case there would be no harm in getting rid of public in-thread favorites.

I suggest that it does have an effect, but a non-invasive one. It appends to the beginning of the comment an implied "I speak for myself and the people who favorited this comment when I say..."

If someone doesn't want to lend that tacit endorsement, they can bookmark it some other way. Or, if they prefer, continue trying to force the majority of other people to abandon the favoriting habits they naturally fell into.
posted by Joe Beese at 1:56 PM on February 26, 2009


-Not sure how they "invade" the dialogue.

-If they didn't, then people wouldn't bother to favorite comments in order to say "me too!" to the world, but plenty of people here have been admitting they do that.


I'd rather see 20 favorites under a comment rather than 20 "Oh totally dude"s following a comment. I mean, talk about invading the dialogue ... that would be awful. Favorites are a fair less unobtrusive alternative.

Now, as for making them invisible to everyone else, I think it might be interesting to see as an experiment, but in the end, it's a form of communication designed to cover multiple uses in one function - as a bookmark, or as a way of letting other people know you agree, in the least obtrusive way possible.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:01 PM on February 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


Marisa: Oh totally, dude.
posted by grouse at 2:08 PM on February 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


grouse: That was funny.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:09 PM on February 26, 2009


Either it has an effect, in which case it invades the dialogue,

Either "invade" implies a negative effect, in which case merely having an effect does not automatically mean it is invading the dialogue; or "invade" is simply synonymous with "affect" and does not imply a negative effect, in which case the fact that it is invading the dialogue is not an argument against it.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 2:11 PM on February 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


Yeah: Posts: I favorite them as bookmarks.

Comments: Funny; interesting; I agree; adds something to the conversation; thought-provoking.

Much less disrupting than writing out a comment that says the same thing.
posted by Dumsnill at 2:12 PM on February 26, 2009


This is a test. [1 favorite +]
posted by flatluigi at 2:13 PM on February 26, 2009


Oops. Test 2. [100 favorites +]
posted by flatluigi at 2:15 PM on February 26, 2009


The way I give favorites and the way I hope to receive favorites doesn't match up, so I'm probably an unfair favor-er.
I give them to things I want to remember and go back to (usually for a link but sometimes for an awesome quip), but I think I get them when people agree with what I say and want to second that emotion.
posted by rmless at 2:18 PM on February 26, 2009


WWTD?
What would tehloki do?
posted by not_on_display at 2:22 PM on February 26, 2009


grouse : Marisa: Oh totally, dude.

Wait...

Marisa's a dude?

:)
posted by quin at 2:30 PM on February 26, 2009


Personally, I boldly favorite shit I feel like favoriting for whatever reason I feel like favoriting it and don't worry about who might see that it was favorited and what they might speculate about my choice to give that favorite. I don't think that makes me a sociopath, and I don't think that I do that makes people who are shy of guilt-by-association nuts, though I do think they're maybe worrying a bit too much about it.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:37 PM on February 26, 2009 [5 favorites]


Well, it's not that that makes you a sociopath. It's the misanthropy and the ritual killings.
posted by quin at 2:42 PM on February 26, 2009


bonehead: "While certain members thrive on being contrary...."

Crap! I've been found out.
posted by cjorgensen at 2:45 PM on February 26, 2009


p.s. I only favorited cortex's comment because he's a mod and I'm afraid if I don't favorite his comments he'll disemvowell my comments.
posted by rtha at 2:47 PM on February 26, 2009


I'm confused. What's the difference between a sociopath and a psychopath again?
posted by cjorgensen at 2:47 PM on February 26, 2009


A sociopath will just kill you. A psychopath will do things with your corpse afterward.
posted by Joe Beese at 2:51 PM on February 26, 2009


I'm confused. What's the difference between a sociopath and a psychopath again?

A book deal.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:52 PM on February 26, 2009


What's the difference between a sociopath and a psychopath again?

I pronounce the a as in "cat" in the first word, and as in "father" in the second.
posted by Dumsnill at 2:52 PM on February 26, 2009


I don't think that makes me a sociopath

However, if you paid no attention to what your wife thought about what anything you did, you might qualify. As a general observation, people do tend to care about the opinions of other people, just not on every subject. It is one of the fundamental reasons that communities work. Humans have complex wetware rule-sets and boundaries for their behavior under many specific conditions. Extrapolating a single specific datum for a particular rule to a general observation about a person is a pretty dumb thing to do.

I will say that if you think some people don't form some impressions of you based on what you favorite, you're kidding yourself. Particularly so in light of all the passion generated whenever favorites' use is brought up or even, horrors, when favorite counts are miscalculated by the site.
posted by mdevore at 2:58 PM on February 26, 2009


If anyone is clicking the [X favorites +] link, noting the account names, and updating their mental picture of the favoriters based on what was favorited, I think it safe to say that person needs to sign off Metafilter for a while and take a walk outside.
posted by Joe Beese at 3:07 PM on February 26, 2009 [7 favorites]


It's hard to have your brain stretched by an echo-chamber.

You think this place is an echo chamber? I... don't know what to say.

I will say that if you think some people don't form some impressions of you based on what you favorite, you're kidding yourself.


I have never formed an impression of anyone based on what they favorite (or, for that matter, gone around investigating what people favorite), and frankly I think anyone who does has Issues.
posted by languagehat at 3:12 PM on February 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


Or what Joe Beese said.
posted by languagehat at 3:13 PM on February 26, 2009


However, if you paid no attention to what your wife thought about what anything you did, you might qualify.

And if keeping track of and passing judgement on the favoriting behavior of random mefites was comparable in any way to being attentive to one's spouse, we'd be living in a very different world. If frogs had wings, etc, etc.

I will say that if you think some people don't form some impressions of you based on what you favorite, you're kidding yourself.

My position is that I can never hope to know about all the impressions people will form of me based on the sundry things I do each day, and that I'm unwilling to lower the threshold of those impressions I put energy into worrying about so far that it includes speculation about the things I favorite on Metafilter (or Flickr, or or or).

Like I said, I don't think people who do include that in their net are crazy, but I do think it's a silly thing to worry about, given how rarely commentary-on-a-favoriting-choice seems to come up in practice.

I don't think the "only sociopaths don't care about what random people might think about their favorites" argument is a helpful one.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:13 PM on February 26, 2009


As a general observation, people do tend to care about the opinions of other people, just not on every subject.

This is true, of course.

But it does not then follow that I care so much that I worry about what people here think when I favorite - or refrain from favoriting! - a comment or post.

This is something you worry about? Really? I am more concerned about how people perceive what I say here when I use my words, and not what they think it means when I favorite something. Especially since the favorite could be A) Awesome! I agree!; B) Useful info/link - save this; C) Very funny, would laugh again; D) Has unwittingly used Cabal password - remember to kill.
posted by rtha at 3:21 PM on February 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yeah, just to clarify? When I was talking about checking poster comment histories up here, it was as a suggestion to those who seem to think it's a total mystery why someone favorites a post. This whole talk of "but you have no way of knowing if they favorited because they liked it or because they think you're an a-hole!" seemed ingenuous to me. Do people really not know why Comment X was favorited? More importantly, do they care that deeply?
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:22 PM on February 26, 2009


I don't think the "only sociopaths don't care about what random people might think about their favorites" argument is a helpful one.

Of course, I didn't say that. The relevant quote was "Never, ever, ever once were concerned about what others' perceive of your behavior based on how you act or what you do?". It is an observation on someone making a sweeping conclusion based about how a person might feel about one simple and small act, and the decisions they make thereto. It's also a small part of the total content about intermingling favorites and bookmarks.

I don't think you trying to shoehorn that quote into a pure favorites remark is helpful, either.
posted by mdevore at 3:23 PM on February 26, 2009


But "not caring about what people think of your favorites" isn't anywhere near equivalent to
"never ever ever once caring about what people think of how you act". You introduced the never-ever-ever, saints-and-sociopaths thing in direct response to someone taking exception to the favorites-scrutiny proposition.

I know it was the middle of an already kind of catty exchange, and I don't mean to dwell too much on, so I'm happy to shrug and let it drop. But it seemed like a weird thing to bring into the argument, and you're the one who brought it in.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:35 PM on February 26, 2009


I have never formed an impression of anyone based on what they favorite (or, for that matter, gone around investigating what people favorite), and frankly I think anyone who does has Issues.

Well, we all have "Issues" languagehat, even capitalized ones. I don't check other people's favorites myself, because I think favorites are fatally flawed as they are implemented here. Does that mean I don't think that other people check them? Of course they do. You know other people check them, because there are comments on MetaFilter itself about other people's favorites. Must we archive-dive old topics to prove the point or can we stipulate that some people do it, even if they have Issues?
posted by mdevore at 3:36 PM on February 26, 2009


I suggest that it does have an effect, but a non-invasive one. It appends to the beginning of the comment an implied "I speak for myself and the people who favorited this comment when I say..."

Right, I agree. Favorites make it so that each comment has a tacit little preamble. But that definitely feels negatively intrusive to me. There's no way of making a comment on this site without instantly and tacitly asking people to sign your petition.

I'd rather see 20 favorites under a comment rather than 20 "Oh totally dude"s following a comment. I mean, talk about invading the dialogue

I doubt that everyone who would add a "me too" favorite would add a "me too" comment if favorites were removed. But I bet that those who did would tack on a couple of paragraphs that would add a little more to the conversation. Also, peer enforcement on this site (in AskMe in particular) encourages people not to say dumb useless stuff. That's why we don't have any FIRST POST comments, and people who drop into threads just to say they don't like a post are made fun of unless they substantiate their claim.

Either "invade" implies a negative effect, in which case merely having an effect does not automatically mean it is invading the dialogue; or "invade" is simply synonymous with "affect" and does not imply a negative effect, in which case the fact that it is invading the dialogue is not an argument against it.

In my first comment, I was using "invasive" pejoratively and was arguing from analogy: if you find the CNN tracker invasive, then you should find favorites invasive. Marisa made a comment saying that he doubted favorites could be invasive (in the pejorative sense) because he doubted that they could cause people to change their minds about a comment. In other words, he doubted that they could be invasive in the pejorative sense because he doubted they could be invasive in the neutral sense. This is where the switch in meaning happened. My second comment was arguing against Marisa using "invasive" in this neutral sense: I was just claiming that favorites are polls that have a semantic effect on the thread. You could claim that their invasiveness (in the neutral sense) is beneficial, as Joe Beese does above. I do think they're detrimental, but that wasn't the claim I was making at that point.

I should have used a different word, obviously.
posted by painquale at 3:43 PM on February 26, 2009


You introduced the never-ever-ever, saints-and-sociopaths thing in direct response to someone taking exception to the favorites-scrutiny proposition.

Nope. I introduced the saints-and-socipaths thing after the "I have a very clear sense of what [your personal motivations] are." remark in the catty context. It directly pertains to personal behavior and how people choose to act based on public notice or feedback. It wasn't the nicest thing I've ever said, but I'm not always a very nice guy.

Maybe he is a saint, maybe he had a bad day and acted like a dick, and maybe he's a rhetorical genius who writes in far too subtle of ways for stupid people like me to interpret. It would be foolish for me to develop a clear sense of his, or anyone's personal motivations based on that one interaction. Hmm, that wording rings familiar.
posted by mdevore at 3:54 PM on February 26, 2009


I doubt that everyone who would add a "me too" favorite would add a "me too" comment if favorites were removed. But I bet that those who did would tack on a couple of paragraphs that would add a little more to the conversation.

I doubt it would happen, too, and it was bad math for me to say that X number of me-too favorites would equal X-number of me-too comments. On the other hand, "tacking on a couple of paragraphs" when all you meant to say was "LOL" or "I agree" seems like unnecessary bloat.

In other words, I see nothing wrong with a tiny little number indicating consensus from others. It's probably the least neutrally invasive way to express agreement. It does not seem to be "invasive" enough to have significant detrimental effects in terms of influencing whether or not other people post opinions to the contrary of a favorited comment. In fact, it might even encourage them, and I'd add that anyone who's backed down from expressing an opinion that defies a comment with multiple favorites might take the internet an eensy bit too seriously.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:59 PM on February 26, 2009


when all you meant to say was "LOL"

Oh yes. Another good reason for favorites. Sometimes you just want to let someone know you got a chuckle from what they wrote without having to figure out a way of saying "LOL" that won't get you tarred and feathered. (Wasn't there a heated metatalk post once about whether or not people actually spit their beverages all over the screen after reading a funny comment or am I thinking of an AskMe question?)
posted by lysistrata at 4:07 PM on February 26, 2009


that is nice comment, that is nice idea, my filter show me comment so i think oh nice cool i click favorite also
posted by oaf at 4:34 PM on February 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


I do think some people get some bit of happiness for making a comment or post that people favorite and that a subset of that group may make comments that in some way deliberately attempt to get favorites. I also think that there are a few things that commonly get favorited, including snarky comments fitting a view held by many of the metafilter demographic.

Those two combined would reinforce the view and increase the number of people snarking at each other, something that quite a few people (including me) feel is a Bad Thing.

I also think that 'snarking' is a pretty word for 'being an asshole,' but that may just be me.
posted by flatluigi at 4:45 PM on February 26, 2009


Would those insisting that the current favorite system is Just Awful be satisfied with a Greasemonkey script that keeps the [X favorites] from being displayed? [I don't have the skillz to make one myself - but it seems like it would be relatively trivial.] That way, they need never be bothered by any reminders of its horrid Awfulness.

Because if that wouldn't satisfy them, then their complaints aren't about their own MeFi experience. The complaints are about wanting to impose their standards on everyone else.

For which I would have a suggestion.
posted by Joe Beese at 4:53 PM on February 26, 2009


I just want to point out that the only real reason cortex doesn't care what people think about what he favorites is because he's one of those people that use a pseudonym on the internet. If he was like me or Marisa Stole the Precious Thing and used his real name he'd care!
posted by cjorgensen at 4:56 PM on February 26, 2009


Well, it's a pretty sweet tool.

For destroying community.
posted by five fresh fish at 4:59 PM on February 26, 2009


Joe Beese, That won't satisfy them, and their complaints are still about "their own MeFi experience."

What they are maintaining, is that because these are visible, it affects the discourse, making people say stupid things to get favorites, influences what people write in a thread (pretty hard to come to defense of something following the guy who attacked the topic and has 369 favorites), and might make some people reluctant to participate knowing they just aren't going to garner the number of favorites some people get just by being that person.

So what's your suggestion?
posted by cjorgensen at 5:03 PM on February 26, 2009


Would those insisting that the current favorite system is Just Awful be satisfied with a Greasemonkey script that keeps the [X favorites] from being displayed?

Extremely trivial to do but, despite your assumption, one big worry is how favorites affect community behavior. It does affect them you know, has to, all active features have effects on reader behavior—subtle and not so subtle. Some people think that effect is good, some think it benign, and some, like me, think it is actively bad.

Strike that. I mostly think it is actively bad because it is intermingled with the unrelated bookmarks, and has adverse and unintended effects because of this. Other than that, well, there is stupidity going on with favorites, but there are good things too, which just about balances it out here. Just get them out of bookmarks. Cripes, it's not that hard to do and wouldn't harm anybody who supports favorites in any other way. Bookmarks are not favorites, and even making a personal script to separate them (possible, but messy on the data storage side) wouldn't change the site-wide effects of how they are mixed up with each other.

Rather than get into another sarcasm exchange, I'm just going to toss something out there for you to maybe think about. People argue about how things work because they care about them. Otherwise, they vote with their feet. Do you prefer the former behavior or the latter? Not for me, particularly, I have an inkling how that might go. For other users in general.
posted by mdevore at 5:17 PM on February 26, 2009


cjorgensen: ...influences what people write in a thread (pretty hard to come to defense of something following the guy who attacked the topic and has 369 favorites)...

Case in point: The recent EVE Online thread, topped off by the 130+ favorited comment saying (paraphrased) 'Why should I care about this? I have a wife and a job.'

I'd like to mention that Something Awful (of all sites) has as a bannable offense shitting on a thread in the first post. Food for thought.
posted by flatluigi at 5:20 PM on February 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


Your paraphrase was longer than the actual comment which was "Please explain this for those of us who have wives and jobs."

I'd like to mention that Something Awful (of all sites) has as a bannable offense shitting on a thread in the first post. Food for thought.

We delete early thread-shitting when we see it. ColdChef is well-known as being one of the uber-nerds around here [though he does have a wife and a job] and my take on his comment was that it was more of a "one of us" sort of thing than any sort of barb. Others clearly took it differently.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:34 PM on February 26, 2009


If anyone is clicking the [X favorites +] link, noting the account names, and updating their mental picture of the favoriters based on what was favorited, I think it safe to say that person needs to sign off Metafilter for a while and take a walk outside.

Repeated for people who continue to fret about favorites.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:35 PM on February 26, 2009


Those two combined would reinforce the view and increase the number of people snarking at each other, something that quite a few people (including me) feel is a Bad Thing.

Tell you what, you and anyone else who thinks favorites have had this effect go back and read a sufficient chunk of MeFi from a few years ago. If you can come back and tell us with a straight face you think snark has increased since then, I'm impressed by your straight face.

This discussion is ridiculous, but hey, that's what MetaTalk is for.
posted by languagehat at 5:52 PM on February 26, 2009


But I will toss a bone to you favorite-haters: instead of favoriting BP's comment immediately above mine, I'll say "Heh, nice comment, BP!" There, I feel I've done my part to help preserve the ineffable whatsis at MetaFilter.
posted by languagehat at 5:53 PM on February 26, 2009


jessamyn:
We delete early thread-shitting when we see it. ColdChef is well-known as being one of the uber-nerds around here [though he does have a wife and a job] and my take on his comment was that it was more of a "one of us" sort of thing than any sort of barb. Others clearly took it differently.


I know and respect ColdChef and he did apologize for it later; it was just the first example that sprung to mind.
posted by flatluigi at 5:56 PM on February 26, 2009


metafilter: Your paraphrase was longer than the actual comment.

and:

"...favorite counts are miscalculated by the site."

Fuck all, you say! The one measure of my self worth, and it's not accurate? I am going to go have an identity crisis!
posted by cjorgensen at 6:24 PM on February 26, 2009


But I will toss a bone to you favorite-haters: instead of favoriting BP's comment immediately above mine, I'll say "Heh, nice comment, BP!"

languagehat, this is another example of the insightful comments you make which truly improve MetaFilter.
posted by GuyZero at 6:34 PM on February 26, 2009


I agree with GuyZero's comment regarding languagehat's comment on Blazecock Pileon's comment.
posted by grouse at 6:36 PM on February 26, 2009


grouse, old salt, we should head down to the club for a quick nip before heading out with Freddie Widgeon and Pongo Twistleton. Ah, good ol' Pongo. What ho!
posted by GuyZero at 6:40 PM on February 26, 2009


grouse's concurrence with GuyZero's comment about languagehat's comment on Blazecock Pileon's comment was particularly insightful. Well played, well played.
posted by rtha at 6:43 PM on February 26, 2009


I take slight issue with grouse's agreement with GuyZero's comment regarding languagehat's comment on Blazecock Pileon's comment. I think.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:49 PM on February 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


Okay, coming back to this a while after mentioning a possible favorite holiday, I just want to say that I guess my position is somewhere in the mushy middle of all this. I don't think it's fair to be lumped in as a "favorite-hater." If I think about it, probably the system is more good than bad, on balance, and I know that, like mathowie mentioned a ways upthread, I see a ton of cool stuff via rss feeds of most favorited comments and posts. In fact, I don't have as much time as I wish I did to browse the site (dang work), so on many days those feeds are actually what keeps me plugged in to what's happening. That and MetaTalk.

But for what it's worth, I do think that frequently I see comments that seem to function largely as favorite-bait. Which is not to say that they're not funny. And I'm not blaming individuals - I think of the phenomenon more as an emergent property of a large, multivocal system like this one. But, it's like, have you ever been talking to someone when you realize that they seem to be performing for some invisible audience, and not really directly to you? (This often happens with lawyers.) I guess I get something like this vibe and it bugs me. And I will admit that this probably happens most often in political threads, even when I totally agree with the underlying point of view.

It seems like for other people this is not really an issue, and they see favorites as mainly just substitutes for the string of "me too" noise comments that would follow. And I get that. I also have to agree with languagehat that it's hard to see any greater amount of snarkiness now than in the days before favorites.

And so a favorite holiday (for comments on the blue, anyway) is just an idea I've been mulling over.
posted by chinston at 6:52 PM on February 26, 2009


Tell you what, you and anyone else who thinks favorites have had this effect go back and read a sufficient chunk of MeFi from a few years ago. If you can come back and tell us with a straight face you think snark has increased since then, I'm impressed by your straight face.

I don't know about the amount of snark, whatever that is. But I do think the tenor of discussion has changed.

Whenever someone claims that something about Metafilter is worse than it used to be, a bunch of members with user numbers that could be stored in 8-bits pour in, yawn, and say that nothing's changed, the halcyon days of MeFi yore are a myth, everything is the same as it ever was, Metafilter has always been at war with Oceania. I don't get this. Metafilter feels totally different than it used to to me. As well it should -- it's really old, and it's constantly evolving. The userbase has changed, many prolific and prominent members have left, and many who have stayed around have aged and changed in personality and temperament, the number of members has skyrocketed, etc. Yes, there have always been snarky fights about religion and politics, but it seems to me that they're conducted entirely differently now (mostly because of the huge number of users I think, but the presence or absence of prominent commenters with strong and distinct personalities changes things too). How could this place not feel different than it used to? I don't know how to quantify it, but I do think there's more attention-whoring now, and more pronouncements than discussion, and it seems reasonable to think that favorites played some role.

And look how straight my face is!
posted by painquale at 8:08 PM on February 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


I suppose one solution would be to remove favorites from commenting (keeping it on threads only), and then asking people to use the invisible "fantastic comment" flag. That would give us mods a way to continue highlighting amazing things on the site without the whoring and race to the bottom that people sometimes engage in. It's just an idea though and I'm not committing to doing it just yet.

As CunningLinguist and others have suggested, I'd be interested to see what effect just removing the favorites count display on comments would have. I'd suggest keeping the +fave for bookmarking purposes, and remove the count. The guts of the system would remain unchanged, and the counts displayed elsewhere stay, just the most public in-thread count on each comment go bye-bye. For what it's worth, I do think it would have a positive effect.

My memory is never the best, but I'm pretty sure that's what I suggested with much sound and fury back when the system was being implemented.

OK, back to *shrug* City Arizona.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:11 PM on February 26, 2009


Don't hate the faver, hate the game.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 8:26 PM on February 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


I do think there's more attention-whoring now, and more pronouncements than discussion, and it seems reasonable to think that favorites played some role.


For what it's worth, I agree with you on this.
posted by CunningLinguist at 8:50 PM on February 26, 2009


How about a holiday for people who overestimate and obsess over their valuation of other people's favorites. They could go somewhere nice, like the Caribbean islands, perhaps. Get a little tan, and maybe a little perspective.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:32 PM on February 26, 2009


This thread's been a great re-hashing of the 'favorite' quandry. About the only thing I'm not sold on is that the addition of favorites is detrimental to the quality of the discourse in any given thread. It changes them, sure, but not in any way that is patently bad.

Showing public fav's for Posts but not comments is something to think over, but, I dunno if it isn't just making work. If you're really crazy about following favorites and who has how many etc., you'll dig it up.

All of that said, I think it would be harmless and interesting to have a 'favorite'-free month, just like the December great-thread prize changes that month (deliciously) the way the site shakes out, that could be a worthwhile experiment.

And next time I see you (any of you), I'll buy you a beer.
posted by From Bklyn at 12:54 AM on February 27, 2009


Over in the Bobby Jindal thread, ORthey said, 'This is going to be one of those posts where, towards the end, I'm going to want a "filter by most favorites" option for comments'. I thought maybe five people would bother to try it.

I originally had the slider say Destroy MetaFilter: min <> max; probably should have kept that.

As penance, I've added a second bookmarklet that hides the favorite counts altogether.
posted by you at 1:10 AM on February 27, 2009


The Bobby Jindal thread is actually the first place I tried the bookmarklet of contention. I missed having the immediate context of the comments above and below a favorited comment, and it seemed a bit eerie. I think I will go back to my old method of just searching for favorites +, thereby skimming the thread rather than filtering it.
posted by grouse at 7:47 AM on February 27, 2009


Yay! Public cheering and jeering! I was checking to see if MeTa had a post about your scripts, you, or if I had just missed an earlier boat about it.

From a hack aesthetic, for a usability enhancement, for a "hey geez would you look at that!" I think your efforts are awesome. They're on my bookmark taskbar. Thank you kindly for them.

Now, to be clear, I recognize this tool is a bit dangerous because it allows MeFi to become a sort of filterable myopic landscape like slash or digg or what have you. I'm glad it's not part of the default UI. But since I consider myself a tinkerer of sorts, and I like gizmos, I can now whip this out in a big thread and go "oooh cool! Look what I can do now! Oh, there's robocop's comment!"

I think the existing favorite system is just fine, Matt, and I think it does different things for different people. While a lot of snarky comments get "Oh ha ha good one" favorites, a lot of valuable comments get "Oh wow" favorites, and I think both have their place as demonstrated here. For the former, I think it allows expression from folks who might not have anything to add to the convo, but certainly were tickled enough by a comment to make a statement about it anyhoo. And with the latter, heck, there are just so many smart users on this board I wouldn't even get to see half the stuff I do see if there wasn't a way for the "real neat" comments to rise above the clouds.

Does it necessitate groupthink? Well..geez.. look at us, I think for a site of 20-40k odd regular users, we have our own culture and clique and groupthink already. Doesn't mean we can't have differing opinions or share different experiences, but , you know, the in jokes, the snark, etc, when you join a group don't you model yourself just a bit over how the group communicates? I haven't seen a dramatic shift in style of MeFi comments from '04 to now, I just see a nicer feedback system for the same comments.

And this script, for me, is a big thread aid. Sad but true, but I only have so many minutes on this here internet at a time. If I wander into a huge thread and I don't have time to read all of it, but I'd still like to take a sampling, I'll already do a favorites text search in firefox and just skip through picking up the bigger comments. Yes some people write populist and/or easily likable posts to get picked up, that first type of favoriting system, but usually the site's diverse enough that contrary opinions still get voted up. It's like reading a digest version of a thread.

And I'd be out right lying if I said I never wrote a comment without thinking about favorites. More specifically I'm thinking about feedback-response. If I'm taking the time to make a comment on here, I'd like to hope I can craft something [clever/sensible/clearly stated/interesting] enough that it gets response. Favorites is just a shortcut way to get there. It does however, leave a warm tingling feeling when I vainly check my profile and see my "favorite worth" has increased.

Also, Joe, if I can make a shout out, I'd like to commend you for actively working to become a more thoughtful member of the community. I know I've called you out previously as an attention troll "look at me look at me!!!", and well I'm just seeing a lot more posts and thoughtful comments from you and while I might not always agree with them, I appreciate that you're making them. Here's a favorite ya lug.
posted by cavalier at 7:52 AM on February 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Bonkers, I just swam through a boat load of 2005 comments and I'd now like to state without hesitation that favorites have IMPROVED the discourse on MetaFilter. A good solid amount of comments were "Well said" "Great comment" "haha nicely said."
posted by cavalier at 8:23 AM on February 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


How about a holiday for people who overestimate and obsess over their valuation of other people's favorites. They could go somewhere nice, like the Caribbean islands, perhaps.

I'm already here.
posted by Bango Skank at 8:52 AM on February 27, 2009


How could this place not feel different than it used to?

Sure, and I never said it didn't. (Insert lament for much-missed former commenters here.) I just said there wasn't any more snark now, and I stand by that.

And look how straight my face is!

I'm impressed!
posted by languagehat at 9:13 AM on February 27, 2009


Well, even bigger ego boost than favoriting to me is when I am quoted in defense of an argument or as information in another thread. Or when people write they agree with me, that I am correct, or when people write cjorgensen is sexy!

Unfortunately, I have a very small ego right now.
posted by cjorgensen at 10:04 AM on February 27, 2009


I don't think snark is the problem---that's a part of what makes Metafilter great---but I do think favourites exacerbate the problems of pile-ons. I like favourites when I get to see a great comment I otherwise would have missed, but I think they make bad threads worse and help force edge-cases septic by egging people on.
posted by bonehead at 10:07 AM on February 27, 2009


I don't think snark is the problem---that's a part of what makes Metafilter great

It may surprise you that I think just the opposite, for what little it's worth.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:55 PM on February 27, 2009


Raindrops on roses, whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles, warm woolen mittens, brown paper packages tied up with strings, cream colored ponies and crisp apple strudels, door bells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles, wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings, yada, yada, yada -- some of my favorite things.
posted by ericb at 2:06 PM on February 28, 2009


« Older How do I get last.fm tracks to show up on my...   |   Safari 4...everything but content Newer »

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