"favorite" usage September 17, 2009 2:58 PM   Subscribe

Proper "favorite" usage?

Sometimes (particularly on AskMe), people favorite comments they agree with, as a way of saying "nthing so-and-so's comment". Sometimes, people favorite comments because they're funny/memorable/smart/important/whatever.

So what are favorites for?
posted by alon to MetaFilter-Related at 2:58 PM (166 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

You think you're going to kill that question right here and now? My, you are an optimistic one.
posted by mudpuppie at 3:00 PM on September 17, 2009 [8 favorites]


When I used to go to library school there was a question board, way back before the internet was something we shared and everyone knew how to get to. People could write questions on pieces of paper and put them in a box and librarians would answer them and put the answers on the board so other people could benefit from their research. It was sort of part FAQ and part 2.0 somethingorother and I loved the question board.

There was, especially, a section that was simply called "Questions that have troubled people since the beginning of time" and the librarians would put, unanswered, a lot of the jokey questions they'd get. I think what I'm trying to say is that this is one of those questions. So I geuss this is my non-answer.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:00 PM on September 17, 2009 [22 favorites]


Whatever you want them to be for.

If you search back through MetaTalk, you'll see dozens of conversations about this very topic. Mathowie and crew made the infrastructure and basically told us to go nuts with them. Use them however you see fit.
posted by chrisamiller at 3:02 PM on September 17, 2009 [4 favorites]


The first rule is, there are no rules. But here's mine:

I favorite a comment mostly to deliver a righteous right-on! to something I either agree with or found funny. I have a hard rule about favoriting anything that literally makes me laugh out loud. I never use comment-favorites as bookmarks.

But I only favorite posts or questions that I honestly plan on revisiting in the future. If I favorited every post that I liked, it would be worthless as a system of bookmarks.

I invite everyone to adopt the Bookhouse Method.
posted by Bookhouse at 3:02 PM on September 17, 2009 [28 favorites]


Actually, I feel bad about snarking now. I see you, alona, only have 7 Metatalk comments, going back only a few months. You can therefore be forgiven for not realizing that this is a question that comes up, directly and indirectly, about as often as Kanye West does or says something asinine. And the thing is, there is no one answer. In fact, you pretty much answered the question already -- different people use it for different things. And that's pretty much the only answer you'll get.

Congrats on trying to tackle a biggie with your first Metatalk post, though.
posted by mudpuppie at 3:03 PM on September 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


As near as I can tell, favorites are Astro Zombie kibble. Or maybe Pastabagel schmear. Or neo-cortex cream.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:05 PM on September 17, 2009 [5 favorites]


Favorites are for remember which users you want to stalk, kill and devour.

Uh, or so I heard.
posted by dersins at 3:06 PM on September 17, 2009 [6 favorites]


There is no proper usage. Ask your doctor if favorites are right for you.
posted by not_on_display at 3:10 PM on September 17, 2009 [13 favorites]


I use favorites to caulk the bathtub.
posted by carsonb at 3:13 PM on September 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


Also, they're a floor wax AND a dessert topping.
posted by carsonb at 3:14 PM on September 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


I still miss "You Get a Favorite for Being Dumb" :(
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 3:14 PM on September 17, 2009 [8 favorites]


NOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooooooooooooooooooo
posted by desjardins at 3:16 PM on September 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


I still miss "You Get a Favorite for Being Dumb"

*refrains from making the obvious davey_darling joke*
posted by dersins at 3:16 PM on September 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


It's for if you have a crush on someone. You favorite them so they'll notice you. It's the internet equivalent of dropping your lace-edged hanky and waiting for a handsome colonel to pick it up. If you favorite someone and they like you back, they're supposed to MeFiMail you with all relevant details: age, sex, location, turn-ons/turn-offs, length in inches and/or cupsize. Then an assignation can be arranged. These are called 'meet-ups', or sometimes 'meat-ups' by the coarser element. If you have been favorited more than fifteen times and haven't reciprocated in this fashion at least once, you are a heartless coquette.
posted by eatyourcellphone at 3:17 PM on September 17, 2009 [22 favorites]


As near as I can tell, favorites are Astro Zombie kibble. Or maybe Pastabagel schmear. Or neo-cortex cream.

tehloki crack
posted by desjardins at 3:17 PM on September 17, 2009 [5 favorites]


As others have said, there is no proper way to use `em. Indeed, the mods have said to use them however you see fit.

However, pb is supposedly working on a system that will make favorites more useful by allowing you to tag your own favorites. Mathowie went into some detail on how it would work here. It's a system I've longed for. Last update pb gave on its implementation was that it was harder to do that first thought, but it was being worked on. Maybe Matt or pb could offer up another update now? Please?
posted by Effigy2000 at 3:19 PM on September 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


i've tried to use my favorite for bus fare, but apparently that is NOT proper usage.
posted by nadawi at 3:19 PM on September 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


Thanks for clearing up the issue. I guess I'll just have to live with the frustration (seriously, this has been bugging me for the past year or so).


Mudpuppie, thanks for being fair. And nice!
posted by alon at 3:24 PM on September 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


For me, a favorite is like a standing ovation, so I give them out very rarely. But I receive them with great glee.
posted by Astro Zombie at 3:25 PM on September 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


They are Anon Ymous fondant sculptures (I know, I know, fondant isn't food).
posted by mrmojoflying at 3:26 PM on September 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


According to the original launch of favorites: "Think of favorites as an internal bookmark system, a way to keep a list of the good questions, great comments, or interesting ideas you've found here."

But really there's no set use.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:29 PM on September 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


Favorites are little stars that shine in my soul.
posted by The Devil Tesla at 3:29 PM on September 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


Your favorited to (comments + posts + answers) ratio is a measurement of your wit. Your favorited to favorites ratio measures your self absorption.
posted by idiopath at 3:30 PM on September 17, 2009 [4 favorites]


For me, a favorite is like a standing ovation, so I give them out very rarely. But I receive them with great glee.

This explains why almost 8% of the comments you have favorited are your own...
posted by dersins at 3:31 PM on September 17, 2009 [4 favorites]




Quite a few of my favorites are intended ironically too, but I also do that with standing ovations.
posted by Astro Zombie at 3:32 PM on September 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


In my head, they are not called "favorites." In my head, they are called "bookmarks." In my head, they are used primarily to bookmark a post or comment which the user would like to revisit. In my head, there is no unofficial competition to get the most bookmarks, and no concern over what meaning other users will project onto the act of bookmarking something.

I like it in my head.
posted by Elsa at 3:35 PM on September 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


Mudpuppie, thanks for being fair. And nice!

Give me a favorite and we'll call it even.
posted by mudpuppie at 3:36 PM on September 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


In the unlikely event of a water landing, your favorites can be used as a flotation device.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:36 PM on September 17, 2009 [5 favorites]


idiopath: "Your favorited to favorites ratio measures your self absorption."

For those keeping score, that gives me a self absorption metric of 3.0920245398773, as opposed to Astro Zombie, with a whopping self absorption of 368.984375.
posted by idiopath at 3:39 PM on September 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Lots of people use favorites for different things. There are no rules. Since you asked, I'll tell you my own thought processes here.

I favorite posts for one of several reasons:
  • I think that MetaFilter should have more posts like this one.
  • I want to follow new comments to the post via My Favorites in Recent Activity.
  • I want to comment in the thread later.
If I later comment in the thread, I might remove the favorite as I will already be following it in My Comments. I favorite comments mainly because I like them. This might be because I agree with the comment. Or I might not agree with it, but feel it has a certain lulz value.

I usually don't use favorites as bookmarks because I already use Delicious for that.
posted by grouse at 3:40 PM on September 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Do you have list of places in the U.S. Jacqueline Onassis has not visited?

That was a real question we had in a book of "Wacky Questions People Actually Asked" at a library I where I used to work.

Carry on with whatever it was you were talking about.
posted by marxchivist at 3:43 PM on September 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oh yeah....for posts, my favorites usually mean: this is a really f*cking good post or this is some information I think I will need in my life later.

For comments, I usually mark ones I find funny or insightful. Sometimes a vote of "Hell Yes," and rarely a favorite from me means "Wow, I can't believe someone actually thought that, let alone typed it on a website." I'll leave it to you to figure those out.
posted by marxchivist at 3:46 PM on September 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Like what others have said, they're whatever you want them to be. But I think what you may be underlyingly asking is: What should I know about favoriting, i.e. what are the pragmatically weird ways to use favorites and what are the socially normal ones?

To this, I can only give you the following stupid story:

When I joined Metafilter I didn't know how to use, nor did I like, the search feature. I would make comments or posts and then find that I couldn't find them! So, what I started doing is favoriting all my stuff. That way it'd all be exactly where I knew it'd be, but with a relevant chronology to it. Meaning that I could 'bump' things by unfavoriting then refavoriting later, or I would favorite something I said along with some other stuff on the same topic. I used my favorites as a way to revisit things easily.

Since then, I have made friends with the Search feature. I also learned that many people thought it was weird to favorite your own stuff. But what did I care?

Until...Fishbike started doing some really cool stuff with the datadump. He'd basically take all of your user activity, throw it up in the air, and then read it like tea leaves. Well, that's what I imagined anyway. Lot's of bytes self-organizing into some supermeta strain of utter dorkery. In other words, he'd crank out these 'reports' of all of your favoriting history...who favorited you the most, who was your mutual favorite the most, who favorited in threads you favorited in, an on and on.

So, I was all 'pick me! pick me!' and he ran my stats. Which was godawful embarrassing when I relived the fact and learned that I was my biggest fan, my biggest favoriter, and my most favoritey favoriter in threads that I favorited the most. I dominated. Go me. The end.

My advice to you is, use 'em how you want, but don't be surprised if they come back to bite you. Otherwise, there's really no way to do 'em wrong.
posted by iamkimiam at 3:52 PM on September 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


Do you have list of places in the U.S. Jacqueline Onassis has not visited?

Create a list of the places in the U.S. Jacqueline Onassis has visited. Which seems doable. Above it:

P: (P ∈ U.S.) ∧ (P ∉ list)

should work, no?
posted by Lemurrhea at 3:56 PM on September 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


So what are favorites for?

I dunno. I don't use them.
posted by ericb at 3:56 PM on September 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


I favorite posts occasionally because they have something about them that intrigues me enough I want to be able to quickly refer to it on random occasions to remember how intriguing it was. I favorite comments for the following reasons in roughly descending order of occurrence:

(1) someone says something that I find interesting,
(2) someone says something in a way that I find interesting,
(3) it relates to an academic or social axe I'm grinding IRL,
(4) I'm needing to go back to a comment,
(5) I think the commenter is a fool.
posted by mrmojoflying at 4:02 PM on September 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Delmoi has 20,000 comments.
posted by fixedgear at 4:03 PM on September 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Favorites are little dinosaurs that hatch from [+] eggs when you click on Them. They reside in your profile, where you can go and play with them whenever you want.

I love all my dinosaur children.
posted by SpacemanStix at 4:10 PM on September 17, 2009 [13 favorites]


If you're still considering coming to the next Toronto meetup, you'll have to spell "favourites" correctly at the door. It's our shibboleth, sweetheart.

Then you can drink lots and lots of beer with us. The end.

(And if you can't make this meetup, be sure to practice for the next one! The spelling. Or the beer drinking. Whatever.)
posted by maudlin at 4:11 PM on September 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Favorites are for remember which users you want to stalk, kill and devour.

Ah, the sociopath's version of kiss, marry, kill (hypothetically of course lol).
posted by filthy light thief at 4:14 PM on September 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


You know what happens when you favorite something? Not much.
posted by Daddy-O at 4:17 PM on September 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


I only favorite people I hate.
posted by milarepa at 4:18 PM on September 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Favourites are the only way we know Tehloki exists.

spelled it funny for my TO friends...
posted by kuujjuarapik at 4:22 PM on September 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Favorites are for anytime a comment is good enough that you'd want to go back and re-read it on a later occasion. Of course, there are many qualities that could make a comment worth re-reading. There's no need to try to pin down the essence of "favorites" with a particular adjective or set of adjectives.

It's fine to favorite someone's comment partly to say "Yeah, that's so true" if you also think it makes a really good point that you'd like to read again sometime.

But here's an example of when favoriting doesn't make sense to me: there was an AskMe question where it was a little unclear whether one of the people being discussed was 16 or 20 years old. Many people assumed that this person was 20, but then another commenter posted a comment just to point out -- apparently correctly -- that the person was only 16. It wasn't done in a jokey or unusual way -- just a perfectly appropriate, helpful, one-sentence clarification. Multiple people favorited that comment. I don't understand why one would favorite a comment that's not remotely interesting except for correcting the facts of a particular AskMe about someone else's personal situation. There might be a very good reason, but I don't see it.
posted by Jaltcoh at 4:23 PM on September 17, 2009


Jaltcoh: "I don't understand why one would favorite a comment that's not remotely interesting except for correcting the facts of a particular AskMe"

In askme, favorites often mean "me too". They are a discreet way to say "I would have posted this exact comment if this other person had not done so first"
posted by idiopath at 4:27 PM on September 17, 2009 [7 favorites]


One of the things that became clear in the MeFi User Matching thread, and again in the more recent Infodump 2.0 thread, is that people use favorites in all kinds of different ways. Many of the significant statistical outliers in the analysis of favorites are because of novel uses of the favoriting mechanism, for instance.

There really isn't a wrong way to use them.

It's probably more helpful to understand what favorites do, and then decide how you want to used them based on their effects.
  • They do some things for you, allowing you to refer to them and search through them in various ways.
  • They do some things for the user whose post or comment you favorite, like making them feel good and causing things to show up on their most-favorited items lists.
  • And they are kind of advertised to everyone reading the post or comment you favorite, in that everyone can see the favorites count and everyone can click that to see who favorited it.
Bearing in mind that all three of these things happen every time you favorite something, you can decide when you want these things to happen and when you don't.
posted by FishBike at 4:28 PM on September 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


From what I've been told, they're for ruining MetaFilter.

And darned good at it!
posted by Joe Beese at 4:39 PM on September 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


In askme, favorites often mean "me too". They are a discreet way to say "I would have posted this exact comment if this other person had not done so first"

I know that people do this, but I think it's odd to favorite something you would never want to go back to. It's one thing if it's about some kind of major issue that one feels passionately about. But I don't think anyone's like, "Right on! That guy is so 16 years old!"
posted by Jaltcoh at 4:39 PM on September 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


I, for one, am glad someone finally asked this question.
posted by cjorgensen at 4:41 PM on September 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


If I favourite a post, it's because I intent to revisit that post in the future, when I'm unemployed and have more time, or ready to seriously get to grips with losing weight / overcoming depression / reading an actual book or naming my cat. If I favourite a comment it's either a wee message to the poster, meaning either "Right on, bro" or "don't think I didn't see that you idiot", or it means "hey everybody I understood this obscure literary allusion - I'm SMART". This is exactly what favourites are for and anyone who does otherwise is wrong.
posted by nowonmai at 4:43 PM on September 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


Favorites don't mean anything. But if I don't favorite you, that means something.
posted by blue_beetle at 4:44 PM on September 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Jaltcoh: "I think it's odd to favorite something you would never want to go back to"

In other words, when it comes to favorites you are a prescriptivist and not a descriptivist?
posted by idiopath at 4:44 PM on September 17, 2009


At the beginning everyone is like "oh, the favorites are yours, you can use them however you want". But then after you have to have a couple of favorites surgically removed from your rectum, everyone starts looking funny at you and giggling behind your back.

I WAS CHANGING THE LIGHTBULB AND ACCIDENTALLY FELL ON TOP OF THEM!!!
posted by qvantamon at 4:45 PM on September 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


“So what are favorites for?”

Five bucks, same as in town.
posted by ijoshua at 4:49 PM on September 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


but I think it's odd to favorite something you would never want to go back to.

Note to Metafilter: Jaltcoh thinks ur doin it wrong
posted by dersins at 4:54 PM on September 17, 2009


Who care's.
posted by applemeat at 4:55 PM on September 17, 2009


Is it Ghostbusters 2?
posted by mullacc at 5:01 PM on September 17, 2009


I use my Favorites as a gasket material. I cut them out in the correct shape and sandwich them between precision machined mating surfaces. I hold them in place with a little bit of that yellow 3M adhesive and then tighten the fasteners evenly in sequence.
posted by Jon-o at 5:09 PM on September 17, 2009


And to give an actual non-smartass answer, I seem to favorite funny jokes and also things that I want to remember for the podcast.


and I've been informed that me and my SO co-favorite a lot
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:12 PM on September 17, 2009


I favourite comments and posts that I hate. That way, I can click on my favourites, and it reminds me that I don't want to look at any of those. Then it's a simple matter of going through and just reading the stuff between the favourites. It's a good system. I use the same system for linking to users I don't like.
posted by turgid dahlia at 5:19 PM on September 17, 2009


I seem to favorite funny jokes

I was wondering why you never favorite me.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:20 PM on September 17, 2009


What happened? No arguing? No bickering? Everyone agreeing?

This is not the MetaTalk I love. What happened to us?

THEY ARE GOD DAMN BOOKMARKS.
posted by absalom at 5:20 PM on September 17, 2009


Mine mean 'I like.' A lot of people use them all kinds of ways so reading to much into them will make your head hurt. All they're really good for is figuring out what kind of posts people appreciate or are interested in and what kind of comments people think agree with or think are funny.
posted by Kattullus at 5:20 PM on September 17, 2009


When I used to go to library school there was a question board, way back before the internet was something we shared and everyone knew how to get to.

Impossible! Nobody was even aliiiiiiive.
posted by Ufez Jones at 5:42 PM on September 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


I don't know what the proper usage is, but I have 10,552 of them. I wish I had some way to categorize them.
posted by limeonaire at 5:50 PM on September 17, 2009


I have a favorite comment. In order to have another comment become my favorite, it has to be better than that one.

Simple.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 5:57 PM on September 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


That is a pretty awesome comment ya got favorited there, Crash.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 6:02 PM on September 17, 2009


Like what others have said, they're whatever you want them to be

Just like zombo.com.
posted by special-k at 6:26 PM on September 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


The best thing about favorites is you can always take them back.
posted by Sailormom at 6:51 PM on September 17, 2009


mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey: "In order to have another comment become my favorite, it has to be better than that one."

The problem with this is the possibility of a heterarchy* of comment quality. Given that judging comment quality must take a number of features into account, a heterarchy of comments is much more likely than a strict linear hierarchy. Thus you will be stuck with favoriting not "the best comment", but, at best the local maxima of comment quality.

* most google hits for explaining heterarchy are full of a bunch of bullshit - a heterarchy is a simple situation, where there are at least three elements, and there is a set of relations of the type: a >b, b>c, and c>a
posted by idiopath at 6:58 PM on September 17, 2009


I favorite shit that I would've said, except someone else said it better and first. And quality jokes about your mom.
posted by electroboy at 7:06 PM on September 17, 2009


My own use of favorites:

70% "this is a good post and you should feel good"
20% "wow, tough times, my MeFi buddy, hang in there"
5% parodies of "This is just to say"
5% OMGWTF I can't believe someone posted that
posted by Sidhedevil at 7:10 PM on September 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


[90% of the time]: Think of when I favorite you as a shiny new penny in your worn, tin cup--'cause, Little Monkey, you have made me laugh!

[10% of the time]: I'm just happy you said that--because I totally think he's an asshole, too.
posted by applemeat at 7:18 PM on September 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


Seriously: I often favorite that which strikes me an interesting idea--particularly an interesting idea that is either exceptionally well expressed and/or which requires me to question my own assumptions or opinions. Some comments do all of the above, and it’s moments like that that I wonder what I did before I found Metafilter.
posted by applemeat at 7:31 PM on September 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


Sailormom : The best thing about favorites is you can always take them back.

Why must you eat puppies?
posted by quin at 7:37 PM on September 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


When it's been a very long and exhausting day and you feel like you haven't particularly accomplished anything useful - it's nice to go look at your favorites count and see that at some point in the past <>, <> people thought you had something worthwhile to say.

get your happy kicks wherever you can, i guess.
posted by casarkos at 7:49 PM on September 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Why must you eat puppies?

Because somedays you just can't get fresh, quality kitten meat.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 7:51 PM on September 17, 2009


I just favorite the posts and comments I really like. I like things for lots of different reasons.
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:00 PM on September 17, 2009


Your favorited to (comments + posts + answers) ratio is a measurement of your wit.

I think you mean your adjusted gross favorited to (comments + posts + answers) ratio. Which is your (favorited [minus] recipes) to (comments + posts + answers) ratio. Takes a few minutes to perform the extra calculation there, but it's worth it for accuracy.
posted by palliser at 8:31 PM on September 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Palm, meet face.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:41 PM on September 17, 2009


Great, everyone, now you made stavros beakpalm.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 8:43 PM on September 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


If I get 500 favorites to this comment, I will close this account!


oh wait, old hat</font size=0.
posted by mrmojoflying at 8:44 PM on September 17, 2009


grah!
posted by mrmojoflying at 8:45 PM on September 17, 2009


did you mean GRAR?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:47 PM on September 17, 2009


"grah!" = GRAR - ([base DEX - arthritis] - 2*pint Guinness)
posted by mrmojoflying at 8:58 PM on September 17, 2009


I use favorites the same way I use a friendly smack on the ass in real life.
posted by little e at 9:27 PM on September 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


I fed one of my favorites to my cat once.

It made her poop funny.
posted by louche mustachio at 9:27 PM on September 17, 2009


I have a second 30" display hooked up just to monitor my favorites. The screen is enlarged, displaying only the Favorites, and is refreshed every 3 milliseconds.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:34 PM on September 17, 2009


No, no, no no no.

You use favorites to bookmark arguments that are put forth; ones that are incredibly important to have in your Arsenal Of Pointed Arguments To Use In Arguments With People Who Are Totally Wrong, but that you are too stupid to elucidate on your own, so thank fucking god somebody who knows goddamn logic and english did it for you, so that when you are in an argument with such a person and they bring something up, something so totally moronic and absolutely begging to be impaled on the beautifully concise, elegant point someone made when the same damn argument came up on metafilter like two years ago, something like your friend nonchalantly saying like, gosh, it'd sure be a different world if Nader hadn't cost Gore that election, you know, I wonder if there would have even been a 9/11, and you leap in because oh dear lord you really have to nip this dumb horseshit in the bud, and so you cut in, like, literally interrupt them mid-sentence, and then you realize you're too goddamn stupid to remember the perfect goddamn counterargument even though you just re-read it the other day, so you say WAIT WAIT WAIT WAIT and the person you're talking to says what? and you say HOLD ON and you scurry over to your computer and they take a sip of their wine and they say what the hell are you doing, are you trying to look that up on google or, and you say SHH PSHSHHHH SSPSHHHHH because you have to comb through a thousand god damn jokey comments you favorited the other night when you were drunk, and, totally confused, your friend starts to go on with his argument that you totally interrupted mid-sentence and again you have to go SPHSPHSHHHHHHH PSHHHHHHHHH even louder this time, saying SHUT UP, STAY RIGHT THERE, DON'T SAY ANYTHING YOU ARE SO PERFECTLY WRONG RIGHT NOW AND HOLY SHIT I'M ABOUT TO LANCE THAT STUPID FUCKING ARGUMENT LIKE A BOIL WITH THIS HOT NEEDLE OF FACTS IF I CAN JUST FUCKING FIND IT GOD DAMN CHUCKLECOCKS WHY DOESNT THE SEARCH WORK RIGHT and your friend says, look, like, I'm just saying, if... and you start desperately paraphrasing the comment from your shitty recollection of it, interrupting him again so you can say NO NO NO IT'S LIKE, HATING NADER IS SO JUST LIKE... DEMOCRATS ARE ALWAYS MAD AT THEMSELVES ABOUT, UH, FUCK IT'S ALL RIGHT HERE SOMEWHERE and the look your friend is giving you kind of melts into like a confused, worried expression, a kind of pitying frown as you click through pages of favorites trying to remember whether that Ultimate Comeuppance was delivered on metafilter or metatalk or what, and finally your friend turns back to the cute girl or whoever's still in the room who have all been watching this exchange with no small amount of fear and confusion, and finishes his point, probably ending on some misattributed Mark Twain quote which is a whole nother fucking thing to look up and call him out on, and by the time you find that comment you favorited, oh dear lord there it finally fucking is, and you give it a quick scan to make sure it doesn't actually say the opposite of what you remember it saying, not that you'd catch these sorts of nuances in your blustery, red-cheeked moment of triumph, and you start reading it out loud, barking it, really, not realizing or caring that the conversation has moved well on in the meantime, and you're shouting over a thoroughly charming and funny story some young lady is just approaching the punchline for, you're hollering "YOU KNOW, I'M STARTING TO BELIEVE THAT THE REPUBLICANS ARE RIGHT WHEN THEY TALK ABOUT DEMOCRATS HATING RESPONSIBILITY; YOU FUCKERS NOMINATED AL GORE AND JOE LIEBERMAN - A PAIR OF BORING, UNINSPIRED GOP-LITE..." and you realize the part of the comment that actually bears on the fucking conversation you were having fifteen minutes ago -- a conversation still perfectly frozen at that moment just before comeuppance in your mind and absolutely nowhere else, in fact forgotten to everyone but you -- so you skip ahead to the glorious dénouement, THERE IS ONLY ONE REASON TO BELIEVE THAT THOSE NADER VOGERS WOULD OTHERWISE HAVE VOTED GORE, AND IT'S A DEEPLY INSULTING AND ARROGANT ONE -- PUT SIMPLY, THE DEMOCRATS BELIEVE THEY ARE OWED THE VOTES OF EVERYONE ON THE LEFT, but by the time you're halfway through reading it you realize the argument has been over for a long, long time, and nobody else in the room, none of these weird, staring people, even realizes there was an argument, let alone that you totally won.
posted by churl at 9:37 PM on September 17, 2009 [78 favorites]


I have attempted to research this very answer from my own experience. I have looked at the amount of favorites I get when I am drink versus sober, when I am serious versus kidding, when I am going with the crowd or against it, when I am one of the first 10 posters in the thread or later in the thread, when I post in the am or pm (with weeks trying to decide if 12:40 in the morning was considered Thursday evening or Friday morning), when the question is chatfilter or very specific, when I am hungry or stuffed, coffee or no coffee. I have come to many conclusions which will remain a trade secret, but suffice it to say I can predict with almost 100% accuracy that this post, in the morning, while hungry but 3 beers in, posted way late in the thread with no coffee in my system will get 0 favorites. I doubt anybody even read this far. It is easy once you understand.

I give them as sort of an attaboy. Sometimes it is meant as a well played or sometimes as a you go girl. Other times it is just a fist bump to someone for standing in there like a (wo)man and taking a stand. Sometimes I click on it by accident.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 9:44 PM on September 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


Generally, i use favorites to bookmark posts and cheer for comments.
posted by desuetude at 10:15 PM on September 17, 2009


maudlin:
If you're still considering coming to the next Toronto meetup, you'll have to spell "favourites" correctly at the door.

It's a compulsion. I can't stand to see that little red squiggly under my word in Firefox. So yes, it hurts my little half-Canadian heart every time I spell it without the u, but I have to! I HAVE TO!

RUN FROM THE SQUIGGLIES!!! RUNNNN!!!!
posted by alon at 10:35 PM on September 17, 2009


I used to use favorites as a bookmark - mainly for posts, or highly informative comments. But then I wanted a way of saying "you've made me laugh!" or "I totally agree with that" or any other kind of way of making the poster realise that I felt empathy, man, but without actually having to write anything.
posted by djgh at 11:02 PM on September 17, 2009


Favorites are excellent for annoying people who ask what favorites are for.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:02 PM on September 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


I have attempted to research this very answer from my own experience. I have looked at the amount of favorites I get when I am drink versus sober, when I am serious versus kidding, when I am going with the crowd or against it, when I am one of the first 10 posters in the thread or later in the thread, when I post in the am or pm (with weeks trying to decide if 12:40 in the morning was considered Thursday evening or Friday morning), when the question is chatfilter or very specific, when I am hungry or stuffed, coffee or no coffee. I have come to many conclusions which will remain a trade secret, but suffice it to say I can predict with almost 100% accuracy that this post, in the morning, while hungry but 3 beers in, posted way late in the thread with no coffee in my system will get 0 favorites. I doubt anybody even read this far. It is easy once you understand.

I hope you had a control group.
posted by djgh at 11:02 PM on September 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


No, no, no no no.

Goddamn I have never laughed harder at a metafilter comment before.
posted by empath at 11:08 PM on September 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


fwiw (not much) my favorites are about 50/50 between 'i agree with this argument' and 'this was a well crafted fpp/comment/personal anecdote' I never use them for bookmarks.
posted by empath at 11:12 PM on September 17, 2009


Favorites are the scoring system in the Great Game of Metafilter. You get your first level-up when your "Favorited by Others" score exceeds your total number of comments and AskMe answers, then another one every 500 thereafter, so long as you keep your total number of comments under your total number of favorites.

TOP TIP: If your favorites-to-comments buffer is getting a little thin, say something harsh about Cory Doctorow or something kind about Stephen Fry - this should provide a nice cushion of favorites for runs of throwaway comments.
posted by EatTheWeak at 11:20 PM on September 17, 2009


I am considering personally thanking via MeMail every user who favorites my comments.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 11:21 PM on September 17, 2009 [5 favorites]


I favorite other people's comments for all reasons and no reason. I favorite shit, yet I leave unfavorited brilliant comments which become a part of my brain so fast that I forget where they came from.

I favorite my own old comments so when the wolves are howling I can go back and find some funny things I said that make me feel less like a barrel of suck.
posted by fleacircus at 11:46 PM on September 17, 2009


i wonder how many people favorite their own comments and who the top self-favoriter is.
posted by empath at 12:00 AM on September 18, 2009


I click + only because it gives me the power to then click -.
posted by pracowity at 12:25 AM on September 18, 2009 [4 favorites]


I only favourite the comments of people I'd like to have sex with. If you haven't got a hot picture in your profile, forget about it.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:52 AM on September 18, 2009


The best thing about favorites is you can always take them back.

You are Blazecock Pileon and I claim my 500 retracted favourites!
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:54 AM on September 18, 2009 [3 favorites]


PeterMcDermott wants to touch me where my swimming costume goes.
posted by Jofus at 1:12 AM on September 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


(2nd drawer, left hand side, incidentally)
posted by Jofus at 1:13 AM on September 18, 2009 [4 favorites]


I use them as follows.
  • I was about to say that, you bastard
  • That made me chuckle or smile
  • That informed me of something significant which I did not previously know
    posted by TheophileEscargot at 3:39 AM on September 18, 2009


    alona: It's a compulsion. I can't stand to see that little red squiggly under my word in Firefox. So yes, it hurts my little half-Canadian heart every time I spell it without the u, but I have to!

    You can change the Firefox spellcheck dictionary to any language your heart desires (almost), even Canadian English.
    posted by Kattullus at 4:15 AM on September 18, 2009


    I only favourite the comments of people I'd like to have sex with. If you haven't got a hot picture in your profile, forget about it.

    Peter, I'm afraid I'll need another 187 favorites in the bank before I give you a good rogering. Get clicking.
    posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:16 AM on September 18, 2009


    There is no proper usage. Ask your doctor if favorites are right for you.*

    Scene: Bright sunlight. Strong breeze. Woman in gauzy white dress holds daisy up to nose while standing in knee-high field of flowers. She glances up from flower and smiles as shirtless, muscle-laden man enters from left. Fade to packaging close-up.




    *May cause drowsiness, insomnia, fatigue, ennui, miasma, catarrh, ague, anxiety and or dizziness. In a small number of clinical trial candidates, a rare but deadly rash occurred over 77.36 percent of eyeballs. As always, exercise caution when operating a motor vehicle until you determine if Favorites™ may cause any of these side effects, and consult an emergency physician immediately if favoriting sprees last longer than 4 hours.
    posted by Devils Rancher at 5:13 AM on September 18, 2009


    You are approaching this backwards. First we must agree on the proper meaning of "proper". Then the proper use of favorites will be a slam dunk.
    posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 5:27 AM on September 18, 2009


    I favorite comments that make laugh, mostly. That way, when someone posts a "best of MetaFilter" to MetaTalk, I will be able to list all sorts of good comments, thus getting favorites for my favorites comment.
    posted by dogmom at 6:12 AM on September 18, 2009


    You get your first level-up when your "Favorited by Others" score exceeds your total number of comments and AskMe answers, then another one every 500 thereafter, so long as you keep your total number of comments under your total number of favorites.

    And what of those of us who were around for years before favorites were implemented? To save you the trouble of looking me up I have done the math for you:
    Total comments: 3202 (ack! Not counting this one.)
    Favorites: 1666
    # of favorites needed to exceed # of comments: 1537
    Average # of favorites collected per day: 1
    Average # of comments per day: 1
    Days needed to reach level-up: infinity

    I went back to read some of my old comments from 2002. All those naked, unfavorited comments look sad and forlorn without any shiny favorites to tart them up-- like words muttered in an otherwise empty room by a confused mental patient.
    posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:14 AM on September 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


    I mostly use favorites to get hermitosis to delete his account.
    posted by Help, I can't stop talking! at 6:22 AM on September 18, 2009 [3 favorites]


    My mom got a bunch of decent kitchen knives back, circa 1975. They were OK knives, very solid construction. She used them for 15 years and took good care of them. Then she got some new knives. The old ones continued in her rotation, but also started getting used for things like cutting open packages and the like. Eventually they got shoved into the back of the drawer and were only relegated to said package opening. This summer I was helping my dad tie up tomato vines. To cut the twine he got an old knife out of his tool shed, guess what, it was one of those knives, he'd clearly sharpened it with a grinder. The tip was broken off from where he'd used it to pry something.

    The knife is sharp on one side, it's pointy and metal. Use it to cut stuff or when you need something pointy and metal. For you it may have one purpose and one purpose only, say only for cutting veggies. For another it could be for twine or prying something. It's just a knife, use it as you wish.
    posted by Pollomacho at 6:45 AM on September 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


    I mostly use favourites to pretend I'm doing something important.
    posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 6:46 AM on September 18, 2009


    I mostly use favorites to keep track of my drinking.

    Hey! It's Friday! Prepare for some favserious oriting!
    posted by Dumsnill at 6:55 AM on September 18, 2009


    Favorites are like Friday evening, full of potential. You could do anything! Write a song, work on your novel, even just tidying up a bit would be an accomplishment. The next thing you know, it's Sunday night and you're still hung over, but don't want to go to bed because after that, it's back to work.

    Favorites are just like that.
    posted by owtytrof at 7:37 AM on September 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


    Favorites are used to suck up to Mods or Cool Kids.
    posted by theora55 at 7:41 AM on September 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


    What are favorites for? To a user, any number of things as mentioned above.

    What are visible favorites for? Mostly lowering the quality of the discourse here and accentuating the insular and unwelcoming negative aspects of the community here. (Though that is clearly not the intent behind them; just the practical effect.)

    But we've gone over this.
    posted by dios at 7:46 AM on September 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


    I use favorites for...

    omg! wtf!
    posted by jerseygirl at 7:53 AM on September 18, 2009


    But we've gone over this.

    Yep, and every time the proponents of hiding favorites fail to provide any evidence beyond their own assertions that showing them cause ill effects, and ignore the decrease in other behavior they might consider noxious (such as "wins the thread" comments).
    posted by grouse at 7:54 AM on September 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


    I too employ the Bookhouse method: actual LOL == mandatory favorite.

    For the rest, I use favorites as bookmarks for posts I want to read or revisit later, or rarely for really stellar ones I want to remember. But then once in a while I get mildly crunk and favorite a bunch of throwaway one-liners, and I can never for the life of me find shit anymore.

    But it's all good. To Martha!
    posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:05 AM on September 18, 2009


    other behavior they might consider noxious

    No, I've considered that. And the solution seems pretty easy: no favorites and strict moderation of the other noxious behavior. Eventually people learn and fall in line.

    But that's a level of moderation that the moderators do not want even if they agreed with me, so it's a moot point.

    It's just my opinion, and I am sorry I cannot provide conclusive empirical evidence to support every opinion I have like I assume you must be able to do given your demand for it as a pretext to being a legitimate point of view.
    posted by dios at 8:07 AM on September 18, 2009


    We have invisible favorites already.

    Find the link displaying time posted. Right click -> bookmark this link.
    posted by idiopath at 8:07 AM on September 18, 2009


    So I was like hey, why didn't you respond to my e-mail man, I know you were online. He was like no I wasn't, but then I went yes you were, I saw you come online. And he was like I thought I was invisible. And then I said:

    Dude. You can't be invisible.

    posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:10 AM on September 18, 2009


    But that's a level of moderation that the moderators do not want even if they agreed with me, so it's a moot point.

    We talk about hiding favorites from time to time but we usually just don't get to that tipping point where it seems like the hassle involved is worth the big effort that changing a long-time feature would entail. We may do something different in the future.

    I am sorry I cannot provide conclusive empirical evidence to support every opinion I have like I assume you must be able to do given your demand for it as a pretext to being a legitimate point of view.

    I don't think you're sorry; it might be nice if you would not come in here like you've been sucking on a lemon and then act all "who me" when people don't respond in the most gracious of manners.

    Favorites do, whether we want them to or not, have the effect of reflecting and possibly reinforcing some of the status quo stuff here -- cool kids impressions, lulzy stuff, snark, etc -- whether they do that to an extent that's counterproductive to what we're trying to do here at MeFi is the open question.
    posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:13 AM on September 18, 2009


    when people don't respond in the most gracious of manners.

    Well, respectfully, I think it would be nice that I could say something without the same people always responding to me with outward hostility. Granted, grouse was not outwardly hostile, and to that extent, I apologize if that came across as abrasive. That was mostly bleed over effect. I'm just rather annoyed by the fact that, after a long absence, upon my return and attempt at participating, people are able to fall right back into their habits of being outwardly hostile to me without any sort of repercussion from the moderators. But that's something I guess we can talk about in email.

    I was just revisiting a point that has been brought in the past that you note is an open question. I'm not sure how that makes me "sucking on a lemon." But I guess when things are said with "posted by dios" after the words, they are somehow different for reasons that escape me.
    posted by dios at 8:24 AM on September 18, 2009


    I am a favorite (and favourite) addict, just slightly short of tehloki.

    A profligate [+] pusher, I sprinkle favorites throughout threads like a bee buzzing through a field of wildflowers, promiscuously pollenating.

    Just recently, I frittered away so many favorites that I actually took one back, and my heart broke just a little as the number by the comment went down by one, feeling I had somehow failed in my quest to replace SNARK with LOVE.

    Consider me the Favorite Fairy, only instead of dollars under your pillow, I leave you with piles and piles of shiny [+] to share and savor.
    posted by misha at 8:27 AM on September 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


    people are able to fall right back into their habits of being outwardly hostile to me without any sort of repercussion from the moderators.

    Actually, we've been working on that. To the extent that you show up to give your opinion and are not

    - showing up just to slag the site
    - picking on someone else directly
    - making wholesale trollish-seeming comments about everyone in a thread

    We keep people from following you around and giving you a hard time. It's a vicious cycle though. You assume people are out to get you and act defensive and abrasive and people respond to that. We try to stop the cycle but you have to meet us halfway. You are more than welcome to come back here with another username if you think it's literally associations with your old behavior that are keeping you from being able to interact on this site in the way you want to. I'd even give you a free account to do it with.

    The open question is whether you're participating here in good faith or whether you aren't. We have to make our best guess as moderators and if you're articipating like you want to be here, not just show up and fight with everyone, we'll keep threads from becoming pile-ons.
    posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:30 AM on September 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


    The open question is whether you're participating here in good faith or whether you aren't.

    That you would even ask that of me is, quite frankly, beyond offensive to me. And I mean that sincerely and deeply. I cannot believe you ask that question. You just justifed all the bullshit I have caught here.

    I'm not even going to respond to the rest of that. That hurts Jessamyn.
    posted by dios at 8:33 AM on September 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


    dios, I don't think you have any idea what percentage of our time on this site goes into keeping the maybe 10-20 people on this site with non-mainstream opinions able to use/enjoy the site like everyone else. Maybe 30%, 40%?

    We make a huge effort to keep people from following you around and baiting you, same with St. Alia, same with a handful of other people who maybe aren't conservative but who have other strongly held beliefs that put them solidly on the fringes of what most people here believe. And we get a lot of shit for it. It would be a lot easier to really just roll over and say "okay this really is an echo chamber!" and let people just fight it out, but we're committed to trying to have diverse voices here and that takes actual affirmative action on our part to make happen.

    Sometimes it turns out we've been trying to support and defend people and they've just been having a laugh at the site's expense the entire time. So, in the interests of being decent at what we do, there's a level of skepticism that we bring to every interaction whether it's with a best friend or a sworn enemy.

    I'm sorry if the idea that you're maybe, sometimes, fucking with the site doesn't sit well with you, but it's an allegation that we have to deal with in email and I thought maybe it would be a good idea if it was clear to you just what sort of work we're doing here.
    posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:43 AM on September 18, 2009 [9 favorites]


    dios, your comments in this thread come off as chip-on-the-shoulder axe grinding even without knowing your history here. You are writing like someone with a grudge. Given the fact that we are all voluntarily participants on mefi, the way you talk about mefi puts people on the defensive.
    posted by idiopath at 8:49 AM on September 18, 2009


    I don't want this to come across like I'm piling on, but here are my two cents, dios. Having heterodox opinions in a community comes with certain repercussions. Others will slag you off for them and insinuate that your opinions can't possibly be sincerely held because who could hold such crazy notions seriously. That's how being truly heterodox works and a number of your opinions are heterodoxy on MetaFilter. People aren't hounding you so much as the community is responding to challenges to its orthodoxy. That's pretty much what's going on. It's not an organized witch hunt, it isn't mathowie and his employees going after you for whatever, it's just people responding to your opinions, which are held by few in the community. This is how communities work, whether one considers that a good thing or a bad thing is besides the point. Most people won't respond when someone says something that challenges their opinion but in a community of thousands there will always be someone who does. And because for some it gets easier every time to speak up the same MeFites will argue with your opinions over and over again.

    I, like jessamyn and most MeFites, like that there are heterodox voices on MetaFilter. I think it's highly commendable that jessamyn and the other administrators go out of their way to make MetaFilter hospitable to those who have divergent opinions. But there is no way to both make expression on MetaFilter freer for the heterodox and at the same time stifle the orthodox. Being contrary to received opinion invites response.
    posted by Kattullus at 9:02 AM on September 18, 2009 [3 favorites]


    Thank you, thank you, thank you, jessamyn, cortex and all for allowing "non-mainstream" opinions to be heard. I'm an old lefty, but if there's one thing I've learned in my years of getting old it is that people can come to entirely different conclusions based on the same set of facts and we can discuss it with out our heads falling off.

    Back in the day one of my best friends came to the conclusion that the Bush/Dukakis election was fixed because NO ONE he knew voted Republican. He could rant all day about it. The answer was in the subset of people he surrounds himself with as a gay man working in the arts - of course he doesn't meet many conservatives.

    That gave me the impetus to seek out divergent opinions. People here should cherish a well reasoned argument that challenges their foregone conclusions. Heck, even unreasoned, because many of us, just by accident of birth or career rarely get out of the safe cocoon of our echo chambers.

    By interacting with those I disagree with I can only think of one strongly held belief I have changed, but maybe I have changed one other person, too.

    Anytime someone or something can challenge you and change your understanding of something, it's a gift, even if it just adds to your convictions. It gets tiresome to read the vindictiveness some people bring to the site to prove their own righteousness.
    posted by readery at 9:43 AM on September 18, 2009 [3 favorites]


    but we're committed to trying to have diverse voices here and that takes actual affirmative action on our part to make happen

    Favorited.

    [This is why the site is the 'best of the net'.]
    posted by RikiTikiTavi at 9:46 AM on September 18, 2009


    I'm just rather annoyed by the fact that, after a long absence, upon my return and attempt at participating, people are able to fall right back into their habits of being outwardly hostile to me

    I'm pretty sure anyone would get about the same reaction here if they posted the same kinds of statements that you've been posting. People aren't out to get you personally; they're out to get everyone. Why so serious?
    posted by Burhanistan at 9:48 AM on September 18, 2009


    By the way, favorites seem pretty unobtrusive to me. It's not like the post order is influenced by it, which is good. All these newfangled "more popular comments get moved up" sites mess with the flow, in my opinion.
    posted by RikiTikiTavi at 9:50 AM on September 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


    By interacting with those I disagree with I can only think of one strongly held belief I have changed, but maybe I have changed one other person, too.

    It can happen. Here's what happened to me after years of reading MetaFilter.
    posted by netbros at 9:51 AM on September 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


    Back in the old days of the internet I would express an opinion and someone would react negatively to that opinion and get all angry and snotty, and I'd start feeling really bad that I've upset someone so much, and sometimes it would really get to me and I'd feel down all day. It would usually take a few days before I'd perk up and think, "It's on the fucking internet, why do I give a shit about someone else getting all angry over some fucking insignificant little thing?!?" and I'd move on with life. Now sometimes I'll see someone else express an opinion I agree with on MetaFilter, and other people will react badly to that, and you know what, I'll give them a favorite just to say, "Yeah, buddy, I've been there, it's just another jerk on the internet, perk up," and I hope it helps them move on with their lives, 'cause it would have made a difference to me back the the days of yore.
    posted by 1f2frfbf at 11:06 AM on September 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


    No, I've considered that. And the solution seems pretty easy: no favorites and strict moderation of the other noxious behavior. Eventually people learn and fall in line.
    posted by dios...


    And God created people with no sense of irony, and called them Conservatives.
    posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 12:18 PM on September 18, 2009


    Keep favorites; keep them visible. They're perfectly lovely the way they are. The argument that they "lower the level of discourse" on MeFi is meritless.

    The comment I posted above is a severely wiseass version of how I actually use them. If I lose cred points for admitting this then so be it, but it's a giddy little thrill to me when someone thinks enough of something I write to this site to click the little [+] underneath it. It encourages me to put a bit of care into most of my comments. It discourages me from posting lame little throwaways. I naturally fall short of both of these ideals on many occasions, of course, but knowing that there's these little "points" that my comments have the potential to earn acts as a gentle corrective force which reins in the potential excesses of my internet behavior.

    Furthermore, the fact that certain posts and comments have racked up huge piles of favorites has meant that I got to see them, even though I missed them when they were posted. That splendid AskMe from a few months back about "What is the best book for someone new to your field?" is a good example of that. That's an amazing thread that I doubt I would have seen had I not clicked "popular" a couple days after it went up.

    Mostly, I'm so. goddamn. tired. of this argument. Are there wiki articles or FAQ entries on favorites and hipsters available? Maybe pb could work a little of his magic and fix it so that anyone posting a MeTa on favorites or hipsters or who their favorite hipster is could be encouraged to read these entries and some prior posts before going forward with their own kick to the dead horse.
    posted by EatTheWeak at 1:04 PM on September 18, 2009 [6 favorites]


    I am considering personally thanking via MeMail every user who favorites my comments.


    Ha, he really did...
    posted by empath at 1:48 PM on September 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


    I would just like to point out that if we weren't able to quietly favorite people who posted clever takedowns of stupid arguments, there would be a lot more 'what he said!' posts.

    We should have two categories:

    "Favorite"

    and

    "OH SNAP!"
    posted by empath at 1:51 PM on September 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


    *reads through all of above thread*

    So this is what MeTa is for...
    posted by alon at 3:31 PM on September 18, 2009


    I don't think you have any idea what percentage of our time on this site goes into keeping the maybe 10-20 people on this site with non-mainstream opinions able to use/enjoy the site like everyone else.

    Wow, I'm really glad to hear this. I hadn't quite noticed this. It's really encouraging to hear. I mostly disagree with dios but I hate seeing straight-up insults especially when it's the same person over and over; it just sucks.

    Hmmm I totally missed the other favorites threads. I guess 'cause I only come to metatalk on occasion. Many visible favorites are awesome, it's easy to see that on non-political threads. Seeing a bunch of favorites on a comment that slags another user or comment depresses me.
    posted by Wood at 5:35 PM on September 18, 2009


    I don't think you have any idea what percentage of our time on this site goes into keeping the maybe 10-20 people on this site with non-mainstream opinions able to use/enjoy the site like everyone else. Maybe 30%, 40%?

    Two points, about that. First, it's a disheartening proportion—because even with that amount of time and effort spent, I think MetaFilter is still fairly unwelcoming of certain opinions (which are firmly within the "mainstream" generally; presumably you meant MetaFilter's mainstream).

    But second, and returning to the original subject: That percentage isn't surprising to hear, because it's evidenced by favorites. You might sweep the nastiest comments from a thread, but typically you'll leave one or two—for whatever reason; usually because they contain just the barest minimum of on-topic remark required to scrape by. But those one or two 90%-snark comments will attract double-digit favorites.

    Every so often, MeTa will host a chorus of, "Wouldn't it be nice to have more diverse views here." You frame the issue as keeping the site enjoyable for 10–20 people, but it's also about who we attract. It is helpful that you delete the hundred "Repuglicans have no souls, LOL" comments daily; but if the one or two left standing are endorsed with 66 favorites apiece, well, potential new members still get the community's message.

    I notice the moderation. Mostly, I appreciate it. But I agree with Dios about favorites. I think their visibility has done more harm than good.
    posted by cribcage at 8:33 PM on September 18, 2009


    cribcage: "presumably you meant MetaFilter's mainstream"

    There is no a-priori mainstream.
    posted by idiopath at 8:49 PM on September 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


    if the one or two left standing are endorsed with 66 favorites apiece, well, potential new members still get the community's message

    God forbid people share agreement on something.
    posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:04 PM on September 18, 2009


    Some may think I'm kind of slutty about favoriting - and they may be right.

    I favorite: because I was amused, to give some extra weight to what strikes me as a good comment or answer, when I'm reading post after post after post that is totally off the mark and finally someone comes along and sets the whole thread straight (especially if they linked to citations I has in mind but was too lazy/frustrated to bring up), when I want someone to know that their clever reference to an ancient vaudeville joke was successful, and also to try and be extra nice because on the internet I come off as a loud, unfriendly dullard - that last type of favoriting is in the same vein of trying to be extra nice at parties, by constantly telling people about food or offering to get them drinks, because at parties I come off as a loud, unfriendly dullard.

    Also, I am such a moron that it was months before I realized that my comments, too, could be favorited. So, thanks, people who favorited me for whatever reason - even if it was to bookmark the most stoopid Ask Me answer ever.

    That said, from a usage standpoint, the term "favorited" sticks in my craw. It's ugly, awkward verbing.
    posted by Lesser Shrew at 9:05 AM on September 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


    Your favorited to (comments + posts + answers) ratio is a measurement of your wit conformity + attention-seeking personality. FTFY.
    posted by tybeet at 6:16 PM on September 19, 2009


    It's ugly, awkward verbing.

    I think verbing might be worse.
    posted by empath at 6:26 PM on September 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


    tybeet: "FTFY"

    Seeing as you are clearly more conformist and attention seeking than I, I am forced to concede your point.
    posted by idiopath at 6:39 PM on September 19, 2009


    I'm a non-conformist! My non-conformist bonafides, let me show you them! I'm so genuine, I can hardly stand it!

    that'll make you like me, won't it?
    posted by EatTheWeak at 10:54 PM on September 19, 2009


    I think verbing might be worse.

    Well, yes. That's the point, isn't it?
    posted by dersins at 12:40 AM on September 20, 2009


    Oh, hi, would one of our charming and attractive admins please comb through my comment history and replace all instances where I have used "favourite" as a verb with "favour"? TIA!
    posted by nowonmai at 8:36 AM on September 20, 2009


    Wait wait OED has 'favouritize' and 'favourize' to choose from as well. Now I don't know.
    posted by nowonmai at 6:28 PM on September 20, 2009


    I am not a number word!
    posted by Favorit-O-Matic at 10:46 PM on September 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


    dersins - that was, indeed, the point. I say it's verbing and I say the hell with it.
    posted by Lesser Shrew at 6:10 PM on September 21, 2009


    I say it's verbing and I say the hell with it.

    <3
    posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:16 PM on September 21, 2009 [3 favorites]


    I favorite threads that other people will try to get deleted.
    posted by Artw at 9:38 AM on September 22, 2009


    /me checks Artw's favorites list for threads to flag for deletion
    posted by idiopath at 10:13 AM on September 22, 2009


    how the hell do people have new yorker cartoons from 1928 memorized?
    posted by empath at 10:27 AM on September 22, 2009


    how the hell do people have new yorker cartoons from 1928 memorized?

    In case this is actually a straight question (I can never tell) I grew up in a house with a ton of cartoon books. Best of The New Yorker, a lot of George Price and James Thurber and Chas Addams and Gahan Wilson and as much MAD Magazine as I could bring home. We lived in the country. I read all of those books dozens of times. That particular cartoon has always been one of my favorites, since I also hate broccoli.
    posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:21 PM on September 22, 2009


    Ah yes, "The Best of the New Yorker" - a treasury of unselfconscious racism! Jessamyn, don't go back and reread about things that "bring joy to the ashman's black heart." (This house in the country, it wasn't a shack proped up by a single broomstick, was it?)

    And who's to say it was from memory - maybe I used the Google.
    posted by Lesser Shrew at 9:24 PM on September 22, 2009


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