Do you read Mefi archives or your favourites? February 5, 2010 10:44 AM   Subscribe

Do you read Metafilter archives and/or your favourited items?

So currently I'm at that level in my addiction where I find I've read all there is and new stuff is not trickling in fast enough... but I'd like to hang out a little more yet before surfing onwards. So a fairly low level, yeah? Now I've gone through the archives before, but I don't often read posts or comments I favourited (I think I read 'em only in nostalgic, going-through-old-photos kind of moments). On the previously front I could only find how people write posts for metafilter, but not whether, how often, and how (chronologically?) they read past material from Mefi and/or items they favourited. I considered AskMe but this is not a problem to be solved, just idle curiosity! Do you go back to older stuff?
posted by yoHighness to MetaFilter-Related at 10:44 AM (55 comments total)

I don't do a whole lot of back-catalog reading just for its own sake, but then I end up tripping through the archives a fair amount for other reasons, like searching for the origin of or a previous reference to something current, or trying to figure out what was going on around the time some on-site or real-world specific event occurred or some feature was added/changed on the site, say.

I also hit the "random" link up in the top-left of the screen on occasion, just to see where that lands.

I do hit up my favorites once in a while; I use the things fairly sparingly, and there's really not anything in my favorited-posts pile that isn't something I think would be worth reading or re-reading, so it's a pretty good rainy-day tool for me (and mostly I just don't have enough rainy days to keep up with it, so it grows faster than I can manage to digest it).
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:50 AM on February 5, 2010


I sometimes favorite posts so I have something to do when I have free time to explore the links, so yes.
posted by immlass at 10:54 AM on February 5, 2010


I love reading through the archives of comments I have favorited. It's like a walk down memory lane!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:55 AM on February 5, 2010


Holy shit, there's an archives button.
posted by Caduceus at 10:55 AM on February 5, 2010 [6 favorites]


depends, am I looking for something specific and how drunk am I?
posted by The Whelk at 10:56 AM on February 5, 2010


I read others' comments I've favorited all the time! I see my favorites collections as like a big corpus of Things Humans Say That Make Me Feel Good. Seriously, you guys make me laugh, smile, and cry (in a happy human way) over and over again. I love you all, big hugs.
posted by iamkimiam at 10:57 AM on February 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


Yeah I definitely do. Favorites for posts are basically a little sticky-note that says "I don't have time right now, but I'm coming back" and then later when I'm out of stuff to do at work that's not work I do just that. I don't do a lot of unguided archive-browsing.
posted by penduluum at 11:00 AM on February 5, 2010


Wow, after all these years I never noticed the Archive page.
posted by slogger at 11:00 AM on February 5, 2010



Wow, after all these years I never noticed the Archive page.


And they never heard from slogger again.
posted by The Whelk at 11:07 AM on February 5, 2010 [4 favorites]


I do a lot of tag searches, especially on Ask. Sometimes I favourite something I want to save or read later, but favoriting inflation (hereafter "Faveflation", natch) and the "If I LOL IRL I have to fave it" rule has rendered my favourites more or less unusable. Now I just use "Read Later" (Instapaper) or e-mail myself a link if I want to save something.

Maybe a few times I year I will go on a nostalgia binge and revisit my own contributions (top favourites) and/or some epic threads (through the wiki or wherever).

If my calculations are correct, in 39 days I will have been a member for longer than I have been a non-member, so I suppose another one of those trips down memory lane might be in order soon.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 11:09 AM on February 5, 2010


I don't even read my own comments when I psot them.
posted by Eideteker at 11:12 AM on February 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'd never used the Random button before. My eyes just drifted over it. So I just clicked it and got this Metatalk from 2002...

Enough with the pornolizer!
January 11, 2002 2:16 AM
For god's sake, enough with the pornolizer


So in conclusion. Thanks for causing me click the Random button. My Friday afternoon is going to go by slightly faster than it looked like it was going to.
posted by Babblesort at 11:12 AM on February 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yea, 'tis wise to beware of the treacherous unguided archive browsing! Hey, great answers so far guys, this has totally made my Metafilter-day! In this spot imagine there being an emoticon of some kind if it were another electronic medium such as text or IM
posted by yoHighness at 11:15 AM on February 5, 2010


Holy sh*t
posted by yoHighness at 11:30 AM on February 5, 2010


... there's an barfs button.
posted by yoHighness at 11:32 AM on February 5, 2010


I do a lot of reading of AskMe archives. Often I'll think about posting a question, then search the archives to see what's come up, and about 90% of the time it's been fully answered already. Especially true with travel tips, cooking, and predictable kinds of problems like taxes and money-related things.

For a while I started a project where I was going to index all the old folklore-related posts on MeFi. It stalled, but mainly because there are so freaking many. I was barely through the first couple years and realized it would take forever.

I read old stuff when someone links to it in a discussion, as an example or a (related). Occasionally I type in a search term to see what's come up.
posted by Miko at 11:34 AM on February 5, 2010


Woo hoo! Fun with the random button!

Okay. I just hit the random button, and go this:

Addictive snowball fight game

1. Memories of that game have been drifting in and out of my consciousness lately, and I've been thinking of Asking Mefi what this half-remembered game was. So does this mean that AskMe has become a sentient mind-reader, and now answers our questions before we ask them?

2. It was a f*cking double post!
posted by marxchivist at 11:41 AM on February 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wow, after all these years I never noticed the Archive page.

I wouldn't believe it even if you told me. And yet, there it is.
posted by yeti at 11:46 AM on February 5, 2010


If I woke up one day and found out the archive pages were just something I'd imagined, I would be one deeply sad panda. I love that it's all right there. Just try picking a random month in history and skimming the front page of metatalk and try not to trip over some fascinating community stuff.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:54 AM on February 5, 2010


I discovered the archive button the first time I was on here back in March of 04. WHATS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE????
posted by wheelieman at 12:06 PM on February 5, 2010


Or in Ask; I just read a very sweet thread from Nov 2004 about wedding ring tattoos. :)
posted by yarrow at 12:07 PM on February 5, 2010


Random got me.... "What's the deal with users 13965 through 14006 inclusive? None of them have ever posted to the blue. Isn't it strange that MeFi has 42 consecutive silent accounts? "

The answer: yes it's strange, it's a 1 in 27,000,000 chance. Huh.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:16 PM on February 5, 2010 [3 favorites]


On the previously front I could only find how people write posts for metafilter, but not whether, how often, and how (chronologically?) they read past material from Mefi and/or items they favourited.

The fact that a MeTa call for the best comments from 2009 got lots of responses suggests that many people do go back and read their favorites.

Yes, I go back to older stuff -- either browsing favorites chronologically, using the search box to search my favorites to find a particular post or comment, or searching for questions on AskMetafilter (doesn't that count as using the "archive"?).
posted by Jaltcoh at 12:16 PM on February 5, 2010


Archives, no; favorites, yes; for the same reasons as iamkimiam (to get a mood boost.) Favorites to me are the creme de la creme - the filter of the 'Filter. I only save what I know will still make me laugh / cry / think / (occasionally) act weeks or months later. I find the sidebar gives me enough interesting links from the past to satisfy without digging through the Archives.

Also wanted to say some of my most treasured finds from the past have come from MetaTalk posts listing 'best-of 200x' and 'underappreciated comments'.
posted by Hardcore Poser at 12:20 PM on February 5, 2010


I like going back in the archives from before I joined and looking up what MeFites had to say about some major world event. For example, I found it very interesting to read all the 9/11 threads that came out on and immediately after 9/11/01.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 12:30 PM on February 5, 2010


I often read through the comments I've marked as favorite, yeah. I'm less likely to go through the archives. What I'll sometimes do is pick one of my contacts at random, click on "View All Activity," and see what/where they've been commenting lately. Which sounds a little stalky, typing it out. Huh.
posted by Greg Nog at 12:30 PM on February 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Some of us sinister types enjoy learning about the various historical train wrecks. Just discovered the neu thread.
posted by Melismata at 12:31 PM on February 5, 2010


(It's also fun to see predictions in the comments about future events that are spot on, and ones that are wildly off the mark. And everywhere in between.)
posted by Salvor Hardin at 12:31 PM on February 5, 2010


details Salvor, details.
posted by The Whelk at 12:39 PM on February 5, 2010


So currently I'm at that level in my addiction where I find I've read all there is and new stuff is not trickling in fast enough

yoHighness has agreed to be in a documentary about Metafilter addiction. He does not know that he will soon face an intervention.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 12:49 PM on February 5, 2010


I reread my old AskMe answers every so often. It's really neat to read my own thoughts when I'm far enough from them that they don't sound like mine anymore.
posted by restless_nomad at 12:51 PM on February 5, 2010


I use favorites for lots of reasons, but the one that keeps me coming back to browse is bookmarking. Recipes, links, references, quotes, anecdotes; I favorite anything I know will need referencing in the future. Browsing the archives is an infrequent hobby as well.

Here's some Further Reading, or 'filtered selections from the archives:

- The MeFi Wiki (including a list of relatively unknown corners of MeFi proper)
- ReFi Blog: MetaFilter in review (another glorious Josh Millard product)
- Deleted Thread Blog

and don't forget the various spawn of MetaFilter: PoliticalFilter, SportsFilter, MetaChat, MonkeyFilter, etc.
posted by carsonb at 12:54 PM on February 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


Another avenue worth following might be to follow other people's favorites; find a user whom you generally like and who's opinions of stuff seems to align with your own, go to their profile page and click on their Favorites. From here you can see all the posts and comments they enjoyed, and it might lead you to some stuff you hadn't seen before.
posted by quin at 1:03 PM on February 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wow, after all these years I never noticed the Archive page.

I used the site for a year before I hit "recent activity." I'd always assumed it was a dump of all site activity. I couldn't imagine much value in that. Now I can't imagine the site without using it.
posted by cjorgensen at 1:11 PM on February 5, 2010


I heart tag browsing.
posted by infinitewindow at 1:17 PM on February 5, 2010


My random took me to this post which was a callout of this deleted thread that had this comment by cortex that made me laugh.

It's weird to see a deletion reason that's unsigned and a deleted post with intact URLs.
posted by cjorgensen at 1:21 PM on February 5, 2010


I read old posts sometimes. Often I find something really cool and discover it was posted to MetaFilter in the misty, bygone days of 2002 or something. But there are generally a lot of other cool links in the post or the discussion thread and I check up on that. Also, sometimes when I'm posting I'll read old posts about the same subject. And sometimes something will remind me of an old thread and I'll check it out. Oh and yeah, the random button is a lot of fun.
posted by Kattullus at 1:26 PM on February 5, 2010


Yep.

I scan through my favourites regularly. Sometimes it means I shed a few favourites, but I've found I'm more likely to gain new ones as I run into replies I didn't see before.

Reading through the archives is fun, too, especially because I don't get a chance to read everything regularly and I sometimes have more time than current posts across the site can help me waste.
posted by batmonkey at 1:29 PM on February 5, 2010


HoraceRumpole: Why do I imagine my intervention to be like this (at 2:50)?
posted by yoHighness at 2:28 PM on February 5, 2010


I read my popular favorites, that is, my own comments that have gotten lots of favorites.

In fact, I read them aloud. In my slow, deep, mellifluous radio voice. To record them, in my own voice. For posterity.

And, for my collected comments CD, soon to be offered on Etsy, for a low low price. Get yours before they sell out!
posted by orthogonality at 2:29 PM on February 5, 2010


details Salvor, details.
posted by The Whelk at 3:39 PM on February 5 [+] [!]


Ok, sounds like fun. Note, I'm really not just trying to pull a hurf-durf stupid mefi users of the past. For some reason I find it fascinating to put myself in the shoes of a mefite from 9/12/2002 or 5/21/2003. Sadly, I wasn't a member at the time, and thus cannot dig up old quotes of mine, but if I were, I'm sure all my comments would be amazing predictions and compassionate treatises.

9/11 related comments from 2001:

Here's a comment by a long-inactive member that makes a quick pass around prescience on its way out to crazytown.

Here's one that is fairly vague, and yet chillingly accurate.

talos pretty much nails the next few steps for American policy after 9/11

Sigh.

A masterpiece in stream-of-consciousness (??)

Regarding the violent FBI raid on a Saudi family in Boston's Copley Square Hotel, which turned out to be a case of mistaken identity:
"The government has a vested interest in wrapping things up quickly"

"The FBI isn't that incompetent and they are going to do everything they can to prevent this from happening again. This is MAJOR SHIT. It hardly gets any bigger. And they aren't going to rush to conclusions to satisfy the American People. No Way."
The benefit of the doubt, with hints of things to come.

In his secret underground bunker, of course.They didn't know about that yet

Bush attempts to assimilate information.

Wait a minute...is that you Rumsfeld?

Patriot Act preview.

You suspect wrong.

If only we had listened. We could have been moonwalking in the streets of Kabul by now.

Moving on to 2003...

Always check your sources before shooting up.

The whole exercise with the UN was a patent charade--we were always going to invade--during the process of which we managed to damage our relationships with NATO, the UN and scare the world to death in the process.

I could go on, but this pasty body requires sustenance.

Also:

Metafilter discovers Goatse.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 3:07 PM on February 5, 2010 [5 favorites]


I love the random link. I kind of miss the exclamation mark, I think it deserved the little extra fanfare.

I also go back and read my favourites because I often favourite a post quickly if I don't have time to look at it then I tend to forget about it, so after five or six months trawling through there is like having a whole metafilter of my own where every post is about something I'm interested in. It only works if you don't obsessively read everything the first time round and if you let it build up.
posted by shelleycat at 3:16 PM on February 5, 2010


jessamyn: "Random got me.... "What's the deal with users 13965 through 14006 inclusive? None of them have ever posted to the blue. Isn't it strange that MeFi has 42 consecutive silent accounts? "

The answer: yes it's strange, it's a 1 in 27,000,000 chance. Huh
"

Well, it looks like user 13976 signed up for the account to reply to a mention of his mailing list in MetaTalk, so they weren't totally silent. That brings down the odds a bit. I'd bet someone posted a back-door sign-up method somewhere (sign-ups were closed then, right?), so a bunch of people took advantage of it to create an account without really planning on using it. I'm sure I've got a few accounts out in the wild where I wanted to reserve my preferred name, but lost interest before actually participating.
posted by team lowkey at 4:12 PM on February 5, 2010


I favorite things and go back to read older FPPs all the time. There's so many incredibly interesting subjects posted on Metafilter that I just can't read them all at once, especially the detailed topics that take time to think about. This site is a lurker's paradise, and that's a really good thing.
posted by Kevin Street at 4:17 PM on February 5, 2010


Old stuff? Hell yes!

Favorites are my place for hiding books and movies that I will read on a rainy day (literally), and for things I hope I remember to look for when I am traveling or need to buy something particular.
Archives I often search by tag, rather than making a new question. I do this in particular for finding places to eat or things to do when on the road, sometimes technical things.

I've read all there is and new stuff is not trickling in fast enough
holy crap.
posted by whatzit at 5:07 PM on February 5, 2010


all my links are random

Just discovered the neu thread.

What Neu thread?
posted by philip-random at 5:07 PM on February 5, 2010


Anything you want. The only limit is yourself.
posted by The Whelk at 5:11 PM on February 5, 2010


I mostly read old stuff by author: for instance, jb, Dee Xtrovert and EB.
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 5:12 PM on February 5, 2010


Oops - that "Patriot Act preview" link was supposed to go here
posted by Salvor Hardin at 5:33 PM on February 5, 2010


I like to read other people's favorited by others. Sometimes I defer favoriting some of the stuff I find, because I imagine it'd be creepy for the other person to log in to find that I've favorited 20 of their comments in a row. "Is he trying to send me a message?"
posted by stavrogin at 5:36 PM on February 5, 2010


jb and Dee are great for running through the archives. I feel like I'm learning something or what.
posted by The Whelk at 5:44 PM on February 5, 2010


I do go through comments I've favorited sometimes, but I'm much more likely to go through someone else's "favorited by others" list. Favorite users for that: Miko, grumblebee, Greg Nog.
posted by danb at 7:24 PM on February 5, 2010


When the ability to tag favorites is finally introduced, I suspect there will be a lot more people reading/browsing back through their favorites than there are now.
posted by Effigy2000 at 9:24 PM on February 5, 2010


A while back I spent time going through old comments that I made and then checking out followups that I missed the first time around. Mostly this involved asking questions like, "What the hell were we talking about here?" "Was I drunk when I typed this?" "Was this supposed to be funny?" "Why didn't this get the shit favorited out of it / What the hell were people thinking to favorite this drivel!?!?!"

Oh, and a shout out to MrMoonPie by way of an apology for something I said about a year and a half ago which was supposed to imply, "Hey people, if we're just gonna derail the shit out of this conversation, why not just go whole hog and do crap like this?" In retrospect it mostly just made me sound like an abrasive ass.
Not that there isn't a time and a place to be an abrasive ass, but that was neither the time nor the place.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 12:44 AM on February 6, 2010


I definitely go back and read my favorite posts, not so much favorite comments unless I'm looking for something in particular. The archives can be really interesting to look back on. For instance, the tenth anniversary blue post led me to go looking for all the other anniversary blue posts, and it was a pretty neat way to look at the evolution of the community here. I also use the AskMe archives a lot, because I think people are fascinating and the questions people ask often have personal stories in them.
posted by Night_owl at 7:44 AM on February 6, 2010


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