Organizing MeFi favorites February 27, 2002 4:59 AM   Subscribe

Just a small thing. I've a section in my favourites for Mefi threads I'm following so that I can consult them easily later. Is this just me? Anyway, whenever they appear there, they are listed as 'Metafilter Comments on [insert number]'. How easy would it be to have something more identifiable so I don't have to remember the thread number (for example those little post summaries which appear on the top of the posting boxes)?
posted by feelinglistless to Feature Requests at 4:59 AM (20 comments total)

I figure this would result in a ridiculous amount of programming, or descriptions not much more useful than you have now. Here's how the scenarios work out:

1. Matt writes a program that can figure what a post is about in say...five words or less, and make that the page title, so it appears in your bookmarks. Hey, Matt! you feel like writing up a quickie AI? Didn't think so.(joke, not snark)

2. A function can take the first x words of the post and dump them into the page title, so that appears in your bookmarks. This would probably be pretty easy, but take a look at some of the posts. Depending on how long you watch these threads, these kinds of references won't be too useful for very long, and they'd become even more obscure the fewer words were used.

I'd suggest just naming the bookmarks yourself as you go along. Every browser I've used let you do this when you create the bookmark. This way the names actually mean something to you, as opposed to make you remember what the resultant random phrases refer to.
posted by Su at 5:12 AM on February 27, 2002

Every browser I've used let you do this when you create the bookmark.

Mac browsers don't. Not sure if that's better or worse. Having to go through that extra step every time you add a favorite in IE5Win can be annoying. But agreed, the best solution is probably just to change the bookmarks by hand rather than try and do it at the server end.
posted by rory at 5:26 AM on February 27, 2002

I enjoy naming my bookmarked threads. As my memory is not what it was, they often have very long titles, e.g. The MeTa Thread About Scandinavian Spelling Where Y Lists Best Norwegian News Sources And Z Goes Apeshit /November 2001.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 5:41 AM on February 27, 2002

Wow. Who else would pay fifty bucks just to peek at Miguel's bookmarks?

I bet he has thousands.
posted by ColdChef at 6:00 AM on February 27, 2002

I'm weird with bookmarks. I've got an enormous file, and yet, I almost always type in my URLs manually. Even worse, I recently lost access to my bookmarks, and immediately forgot every place I usually go.
posted by Su at 6:12 AM on February 27, 2002

You can name bookmarks in IE5/Mac, and from what I remember, Netscape 4.x/Mac.
posted by D at 6:22 AM on February 27, 2002

You can name bookmarks in IE5/Mac, and from what I remember, Netscape 4.x/Mac.

I know (I do it every day); that's not what I meant, and assumed Su meant. When you make a new Favorite on IE5Win you get a pop-up window that asks you to name it (suggesting the page title as default) and to assign it to a specific folder within your Favorites. The whole process takes a few seconds, but it adds up if you do it a lot, as I tend to do. With IE5Mac you just hit apple-D and it puts your current page at the bottom of your list of Favorites behind the scenes; you have to 'Organise Favorites' to go in and edit the name by hand or to move it into a Favorites folder. Which to my mind is not the same as doing it 'when you create the bookmark', as Su said.

posted by rory at 6:54 AM on February 27, 2002

Ooo yes, I see; I don't even know what I'm missing. I could sure use that.
posted by D at 7:04 AM on February 27, 2002

Su, what about a third option: The person who starts the thread (the original poster) assigns a "slugline" to the post as part of the posting process. Defined as "3-5 words describing the content of your post." Some people might be better sluggers than other, but hey.
posted by luser at 7:37 AM on February 27, 2002

OK -- so I'm just a bit lazy -- but as I've mentioned elsewhere my time is limited. The 'slugline' idea might work though.
posted by feelinglistless at 7:39 AM on February 27, 2002

Luser: Actually that's a great idea. It could easily drop into the obscurity part of my proposals, but I think the majority of people would be conscientious with it.
You may smack me with the Obvious Stick now.
posted by Su at 7:46 AM on February 27, 2002

Why not do what is done on MeFi itself? As you know at the bottom of each thread there is a next and previous link with the first few words of the thread, usually the first few words of the thread tell you what the thread is about, so perhaps you can just copy a selection and use that when you make a new bookmark.

rory: You can add bookmarks directly in windows with Ctrl + D, it'll do the same thing it does in Apple. Also I know in Windows you can right click a bookmark and go into properties to edit it, can't you do that in Mac?
posted by riffola at 7:50 AM on February 27, 2002

Right click? :) No, click-holding on a bookmark doesn't do squat in IE5Mac. Haven't checked in other browsers, as I only use them for testing pages.
posted by rory at 7:58 AM on February 27, 2002

Some people do use a proper two button mouse with Mac, so I figured there must some similar functionality. :)
posted by riffola at 8:10 AM on February 27, 2002

According to, the stuff below should do what you want, but for some reason when I try the IE version on Mac IE 5.1, I get a URL too long error. Anybody know why?

If you're using Netscape, try this. If you're using IE, try this.

If you're using a PC, then selecting text on the page before hitting the bookmarklet is supposed to set that as the name. That won't work on a Mac, but I think it will present a field to ask you for the name.
posted by willnot at 8:16 AM on February 27, 2002

MeFi/MetaTalk filters out the "javascript:" part of the url. So go to the page linked above, get the bookmarklets from there.
posted by riffola at 8:21 AM on February 27, 2002

Why don't you just have several folders: one for pancakes; bunnies; ParisParamus; and Nader. Whatever. Or maybe you invest to much time and energy in Mefi; this sounds like recording television shows which, however good, you'll never have the time to watch....
posted by ParisParamus at 9:05 AM on February 27, 2002

Mac browsers don't. FAVORITES > ORGANIZE FAVORITES click on name > rename. No length limitation.
posted by ParisParamus at 9:36 AM on February 27, 2002

Name your bookmarks by hand, because I certainly can't glean any short, descriptive information about a post from the data available. There's nothing I can do, programming wise. If I put in the first x words of a post, people will complain of their favorites loaded with:

Wired wrote another article abo...
Remember the time you went to th...

and other pointless things instead of:

good economics thread
80's nostalga

So write your own favorite titles, in your own words, and they'll be much easier to use for you.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 10:39 AM on February 27, 2002

I hadn't thought of that. He's very good isn't he?
posted by feelinglistless at 1:26 PM on February 27, 2002

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