Feature request: Where's the Chat At? March 5, 2002 12:07 PM   Subscribe

Most frustrating thing about MeFi: How oddly disposable it is. I mean the discussion, not the links. When you skip it for a few days, and come back, the links still work but the discussions are dead. Forty-eight hours, and dead as a doornail. I know MeFi is all about fresh links -- but still. Would it be so bad to allow for sorting by recent comment on the customization page, so the sorting persists between visits? Or is this already possible, and it's just that no one does it?
posted by luser to Feature Requests at 12:07 PM (15 comments total)

um ... there is a "sort by:" pulldown menu, upper-right corner. I think a lot of people miss it--I didn't notice it until someone mentioned it in MeTa a couple of months ago.
posted by whatnot at 12:14 PM on March 5, 2002

In the dropdown you can select "sort by recent comments".

But it does seem that once a thread has dropped below the sightline, comments slow down, and after a day or so, they seem to dry up completely. ISTR that before last September (which seemed to change MetaFilter along with all the other things it changed) commenting on older front-page threads (i.e. ones below the sightline, but still on the front page) was more prevalent...but I could be wrong.
posted by biscotti at 12:17 PM on March 5, 2002

Yes, I knew about the dropdown. I just didn't know if the preference persisted between sessions. It does. I guess most people don't sort like that, or, like me, use lo-fi me-fi and so don't see it.
posted by luser at 12:27 PM on March 5, 2002

One of the reasons why people no longer comment on a couple of days old thread is because most people changed their settings to display only 3 days on the front page. This was done to reduce the strain on the server. Therefore once it drops out of the 3 day range, it's pretty much a dried up thread. Of course there are exceptions.

Also another thing is that most people who would comment on a thread have already done so in the three day period.
posted by riffola at 12:38 PM on March 5, 2002

Dont't shout at me for suggesting this, but one way to help solve this problem could be for there to be additional discussion sites/rooms.

Say Mat had a room, and MiguelCardoso (everyone else uses his name so I will too) had a room. If they saw a thread and thought it was particularly good they could include it in their room, with the thread mirrored on both their site and MetaFilter. i.e if I commented on a thread in Mat's room the comment would still get included on MetaFilter.

Because the number of threads would be lower the turn over would be slower, allowing really good threads to stay alive longer.

Probably a stupid idea, but I think it would be cool to hang out in personality hosted mini-MetaFilters.
posted by RobertLoch at 12:54 PM on March 5, 2002

posted by rebeccablood at 1:04 PM on March 5, 2002

I think it would be cool to hang out in personality hosted mini-MetaFilters.

I regularly visit rebeccablood's mini-MeFi, only, she calls it a "blog" or something. It's what all the kids are doing these days.
posted by whatnot at 1:32 PM on March 5, 2002


You complete me, mini-MeFi...
posted by obiwanwasabi at 2:23 PM on March 5, 2002

Look how clever whatnot is. Intentionally ignoring the substance of RobertLoch's suggestion, whatnot siezes on a superficial similarity and pretends not only that RobertLoch's idea is not new, but that RobertLoch didn't know what his own idea was! Man, I am spewing Dew over that. Good one, dawg!
posted by luser at 2:29 PM on March 5, 2002

no intent to snark, luser. I have frequented RobertLoch's site as well and thought the joke would be obvious. Sorry if I offended, and sorry you have to mop up Dew.
posted by whatnot at 2:57 PM on March 5, 2002

Well, Whatnot does have an excellent point. That is what personal blogs do.

It's true that once a thread falls off the 25 most recent messages page, it's practically as good as dead, with the way Metafilter works, the topics that do fall off have probably been talked about to death.

It's a shame when gems (like the Phillip Glass Engine, for example) fall off to make room for yet another snarkfest about Ashcroft, those are the breaks.

...and MiguelCardoso ... had a room.

While the guy is a veritable saint in Portugal, I think we all get just the right amount of Miguel as it is. Any more would probably be just too, too much of a good thing.
posted by crunchland at 3:04 PM on March 5, 2002

'That is what personal blogs do.'

Just to clarify, I wasn't meaning to suggest that such rooms would be on another website. They would be part of metafilter, but pages where individual 'personalities' would be able to highlight certain threads. Unlike blogs mini-MeFi's would only be allowed to include threads from MetaFilter. The pages would run in parallel to the main page with individuals acting as editors, picking out their favourite posts. All I am basically suggesting is an extention to what Mat already does down the right hand side of the main page. You would still be posting to MetaFilter, it would just appear that you were in a seperate place, if you get what I mean.

'I think we all get just the right amount of Miguel as it is.'

I can't comment, I have not been observing the great man long enough to judge. I'm sure that there are probably many characters here that deserve to be ahead of him in the line for a mini-Mefi.

posted by RobertLoch at 5:37 PM on March 5, 2002

Perhaps people can put this sort of information on their user pages? If I go check out "Person X" they might have a spot that lists their favourite 5-10 MeFi/MeTa links. Maybe they can add a little commentary as well.

It would mean you'd need to look up individuals by user number, but I'm not certain how else you would list out these mini-MeFi pages....
posted by cyniczny at 5:59 PM on March 5, 2002

How about this:

The default thread listing is to sort by recent comments, except that at the very top of the list will appear new front page posts from the last, say, 3-5 hours. If by then they don't have a discussion going, let them start getting scrolled off the list.
posted by Hildago at 8:35 PM on March 5, 2002

I think a good way to keep conversations going after a few days might be to post a link to them in your profile as threads that you'd like to continue and put a tracking service on those posts so you know if someone has posted. You can then return to it without having to bookmark it and periodically check it. I'd imagine this is being done with post 1142.
posted by jacobw at 9:41 PM on March 5, 2002

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