Listing Comments by Favorites count July 23, 2010 7:46 PM   Subscribe

I was going through the huge "You were doing it Wrong" thread on AskMe when it occurred to me that it would be great if we could list the comments in order of "most favorited". I would have seen herrdoctor's amazing story right away instead of missing it first time around.
posted by storybored to Feature Requests at 7:46 PM (105 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

It's a pretty big tradition around here to discredit favorites. Sure, really awesome comments often get a whole lot of favorites, but otherwise the number of favorites a post has is not indicative of the post's value. Furthermore, we put a lot of emphasis on the conversation that flows, and your suggestion would destroy that flow. This would go against the very nature of Mefi.
posted by meese at 7:53 PM on July 23, 2010 [3 favorites]


Not a chance of this happening. There may be Greasemonkey scripts that will help you pull out the heavily favorited comments.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:57 PM on July 23, 2010 [5 favorites]


i believe someone wrote a greasemonkey script for that. i'm sure someone with more details will be in soon.
posted by nadawi at 7:57 PM on July 23, 2010


Favorites are not a scoring system. This is not Digg.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 8:09 PM on July 23, 2010 [3 favorites]


Maybe a link to the thread and comment?
posted by cjorgensen at 8:09 PM on July 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


Favorites are not a scoring system. This is not Digg.

Everyone knows that more money favorites=better than.
posted by Uppity Pigeon #2 at 8:12 PM on July 23, 2010


Copy this code into a bookmark:
http://pastebin.com/ebqnZJMb

While I read all the comments in threads I'm participating in, sometimes I stumble on an old thread and just want the highlights, y'know?
posted by chrisamiller at 8:13 PM on July 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


http://pastebin.com/ebqnZJMb


New! Improved! With link!
posted by chrisamiller at 8:14 PM on July 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm a big defender of favorites, and I still think this is a very bad idea. They're nice as an unobtrusive overlay of information, but when you start using them to re-arrange the normal flow of conversation or to automatically make some content more visible while suppressing other stuff, that's just not cool.
posted by Rhaomi at 8:19 PM on July 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


To be clear this isn't Digg? Man, if you could see my face right now!
posted by cjorgensen at 8:19 PM on July 23, 2010


I was going through the huge "You were doing it Wrong" thread on AskMe when it occurred to me that it would be great if we could list the comments in order of "most favorited".

Hey, storybored! Pull up a chair, rig a Stadium Buddy, take the next week off, and read this thread!
posted by StrikeTheViol at 8:27 PM on July 23, 2010


This is the one you want.
posted by Rhomboid at 8:31 PM on July 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


I search for the string " favorites " which will mostly find comments with two or more favorites. If I only want to find comments that I haven't favorited, I can search for "favorites +". This lets me see some of the highlights on really long threads without reading the thread out of order or succumbing to total groupthink (the bar to two favorites is not very high).

If I want to search for the ones I have favorited, I can search for "favorites -". This can be surprisingly useful when wanting to remember key points in long-forgotten threads.
posted by grouse at 8:44 PM on July 23, 2010 [5 favorites]


I use Metafilter thread highlights. It adds two tabs right below each post. One is show all comments (the default) and the second tab is show comments with more than x favorites.
You can edit the script to change that threshold. So if you only want to see really favorites comments, set that # higher.
posted by special-k at 8:46 PM on July 23, 2010 [3 favorites]




see really favorites favorited comments

FTFM
posted by special-k at 8:49 PM on July 23, 2010


Two things:

1-Comment in question.
2-"herrdoktor" You did that wrong.
posted by nevercalm at 9:09 PM on July 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


Hey, storybored! Pull up a chair, rig a Stadium Buddy, take the next week off, and read this thread!

oh god, that thread.
posted by shmegegge at 9:10 PM on July 23, 2010


My favourite part was the epic derail on how it wasn't actually an "experiment" at all and did not adhere to any kind of legitimate science and where is the abstract omg this methodology is flawed, utterly flawed! Oh nerdrage. How I love you.
posted by elizardbits at 9:20 PM on July 23, 2010 [6 favorites]


For an experiment, how about rearranging the "Doing it Wrong" thread randomly, say in about 100 different permutations.

This would enable us to study mathematically the precise effect that placement in the thread has on the number of favourites that a comment gets.

Each visitor would see the thread in a randomly-selected order. Of course, the favourites from one permutation couldn't carry over to another, so the favouriting pattern of Permutation A would need to be saved separately to that of Permutation B. When the second visitor is served "A", they would need to see the favopattern distributed exactly as it was when V1(A) left the thread.

If that sounds like too much work for a throwaway experiment, remember that once this has been piloted in Doing it Wrong, it can be extended transparently to every thread in the site, to enable a fuller dataset capture for in-depth analysis.
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:53 PM on July 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


herrdoktor is a goddamn treasure.
posted by D_I at 10:20 PM on July 23, 2010


Yeah, but look: Not every amazing bon mot I throw into a thread gets a whole lot of favorites. I know, I know, I try really, really hard—because there's no such thing as trying too hard for comedy—really hard, but usually three other people have already made a variation of the joke that I posted, only somehow managed to spell check their comment tooo. And obvs, we all have custom RSS feeds so that we can get all of my comments out of the context of the threads that they're posted in, which, let's be honest, is hardly necessary to appreciating my Simpsons references. Or what if you tried to read the thread too soon, before the requisite months have allowed the Metafilter audience to truly appreciate my nuanced snark? I sometimes get two or three favorites years after my third-hand appropriation of /b/tard injokes. Pool's closed indeed.

I can only hope that this comment gets enough fast favorites for you to read it before doing anything truly rash.
posted by klangklangston at 11:55 PM on July 23, 2010 [3 favorites]


I don't see what's the problem. Keeping favorites but rejecting this idea is some sort of stubborn refusal to recognize that favorites are about rank, hierarchy, reward, and ego-stroking. By now it should be clear to all of us that favorites as a function predispose the community to that kind of behavior. It's avoidable by individuals and in individual cases, but opening the door to favorites made questions like this inevitable.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 11:55 PM on July 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


There isn't anything wrong with asking the question/making the pony request. It just is never going to be supported natively because it breaks one of the key features of Metafilter (the flat unthreaded discussion model) and increases explicit score keeping which Matt has indicated he doesn't want on several occasions.

PS: That Novemeber thread was not all that long ago and it's pretty obvious from it that not everyone agrees that favourites are about rank, hierarchy, reward and ego stroking.
posted by Mitheral at 12:48 AM on July 24, 2010


>PS: That Novemeber thread was not all that long ago and it's pretty obvious from it that not everyone agrees that favourites are about rank, hierarchy, reward and ego stroking.

Of course, and may people resist using favorites for those purposes.

Regardless, though, it's now clear that those things are at least implicitly attached to the favorites system and tend to come with it. Frequently.

I guess Matt can somehow convince himself that favorites themselves are not "explicit scorekeeping," but members of his site will inevitably persist in seeing/using them that way, an outcome that should have easily been foreseen.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 1:07 AM on July 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


PS: You're spelling it wrong :)
posted by Joseph Gurl at 1:08 AM on July 24, 2010


Stuff that should not be used on Metafilter:

Favorites as a scoring system.

@justinian: This. 100x this.
posted by Justinian at 1:23 AM on July 24, 2010


Joseph Gurl writes "PS: You're spelling it wrong :)"

We'll have to agree to disagree.
posted by Mitheral at 1:40 AM on July 24, 2010


I will agree to no such thing
posted by Joseph Gurl at 1:47 AM on July 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


That would put my nonsense far down on the page and that makes my ears pop.

Also I turned off favorites as soon as it became an option but (embarrassingly) still check mine sometimes. I think I contribute more, or perhaps detract less, but I'm the last person to judge. I guess I'm a bit delete. There has to be an old expression for this whatever that will validate me.
posted by vapidave at 1:51 AM on July 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


I read the popular favorites page to make sure I didn't miss something awesome somewhere across the site. There are RSS feeds for posts and comments.
posted by PercussivePaul at 2:12 AM on July 24, 2010


It makes sense. Not every post is going to create a meaningful discussion. Sometimes you just want to see who made the best joke about a youtube video. Quickly.
posted by fire&wings at 2:32 AM on July 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


I may be in the minority here, but I tend to think that the fact that comments on Metafilter are difficult to read out of context is a feature, not a bug.
posted by anifinder at 2:33 AM on July 24, 2010 [3 favorites]


That would potentially throw every thread response out of context.
posted by a non e mouse at 3:27 AM on July 24, 2010


Well, it's a minority of at least two, then.
posted by dg at 3:31 AM on July 24, 2010


Joseph Gurl: "I will agree to no such thin"

It's dictionaries at noon at 12 paces then. I choose the OED.
posted by Mitheral at 4:02 AM on July 24, 2010


My favourite part was the epic derail on how it wasn't actually an "experiment" at all and did not adhere to any kind of legitimate science and where is the abstract omg this methodology is flawed, utterly flawed!

As a general thing, a conversation going where you might not want it to go doesn't make it a derail. Just sayin'.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:34 AM on July 24, 2010


It's dictionaries at noon at 12 paces then. I choose the OED.

Wouldn't you want some sort of pocket dictionary for a quickdraw? Or will you be using the online version?
posted by nevercalm at 4:45 AM on July 24, 2010


Let me try this again:

It's dictionaries at noon at 12 paces then. I choose the OED.


Wouldn't you want some sort of pocket dictionary for a quickdraw? Or will you be using the online version?
posted by nevercalm at 4:46 AM on July 24, 2010


Was it any better the second time around?
posted by infini at 5:01 AM on July 24, 2010


Nope. But at least it was more correct, and that's gotta count for something.

Say, where's that 3 minute editing window, anyway?
posted by nevercalm at 5:52 AM on July 24, 2010


It's on the Island of Lost Ponies. That's where this pony will go too, once the road is cleared of the anti-favoriters rolling around on the ground wailing and shitting themselves.

Most ponies, when they reach the Island, disappear to the interior where they are eaten by grease monkeys. The 3-minute editing window pony, however, likes to stay near the docks, looking hopefully at passing ships, remembering the time when it seemed like it was going to make it, to become a unicorn. If it could talk, it would say: "Have you heard? Have they changed their minds? Tell them I've been practicing, I'm ready to come back now. Please take me with you. They're probably looking for me."
posted by fleacircus at 6:08 AM on July 24, 2010 [20 favorites]


Mitheral: It's dictionaries at noon at 12 paces then. I choose the OED"

*pictures Mitheral drawing and promptly falling forwards*
posted by Hardcore Poser at 6:52 AM on July 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


I may be in the minority here, but I tend to think that the fact that comments on Metafilter are difficult to read out of context is a feature, not a bug.

It's not just you, and it's part of why this sort of comment-sorting view isn't a part of the native display options of the site. That said, if individual users sometimes want to use third-party tools to read the site in other ways, even ways that I might personally not be interested in seeing a ton of, that's their prerogative, so folks asking about it here and people talking about alternate approaches to that sort of thing are fine.

It's on the Island of Lost Ponies. That's where this pony will go too

The Island is implementation limbo; any given pretty, pretty pony has to at least have a chance of redemption through nominal feature approval to get there. Then they can wait, and hope, and dream, and wonder if now and then they hear coming across the water the faint whispering of their name from blue distant shores.

This pony, on the other hand, will get loaded on the Glue Farm Express.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:06 AM on July 24, 2010 [4 favorites]


I still hide favorites entirely, and much prefer reading Metafilter this way. Am I alone in this? How many others have this feature enabled?
posted by painquale at 7:20 AM on July 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


I use one of the greasemonkey scripts which basically shows one, some, most favorites indicators [*, <3, full heart] but not actual numbers. I find it calming.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:27 AM on July 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


> It's dictionaries at noon at 12 paces then. I choose the OED.

Won't help. The OED entry begins:

favourite, favorite, n. and a.

Odd fact: the first definition for favorite son (U.S.) is ‘a commendatory title given to George Washington.’ I did not know that.
posted by languagehat at 7:33 AM on July 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


I continue to use favorites in the default mode. I found after the Shockingly Non-rigorous Venture last November that I missed having them there as part of the familiar topography of threads. Not terribly, but enough to not feel like continuing with an obfuscated display mode.

I read threads top to bottom in order 95% of the time and generally avoid (consciously) looking at bylines before I've finished a comment, so it's more a post-comment analysis thing for me; who wrote it, when they wrote it (in part compared to when previous comments were made), what kind of reaction it got. Not that that's some canonical summary of a comment, but it's part of the background of how its sitting in the site context.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:34 AM on July 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


Whereas 21st president Chester A. Arthur is the referent of the initial cite for "fortunate son", from a satirical editorial song penned by bitter political rival J. Cameron Fogerty.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:39 AM on July 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


I found turning favourites off very soothing as well. I prefer it this way although I do peek at favourited by others
posted by infini at 7:49 AM on July 24, 2010


I kicked the hornet's nest didn't I? Heh. I didn't even know there was a giant Favorites theological debate + experiment thread so thanks to StriketheViol for pointing that out.

And dang, apologies to herrdoktor for spelling his name wrong.

A script is exactly the solution. Perfect, thank you special-k, rhomboid and chrisamiller!! A salt shaker is better than changing the recipe.

Also, I read every single comment on this thread including vapidave's which i favorited. :)
posted by storybored at 7:52 AM on July 24, 2010


I should note that this question isn't as absurd as it sounds. The flow of conversation isn't nearly as important (at least, as far as I'm concerned) on AskMe than it is on the Blue or Gray. Answers are very often self-contained nuggets.
posted by Jpfed at 8:31 AM on July 24, 2010


As a general thing, a conversation going where you might not want it to go doesn't make it a derail. Just sayin'.

TBH I wanted that conversation to go in as many tangential directions as possible, for maximum entertainment purposes. Maybe derail was not the best word to describe it? IDK, sideversation? Whatevs, it was glorious and reminded me of bitterly divisive labwork in undergrad, and I was giddily waiting for someone to start railing about backstabbers and misconduct and obfuscated datasets and the loss of research funding.
posted by elizardbits at 8:52 AM on July 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


languagehat writes "Won't help. The OED entry begins:

"
favourite, favorite, n. and a."

So I haven't spelt it wrong then?
posted by Mitheral at 9:20 AM on July 24, 2010


I use one of the greasemonkey scripts which basically shows one, some, most favorites indicators

I use a greasemonkey script that replaces everyone's username with Astro Zombie 3 through Astro Zombie 50,000.
posted by Justinian at 9:35 AM on July 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Answers are very often self-contained nuggets.

I wish this weren't as true as it is. I dream of a day where people would read the entire question and all the existing replies before adding their own, but people like to just barge right in and say what they want to say even if what they have to say has already been mentioned and/or discussed and/or ruled out by the previous answers.
posted by Rhomboid at 10:39 AM on July 24, 2010


The Island is implementation limbo; any given pretty, pretty pony has to at least have a chance of redemption through nominal feature approval to get there.

What pony has ever returned? All the examples that come to mind (my mind, at least), either the implementation time is < 1 day, or it's pretty much never.
posted by fleacircus at 11:09 AM on July 24, 2010


IRL was a few years between its gigfilter inception and real life implementation.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:13 AM on July 24, 2010


I was going through the huge "You were doing it Wrong" thread on AskMe when it occurred to me that it would be great if we could list the comments in order of "most favorited".

How ironic then to suddenly learn that YOU were doing AskMe wrong!

Or not so suddenly.. If I'd been doing it right, this would have been in the first three posts :)
posted by Chuckles at 11:21 AM on July 24, 2010


Music, too. It even had a brief life pre-Island before making the trip out there.

Some other once-island-dwelling ponies, from quick skim through the last few years of Matt's posting history:

- public comments on Projects
- improved site search
- improved favorites interface
- mobile site (since put on a slow boat to Elmers)
- improved auth/account management
- better contact activity management
- mefimail
- pervasive RSS feeds
- AJAX flagging
- better meetup handling
- gifting accounts
- launching an FAQ
- Jabber server (pour out a forty)
- Projects! (after kindall running a mailing list for a long time as a stopgap)
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:39 AM on July 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


There was never a pony called Travel. You must be seeing things. Why not lie back and take a stress pill?
posted by The Whelk at 12:16 PM on July 24, 2010


Yay! Not a single commenter expressed a validation of favorites as a bookmark!

/still petulant over losing a few favorites after discovering some people use them as bookmarks. NARF!

p.s. 1200 BABY!!! 1/14th of the way to Astro Zombie's hidden lair!
p.p.s I don't know the exact count and I ain't checkin! 1/14th sounds small!
posted by cavalier at 12:21 PM on July 24, 2010


It totally use favorites as bookmarks, fwiw. But I don't tend to get rid of bookmarks, so I'm not responsible for the heartbreak.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:26 PM on July 24, 2010


I use favorites to prop the door open.
posted by carsonb at 1:45 PM on July 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


I favorite things by people totally randomly, then when they do something stupid or say something offensive, I have something to take away. cavalier, you know what you did!
posted by cjorgensen at 2:04 PM on July 24, 2010


Where's the greasemonkey script with the hearts? I have favorite visibility completely turned off, but I think some nice hearts would go well with my magic unicorn & narwhal.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 3:40 PM on July 24, 2010


It's not easy to tell from those links which were bona fide pony requests and which were just maintenance stuff, or "make X suck less", or mathowie's own ideas—proto-unicorns which don't count as ponies the same way Santa doesn't go down his own chimney to give presents to himself.

But memail would be a bona fide one, I think. So yay, it's not a one-way trip after all!
posted by fleacircus at 4:24 PM on July 24, 2010


Yeah, I didn't do the legwork to verify the history of requests for any of those, but I did focus on things that I feel like I remember prior requests and discussion regarding—I skipped a number of feature announcement type threads where to my recollection it was less "here's that thing folks asked about" and more "here is a thing I made because hey why not".
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:45 PM on July 24, 2010


So, what, people thought that Dinsey was founded by some guy named "Walt Gisney"?
posted by lore at 5:54 PM on July 24, 2010


grapefruitmoon, you want MetaFilter Fuzzy Hearts which does indeed go nicely with the unicorn and narwhal.
posted by EvaDestruction at 6:37 PM on July 24, 2010


I'm looking for a greasemonkey script to fix my car.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 7:32 PM on July 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Turned off the favorite functionality shortly after that was allowed. I don't ever check how many favorites I have except on posts to gauge how well it was received. I do check the Recent Favorites tab because it helps me pick up on subtle and nuanced under the fold commentary I otherwise would have missed. I use favorites as bookmarks but sometimes those bookmarks are permanent because they bookmark comments I like... so yeah they do serve as a true favorite sometimes.
posted by P.o.B. at 9:29 PM on July 24, 2010


Turning off the favorite counts is the best new feature that this place has gotten in years. Sometimes, I turn on favorites, but only to notice how stupid the things that get lots of favorites are. It makes me sound like an ingrate, I know, but even my own comments that get lots of favorites usually aren't ones that I'm proud of; for example, if I stick up a hotheaded insult without too much thought and then immediately regret it, five will get you ten it'll be favorited ten times as much as any other comment. Ugh.

I think it might actually be a good idea to set it so you can have comments listed in order of favorites, though. That is, you could have the comments with the least favorites at the top, and the comments with the most favorites at the bottom. That way, you could skim the threads pretty quickly without having to scroll down and read the really stupid and obnoxious comments, which almost always get a lot of favorites.
posted by koeselitz at 10:11 PM on July 24, 2010


koeselitz: "Sometimes, I turn on favorites, but only to notice how stupid the things that get lots of favorites are. [...] you could have the comments with the least favorites at the top, and the comments with the most favorites at the bottom. That way, you could skim the threads pretty quickly without having to scroll down and read the really stupid and obnoxious comments"

The three most-favorited comments from yesterday's highest-traffic thread:

Funny joke!
Funny joke!
Trenchant criticism!

Is this the kind of "stupid and obnoxious" you mean? Because to my eyes clever one-liners, comedic internal monologues, and vicious dissections of bad decisions are not only smart, but have long been the default tone of the site.

And those are just examples from that thread. There are plenty of highly-favorited comments that are elegant explanations of complex issues, or touching personal stories, or adept refutations of flawed arguments. When I'm short on time, I read only the more popular commentary in each thread, and I remain as impressed by the community as I was when I first signed up. Heck, there's an RSS feed just for popular comments that updates multiple times per day, and the content is uniformly excellent.

I don't know, maybe you'd prefer a humorless and high-minded Socratic dialogue. But that's not what the conversation here is like, in large part, and that was true even before favorites were around. I mean, here are some of the early comments from the first pre-2006 post that showed up while clicking "Random":
I have an uncontrollable urge to call someone a meat-tosser.
--
Some people handle dick better than others.
--
When my dad was at college (late 60s), he made a snowman that looked like it was urinating on the fire hydrant in front of the house. He said he watched a cop walk by, do a double take, stare for a while, and then walk away. Maybe since the snowman was just indicating that he had genitals, rather than flagrantly displaying them, it was acceptable. ;)
--
So I guess just standing out in the middle of Harvard Yard with a raging erection would be considered bad taste too.

And what if that giant phallus had been a landmark on some sort of pirate's map? Thirty paces due north of the tremendous ice-wang, and all that. Nobody ever thinks about how their actions will affect pirates.
That post was from 2003. Lulzy comments like these were around in spades then, and these in particular probably would have gotten a dozen or so favorites if they'd been posted today. That's just the way the community is. And as long as that's the case, calling popular comments (and by extension all the Mefites who favorite them) "stupid" is both snobbish and pretty damned grating.
posted by Rhaomi at 12:05 AM on July 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


A case where seeing favorite counts is purely good and useful is when you run into a short comment that's something of a mystery meat link, like this:
Reminds me of this.
posted by¹ snicklefritz at 12:48 AM on July 25 [_____] [!]
If the comment has been around awhile, then the number of favorites the post has received is a pretty good indication of whether it's worth checking out what's on the other side of that link.

¹Seekrit poneh?
posted by fleacircus at 2:18 AM on July 25, 2010


Was the end of film so recent in living memory?
posted by infini at 2:55 AM on July 25, 2010


Because to my eyes clever one-liners, comedic internal monologues, and vicious dissections of bad decisions are not only smart, but have long been the default tone of the site.

It does strike me as kind of -- well -- schizophrenic that a certain kind of comment often gets favorited, but that favoriting those comments destines them to be labelled "stupid." (Though the ones that attract the most favorites, consciously or not, are ones that avoid that certain tone altogether -- as Rhaomi elegantly puts it, "elegant explanations of complex issues, or touching personal stories, or adept refutations of flawed arguments").

And yes, that certain kind of comment is usually one that adheres to the general parameters of the blue sarcasmsnarkfilter. If we (collectively) thought that those comments were stupid, we would not favorite them. Favoriting them rewards them, or at least rewards the category of comment that they fall into.

As long as favorites are an option (and I think they should continue to be an option -- they are part of what makes the blue the blue), the facility to turn them off makes very little difference to the group desire to make comments that will be favorited, unless almost everybody permanently turns the favorite feature off.
posted by blucevalo at 5:50 AM on July 25, 2010


I still hide favorites entirely, and much prefer reading Metafilter this way. Am I alone in this? How many others have this feature enabled?

Me. Although by confessing this it is tantamount to "rolling around on the ground wailing and shitting [myself]." Guess I better go change my underpants.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:26 AM on July 25, 2010


My most favorited comment is a recipe for roast duck with poor syntax and spelling.

I don't get it either.
posted by The Whelk at 9:54 AM on July 25, 2010


Widespread anseriformes resentment?
posted by carsonb at 11:21 AM on July 25, 2010


I refuse to believe I am delicious in butter.
posted by The Whelk at 2:21 PM on July 25, 2010


¹Seekrit poneh?

Neigh.

posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:32 PM on July 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


Rhaomi: “...calling popular comments (and by extension all the Mefites who favorite them) "stupid" is both snobbish and pretty damned grating.”

I never said popular comments are stupid and obnoxious. I said stupid and obnoxious comments usually get a lot of favorites.
posted by koeselitz at 3:12 PM on July 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


My gut feeling is that the majority of stupid and obnoxious comments do not get a lot of favorites, and that in fact mostly what they excel at attracting vs. baseline comments is flags and deletions.

I mean, I hear you, I believe that there are comments on the obnoxious side (mostly that, not so much outright stupid) that get favorites because they're being obnoxious in a way that is attractive (in various senses) to readers, but if we're talking about a like Venn diagram (and when am I not) with Stupid/Obnoxious as one circle and Lots Of Favorites as another, I feel like the overlapping slice is actually pretty thin.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:38 PM on July 25, 2010


I think it would depend on what the over/under is on Lots Of Favorites, and if we're talking about per comment or cumalitve.
I also think the obnoxious part really comes through at a subjective level to the person reading it. I could really like a comment or I could really hate a comment, but that would be entirely up to how I read it. Having favorites that highlight a comment that I found particularly annoying just doesn't sit so well.
posted by P.o.B. at 4:02 PM on July 25, 2010


cu·mu·la·tive
posted by P.o.B. at 4:03 PM on July 25, 2010


Oh man, this is starting to feel like the experiment thread. Can we just re-read that instead?
/gets a helmet
posted by cavalier at 6:15 PM on July 25, 2010


I SAY IT IS THE EXPERIMENTAL THREAD.
posted by The Whelk at 6:27 PM on July 25, 2010


YAK BUTTER

WASHING MACHINES

NO NEVER VERB!

TURN ON THE BARRY WHITE MISS RAVENOUS OR I SHALL EXPLODE!
posted by The Whelk at 6:28 PM on July 25, 2010


Hold off on the Barry White, Miss Ravenous; I'm curious to see what happens.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:35 PM on July 25, 2010


I'll take a glass of chilled raspberries with a dallop of whip cream and cinammon, toute suite!
posted by P.o.B. at 6:39 PM on July 25, 2010


Wait, where are we?
posted by P.o.B. at 6:40 PM on July 25, 2010


WE ARE BEYOND TRADITIONAL CONCEPTS OF TIME AND SPACE I'LL TAKE THE RASPBERRIES NOW SIR IT WAS AN HONOR SERVING WITH YOU
posted by The Whelk at 6:47 PM on July 25, 2010


WHIP THE CREAM

BEAT THE EGGS

BURN THE TOAST

STRANGLE BACON

CUT IT WITH YOUR KNIVES.

I'LL TAKE TWO.
posted by The Whelk at 6:49 PM on July 25, 2010


I'm not sure two hours after the last substantive comment is really enough time before you start going all higgelty-pigglety. Can't you guys go colonize a long dead thread instead?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:52 PM on July 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Walter Gibbons was this crazy disco DJ back in the 70s who did amazing things with synths and old belt-drive turntables and razorblade-cut reel to reels that would knock your socks off, remixing and editing and cutting together disco hits into decidedly modern dance grooves. They just released a great little retrospective of his work last week. You should all go listen to this awesome track of his right now. It's kinda hard to believe that it's from 1978, what with that awesome moog tone.
posted by koeselitz at 7:03 PM on July 25, 2010


What The Whelk's last comment sounded like in my head.

THANKS FOR THE EARWORM.
posted by EvaDestruction at 8:36 PM on July 25, 2010


I am just going to choose to ignore the irony involved in the fact that my second-highest favorited comment ever on this site happened yesterday just as I was complaining about favorites.
posted by koeselitz at 9:37 AM on July 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


*snickers*
posted by infini at 9:45 AM on July 26, 2010


This is a very new thread but I think it may be close to what koeselitz is talking about, as far as "intelligent" vs "stupid" comments. The shorter snark is attracting a lot of favorites while the longer intensive comments are not. I think I would be curious to see a time progression on something like this and if maturation made a difference in favorites distribution.
posted by P.o.B. at 9:11 AM on July 28, 2010


Honestly, I've seen many longer comments with lots of favorites that I thought were favorited exactly because they were so long.
posted by grouse at 10:44 AM on July 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think it may be close to what koeselitz is talking about, as far as "intelligent" vs "stupid" comments.

You mean when he said popular => stupid; or when he said he didn't say that, he said stupid => popular; or his real overall implication that popular <> stupid? :)

Anyway, there's a skew at the beginning of threads, and I think it also matters how the post itself is phrased, especially if it's a bit long and can be brought up short with some obvious, easy counter that was brewing in everyone's mind when they read the post anyway.

Let's not play the game of deciding narrowly what favorites should mean ("they must indicate quality or nothing else!") then hunting for a case where they don't mean that ("they don't show it there! QED favorites suck, bitches!"). Favorites mean different things at different times. Sometimes they tell you something about the content of the comment or post. Sometimes they tell you more about the way people read threads. Sometimes they tell you about the personal biases of the readers. I'm not totally sure why it has to be skin off anyone's nose.

Yeah, I guess I don't like it either, when some comment that's massively wrongheaded but well-phrased—and tells people what they want to hear—gets a bazillioin favorites while comments I think are brilliant don't get any (and I especially don't like it when it's one of mine). The conclusion is that MetaFilterians overall are not the wise, even-handed, critical but fair readers I wish they were. C'est la guerre.

But I can't really go from that disappointment to wanting to turn them off, because there's also other cases, like I pointed out above, where I want to see them because they are a positive help. I guess for some other people the worth it/not worth it equation yields a different answer. It just annoys me when the rabid anti-favoriter position can't stop at: "This bugs ME, but it's okay for YOU." No no, what they don't like has to be bad for everybody.
posted by fleacircus at 3:13 AM on July 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


<=>, swine HTML
posted by fleacircus at 3:14 AM on July 29, 2010


fleacircus: “It just annoys me when the rabid anti-favoriter position can't stop at: "This bugs ME, but it's okay for YOU." No no, what they don't like has to be bad for everybody.”

This is a lesson that it's taken me far too long to learn. I have to say, though, that being able to turn off favorite counts helps immensely. It's a lot easier to just ignore favorites completely when I don't have them staring me in the face no matter what thread I'm in.
posted by koeselitz at 7:54 AM on July 29, 2010


(And, well – it really is nicer to leave what other people like up to them. Not to make this all about me, but I believe in free discussion, and I'm not above expressing some opinions I have about how that ought to take place; but at a certain point it's way too easy for me to call up some anti-favorite crusade or start waging a war of words against this or that option with favorites. After a while it's so much better, for myself and for others, if I just let go at expressing myself on the matter briefly and then moving on.)
posted by koeselitz at 7:59 AM on July 29, 2010


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