Trees of hierarchy are pretty, let's plant some September 3, 2010 2:53 PM   Subscribe

I must organize. My favorites. This house is a pigsty.

I have a lot of different favorites and a lot of different reasons for favoriting them. Life would be so much easier if I had folders to put them in, so I could organize them nicely and not lose stuff in the bottomless abyss of linear recollection. Right now it's like a big hole that I throw stuff in, never to be seen again. Unless I remember specific details about a given favorite, I'll never find it six months later without some serious digging through the mess of stuff that, while great in the right contexts, has nothing to do with what I want at this moment. I know there are tons of things I've favorited that I'd love to see again, but as it is I'm afraid to wade through the random hodgepodge just to find whatever'll scratch my particular itch today.

Maybe I'm just lousy at searching, but I can't find anything on MeTa about folders for organizing favorites apart from this comment from dersins back in 2007 (and timeistight's concurrence thereafter). I haven't seen the topic addressed by the mods. I know it would require some heavy development work, but it would make favorites more useful by several factors.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis to Feature Requests at 2:53 PM (29 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

We'd never do "folders" but we have considered tags before and it's on the maybe someday pile of things to code for the site.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 2:55 PM on September 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


I'm not sure how to organize favorites you've already favorited, even if it's implemented. I mean, how do you identify the comment? the whole comment text? so if I favorite a comment that's 7 long paragraphs it would be called "Comment When in the course of human events, [rest of comment text]?" I mean, I could see putting folders together as useful, but I'm still not sure what you put in them. The comment? the timestamp?

I agree with your motivation, as I won't wade through the things I've favorited either. But I'm just not sure what it would look like.
posted by shmegegge at 2:56 PM on September 3, 2010


Unless I remember specific details about a given favorite,

I'm assuming this means you're using the search tool?
posted by P.o.B. at 2:57 PM on September 3, 2010


Isn't this something you could do on your own computer, using your browser's bookmark system? Load up each favorited comment, bookmark the URL, put in folder of your own choosing within your bookmark hierarchy.

Shouldn't be too difficult. You could even change the title of each bookmark to include keywords or general summary of what it is you've bookmarked. Might even be locally searchable that way.
posted by hippybear at 3:01 PM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


I figured everybody would set up their folders differently, but I might separate mine into categories like "thoughtful," "funny," and "newsworthy," for example. With various subcategories in each to narrow things down further by topic.

If I suddenly remember something I want to see again, I can usually find it again (regardless of whether or not I've favorited it). However, I'm not so good at suddenly remembering things. Favorites are, to me, a way of supplementing my memory so I can rediscover things I once liked but have since forgotten. Unfortunately, since they're all piled into one unsorted box, things don't really work that way very often.

My browser's bookmarks are only available on one machine, but I use several for MeFi, including a mobile phone.

Any particular reason why tags are better than folders?
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 3:03 PM on September 3, 2010



Any particular reason why tags are better than folders?


Yes, that way a thing can have more than one tag and as far as extending the metaphor, it's a lot simpler than something being in more than one folder. You can get greasemonkey to make a little folder icon next to your tags if that makes it easier to digest.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:08 PM on September 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


You have too many favorites. Remove three.
posted by Eideteker at 3:10 PM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


The problem we ran into when we wanted to build this earlier is that we were trying to duplicate all of the delicious.com functionality here. They've been building that site for almost seven years and have a lot of features that have evolved over time. Trying to get to a point where our system is even close turned out to be more than we wanted to tackle.

I wonder if we could instead come up with a way to transfer all favorites to delicious for organization. They have a bulk import system. Maybe we could build a bulk export system in their format. That would give people who need to organize favorites a way to take them offsite and use existing tools.
posted by pb (staff) at 3:14 PM on September 3, 2010 [4 favorites]


I've been thinking about that. There are other delicious clones [my favorite has always been unalog] that migh tbe able to be repurposed into something like this.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:17 PM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm not a huge fan of tagging favorites off the site, but I think exporting them as a batch to delicious would be a good compromise. But could you come up with a way to export favorites as you assign them so that after you've done your bulk export you can still keep adding? Maybe a little "send to delicious" could come up alongside "Favorite added!"?
posted by Mouse Army at 3:19 PM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'd love to see a "Show me a random post/comment I've favorited" feature on the favorites page. Could help a little with the Black Hole effect.
posted by Faust Gray at 3:19 PM on September 3, 2010 [4 favorites]


I'd just like to point out that thus far, nobody has favorited anything in this thread.
posted by philip-random at 3:21 PM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Loving the delicious export idea! I was also wondering (as I was just thinking about this myself today) how hard it would be to use the tags already appended to things to sort by? Like, could I see a list of tags that had been assigned to posts I'd favorited, or tags and categories in AskMe? For favorited comments, I guess you'd have to use the tags from the post. Not ideal, but maybe it would be more doable then adding users' ability to tag favorites. Heck, even just being able to look at my AskMe favorites by category would be cool. I tend to favorite stuff on the blue because it amuses and entertains me, but stuff on the green because it enlightens and educates me.
posted by booksherpa at 3:24 PM on September 3, 2010


Isn't this something you could do on your own computer, using your browser's bookmark system? Load up each favorited comment, bookmark the URL, put in folder of your own choosing within your bookmark hierarchy.

Actually, this would be a huge task and would lose the whole favorites interface (being able to search and see the text, etc.). Bookmarking comments also doesn't work well since the permalink often doesn't go exactly to the right comment.

Same problems exist with delicious. Is there anyone who regularly saves Metafilter comments in delicious?
posted by John Cohen at 3:33 PM on September 3, 2010


pb: "I wonder if we could instead come up with a way to transfer all favorites to delicious for organization. They have a bulk import system. "
I think the bulk uploader still only does text files from the local system...

but they do have a nice API.
  • Examine a favorite.
  • Get the tags for that post.
  • If the favorite is for a comment, add a tag noting it was a comment. Do likewise for posts
  • add whatever other tags might be a good idea (metafilter, the author's name)
  • upload that via https://api.del.icio.us/v1/posts/add?
posted by boo_radley at 3:40 PM on September 3, 2010


Ha! This is great. I was just considering this earlier...asking some Greasemonkey script writers if they wouldn't mind, or if it's even possible to, whip something up that allows you to create tags or folders that pop up when you click [+]. If it could work the same way adding tracks to a MeFi Music Playlist does, that'd be super duper happy making.
posted by iamkimiam at 4:12 PM on September 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


Even easier than using the browser or delicious or whatnot is just to keep a searchable, encyclopedic database of everything cool ever written or linked on the site in your head.

Why are you looking at me like that?
posted by carsonb at 4:15 PM on September 3, 2010


Also, this is totally gonna be another one of those MetaTalk posts that makes everyone go 'Huh, I should clean out my favorites' and I lose like ten precioussses. Isn't it?
posted by carsonb at 4:16 PM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'd favorite that comment to help offset your loss, and file that favorite under Other Random Crap so I wouldn't have it cluttering up my truly important favorites, if I could.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 4:26 PM on September 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


pb: "I wonder if we could instead come up with a way to transfer all favorites to delicious for organization."

That's a cool idea!


boo_radley:
  • Examine a favorite. Get the tags for that post.
  • If the favorite is for a comment, add a tag noting it was a comment. Do likewise for posts
  • add whatever other tags might be a good idea (metafilter, the author's name)
  • upload that via https://api.del.icio.us/v1/posts/add?

  • Also cool. Not sure I'd like to add a whole bunch of new tags to my del.icio.us bookmarks, though. It might be easier to just add the "comment," "post," "author's name" and "Metafilter" tags, then we could organize the rest on our own.
    posted by Kevin Street at 4:37 PM on September 3, 2010


    Ohh, a way to export favourites to delicious would be great.
    posted by Memo at 6:02 PM on September 3, 2010


    I collect and organize comments I want to remember into OneNote notebooks.
    posted by emilyd22222 at 8:42 PM on September 3, 2010


    I don't have this problem.
    posted by unliteral at 10:54 PM on September 3, 2010


    This house is a pigsty.


    i do not like this phrase.
    posted by clavdivs at 6:27 PM on September 4, 2010


    nor a clog of favorites
    with so many MEGAbytes.

    its no wonder
    youll discover
    the answers are
    HERE WITHIN
    IN.HINN.
    this wonderous
    SO MARVELOUS
    THIS GRAND OLD
    BOOK MARK....
    IS SO GLUTT-UNESQUE.

    (curtain falls)

    posted by clavdivs at 6:32 PM on September 4, 2010


    Yes, tags would be great.

    You know what would be great with tags too? Contacts.
    The choices given in the contact form describe the type of "relationship" but tell nothing about the person or the funny thing they wrote or their cool contribution to the site.

    "Tag one another as I have tagged you."

    Tags.
    Tags everywhere.
    Tags, tags, tags.

    I love tags.
    posted by bru at 9:48 PM on September 4, 2010


    > You know what would be great with tags too? Contacts.

    You could install UserNotes, which will let you add your notes to anyone's profile (note: Userscripts seems to be down at the moment, and their version of fail whale is rather amusing).
    posted by Burhanistan at 10:01 PM on September 4, 2010


    I'm a fan of the delicious pony.

    By which I mean I eat horse meat.

    The bookmarks export thing seems like a good idea as well.
    posted by djgh at 6:21 AM on September 5, 2010


    I just got a new ceramic crock and I am very excited to get back home and start a new batch of sauerkraut.
    posted by slogger at 7:33 PM on September 5, 2010


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