me-fi "new" flag doesn't seem to work right. September 7, 2010 11:08 AM   Subscribe

The "New" Flag doesn't seem to be working right for me. A typical day in the life of Stagger Lee: I'll read a thread, leave and come back. Now it says "25 new!" Oh good! 25 posts to read! I'll read them and go back to the main page. But oh no! It still says "25 new!" And from there, the "new" number seems to grow, but rarely shrink. In short: the "new" flag doesn't seem to notice when I've actually read a post, and just displays all recent activity as new. Is this a browser problem? A me-fi problem? A mental problem? Thanks!
posted by Stagger Lee to Bugs at 11:08 AM (28 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

It's mysterious to me too, but I think it's some combination of time elapsed and closing your browser.
posted by Trochanter at 11:16 AM on September 7, 2010


It's like a game to me - did MetaFilter start the clock again? Let's go see!
posted by Mister_A at 11:19 AM on September 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


If I close my browser (Chrome) and come back, then the "new" flagging works properly. Closing the tab and coming back never seems to work right.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 11:21 AM on September 7, 2010


The "New" counts are a guess at best. Last time this came up I explained how it works on our end. The New counts are based on server session times and are reset when your browser session ends. Otherwise the New counts stay the same as you click around the site. We don't track what you've read and what you haven't. It's all based on a best guess of your last visit time.
posted by pb (staff) at 11:22 AM on September 7, 2010


Thanks for the feedback.
It irked the professional quality assurance part of my brain. (The part that's supposed to be working, when I'm actually browsing mefi. doh.)
posted by Stagger Lee at 11:22 AM on September 7, 2010


I deal with this by glancing at the number of posts for each thread I visit, carefully noting that number (on a tasteful bright pink post-it, perhaps) and then realizing that without also carefully noting which number belongs to which thread, this information is USELESS.

Which is why I read threads from the bottom up, after my initial read through.
posted by punchtothehead at 11:24 AM on September 7, 2010


A typical day in the life of Stagger Lee: I'll read a thread, leave and come back.

I can see why they felt compelled to embellish in the songs.
posted by enn at 11:24 AM on September 7, 2010 [19 favorites]


I can see why they felt compelled to embellish in the songs.

The last century has been a downhill grind that way.
posted by Stagger Lee at 11:25 AM on September 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


I find that my "new" count only works when I go to the main page and click through to the thread from there. If I've reloaded the thread a few times, then go to the main page, it tells me the "new" count from the last time I hit the main page, not the last time I loaded the thread. (I'm using Firefox 3.6.7 in Win7, if that matters.)
posted by shamash at 11:27 AM on September 7, 2010


Until M'eyetaFiler Eye Tracking comes online, we're just going to have to trust the numbers, and re-read the comments if necessary.
posted by blue_beetle at 11:29 AM on September 7, 2010


I think you might have inspired a music project.
posted by Trochanter at 11:29 AM on September 7, 2010


There really are that many new posts, we just hide them from the noobs.
posted by phunniemee at 11:29 AM on September 7, 2010


Plutor's MetaFilter Scroll Tag userscript uses javascript to make these flags more useful. It's more or less Eye Tracking for MetaFilter, and super useful. Install with Greasemonkey on Firefox, or as an extension on Chrome.
posted by yaymukund at 11:33 AM on September 7, 2010


I find that my "new" count only works when I go to the main page and click through to the thread from there.

True, we only set/reset your last visit time on the front page tabs of each site, not threads.
posted by pb (staff) at 11:35 AM on September 7, 2010


True, we only set/reset your last visit time on the front page tabs of each site, not threads.

The question is, what horrible thing will happen if you don't?
posted by zarq at 11:40 AM on September 7, 2010


Perhaps the count should emphasise the vagueness:

"About 20 new"

"A few new"

"Several dozen new"

"Roughly 50 new"

"100-ish new"

"I know what you're thinking. 'Are there new comments or aren't there?' Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kind of lost track myself. But being as this is Metafilter, the most powerful community weblog in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?"
posted by Electric Dragon at 12:11 PM on September 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


I've noticed the same thing. It tells me there are new comments but they are usually ones I've already read, it's sort of like a roll of the die whether or not it's accurate.
posted by 1000monkeys at 12:14 PM on September 7, 2010


According to Nick Cave and many others, that certainly is not a typical day in the life of Stagger Lee.
posted by Brainy at 12:16 PM on September 7, 2010






Perhaps the count should emphasise the vagueness:

"About 20 new"

"A few new"

"Several dozen new"

"Roughly 50 new"

"100-ish new"


Sure is a nice day outside"

"2 New Comments, but nothing to get upset over."

"Don't you have other things to do?"

"Did you remember to pick up the vinegar?"
posted by The Whelk at 12:34 PM on September 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


"Quite a few"

"A great number"

"A metric fuck-ton"

"just a bunch of stupid dots."

"No one likes your post -- forget it"
posted by Devils Rancher at 12:48 PM on September 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


Perhaps the count should emphasise the vagueness:

A GRAR meter would be nice:

"Caution: Contains cutesy-wootsy kittens"
"Hugbucket alert"
"The coast is clear"
"Caution: People are being snippy"
"Caution: Mods Monitoring"
"15 16 17 MANY people have FIAMO."
"DON'T GO IN THERE!"
"Just walk away, dude. Walk away."
posted by zarq at 12:49 PM on September 7, 2010


Maybe it could just offer an interesting number-theoretic fact in the parentheses. Like...

posted by 0xFCAF at 3:33 AM - 150 comments (38 is a semiprime, that is, a product of two primes) +
posted by Wolfdog at 1:45 PM on September 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


Have to say, I prefer the other sites that do manage to track per-thread last-viewed-comment. It changes the "New" link from useless to something I regularly use.
posted by smackfu at 1:57 PM on September 7, 2010


yaymukund: "Plutor's MetaFilter Scroll Tag userscript uses javascript to make these flags more useful. It's more or less Eye Tracking for MetaFilter, and super useful. Install with Greasemonkey on Firefox, or as an extension on Chrome"

I don't know how I got by on this site before I discovered this a while back in another similar metatalk thread. Thanks Plutor, you rock!
posted by Grither at 3:54 AM on September 8, 2010


"A pantsload of new comments"
"A bucket of comments."
posted by nevercalm at 7:45 AM on September 8, 2010


New counts no longer seem to be following me from machine to machine.

What I've read at work is no longer appearing as being read from my home machine (I'm almost certain that it use to work)
posted by Mick at 2:20 PM on September 9, 2010


We haven't changed anything with the way we handle New counts. You might make sure you're browsing to the front page of the various sites on each machine. That's where we set your last visit time.
posted by pb (staff) at 2:25 PM on September 9, 2010


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