Hey! Guess what happened! September 14, 2010 1:08 AM   Subscribe

Pony Express: in which updates to profiles could be displayed to contacts.

Having recently had my situation change re:employment (I got some of the regular stuff after quite some time of the opposite) I thought the fact my profile had changed might be neat to have as an update for contact activity (on the right side of the FP). Details not necessary, but a change notice could be good.

It is a bit social media, but if it's contacts only it should be unobtrusive. Obviously, it could be used for other than employment situations - but that's a feature. Plus, additional use of the profiles.
posted by Sparx to Feature Requests at 1:08 AM (39 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

Well, we have a feature in Recent Activity that tells you when your contacts add new contacts or post things. It would fit quite well there.

+1 carrot for your pony.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 2:16 AM on September 14, 2010


We could call it MetaBook, or FaceFilter, but please don't call it metaspace or myfilter.
posted by HuronBob at 3:32 AM on September 14, 2010


I want there to be a subsite for people who patch up rusty cars. It would be called MetalFiller.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 3:50 AM on September 14, 2010


I'd like to request that this be limited to mutual contacts.
posted by Solomon at 3:53 AM on September 14, 2010 [5 favorites]


I'd like a status bar showing our current constitution or power, "hit points," if you will. We could call it MettleFilter.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 4:02 AM on September 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


This actually sounds cool, sort of a low key way to keep updated about the person.
posted by nomadicink at 4:09 AM on September 14, 2010


Also, can we have a section for Jewish cuisine? I propose the name MetaGefilte.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 4:17 AM on September 14, 2010 [3 favorites]


What is Jewish Cuisine?

This sounds like a an excellent AskMe question, which can then be picked in EatMe.
posted by nomadicink at 4:29 AM on September 14, 2010


Would it broadcast the changed data or just the fact that you have changed the data?

If the former, you would be able to broadcast messages to all of your contacts by changing your profile repetitively: "X's new occupation: drinks @ Barney's 2nite @ 8."

If the latter, you could still do it, but people would have to check your profile page for a new message every time they saw a notification that you had updated your profile. (To get their attention, could you inject multiple update notices into the queue by updating your profile repetitively?)
posted by pracowity at 4:31 AM on September 14, 2010


I do not like this idea.
posted by Houyhnhnm at 4:40 AM on September 14, 2010


If by some chance this is implemented, I would appreciate an opt-in/out. This is a little too faccebookish for me.
posted by elizardbits at 5:09 AM on September 14, 2010 [4 favorites]


that extra c stands for the caffeine i have not yet had. *sigh*
posted by elizardbits at 5:09 AM on September 14, 2010


I like this idea. For those who don't, there's already that page full of checkboxes that lets you control which type of contact activity you see in the sidebar and which you don't, so this would presumably be just one more of those.
posted by FishBike at 5:20 AM on September 14, 2010


Are there check boxes to make sure contacts don't see our changes? I would like to be able to change little things on my profile page now and then without announcing "Hey! Look at me! Look at me! I changed something!" to every damned contact like it's some big public event. I'd be less likely to put anything there at all if I thought people would be getting telegrams every time I twitched.
posted by pracowity at 5:29 AM on September 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


A lot of people who are interested in such things list their FaceBook profiles on their profile page. It's pretty easy to go to your contacts' pages, find it, and then "friend" them on FB. Then, you can keep up with these sorts of things and every time they level up in Mafia Wars.

(Srsly, I've yet to find a MeFite who denied my "friend" request after I sent a brief note explaining that I am from the internets and I come in peace.)
posted by sonika at 5:37 AM on September 14, 2010


I would like to be able to change little things on my profile page now and then without announcing "Hey! Look at me! Look at me! I changed something!" to every damned contact like it's some big public event.

But..but...how will we keep in contact?!
posted by nomadicink at 5:47 AM on September 14, 2010


I'd be less likely to put anything there at all if I thought people would be getting telegrams every time I twitched.

I may be wrong, but currently there's no way to stop your contacts knowing when you've posted something or when you've added a new contact or when a comment in AskMe has been marked as best answer. Adding to this 'x has updated their profile' might be interesting to some people, and it's so far buried in the menus anyway that you'd have to go out of your way to see it.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 5:55 AM on September 14, 2010


But..but...how will we keep in contact?!

The same way the rest of us do it -- attend every meetup but don't introduce yourself to anyone. Sit in the darkened booth in the corner, pretending to read a book. But you're watching. Oh, you are always watching. and those fools and their cyber lives have never seemed so real and so . . . fragile


/been watching a lot of Dexter.
posted by Think_Long at 5:56 AM on September 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


FishBike writes "For those who don't, there's already that page full of checkboxes that lets you control which type of contact activity you see in the sidebar and which you don't,"

Where?
posted by Mitheral at 6:23 AM on September 14, 2010


If by some chance this is implemented, I would appreciate an opt-in/out.

Doesn't that go without saying? You have total control over what info to see in your contact feed.
posted by John Cohen at 6:28 AM on September 14, 2010


Mitheral: Where?

On the right side of this link.
posted by gman at 6:30 AM on September 14, 2010


gman has it. Recent Activity page, My Contacts tab, checkboxes on the right. Whatever you set there also changes what appears in the contact activity sidebar on the main MetaFilter page. "Updated Profile" could be just another option on that list.
posted by FishBike at 6:34 AM on September 14, 2010


gman writes "On the right side of this link."

Awesome. Besides our profile page is anyone aware of anywhere else where display settings can be fiddled? I'll update the customize wiki page.
posted by Mitheral at 7:11 AM on September 14, 2010


Doesn't that go without saying? You have total control over what info to see in your contact feed.

elizardbits may have been speaking to an opt-out on the broadcasting side, rather than the receiving side.

At first blush I'm not really jazzed about the feature idea; I get the basic notion and see why that could be attractive, but this becomes a potential noise machine if used sloppily or questionably—someone who updates their profile on a regular basis to get eyes on their profile; someone well-meaning but fiddling with their profile several times over an hour to try and spruce it up leading to BROADCAST, BROADCAST, BROADCAST over the short term; user having a bad day who puts a big Fuck You thing on his profile and then makes sure to let everybody know to go look; etc.

Aside from specific questionable use cases, I guess part of what feels weird about it to me is the sense of it being a new and fairly unprecedented method for directly throwing one's self on the contact activity bar (existing methods are pretty much indirect, making a post being a significant act in its own right, getting favorited a bunch being an explicitly second-hand accomplishment, etc) and how that implies potential headaches and some additional mod workload and a new need for us to be more involved in the question of what people can do with their profile pages. At this point we're very pointedly hands-off about the content of a profile page unless it's a really weird exceptional case—someone being abusive or awful there, basically, above and beyond mere obnoxiousness or poor taste. So this kind of suggests a need to police that stuff more aggressively, which is a whole other discussion besides.

That's just my first reaction to the whole thing. I'm curious what Matt and Jess think, and whether pb has any concerns about the implementation side (especially w/r/t any notional opting/filtering addons that'd be required to let people who don't want to be flooded not be flooded, etc).
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:26 AM on September 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think this makes MeFi like facebook and I'm agin' it.

More explicitly, it's a big new change to what the profile page is FOR in addition to how those changes are expressed to other people. I get why people would like it, but I think it's a big enough change to the site without enough direct linking to existing site utility that I'd need a lot of convincing. I sort of like how we basically don't do anything to the profile pages besides let people decide which social sites to put there [and a few text fields] and I like nt having to worry/think about them.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:29 AM on September 14, 2010


What's a facebook?
posted by loquacious at 7:37 AM on September 14, 2010


What if it appeared on the All Activity page, rather than in the Sidebar? That way it wouldn't be too busy, but still be in a central location where one could see all the info at once?

It could also be limited to a few areas, such as occupation, location, birthday and status, im and social apps links (but only when they've added them).
posted by nomadicink at 7:41 AM on September 14, 2010


Besides our profile page is anyone aware of anywhere else where display settings can be fiddled?

There is a trick to add yourself as a contact, so that you can see your own best answers and heavily favorited comments in the sidebar. I think you use the normal "add as a contact" URL but fill in your own userid instead.
posted by smackfu at 7:42 AM on September 14, 2010


I think this makes MeFi like facebook [...]

It does, yeah. I would just like to point out that we already get contact activity entries about contact additions, which seems pretty Facebookesque to me too, in comparison to all the other contact activity types currently implemented.
posted by FishBike at 7:47 AM on September 14, 2010


elizardbits may have been speaking to an opt-out on the broadcasting side

Yeah, exactly this. Various other sites have that "tell everyone you know about your every move, immediately!" option set on as the default and it creeps me out something fierce.
posted by elizardbits at 8:32 AM on September 14, 2010


...and whether pb has any concerns about the implementation side...

We don't currently track profile changes, so that's something we'd need to add. That would add some extra overhead, and yeah, we'd need to add the ability to filter it out and to let people opt-out of broadcasting which means another profile preference. It's all technically possible. I think the site culture questions are harder to answer.
posted by pb (staff) at 9:43 AM on September 14, 2010


I like this idea. I would love to know, say, when one of my MeFi contacts joins Twitter.
posted by grouse at 9:55 AM on September 14, 2010


I would like a subsite for people who read Time Magazine. It will be called MegaFiller.
posted by slogger at 10:21 AM on September 14, 2010


I'd like a subsite for Mefites with unwashed foreskins. We should call it SmegmaFilter.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:14 AM on September 14, 2010


One thing that might help with the BROADCAST BROADCAST issue is if it checked for changes once a day/week/etc. That would require more work probably, maybe I'll send some jelly over to PB to finish things off.

A double opt-in wouldn't be bad. Separate opt-ins for broadcasting and receiving.
posted by theichibun at 12:18 PM on September 14, 2010


I can see all the modly concerns and get where they're coming from. And I appreciate the dangers of it being becoming a 'status update' type thing, and potentially spammy (my example was unfortunately such a updatey type, but that was just because it was the last thing I changed and thus fresh in mind).

I guess I was just thinking about how some people have some quite neat things on their profile page that you normally never see, and how this could be a way to encourage people to check out profiles of others, with a possible feedback loop of more and more interesting profiles (mine is not much to look at, for example, because I can see no reason why anyone would)

But perhaps this is too facebooky an approach. I shall return to my thinking cushion.
posted by Sparx at 2:06 PM on September 14, 2010


I would like a section of the site devoted to posts about cheese. It could be called fetafilter.
posted by lollusc at 5:57 AM on September 15, 2010


I would like a new and improved version of this site. It could be called BettaFilter.
posted by owtytrof at 8:50 AM on September 15, 2010


No, no, BettaFilter is the version devoted to Siamese fighting fish. BetaFilter is the new!improved! version. And of course BetAFilter is the one devoted to gambling and wagering.
posted by Lexica at 12:21 PM on September 15, 2010


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