help with managing my blue/green addiction^H^H^H habit? February 17, 2011 6:21 PM   Subscribe

My question is how do you manage meta and askmefi? I use RSS for both and given the "living" nature of the threads, I always feel like I'm missing something if I read a thread too soon so I usually whittle the queue down leaving the 100 most recent threads unread. But then I feel like I'm missing out on the more time-sensitive stuff.

So I'd like to know what the habits of "regular" mefites are? Do you lay eyes on every thread title/summary and delve in occasionally? Do you watch the RSS numbers run up and declare mefi-bankruptcy every 3 months?

I'm not really as obsessive as this question makes me seem. I'm just really curious about the reading/browsing habits of regular mefites.

Apologies if this has been covered before.
posted by screamingnotlaughing to MetaFilter-Related at 6:21 PM (12 comments total)

You know about MyAsk, right? I just read the site from top to bottom [outside the more inside unless there's something I can answer, or flags] but I spend more time here than the average MeFite.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:29 PM on February 17, 2011

I read it some days, and some days I don't. Sometimes when I read it I post responses, sometimes I don't. Lately I've been using the search function more, instead of googling things. It's pretty angst-less.
posted by headnsouth at 7:33 PM on February 17, 2011

I skim all of the "above the fold" stuff and then click for the threads and questions I'm really interested in. I usually manage to get through most of it in the course of the day/night, but if I miss something I've learned to just let it go. I figure if something really amazing or appalling happens, I'll read about it in MetaTalk.
posted by amyms at 7:37 PM on February 17, 2011

I'm subscribed to Mefi, AskMe, MeTa, and Projects through Google Reader, and check the queue there periodically throughout the day. I have it set to list view, which displays the titles and opening words of about 30 threads at a time on one screen, and have the Google Reader Preview userscript for Greasemonkey installed which loads the full page in a frame within Google Reader when a thread title is clicked. GR tracks the read/unread status of threads automatically, which is convenient.

For AskMe, I'll only open a thread if it looks like something I can help with or if I'm interested in learning the answer myself. According to GR's stats, that only amounts to about a quarter of all questions.

I try to read the other subsites more completely, though there's a lot of skimming involved. A lot of threads are either short or about something that doesn't interest me, so a quick skim usually takes care of them. For longer discussions that don't necessarily grab me (like the recent Apple one) I'll skim using favorites as a rough guide just to hit the high points. If the thread topic is really interesting to me, I'll try to read it all in chunks during my free time. And I also subscribe to Popular Comments feed so I don't miss any awesome comments from threads after I've already read through them.

Recent Activity is handy for quick updates on the threads I'm actually participating in, and I use GR's star system to mark threads that have interesting content which will take some time to delve into. Like browser bookmarks, this tends to leave such threads unread for weeks or months, but it's nice knowing I can go back to that material when I have time, even if I never actually do it. :P
posted by Rhaomi at 7:58 PM on February 17, 2011

I was off the web for a month (except a sneak peak once in a while) recently. When I came back, I just went through the Sidebar and MyAsk. That was enough for me. YMMV.

During my regular browsing, I keep looking at Recent Activity and MyAsk. I scan the Blue and Grey several times through the day, but don't read every AskMe.
posted by vidur at 8:04 PM on February 17, 2011

I used separate windows with tabs in them for nearly all my browsing. For MetaFilter, I have a window open with tabs only of the Blue, and a second window with tabs only of the Grey. On those occasions that I look at AskMe, all that activity goes into a new window. Unless it's only one question I'm looking at, in which case it goes in with the Blue.

The new "X new comments" feature has made my life much more wonderful with this kind of browsing habit, actually.

I couldn't possibly imagine trying to keep up with 100 MetaFilter threads of any stripe. I usually run 10-20 Blue threads which I'm actively reading (some of them many days old), not nearly so many for the Grey.
posted by hippybear at 8:31 PM on February 17, 2011

I check Recent Activity every so often and when I have time, check the green and the blue, and comment to get threads into Recent Activity. I should probably put the blue, green (or at least My Ask) and grey into Google Reader, but my upper limit on feeds might do that in. I keep a pretty strict limit to keep myself from getting overwhelmed.
posted by immlass at 9:31 PM on February 17, 2011

I read questions when I come to them. For the tiny minority that I want to follow further and haven't commented it, I'll favorite them and follow them through Recent Activity on My Favorite Posts.
posted by grouse at 9:56 PM on February 17, 2011

I read all of MeTa. By that time, my spare time is usually gone, so that's often as far as I get, unless something comes to my attention via MeTa, Facebook or MeCha. My next port of call if I have time is AskMe.

To answer your question, I don't really manage it at all, I just do it as and when I can according to my personal priorities. I remember the days when I could (and did) read every single word on (then) both areas of the site. Ah, the golden age of MeFi, I remember it well*.

*clearly, my memory is faulty, as this never existed
posted by dg at 10:54 PM on February 17, 2011

I've managed MeTa and AskMe by having no social life and a constantly overflowing inbox at work.
posted by Metroid Baby at 4:51 AM on February 18, 2011 [1 favorite]

A prerequisite for my method is that you install Plutor's Mefi Scroll Tag Script. It would *mostly* work without it, but it's what I use to keep track of the actual number of comments "new" to me. (Basically, changes the definition of "new" from "Since you last visited the main page of this subsite" to "You haven't read it.")

1. Go to the MeTa recent comments page. Open all threads I'm interested in with new comments in new tabs. (Generally all of them.)
2. Go to Ask. Note the # of new threads, and browse through that #, opening any interested in reading in new tabs. If you have 127 new posts, you have to go through 3 pages and a bit of the fourth before running into the questions you've already viewed. (40 posts per page.)
3. Repeat for all other subsites. (Note that MeFi has 50 per page.)
4. Open Recent Activity, catch up on any previous threads.
5. Start clicking through all of the open tabs, reading them, and commenting or leaving a favorite if I want that thread to show up in my Recent Activity.

Rinse, repeat. If I go for more than a few days without reading, I'll often declare MeFi bankruptcy and not attempt to catch up, but this is pretty rare. By making a habit of reviewing the entirety of the site each time I visit, I rarely get caught up in flame wars, because the flaming moves faster than the full review.
posted by SpiffyRob at 7:55 AM on February 18, 2011

I've managed MeTa and AskMe by having no social life and a constantly overflowing inbox at work.
I thought that went without saying for all of us.
posted by dg at 6:14 PM on February 18, 2011

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