Contacts? April 4, 2011 10:30 AM   Subscribe

What are contacts? And what does it mean when someone adds you as a contact?
posted by Leta to MetaFilter-Related at 10:30 AM (75 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

Every morning, I pull a tiny shard of plastic out of a pool of salt water and shove it into my eye. And each evening, I take it out and dunk it in some fresh salt water. I was as shocked as you are the first time someone told me this was a good idea. But trust me, the alternative is worse.
posted by Plutor at 10:32 AM on April 4, 2011 [40 favorites]


Did you check the FAQ for this?
Adding someone as a contact is a simple way to keep track of their contributions on the site. You can have up to 500 contacts. To add a contact, click on the "Add user as a contact" link on their profile page. You can choose what your relationship is with this user, or leave that part blank. If your contacts add contacts that information is visible in the Contact Activity sidebar on the main page. There is no obligation to be reciprocal if someone has added you as a contact. If you have made someone a mutual contact -- you have linked them and they have linked you -- you will be able to tag each other's posts in AskMe and MeFi.

When you add a user as a contact, this information will be visible on your own user page as well as your usercontacts page. Your usercontacts page contains a list of who you have made a contact, who has made you a contact, and posts made by your contacts to MetaFilter, AskMetafilter and MetaTalk.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:32 AM on April 4, 2011


If only you had presented this in a slightly more outraged fashion, by the end of the day you would've had approximately 500 new contacts.
posted by elizardbits at 10:35 AM on April 4, 2011 [16 favorites]


It means you're legally married to Brandon Blatcher.
posted by desjardins at 10:38 AM on April 4, 2011 [25 favorites]


I'll be your Huckleberry.
posted by carsonb at 10:39 AM on April 4, 2011


You can have up to 500 contacts

Says the lady with 689 contacts.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:43 AM on April 4, 2011 [6 favorites]


I never realized that contacts cap out at 500. Suddenly I'm aware it's a limited resource. Should I be more selective? Periodic review? Uh oh!
posted by Miko at 10:44 AM on April 4, 2011



You can have up to 500 contacts

Says the lady with 689 contacts.


Jessamyn gets spread pretty thinly some days.
posted by QIbHom at 10:44 AM on April 4, 2011


I think we upped it to 750 or something, I should go check that.

Also: shut up.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:45 AM on April 4, 2011 [23 favorites]


I never realized that contacts cap out at 500.

This is what killed espousing for me. I had 499 at one point and was pretty pleased with myself, as I sat on a imaginary hill in my mind. "I have more contacts than anyone, I am the king of something, hahaha."

Then Jessamyn used her connections to get the limited upped and zipped right on by, not even bothering to wave.

Then I had 498 spouses.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:53 AM on April 4, 2011 [12 favorites]


In Facebook terms:

Contacts = fans
posted by blue_beetle at 10:54 AM on April 4, 2011


When I add someone as a contact, it either means:

1) I met you at a meetup, yaaaaay!
2) I think you post interesting things or you seem like a cool person, I want to follow you.
or
3) You are awesome and/or hilarious and I want to have your babies.

The #3 case is reserved for very special people like Greg Nog and hermitosis.
posted by phunniemee at 10:55 AM on April 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


Origin: Latin contāctus a touching, equivalent to contāc-

Note: Everyone needs a hug.


Apparently we are being encouraged to touch each other.
posted by backseatpilot at 10:58 AM on April 4, 2011


When I add someone as a contact, it either means:

1) I met you at a meetup.
2) I think you post interesting things or you seem like a cool person, I want to follow you.
or
3) You are a librarian.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:06 AM on April 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Then I had 498 spouses.

Perhaps there should a separate category, just for enspousing. We could call it "harem."
posted by Miko at 11:12 AM on April 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


Generally speaking, I add a contact if someone has made me laugh often enough that I recall their name as "Oh yeah, that person, the one who made me laugh so much last time" - BANG, contacted. Maybe even spoused if I really like the cut of your jib. (or is it gib?)
posted by EatTheWeak at 11:18 AM on April 4, 2011


And what does it mean when someone adds you as a contact?

At a minimum it generally means they think enough of your contributions to track them on the sidebar on the blue. At a maximum, see phunniemee's #3.
posted by bearwife at 11:21 AM on April 4, 2011


Formal announcement of stalking.
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 11:32 AM on April 4, 2011 [4 favorites]


When I first joined I added a bunch of contacts thinking it would help me keep track of people and topics I found interesting. But it turned out not to be so useful for that as the feeds only say things like "Person X had a comment with Y favorites" which doesn't tell me enough to know if it is really worth checking out. Because even people that I share major interests with also post and comment on a lot of other stuff that I'm not interested in.

The most useful thing I've found about contacts so far is when I use the Social Explorer, as it highlights people I might want to follow on other services, like Pinboard.
posted by philipy at 11:49 AM on April 4, 2011


I add people as contacts entirely at random in a desperate bid for populatiry.
posted by shakespeherian at 11:50 AM on April 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


I add any GLBT people I run across as contacts, so that their posts and stuff show up in my sidebar. (If I somehow haven't added you, feel free to add me!)
posted by hermitosis at 11:54 AM on April 4, 2011


in a desperate bid for populatiry.

You'd be more popular if you could spell, you know.

Here is a link to the social explorer.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:57 AM on April 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


Would we really need all these virtual contacts if we got dressed and went "outside" where there are real people?
posted by Cranberry at 12:13 PM on April 4, 2011


For me it's a way of keeping track of people whose opinions/writing/minds/humour I like. And who I happen to have shagged fiercely.
posted by Decani at 12:13 PM on April 4, 2011


Cranberry, what are you talking about? Outside? Real people? Got dressed?
posted by desjardins at 12:18 PM on April 4, 2011 [9 favorites]


Formal announcement of stalking.

You joke, but sadly this is true, for some.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:24 PM on April 4, 2011


LOL Cranberry, like you ever do.... ;)
posted by Lynsey at 12:26 PM on April 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


It was half joking. I've gotten friend and linkedin invites etc. from people who I really don't want in my life, and I could see it being the case here.
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 12:26 PM on April 4, 2011


I keep track of people who keep track of me. And the two MeFi members I know in that real life thing.
posted by deezil at 12:30 PM on April 4, 2011


When I add someone as a contact, it either means: . . .
2) I think you post interesting things or you seem like a cool person, I want to follow you. . .
posted by jessamyn ★ at 11:06 AM on April 4 [+] [!]


Was I the only one the did a quick search of jessamyn's contacts to see if I met the interesting things/cool person criteria (since I haven't attended any meetups with her and am not a librarian)

I didn't make the cut
posted by arnicae at 12:30 PM on April 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


And what does it mean when someone adds you as a contact?

It means you've made the list.

Scrutinize the posting histories of some of us, and really consider if our attention is something you'd crave.

I'm not suggesting that we're all serial killers dressed as clowns, but at the last meetup... three people wearing the same style red-rubber nose? Yeah. Awkward.
posted by quin at 12:34 PM on April 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Would we really need all these virtual contacts if we got dressed and went "outside" where there are real people?"

Of course we would! What's the point if we can't come running back, throw off our pants and tell all our internet friends about our adventures in the wild?
posted by iamkimiam at 12:34 PM on April 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


I just copypasted phunniemee. My #2 is probably more like "You said a crazy/funny thing once and I want to see if you say any more crazy/funny things."
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:43 PM on April 4, 2011


Here is a link to the social explorer.

Oh, neat. I'd never seen that social explorer thingie before. That makes stalking MeFites on Twitter SO MUCH EASIER.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 12:44 PM on April 4, 2011


You'd be more popular if you could spell, you know.

I dout it.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:44 PM on April 4, 2011 [6 favorites]


> You can choose what your relationship is with this user

In spite of all the jokes, I do not grok the difference among the various contact relationships you can choose. And the faq is silent about them. Do they actually affect anything?
posted by jfuller at 1:10 PM on April 4, 2011


No, they don't. There are ways of ... parlaying them into other things. For example, Plutor wrote a Greasemonkey script so that all the users who I have marked as a colleague [i.e. people who I have identified as librarians] can be displayed with a little book next to their username. So, people could build things like this, but to the best of my knowledge no one else has.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:24 PM on April 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Do they actually affect anything?

Not really, for me anyway, it's just a way to distinguish between someone who's writing I really enjoy, and someone whom I've met, who's writing I really enjoy.
posted by quin at 1:29 PM on April 4, 2011 [1 favorite]

If you have made someone a mutual contact -- you have linked them and they have linked you -- you will be able to tag each other's posts in AskMe and MeFi.
That seems a bit strange.

What's the idea behind it? Does anyone do it? Have there been any controversies that came up over people doing it in ways that the original poster found inappropriate?
posted by Flunkie at 1:32 PM on April 4, 2011


Whose fail!!
posted by quin at 1:33 PM on April 4, 2011


Do they actually affect anything?

Yes, they mark my spouse as MINE MINE MINE.
posted by desjardins at 1:34 PM on April 4, 2011


[NOT BLATCHERIST!]
posted by stet at 1:52 PM on April 4, 2011


Contacts are great for finding out the difference between people you've "met" or identify as a "colleague" or "co-worker" from those who identify you as a "friend."

They are brutal that way.
posted by stet at 1:56 PM on April 4, 2011


What's the idea behind it? Does anyone do it?

It was the compromise between letting everyone tag everything and having tagging be some sort of an admin-only thing. People do it sometimes, not terribly often. cortex could probably run the numbers on it.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:01 PM on April 4, 2011


Leta, to clarify: here's why Brandon and others are joking about spouses: He Ain't Ralph.

(tl;dr: St. Alia of the Bunnies had someone spouse her. She posted a MeTa thread asking how she might force them to change the contact status. Eventually, the obvious and predictable community reaction happened and she realized she had miscalculated.

Currently, St. Alia has 22 spouses and is quite good-natured about it. I'm convinced she makes them do all the housework.

Brandon took the opportunity to create a harem.
posted by zarq at 2:02 PM on April 4, 2011


I've not met anyone on Mefi for real. Maybe I should start claiming contacts with anyone who I've done the CD swap with?

Maybe I should get my ass to the next meet-up in my area?
posted by robotot at 2:02 PM on April 4, 2011


I can't go to meetups, the extension cord isn't long enough.
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 2:08 PM on April 4, 2011 [8 favorites]


Does anyone do it? Have there been any controversies that came up over people doing it in ways that the original poster found inappropriate?

A lot of people added tags to the disemvoweled thread a few April Fool's days ago. I can't think of any other memorable times when it has been used.
posted by burnmp3s at 2:12 PM on April 4, 2011


I contact no one.
posted by The Whelk at 2:24 PM on April 4, 2011


I'm shocked that this thread didn't spark a fresh round of enspousening.

This isn't the MeFi I fell in love with.
posted by lekvar at 2:50 PM on April 4, 2011


Not today, my wrist hurts
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:53 PM on April 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


I've not met anyone on Mefi for real. Maybe I should start claiming contacts with anyone who I've done the CD swap with?

Recommended. Some of my first contacts were art-swap people when we were doing that.
posted by safetyfork at 3:56 PM on April 4, 2011


I've enspousenated you, lekvar.

I like thinking about fruits. I'll enspousenate anyone in this thread who makes a haiku or limerick about one or more fruits.
posted by aniola at 4:15 PM on April 4, 2011


This thread reminded me to add the two mefites I've met in real life as contacts.
posted by vidur at 4:26 PM on April 4, 2011


Ripe red tomatoes
Ketchup is a vegetable
But tomatoes fruits
posted by Flunkie at 4:27 PM on April 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


I feel loved
posted by Flunkie at 4:35 PM on April 4, 2011


A nearsighted woman named Vanna,
While seeking to eat a banana,
Accidentally mistook
The fruit for the cook
And instead chowed down on a man--aah!
posted by phunniemee at 4:40 PM on April 4, 2011


I feel loved

Excellent, that means the system is functioning as designed.
posted by Meatbomb at 5:21 PM on April 4, 2011


I feel like I'm being licked by a cat. Should I read you the error message that pops up when I click myself?
posted by not_on_display at 5:24 PM on April 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


Plums, so delicious
Stolen from the fridge today
You should have spoused me.
posted by misha at 6:15 PM on April 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


Meatbomb, that is a
crazy terrible haiku,
syllables are wrong.
posted by jtron at 6:51 PM on April 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


My contacts have to submit a 150-word essay, perform a monologue (1 classical, 1 modern), raise a dairy-calf to adulthood and sell it at market, survive the gom jabbar, and win their regional beauty pageant system's swimwear competition. Needless to say, they are an exceptional and exclusive cabal.
I am now accepting applications for the 10th contact, should anyone feel up to the challenge.
posted by Dr. Zira at 6:54 PM on April 4, 2011


I add people who are either Aussies or who seem into the same stuff i'm into. or who just seem cool. or who add me
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 7:42 PM on April 4, 2011


I feel loved

obligatory earworm-sharing time.
posted by elizardbits at 7:58 PM on April 4, 2011


I am a haiku
Kiwi! Banana! Mango!
How to spouse myself?
posted by aniola at 10:49 PM on April 4, 2011


the thing about hai-
ku is that they aren't just se-
venteen syllables.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:59 PM on April 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


For example, Plutor wrote a Greasemonkey script so that all the users who I have marked as a colleague [i.e. people who I have identified as librarians] can be displayed with a little book next to their username.

I plug it whenever I can: Plutor's Metafilter mark librarian contributions script.
posted by mlis at 11:33 PM on April 4, 2011


There once was a man
from Corfu, whose limericks
turned out like haiku.
posted by nebulawindphone at 8:09 AM on April 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


Ever since I got my first spouse almost exactly a year ago, the internet has never quite been the same again, eh Meatbomb?
posted by infini at 10:33 AM on April 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


cantaloupe is three
pomegranate tallies four
pensive plum, alone
posted by dejah420 at 11:20 AM on April 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Forgive me. It was
delicious. So sweet and so
monosyllabic.
posted by nebulawindphone at 2:56 PM on April 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Here I sit,
Nothing to do,
But lacking the wit
To write a haiku.
posted by Evilspork at 4:18 PM on April 5, 2011


what does it mean when someone adds you as a contact?

That they find you attractive and want to have wild sex with you.
posted by jonmc at 4:44 PM on April 5, 2011


i think of them like Facebook friends, only you don't approve them - anyone can add you? which seems a bit weird
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 11:36 PM on April 5, 2011


I have 193. This displeases me numerically and upsets my sense of balance and unit. Please make it 200 before I pass out on the keyboard and require resuscitation. Thank you.
posted by The Whelk at 12:00 AM on April 6, 2011


« Older Missed out on April Fool's Day?   |   search fail! Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments