Where My (MetaFilter) Homies Is At? July 16, 2011 9:36 PM   Subscribe

Is there a search-for-contacts, find-your-friends feature buried somewhere in MetaFilter? I'd love to see if any other folks that I know are MeFites, and would gladly grant the site temporary access to my GMail address book to find out... if ONLY there were a WAY to DO it!
posted by D.Billy to MetaFilter-Related at 9:36 PM (57 comments total)

Yeah, we have some oauth code working at Fuelly, we should do a "find your twitter/fb/etc" friends thingy that could suggest new contacts.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:41 PM on July 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Are there jetpacks? I'd love to see if any other folks that I know jet around in the air with great freedom, and would grant the site plo chops galore to get a jetpack.. if ONLY there were a WAY to DO it!

*crosses fingers, shuts eyes tight*
posted by carsonb at 9:44 PM on July 16, 2011


Errr, I'm fairly obvioius about who I am on here and everything, but I don't really love the idea of anyone search MeFi for my email address and finding it. Or am I misinterpreting the question?
posted by maryr at 10:02 PM on July 16, 2011 [11 favorites]


(anyone searching. I just don't want my real life friends seeing how many typos I make.)
posted by maryr at 10:02 PM on July 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't have my email address in my profile. If something like this happened, would it expose non-public email addresses too? Because that would kinda suck. If that's the case, I would really want to be warned first that it was going to happen.

(Also, what if folks have a sockpuppet with the same email account--wouldn't that be exposed as well?)
posted by bluedaisy at 10:13 PM on July 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I'm with maryr. If this gets implemented I'd like to be able to opt-out of being found by a drive-by email/Facebook/Twitter round-up.
posted by Phire at 10:14 PM on July 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


Please make this an opt-in feature.
posted by sanko at 10:22 PM on July 16, 2011 [6 favorites]


This is wrong for Metafilter, wrong for America.
posted by Justinian at 10:27 PM on July 16, 2011 [10 favorites]


I'm a parrot on Twitter. No really. Please don't blow my cover.
posted by Splunge at 10:27 PM on July 16, 2011


I don't like this idea. I don't like this idea at all.
posted by crossoverman at 10:48 PM on July 16, 2011


Yeah, please at least make it opt-in. I'm under no delusion that I'm hidden here, but I'd rather not make it button-push trivial for everyone I've ever emailed to connect those dots.
posted by donnagirl at 10:52 PM on July 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


Maybe you could just ask your friends if they are on MetaFilter, and if they say "yeah I love that site" say "awesome, I'm D.Billy on there, what's your username? I'll put you in my contacts", and if they say "no what in the heck is that" then tell them to check it out.
posted by so_gracefully at 10:56 PM on July 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


DO NOT WANT.

Please, pretty please, ask pb to make this a checkbox in preferences.
posted by babby╩╝); Drop table users; -- at 11:00 PM on July 16, 2011


But wouldn't they get confused when it turns out I'm not really D.Billy?
posted by shakespeherian at 11:00 PM on July 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Nooooooooooooooooo. I like being secret!
posted by good day merlock at 11:06 PM on July 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Isn't there already effectively a checkbox for this? "Display email to other members?" is on your profile now. If it's not checked, don't let people search for you.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:08 PM on July 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Isn't there some big 500million member site for friends already? Why not go there if MeFi doesn't fit you?
posted by Cranberry at 11:12 PM on July 16, 2011


Cranberry: "Isn't there some big 500million member site for friends already? Why not go there if MeFi doesn't fit you?"

I think D.Billy's question was, "I wonder if my friend on x site is also on MeFi?" I don't think he's saying Metafilter doesn't meet his needs.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:14 PM on July 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


ohhh yeah, this would really have to be opt in. i know i'm not hidden and that i haven't even really tried to stay hidden, but this is sort of the last thing i have where it's basically not connected to my real life (except for a few friends who already know i'm drinking, drugging, fucking submissive housewife). it's like my last old school internet, pre-social media, please don't make me teach mom how to use it, webpage and i like it that way.
posted by nadawi at 11:19 PM on July 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


I really really would not like this. Very very much. If this happens, please make it opt-in.
posted by stoneweaver at 11:47 PM on July 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'd love to see if any other folks that I know are MeFites

A very good, non-stalker way to do this is to ask them.
posted by Dr Dracator at 11:52 PM on July 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Isn't there already effectively a checkbox for this? "Display email to other members?" is on your profile now. If it's not checked, don't let people search for you.

I agree that if it isn't checked, the e-mail address should not be included in any searches.

However, people checked this box with the understanding that checking would enable another member manually viewing their profile to see their e-mail address. That's a different kind of visibility from their e-mail address being included in side-wide searches for all e-mail addresses on somebody's contact list, and I could see someone opting in to the former wanting to opt out of the latter.
posted by rjs at 12:15 AM on July 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Never trust a user that fav'rites his own post.
posted by BeerFilter at 12:15 AM on July 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I expect D.Billy wanted to make sure he would be able to find his post again. (Note: recent activity is your friend for that kind of thing.)
posted by rjs at 12:38 AM on July 17, 2011


No thanks. I'd rather not have someone I know go, "Oh hey this site looks cool, wonder if she's on here?" and then be able to look through all my posting history.
posted by biochemist at 12:40 AM on July 17, 2011


I kind of dig the idea that we figure out who we want to pay attention to here by having conversations (and watching people have conversations) instead of having a pre-made pack of friends. Sorry for the negativity, but I really dislike this pony.
posted by mintcake! at 12:55 AM on July 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


I'd love to see if any other folks that I know are MeFites, and would gladly grant the site temporary access to my GMail address book to find out... if ONLY there were a WAY to DO it!

Perhaps you can send out an email with "Hey, I'm on MeFi, are you?" to your addressbook? You could also make that your status/tweet on Facebook/Twitter etc.

I hope this doesn't become a MeFi feature.
posted by vidur at 1:20 AM on July 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I have revealed things here which would cause me to have six different kinds of heart failure if they were ever connectable to my real life. If it happens, definitely make it opt-in, please.

(It's bad enough that y'all can read them. Please don't make me explain particular comments to my mother!)
posted by malibustacey9999 at 1:26 AM on July 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


To date, people who have posted vehement opposition to or a desire to make this feature "opt-in" have an average of 17.9 "links to" users and 20 "linked by."

At 4 and 5, respectively, I am in favor of this feature.
posted by 7segment at 2:27 AM on July 17, 2011


One more vote for making this opt-in at both ends. I have hundreds of "contacts" on Gmail, many of them people who've bought something from me on eBay, or who've emailed me when I was an admin on another site. Some of the latter sent me hate mail and threats, I really don't want them finding me here.
posted by Infinite Jest at 2:31 AM on July 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


To date, people who have posted vehement opposition to or a desire to make this feature "opt-in" have an average of 17.9 "links to" users and 20 "linked by."

Yes, and they all happened because of reading their posts and comments at MetaFilter - except for that time Brandon Blatcher spoused everyone and I spoused George Clooney, because hey, why not?

Expanding these "links to" by dragging in people you know on other networks is completely meaningless to my experience on MeFi. Being "linked by" someone who knows me through other networks alone is even worse.
posted by crossoverman at 2:41 AM on July 17, 2011


Add me to the do not want. Not even if I have an email in my profile, that's very different to having it show up in some kind of search.
posted by shelleycat at 3:20 AM on July 17, 2011


Not in favour of this at all.
posted by arcticseal at 4:02 AM on July 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Another vote against. If you do must this make it explicitly opt-in.

But really, if people want another facebook why don't they just go to facebook? Not everything needs to be social. Please do not pander to the instincts of 13-year olds.
posted by epo at 4:47 AM on July 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Please no. I'm already annoyed that Facebook seems to be tracking my every move around the 'net and trying to coax me into sharing every single thing I look at. I do not feel the need or desire to share my every passing thought with everybody I've ever met every moment of the day, never mind all the personal shit I've shared on Metafilter.

I know I'm far from inscrutable on here but if anyone I know cares to sleuth out my MeFi identity I'd rather they had to put a little effort into it, rather than casually push a "find friends" button and become privy to everything I've ever posted here.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 5:02 AM on July 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


I do not want this pony.
posted by Jorus at 5:11 AM on July 17, 2011


You guys, I'm pretty sure this would be something you would have to include on your profile on purpose to allow other members to find you -- as in "go out of your way to add or allow."

Matt would never, ever expose user email addresses in the way you are imagining.
posted by taz at 5:14 AM on July 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


yeah, I'm not a fan of this... either don't do it, or make it explicitly opt-in...

Matt would never, ever expose user email addresses in the way you are imagining.

sure, and that's largely because he isn't evil... but a bit of user feedback like this, from time to time, helps keep everything calibrated...
posted by russm at 5:37 AM on July 17, 2011


I also do not want this. Very, very much.
posted by Andrhia at 6:13 AM on July 17, 2011


I think I'm the only person in the world who uses my screen name. I've had it since I was 13. Everyone who has ever contacted me electronically knows it. My metafilter stuff is easily and immediately available if someone chose to google for it. I'm not hiding here.

But this is not an idea I support. If someone who knows me doesn't know it's me by now, they're not trying hard enough. Adding another voice to the "please provide an opt-out" request if this actually goes through.
posted by phunniemee at 6:52 AM on July 17, 2011


Yeah this is something that really would need to not happen here.

Our relationship with you and your email address is basically: we require you to have one when you sign up, we might use it occasionally to contact you [but even then it's basically optional] and beyond that, your email address is your business. As much as I like the idea of finding even more MeFites I didn't know before, having anything that allows other people access to data that we have said is totally between-you-and-us private is a non-starter. You might find the Social Explorer useful if you want to look for MeFites who you share other social sites with.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:13 AM on July 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Please send this pony to the glue factory.
posted by elizardbits at 7:17 AM on July 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Isn't this a bit circular?
posted by iamkimiam at 7:42 AM on July 17, 2011


Well, I suppose this would be 'opt in' in the sense that you choose which social media platforms to appear in your profile. If you have an "also on" for facebook and twitter, do you really expect them not to link up at some point?

Personally, I have no interest in this profile linking with anything else, but I've kept my profile clean because of it.
posted by Think_Long at 7:52 AM on July 17, 2011


Isn't this a bit circular?

I'm no square, that's a trapezoid and there's no way I'm going to intersect it.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:13 AM on July 17, 2011


I wore my mefi t-shirt to a sporting event yesterday. If another mefite had been there, cool, he or she could have come up to me. It's like the rainbow flag in that way; a signaling device.

I purposely changed my shirt before I went to a family event last night because I don't want people in my life to know about the site.
posted by desjardins at 8:24 AM on July 17, 2011


Yeah, just to make it clear, we would never let you plumb email addresses for matches on mefi, like ever.

Our Social Explorer page already lists every Twitter user on MeFi, and you can find your followers there (it's not on a public google-accessible page, but any logged in user can see these details), so I imagined that doing a real check against your twitter following/followers and our social explorer would be fairly trivial and add a little bit more functionality than what is already there for you to do by hand.

But it's clear people don't want this (mostly it sounds like the email part is frightening which it is, I ignored that request in my response) so it's not likely we would ever even build it.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:05 AM on July 17, 2011


Sounds like the pony is dead, but I'll just say it's not just email that bugs me. The difference for me between social explorer and a "find my 'friends'" link is how explicitly it makes someone come looking for me. For example, my Twitter account is buried among more than 2800 other accounts. Someone who I know in real life who also follows me on Twitter and wonders "hey is Donna here?" will find me. Someone wondering "hey are any of the several hundred people I follow on Twitter here?" probably won't. That's a world of difference.
posted by donnagirl at 9:47 AM on July 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Without friends, there is no need for this pony.

*sobs*
posted by sonika at 10:00 AM on July 17, 2011


I see this as less of a pony and more of a parasprite.
posted by maryr at 12:33 PM on July 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


You people giving "temporary" access to your gmail and other accounts to some website are going to regret it. I bet whole datasets are being downloaded before you change back your password.
posted by CautionToTheWind at 2:28 AM on July 18, 2011


> eponys... meh... whatever...
posted by russm at 4:17 AM on July 18, 2011


If I want my friends to know I'm here I'll tell them about this great website called MetaFilter, thank you very much.

Either that or they will uncover my secret MetaFilter identity when I show up at a meetup.

Aside from any privacy concerns, FB et all seem to use this as a way to market themselves and get people to send automated emails to all of their contacts asking them to join. It's hardly as though the main purpose for those sites is to enable users to have a pony.
posted by yohko at 1:21 PM on July 18, 2011


I would like to be able to search my email contacts for members of MeFi and then to selectively block those MeFi accounts.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 9:51 AM on July 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


eh, hi. I know I'm a little late on this, but as Google+ requires real names, and as I really like the stream I read there from the Mefites who've been willing to either expose their super secret identity, or have gamed the system and as of yet haven't been forced to expose themselves, I'm wondering if there's a way to host some sort of blind index that could allow myself and others to know which people Google is suggesting I add to my circles, are actually Mefites, or some other way to allow mefites to connect there? I can't think of how to do it, and it kind of reminds me of the time my wife asked me to help with a file on her desktop and I freaked her out by fixing from my own laptop, and she asked how I did that, and I told her it was easy because she never changed her password from the one I set-up for her when I gave her her computer, and then she asked me why I couldn't just set her password to something I didn't know... but I suppose it's possible. Is some sort of blind index possible? As I imagine it I could type in X member, and the index would notify X that I wanted to add them to my metafilter circle, and then they could add me or email me, or something like that. Could or would that work?
posted by Toekneesan at 5:21 PM on July 20, 2011


I'm not sure I'm understanding what you're saying, Toekneesan. Would it work like this?

1. You type in "desjardins"
2. The index looks up desjardins, finds a match for Jennifer _______ on Google+
3. I get a notification Toekneesan (Tony _________) added me (you don't need my permission & I can't stop you)
4. I add you or not.

I don't know how it would be implemented - it'd have to be an opt-in thing because lots of people wouldn't want their mefi names associated with their real names. Someone would have to maintain the index, so that person would need to be trustworthy.

Anyway, the way I'm doing it now is that my username is in my G+ profile under "other names," and that field is only visible to people in my mefi circle. If you don't already know my real name, I don't know how you'd find me there.
posted by desjardins at 9:16 AM on July 21, 2011


Maybe it would need two fields, your user name and my real name, or at least my G+ name, and it emails that to you. Then you could ignore it, or you could search for me on G+ and add me. I don't know how I might always know if the person who just added me was good ol' desjardins or even a mefite, other than then I could see your other names in your G+ profile where your user name might be, or just the word Metafilter, so this scheme clearly needs work. So far, when someone I don't know adds me I just look at common contacts, and if Matt's there, or Pjern, or other folks I know from here, then I add them to my Mefi circle. But that doesn't seem like a particularly targeted effort. In fact, it's more of a response to someone else's effort.

Of course after I asked the question I realized I could just memail a person, "Hey, what's your G+ name?" but it seems kind of stalky, and how would I know who even cared about G+, let alone hung out there. I just think I would enjoy the Metafilter community there too. But what with their real names policy, and Metafilter's any name policy, I don't know how else I might find mefites, or know the mefites among those that Google's suggesting.
posted by Toekneesan at 5:29 PM on July 21, 2011


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