Single Comment URL's August 19, 2011 4:58 AM   Subscribe

Single Comment URL's

I sometimes find myself needing to link to a specific metafilter comment. I realise that I can link to the comment within the main post, but it would be nice (on occasion) to link to a page containing nothing but the comment.

e.g. http://www.metafilter.com/comment/3877622

Is there any way to do this? If not, could I add this in as a feature request?

I mocked a screenshot of how I see this.
https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/_2RkG5pZ0YKHkfT8xvbpdQ?feat=directlink
posted by seanyboy to Feature Requests at 4:58 AM (43 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

Screenshot Link, actually expressed as a link.. I'm an idiot.
posted by seanyboy at 4:59 AM on August 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


I realise that I can link to the comment within the main post, but it would be nice (on occasion) to link to a page containing nothing but the comment.

Not sure how/why it would be useful to link to a comment with no context whatsoever.

PS: You read Mefi in comic sans?
posted by babby╩╝); Drop table users; -- at 5:05 AM on August 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


You mean by adding another script that we have to enable to read the content on the front page? I kind of like the relative shortage of that stuff around here.
posted by Ahab at 5:09 AM on August 19, 2011


Decontextualization is the root of all evil.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:14 AM on August 19, 2011 [11 favorites]


Comments out of the context of the conversation seem like a bad idea to me. Although it seems like displaying just the one comment is something that would be possible with Greasemonkey.
posted by COD at 5:17 AM on August 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


So you want it without even the text of the original post? Can you give an example of one time you've ever needed this and a link to the comment in-thread wasn't appropriate?
posted by Plutor at 5:25 AM on August 19, 2011


> You mean by adding another script that we have to enable to read the content on the front page?

As an aside, if you're running NoScript or something I think you can just allow the whole mefi.us domain rather than do it piecemeal for site components.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 5:27 AM on August 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh, I get it now. This pony request is for something like a pithy quote page-a-day kind of thing, yes?
posted by Horselover Phattie at 5:28 AM on August 19, 2011


Did you just use Balsamiq for a pony request? That's awesome!
posted by Jpfed at 5:31 AM on August 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


plutor & babby╩╝); Drop table users;:

There's two recent situations where I wanted to link to a comment with no (or minimal context)

1) http://www.metafilter.com/105009/Bono-pay-up#3783174

2) http://www.metafilter.com/106641/I-need-ya-Decks-This-is-a-bad-one-the-worst-yet-I-need-the-old-blade-runner-I-need-your-magic#3877622

I know this wouldn't be useful fdr all comments & yes - decontextualisation is bad, but now and again it's something I would like to use.

I don't think this is a useful feature for people to make references for other metafilter contributers. I think it's more useful for showing non-mefi people pithy metafilter quotes.
posted by seanyboy at 5:34 AM on August 19, 2011


Another issue is that if you create a link to one of the bottom comments of a thread, it's not immediately apparent which comment is linked.
posted by seanyboy at 6:01 AM on August 19, 2011


I see no harm with keeping the comments made on Metafilter in the context in which they're written.

I see plenty of possible harm in taking those comments out of the context in which they're written.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:26 AM on August 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


It would be kind of nice if when you opened a link containing a named anchor (i.e. the part from the hash symbol onward) it highlighted the comment referred to by the anchor. That would neatly resolve some of these issues without necessarily introducing a lame pony to the herd.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 6:28 AM on August 19, 2011 [12 favorites]


We don't have any single-serving comment view, no, and don't have any specific plans for one. In the odd cases where you want to highlight a comment specifically out of context, probably the best thing to do is to feature it in a little blog post with a link to the comment in the thread therein, and pass that post around to the people you want to show it off to. That way you've got full control over the presentation, you've got a link to the actual context, and it's immediately clear that your own presentation of it is out of context.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:55 AM on August 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


I just want to say that Balsamiq mockups rocks.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 6:55 AM on August 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


le morte de bea arthur, there is probably an issue with that due to the way best answers and OP answers are marked in AskMeFi. Another highlighting scheme is probably not the solution for this problem.

Personally, I can see the lack of context being a problem as far as how the site generally operates, but I wouldn't see it as an issue at all. I'm sure I'm not the only one, but I actually operate with MetaFilter mostly through RSS, which includes the Popular Comments feed. This particular feed gives absolutely no context to the comments contained within, and for a large number of them, no context is even required (though this does include the fact that I sometimes have already read the thread or even contributed to its popularity via favorite). If I find that I need more context, I click through to the thread itself and start there. There are many threads I've skipped over in the feed due to idiotic headlines but then read due to one or two insightful comments.

That said, I'm not entirely sure the use-case for this is worth the amount of work/thought required - I mean, where does a link to said comment page go? I think the default link when you click on the timestamp should go to the comment in context. Even if the page is 90% canned headers and such, is it worth creating a new page for each subsite?
posted by mysterpigg at 6:57 AM on August 19, 2011


cortex : I considered this, but didn't want to step on any toes vis-a-vis copyright. I'm assuming that copyright does exist on comments and it stays with the original author. But, thanks for the answer.
posted by seanyboy at 7:11 AM on August 19, 2011


Copyright does indeed exist and remain with the comment's author, but attribution and a link go a long way toward making it clear you're not doing anything weird, so copyright issues are deeply unlikely to come into it if your follow that basic form. The author can always contact you directly if they have a specific objection.

We'd be more worried about someone systematically scraping the site and republishing the content without context than about people highlighting a comment here or there, which is totally fine.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:25 AM on August 19, 2011


Thanks. I'll go with that then.
posted by seanyboy at 7:32 AM on August 19, 2011


le morte de bea arthur writes "It would be kind of nice if when you opened a link containing a named anchor (i.e. the part from the hash symbol onward) it highlighted the comment referred to by the anchor."

That would be nice.
posted by Mitheral at 7:35 AM on August 19, 2011


Since this is settled, and since it'd be too thin for its own post but is really, really fun, here's Rick Perry's Texas A&M transcript. Please note the only 'A' is in World Military Systems. Read what you will from that. Also of note, the 'D' in Feeds and Feeding. What if we get hungry?
posted by item at 8:01 AM on August 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


mysterpigg: Personally, I can see the lack of context being a problem as far as how the site generally operates, but I wouldn't see it as an issue at all. I'm sure I'm not the only one, but I actually operate with MetaFilter mostly through RSS, which includes the Popular Comments feed. This particular feed gives absolutely no context to the comments contained within, and for a large number of them, no context is even required (though this does include the fact that I sometimes have already read the thread or even contributed to its popularity via favorite). If I find that I need more context, I click through to the thread itself and start there. There are many threads I've skipped over in the feed due to idiotic headlines but then read due to one or two insightful comments.

I was gonna make the same point. These single comment pages sort of exist, as RSS entities (example). They link to the thread itself but I sometimes see comments from MetaFilter zipping through Google Reader, most of the time from the Popular Comments RSS, but sometimes just from single-thread RSS feeds. That's just a feature of how RSS works, however and not something that MetaFilter does.
posted by Kattullus at 8:04 AM on August 19, 2011




Since this is settled, and since it'd be too thin for its own post but is really, really fun

This has nothing to do with the thread and is sort of bait for a GRAR discussion about Rick Perry. Please don't.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:15 AM on August 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


You can have my decontextualized comment when you pry it from my cold dead hands.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:37 AM on August 19, 2011


I hope to Christ no-one decontextualises my non-sequiturs.
posted by Abiezer at 9:48 AM on August 19, 2011


I think it's more useful for showing non-mefi people pithy metafilter quotes.

My non MeFi people look at me like I am cccraaaazzzy if I say anything about the site, or make references to anything like "hanging out" on a website, a place that is not a place. My one mefite friend and I, though, will have side conversations at parties about specific threads and comments.
posted by sweetkid at 10:19 AM on August 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'd like to suggest that this person and this person swap boyfriends. Is this the place to suggest that? Do I need a mockup?
posted by Ad hominem at 11:15 AM on August 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


I have definitely been confused by links to comments near the bottom of a thread (where my scroll bar bottoms out before the comment gets to the top). So I love le morte de bea arthur's suggestion to highlight the linked comment.

So it doesn't get confused with askme's best answers or OP comments, it'd need to have some distinctive markup. I recommend a combination of blink, marquee, comic sans, and a classy tiled background image. If that's too hard to implement, though, something sort of like this might work. (I'm bad at css so the margins aren't right, and it's probably "ugly" code.)
posted by aubilenon at 11:22 AM on August 19, 2011


I know this is a lot less exciting, but the existing solution for making it clear what comment you're linking to in the case of a bottom-of-thread comment is to just provide a little context: "this comment by foo" rather than "this comment" would do the trick.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:25 AM on August 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


So that little mock-up is in something called Balsamiq? It's so cute! Well done, that man.
posted by misha at 11:32 AM on August 19, 2011


Well, it doesn't actually work, but I made something that did what I want.

It's all JS, so feel free to download and use it.
posted by seanyboy at 11:50 AM on August 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


aubilenon: "I have definitely been confused by links to comments near the bottom of a thread (where my scroll bar bottoms out before the comment gets to the top). So I love le morte de bea arthur's suggestion to highlight the linked comment. "

Graphfi does something like this. Sort of.

Also, I use Plutor's greasemonkey Mefiquote script.
posted by zarq at 11:54 AM on August 19, 2011


PS: You read Mefi in comic sans?

To be honest, I'll be it helps.
posted by hal_c_on at 12:17 PM on August 19, 2011


This has nothing to do with the thread and is sort of bait for a GRAR discussion about Rick Perry. Please don't.

I did. Oops. Where the hell were you at 10:00 am CST?
posted by item at 2:03 PM on August 19, 2011


"Single Comment URL's" what?
posted by Crabby Appleton at 3:30 PM on August 19, 2011


The use of an apostrophe before the plural s when it comes to acronyms has been accepted in English since God was in short pants. That said, I actually say "url" instead of "u arr ell" so my tendency would be to spell the plural URLs.
posted by Kattullus at 8:50 PM on August 19, 2011


Kattullus: "The use of an apostrophe before the plural s when it comes to acronyms has been accepted in English since God was in short pants."

NOT ON MY WATCH.

*smites Kattullus & OP with the great smiting hammer of grammar and spelling*
posted by IndigoRain at 8:55 PM on August 19, 2011


Don't make me draw my Vorpal Sword of Descriptivism, you Prescriptivist fiend!
posted by Kattullus at 9:00 PM on August 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think it's an awesome idea. For example, there was an epic hipster explanation comment that I love linking to, and there are a few 'comment fables' and mini-essays that easily stand alone.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 9:42 PM on August 19, 2011


Is this where I state that I wish pinboard.in would bookmark links with #things on them properly? I have to always edit the link address when I want to bookmark mefi comments and it makes me sad. Single-page comment links would help but I should probably really be bitching at the pinboard people.
posted by marble at 10:54 PM on August 19, 2011


Imho, that works on twitter where nothing makes sense in the timeline anyway but here, we need context.
posted by infini at 2:59 AM on August 20, 2011


Well, it's there for people now if they want it. I need to rewrite it so it uses the "New Comments" interface (less bandwidth for metafilter), and I may see if I can create a bookmarklet / documentation.
posted by seanyboy at 3:41 AM on August 20, 2011


« Older Spam!   |   Flag, you're it. Newer »

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