News feed for comment links on mefi September 28, 2011 7:48 PM   Subscribe

A lot of good links on the blue, green and grey. But some of the better links are buried in the comments section of ask mefi, or even front page. Is there any easy way to have a list of all of the links on mefi as they get posted in comments section come up in a news feed?

This could be done through mefi, or third part site.

Facebook has a feature to search for links only in posters.

It would be neat to see a list of all of the links that get posted in real time to mefi (or any other site for that matter), both front page, back page, and all comments. This would give you a bit of the walking through a library and grabbing a random book feel to the internet. Noting that a gem could be found for every 10 you don't like. Bonus if some sort features were added to the list, (example by mefi page found on, # of favorites, timeline, most clicked [if this is being tracked])

Apologies in advance if someone has already asked the same thing. Flag and take down if someone has.
posted by MechEng to Feature Requests at 7:48 PM (19 comments total)

I think you would find yourself overwhelmed by the quantity. "Drinking from a firehose", as it were.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 7:50 PM on September 28, 2011


Here's a recent question along these lines - pb's response, which I believe applies here, was "Yep, this is something that would need to happen with Greasemonkey or a bookmarklet. We don't have any interest in doing this on the MeFi end of things."
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 7:51 PM on September 28, 2011


previously
posted by jeffburdges at 7:51 PM on September 28, 2011


I know you might call it "drinking from a fire hose" , but picking a random link from a pile (especially from a site like mefi) could lead to some interesting discoveries for the end user. Random book in a library comment, or surfing tv type approach.

Now there is the random button on front page, but doesn't show all of the links elsewhere buried in comments. And a lot of long time mefi users would have seen a lot of the old posts, but not noticed all of the comments, hence tl;dr; approach or most of the comments sections, would be nice to see all links quickly.
posted by MechEng at 8:02 PM on September 28, 2011


I hate almost all pony ideas because I am adverse to change. I will bitch about Facebook changes for days and I only use that to poke my girlfriend. This said, I like this pony.

Just a scrolling list of the links would rock. No context. Just things people thought worthy of posting.

And as far a fire hoses go, twitter's a fire hose and often jump into the public timeline. It's not a matter of trying to drink at that point as it is skimming along the surface and finding shiny things.
posted by cjorgensen at 8:10 PM on September 28, 2011


It would be quite the firehose but I'd ride this pony all over town if it was presented like the old webcrawler search engine scroller.
posted by Mitheral at 8:43 PM on September 28, 2011


We fear change.
posted by drjimmy11 at 8:47 PM on September 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


I will bitch about Facebook changes for days and I only use that to poke my girlfriend.

Back in my day we had to finger our significant others' plan files. If you know what I mean.
posted by kmz at 10:03 PM on September 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Finger and touch.
posted by cjorgensen at 10:05 PM on September 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


We spent many a sultry evening just grepping each other in the dark.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 10:39 PM on September 28, 2011


Greasemonkey looms large in your future like a erm…greasy monkey.
posted by Jofus at 11:04 PM on September 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wouldn't it require a lot of requests to get all those links? Every time you'd want an update you'd have to check all open posts, which I'm guessing are a lot with the length that Ask & Meta posts are open, to see where there are new links posted.
posted by bjrn at 11:23 PM on September 28, 2011


Wouldn't it require a lot of requests to get all those links? Every time you'd want an update you'd have to check all open posts, which I'm guessing are a lot with the length that Ask & Meta posts are open, to see where there are new links posted.

You'd update the list of links whenever a comment is made.
posted by kmz at 11:46 PM on September 28, 2011


This request is different enough from the previous that I don't think it could be done with greasemonkey, at least not in any way that made sense. The previous request wanted to look at a single thread and remove everything that wasn't a link. This request is to look at every single comment across the entire site and pull out just the links. You could do that client side, but it would require periodic polling of many active threads.

All that said, I am kind of meh on the pony in general. I'm not sure there is a qualitative difference between the links that get posted to metafilter and the links that get posted to twitter.
posted by contrarian at 6:56 AM on September 29, 2011


Why not just set up a page similar to the late Puke and Cry's Deleted Thread blog?

You'd definitely want to be able to sort things by time, thread, and subsite (because a lot of Flicr images or strange rashes, weeds and problematic plumbing might tend to dilute the value of such a thing).
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 7:58 AM on September 29, 2011


> You'd update the list of links whenever a comment is made.

And how do I know when & where a new comment is made? Checking all open threads is the only method I know of (or checking the RSS comments feed of all open threads, but it comes down to roughly the same thing).
posted by bjrn at 8:10 AM on September 29, 2011


pb has already said no to HTML scraping:

MetaFilter is made up of user-contributed HTML and we don't validate it in any way. Scraping that HTML for links is going to be a bigger hassle than we want to take on.
posted by desjardins at 8:15 AM on September 29, 2011


And how do I know when & where a new comment is made? Checking all open threads is the only method I know of (or checking the RSS comments feed of all open threads, but it comes down to roughly the same thing).

Oh, sorry. I was thinking in terms of how the feature could be set up from the Metafilter backend. Yeah, doing it externally would be pretty tough. Would probably want to use RSS libs and grab comment RSS feeds as they pop up, obeying the common RSS rules about polling periods and stuff.
posted by kmz at 8:31 AM on September 29, 2011


desjardins: pb has already said no to HTML scraping:

MetaFilter is made up of user-contributed HTML and we don't validate it in any way. Scraping that HTML for links is going to be a bigger hassle than we want to take on.


This would be trivial to do with a setup very similar to the one I use on the backend of mefitaglines. In fact, my spider could be easily tweaked to do just this. I'm just unconvinced it'd actually be useful. We remember all the awesome links in comments, but there are also tons of links which would simply be noise, useless out of context, and they'd be very hard to meaningfully filter out without human curation.
posted by gilrain at 10:20 AM on September 29, 2011


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