For The Bestest Most Best'ed Comments Ever November 17, 2011 1:35 PM   Subscribe

Pony: a 'best-answer' kind of highlight on the comment that currently has the most favorites, at any given time, in any given thread. Better yet, what if each comment actually had a "best comment in thread" link next to the "+", and the comment currently with the most votes for "best" would be highlighted in the thread?

I often want to rate a comment "best in thread," the way that I can indicate which is the best answer to my questions in Ask.

Sometimes I flag a comment as 'fantastic,' but I get the feeling that I'm just annoying someone on the other end with this.

In this pony, you could click on 'best comment in thread,' then change your mind, of course, when you get to a comment you like more downthread. The current 'most often considered the best' comment would be highlighted somehow-- like "favorites" filtered into its purest form.

...and "currently most favorites in thread" actually sounds alright, too.
posted by herbplarfegan to Feature Requests at 1:35 PM (58 comments total)

something tells me I'm going to get my pony ass handed to me, but... I'm serious.
posted by herbplarfegan at 1:36 PM on November 17, 2011


Don't you mean "Most bookmarked comment in thread"?
posted by kmz at 1:39 PM on November 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Try on GraphFi for size instead.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:39 PM on November 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Specifically, the "best in thread" comment should be indicated a large animated GIF of the Florida Marlins' new homerun sculpture. Yes.
posted by Wolfdog at 1:39 PM on November 17, 2011 [9 favorites]


It hasn't happened yet. Hm. pb, you're usually a little quicker than this.
posted by Wolfdog at 1:40 PM on November 17, 2011


Since there's probably a 0% chance of this happening, if you want an alternative, you might like the little GraphFi whatsit. It doesn't do what you're looking to do, but it does make it easy to find the most favorited comments/answers in any thread. If you're into that sort of thing. Which it sounds like you are. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
posted by phunniemee at 1:40 PM on November 17, 2011


We're really not in favor of setting up a power law situation where things with the most favorites get more attention in any sort of official way. That said, I use a tool that is mostly a favorites-obscurer that will, in fact, highlight the most-faved comment in a thread. But no, we won't do this officially.

And keep flagging as fantastic if you want to send a note to us. We don't mind it at all and often use the fantastic flags to pull out interesting stuff for the sidebar or podcast.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:41 PM on November 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


It hasn't happened yet. Hm. pb, you're usually a little quicker than this.

Now I keep looking over my shoulder.
posted by herbplarfegan at 1:46 PM on November 17, 2011


Also, mods, please stop deleting words from my comments.
posted by Wolfdog at 1:47 PM on November 17, 2011


Mods, please stop stealing my tomatoes.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:51 PM on November 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Now I keep looking over my shoulder.
nevermind-- "it" referred to your previous comment; I didn't get that at first.

I would try that greasemonkey, but both of my employers use IE.. which is apparently going to mean that I can't do anything on the internet at all "soon," according to most of the websites that I regularly visit.

Thanks everyone.. enjoy the refreshments.
posted by herbplarfegan at 1:52 PM on November 17, 2011


enjoy the refreshments.

Mmm... horse d'oeuvres.
posted by kmz at 1:57 PM on November 17, 2011


Super-favorited comments already get too much attention; there's no need for a new way to highlight them even more. I'd rather have the opposite: a cap on the number of favorites any one comment can get.
posted by John Cohen at 1:59 PM on November 17, 2011


Yeah, this is very much a greasemonkey sort of thing. What you and your browser do behind closed doors is your business.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:00 PM on November 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


Given how much discussion we're having recently on ways to avoid noise and derails, it feels like a system that will largely favor in-early populist one-liners is probably not a great fit for MeFi right now.

There's this one over at userscripts.org as well, which you may be able to make work using some of the ideas here.
posted by kitarra at 2:00 PM on November 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


As you all know first prize is a Cadillac Eldorado. Anyone wanna see second prize? Second prize is a set of steak knives. Third prize is you're banned.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 2:08 PM on November 17, 2011


No. <--- Best Comment in Thread
posted by mazola at 2:11 PM on November 17, 2011


What you and your browser do behind closed doors is your business.

My favorite "Behind Closed Doors." First prize is an old Ford truck.
posted by MonkeyToes at 2:11 PM on November 17, 2011


I often want to rate a comment "best in thread,"

Why? What possible purpose could this serve? Metafilter isn't a grade-school popularity contest or reality TV show; and popularity is never a guarantee of quality.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 2:26 PM on November 17, 2011


What you and your browser do behind closed doors is your business.

You wouldn't believe some of the things my browser checks out while I'm not watching. It's like it has a perverse mind of its own, bent on world domination... among other things.

Or, at least that's what I tell anyone who looks to closely at the browsing history.
posted by quin at 2:39 PM on November 17, 2011


I am constantly amazed at the custom tailoring requested of pb. How will he have time for the really important jobs like raking the maple leaves in my driveway, stirring my oatmeal, etc?
posted by Cranberry at 3:14 PM on November 17, 2011


What possible purpose could this serve? Metafilter isn't a grade-school popularity contest or reality TV show; and popularity is never a guarantee of quality.

Who said it was supposed to measure quality? It's supposed to measure a thread-sized chosm of the MeFi culture.

"I care about favorites less than you do" t-shirts, anyone?
posted by herbplarfegan at 3:32 PM on November 17, 2011


Speaking as a big fan of favorites, and in fact a fan of the gamification elements they bring to metafilter:

I think this is a bad idea.
posted by Tomorrowful at 3:37 PM on November 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's supposed to measure a thread-sized chosm of the MeFi culture.

I have absolutely no clue what this means.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 3:40 PM on November 17, 2011


The chosm that can be told is not the true chosm.
posted by Burhanistan at 3:47 PM on November 17, 2011


Pony: a 'best-answer' kind of highlight on the comment that currently has the most favorites,

[HEAD FRIGGIN' EXPLODES]
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 3:47 PM on November 17, 2011


I hope we do not implement anything like this.
posted by OmieWise at 4:02 PM on November 17, 2011


I think the idea is that cosms come in many sizes. You got your microcosms, your macrocosms, your thread-sized cosms. A chosm is just a Yiddish cosm.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:21 PM on November 17, 2011


A chosm is just a Yiddish cosm.

In that it's had its foreskin removed?
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 4:26 PM on November 17, 2011


Even though I don't think this will ever happen, I'd still like to preemptively request an option in the Preferences to hide it.
posted by box at 4:27 PM on November 17, 2011


To be really clear: no, it will never happen.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:38 PM on November 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


That'd be a catachlosm.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 4:59 PM on November 17, 2011


GraphFi works well in this case if I come late to a long thread.
posted by arcticseal at 5:13 PM on November 17, 2011


Holy fuck this is a terrible idea.
posted by Justinian at 5:56 PM on November 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


What you and your browser do behind closed doors is your business.

I have shut the door now?
posted by cjorgensen at 6:13 PM on November 17, 2011


I have chosm not to participate.
posted by dirtdirt at 7:40 PM on November 17, 2011


I am one of the chosm people.
posted by MexicanYenta at 8:23 PM on November 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is a fantastic idea!







In Bizarro world!
posted by P.o.B. at 9:29 PM on November 17, 2011


Comments
Have
Often
Stultified
Metafilter
posted by mintcake! at 9:37 PM on November 17, 2011


I would like a tool that makes the username of whichever thread commentators have achieved the most favorites lifetime/year/month/day shine and rotate and blink in green/blue/red (respectively) so I know who I should respect and admire because how am I supposed to get popular myself if I don't have a contest to compete in.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 12:32 AM on November 18, 2011


Mods, please stop stealing my tomatoes.

Hah, I guess that's what you told the police, mmm? Thanks, your "tomatoes" were very strong and sticky!
posted by Meatbomb at 1:30 AM on November 18, 2011


While we're discussing terrible ideas, can we calculate an h-index for everyone?
posted by SyntacticSugar at 3:48 AM on November 18, 2011


While we're discussing terrible ideas, can we calculate an h-index for everyone?

We did that a couple of years ago, but with favorites instead of citations. Somebody called it the Genius Index and I ran some queries to calculate it for everyone, and posted the top 20. (Spoiler: "Anonymous" is the winner.)

Perhaps one day we will find an easy way to do that with citations instead of favorites. In which case, does citing my own previous comment here count?
posted by FishBike at 5:38 AM on November 18, 2011


Ah, that's interesting, cheers. I was thinking of favourites more than citations per se. Not sure that data's in the infodump is it? I guess you'd need to parse comment text for intra-site links which doesn't sound like fun.
posted by SyntacticSugar at 6:07 AM on November 18, 2011


I was thinking of favourites more than citations per se. Not sure that data's in the infodump is it? I guess you'd need to parse comment text for intra-site links which doesn't sound like fun.

Yeah, no, the content of posts and comments is not in the infodump so you can't extract a list of cited comments from it. It would have to be done by scraping the site or done by someone with access to the database containing the actual post and comment text, then parsing that for links to comments. Unless there's maybe some extremely clever way of getting a Google search to return that type of link?
posted by FishBike at 6:47 AM on November 18, 2011


Probably the sanest way to do it would be to ask me really nicely. Google would be swiss cheese at best for that sort of thing.

I've thought about doing link analysis stuff a few times, it might happen at some point.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:51 AM on November 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Probably the sanest way to do it would be to ask me really nicely.

But insane ways of doing things are so much more fun!

Anyway, hey cortex, I wonder if you would consider adding this to your already long to-do list? I think if we had something like a list of URLs linked to from posts and comments, plus the post ID (or comment ID, for comments) where the link originates, we could do a variety of interesting analyses with that. Parsing it to figure out what it's a link to seems like the easy part--it's just getting the raw list of links that is difficult for us mere mortals.
posted by FishBike at 7:00 AM on November 18, 2011


Probably the sanest way to do it would be to ask me really nicely.
But I've just started coding up 'CitationBot5000' using LWP, you wouldn't want that work going to waste would you?
This would be cool info to have, as FishBike says. Are URLs stored separately in the DB?
posted by SyntacticSugar at 7:06 AM on November 18, 2011


Nope, I'd just have to turn a script loose on the comment tables and have it parse out links. Not in principle a hard job, just a big one. I'll see what I can do.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:11 AM on November 18, 2011


Specifically, the "best in thread" comment should be indicated a large animated GIF of the Florida Marlins' new homerun sculpture. Yes.

I will put up an honest-to-goodness dollar (USD) for anyone who makes a Greasemonkey script that does this.
posted by griphus at 7:14 AM on November 18, 2011


Not in principle a hard job, just a big one
Maybe internal links would be an interesting subset to begin with?
posted by SyntacticSugar at 7:36 AM on November 18, 2011


Really, what makes it a big job is just the need to sift through all those millions of comments in the first place. And it's big as in "this will take a while to run", is all. So pulling out internal links wouldn't necessarily save much time/cpu since, though I like the idea of setting those aside as a distinct subset for easy study, yeah.

I'll see what I can do.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:46 AM on November 18, 2011


Mission accomplished! Turned out to be a bit less of a bear than expected, I was overthinking things a bit.

So, here are three zip files. The first two are a couple dozen megs each and the last one is about three megs:

links from Metafilter comments
links from Askme comments
links from Metatalk comments

That's all comments on each subsite up through a few minutes ago. The files are tab separated with no headers, and have three columns in each row: the comment id, the post id the comment is from, and the linked url.

Deriving internal-links-only versions should not be particularly hard.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:44 AM on November 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Mission accomplished!

Nice! I have these all imported into a table on my database server right now, and am looking at query output showing all the URLs that start with "www.metafilter.com".

There seem to be several different conventions for linking to threads or comments within threads, so the first order of business is identifying which site, thread, and comment these are all linking to and saving that in a new table for futher analysis. I think I'll put that table online for others to play with (once it's ready), to save them from duplicating the effort there.
posted by FishBike at 3:25 PM on November 18, 2011


Ok, here we have (I hope) the 25 most-cited comments. This excludes cites within the same thread (which seemed more likely to be people quoting each other) and also excludes users citing their own comments.
[113 cites] Ask MetaFilter comment 155715 (in thread "If you killed somebody, how would you dispose of the body without getting caught?")
[87 cites] Ask MetaFilter comment 830421 (in thread "What's the middle ground between "F.U!" and "Welcome!"?")
[64 cites] MetaFilter comment 481380 (in thread "We were not lying")
[45 cites] Ask MetaFilter comment 1305651 (in thread "How do I let someone down easy?")
[34 cites] MetaFilter comment 178067 (in thread "Amazon promotion error: we have cameras.")
[30 cites] Ask MetaFilter comment 902036 (in thread "Dirty Words During Sex.")
[28 cites] Ask MetaFilter comment 728258 (in thread "Woz? More like Was, am I rite?!")
[28 cites] MetaFilter comment 2167675 (in thread "Wow-e: Malthusian Fear Mongering Can Be Annoying")
[27 cites] MetaFilter comment 1714437 (in thread "Neighborhood of Make-Believe")
[23 cites] MetaFilter comment 1640092 (in thread "Alanis' humps")
[22 cites] MetaFilter comment 1588699 (in thread "You're so smart you probably think this post is about you")
[21 cites] MetaTalk comment 230398 (in thread "ParisParamus callout.")
[21 cites] MetaFilter comment 2007979 (in thread "I'm going to kill myself in 90 days")
[20 cites] MetaTalk comment 10042 (in thread "The best case for a MeFi waiting period I've ever seen ")
[20 cites] Ask MetaFilter comment 1155376 (in thread "I have a drinking problem. Now what?")
[20 cites] MetaTalk comment 522395 (in thread "Queuing questions.")
[18 cites] MetaTalk comment 312789 (in thread "A man sodomising a chicken")
[18 cites] Ask MetaFilter comment 573706 (in thread "What is a reasonable offer for a new car?")
[18 cites] MetaTalk comment 40298 (in thread "Why is thomcatspike incomprehensible?")
[18 cites] MetaFilter comment 2063862 (in thread "The Myth of the Media Myth: Games and Non-Gamers")
[18 cites] MetaFilter comment 2153263 (in thread "Boring men?")
[17 cites] MetaTalk comment 73737 (in thread "Comment goes beyond the pale of acceptable comments")
[17 cites] MetaTalk comment 494670 (in thread "Talk hard.")
[16 cites] Ask MetaFilter comment 1415086 (in thread "Fizzled Out on Passion")
[16 cites] Ask MetaFilter comment 1465994 (in thread "How did you find your passion?")
And the same for most-cited posts:
[127 cites] MetaFilter post 19 ("Cat-Scan.com")
[115 cites] MetaFilter post 9622 ("metafilter parody.")
[72 cites] MetaFilter post 85667 ("Hi. Whatcha reading?")
[70 cites] MetaFilter post 46610 ("What's That?")
[68 cites] Ask MetaFilter post 7921 ("If you killed somebody, how would you dispose of the body without getting caught?")
[65 cites] MetaFilter post 10034 ("Plane crashes in to the word trade center.")
[60 cites] MetaFilter post 1142 ("Now this is something I just don't get.")
[50 cites] MetaTalk post 9032 ("Lofi cold fusion error")
[40 cites] MetaFilter post 7819 ("Is it possible that Kaycee did not exist?")
[40 cites] Ask MetaFilter post 7028 ("Can a young man with a knife defeat a grizzly bear?")
[40 cites] MetaFilter post 74487 ("Sarah Palin as McCain's running-mate")
[36 cites] Ask MetaFilter post 27155 ("is an ebay fraud seller free?")
[35 cites] Ask MetaFilter post 78970 ("Trials of a Responsible Hedonist")
[35 cites] Ask MetaFilter post 14668 ("What experience most shaped who you are?")
[34 cites] MetaTalk post 9622 ("Spoonfed used to host a metatalk parody that's gone now")
[32 cites] Ask MetaFilter post 71101 ("What single book is the best introduction to your field (or specialization within your field) for laypeople?")
[31 cites] MetaFilter post 51633 ("This is the new")
[30 cites] MetaTalk post 1403 ("fghdfhdfg")
[30 cites] MetaTalk post 15547 ("GiveWell, or Give 'em Hell?")
[27 cites] MetaFilter post 13147 ("[null]")
[26 cites] Ask MetaFilter post 22130 ("Porn in the woods.")
[24 cites] MetaFilter post 64074 ("Comic Sans")
[24 cites] MetaTalk post 10543 ("Multiple sockpuppets for one user")
[23 cites] MetaFilter post 82199 ("And in a family newspaper!!")
[23 cites] MetaTalk post 18396 ("November is National Let's Try Obscuring Favorite Counts Month")
Finally, if you want to grab a copy of my table of internal citations (which adds the specific site, post, and comment IDs of the targets of the links to the data cortex provided earlier), you can download it from my files page.

The queries involved in all this were a little more complicated than usual, so I doubled my quality-control efforts by having both my cats review the code.
posted by FishBike at 5:23 PM on November 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


Neat!
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:27 PM on November 18, 2011


Awesome list, thanks!
posted by msbubbaclees at 2:34 PM on November 19, 2011


FishBike, I think I love you, but I wanna know for sure. C'mon, hold me tight.
posted by OmieWise at 11:46 AM on November 21, 2011


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