Thread bookmarking for recent activity November 19, 2011 9:39 AM   Subscribe

Recently active pony: Is there a way to see recent activity since specific, non-self comments? Or some other way to bookmark threads?

I'd like a way to "bookmark" threads & have a page showing me the most recent comments since someone else's comment, much like the way the recent activity on my posts & comments shows the most recent comments since my last comment.

Does such a thing exist? It seems the recent activity on my favorites only shows the most recent comments on favorited posts, not comments... If not, can we have one? (In which case it might be better to have a bookmarking mechanism that's distinct from the favoriting mechanism.)
posted by Westringia F. to Feature Requests at 9:39 AM (15 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

I believe there is a third-party greasemonkey script that specifically does this. There's no built-in function on the site for it, and we don't really have plans for one.

The main thing driving that is that while it's a great thing to solve client-side—each person using the script stores a little bit of information on their own computer pertaining to their personal progress in whatever threads they've been dipping into—it's not so great as a server-side thing because we're suddenly having to track the reading habits of tens of thousands of users.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:46 AM on November 19, 2011

It's not as slick as the "Recent Activity" tab, but why don't you just favorite the last comment you read and then go back to check manually? That's probably your best option, because this feature would significantly clutter up the recent activity tabs of those who don't use favorites in that way and changing it would bring the grumbletonians out in force.
posted by lilac girl at 9:46 AM on November 19, 2011

If you have a specific comment you want to bookmark from, you can click on the timestamp of that comment which will load the page starting from that #commentnumber, and then bookmark that in your browser.

I doubt there will be any other features which allow bookmarking of various sorts added to the site. This seems like a rather specific use, and you'd be better finding a way to use your browser to make it personal to you rather than hoping for new features.
posted by hippybear at 9:47 AM on November 19, 2011

As noted, it's possible to bookmark individual comments.

Also, some people use favorites in exactly this way.
posted by box at 9:49 AM on November 19, 2011

Also, Westringia F., it seems you may not have found the "comments" tab in your Favorites page? At the top of the window showing your favorited posts, you'll find two tabs -- posts and comments.

If you click on that second tab, it will bring up a list of all the comments you have favorited, and you can then click through from there to load that particular post starting at that comment to read what has come after that.
posted by hippybear at 9:55 AM on November 19, 2011

I guess I should say, you get to that page by going to "My Profile", then clicking on the number after "Favorites" in the list of stats in the top middle of that page. That's not immediately obvious.
posted by hippybear at 9:57 AM on November 19, 2011

I believe there is a third-party greasemonkey script that specifically does this.

Anyone have more information? I have great interest in such a script!
posted by meese at 9:59 AM on November 19, 2011

(To clarify even further for the sake of clarity *heh*, you should click on the timestamp of the favorited comment once you're on the page which lets you see your favorited comments. If you click on the post title, you'll only get to that post, not the comment you favorited.)
posted by hippybear at 10:08 AM on November 19, 2011

Anyone have more information?

Mefi Scroll Tag is the script you seek.
posted by donnagirl at 10:09 AM on November 19, 2011 [1 favorite]

I'm presently doing what hippybear suggests here, but the problem with that is that it winds up being tied to the specific machine that I'm browsing from... and I have a bad, bad MeFi habit. It would be nice to indulge from my phone where I left off on my laptop, &c. And the greasemonkey option would have the same issue, wouldn't it? Though I'll take a pointer to the greasemonkey script all the same :)

I hear you, Cortex, about the server-side issue of storing the bookmarks of tens of thousands of users (though is it really much more overhead than storing the favorites? or is it generating the recent-activity-since that would be the problem?)... but man, it would be nice to have it centralized.

Obviously the favorites-as-bookmarks approach would do that. I've been resisting doing the favorites-as-bookmarks thing in part b/c I use favorites to mark things I'll want to come back to a long time from now, rather than as a short term pointer, and didn't want to clutter it with bookmarks (yes, I know I can remove them, but a) I know I'll get lazy & b) it seems cruel given how favorites can feel like high-fives). Maybe I need to revisit this.
posted by Westringia F. at 10:12 AM on November 19, 2011

Yeah, and just a public service note on MeFi Scroll Tag: many users have reported that using the script will periodically log them out of MetaFilter from time to time. It stores a crazy amount of data as cookies, and eventually runs into the browser's natural limit on cookies. To get around this you might adjust your browser to accept more cookies per domain.

Beyond the logout problem, cookies are sent on every page request. So sending hundreds and hundreds of cookies on each request could slow the site down a bit. Periodically flushing all metafilter cookies by hand while you're using the script might help with that if you don't mind losing your place once in a while.
posted by pb (staff) at 10:56 AM on November 19, 2011 [2 favorites]

Meta pony request: All future pony requests need to be accompanied by a photo of a pony.
posted by hellojed at 1:44 PM on November 19, 2011

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posted by fantabulous timewaster at 8:31 PM on November 19, 2011 [5 favorites]

Westringia F., you can bookmark with a service like Delicious or Pinboard and it is no more cumbersome than bookmarking with Greasmonkey - a few minutes to set up and then 2 seconds to click and bookmark. Your bookmarks would be browser-independent.
posted by DarlingBri at 6:14 AM on November 22, 2011

Is that really a big deal in 2011? I admit I've never dealt with something with so many users or this much traffic, but it strikes me that it really shouldn't be that big of a deal.

It's incrementally a big deal—pb does great work streamlining this place, but many of the power-user type features we have are relatively taxing and nudging up the load continually makes it harder to keep the site running smoothly and as responsively as we'd like.

So it's kind of an "is this a core feature?" question as to whether introducing some new systemic load is worth the effort and the server cash required to make it happen. For something that's more of a "would be nice" thing than anything, that's not really a clear yes.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:07 AM on November 23, 2011

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