Annotate MetaFilter user-links everywhere with a black/grey/white indication of user-number. December 29, 2011 12:43 PM   Subscribe

Annotate mefi user-links with a black/grey/white indication of user-number.

Black means old/low user number. White means new/high users numbers. Grey is middle.

Making "user age" more visible may or may not be a "good thing", but as a new MeFi user I wondered if there were interesting dynamics around "user age":
- Are most posters new or old?
- Are most commenters new or old?
- Does poster-age vary by forum?
- ...

Adding an easily visible indicator of user age might make these dynamics easier to spot. Well, that and I wanted to try out GreaseMonkey.

Searching around, I found one related mefi link: average age bookmarklet.
posted by sarah_pdx to MetaFilter-Related at 12:43 PM (74 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

The link isn't working for me?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 12:54 PM on December 29, 2011


It's probably not a great thing for something official, but fine for greasemonkey, I think. People will tell you that with Brand New Days and various account changes, it's not a reliable indicator of age, though.

Questions: I see at least 3 shades of grey plus black and white when I look at a thread with lots of comments. What were the breakdowns you used for the different categories?Could you make the indicator a little smaller/more square? It's tallness is distracting.
posted by donnagirl at 12:55 PM on December 29, 2011


Yay, I already have this script's functionality in my brain. * pets brain *
posted by Foci for Analysis at 12:56 PM on December 29, 2011 [7 favorites]


The shade of the indicator is a calculated number from 0 to 255. So, there are 256 different shades, though it is admittedly difficult to distinguish between close ones.
posted by sarah_pdx at 1:01 PM on December 29, 2011


donnagirl: People will tell you that with Brand New Days and various account changes, it's not a reliable indicator of age, though.

Agreed. I mean, when I think of the people writing GreaseMonkey scripts for this website, they're generally users who've been around longer than a week.
posted by gman at 1:01 PM on December 29, 2011


That's racist!
posted by Burhanistan at 1:02 PM on December 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


I feel this will give me insight into what it's like to be a bear with a radio collar.
posted by Diablevert at 1:03 PM on December 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


Posters who registered before me are past it and passé; those who registered afterwards are know-nothing neophytes. Hope that clears things up.
posted by Abiezer at 1:13 PM on December 29, 2011 [14 favorites]


The link isn't working for me?

That's because pink isn't one of the supported colors.
posted by Curious Artificer at 1:19 PM on December 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


*fixes Abiezer with steely glance*
*bars door before jonmc shows up*
posted by adamvasco at 1:25 PM on December 29, 2011


:(
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:27 PM on December 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


Right now my box is ever so slightly brighter than the default non-professional background on MeTa. But in a few months it will become invisible, and oh the havoc I will wreak with my new superpower.
posted by Dumsnill at 1:34 PM on December 29, 2011


AGEIST!

Sincerely,
- 115517
posted by Mister Fabulous at 1:40 PM on December 29, 2011


Here's a screencap. Interesting, but I find it a little distracting (then again I am easily distracted by stuff and try to always jailbreak/root whatever phone I have so I can block ads).
posted by exogenous at 1:42 PM on December 29, 2011


No thanks!
posted by two lights above the sea at 1:44 PM on December 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


That's my box, captain...
posted by Melismata at 1:50 PM on December 29, 2011


In Chrome in OSX 10 all of the boxes are black.
posted by cmoj at 1:52 PM on December 29, 2011


In my mind I will always be a youthful noob, no matter how many indicators to the contrary.
posted by ambrosia at 1:53 PM on December 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yeah, Chrome has got some sort of communist thing where everyone is old school, it would seem.
posted by SpiffyRob at 1:54 PM on December 29, 2011


I'm old! Woohoo!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 2:07 PM on December 29, 2011


Oh god all the boxes are black.

HOW LONG WAS I ASLEEP
posted by griphus at 2:09 PM on December 29, 2011 [7 favorites]


Feature request: perhaps call it Metasheep instead of Metacheese?
posted by daniel_charms at 2:11 PM on December 29, 2011


Maybe if it were tied to post/comment count? Or comment/favorites ratio?
posted by Ryvar at 2:13 PM on December 29, 2011


this $5 noob doesn't deserve the black box.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 2:18 PM on December 29, 2011


I'm a bit baffled that someone who has only been around for a few days is touting a script to change the page... I just find it a bit odd...
posted by tomswift at 2:19 PM on December 29, 2011 [5 favorites]


Hmm, I think fewer gradations might look better. Eight, maybe?
posted by Chrysostom at 2:19 PM on December 29, 2011


I like to daydream about a MeFi where users are not judged by the age of the current active account, but by the quality of their contributions. Thanks for the care and effort you put into this though, sarah_pdx.
posted by Edogy at 2:20 PM on December 29, 2011 [7 favorites]


It was interesting to look at, but I uninstalled it after playing with it. It really pulled my focus to the box, and in the end, I either recognize names or I don't, so their "account age" isn't really info I need. Also, the thought that there were So. Many. Shades. Of. Grey. made me twitchy. Thanks for sharing, though.
posted by donnagirl at 2:26 PM on December 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm a bit baffled

Comments that start with this should end with pressing the Backspace key 17 times.
posted by carsonb at 2:28 PM on December 29, 2011


Anyway, wondering about these sorts of things is a good indicator that you'll fit in here, sarah_pdx. Realizing these sorts of things don't matter one whit simply gives you leave to shit in MeTa threads.
posted by carsonb at 2:35 PM on December 29, 2011


Please make them blink please.
posted by mintcake! at 2:42 PM on December 29, 2011


A simple mouse over the user name reveals the user number. The really curious can click the name and go to the user's profile page. Most of us don't post birth certificates to prove DOB, but the user number shows MetaFilter age. Anything more = nosy?

Here you go mintcake
posted by Cranberry at 2:44 PM on December 29, 2011


Whatever amuses you.
posted by Eideteker at 2:58 PM on December 29, 2011


Too much ancestor worship for my liking. I'd rather have one that highlights users with interesting numbers - actually doing this in a usable way would be a fun programming exercise.

Yes, this is my idea of fun.
posted by Dr Dracator at 2:59 PM on December 29, 2011


Dr Dracator: There are no non-interesting numbers.
posted by mendel at 3:01 PM on December 29, 2011


7, 46 and 214 have been scientifically proven to be boring.
posted by griphus at 3:03 PM on December 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


I keep turning up the Brightness control, but it doesn't seem to help!
posted by SPrintF at 3:07 PM on December 29, 2011


No Spinal Tap jokes yet?
posted by Burhanistan at 3:10 PM on December 29, 2011


My lawn is the wrong colour now. And there are kids on it...

Welcome To MeFi, Sarah!
posted by arcticseal at 3:32 PM on December 29, 2011


As tout le monde knows, it's not the number that counts, it's the username.

I've learned lately that I'm now unable to say Master and Margarita without adding "Mix" at the end
posted by villanelles at dawn at 3:55 PM on December 29, 2011


NONE MORE BLACK

at least not in this thread!
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:09 PM on December 29, 2011 [4 favorites]


I would not enjoy having this pony around. This can be your greasemonkey pony.
posted by EatTheWeak at 5:39 PM on December 29, 2011


Oh, wait, this wasn't a pony request. There is no pony to be considered. I'm gonna get a pony that teaches me how to read.
posted by EatTheWeak at 5:40 PM on December 29, 2011


Instead of black, gray and white, how about a whole gallery of icons? And instead of them being based on age, they could be based on commenting style, FPP content, most frequented boards and such. Edgy contrarians could have a little Dennis Leary head next to their names, people who post FPPs about obscure Andorran lithographs could have pith helmets, folks who spend most of their time on AskMe could have Comic Book Guy - the possibilities are endless.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:55 PM on December 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


Yeah, I'm more dark charcoal than jessamyn's black. Pretty nice gradations in the script!
posted by maudlin at 6:10 PM on December 29, 2011


I'm with MSTPT, could my icon be a little pixilated goatse?

/ note: chrome's spell checker does not know the word goatse.
posted by tomswift at 6:12 PM on December 29, 2011


I'd like my icon to be a picture of itself that forms an infinite loop, since I'm so edgily self-referential. The resulting browser crashes would be a fringe benefit.
posted by subbes at 6:23 PM on December 29, 2011


I'd like the font size of our user name increased by 2 for every 100 FPPs we make.
posted by Trurl at 6:34 PM on December 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'd like to choose the display font for another username -- how it displays to everyone, not just me -- and make it stick for a month. First person who pisses me off gets Comic Sans. Second person who pisses me off gets Papyrus. You don't want to know what the third person gets.
posted by maudlin at 6:41 PM on December 29, 2011 [5 favorites]


Wingdings?
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 6:46 PM on December 29, 2011


The user color should be determined by whether or not we DTMFA.
posted by fuq at 6:52 PM on December 29, 2011


oh wow my box is a lot blacker than I thought it would be.
posted by Lucinda at 7:29 PM on December 29, 2011


And instead of them being based on age, they could be based on commenting style, FPP content, most frequented boards and such.

There's a reddit addon that lets you associate arbitrary text with users, so you can remember wo is who when you run into them again. It's surprisingly handy. So far I've annotated people with things like
POSTS SPIDERS DO NOT WANT
floods ponies when drunk
founder of imgur
complains about resolution
is glad she shaved her armpits
Chillax, bro, he's jk.
It was implemented as a greasemonkey script originally but now it's an extension. (It does 824 other things, too, but this is the one that your comment reminded me of. And yes, I know it was tongue-in-cheek.)
posted by mendel at 7:29 PM on December 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


There was such a GreaseMonkey script that did the same for MeFi users (called "User Notes") but the last time I checked it did not work properly in Chrome. So now I have no idea which of you are Bunny Ultramod's sock puppets.
posted by subbes at 7:48 PM on December 29, 2011


Why does this remind me of the hard disk icon a friend had on his Mac ci that showed how much free space there was by changing the boob size of a cartoon female? Christ, he had that installed at work, too.
posted by maxwelton at 8:08 PM on December 29, 2011


I'm a hundred years old.
posted by not_on_display at 8:42 PM on December 29, 2011


Here's a screencap. Interesting, but I find it a little distracting...
posted by exogenous
I looked at that screenshot with it's little rectangles and thought of a better explanation:
How this MeFite prefers their toast.
posted by blueberry at 9:50 PM on December 29, 2011 [5 favorites]


It should also use HTML5 fanciness to procedurally draw cobwebs between the characters in the username based upon the date of the most recent post. That way, when you're spelunking through ancient threads you can see who stuck around and kept the hearth burning.
posted by XMLicious at 10:18 PM on December 29, 2011


Version 0.3 of the script fixes the problem with Chrome.

PS: Y'all are a hoot!
posted by sarah_pdx at 10:56 PM on December 29, 2011


If you really want to do this, I think changing the color by some nonlinear function of the user rank, say, the logarithm or the Nth root, would give better results.
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike at 11:38 PM on December 29, 2011


Low user numbers are easy to spot; their comments all read like muted trombone.
posted by eddydamascene at 11:46 PM on December 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Somebody's always trying to quantify us users. Does this read like muted trombone, eddy?
posted by Lynsey at 11:52 PM on December 29, 2011


I tried it out, but it's really invasive and distracting. Maybe if it were a small circle after the username or something. As it is, it seems like THE MOST IMPORTANT THING ON THE PAGE!!!, rather than an extra bit of info.
posted by team lowkey at 12:01 AM on December 30, 2011


mwah mwa mwa mwah mwah-mwah

Yes, ma'am.
posted by eddydamascene at 12:02 AM on December 30, 2011


Marisa Stole the Precious Thing: "Wingdings"

No, Matisse!

... THE HORROR ...
posted by barnacles at 12:02 AM on December 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Haven't we long established that judging the worth of an opinion based on someone's user number is really poor form here, along the lines of cherry-picking comment histories?

Personally, I wouldn't want anyone confusing my 4-digit id with any kind of wisdom or authority.
posted by mkultra at 6:02 AM on December 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


Why not just pull in user numbers and put them next to names? And favorite totals too.



Hoot hoot!
posted by slogger at 6:19 AM on December 30, 2011


Also, I like this script way more than I should.
posted by slogger at 6:31 AM on December 30, 2011


The real value here is the potential to prank the script users and authors by orchestrating a ninja thread:

1. Assuming the script breaks down age by userid rather than by date (though this could be tweaked trivially if this or later assumptions are off), and taking the fact that there are 256 gradations, that suggests that there's a grade that's closest in hue to the actual #666666 background of metatalk.

2. So 1/256th of the user population is exactly the right age to ninja their way into apparently not having a box. That, with a userid count right now of about 145500, comes out to about 568 potential users in that range, though we can probably use folks on either side of that bucket as well for this class of users, so maybe more like 1000 to 1500 potential ninjas.

3. #666666 is just about precisely 40% brightness on the range from #000000 black to #ffffff white. So our ninjas are folks with userids in the range of 145500*0.4, or userids of 58200 +/- 750.

4. Get a bunch of those folks, and only those folks, into a thread, have a ninja party.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:01 AM on December 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Dang. I'm too new to ninja.
posted by subbes at 8:14 AM on December 30, 2011


"4. Get a bunch of those folks, and only those folks, into a thread, have a ninja party."

I have a ninja detector!

also either the script breaks mefiquote, or something else did and I just haven't commented for a while and so didn't notice
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 8:37 AM on December 30, 2011


AoK, if you're using Chrome, check to make sure it's not been disabled as a result of an update. Mine was.
posted by subbes at 8:53 AM on December 30, 2011


I would like it if users had to pick a color for their username to show in, so that I might have some help figuring out who's who. 5 fresh fish and fishfucker turned out to be different users, but it took me quite a while to realize that it was 2 users, and not see them both as 5 fresh fishfuckers. Bonus: Canadians and British(plus their posse) could have colours. The color would have to be permanent.

MeFites kind of look the same to me. on the page at least.
posted by theora55 at 11:34 AM on December 30, 2011


Just thought I'd point out that a user's profile does not neccessarily indicate their time spent as a User. For example, I've been Metafiltering for many years longer than my profile indicates as I delete profiles every few years and create new ones simply for anonnymity's sake. I do this for most web forums I am a member of as I have strong feelings about keeping my on line identity seperate from reality (You will never, EVER find me in any Social Media like Facebook).
That said, judge my answers and comments based on my comments. How long I've been logging in for is meaningless.
posted by No Shmoobles at 7:38 PM on December 30, 2011


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