Favorite categorization revisited March 10, 2012 11:34 AM   Subscribe

Around a year ago there was an idea floated about favorite categorization. I think that this would be a great feature for the site. Is it still in the "too ambitious" pile of site features, or have the coders taken another look at it since then?

My own ideal version of this would allow users to create categories for our individual profiles, which would then populate a "Favorite as..." drop down list. The total favorite score would display as it does currently, but when we went to our favorited comments page in the dashboard section we could then sort our favorites based on the categories we'd created. I'm not a coder, so I don't know how difficult this would be to implement, but I have the feeling it's between 'moderately' to 'get the hell out of here with that nonsense'.

The intended use of favorites is as a bookmark instead of as a measure of popularity (although obviously people can use them however they like), and this feature would definitely encourage that behavior.

Anyway, the site is functioning just fine with the current system, but personally this is at the top of my wishlist for what I'd like to see in the future.

I'd be interested to see what the moderators and other users think about it.
posted by codacorolla to Feature Requests at 11:34 AM (28 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

We just did this a couple weeks ago, the short answer was still no.
posted by strangely stunted trees at 11:42 AM on March 10, 2012


I like favorites as the binary interface they are. Anything more complicated than "+" and "not +" would make this site about rating and categorizing individual comments, instead of about the discussion.

The existence of favorites at all is acknowledgement that sometimes a comment does have individual signficance, but you don't have to go much further down that road before people "gaming" the system breaks the system.

Mark this comment: Funny | Insightful | Offensive | Sexy | Memorable | Sexy
posted by Riki tiki at 11:48 AM on March 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


That said, I do kind of miss You Get A Favorite For Being Dumb.
posted by Riki tiki at 11:49 AM on March 10, 2012


That said, I do kind of miss You Get A Favorite For Being Dumb.

I've been known to give those out. You have to be entertainingly stupid to merit it though.
posted by scalefree at 11:56 AM on March 10, 2012


Yeah, we were talking about this internally a short while ago. We even had a very alpha version of tagging of your own favorites, which I would greatly prefer over any sort of categories (they would work the same way as delicious, let you choose arbitrary tags on favorites optionally and show you your most frequently used tags by auto-completion).

It's one of those things like the edit window where they are technically possible and we have a rudimentary version running for testing, but we're not sure about the cultural impact and changes they might propagate on the site, so we've held off on releasing anything.

So I think they're still theoretically on the table, but with no release date in sight.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:57 AM on March 10, 2012 [5 favorites]


I would agree that any categorization should be kept entirely to the user's own profile, and not be a public, searchable thing. Sorry about the double post.
posted by codacorolla at 12:21 PM on March 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think Metafilter should move to a NNTP based subscription model and comments should be written in emacs.
posted by Justinian at 12:42 PM on March 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


I agree that the categories should be made by the user and visible only to the user. I would love that feature and I can't imagine it negatively affecting the culture here.
posted by painquale at 12:53 PM on March 10, 2012


I think we should move to an INTP model and sit silently at home with the curtains drawn.
posted by ook at 12:55 PM on March 10, 2012 [11 favorites]


we're not sure about the cultural impact

Only one way to find out, just saying...
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:08 PM on March 10, 2012


I can understand the concern about how it might change the culture and I'm sympathetic to the reasons why one would resist that, but I also think that it would be useful to be able to use them for personal self-tagged reasons. Perhaps a technical compromise that might satisfy both objectives would be to allow favorites to be set for different reasons and have those different reasons or tags visible to the user who set the favorites but keep the view of favorites for others the same. That way, people could favorite my comments as "astonishingly ill-informed" but I'd just see "1 favorite" and be content in my ignorance. Since we don't know what anyone's reasons for favorites are today, we wouldn't experience a significant change from that perspective, but people who wanted the granularity for their own favorites would have it.

I've never seen this proposed before, but I normally find the endless favorite discussions tedious and I may well have overlooked it.
posted by Lame_username at 1:26 PM on March 10, 2012


We could try it for a month as an experiment.
posted by Meatbomb at 1:37 PM on March 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


While we're here, let's make the favorite button bigger on the mobile site. I keep flagging by mistake.
posted by mccarty.tim at 1:37 PM on March 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is getting to be an evergreen request.
posted by OmieWise at 2:21 PM on March 10, 2012


Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo, I favorite it just the way it is.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 2:27 PM on March 10, 2012


I find the more complicated an enjoyable thing becomes, the less I enjoy it, and the more likely I am to stop using it. I like the simplicity of the plus button. Do or don't, and move on.
posted by Ghidorah at 2:56 PM on March 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Only one way to find out, just saying...

This is no longer a site where we can just toss something at the wall and see if it sticks. So while I appreciate that other people may be antsy for something like this, we have to spend some time actively chewing it over and thinking about the impacts that it might have on the site before we just turn something like this on and see what happens. Which, like mathowie said, is something that we're interested in in a general sense. And yes definitely if there was favorites categorization it would be something where you could see your own categories but they wouldn't be public, we're just not going to do some metacommenting-via-categorization thing, it's a one way ticket to suckville.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:02 PM on March 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh yeah, I forgot about the private tags part. That would greatly minimize any sort of griefing on the site through the feature. I'll keep in the maybe pile.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 3:32 PM on March 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm sorry, I really am, but:

Metafilter: a one way ticket to suckville.
posted by OmieWise at 3:39 PM on March 10, 2012


> While we're here, let's make the favorite button bigger on the mobile site. I keep flagging by mistake.

Try swipe to favorite, I'm never going back.
posted by churl at 4:12 PM on March 10, 2012 [2 favorites]

Ghidorah: I find the more complicated an enjoyable thing becomes, the less I enjoy it, and the more likely I am to stop using it. I like the simplicity of the plus button. Do or don't, and move on.
And if it were opt-in?
posted by Doofus Magoo at 5:07 PM on March 10, 2012


When tags are personal they are a great tool to classify and find stuff.
It's only when they become public that they can have an impact on the site (and can be gamed).

So I am all for a private useful tool, less for public social mayhem.
posted by bru at 6:26 PM on March 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


This is no longer a site where we can just toss something at the wall and see if it sticks.

Look, go peddle your rational sounding talk to the reasonable people. We're all stocked up on impatience and crazy over here and ain't buying that sensible approach crap you people try to sell.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:33 PM on March 10, 2012 [7 favorites]


I'll keep in the maybe pile.

Leslie Gore said this as her first reaction to hearing It's My Party.
posted by hippybear at 8:56 PM on March 10, 2012


She might cry if she wants to?
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:40 AM on March 11, 2012


Pony request: No more features. From now on, we can only request features to be removed.
posted by dunkadunc at 11:06 AM on March 11, 2012


I find the more complicated an enjoyable thing becomes, the less I enjoy it, and the more likely I am to stop using it. I like the simplicity of the plus button. Do or don't, and move on.

A good point to keep in mind. There is a way to make this transparent to people not interested in using it- a way that doesn't require an explicit "opt-in" or "opt-out" flag.

Imagine every user gets one category (e.g. "general") by default. If you favorite something, if you only have one category, that favorite is automatically created with that category. If and only if you have more than one category, you get shown a drop-down menu of your categories. I'm guessing that people would manage their categories in a separate page that no one who was uninterested in categories would ever have to visit.

Re category management: users should of course be able to create categories. Renaming categories doesn't seem terribly problematic. But there are two possible meanings for "deleting" a category:

1. Remove this category *and* all of the favorites in this category
2. Remove this category and reassign the favorites in this category to a different category.

Option 1 is nice and simple both conceptually and UI-wise. Option 2 is a little more complex, but useful for people that try out categorized favorites and decide that they want to go back to the old way; they could then delete all their categories and reassign their favorites back to the default "general" category.
posted by Jpfed at 5:53 PM on March 11, 2012


I'd just love a bookmark/follow-up feature with [~] as the code. Sometimes you can help people but you don't have the link with you, or the time to write it up, and then it gets lost in favorites over time unless you just stop participating in the site or have no life until you get to where you can help the person, provide the information, or add an experience. It would also be awesome to see "[~] 4 people marked this for follow-up" on your unresolved AskMe question.
posted by cashman at 8:17 AM on March 12, 2012


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