Anyone home? July 6, 2012 1:59 PM   Subscribe

Feature request: "last active on:" or "active member" field on user profile page

Sometimes I'll be searching or browsing through old threads (like, more than 6 months old) and see a post or comment and think Hey, I have a really specific question for that guy! or Oh wow, we went to the same summer camp! or some other reason to shoot him/her a PM. When there's no reply after a couple of days, I'll check View All Activity on their profile and inevitably realize that they haven't logged in since August 2011. As it stands, it's a little tricky to quickly tell if a user is active or not -- you have to load their profile, check View All Activity, and click through the tabs to if they've posted, commented, or favorited anything recently. It would be cool to have a field like "Last active on: July 3, 2012" or something right on the profile page.
posted by theodolite to Feature Requests at 1:59 PM (57 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

Loading their profile and clicking "View All Activity" seems pretty straight-forward.
posted by maryr at 2:02 PM on July 6, 2012


Only if there are comments.
posted by cjorgensen at 2:04 PM on July 6, 2012


If this gets implemented, can we have an "Opt out of StalkMe" option, please?

Sorry, theodolite. It's a nice idea, but a bit too stalkerish for me.
posted by zarq at 2:04 PM on July 6, 2012 [21 favorites]


I kind of hate this pony, sorry. It's annoying when people can see I've been active on $_SITE and then get huffy at me for not responding to a PM immediately. (not that you personally would huffy me or anyone else, i am just saying in general i have had bad experiences with this feature)
posted by elizardbits at 2:05 PM on July 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


Oh please god no.

phunniemee was last active July 6, 2012 at 4:05:02pm CST
phunniemee was last active July 6, 2012 at 4:05:09pm CST
phunniemee was last active July 6, 2012 at 4:05:15pm CST
phunniemee was last active July 6, 2012 at 4:05:28pm CST
phunniemee was last active July 6, 2012 at 4:05:32pm CST
phunniemee was last active July 6, 2012 at 4:05:46pm CST
phunniemee was last active July 6, 2012 at 4:05:51pm CST
posted by phunniemee at 2:06 PM on July 6, 2012 [18 favorites]


Also, I can't imagine how it would work if not based on individual comments, as pretty much every single person I know doesn't ever ever actually log out of metafilter.
posted by elizardbits at 2:08 PM on July 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Another (strong, resounding) vote for no.
posted by skbw at 2:09 PM on July 6, 2012


I actually feel more like a stalker when I go the View All Activity route because then I'm suddenly confronted with the last 50 thoughts that person has had about anything, anywhere. I don't really like peeking through post histories at all.
posted by theodolite at 2:10 PM on July 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wouldn't the database be able to tell if someone visited the site and it had to load credentials from the cookie?

I don't mind this pony. I've thought of something like this, but that just puts "Inactive" in the profile or something like is done for dead people.
posted by cjorgensen at 2:10 PM on July 6, 2012


This has come up before and we've always felt like making the information more accessible than it already is has problems. It's true that the information about when a user last contributed to the site is only a click or two away and is publicly available, but surfacing it on profiles changes the importance of that information quite a bit.

Activity history is completely public, please don't feel like you're being a stalker by reading them. If you want to know when someone was last active on the site, that's the way to do it.
posted by pb (staff) at 2:13 PM on July 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Please please no.
posted by stoneweaver at 2:14 PM on July 6, 2012


Next time, I'll type faster. Thanks, pb.
posted by stoneweaver at 2:14 PM on July 6, 2012


Too much information. I'd feel obligated to reduce my profile.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 2:15 PM on July 6, 2012


Fair enough, thanks pb. Have a great weekend everyone!

I'M WATCHING YOU
posted by theodolite at 2:15 PM on July 6, 2012 [6 favorites]


Just out of curiosity, is this available on the mod-side? Can you guys tell when we as individuals hit the site, even if we don't comment?
posted by crunchland at 2:15 PM on July 6, 2012


That would weird me out.
posted by J. Wilson at 2:16 PM on July 6, 2012


Why don't you just call me?!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:16 PM on July 6, 2012


Can you guys tell when we as individuals hit the site, even if we don't comment?

Not that I'm aware of. We have a little more info than is public - some IP stuff and whatnot - but if there's any other sort of tracking I don't know about it.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 2:17 PM on July 6, 2012


QUICK EVERYONE PUT ON YOUR PANTS
posted by elizardbits at 2:18 PM on July 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Don't slouch like that when you use the computer, it's terrible for your back.
posted by theodolite at 2:18 PM on July 6, 2012


Looks like this pony died.
posted by cjorgensen at 2:20 PM on July 6, 2012


Just out of curiosity, is this available on the mod-side?

Yes, we do have something like this. Each user has an admin profile page that lists some stats about the user. Among those stats is a "last visited" time that includes the last subsite visited. It roughly corresponds to when a server session for that user on that subsite starts.

We don't log the info beyond that. So we don't know how much someone starts sessions, only that they have started up a session on a particular subsite.
posted by pb (staff) at 2:22 PM on July 6, 2012


I kind of like this pony but if everyone else wants to run swords through its poor little heart, that's OK too.
posted by Miko at 2:27 PM on July 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


QUICK EVERYONE PUT ON YOUR PANTS

What? I thought the rule here was NO PANTS. Take 'em off!
posted by rtha at 2:29 PM on July 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


There must be a tool (as pb said) since on the homepage there is this info "X links and Y comments posted since your last visit"
posted by terrapin at 2:30 PM on July 6, 2012


QUICK EVERYONE PUT ON YOUR PANTS

No. You're not the boss of me.

PANTS . . . . . . . . . . OFF!
posted by soundguy99 at 2:30 PM on July 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Among those stats is a "last visited" time that includes the last subsite visited.

Oh, is THAT what that oddly-named column is? Well, neat.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 2:32 PM on July 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


I don't get how this is a threat to member privacy. Most of you never leave, FFS.

I can see how some folks would like to continue to lurk, so an opt-out would be polite, but for those who would want to enable it, I think it could prove useful.
posted by terrapin at 2:32 PM on July 6, 2012


I'd actually like this, as I often have moments where I wonder about old users and check to see if they're still around, and posting history doesn't quite scratch that itch. But it looks like this pony has already been killed, so I'm in dead-horse-flogging territory here.
posted by slogger at 2:34 PM on July 6, 2012


To be fair, I don't think this is a terrible idea. Something with fuzzy stats might be better.

phunniemee has been active today
phunniemee has been active in the past week
phunniemee has been active in the past month

and so on
posted by phunniemee at 2:37 PM on July 6, 2012 [7 favorites]


No. ...No pony.
posted by cashman at 2:37 PM on July 6, 2012


Somebody yelling at me to take my pants off, somebody saying to put them on... must be the weekend.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:38 PM on July 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh, is THAT what that oddly-named column is?

heh, yeah, it is weird. It shows up as [subsite]_visit, depending on the last subsite visited. It's mixed in with some other admin info so yeah, easy to miss.
posted by pb (staff) at 2:40 PM on July 6, 2012


later, tears and drunken recriminations
posted by elizardbits at 2:40 PM on July 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Happy New Years, Take Off Your Pants!
*gets trophy*
posted by deezil at 2:42 PM on July 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


I am glad this pony is dead. Yeah, the information is still there if you look at last posted comment, but it is then related to actual site activity rather than merely being online.
posted by winna at 2:58 PM on July 6, 2012


Loading their profile and clicking "View All Activity" seems pretty straight-forward.


Well, it depends how you define active. I don't comment super-regularly, but I check the various subsites...way too much. For the example listed in the OP, I would be available, but it might not look like it if it had been a month since I'd last posted.

(The pony's been taken to the glue factory, sounds like, but I really like phunnieme's suggestion of the fuzzy "active in the last hour/day/week/month" markers).
posted by leahwrenn at 3:15 PM on July 6, 2012


I addressed my opinions on this here; it basically boils down to "I would get in fights with people because I am good at checking Metafilter and bad at being a friend/wife".
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 3:32 PM on July 6, 2012


Thank you in advance for not stalking me.
posted by MoonOrb at 3:36 PM on July 6, 2012


Uh, someone must've fallen asleep during mod orientation.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 3:46 PM on July 6, 2012


Well, yes.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 3:51 PM on July 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


FWIW, SportsFilter has a "Last Visit" with a date noted on profile pages (mine here for example) that's pretty straightforward and has never caused any issues that I'm aware of.
posted by Ufez Jones at 3:51 PM on July 6, 2012


Uh, someone must've fallen asleep during mod orientation.

It's funny, mefi's kind of an odd site to train someone on because so much of what's required to be a decent mod here is to just be already familiar with the feel of the daily conversation on the site and stuff and all the admin crash course stuff is this totally different back-end interface full of little details and doodads that have steadily accreted over the years.

So maybe one of us told Jeremy about the last_visited thing? Or maybe we didn't think to. But either way it would have been one of a couple dozen random "oh and there's THIS thing that we use for x but it doesn't come up much but when it does it's handy for that and here's a couple examples and okay now THIS thing if you click back and then on the "labs" link there, if y happens what you can do is..." parcels in a big shotgun blast of stuff.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:54 PM on July 6, 2012


Yeah, to be honest, I can't think of an occasion in the least year or so when it's something I would have needed for any normal mod purposes. It's possible it hasn't come up.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 3:56 PM on July 6, 2012


...then on the "labs" link there, if y happens what you can do is...

Yes, go on.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:01 PM on July 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


If MeFi has a lab, can I be Igor?

*shifts hump expectantly*
posted by arcticseal at 4:27 PM on July 6, 2012 [7 favorites]


QUICK EVERYONE PUT ON YOUR PANTS

No, I'm thinking quite the opposite.
posted by benito.strauss at 4:56 PM on July 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


I am glad this pony is dead.

OH MY GOD WE ARE KILLING BABY HORSES HERE
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 5:34 PM on July 6, 2012


They told me it was part of the interview process.
posted by arcticseal at 9:37 PM on July 6, 2012


That's pretty much the litmus test, yeah. We put you in a room with a Shetland, a gun on a table, and give you five minutes.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:11 PM on July 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


In Metafilter interview, pony kills you.
posted by jamaro at 10:57 PM on July 6, 2012


Has anyone here ever tried riding a pony without pants? I'm not talking about skirts and sidesaddle, I mean seriously 'bareback'. I haven't myself but I knew a guy who had and he did NOT recommend it.
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:28 PM on July 6, 2012


later, tears and drunken recriminations

OH MI GOD YOU PEOPLE ARE WATCHING ME!
posted by Infinite Jest at 12:37 AM on July 7, 2012


I can't think of an occasion in the least year or so when it's something I would have needed for any normal mod purposes.

It was one of the things we checked during the holdkris99 dramaz, but it's one of those not-super-accurate things [someone could check MeFi from a computer you had been logged in on even if that person wasn't you, you could check the site when not logged in, probably some misc caching things] so we don't rely on it, it's just another data point we have at our disposal.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:50 AM on July 7, 2012


We put you in a room with a Shetland, a gun on a table, and give you five minutes.

That's the weirdest F/M/K list I've ever seen.
posted by catlet at 11:22 AM on July 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Let me tell you, that Shetland did not want to be dehoofed.
posted by arcticseal at 11:49 AM on July 7, 2012


When I had to take the Shetland/gun test, after five minutes I wrote "muzzle" on a piece of paper and slipped it under the door. I got the job.

A few weeks later, they also unlocked the door.
posted by taz (staff) at 12:30 AM on July 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


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