But it was my favoritest George Washington comment! December 2, 2013 5:25 PM   Subscribe

Once upon a time someone posted a speech (or maybe just a link thereto) in which George Washington was saying "Ask not what your country can do for you..." to a bunch of veterans who were leaning on a cash strapped Federal government. I distinctly remember it getting tons of favorites and I even flagged it as a fantastic comment.

Now, of course, I want to find it, but when I search "George Washington" in comments, while I can sort by date, or relevance, what I'd really like to be able to do (here comes the pony request) is sort comments that contain "George Washington" by the number of favorites they've gotten. Is that an easily done thing, or is that a rewrite Metafilter from the ground up - in assembly! kind of task?

(And if someone could clue me in on where the comment I want is, I wouldn't cry about that either.)
posted by Kid Charlemagne to Feature Requests at 5:25 PM (12 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite



That's the one! Thank you.

But I still think being able to sort by favorites would be a handy feature.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 5:39 PM on December 2, 2013


Also, isn't "Ask not..." a Kennedy quote?
posted by maryr at 6:06 PM on December 2, 2013 [6 favorites]


Handily, you can search your own favorites. Go to your user page, click on the number of favorites (ie things you've favorited) and there will be a search box. It will search just things you've favorited -- here's the result for comments you've favorited containing the terms George Washington.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 6:19 PM on December 2, 2013 [7 favorites]


I love this story! It's one of my favorites in American history -- like an American Cincinnatus.

I went into much more detail in this earlier comment, which is probably the one you remember.
posted by Rhaomi at 6:20 PM on December 2, 2013


It wouldn't require rewriting MetaFilter from the ground up, but calculating favorites for an entire search result and then sorting would add quite a bit of time to returning results. It is something we could restructure data for if the benefit would be worth that effort.

I think this is an ideal scenario for that feature. You're trying to find something that you recall had a large number of favorites—probably more favorites than any other post that mentioned George Washington. But if you don't recall the state of favorites of the specific comment you're looking for it probably wouldn't help too much.
posted by pb (staff) at 6:42 PM on December 2, 2013


Adding an option to sort by favorites is something I've wanted to see tried here for a very long time. You can already see it at work in the daily/monthly/all-time favorite pages for each subsite, or the "popular" sorts on each member's favorites page. Across a wide enough range of content, sorting this way regularly, routinely turns up the best content on the site. And even vice-versa, such as when sidebar'd, podcasted, or Best-Of'd stuff gathers a lot of favorites after the fact.

It's not even necessarily a search use case, either, but a browsing one. Sure, if you can recall seeing a post on topic X with a lot of favorites, a favorites sort would help. But it would be much more interesting to just trawl different topics to see the most [+]'d slice of each. What are the most popular FPPs about Lego? The most popular MeFi comment with a YouTube link? The most popular AskMe question tagged with "advice"? I'd love to browse various tags and keywords and subsites like this -- it would open up a whole new avenue of content discovery in the site's archives.

And the infrastructure's already there, it just needs to be surfaced in a way that doesn't require programming knowledge and custom-written scripts.
posted by Rhaomi at 6:52 PM on December 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh sure LobsterMitten, point out the obvious solution.

Actually, I thought I had tried that previously when looking for Rhaomi's comment and failed and felt like an idiot for flagging it as fantastic (did I mention that I thought it was fantastic? It was fantastic!) and not favoriting it. Obviously I was wrong. But I still think sorting searches by number of favorites could be handy.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 10:12 PM on December 2, 2013


Why search mechanically when our wise Mefites can recall the info in under 10 minutes?
posted by a humble nudibranch at 11:41 PM on December 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


Because someday those wise Mefites may go blind as well as gray in the service of the blue.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:00 AM on December 3, 2013 [7 favorites]


But based on the baby notices here on the grey, we are collectively generating a new lot of folks with keen young eyes!

THE CIIIIIRCLE OF LIIIIFE
posted by winna at 12:20 PM on December 3, 2013


Please note the grey has, in fact, already gone grey in service of Metafilter.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 9:08 PM on December 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


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