Opting out of series of IRL posts. June 12, 2015 11:17 AM   Subscribe

Pony request: an option to opt out of IRL posts that come up on a regular basis.

There's a weekly DC IRL meetup that comes up in my Mefi Mail every week that I'd love to opt out of if given the chance. I have not, nor will I ever be interested in weekly Star Trek, but I'd hate to miss out on a meetup that I would be interested in due to the weekly post about this happy hour.

Can we set something up or is there already a way that I'm missing where recurring meetups have a special option that allows people to permanently opt out of them?
posted by youcancallmeal to Feature Requests at 11:17 AM (33 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

YES PLEASE THIS.

Or some way to screen out IRL notifications for meetups that happen on certain days (i.e., Wednesdays). The New York crowd has a weekly meetup, but it's always on a weeknight and I will never, ever be able to make a weeknight anything, and since almost all the IRL meetup MeMails are about those I just delete all the IRL meetup announcement emails unread, and probably am missing on some weekend stuff; being able to pre-screen for weekends-only or whatever would be fantastic.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:20 AM on June 12, 2015


We don't have any way to identify something as a recurring event, so no, there's no option to ignore particular events that come up repeatedly in an area. We definitely don't want to over-alert people, but at the same time people have been disappointed missing something that they would have been interested in.

We'll give this some thought. If a weekly MeFi Mail is too much you might take a look at RSS or iCal. Those might be another way to see what's coming up in your area without the annoyance factor.
posted by pb (staff) at 11:26 AM on June 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


I would like to opt out of the monthly Boston trivia meetup announcements because they make me feel bad for living in the suburbs. Maybe I'll just set up something to filter anything with "Taters" in the subject email body.
posted by bondcliff at 11:31 AM on June 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


...and since almost all the IRL meetup MeMails are about those I just delete all the IRL meetup announcement emails unread...

You can disable these in your preferences by unchecking "Receive IRL alerts?" and clicking Save. Occasionally visiting the NYC page to see what's coming up might be a good alternative.
posted by pb (staff) at 11:32 AM on June 12, 2015


I actually attend the recurring weekly event mentioned in the FPP, and I would love if there were some way to formally establish this as a recurring event within the system. Something like FanFare Clubs, but for IRL?
posted by capricorn at 12:26 PM on June 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


Oh, and youcancallmeal: you could probably use an email filter in this one particular case, because these are always in the "Meetup: Star Trek: TNG Happy Hour, Round ##" format. Hope to see you sometime at a non-Trek DC meetup!
posted by capricorn at 12:30 PM on June 12, 2015


There's a weekly Star Trek meetup in DC??? brb buying plane tickets
posted by Metroid Baby at 12:30 PM on June 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


They're so much fun (and I don't even like Star Trek that much)!
posted by everybody had matching towels at 12:38 PM on June 12, 2015


I would like to opt out of the monthly Boston trivia meetup announcements because they make me feel bad for living in the suburbs.

Hey, nobody forced you to live there. Except for the skyrocketing real estate prices and struggling public schools, I mean.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 1:23 PM on June 12, 2015 [6 favorites]


Yeah, it breaks my heart a little every time I see an IRL announcement and it's a Boston Trivia event. I mean, I hope y'all are having a good time, but I dream that one day it will be a Providence event I haven't called.....
posted by GenjiandProust at 1:24 PM on June 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


Y'all don't know how lucky you are.
"There are currently no upcoming events within 100 miles of your reported location."

*sigh*
posted by Too-Ticky at 2:29 PM on June 12, 2015 [10 favorites]


I have to admit I've had the exact same thought about the exact same meetup messages, though it doesn't bug me too much. If I were to get around to doing something about it, my solution would be to figure out the greatest number of miles that don't include the location of the star trek happy hours, and change my "nearby" setting to that. But I don't care so much about seeing dc meetups in general, if you want those something more would need to be done.

Y'all don't know how lucky you are.

I think part of the problem is actually that there are in fact extremely few meetups near baltimore / MD in general except these, and if you have the default settings on (50 miles) and live somewhere near dc (including baltimore), you hear about the star trek ones constantly. So it would be quite easy to miss something because the number on the mefi mail icon is usually just yet more star trek and I don't bother to look.
posted by advil at 5:16 PM on June 12, 2015


Forgive me, but couldn't you write a filter? Your profile has a Gmail address -- I don't know the format of the message in particular, but you could say something like

(rule)
From: [IRL alert address]
Body: [matching text, perhaps "Star Trek"]
skip inbox, mark as read, delete
posted by WCityMike at 5:26 PM on June 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


Forgive me, but couldn't you write a filter? Your profile has a Gmail address

I don't think the question is about email, but about mefimail. I can't speak for youcancallmeall except in terms of location, but I don't forward my mefimail to an email and I use mefimail pretty much only for IRL and other metafilter-internal notifications.
posted by advil at 5:29 PM on June 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


Set up the gmail filter like WCityMike says and delete all your memail unread.
posted by desjardins at 5:58 PM on June 12, 2015


I think part of the problem is actually that there are in fact extremely few meetups near baltimore / MD in general except these, and if you have the default settings on (50 miles) and live somewhere near dc (including baltimore), you hear about the star trek ones constantly.

Can you change the default setting? I've set my default to 30 miles so I don't hear about Baltimore stuff since I know I won't go to it.

I think settings for an ongoing series of meetups (if it wouldn't be too difficult, I have no idea!) could be neat, although I don't know exactly how it would work -- maybe create a "series" tag so people can opt in or out of receiving notifications for anything with that tag? Probably other people have better ideas.

I will also acknowledge that I just got home from this week's TNG meetup so I might be biased, and I do REALLY hate spam and unsubscribe from anything with an unsubscribe button, but would gently suggest that maybe one email a week is not an enormous burden?
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 6:20 PM on June 12, 2015


Ok, wait, I'm another one who's always sad about the Boston trivia events. Is it worth trying to plan something that's, you know, not downtown and maybe not on a weeknight?
posted by MeghanC at 6:44 PM on June 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yeah, this is in reference to MefiMail. I only see it when I come to the site.
posted by youcancallmeal at 10:37 PM on June 12, 2015


I get excited on the rare occasion when I get an IRL notice. Too bad it's more often for Cincinnati or Louisville than for Indianapolis. I know I could change my settings, but none of these places have meet-ups very often. (Unlike Chicago, which I'm pretty sure just has one meet-up that never ends.)
posted by double block and bleed at 8:53 AM on June 13, 2015


I was trying to think of a way to do this with RSS, and IFTTT, but it doesn't really make sense. So my second thought is to use email filters on your end to automatically delete emails from @metafilter.com where "TNG Happy Hour" is in the message. If your email supports operators — say, like The G00gles — you could add more filters as new things you don't want to see or do start getting into your inbox.
posted by terrapin at 12:06 PM on June 13, 2015


Again, I'm not forwarding to gmail. I'd really love the option to head this off on a Mefi Mail level.
posted by youcancallmeal at 12:18 PM on June 13, 2015


And this isn't Ask MetaFilter. I am presenting a solution to you that is very easy to implement.
posted by terrapin at 12:33 PM on June 13, 2015


Alright, so I've gone ahead and just reduced my "nearby" since that solution is fine for me, it's too bad I won't see regular DC meetups but that's life. But I still think this would be great to fix in IRL or in mefimail somehow. A simple fix that I think should be implementable would be for the subject headings of the notification messages to have a more descriptive title, derived from the event itself. This is what my mefimail inbox looks like in consequence of Star Trek meetups, something like 80% of this is that one recurring event. If the title of the message said "IRL: New Event Near You, Meetup: Star Trek: TNG Happy Hour, Round 39!" instead of just "IRL: New Event Near You", that already would drastically improve the usability of these notifications.

Also, Star Trek people, I realize this sounds like we are complaining about your meetup, but I think it is a great use of IRL and I would probably go to them myself sometimes if they were closer. The complaint is about usability of IRL notifications in the face of two very different use-cases -- recurring events that one doesn't necessarily even need to see notifications for all the time, and rare events that ideally would be identifiable immediately. (And maybe a tiny bit of jealousy that there aren't very many meetups in Baltimore.)

(and yes, a solution that involves email is probably helpful to someone but irrelevant to the exact question that youcancallmeal and I are asking.)
posted by advil at 3:03 PM on June 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


As the most frequent poster of this event, I definitely understand these complaints--I almost never check MeFi mail and thus have several notifications (4) at the moment, just for basically the same event, different weeks; also looking the same until I open the notifications.

However, it has not always the case that I (or anyone) can make it, and we have had to skip some weeks.

So I am going to continue to post them week by week for clarity's sake. I am sorry for the inconvenience.
posted by warm_planet at 4:28 PM on June 13, 2015


I wonder if you can block a specific user from sending you memail? It wouldn't solve the general problem but if warm_planet is the most frequent poster of the Star Trek meetup, it would at least cut those down.

I'm sure blocking would be really useful for other reasons.
posted by desjardins at 6:22 AM on June 14, 2015


I wonder if you can block a specific user from sending you memail?

Don't the notifications come from cortex though?
posted by arcticseal at 7:48 AM on June 14, 2015


If the title of the message said "IRL: New Event Near You, Meetup: Star Trek: TNG Happy Hour, Round 39!" instead of just "IRL: New Event Near You", that already would drastically improve the usability of these notifications.


That would be neat, if it's doable! I too would really appreciate having the subject line be something like "IRL: [POST TITLE]" if that wouldn't be too hard?
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 8:39 AM on June 14, 2015


Don't the notifications come from cortex though?

Yes, all IRL alerts are from cortex so blocking a particular user wouldn't work.

...if that wouldn't be too hard?

The main issue is that a single IRL Alert can contain multiple posts. Plus space is already limited in a subject line and post titles can be quite long. We could alter the title if there's only one event, but then that isn't a reliable way to filter the messages when multiple events are included.
posted by pb (staff) at 8:55 AM on June 14, 2015


The main issue is that a single IRL Alert can contain multiple posts. Plus space is already limited in a subject line and post titles can be quite long. We could alter the title if there's only one event, but then that isn't a reliable way to filter the messages when multiple events are included.

How about something like 'IRL: "Meetup: Star Trek: TNG Ha..." and 1 other'? This would at least make it a lot more visually usable (I don't know if you've had a look at the screenshot I posted). Also, the issue of multiple IRL events per alert is extremely geographically niche, my guess would be mostly an NYC/Portland problem.

On that note, I think there's a bug in the pluralization of these messages; I get both singular and plural messages for single-event alerts (you can see them if you look at that screenshot, my inbox 1st page doesn't have any messages that actually contain more than 1 event). Inside it also says "MetaFilter IRL has 1 new events within 50 miles of your location:". No obvious pattern which it chooses.
posted by advil at 5:27 PM on June 15, 2015


Thanks for the heads up on the pluralization bug—that should be fixed. (The June 4th message in your screenshot did have two events listed, but the rest didn't.)
posted by pb (staff) at 7:15 PM on June 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Well you wouldn't really want to filter the mail when multiple events are involved anyway would you? Else you'd just be filtering all IRL posts and then you'd just turn it off.
posted by phearlez at 7:56 PM on June 16, 2015


The main issue is that a single IRL Alert can contain multiple posts. Plus space is already limited in a subject line and post titles can be quite long. We could alter the title if there's only one event, but then that isn't a reliable way to filter the messages when multiple events are included.

Oh hey, awesome, it looks like some version of this happened! Thanks pb!!
posted by advil at 10:28 AM on July 3, 2015


Oh yeah, I forgot to mention it here, sorry about that. Last week we changed the nightly IRL alerts so that if there's only one event it shows the post title in the subject. If the alert has more than one event it will use the previous subject line.

That should help people ignore alerts that have a recurring event they're not interested in.
posted by pb (staff) at 11:45 AM on July 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


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