Time for some thrilling heroics August 17, 2015 2:43 PM   Subscribe

Would it be possible to auto-add new Fanfare posts for specific shows to our "Recent Activity" page?

I'm keeping up with a few shows in Fanfare, and rather than skimming the main FanFare page or to bookmark the show's fanfare page, thought it would be nice to have new shows in my various rewatch/first watch threads added to my Recent Activity automatically.

So for example, I could click a thing once, and from that point forward whenever someone makes a new rewatch post for say, a "Farscape" episode they would show up on my Recent Activity page automagically.
posted by zarq to Feature Requests at 2:43 PM (18 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

I'm not really hot on the idea of having stuff auto-add itself to Recent Activity, is part of my first-blush feeling. Is there a specific reason that using My FanFare to keep an eye on your active shows isn't a workable way to do a quick add to activity for the cases where you know you want to be in on a discussion ASAP once it comes around?
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:45 PM on August 17, 2015 [1 favorite]

I like this idea and would be ok with the auto-add because it's a show I've specifically chosen to follow.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:52 PM on August 17, 2015 [1 favorite]

When I'm not reading new posts, I navigate mefi almost entirely through Recent Activity. I may be an outlier in that, of course.

Sure, I could use MyFanfare to add to RA but it's less convenient. In that case would it be possible to add an "add to activity" from the main MyFanfare page along with the favorites [+]? Would allow for faster adding.
posted by zarq at 2:55 PM on August 17, 2015 [2 favorites]

I would absolutely love this pony! I'm always behind and missing cool stuff on Fanfare, and this would make a huge difference in increasing my participation there. I also primarily interact with the site through Recent Activity and would love to have those My Fanfare shows automatically integrated into my main 'workflow' for the site.
posted by dialetheia at 3:01 PM on August 17, 2015 [2 favorites]

We would need to think carefully about potential spoilers if we did this. People need to have some control over when they jump into a thread. If it appears in Recent Activity before they've consumed it they could get more information than they want reading the comments. My FanFare only has post descriptions (which can be turned off) so people can jump in and even add to Recent Activity when they're ready.
posted by pb (staff) at 3:02 PM on August 17, 2015 [5 favorites]


I think anyone who would deliberately add posts to their RA for new shows as they are posted would be aware they might see spoilers, no?
posted by zarq at 3:16 PM on August 17, 2015

Well, that's the thing. We're talking about automatically adding every post related to a particular show to Recent Activity without any action from the user. There could be times when they weren't able to get to a particular show as soon as it aired, checked MetaFilter, and then had a major plot point in the first comment in Recent Activity. I think it's a little more complicated than user beware when we're talking about automatically adding things.
posted by pb (staff) at 3:19 PM on August 17, 2015 [1 favorite]

OK. Understandable.

Is there any way to more prominently notify users that posts have been made for the shows they are following? In order to short cut the adding process? Right now we have to click down to find the posts we want, open them then add to activity. Even an "Add to Activity" button on the my fanfare page would be one less page to load.
posted by zarq at 3:28 PM on August 17, 2015

I've mentioned this before, but this could be a place where outside tools help. We have a My FanFare feed, and there are great services like IFTTT that can send an email whenever there's a new post.

In the past we've been hesitant to add more cruft to bylines. The + is fairly unobtrusive, but also sort of mystery meat. It's not clear what's going to happen when you click it unless you've learned that bit of the site. Adding a new mystery icon is a high hurdle. Adding [add to activity] is a high hurdle too because it adds repeating text to the page which makes things a bit less readable. That's not out of the realm of possibility, but the payoff for adding would need to be very high.
posted by pb (staff) at 3:33 PM on August 17, 2015

:( Ok. I'll look into an outside option.

Thanks very much for taking the time to consider this pony, pb.
posted by zarq at 3:48 PM on August 17, 2015

The spoiler consideration is a super good point, but it still seems a little disjointed to have to go to all this trouble just to add a bit of new site activity (which I've already subscribed to) into the main "updates" part of the site.

What if when a new thread for one of my shows was posted, I got a new entry in Recent Activity that just linked to the new thread, showing the title only, with an [add to recent activity] button? That way I'd be alerted when a new thread goes up and wouldn't have to click through a bunch of pages to get there and add it to my activity, but I'd still have to opt-in to see the content displayed.
posted by dialetheia at 3:52 PM on August 17, 2015 [2 favorites]

I would like it if it just put the post in your Recent Activity, like a newly posted Ask Me question with new comments.
posted by smackfu at 8:03 AM on August 18, 2015

I would much rather they be added to my contact activity sidebar, rather than Recent Activity. Would that be a possibility, or is it still too far out of the realm of what the sidebar was intended for?
posted by capricorn at 10:34 AM on August 18, 2015

I don't think that's necessarily out of the realm of what the sidebar is for. If you have My FanFare set up and visit the FanFare front page, you'll see recent My FanFare posts in the sidebar. I do think it is out of the realm of what the Contact Activity section in the sidebar on MeFi is for. We could think about a new sidebar section that alerts you to posts in other places.

If particular mefites tend to make FanFare posts that you enjoy you could always add them as a contact and their FanFare posts will show up in the Contact Activity sidebar.
posted by pb (staff) at 11:27 AM on August 18, 2015

Jus' spitballin' here, but what do you think of hide-able front page side-bar boxes for MyFanFare and MyAsk, of course?
posted by carsonb at 2:46 PM on August 18, 2015

Aha, that's why - I didn't check FanFare to see if stuff was in my sidebar there. I tend to just look at the main page for sidebar activity.
posted by capricorn at 3:05 PM on August 18, 2015

I'd ride this pony
posted by Jacqueline at 6:47 PM on August 19, 2015

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