Favorited comments, but not in *those* threads March 3, 2017 12:20 PM   Subscribe

My first MetaTalk post, and alas, it's a Friday afternoon pony request for the queue. I think it would be nice to be able to filter my Contact Activity to exclude activity on threads with specific tags. The election threads (yes, of course that's what I'm talking about) have been a lifesaver, and I'm spending most of my MetaFilter time on them. But my Contact Activity is also completely taken over by highly-favorited comments in those threads, usually topical but transient, and I'd like to be able to see what else is happening on MeFi. And I think others might like this feature too.

How I picture this working: An additional setting, maybe in Contact / Privacy preferences, which says "Exclude comments with the following tags from Contact Activity: ___"

Why you might not want to implement this: It's a total niche power user feature. Most people wouldn't use it. It would be an extra set of database calls when building that section of the page.

Why I think you should still consider it: The Election / POTUS45 threads are obviously not going away. Building the Contact Activity section already requires database calls, and I think this filter would be a small overhead. Most people probably wouldn't use it, so it wouldn't be that much extra load on the servers. But for those of us immersed in the Election threads, seeing highly rated comments elsewhere might help us dip our toes into the bigger pool again. And for those who want nothing to do with the US Election threads, it would be another way to screen out the noise.

Thank you for considering my pony, even if the answer is no.
posted by RedOrGreen to Feature Requests at 12:20 PM (14 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

Heya, interesting idea but also one where I'm falling at first glance a lot harder to your "why you might not want to implement this" front. It's fiddly is a big part of it for me, but also means non-zero extra resources to throw at an already optional bit of site functionality.

I appreciate at a gut level the motivating idea of making it a way to get more non-election stuff for folks who want that, and so I'll sort of churn on it some more, but I worry it would be hard to make this not be a niche-of-the-niche sort of feature and add some interface complexity in the process, so it's pretty unlikely to jump up to the high end of our todo list.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:23 PM on March 3, 2017 [1 favorite]

Maybe it could be a separate page, MyContactActivity, paralleling MyMefi.
posted by zamboni at 12:24 PM on March 3, 2017

It would be neat if the Hide US Politics button also hid that content in Contact Activity, Popular Posts, and anywhere else that's otherwise swamped with it.
posted by daisyace at 3:18 PM on March 3, 2017 [8 favorites]

I turned off showing contact comments because it swamped the more interesting stuff like "Ooo, So-And-So posted an interesting thing" and "Ooo, So-And-So added Whatsisname as a contact, I wonder what's going on there, eh."

[i have no life]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 3:56 PM on March 3, 2017 [1 favorite]

anywhere else that's otherwise swamped with it.

Life in general...
posted by ODiV at 8:19 PM on March 3, 2017 [1 favorite]

This has been a major sadness/annoyance of mine; in the past contact activity (and popular favorites) was one of my major avenues for exploring threads that hadn't originally drawn my attention.
posted by drlith at 6:45 AM on March 4, 2017 [2 favorites]

I would also like this pony.
posted by nat at 8:22 AM on March 4, 2017

Yeah I wouldn't care about this in contact activity, but it would be neat to have for popular favorites.
posted by showbiz_liz at 2:16 PM on March 4, 2017

Adding my vote for a way to remove #45 threads from the Popular Favorites tab. I don't think it would be as niche as it seems at first because that topic is so huge and the favorite levels on the comments in those threads are so high. That page and the New and Noteworthy section are the places I go after I have scanned the front page.
posted by soelo at 7:48 AM on March 6, 2017

Or - if it would be too much of a change to remove them entirely - could we just get the ability to view more popular posts/comments? I've never been sure why that isn't possible, anyway.
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:53 AM on March 6, 2017

Wait - apparently that can be done now? Since when? I coulda sworn...
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:55 AM on March 6, 2017

Well, regardless, I just went and had a look, and of the 20 top Popular Favorites right now, 17 of them are from two of the political megathreads. That seems sub-optimal.
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:57 AM on March 6, 2017

I don't look at Contact Activity often, but I do subscribe to the Popular Comments RSS, and use that to find interesting threads. I've really been enjoying having the most favorited comments from the election threads pulled out for me to read, but I also miss seeing comments from other threads. 22 of the most recent 25 comments in the popular comments RSS feed are from election threads.
posted by insectosaurus at 12:35 PM on March 12, 2017

Yeah, the idea of filtering or weighting that some is worth chewing on; I don't want to just arbitrarily say "no comment in political threads get visibility" but finding a better balance on it is a good goal. I'll mull it over, talk with frimble a bit about what would be doable.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:14 PM on March 12, 2017 [2 favorites]

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