combine channels? December 29, 2023 8:29 AM   Subscribe

I want a single chronological list of posts -- blue, askmefi, meta, fanfare, whatever -- all pouring down and intermingled in the order in which they were posted. Let me just select or clear a checkbox for each channel that's possible to include in the combined list. Can we do that? Would others be interested in browsing like that?
posted by pracowity to MetaFilter-Related at 8:29 AM (28 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

You could probably do this by merging the RSS feeds for the various subsites (each subsite's feed is linked in the footer).
posted by Klipspringer at 8:33 AM on December 29, 2023 [5 favorites]

I don't want that but I think it's neat that you do and I bet a lot of other people would like it too so I'm glad you suggested it! I love hearing about ways people engage, on this site or others, that are completely different than my style of engagement.
posted by an octopus IRL at 8:35 AM on December 29, 2023 [5 favorites]

I would not be interested in browsing like that, since you very kindly asked.
posted by cooker girl at 9:12 AM on December 29, 2023 [4 favorites]

I used to read the site this way via Google Reader.
posted by jacquilynne at 10:05 AM on December 29, 2023 [1 favorite]

I would probably use this.
posted by sagc at 12:25 PM on December 29, 2023 [4 favorites]

Yes, subscribing to the RSS feeds for the subsites I want and dumping them all into a single chronological folder in an RSS reader is a good approximation of this.
posted by Stacey at 1:09 PM on December 29, 2023

I would not be interested in this, thanks for asking. Clearly others might.

It is my impression that there have been more requests here, on balance, about ways to narrow the firehose, rather than widen it. I support that, as I have a greater need for ways to filter content here than to unfilter it.
posted by cupcakeninja at 1:19 PM on December 29, 2023

I would use this.
posted by NotLost at 2:18 PM on December 29, 2023 [1 favorite]

I think I might try that from time to time, if it was an option. And I could do with a bit fewer silos in general, most obviously IRL should be reintegrated into MetaTalk.

There was a proposed Reykjavík meetup I couldn’t’ve attended, and since I don’t live there most of the year, didn’t get an alert, but I could’ve alerted some Icelandic MeFites who’d’ve loved to hear about it, but it was over a month after it was proposed that I saw it.

And I don’t even know how to see meetup photos anymore. I loved looking at meetup photos back in the day.

Uh, I seem to have stepped up on soapbox… but yes, I think as an option, a firehose feed might be nice too.
posted by Kattullus at 4:40 PM on December 29, 2023 [5 favorites]

if there were even the slightest chance of this kind of modest technical change occurring in the current mefi management environment I'd be keen, but there isn't, so i'm not going to devote any more thought to it.
posted by Sebmojo at 7:17 PM on December 29, 2023 [2 favorites]

ACTUALLY maybe that was unnecessarily cynical! seems to have implemented a feature request that went through a short while ago, unless it's been there for years and I just missed it?

in which case: yes please, give us a firehose button that just posts every post into a single list.
posted by Sebmojo at 7:19 PM on December 29, 2023

I would use this exactly once just to see it and then never look at it again.
posted by aubilenon at 8:31 PM on December 29, 2023 [5 favorites]

give us a firehose button that just posts every post into a single list.

Except I'd want to be able to tailor that feed.

For me, my main page might be MetaFilter, AskMefi, and Metatalk, and not FanFare or IRL or any of that other stuff I have zero interest in. For someone else, their main page might be just AskMefi and FanFare, because that's all they ever look at. So we would make two different checkbox selections.

If you combined this with a one-click way to hide posts, you could read/hide your way through your list until there was nothing left but interesting posts from interesting channels.
posted by pracowity at 12:08 AM on December 30, 2023 [2 favorites]

I see what the intent is but I’m not sure that I would care for it. What we currently have are links for those subsites at the top and bottom of every page and I like having them as visual reminders that the places I don’t look at very often are still there. That said, I don’t feel strongly enough about how the site is laid out as long as I have the option to see it all
posted by ashbury at 6:53 AM on December 30, 2023 seems to have implemented a feature request that went through a short while ago, unless it's been there for years and I just missed it?

Do you mean the existence of Watercooler? That's been around since 2015, back when pb was still here as dev.

I think pessimism about any new development happening is warranted for at least a good while, until the site transitions to the new leadership model (the goal date is July...) and hopefully more effective fundraising starts happening. There is a new, very part-time (zero to 15 hrs/week) dev hopefully being hired in addition to frimble, who is also part-time, but both are being paid $35/hr which seems unlikely to allow them to prioritize MF work over the better-paying work they can probably find elsewhere. And unlike matt, I don't think loup has the design, dev, or PM skills that would let them manage development projects effectively (see the flag UI saga).

In 2016, when frimble was hired, they explicitly said their focus was going to be maintenance and minor tweaks rather than building new features. Which has panned out. That seems to be what cortex had in mind when hiring them, and loup doesn't seem to be aiming for more either.

It's kind of a testament to how the site used to be that this many years on we're still optimistically making suggestions. I guess I'm hopeful for the future, but at best it's going to be a while.
posted by trig at 9:14 AM on December 30, 2023 [1 favorite]

I’ve done this in Slack, which allows you to subscribe to multiple RSS feeds within the channel of your choosing. I should say that I didn’t think to put all of the MetaFilter feeds into the same channel, but it seems like that would work, and it would, indeed be the fire hose you’re looking for
posted by emelenjr at 1:24 PM on December 30, 2023

If we're doing a straw poll, yes I would use this!
posted by goodbyewaffles at 3:38 PM on December 30, 2023

Interesting. Sure put it on the List.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 11:20 PM on December 30, 2023

I’ve been excited about this concept recently, not just for Metafilter but for personal sites. If you follow a cool person on the internet, you should be able to follow all of their content from a single place. And it goes without saying that on Metafilter or a personal site, filtering it down is key. (“I want to see everything … except these feeds.”)

Related: Creators, Please Make Firehoses!
posted by jragon at 10:14 AM on December 31, 2023

If anyone doesn't know what RSS is, here are some steps you can do.

1. Go to
(That is one online RSS reader, there are alternatives)

2. Create an account. Choose "News reader" mode if you have to.

3. Click "Create a folder". Give it a title like "All Metafilter".

4. Click the "Follow websites..." icon on the left

5. Type "Metafilter" into the search box.

6. It will give you a bunch of feeds like Metafilter, Ask Metafilter, Fanfare. Click "Follow" on the ones you want and choose the "All Metafilter" folder.

7. Feedly will now show you everything you've chosen in the "All Metafilter" folder. Click "Visit Website" in the summary page to go to that page.

8. By default, Feedly hides the summaries once you've scrolled past them. If you want to keep them visible, click the "..." button on your "All Metafilter" folder and uncheck the "Unread only" box.

If you want to add the feeds directly, go to the Metafilter About page. Look for "Sites" in the bottom bar. Look for the little square orange box icons. Those are the urls of some of the Metafilter feeds. Click them to go to the url directly. You can paste those urls into your search box, or add them to a different RSS reader.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 12:54 AM on January 1 [7 favorites]

You can also add a single post to your rss reader by using the subscribe link just after the date under the post title. That way you will get the comments in your feed.
posted by soelo at 11:39 AM on January 1

I would not use this, and if it existed I'd hope it would be an opt-in feature and not a default setting that I'd have to opt out of every time I log in to the site.
posted by headnsouth at 6:14 AM on January 2 [2 favorites]

“MeFirehose: MetaUnfiltered”
posted by Mister Moofoo at 2:40 PM on January 2

I was coming in to say what TheophileEscargot said much better above. I use Feedly as well, and if you want a firehose this wil definitely work.
posted by rjs at 12:11 AM on January 3

I wouldn't like or use this, but I think it's a spiffy idea for those who would. (It's the professional organizer in me. I don't like my categories mixed up!)
posted by The Wrong Kind of Cheese at 1:44 AM on January 3

I'm open to the idea, as long as there was the ability to decide which sections I don't want to see. Other sites get along ok with the firehouse idea, it would just be change here at MeFi that would have be managed a bit, but it's certainly possible.

I do worry about AskMeFi possibly losing its identity, but that may be just the old timer in me.

Speaking as user, not any sort of official mod position.
posted by Brandon Blatcher (staff) at 12:11 PM on January 3 [2 favorites]

I see it sort of as the Reddit-ization of Metafilter, if you think of the MeFi subsites as subreddits. The front page would reflect all posts to all subsites. To make it hew even closer to the Reddit style, you'd have to incorporate the My MeFi controls into all of the subsites so it would be possible to exclude any posts from any subsite based on filter settings.

I don't necessarily think of Reddit-izing Metafilter as a good idea, but it's something I would probably experiment with if it were implemented.
posted by emelenjr at 10:20 AM on January 4

To quote Jack Vance, pracowity --
your concept has merit
posted by y2karl at 12:19 PM on January 9

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