Thoughts on a new thread-tracking feature? March 29, 2000 5:56 PM   Subscribe

Oooh, new feature idea brought to my attention by Bryan Boyer: Letting users track threads of their choosing. So you come in, see some long thread about how gas costs too much and you want to track just that thread. You'd click some link, and I'm thinking that the top of the page should say "1 new link and 4 new comments since your last visit, 3 new comments in the 4 threads you are tracking" and I suppose hyperlink to just those threads. I can display it any old way, would that be the most helpful, or should there be a new page with just your favorite threads (a "MyMetaFilter")? Would *you* use something like this? I know I would...
posted by mathowie (staff) to Feature Requests at 5:56 PM (19 comments total)

If you could have a personalised XML feed almost like the one on

so that you could put a box on your site, "meta-talk I'm interested in", and help some sites get a little bit more interactive.

Just a thought

posted by Neale at 6:49 PM on March 29, 2000

or alternately have a box like that *on* MeFi that is toggleable (like the floaty menu) and populates according to the sites you've checked... that way you keep the traffic on MeFi, but the experience is a little more customized. I mean, I think it's a great feature either way (almost as great as post-editing) - but I like the Hot Topics table idea personally.
posted by CrazyUncleJoe at 8:39 PM on March 29, 2000 [1 favorite]

Along the same lines (and inspired by the fact that there were nearly five dozen comments waiting when last I logged in), is there a way to dynamically insert an anchor at the top of each link detail page that says "Jump to newest comments" or somesuch? When the pages grow to 15 or more comments, I have difficulty keeping track of what I've read and haven't. (Also, for particularly long discussions, the timeout that clears the "new" comment tags is a bit short.)
posted by bradlands at 12:27 AM on March 30, 2000

Yes, having a single page with just new comments (in context, preferably) would be fantastic. The same goes for tracking favorite threads.
It would be interesting to see how much longer, if at all, some threads would last with a “thread tracker.”
Being able to see anyone’s preferences (on their “profile” page) would be cool. I don’t know why I think this.
posted by gleemax at 1:36 AM on March 30, 2000

I vote for either version, here or on your own website. It would be very nice, as a sitebuilder type person, to be able to add "MeFi threads I'm tracking" to my own sight. Something like the "Favorites in Javascript" (please, no hitting).
posted by mrmorgan at 10:18 AM on March 30, 2000 [1 favorite]

“3 new comments in the 4 threads you are tracking”
My God, that’s amazing!
posted by gleemax at 11:31 AM on March 30, 2000

I will say in my defence that I have slept very little in the past three days.
posted by gleemax at 11:32 AM on March 30, 2000

I suggested to matt (and I think this is what Crazy Uncle Joe is talking about also) that there be an added "my threads" dhtml floaty thingy that allows you to keep a list of your tracked threads.

It seems to me that seperating the thread tracker from the threads would prove to be rather tedious over time. When I find a post I'm interested in I will check back a couple times a day for maybe two or three days but I have rarely spent a week (or two or three) constantly going back to a thread. This means that users (if they're all like me. And, I mean seriously, all users are exactly like me, right? [yes, that was a joke]) need to be able to add and delete threads from their thread tracker very quickly and very easily.

Having a "track this thread" option attatched to each top posting makes a lot of sense to me. This would allow one to surf metafilter like they already do, but always have quick access to the posts that matter to them.

Tying this together with a "jump to new posts" idea as Brad mentioned makes even more sense. For instance, the links in the "my threads" floater could automatically take you to the most recent post in that thread

This is probably my outlandish opinion, but I think caving to a a "myMetaFilter" idea is an easy way out. The idea of a thread tracker should be fully integrated, not some other section of the site.
posted by bryanboyer at 2:15 PM on March 30, 2000

Well, if you're going to go make sense, I'm just going to agree with you and sulk in a corner.
posted by mrmorgan at 2:58 PM on March 30, 2000

Damn, more good ideas from Bryan...anyone know ColdFusion? It's not looking like I'll have a heck of a lot of free time in the next few weeks, but I really wish I could implement these things asap...
posted by mathowie (staff) at 4:05 PM on March 30, 2000

If by "know" you mean "downloaded the eval copy and intend to play with it this weekend" then yes... otherwise, not really.
posted by CrazyUncleJoe at 4:56 PM on March 30, 2000

i'd really like to be able to track links and comments made by individual users, too, ala buddy/trusted list. i find that i consistently enjoy the posts of a few usres, and it'd be nice to see more wheat than that other stuff...
posted by mmanning at 5:01 PM on March 30, 2000

If only MeFi was done in ASP...*tsk*
posted by dangerman at 9:08 PM on March 30, 2000 [1 favorite]

I'd prefer almost the opposite ... some little check box next to each posting where I can click "not for me" or some such and then that thread just disappears from my view [maybe unless it reaches critical mass of 10 comments, or some MF user of my choice posts there...] that way accumulated posts don't squeeze the ones I'm really interested in down to the very bottom.

Actually, there's an idea: MetaStalker. Track only the posts and comments by your fave MetaPersonalities.

Still waiting for the Team Meta T-shirts...

posted by jessamyn at 12:05 AM on March 31, 2000

I see a booth at next year's SxSW -
"Meat (sic) Team Meta"

I like the MetaStalker idea, just because I want a feature on the screen with that name... I'd come out in favor of a MetaPersonalities page, but we're off the elitist popularity contests this week...
posted by CrazyUncleJoe at 10:03 AM on March 31, 2000

I'm with the Crazy Uncle--having a feature called "MetaStalker" might get Metafilter blocked by the censorware companies. You'd know, then, that Metafilter had really arrived. It could go on the T-Shirt: "Team MetaFilter: We're Not Welcome Here"
posted by mrmorgan at 1:45 PM on March 31, 2000

Man, I gotta get a job where I can wear geeky t-shirts to work.
posted by CrazyUncleJoe at 3:24 PM on March 31, 2000

Like I need prompting to come visit... I'm already edging into the territory of obsessive-compulsive behavior where MetaFilter's concerned.

I can stop anytime I want.
posted by Sapphireblue at 10:34 PM on March 31, 2000

I was such a wanker back then.
posted by gleemax at 2:43 AM on November 10, 2001

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