New Activity in Dormant Threads July 3, 2003 10:27 AM   Subscribe

Sorry if this has been requested before, but... some lame front-page posts on recently-covered topics (e.g., Blair Hornstine) might be avoided if there were a way to alert interested users of new activity in dormant threads. (more inside)
posted by stonerose to Feature Requests at 10:27 AM (32 comments total)

Well, you can always sort by recent comments.
posted by graventy at 10:29 AM on July 3, 2003

That way, the would-be lame poster might be more apt to resuscitate a dormant thread.

This might require a "sign-up for alerts when this topic has been dormant for more than X number of days" sort of thing.
posted by stonerose at 10:30 AM on July 3, 2003

Mandatory sterilization might also prove useful.
posted by xmutex at 10:40 AM on July 3, 2003

Sorry, kind of snuck in there.

Honestly though, does anyone 'sort by recent comments'? I don't, mainly because I don't have to. I mean, if something new pops up in a story, people just FPP it, instead of posting a comment for it.

I suppose if this was more rigorously enforced, I would start to pay more attention to older-than-two-days threads.
posted by graventy at 10:42 AM on July 3, 2003

There's been some tech issues with the recent comments sorting (see this).
posted by PrinceValium at 10:46 AM on July 3, 2003

Maybe a sidebar for the sorting by "recent comments" thing....
posted by weston at 10:49 AM on July 3, 2003

Recent comments is one thing, but I think what stonerose is talking about is when someone has a new link or a significantly new development that may make the thread lively again. Like when Matt put the Laurie Garrett thread in the sideblog when she wrote back. That's not the same as someone adding a "so's your mother" comeback to someone else's week-old comment. I dunno what the mechanism would be, but I endorse the concept.
posted by soyjoy at 10:59 AM on July 3, 2003

Aren't threads closed after a certain number of days?
posted by drezdn at 11:02 AM on July 3, 2003

Hmm, this is spooky -- I just posted in that thread and wondered how many people actually use the "sort by recent comments" view.

Heck, mathowie himself says "I never sort the home page" in the entry PrinceValium mentioned.

I do think this is an idea worth exploring. Not sure what the best approach would be, though.
posted by pmurray63 at 11:03 AM on July 3, 2003

Hmmm. A "chain link" thread. Maybe an option in "Submit a Link" that says "this links chains onto thread x"?
posted by weston at 11:05 AM on July 3, 2003

Pie-in-the-sky suggestion...

But maybe an updates page, where people can post links that update things discussed recently on Metafilter, with discussion, and a link to the original thread.
posted by drezdn at 11:30 AM on July 3, 2003

I don't think any alteration to MeFi is necessary. If a subject merits continued discussion on MeFi, there is usually no dearth of interesting links to point out new angles on existing topics. The Blair Hornstine link didn't make the cut for me because I think it's an annoying topic and there's nothing more to learn from it.

That said, I've seen people link to a previous post in an FPP that also explained why a new post was merited, and get away with it.
posted by vraxoin at 11:41 AM on July 3, 2003

trharlan, I labelled it a feature request because I think it's something that might cut down on FPP's that many people see as frivolous, while at the same time making it easy for people to keep track of stories they're interested in, and encouraging folks to post updates to previously posted stories which a)don't merit an FPP and b)would probably go unread if they were merely tagged on to a 7 or 28-day-old existing thread.

So... the discourse of 'violations' doesn't need to apply here, as I see it.
posted by stonerose at 12:33 PM on July 3, 2003

Honestly, on the Blair Hornstine thing, I'm incredibly sick of her as a topic as well. But it is quite interesting to read an article that gives us the local point(s) of view. Therefore, I think the post is a good one.

An updates page would be good.
posted by graventy at 1:02 PM on July 3, 2003

You could have a "topic" sidebar, sort of like Yahoo or Google News, with links to posts on various issues. Of course, I gave away the downside of this in the prior sentence - News.
posted by PrinceValium at 1:36 PM on July 3, 2003

How hard is it to look at the FPP and say, "oh, jeez, that Blair chick, I don't need to hear any more about that" and just move on?
posted by JanetLand at 2:04 PM on July 3, 2003

JanetLand, that would indeed be easy. It's what most of us do, most of the time. But I was suggesting something designed to reconcile sometimes conflicting urges within and among MeFi members... your suggestion doesn't address that. If you think this is a trivial agenda, that's cool - but judging by the "____Filter" and "lame FPP / repost" grousing that goes on, a lot of people would disagree.
posted by stonerose at 2:23 PM on July 3, 2003

What we need is some sort of visual cue to indicate a thread is a to another.

Oh, yes. That would be .
posted by mr_crash_davis at 3:48 PM on July 3, 2003

Oh those are CUTE! Spiffy tags!
posted by JanetLand at 4:00 PM on July 3, 2003

If MetaFilter has become the lame "recycled headline" service some of you claim it is, where are the Laci Petersen stories?!? C'mon, I want fetal autopsy pictures, Satanic rumors and a full long-distance psychoanalysis of whatsisname the husband!

Just my way of pointing out that we could do worse. Lots worse. The stories about Blair Horstein, Jayson Blair and Blair Witch, IMO, all fulfilled the minimum requirements for MeFi, but not everyone agrees. NOT EVERYONE AGREES. If everyone agreed, it would do far more damage to this site than all the "below-standard" posts. If you don't like it, skip it.

And, kudos to mr_crash_davis for helping to remind us what nobody wants MeFi to become. Don't let the flashy tags blind you JanetLand, you do NOT want to get Farked over.
posted by wendell at 4:06 PM on July 3, 2003

Fark is great. MetaFilter is great. No need to denigrate one to praise the other.
posted by NortonDC at 4:22 PM on July 3, 2003

how in the hell do you sort by new comments? i took a hiatus from the web for a few months. i must have missed that.
posted by centrs at 4:29 PM on July 3, 2003

nevermind, i figured it out.
posted by centrs at 4:56 PM on July 3, 2003

Seems like a job for TrackBack tags...
posted by Vidiot at 7:26 PM on July 3, 2003

Like everyone else, I'm tired of Blair -- but the latest link to her story was full of detail that has been previously unseen. Her previous links generated a lot of comments. It is reasonable to assume that many people would be mildly interested to see a final update. I'm thankful for the latest Blair FPP... and I hope we won't hear of her again.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:04 PM on July 3, 2003

Oh, and as well as a pony, I'd like a checkbox that will let me collate the FPPs I'm interested in following, without requiring that I post a comment (which lets me use sort-by-my-comments as a collation tool.)

A whole lot of lurkers would like that feature, too, I'm certain.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:05 PM on July 3, 2003

And we should care what lurkers would like because .......?
just a wittle joke, don't kill me
posted by dg at 12:11 AM on July 4, 2003

The vision I have is a section like BlogPopuli, which lets people use the Trackback feature (or a web form) to post links of interest that don't necessarily merit a conversation. This could be used for MeFi updates and various other things in MeTa that generate spinning-wheels threads.
posted by dhartung at 12:20 AM on July 4, 2003

I'm Blair Hornstine

posted by matteo at 12:31 AM on July 4, 2003

A whole lot of lurkers would like that feature, too, I'm certain.

And we should care what lurkers would like because .......?

Because then they won't post pointless crap in a thread just to keep track of it using sort-by-my-comments, hopefully improving the noise-to-signal ratio.

Of course, there's always bookmarks.
posted by rory at 2:52 AM on July 4, 2003

post pointless crap in a thread just to keep track of it

now we're inventing bad behavior to fix?
this is too funny...
posted by quonsar at 7:51 AM on July 4, 2003

Okay quonsar, so maybe they post fine and thoughtful comments like "This is great, thanks!" just to keep track of the thread using sort-by-my-comments. I've done that once or twice, I'll admit.

I see no particular need myself for the feature that sparked this thread. Just responding to those comments for the sake of discussion.
posted by rory at 8:51 AM on July 4, 2003

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