Where do I ask a question about MetaFilter and how it's used? March 25, 2005 12:05 PM   Subscribe

Do I ask this here (or has it been asked before) ??
I want to ask people just how they organize their MeFi/MeTa/AskMe screens/feeds/time - I'm not actually asking yet as I want to think about framing the question a bit more (so it might become wider surfing focussed or not), but should it go here or in AskMe?
(but people might answer anyway so it could be a moot point I guess)
posted by peacay to Etiquette/Policy at 12:05 PM (27 comments total)

All MeFi questions go here. Just ask the question. And speak up sonny, we're old and crotchety and...


What's the question? Ask quickly before Matt nukes this thread into cinders for being pointless.
posted by loquacious at 12:15 PM on March 25, 2005

I organize my screens with a "bookmark all tabs" bookmark in my firefox toolbar. It loads mefi, metatalk, and ask mefi in three tabs and I just load that once every so often when I have a break in action during the day.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 12:20 PM on March 25, 2005

I hope you never apply for a job as a doorman loquacious
posted by peacay at 12:26 PM on March 25, 2005

I guess this is an admission of perceived inefficiency. I use IE (kinda under sufferage) and start off with a page for each MeFi section. But once I comment and go along into loading FPP links I find I'm just getting a ton of screens going and never knowing which is which kinda thing. I'm reloading pages I comment in to follow the play but then having to open up the main sites again in new screens so I can keep an eye on new threads. It just seems to get out of control and I'm not usually disordered in regular swanning around the web. I also recently started to get feeds coming into bloglines which is good I guess if MeFi site is ever down but I'm just wondering if efficiency experts around have established tricks/habits/rules that keep them a bit better organized than I'm describing here. (And yes, I've taken my medication)
posted by peacay at 12:36 PM on March 25, 2005

I recently tried pulling MeFi and AskMe into RSS reader Bloglines, but because of the sheer volume, I find myself putting off clicking the MeFi entry -- if I do, I'm committed to reading all 30, 40, 50 posts at once. If you can escape that, RSSing should speed up your MeFi reading.

Every time I find a good MeFi thread to follow, I drag it into my bookmarks toolbar (far more useful than a home page), rename it "M" to save space, click it to load the favicon into the toolbar entry, and check occasionally.

So, to summarize: RSS for the front pages, tiny bookmarks for single threads.

Matt, I can't find a MeTa feed for the life of me; what am I missing?
posted by NickDouglas at 12:39 PM on March 25, 2005

I'm only trying to disarm you peacay and get you to speak up and not be so timid about it. And you weren't on my lawn, that dog-poo eating weirdo kid from across the street was. I keep finding him committing hideous crimes against nature in my begonias.

I do pretty much what Matt does, except I have MeFi, MeTa and AskMe in buttons on the links toolbar in Firefox, and then I open them individually or ctrl-clicking to throw 'em in tabs, because sometimes I don't want to load all three.

That's it, no feeds or anything.

And I've actually been a doorman a few times, usually for illicit afterhours clubs. It's fun, and kind of scary.
posted by loquacious at 12:40 PM on March 25, 2005

I do have a bookmark that takes me to my user profile page, so I can then visit things I've commented on and see what's new in them.

That's interesting. I'm totally addicted to my flickr "recent activity" and "comments you've left" pages and I've been toying with some code to make them for everyone here.

Matt, I can't find a MeTa feed for the life of me; what am I missing?

Nada. There isn't one.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 12:41 PM on March 25, 2005

I'm reloading pages I comment in to follow the play but then having to open up the main sites again in new screens so I can keep an eye on new threads. It just seems to get out of control and I'm not usually disordered in regular swanning around the web.

I don't think you're alone in this. Earlier I had something like 20+ windows open (by no means a record), some with bunches of tabs in them. But then again, at the time I was doing some research for my post, as well as actively following and commenting in a few threads. And some of those comments needed researching as well, hence all the spawned windows.

I probably need a life, though.
posted by loquacious at 12:43 PM on March 25, 2005

But then again, at the time I was doing some research for my post, as well as actively following and commenting in a few threads.

And meanwhile opening some other bookmarks, checking the news, IMing a friend, exploring a site discovered during research...the Internet is too damn cool for its own good, innit? And clever questions like "Where are our lines?" just make it worse.
posted by NickDouglas at 12:48 PM on March 25, 2005

I get to the various sections of MeFi from my feedreader these days, and I wouldn't mind a universal Blue-Gray-Green-(Red?) RSS feed from which I could keep track of everything.
posted by brownpau at 12:53 PM on March 25, 2005

just make it worse......As do new links in comments with only MeFi #'s in the addi meaning you have to click if you want to understand what sarcastic moment NickDouglas has just foisted on the unsuspecting populace.
posted by peacay at 12:55 PM on March 25, 2005

Seriously. Damn your hide, NickDouglas. I just got down to three windows. My answer.
posted by loquacious at 12:58 PM on March 25, 2005

Actually that's not altogether true....I'd (not) diligently read that AskMe post a while ago but yeah.......there is way too much input at times to the point I want a secretary to spoon feed me
posted by peacay at 12:59 PM on March 25, 2005

Oh, cool, didn't realize you could link to URLs with the headline; tell me how.
posted by NickDouglas at 1:06 PM on March 25, 2005

You mean like this, NickDouglas? The links for specific comments is the timestamp in the "posted by" tag.
posted by loquacious at 1:27 PM on March 25, 2005

It's easy: I open one browser window or tab. I go to Ask, and if there are no new questions, or no interesting threads with new answers, I go check my posting history. If none of the archived threads have any life left in them, I go to MetaTalk. If there are no new train wrecks to gawk at, I dip into MetaFilter. It only takes a few minutes to gloss down the front page -- since despite the lack of a golden age it truly is more craptacular than ever these days -- check out a couple of the interesting gems, and wander away. Rinse and repeat as desired.

Having this "fall-through" routine allows me to avoid the grey and blue for hours or days at a time.
posted by majick at 1:42 PM on March 25, 2005

I tried reading the blue in a RSS reader but it doesn't show you anything about number of comments - i might check a seemingly uninteresting thread if it has lot of comments or wait on an interesting looking one without much inside. so i went back to manually browsing blue.

On the other hand - AskMe is great through RSS. I'd still like to have an idea (rough due to cache-ing as it may be) of how many responses there are, but even without - it wroks.
posted by 31d1 at 1:56 PM on March 25, 2005

I haven't had the time to develop a suitably refined practice yet, but I keep a folder in my bookmarks bar with assorted metafilter links: the three main pages, lofi, status, and my profile page. I usually hit the green and the gray first, then over to the blue on occasion and the other bookmarks even less. At the main pages, I'll open any interesting threads in a new tab and then close 'em up after I've read the individual threads. I comment in far less threads than I read. This isn't because I don't have the impulse to comment more; it's a time management maneuver since I know I'll spend too long composing a comment (and still mess it up somehow) and I'll probably return to the thread later if I've commented in it. I use feeds for other things, but not for metafilter.
posted by safetyfork at 2:03 PM on March 25, 2005

For some reason, I don't have a link to mefi, askmefi, or metatalk. I just always type them in the browser.

I don't know why, but now it's a tradition for me.
posted by beth at 2:12 PM on March 25, 2005

I click from one page to the other. I also use a Firefox extension that remembers the last comment I read in each thread, and automatically scrolls me to the first unread comment. (It also notes any deleted comments.) That makes following the action a bit easier.
posted by orthogonality at 2:25 PM on March 25, 2005

I have a folder of bookmarks for Mefi: the 3 Mefis, MefiWiki, Current Status, Tada List, Lofi, even the Contribution Index. I open MeTa and MeFi from that in tabs and open any interesting threads in tabs to follow the discussion. Occasionally venture into AskMe if I'm bored. I need a life.
posted by Arch Stanton at 2:40 PM on March 25, 2005

Is that done with MetaFilthy, ortho? You should have it set up so that when anyone mentions your name in a thread, it loads a new tab. Wait, how good is your computer?
posted by Arch Stanton at 2:41 PM on March 25, 2005

I use a really good RSS reader that collates individual posts into a single super-feed.
posted by nicwolff at 5:43 PM on March 25, 2005

I get AskMe on my LJ friends page, but a couple of times a day I'll go to the blue and from there go to the grey. I post all my favorite AskMe threads to del.icio.us, because they have things that are useful to me that I might refer to later. If there's an interesting thread on the blue or grey, I just check it next time I read the sites.
posted by sugarfish at 7:46 PM on March 25, 2005

I only have a bookmark to the blue. Used to have a bookmark to the green when it was only linked through metatalk, but no more. I never have more than 6 pages open for mefi at a time:

1) Mefi main page
2) Current mefi link I'm looking at
3) The associated comment page
4) Metatalk
5) Ask main page
6) The current ask thread I'm looking at

and unless a thread/question I'm looking at has been metatalked, I don't even bother looking at metatalk until I've closed down everything else so really I cap at 5.

How the heck does one get up to 20?!
posted by juv3nal at 5:43 AM on March 26, 2005

20 is nothing.

Uhm... multiple threads, lots of different websites, email, gmail, remote admin tools in-browser, del.icio.us, more.

I also have a special supervillian homepage loaded with scripts and java apps that points to things like NOAA, moon phase data, a few feeds and more.

I could consolidate a lot of the web stuff into one window in tabs, but there's a lot of times when I want to see pages side by side, or when it's quicker to alt-tab between individual windows when editing and researching. Sometimes ctrl-tab and ctrl-shift-tab is too slow.

That's not counting bittorrent trackers, slsk, a pop-up taskbar sunclock, IM and IRC clients, SSH terminal windows, DOS windows, VNC windows, notepad (for scratchpad and notetaking), winamp and more.

And this is mainly on just the one primary desktop - a p3 500mhz laptop figuratively chained to the desk in a web of power, VGA, and USB cabling. I often/usually run three desktops: Another p3 500 (desktop) and an ancient Toshiba P1 266 laptop, each with their own CRT and slaved to the main machine with win2VNC for ninja-like virtual KVM action and multitasking.

Yes, there are more computers in the house. No, none of this is even remotely impressive to an ubergeek, but I take pride in being able to kludge together a robust, stable, and complex system out of older hardware that is essentially all free.

And the really sad thing is the only real reason that all of this is there is for it to feed vast quantities of trivial information into my brain and otherwise entertain me. I also make art and music, and write with it.

However, to say that I was at all organized would be a serious affront to the nature of the cosmos itself, and may result in immediate death.
posted by loquacious at 7:22 AM on March 26, 2005

Oh, I misread that, juv3nal.

I can but don't often have 20 pages open for MeFi alone. Sometimes I'll pop open a dozen or few dozen threads just so I can consume them all in a quick run through. I really enjoy reading the comments here, and I'm an absolutely voracious, nearly predatory reader.

I probably consume a enough text every day to fill a small novel. I didn't say I had a life. :)
posted by loquacious at 7:26 AM on March 26, 2005

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