New Feature August 16, 2005 6:55 AM   Subscribe

Testing a new feature: Recent Comments on my Posts page [more inside]
posted by mathowie to Feature Requests at 6:55 AM (52 comments total)

After using flickr for a while, I realized I became addicted to my "recent activity" and "comments I've made" pages and wanted the same feature to track MetaFilter site activity on my posts and where I left comments. Thanks to the help of my helper monkey Erik, this is the first stab at a recent activity page (the page for comments you've left on other posts is forthcoming).

Here's a screenshot of my view, showing a recent post I've made and the most recent comment made on that post. It highlights my own post so I know that I indeed did say that and every username links to their user page, and the "said" link goes to the comment permalink.

It defaults to three days of previous activity on posts you've made to MeFi, Ask MeFi, or MetaTalk, and there's a handy dropdown to pick different time periods.

The look of it is temporary, as I'll refine the layout and allow those using the plain text metafilter theme to see it as intended.

Here is the live page for your own posts, and the URL will likely stay the same. Please report any bugs or weirdness you find, and whether or not you find it useful. As I said, there are still visual tweaks to do to the page (like adding a header/footer) before I link this anywhere on the site, and again, the "comments I've made" page is coming next.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 6:56 AM on August 16, 2005


Rad, although that page returns an SQL error for me...
posted by Marquis at 7:01 AM on August 16, 2005


What's the sql error? A timeout?
posted by mathowie (staff) at 7:02 AM on August 16, 2005


Error Executing Database Query.
[Macromedia][SQLServer JDBC Driver]Syntax error at token 0, line 0 offset 0.

Once this works, it'll be supremely awesome. Thanks!
posted by selfnoise at 7:03 AM on August 16, 2005


Syntax error at token 0, line 0 offset 0.
Broke real fast for me, heh.
(Plus pls make white/blue version also)
posted by bonaldi at 7:04 AM on August 16, 2005


Hm..

As long as I do 1 or 2 weeks it works. The other time settings return that error.
posted by selfnoise at 7:04 AM on August 16, 2005


Ah, the sql error is when you have no activity (no posts) made in the previous timeframe.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 7:04 AM on August 16, 2005


Maybe just because I haven't made a post in that amount of time?
posted by selfnoise at 7:05 AM on August 16, 2005


It would be useful for there to be a message displaying for those users (like me) who haven't made a FPP in the past two weeks. At the moment, it spits out a "Error Executing Database Query" message, which doesn't make it clear if you don't have recent posts or if the coding is broken.
posted by raedyn at 7:05 AM on August 16, 2005


Whoops, right.
posted by selfnoise at 7:05 AM on August 16, 2005


Plus pls make white/blue version also

Like I said "The look of it is temporary, as I'll refine the layout and allow those using the plain text metafilter theme to see it as intended."
posted by mathowie (staff) at 7:05 AM on August 16, 2005


yes, raedyn, I am adding a zero result message.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 7:06 AM on August 16, 2005


I like this idea, but I don't post that often. I comment regularly though, so maybe we could add a page that tracks discussions we've commented in as well? At some point? Right now I'll click through to the comment links on my user page, which is a little cumbersome by comparison.
posted by whatnot at 7:07 AM on August 16, 2005


tweaks for later: The header should either be "My posts' recent activity" or "My posts: Recent activity"

on preview: how did I miss that whole entire line? Jesus, sorry.

I've now made posts in the past 24 hours, but they aren't yet showing up. Is that expected?
posted by bonaldi at 7:08 AM on August 16, 2005


Could it default to a number of posts instead of a time, so like "last five posts"? I'm a sporadic poster so it's just null null null null for me.
posted by jessamyn at 7:08 AM on August 16, 2005


so maybe we could add a page that tracks discussions we've commented in as well?

"and again, the "comments I've made" page is coming next"

I've now made posts in the past 24 hours, but they aren't yet showing up. Is that expected?

A comment is not a post. You haven't made a post in over a month to any of the three sites, so no new comments have come in on those.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 7:11 AM on August 16, 2005


Could it default to a number of posts instead of a time, so like "last five posts"?

That would end up diving far, far into the link and comment databases for all three sections of the site.

This tracks recent comment activity on your posts, so the shorter the timeframe, the easier it is to query all this data. For instance, I found out this morning that someone made a comment in the past few hours on a mefi post I made over three weeks ago. I would have missed it otherwise.

This should also be useful for Ask Mefi questions, as you can monitor any new answers that show up for that entire month after you post.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 7:13 AM on August 16, 2005


Cool! Works well for me!
posted by mkultra at 7:15 AM on August 16, 2005


Could we direct this to other users? I hope that's intended, I'd like to be able to plug in any username to get the same page of their comments, very neat.

Also - the timeframe filter doesn't work unless I put it on 3 weeks.
posted by odinsdream at 7:17 AM on August 16, 2005


Er.. 2 weeks.
posted by odinsdream at 7:17 AM on August 16, 2005


I've changed the name to make it more obvious that it's about recent comments on your posts.

Could we direct this to other users?

I think instead of that, I'll be adding a "add this post to my favorites" feature so you can track good Ask MeFi questions, interesting MeFi posts, etc over time in the same fashion. It would give you a page of all the threads you are tracking with recent comments.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 7:20 AM on August 16, 2005


the timeframe filter doesn't work unless I put it on 2 weeks.

This is not a bug as it is working as intended. The last comment made on your last Ask MeFi post was 10 days ago, which is more than 3 days, more than 7 days, but less than two weeks ago.

I think this will all be more obvious when there is a way to view comments you've left on other posts, which is more useful than tracking comment activity on your posts, which is more rare.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 7:21 AM on August 16, 2005


If you want to see it in action, just post to one of your old threads.
posted by smackfu at 7:27 AM on August 16, 2005


Very cool thanks mathowie. Umm...I've got the comments in my lastest post in which there's the time at say 6 or 5 or whatever hours ago with a "needs tuning" next to it ??
posted by peacay at 7:29 AM on August 16, 2005


Yeah, peacay, there's a giant "relative time" function that needs all sorts of descriptions for various time frames.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 7:33 AM on August 16, 2005


matt: a great addition to this would be to let people 'subscribe' to posts that they didn't make, but were intrested in following up on.
posted by delmoi at 8:15 AM on August 16, 2005


Very cool. thanks
posted by R. Mutt at 8:49 AM on August 16, 2005


Yay, more fun stuff!

And I like delmoi's idea a lot.
posted by SisterHavana at 8:56 AM on August 16, 2005


delmoi: sounds like that is in the works.

(P.S. this is great!)
posted by brain_drain at 8:56 AM on August 16, 2005


Excellent! One thing that might not be a big deal: I was able to query two years' worth by playing with the URL. If that's a hard load for the servers, you can change your form to a POST rather than a GET.
posted by ewagoner at 8:58 AM on August 16, 2005


This is awesome. Thanks, Matt. Is the plan to eventually link this up to our user pages? Or should I just bookmark this? In any case, it's quite the cool widget.
posted by .kobayashi. at 9:01 AM on August 16, 2005


I like it.
posted by caddis at 9:05 AM on August 16, 2005


You know what would be a good idea? If we could subscribe to posts that we didn't even make ourselves.
posted by grouse at 9:06 AM on August 16, 2005


Matt..just so you know...that post of mine now has:

7 hours ago
7 hours ago
5 a few hours ago
2 a few hours ago
2 a few hours ago
13 minutes ago
recorded against the comments.
posted by peacay at 9:16 AM on August 16, 2005


Very Cool, Matt!

Will you be working on a "MetaInterestingness" view soon too? ;~)
*Cackles, ducks, and runs from the thread...
posted by mmahaffie at 9:18 AM on August 16, 2005


Now the entries alongside the comments are right.
posted by peacay at 9:26 AM on August 16, 2005


I don't know if helper monkeys are allowed to comment, but I just tweaked the "fuzzy date" code for displaying the age of the comments... it still needs a little more fine tuning but you wont see the "5 a few hours ago" like peacay reported.
posted by Errorik at 9:27 AM on August 16, 2005


love it!
posted by amberglow at 9:31 AM on August 16, 2005


This shit is real nice.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 9:37 AM on August 16, 2005


I love this, and it would be really neat if it was colored like the user contacts page. I love that page but I never actually use it. :(
posted by smackfu at 9:40 AM on August 16, 2005


Sexy!
posted by JanetLand at 9:54 AM on August 16, 2005


Man, if only I ever posted.

/me works up link with throwaway paragraph about website of cable news channel
posted by cortex at 10:17 AM on August 16, 2005


it's off-the-charts cool, thanks Matt
posted by matteo at 10:29 AM on August 16, 2005


it would be really neat if it was colored like the user contacts page.

Yeah, that's the plan once I move the page into the MeFi template -- to do the colors for each section.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:01 AM on August 16, 2005


Pretty cool. I don't post all that much, but this will be great for people who do.

There are a few friends and family members who "stalk" everything I do on MeFi (since I retired my blog, anyway) and I'm sure they will be thrilled, too :P
posted by scarabic at 12:11 PM on August 16, 2005


This is awesome, Matt. I too am addicted to the Flickr interface and love being able to easily check in to see if there have been updates to photos that way.

The Pony Parade has been most gracious in recent weeks, thanks!

By the way, it worked perfectly for me!
posted by fenriq at 1:11 PM on August 16, 2005


mathowie writes "I think instead of that, I'll be adding a 'add this post to my favorites' feature so you can track good Ask MeFi questions, interesting MeFi posts, etc over time in the same fashion. It would give you a page of all the threads you are tracking with recent comments."

Yay!
posted by Mitheral at 2:24 PM on August 16, 2005


Great idea -- thanks, mathowie!
posted by me3dia at 3:04 PM on August 16, 2005


Nice work! Thanks.
posted by matildaben at 3:09 PM on August 16, 2005


Looking good. Thank you. Makes me want to post, which I guess is a good thing. I hope.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 4:45 PM on August 16, 2005


Yay - for this and for the promised additions, too. It's great when ponies are delivered. Thank you.
posted by birdsquared at 5:58 PM on August 16, 2005


Pony delivery.
posted by smackfu at 6:55 PM on August 16, 2005


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