META: List filtering.

From: Dale Johnstone (
Date: Sat Nov 25 2000 - 13:09:43 MST

Personally, I don't like masses of uninteresting chat in my email, but I
like even less to see people banned, or insulted.

What I want is a way to filter posts so I can reduce the volume of
individuals who's posts rarely interest me, but nothing so drastic that
removes them completely.

If every post had some meta data that said how 'chatty' is was, we could
tune out chatty posts. Sometimes you just want to add a 'me too' or some
quick clarification on a small point of interest. On my imaginary email
client I could move the 'chatty' slider up for this post & send it without
fear of annoying anyone.

Others would receive the post and if it was above their chatty threshold,
they wouldn't see it, but it's still there if they want to refer to it.

To stop abuse of this feature, you could have a scale factor for each
individual in your clients settings. Anyone who thinks their posts are
really interesting but aren't, you simply scale down a slider by their name.

Of course all this requires people to post meta data with their text.
Putting together a simple email client with a couple of sliders next to the
text would make this easy. For backward compatibility people could include
something like 'CHATTINESS=0.8' somewhere in their text, or have it added
automatically by the server (with default settings per person) before it's
relayed to everyone else.

For receiving, people with regular email clients could tell the server (via
a web page) about their preferences & it could filter messages for them.

In addition, I'd like my email client to colour-code posters & do away with
this antiquated '>' indentation crap. We could also have standard subject
meta tags so people can filter on those. As a bonus, I also want to be able
to include sketches & line art to make my points clearer but don't want to
force people to download them. Authentication could also be added on.

This seems very basic to me. I don't understand why it hasn't been done
before. Or has it?

 I'm willing to spend a little time writing a simple java email client with
meta sliders if there's enough interest. Anyone willing to do the server
side stuff? Do we have a server we can use for this?

Maybe we could even merge the list back into the Extropians list with
approprate meta tag support.


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