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FilteredRecentChanges is a general term encompassing many sorts of filtering that could be applied to RecentChanges. Some pages which are specializations of this concept:
The easiest kind of filtering to implement on a wiki is to filter on the granularity of pages, rather than to filter individual Changes or individual comments.
[CategoryUncommonWikiTechnology] (different wikis implement different types of filtering)
- Different people have different interests; not all RecentChanges are interesting to all people.
- Different people have different levels of time available on different days. This is my biggest problem. There are some pages whose changes I will look at if I only have a a couple of minutes (like my homepage, or a page I have recently posted on). There are other pages that I will look at only if I have some time. Filters could help one keep up better when I only have a little time, rather than disappearing totally for a month and then coming back (and not having the old change logs available anymore).
- Manual filtering is inevitable; no one has enough time to read every change. Why not provide tools to help people do what they are already going to do?
See also FilterMore.
Why not to Filter?
- If different people see different Changes, there would be less CommonContext for a community to form on. Different subcommunities may evolve different communal norms, setting the stage for later conflict.
- If the reason for filtering is differences in interests, it might perhaps be best just to divide the wiki into multiple wikis.
- It becomes harder to interpret silence. Have many people seen what you've said and not posted anything? Or are most people filtering the page upon which you have posted?
OddMuse has implemented a filtered recent changes that is based on a search. The search term is used to produce a set of pages, and then the list of recent changes is produced based on this set only. For better usability, a link to a filtered list of recent changes is added to every search output. When you click on the header of a category, this "lists the backlinks" as we say, but in effect it just searches for the page name. Since it is a search, a link to the filtered recent changes for that category is automatically available and can be bookmarked by users.
WikiPedia has a version of filtered recent changes by a feature called the "watchlist". Individual pages are added to a watchlist by a user. Most power users rely on this feature because, on Wikipedia, RecentChanges is essentially only useful for catching vandalism, not monitoring discussions, since it's so large.
Put filtering meta-info on page vs. decouple it from page
I think filtering meta-information (similar to categories) should not be on the page itself. Putting filtering information on the page discourages you from "slicing the information" in lots of different ways (because it adds more crud to the page). For example, it would be impractical for me to put "CategoryBayleShanksPick??" at the bottom of every page that I liked (because if everyone did that...). If the filtering information is stored elsewhere, however, this becomes practical. (this is related to the idea of a SectionedPage).
Recently I've been thinking of something for a UnifiedRecentChanges engine. Everybody gets their own login, the purpose of which is to store on the server the list of wikis you are interested in, plus the list of pages you aren't interested in. It then pulls everything together via RSS (including synthesizing the RSS for sites that don't have it). The RC listing itself can even have a "hide" link to allow you to suppress any page in the list that you don't care about. -- anon.
- Insufficient for the BiggestWikis, but a nice start.
I have started implementing a similar idea. But I don't want individuals to subscribe to wikis or pages but wikis. So wiki communities can extend their focus to pages in neighbouring wikis. The wikis are expected to include the foreign RC entries in their own RC list. If everything works individual account should be easy. See MoinMoin:AdoptedPages, FailingRevolution -- MoinMoin:FlorianFesti