[AMA] I am /u/avapoet, creator of MegaMegaMonitor, cartographer of the MegaLounges, and general hacker-geek. AMA.

This self-post was originally posted to /r/Askreddit_MegaLounge. See more things from Dan's Reddit account.

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I was asked to do an AMA here, so… here I am! If you know me already, it’s probably because you use MegaMegaMonitor [install here], a browser plugin I made that helps you to see where you are relative to others in the MegaLounges as well as in a variety of other private subreddits. You’ve probably seen the link in the sidebar of /r/askreddit_megalounge, right?

Recently, I’ve been adding features to help moderators of private subreddits to manage their membership, and I’m always open to suggestions for future features. MegaMegaMonitor’s not been without its controversies, though: and I’m happy to tell you about them, if you’re interested.


I’m a believer in the AMA concept, though (and I’m not sure how much I can really say about MegaMegaMonitor: it speaks for itself, doesn’t it?), so here’s some other things that people often ask me about on Reddit or elsewhere, in case that’s what you wanted to know about:

  • I can pretty-much guarantee that I’ve got the shortest name of anybody you’ve ever met.
  • I live in Oxford, UK, where I run the websites of the libraries of the University of Oxford.
  • I also do freelance web application development and I help run a non-profit that makes software for charities.
  • I’m in a slightly-unusual romantic relationship, in that my partner is married to somebody other than me, and we all live together.
  • I’ve been blogging since the 1990s, and have never (deliberately) deleted a post.
  • I’m a keen geocacher and a magician-in-training.

So – what can I tell you about MegaMegaMonitor, me, or anything else? I’m all yours from now until I go to bed (and I’ll be back online in the morning, so anything I miss I’ll pick up then)!

Edit (23:47 BST / 22:47 UTC): I’m going to bed, but I’m still answering questions (I’m taking my phone, so they’ll be shorter replies, and only until I fall asleep), and then I’ll check in again tomorrow morning. Thanks for the lovely words, guys!

Edit2: Tuesday morning. Back at my desk; working from home today so if you still want me, I’m all yours. I’m hoping to release a new version of MegaMegaMonitor this afternoon.

MegaMegaMonitor v104 released – minor improvement to “lists”

This self-post was originally posted to /r/MegaMegaMonitor. See more things from Dan's Reddit account.

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Tiny new release with thanks to /u/greypo for highlighting the need for it. In v102, bulk-inviting people to a subreddit would fall over and stop if it came to somebody who was banned from that subreddit, requiring the user to manually remove their name from the list before they could continue. In v104, instead, it treats them the same as if their username was invalid: it logs the reason that it failed to invite them, but then carries on with the rest of the list.

tl;dr: if you didn’t know you needed this feature, you don’t.



MegaMegaMonitor v102 released – message encryption, icon suppression, gilding graphs, and moderator tools

This self-post was originally posted to /r/MegaMegaMonitor. See more things from Dan's Reddit account.

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I’ve just released MegaMegaMonitor v102. As usual, the new version will probably install itself automatically the next time that your installation of Greasemonkey/Tampermonkey decides to check for it, but you can – if you prefer – force the upgrade to happen immediately by installing MegaMegaMonitor again.

Here’s what’s new in 102:

  • The message encryption tools, which were partially shown off last month, are now available for your use. With them, you can add secret messages to posts and comments that can only be read my MegaMegaMonitor users who also happen to be in particular private subreddits. For example, here’s a secret message that only people in /r/MegaMegaMegaLounge (or higher) will be able to read:

Either you don’t have MegaMegaMonitor installed, or you’re not in the MegaMegaMegaLounge. Sorry!

  • For those of you who were concerned about the proliferation of icons across your screens, and don’t want to see so many, there’s now an icon suppression option. So if you’re in /r/gildeddrunk but don’t want to keep spotting your fellow alcoholics around the place, you can hide that icon. It doesn’t stop other people from that subreddit from seeing the icon next to your name, though!

Edit: Turns out this feature was in v100, too. I can’t keep track. I was pretty sure that there were four features I meant to tell you about today, though… I wonder what I’ve forgotten…

  • Remember the gilding graphs tool I showed you at the start of this month? Well: now it’s a bona fide part of MegaMegaMonitor, and it’s far easier to use than the old copy-and-paste-the-Javascript way, so there’s no excuse for you not to make yourself a graph to show off how you’ve been gilding.
  • And finally, lists. I showed off screenshots from a prototype version of this feature last week, and since then it’s been refined and improved into something that I hope will really help the moderators of some of my favourite private subreddits. But because it runs from your own computer, you can use it even on subreddits that I’m not personally part of (although that does make it a little slower than other MegaMegaMonitor features)! If you can’t see how MMM lists might be useful to you, here’s a recipe book of use cases that might help you to understand.

This is probably the biggest ever new release of MegaMegaMonitor, with a stack of fun new features. Sorry about the delay in releasing it: those of you who know about my personal life have an idea of how busy this month has been for me, so that’s my excuse for the delay!


Edit2: I’ve remembered what the fourth thing is, now! I’ve tried to improve the ‘hover’ behaviour of the MMM popup, so it shouldn’t bug you so much if your cursor drifts over it by accident!

MegaMegaMonitor v100 released, now with support for /r/gilderguild

This self-post was originally posted to /r/gilderguild. See more things from Dan's Reddit account.

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Full announcement over here

So yeah: I’ve just released the new version of MegaMegaMonitor, and it includes (among other things) support for /r/gilderguild.

What does this mean? Well: it means that you can install MegaMegaMonitor and you’ll be able to instantly identify your fellow Gilder Guild members anywhere else you see them on Reddit. Here’s an example of what it looks like when I, for example, see /u/mrkleen340 talking over on a thread in /r/RhodeIsland!

For those of you who’re also in other private subreddits, like /u/outroversion, /u/k_princess, and /u/IAMA_Plumber-AMA, you’ll also see icons for some of these communities, too. Plus there’s a tool for searching for a person’s posts within a particular subreddit, so if you’ve got a personal policy never to gild anybody who’s posted something in e.g. /r/TheRedPill, then it’s now easier for you to check (I’m not recommending this kind of selective gilding policy, and it’s not for me personally… but I know that some of you do it!).

Anyway: please do go and play with it and let me know what you think. I’m sure that our mods who use it (which is all of them except /u/ULTIMATUM7, as it happens!) will back me up about how valuable a tool it is.

Thanks! Keep up the gilding, guild!

MegaMegaMonitor v100 released – “suppress icon” option, slight CSS improvements, new build system, smaller download

This self-post was originally posted to /r/MegaMegaMonitor. See more things from Dan's Reddit account.

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Hi all!

I’ve just made an interim release of MegaMegaMonitor. Not many new features, but I’ve made huge improvements to the way that I build and release MegaMegaMonitor versions, which will make it easier for me to have a “test” version that’s under construction and to later roll those changes into the live release. Which means it’s easier for me to make new features.

Improvements in this release include:

  • A smaller download – MegaMegaMonitor is now down from about 77K to about 43K, which means that it installs faster
  • The Options/Tools panel now has some basic CSS to make it marginally less-hideous
  • A bug was fixed in the “search for a user’s post by subreddit” feature, which caused links to posts that were link (rather than self) posts to link to the content rather than to the post, making them useless
  • An option was added to the Options/Tools panel to allow you to suppress icons that you don’t care about. So if you’re in /r/DecadeClub but for some reason don’t feel a strong attachment to that community, you don’t have to see their icon around Reddit.
  • /r/gilderguild has been added to the icon list.
  • There’s an icon already set up for the next upcoming (not yet announced) MegaLounge, so as soon as it opens and people start getting invited (I think there are about 5 of us gilded-and-ready-to-go, so far, and they’re all special MMM’er), the icon’s already been made. Mysterious, no?

There’s lots more features still to come, but I wanted to give you all of that stuff by way of apology for being sort-of absent for the last week or two. I’m still loving all of your suggestions and I’ll be getting to most of them as soon as I can, but keep them coming. Thanks!

If you already use MMM, the update will probably come automatically for you. Or you can just go to the webpage (linked below) and click “Install MegaMegaMonitor” to force it to update to the latest version.

MegaMegaMonitor installation page/instructions

[Yet More Graphs!] Where, what, and whom do you gild?

This self-post was originally posted to /r/MegaMegaMonitor. See more things from Dan's Reddit account.

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They said it couldn’t be done! And, technically-speaking, they were right. But I’ve come up with a way for you to generate your personal gilding history graphs. By which I mean, things like this pie chart showing which subreddits I gild in the most.

Follow the instructions in this post, and you too can have a report made for you like this one about me – note that the web addresses each contain a unique code so that nobody else gets to see your graphs (unless you choose to share them here).

How to get your Gilding Report… more-easily

You should still read all of this post because it has some valuable warnings about doing what strangers tell you to do on the Internet. But if you’re looking for a way to get your Gilding Report that works in Firefox and doesn’t require you to copy-paste ugly code everywhere, just go to https://danq.me/megamegamonitor/gilding-graph/ and follow the instructions there. Good luck! And don’t forget to share the highlights of your results!

How to get your Gilding Report (old instructions)

Copy-paste the following code into the address bar of your browser (triple-click it to select it all):

javascript:(function(){function l(n,i){var t="/u/"+n+"/gilded/given.json?limit=100&after="+i;$("#d").append("."),$.getJSON(t,function(i){if(my_gildings_given_json.push(i.data.children),null!==i.data.after)setTimeout(function(){l(n,i.data.after)},2e3);else{for(var t=[];my_gildings_given_json.length>0;)t=t.concat(my_gildings_given_json.shift());t=JSON.stringify(t.map(function(n){return{kind:n.kind,subreddit:n.data.subreddit,author:n.data.author}})),$("body").html('<h1>Almost done...</h1><p>Just drawing some graphs...</p><form method="post" action="https://danq.me/megamegamonitor/gilding-graph/"><input type="hidden" name="u" /><input type="hidden" name="g" /></form>'),$('input[name="u"]').val(n),$('input[name="g"]').val(t),$("form").submit()}})}var my_gildings_given_json=[];$("body").html('<h1>Please wait<span id="d"></span></h1><p>This will take a little over 2 seconds per 100 gildings you've given.</p>'),$.get("/api/me.json",function(n){l(n.data.name,"")});})();

Important: many web browsers will remove the “javascript:” from the start when you paste it. If this happens, you’ll need to manually type it back in before you press enter. Sorry.

Also important (because some of my work is in computer security and I’d be remiss if I didn’t say this): if anybody asks you to post something beginning with “javascript:” into your address bar, you should be paranoid. People can do all kinds of naughty things, like trick your account into gilding them, like this. However, they can’t do anything that they couldn’t already do if you installed a browser plugin that they wrote, so if you’re already using MMM, you’re already placing more-trust than this in me. Just… be careful, people: if anybody in the comments says e.g. “hey, put this into your address bar!” then I’d recommend that you distrust them. And if somebody geeky feels like auditing my code, above, to verify for everybody that it’s not malicious, then that’d be appreciated too. In short – run at your own risk!

How does this work?

For the technically-minded (or just plain paranoid), here’s what happens when you paste that into your address bar your web browser will, over the course of several seconds (about 2 seconds for every 100 gilds, or part thereof, that you’ve made), collect statistical information about all of the gildings you’ve given (you can see the information it collects for yourself by going to /u/your-username-here/gilded/given note that you can’t see anybody else’s gildings using this method, which is why this weird Javascript-based approach is needed). That information is then collated and sent to the MegaMegaMonitor server, which collates it into a web page for you (with a secret web address) and then sends you to the web page (if you later choose to share that web address with us, that’s up to you: but hopefully you will!).

Are you running v98? Can you help me with an experiment?

This self-post was originally posted to /r/MegaMegaMonitor. See more things from Dan's Reddit account.

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Hi! It’s me, /u/avapoet. You might remember me from such MegaMegaMonitor releases as v95 and v92. Also, this post right here.

Anyway: v98 contains the first third of an experimental new feature that I haven’t decided whether or not to implement the second half of, yet. This post is a proof-of-concept of the first half of the feature. Would you mind looking at this post (the actual post – you’ll need to click the “comments” link… and you’ll need to do so with MegaMegaMonitor enabled, of course), and then leaving a comment to let me know that… it appeared in a way that made sense, and showed the kinds of things that you’d… expect it to show. ;-)







Don’t give too much away in the comments, though: remember that just because you can see something on the Internet doesn’t mean that everybody can see it. Don’t believe me? If you’re using RES, click the “source” link under this text and you’ll see for yourself what I typed here…


MegaMegaMonitor now supports DecadeClub

This self-post was originally posted to /r/decadeclub. See more things from Dan's Reddit account.

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If you already use /r/MegaMegaMonitor, great! Now it supports /r/DecadeClub, too. If you don’t then, well: maybe you should!

As a DecadeClub member, what MegaMegaMonitor enables you to do is to see a piece of DecadeClub “flair” next to other DecadeClub members, anywhere on Reddit. If you’re in certain other private subs (e.g. /r/gildeddrunk, /r/MagicSecrets, /r/The_Haven, /r/MegaEarth, or any MegaLounge) then it’ll highlight your friends from there, too. It’s like RES-tagging everybody from your private subs… but you don’t have to do the hard work of keeping your tag list up to date!

Give it a go! Let me know what you think.

Edit: This is what this post looks like to me, for example, with all the appropriate bits of flair showing.

v95 adds comment-searching powers to help those of you who like to gild others “up” the chain

This self-post was originally posted to /r/MegaMegaMonitor. See more things from Dan's Reddit account.

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I’ve just pushed out version 95; you can get it by telling Greasemonkey to update manually, or just wait a day or so and you’ll get it automatically. This release makes some minor CSS improvements to help make the tooltips visible even on awkward subreddits (still a long way to go, though), and also adds a powerful new tool that I hope will be useful to those of you who like to help your fellow MegaPeople to ascend the ladder.

Here’s an example. Suppose I enjoyed /u/glitzyjan‘s comment, sharing a video in /r/MegaMegaLounge, and would like to give them gold and help them climb the ladder. MMM tells me that /u/glitzyjan is already in /r/MegaLoungeV, so they’d probably appreciate my gold better if I were to go and give it to some arbritary post of theirs in /r/MegaLoungeV, but it’s a bit of a drag for me to go all the way through their post history just to find them saying something in /r/MegaLoungeV.

That’s where this new feature comes in: it does the searching for me. It’s not much faster than I am, but I can kick it off in a separate tab and then come back to it in a few minutes. First, I click the new MMM Options/Tools link in MegaMegaMonitor. Then I fill in the form to say that I’m looking for a post or comment by /u/glitzyjan in /r/MegaLoungeV and click Search. MegaMegaMonitor will then start exploring as fast as it can through /u/giltzyjan‘s post and comment history and reports back on what it sees. Like this!

It’s very rough around the edges right now, but I’ve been using it over here for the last couple of days and it functions, even though it’s ugly as sin, so I thought I’d share it with any of you that want to try it out, too. And if you don’t: well that’s fine too, just ignore it. But I think this new feature could be very useful for folks like me who sometimes like to reward good posters by gilding them in their highest lounge, rather than just where they produce the great content.

Tip: if you’re happy with the results you’ve got e.g. you’ve found what you’re looking for, click “Stop searching.” Or it’ll keep going until it’s read the entire post and comment history of your target, which will take a long time and will start to slow your computer down! This is a slow operation because I can’t pre-cache it all for you like I do the other parts of MMM (because I don’t know what you’re going to search for in advance!), but it should still be faster than doing it by hand, which many of us do already!

tl;dr: New tool lets you search for posts/comments made by a particular person in a particular subreddit. Great for chain-gilders.

Mini-release 94 adds double-click-to-subreddit functionality, fixes bugs

This self-post was originally posted to /r/MegaMegaMonitor. See more things from Dan's Reddit account.

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Hi all,

Just pushed out a new mini-release, v94, if you’re interested. The major changes are:

  • As requested, double-clicking on a piece of flair will now take you to the relevant subreddit (with one exception that probably nobody will ever find anyway).
  • When clicking “check for update?”, upon successfully updating the age of the data downloaded to your computer is updated immediately, rather than after the next page refresh.

Updated version is on its way to the server now; give it 10 minutes and then update, or wait and your computer will update MMM for itself within the next 24 hours.

What is this place?

This self-post was originally posted to /r/MegaMegaMegaMonitor. See more things from Dan's Reddit account.

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This is MegaMegaMegaMonitor. It just seemed to make sense that if you get gilded in /r/MegaMegaMonitor, you’d go somewhere. Here is that somewhere.

Being here’s quite cool: it gives you an extra special “gilded” icon and tooltip instead of your regular “Uses MegaMegaMonitor” icon (if you have one), when other people look at you. Note that like all MMM data changes, it can take a few hours, even up to a day, before people start seeing it!

And that’s all you get. Here’s a list of the ultra-elite who found their way here.

If you get gilded here… nothing happens. Honestly.