Is "best of the web" policy written? Where? September 27, 2005 7:49 PM   Subscribe

Best of the Web?
I am writing a paper for my Sociology of Cyberspace class and in it, I am referring to Metafilter. Don't worry, nothing sinister, it's just a paper on "How I use the Internet." Anyway, I want to refer to metafilter holding itself to the standard of "Best of the Web" but I can't find that explicitly stated anywhere. Am I missing something? Am I just google-challenged? Or is it just not explicitly stated?
posted by arcticwoman to Etiquette/Policy at 7:49 PM (32 comments total)



It'th a myth.
posted by mischief at 8:14 PM on September 27, 2005


Interrobang, you're a brat. :)
posted by arcticwoman at 8:14 PM on September 27, 2005


It's mentioned here, but I didn't seen anything on the wiki about it. It's also not on the "posting guidelines" page, so I'm not sure where it came from.
posted by interrobang at 8:16 PM on September 27, 2005


"didn't see", that is. Bleah.
posted by interrobang at 8:16 PM on September 27, 2005


I believe Best of the Web was something that went out the window when the 14Kers showed up back in '02.
posted by birdherder at 8:20 PM on September 27, 2005


I remember the 14K invasion of '02. Them was hard times, indeed.

OK, so it's not official motto, official guideline, or anything else official. Would it be fair to say that it is still an aspect of the vaunted Mefi "self-policing?"
posted by arcticwoman at 8:27 PM on September 27, 2005


I think you have it all wrong. MetaFilter is just a place to post links you found on Google News.
posted by eyeballkid at 8:27 PM on September 27, 2005


No, no, no. It's a place to post links you found on Yahoo's Most Popular.
posted by interrobang at 8:31 PM on September 27, 2005


arcticwoman: "...Anyway, I want to refer to metafilter holding itself to the standard of "Best of the Web"..."

Wow, you are setting the bar high, aren't you?

Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Metafilter. But I repeat myself. (My apologies to Mark Twain)
posted by mystyk at 8:33 PM on September 27, 2005


"best of the web" is not a sactioned phrase that you will find in the guidelines, etc. It's a catchphrase that people have coined to try to express the je-ne-sais-quois of what they believe MetaFilter should be, in the course of countless, still-ongoing debates on the subject of: wither, MetaFilter? The most I can recall Matt saying on the subject is something vague about enjoying MetaFilter for the "great links."

But the fact that it's a spontaneous "movement" and not a prescribed rule, and yet quite a salient theme, should be just as interesting for your sociology paper unto itself. As you outline said paper, please also dedicate a section to the fact that PEOPLE WHO GET CREDIT FOR WRITING ABOUT METAFILTER ARE BIG FUCKING HACKS.

Heh. Just kidding. Or not. You're the sociologist, you figure it out ;)
posted by scarabic at 8:44 PM on September 27, 2005


There was a great pdf on the dynamics of MeFi. I can't find it through google anymore, but I luckily saved a copy. Here's a mirror of it through my server. (329 k)
posted by mystyk at 8:56 PM on September 27, 2005


I think you'll find that the phrase "best of the web" is mostly something that was used by certain members to try and deride posts they didn't like (as in, "was that really 'best of the web'?"). Over time the phrase itself grew completely meaningless of course. I'd even say it's been several weeks since anyone used it in MetaTalk. Of course the expression "newsfilter" has come to adopt the very same meaning, so you could say that this recent "change" was largely cosmetic.
posted by clevershark at 9:04 PM on September 27, 2005


As you outline said paper, please also dedicate a section to [how] PEOPLE WHO GET CREDIT FOR WRITING ABOUT METAFILTER ARE BIG FUCKING HACKS.

That's ridiculous. Denying that metafilter is an interesting thing to write about because it's an online community with its own tropes, jokes, characters, and customs is like saying that advertising isn't interesting to analyze because it's, like, free, and out there for everyone to see.

Compare the tenor here to Fark or littlegreenfootballs; isn't something very different here than at those two sites? Studying the way things work around here has merit; this site--when it's actually up--does work differently than any other community website.

The last paper on metafilter that was posted here was pretty interesting, and I'd like to see the results of this study.
posted by interrobang at 9:06 PM on September 27, 2005


mystyk: that pdf looks great. I'll have to read it through when I have a chance.

I hope the author didn't actually get credit for it though, if he did that would make him a BIG FUCKING HACK. That would be unfortunate, wouldn't it?

clevershark: I hadn't put the two together, but it makes sense.
posted by arcticwoman at 9:09 PM on September 27, 2005


That's ridiculous.

So is that 1 vote for "kidding?"
posted by scarabic at 9:11 PM on September 27, 2005


It's one vote against a BIG FUCKING "THE FACT THAT", more than anything else.
posted by interrobang at 9:12 PM on September 27, 2005


I think you'll find that the phrase "best of the web" is mostly something that was used by certain members to try and deride posts they didn't like (as in, "was that really 'best of the web'?")

Right, but one would only use the phrase "Was that really the best of the web?" if somebody else had already implied that Metafilter should be the best of the web.

When was the first instance of the phrase "best of the web" being used in reference to Metafilter?
posted by 23skidoo at 9:13 PM on September 27, 2005


Wasn't Shane the big proponent (at least in his intentions) of "best of the web" for like ever and a day? Look to his comment history for some classic debates. You will find they're not a little farcical.
posted by scarabic at 9:15 PM on September 27, 2005


Hmmmmm, it may be a bastardization of these two snarks: "Is that the best we can come up with?" and "Surely, there must be better things on the web."
posted by 23skidoo at 9:16 PM on September 27, 2005


Wait, I must have linked to the wrong Shane. I recall he had some insanely low user #
posted by scarabic at 9:27 PM on September 27, 2005


Here we go, I'm thinking of Seth
posted by scarabic at 9:28 PM on September 27, 2005


isn't it in the Metafilter graphic on the top left?

you know. Metafilter: The Best of the Web.
posted by shmegegge at 9:52 PM on September 27, 2005


What a retarded class. What was advanced basket weaving cancelled?
posted by Dreamghost at 11:08 PM on September 27, 2005


Ya'll are snarky bastards. Hopping on trends like fish to flame. Denying metafilter's unique stature on the internet is silly. Todd Lokken.
posted by delmoi at 11:25 PM on September 27, 2005


I know Todd Lokken sir. And you are no Todd Lokken!

- Not Todd Lokken
posted by Dreamghost at 11:50 PM on September 27, 2005


oh, shit, don't make the hand of howie strike you down!
posted by Hat Maui at 12:37 AM on September 28, 2005


I recall very strongly that the 'best of the web' phrase was on the new post page, many years ago.
posted by Jairus at 2:50 AM on September 28, 2005


(As an aside, I was searching the Web Archive to see if I had been just imagining this, and this is the first thread that came up. Amazing.)
posted by Jairus at 2:54 AM on September 28, 2005


Heh. Thanks for the laugh, scarabic. Shane & Seth. Six of one, half a million of the other.
posted by soyjoy at 7:29 AM on September 28, 2005


shmegegge writes "isn't it in the Metafilter graphic on the top left?"

I thought it was too but a couple of dozen reloads of the front page doesn't have it coming up.
posted by Mitheral at 8:42 AM on September 28, 2005


shmegegge writes "isn't it in the Metafilter graphic on the top left?"

Nope. I checked the wayback machine , and found a variety of slogans in the graphic (apparently in rotation), but "best of the web" was not among them:
it's your web, log it - 10/12/1999;
meta-meta-meta-madness - 07/06/2000;
weblog as conversation - 12/04/2000;
you're wrong. no, you're wrong! - 1/18/2001;
more addictive than crack - 3/1/2001;
the Plastic.com it's okay to like - 4/18/2001;
we're all in this together - 9/16/2001;
self-policing since 1999 - 2/5/2003
posted by WestCoaster at 3:05 PM on September 28, 2005


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