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March 30, 2006 8:36 PM   Subscribe

Matt, with all respect, could you not close Metatalk threads immediately after you weigh in on the topic? Maybe set a two-hour timer or something?

I thought the thread closing feature was supposed to be applied to bug reports, where there's nothing to talk about after the bug is fixed. But it seems to be applied to lots of "etiquette/policy" threads nowadays. Your voice should be heard, but it shouldn't be the last word on a controversial topic.
posted by Saucy Intruder to Etiquette/Policy at 8:36 PM (120 comments total)

[thread closed]
posted by onalark at 8:42 PM on March 30, 2006


This thread is closed to new comments.

































Heh. It's true, though.
posted by loquacious at 8:43 PM on March 30, 2006


Just wait a day for the next one.
posted by mullacc at 8:46 PM on March 30, 2006


Can you point to an example?

In the AxeGrind thread, Matt admitted the thread should be axed and did so. Issue closed.

In the whiny-keswick thread, Matt weighed in a couple times and then closed it 6 hours later. The appearance of quonsar at the end, if nothing else, signalled the beginning of noisefilter.

So, what are you talking about?
posted by vacapinta at 8:50 PM on March 30, 2006


I'll admit it. loquacious, you really confused me for a second.
posted by brundlefly at 8:51 PM on March 30, 2006


It's a reasonable point. If MeTa is supposed to function as a steam valve for the other sites, closing controversial threads kinda defeats that purpose. Maybe he's hoping that people can exercise self-control and let the topic die once the thread is closed, but I think that's unrealistic.

Just yesterday, he closed a MeTa thread and the bitching moved right back into its original MetaFilter thread. I remember he closed one MeTa thread and the poster followed up by sending a mass email to everyone who had participated. Whatever it's supposed to achieve, from where I'm sitting, it doesn't seem to work.

Having said all that, this issue has been discussed before. I doubt I'm saying anything new, and Matt's still closing threads. So this is probably pointless.
posted by cribcage at 8:53 PM on March 30, 2006


I'm talking about self-policing.
We resolve our own disputes. However, we can't do that if discussion is closed prematurely. If a member has a problem that only mathowie can fix, e-mail is the appropriate solution. There's even a header to that effect on the new post page. But it kind of defeats the purpose to turn Metatalk into a public way to email mathowie.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 8:56 PM on March 30, 2006


I think the issue is exacerbated by the incessant wankerism and lack of self-control many of us resort to when a thread gets to a certain point. If we can't control ourselves, Matt'll control us for us. He's really protecting us from ourselves, don't you see? It's for our own good.
posted by crunchland at 9:03 PM on March 30, 2006


I just have to say that it's been a tough couple of days to be mathowie.
posted by visual mechanic at 9:04 PM on March 30, 2006


Your voice should be heard, but it shouldn't be the last word on a controversial topic.

If the thread has devolved into nothing but banter and jocularity and bullshittery (or vitriol and dickpunching), bookend and close it.

If there's reasonable discussion going on, comment and don't.

Seems relatively clear cut, although my sympathies do tend to lie with Matt here. I'd hate going to bed sometimes wondering what kind of shitcokcery I'd be waking up to in the morning....
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:12 PM on March 30, 2006


I don't have anything to say; I just want to post before this thread is closed.
posted by Eideteker at 9:34 PM on March 30, 2006


Pretty much agreeing with Stav here.

God knows I'm one of the culprits of banter and bullshittery at the end of too many MeTa threads, but those are the times when I don't really feel stymied if it gets closed. I was having fun, sure, but I knew that it was just dumb fun and I can handle that getting canned. Wait 24 hours there'll be five more threads Matt hasn't yet gotten to, and it's pretty much just the same damn people what with MeTa being so insular. So whatever.

What kills me is when I have a snarky response to a bug report all lined up and the thread gets canned right before I hit post. Drives me up a wall even if my joke really has no place there.

So I guess what I'm saying is that I'm a hypocrite because I get miffed even when I know I'm objectively in the wrong.
posted by Ryvar at 9:35 PM on March 30, 2006


If the thread has devolved into nothing but banter and jocularity and bullshittery (or vitriol and dickpunching), bookend and close it.

That's exactly why I closed the threads today. keswick was being a bit of an ass, he acknowledged it, and hours later I closed it when it was clear nothing new was being said.

If there's reasonable discussion going on, comment and don't.

And again, that's what I did. I try not to close etiquette discussions because that obviously gives off the appearance of me pulling rank and forcing the last word. I've only done it a couple times in the past and I wouldn't say I've done it today and I think this callout of me is unwarranted.

Someone pointed out a five-time double post should be deleted so I did it. There's not much more to do after deleting stuff.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:41 PM on March 30, 2006


That's exactly why I closed the threads today. [...] And again, that's what I did.

I know, mathowie. I got yer back here.

But I do have to express dismay that now that you've gone and used the word 'callout', it's entered canon. That makes the baby wonderchicken cry.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:48 PM on March 30, 2006


I understand that some of you grew up in the city and because of this, didn't have a lot of exposure to campfires as children. I, however, didn't grow up in the city and have played with many a fire in my youth.

Outside of touching the fire, there is one more thing that you never want to do with a fire. You never, ever, want to urinate on it in order to put it out.

And now you know.
posted by 517 at 9:50 PM on March 30, 2006


I've only done it a couple times in the past and I wouldn't say I've done it today and I think this callout of me is unwarranted.

I pretty much agree. By and large thread closure and deletions are where they need to be - if one remembers our communal hard-on for giant penises.
posted by Ryvar at 9:56 PM on March 30, 2006


Metatalk threads are a lot less important than you think.
posted by cellphone at 10:02 PM on March 30, 2006


I agree. I can see why it would be a good idea, but closed threads honestly irritate the hell out of me. I just just have such a strong urge to weigh in, and obviously I can't do that if a thread is closed.

I agree with thread closure if a thread turns into a giant flamewar (although with rothko not around anymore that's less likely to happen...)

But preemptively closing a thread is just annoying, especially when there's snarking to be had!
posted by delmoi at 10:09 PM on March 30, 2006


I'll remember you said that until the day I die, cellphone.
posted by squirrel at 10:11 PM on March 30, 2006


Mathowie doesn't care about snark-people.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:17 PM on March 30, 2006


closed threads honestly irritate the hell out of me

Sorry about that, I should be perfectly clear that MetaTalk is a giant timesink for me (and jessamyn too, I suspect). Basically, if I have to nurse two dozen discussions here all day, I don't write a single line of code and don't have much time to tend to other needs. If you wonder why I promise a feature one day and two weeks later it's not done, often half my day is spent tending this house of cards to make sure it didn't blow down while I was neck deep in code.

Closing threads that run their course lets me move on with my life. Sorry if that doesn't let everyone get their two cents in.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 10:18 PM on March 30, 2006


I hate to say something a bunch of people have probably suggested already, but have you thought of another admin? Is there anyone trustworthy and reliable enough that you can focus primarily on coding? I don't want to open up a can of worms; it just seems like the site is growing faster than you can keep up with both coding and moderating it.
posted by Eideteker at 10:34 PM on March 30, 2006


Bringing in jessamyn was like telling 30k children this was their new step-mom. Going through that again would be a nightmare.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 10:35 PM on March 30, 2006


hell I think an autotimer that closes Meta posts after x hours would be good, in order for it to stay open an admin would have to prolong it... of course that would devolve into a bunch of people yelping about how they didn't get to cast their 'vote' on a some 'vital topic'.
Personally I live for the day there is not a single MeTa post... oh that sweet day of improbability.
posted by edgeways at 10:38 PM on March 30, 2006


Bringing in jessamyn was like telling 30k children this was their new step-mom. Going through that again would be a nightmare.

Is that what you think of us? you big meanie! Meanie! I want a lolly! and a PONY!
posted by tweak at 10:50 PM on March 30, 2006


I know it's not an easy thing, Matt. But there may come a time when it has to be done again. It's up to you to judge when this time has come, if. Better sooner than later, because it's better to introduce a new stepmom to 30k users than to 40k.

Just know I was thinking of you when I suggested it! I would prefer a fearless leader to a stressed out and miserable one. I'll go sit back down with my 30k brothers and sisters now.
posted by Eideteker at 10:58 PM on March 30, 2006


hell I think an autotimer that closes Meta posts after x hours would be good, in order for it to stay open an admin would have to prolong it... of course that would devolve into a bunch of people yelping about how they didn't get to cast their 'vote' on a some 'vital topic'.

That's a good idea. MeTa threads last a week, right? Why just change the timeout to 6 hours or something, the same way AskMe threads now last a year?

Psychologically, something is far less stressful if it can be predicted. For example, giving a shock to a rat at a random time is very, very stressful to it, but giving a rat a warning a bit before the shock is not very stressful at all, even if you do more and harder shocks.

Also stressing out pregnant rats can cause their children to be more likely to be homosexual. I'm not sure where I'm going with this.
posted by delmoi at 11:22 PM on March 30, 2006


I don't think there's anyone on any section of the site as well-loved as jessamyn was on AskMe when she became an admin (primarily for AskMe). Pretty much every regular here has been involved in a fair amount of infighting with various other people at one point or another. Others (*cough*) have an unstable personality. Of the long-time users who have an understanding of the site and are that well-loved, who among them is willing to put in the time? Going through the flags queue, trying to keep up with the incessant torrent of AskMe to keep up with stuff that doesn't get flagged, all of that consumes an assload of time.

There are three factors that a good admin has to have: personality (popularity/sanity), judgement (understands the site, sense of perspective), and time.

Hitting the trifecta again is not going to be an easy task, and I don't really see anybody on MeFi right now who fits all three criteria.
posted by Ryvar at 11:36 PM on March 30, 2006


Bringing in jessamyn was like telling 30k children this was their new step-mom. Going through that again would be a nightmare.

Not if the new stepmom beat them.
posted by jonmc at 12:03 AM on March 31, 2006


I get the feeling Matt really hates MeFi now, but really likes the money it brings in. Oh the tortured life of a gruppie.
posted by keswick at 12:07 AM on March 31, 2006


keswick I'd bet my teeth that Matt could easily sell Metafilter right now for more money than it would make him in 10 years. Fox is buying up social networking/blogging sites left and right at the moment, and MeFi definitely ranks pretty well on that scene.
posted by Ryvar at 12:22 AM on March 31, 2006


I'm offended.
posted by TwelveTwo at 12:30 AM on March 31, 2006


I (and most of my Australian/Kiwi brethren) only get to these threads when they're at least 8 hours old - setting your 6 hour time limit would seriously disable my ability to make pointless comments.
posted by strawberryviagra at 1:24 AM on March 31, 2006


Pointless comments are the noise to Metafilter's signal. The Ying to Metafilter's Yang. Their balance must be maintained.
posted by TwelveTwo at 1:26 AM on March 31, 2006



posted by strawberryviagra at 1:42 AM on March 31, 2006


strawberryviagra: I (and most of my Australian/Kiwi brethren) only get to these threads when they're at least 8 hours old.
delmoi knows this and contradictively supports it.
posted by tellurian at 1:52 AM on March 31, 2006


Can you point to an example?

Oh, please.

Forget what happened with today's examples. Sometimes it's bullshit to get bogged down in the particulars of one instance when a pattern is called into play. That's one reason why "what are your examples?" is not as noble a query as it seems. This closure-after-comment is a very common thing. No, I'm not going to bother to collect a bunch of URLs and hyperlink every letter of my comment to one of them. Suffice to say it could be done, and we should address the whole "my word is the final word" thing without getting into the details of any one instance. Why? Because it's core to self-policing vs. admin policing, and this site is in a state of crisis over that question.

Jessamyn is a hell of a lot better regarded than "stepmom" around here, too. Shame on you for undercutting her with the comparison, Matt! You guys should be better coordinated, in general. Make it a goal to remain on-message with each other. That is so, so key. Jessamyn - you should never say "actually I thought it was funny" if Matt closes a thread. Support him. And Matt - you should have introduced Jessamyn with full fanfare and full powers and kept any disagreements and/or "training wheels" all behind the scenes.

I don't think you did a good enough job bringing her in to swear off more admin help forever. Learn from your mistakes and keep your options open.
posted by scarabic at 2:28 AM on March 31, 2006


To scale, or not to scale: that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler for mods to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrag├ęd posters,
Or to go limp against a sea of troubles,
And by slacking grow them. Delete: thread close;
Once more; and by closure to say we end
The bullshit, and the thousand natural snarks
That Mefi's heir to.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 2:42 AM on March 31, 2006


You guys should be better coordinated, in general. Make it a goal to remain on-message with each other. That is so, so key. Jessamyn - you should never say "actually I thought it was funny" if Matt closes a thread. Support him. And Matt - you should have introduced Jessamyn with full fanfare and full powers and kept any disagreements and/or "training wheels" all behind the scenes.

I dunno - the fact that the admins are pretty honest and speak their minds and are not always 'on message' is one of the things I like, because it makes it seem more like we're dealing with people than a faceless authoritative entity. When people try too hard to be 'professional' it sucks the life out of everything, and a vast part of what rocks about Metafilter is the very organic and personal nature of the community, particularly in light of its size.
posted by Ryvar at 3:05 AM on March 31, 2006


Crap. I haven't messed up italics in forever.
posted by Ryvar at 3:07 AM on March 31, 2006


i have a fish. in my pants.
posted by quonsar at 4:28 AM on March 31, 2006


"I just just have such a strong urge to weigh in, and obviously I can't do that if a thread is closed."

Consider it a learning experience.

When I want to comment in a thread and I discover it's closed, I take that as a sign that I probably didn't need to be commenting in the first place. C'est la vie. Que sera ne sera.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 4:33 AM on March 31, 2006


i have a beer. in my hand.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:40 AM on March 31, 2006


i have a pillow. under my ear. c u all in 8 hrs.
posted by strawberryviagra at 4:48 AM on March 31, 2006


Well, another alternative would be to completely do away with metatalk, and replace it with a contact page for bug reports (one that displayed the last 20 or so submission topics, to reduce repetitive reports), and a link to a FAQ page.

No more babysitting threads; no more frustrating closed threads; no more awkward admissions from quonsar about what he puts in his pants.

Or, do those things in conjunction with a version of metatalk where no moderator goes ... a text-based, lord-of-the-flies free-for-all, where it doesn't matter which houses of cards collapse. Where all the threads turn into pumpkins after 24 hours, and completely disappear. Ooh! Ooh! And 3 lucky players get randomly banned for a week just for participating!
posted by crunchland at 4:50 AM on March 31, 2006


Is scarabic trying to teach Matt how to be a dad? That's pretty cute.

Also "Stepmom Jess" gets a nod over here, except for the fact that my real mom would be pissed to be usurped at this stage.
posted by NinjaPirate at 4:56 AM on March 31, 2006


Jessamyn is a hell of a lot better regarded than "stepmom" around here, too.
Hear, hear.
posted by tellurian at 5:09 AM on March 31, 2006


I have a snake. In my plane.
posted by brownpau at 5:14 AM on March 31, 2006


Well, another alternative would be to completely do away with metatalk

That's the second (third?) time I've noticed you suggest that in the last few days, and I must warn you that I will be compelled to kill you with the power of my mind if you don't stop that shit right fucking now. The POWER OF MY MIND! Which is totally NOT hobbled BY beer!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:32 AM on March 31, 2006


Good points all around.
A couple of observations:
1. Metachat was created (at least in part) to be an unmoderated shadow-Metatalk. That's cool, but I regret that the existing community structure can't facilitate that kind of free-form discussion. Suppose you introduce (a) a character limit or comment limit to reduce server strain and prevent pure nonsense, and (b) a block on image tags. Then there's no problem with chatter.
2. Usually the more cantankerous antiestablishment members excoriate me for a bad callout. This time it was mathowie. lolz.
3. If the "metathread" sidebar was implemented for each Metafilter and Askme thread, as mathowie proposed a while ago, then baby jesus would stop crying.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 5:50 AM on March 31, 2006


Bringing in jessamyn was like telling 30k children this was their new step-mom. Going through that again would be a nightmare.

You could bring in another mod, and give that person the username jessamyn as well. Then nobody would notice. They'd just think jessamyn had gone all schizo. And it's bad form to insult crazy people, so everything would work out, right?
posted by Roger Dodger at 6:06 AM on March 31, 2006


Sorry about that, I should be perfectly clear that MetaTalk is a giant timesink for me (and jessamyn too, I suspect). Basically, if I have to nurse two dozen discussions here all day, I don't write a single line of code and don't have much time to tend to other needs. If you wonder why I promise a feature one day and two weeks later it's not done, often half my day is spent tending this house of cards to make sure it didn't blow down while I was neck deep in code.

Matt, I'm not joking here- if MetaTalk is such a burden and it's devolving into mostly callouts and whining anyway, why not just shut the damn thing down for a few weeks and re-evaluate it?

The reason people make most of these callouts is the same reason you get far less angry e-mails from readers of your weblog than anfry comments on it- because people want to see their babbling. Flagged comments will maintain precedence by the number of times each comment/post was flagged, and you don't have to deal with these callouts.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:08 AM on March 31, 2006


Well, another alternative would be to completely do away with metatalk


frankly, after reopening the gates and turning MeFi into a business (as was perfectly within Matt's rights, 15 thousand of us didn't have to pay for an account), this idea makes a lot of sense.

Matt creates an email address for us to report bugs (bugs@metafilter.com) and you move the rest of the self-policing on a IRC channel or somewhere like that. God knows there's plenty of software for chat
since half of the site's traffic goes already to AskMeFi, the Blue is becoming less and less relevant, and certainly the Grey is basically a waste of time for a business

once one considers MeFi as a business, closing down MetaTalk starts to makes sense.
posted by matteo at 6:11 AM on March 31, 2006


Jessamyn - you should never say "actually I thought it was funny" if Matt closes a thread.

Actually, I think this is okay. When people ask "wtf, who deleted this?" I think it's a good idea to let them know, and why. And, at the end of the day, he's the guy who owns the place and I'm just the trusty first mate or something. We're working on ways to coordinate better and share information better, but sometimes this is just me on chat saying "bring back the enormous cock please"

I'll support what mathowie does as an admin, but I don't agree with every single judgement call he makes, and I don't think he always agrees with mine. We're pretty good at taking the majority of our admin grousing to chat, but the fact that we're both human with our own opinions and perspectives is, I think, one of the reasons that having another admin isn't just "twice the banhammer and half the fun" It's not math, it's not perfect, and yeah having an admin downunder to cover a totally different timezone would be a neat thing to eventually have. There is a balance between self-policing vs. admin policing but I think the site has an okay, if somewhat unstable, balance. I don't dread coming to MetaTalk personally because I'm not trying to spend time coding the site otherwise. I do think leaving MeTa threads open at least til people in most timezones have gotten a crack at them is probably worth considering, but if it's just an admin detail maybe less so.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:16 AM on March 31, 2006


Well, another alternative would be to completely do away with metatalk

Or go the other way. Add metawank.metafilter.com, and instead of closing comments, move them there as an indication that they won't be read by the admins from that point on. After 12 hours, reassign posted comments randomly to other users in the thread. After 24 hours, replace chunks of text with in comments with Latin gibberish, bits of Shakespeare, and lines from Zork.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 6:19 AM on March 31, 2006


Another option is to bring in someone else, not as a mod, but as an extra coder. That should be fairly uncontroversial as long as you still hold the ultimate approval reins of anyone who's implimenting features. I know that this would mean that you have to spend more time doing something you hate (modding) instead of escaping into the world of text commands, but it would help you.
C'mon, Matt, we're a buncha jerks but we don't actively want you to be unhappy (except Keswick).
posted by klangklangston at 6:24 AM on March 31, 2006


And Matt - you should have introduced Jessamyn with full fanfare and full powers and kept any disagreements and/or "training wheels" all behind the scenes

Actually, I think he never should've told us at all. Don't think "stepmom" for the next admin Matt: think "secret mad wife who lives in the attic that the kids don't know about, though they wonder about the low moans in the deep hours of the night."
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 6:25 AM on March 31, 2006


Ryvar writes "keswick I'd bet my teeth that Matt could easily sell Metafilter right now for more money than it would make him in 10 years. Fox is buying up social networking/blogging sites left and right at the moment, and MeFi definitely ranks pretty well on that scene."

I'm trying to imagine the due diligence a possible acquiror would have to do on Metafilter. Instead of the normal concerns about accounting entries, they'd have have to stipulate things like "any images depicting elephants, or any similarly large mammal, urinating and/or defacating posted by any user during the period between execution of this agreement and closing of the transaction shall be considered a material adverse change allowing the acquiror to terminate this transaction."
posted by mullacc at 6:49 AM on March 31, 2006


Matt -- FWIW, I think you should add another mod if you think it would help. People will complain for a month or two and then just deal with it, just like last time. I'm sure you can think of one or two level-headed people who have been around for a long time and would do a good job. (They're probably not to be found jabbering on MeTa.) Maybe ask them to stick to modding MeFi only, as Jess seems to have AskMe pretty well under control and the biggest whining would probably come from more modding on MeTa anyway.

There have been some truly horrible FPPs lately -- local news stories, "wacky" news straight from Yahoo, etc. I vote for more pruning.
posted by Mid at 6:52 AM on March 31, 2006


Mathowie doesn't care about snark-people.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 1:17 AM EST on March 31 [!]


Funny. However, Mathowie snarks with the best of them. I think that is how this place got off to such a snarky start.
posted by caddis at 7:00 AM on March 31, 2006


Well, no, Mathowie's snarks are rarely the highlights. He's a fairly great website admin, but a B- snarker at best.
posted by klangklangston at 7:12 AM on March 31, 2006


If there is to be a third mod (and I don't think it's warranted quite yet) I'd say put it to a vote. Time and/or comment count is not necessarily a good way to measure the person - I think of bugbread as a great example of an all round good person with positive contributions and he's only been about since November '04. $5 newbies aren't allowed to vote however, because they suck.




Alright, they don't all suck but some of them certainly nibble.
posted by longbaugh at 7:18 AM on March 31, 2006


I think closing MeTa threads after a certain amount of time is fine, as long as the time period is long enough to let everyone have a chance to have their say. What I mean to say is that six hours probably isn't enough, if, for example, the thread is started at 9 AM U.S. Eastern time and someone from Christchurch has something pertinent to add. In such a case the thread would be closed when waking hours rolled around there, and then you'd have all the angry ennzedds opening new threads, and if they get up, we'll all get up, it'll be anarchy ...

Uh, I think I made my point in there somewhere.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:19 AM on March 31, 2006


I vote for more moderation; more pruning. Reducing the quantity of marginal posts would vastly improve the overall quality of the site. I think Matt worries too much about being accused of over-moderation. He'd be wise to treat the site as a benevolant dictatorship, not a democracy. This would have the positive effect of reducing the "entitlement" mentality apparently linked to the measly $5 some folks have paid.

It would also hopefully take the wind out of whiny babies like scarabic and ryvar, who have the gall to lecture Matt and jessamyn like kindergartners. ("Shame on you ... You guys should be better coordinated ... Make it a goal to ... Jessamyn - you should never say ... And Matt - you should have ... I don't think you did a good enough job ... Learn from your mistakes and keep your options open.") Aside from being banal and condescending, it's just rude.
posted by pardonyou? at 7:35 AM on March 31, 2006


although with rothko not around anymore - delmoi

With rothko not around anymore, can we please stop talking about him and making side-swipes at him? He's gone. It's over. Let it go.

There are three factors that a good admin has to have: personality (popularity/sanity), judgement (understands the site, sense of perspective), and time. - Ryvar

Do they need to be popular? I think it's important that they haven't created enemies, but I'm not sure that they need to have a lot of MeFi 'friends'. What does that add? Most people I can think of off the top of my head that appear to have buddies also have enemies. Maybe it's just as well if it's a lower profile person, so everyone doesn't come with a bunch of pre-concieved notions about them.

I don't know, I'm just thinking out loud here.

Jessamyn is a hell of a lot better regarded than "stepmom" around here, too. Shame on you for undercutting her with the comparison, Matt! - scarabic

So you're assuming that all step-moms are poorly regarded. I, for one, am very close with my step-mom.
posted by raedyn at 7:41 AM on March 31, 2006


dhartung for mod.
posted by Mid at 7:47 AM on March 31, 2006


How bout we base mod nominations on something important, like low user numbers? :)
posted by jonmc at 7:48 AM on March 31, 2006



This Year, Mark a Beside The &!
Ampersand in '06!

posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:53 AM on March 31, 2006


Another alternative would be redundant.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 8:01 AM on March 31, 2006


jonmc as moderator sounds like a great idea.

Bill Hicks was very funny Comment Deleted
Meat products suck! Comment Deleted
Bands from the late 70's were all shit Comment Deleted

ad infinitum.
posted by longbaugh at 8:10 AM on March 31, 2006


"I vote for more moderation; more pruning."

More moderation and pruning would require more hard rules and guidelines to prune against. I'll lobby you that would be a bad thing.

MetaFilter has always ran on the ragged edge in may ways, moderation and administration among those. I really think MetaFilter is better off for having not enough rules, and not enough administration.
posted by y6y6y6 at 8:21 AM on March 31, 2006


Velveeta has no place at a gourmet cheese counter! Surely you jest! Comment Deleted
posted by mullacc at 8:21 AM on March 31, 2006


Bringing in jessamyn was like telling 30k children this was their new step-mom. Going through that again would be a nightmare.

I'm finding it hard to believe the benefits wouldn't outweigh the problem.
posted by mediareport at 8:22 AM on March 31, 2006


Is she a hot milf-type stepmum so I can legally indulge in my slightly dodgy incest fantasies? Comment Deleted Actually we'll keep that one.
posted by longbaugh at 8:24 AM on March 31, 2006


More moderation and pruning would require more hard rules and guidelines to prune against. I'll lobby you that would be a bad thing.

Actually, the exact opposite -- it would require fewer hard rules and guidelines. My point is that Matt and jessamyn should simply embrace the role of dictator and do what they do -- never explaining and never apologizing. If people find that unacceptable, they can go start MetaDistillery, or SuperFilter, or whatever.

I'm serious about that. I realize it's not a majority view, but that just serves to point out that there's no one right way of doing things -- ryvar and scarabic's absolutism notwithstanding.
posted by pardonyou? at 8:29 AM on March 31, 2006


More moderation and pruning would require more hard rules and guidelines to prune against.

This may not be true. One idea I've been toying with is allowing the poster to moderate her own thread. This allows each thread to get all the love and attention it means.

Also, please note, I'm not related to any one of you fuck-ups.
posted by nixerman at 8:31 AM on March 31, 2006


MetaTalk is more than a bug-submit cgi form, it's a forum for users to air their concerns and read the concerns of others. I share the frustration of those who see a topic raised, or a decision made, only to find that Matt has closed the thread right after his comment. His historical line of reasoning is that once a decision has been made, there is nothing more to talk about. I disagree; even a "benevolent dictator" takes feedback from those impacted by his decisions.

That said, I think we should reexamine the presumption that mathowie should read every comment posted to MetaTalk. That's too much to ask of a person with other work to do, and a family to raise.

Perhaps we should adjust our expectations:
1. MeTa is primarily by the users and for the users;
2. There is no guarantee that Matt will read more than a few comments in each thread;
3. If a user sees something that should be attended to, flag it;
4. In dire circumstances, mail Matt or Jess.
posted by squirrel at 8:42 AM on March 31, 2006


1. MeTa is primarily by the users and for the users;

glory, glory, hallelujah..

sorry..
posted by jonmc at 8:43 AM on March 31, 2006


On preview; pardonyou, you've made your grudge against scarabic and ryvar clear enough; let it go. They have their views and you have yours.

Regarding your call for an autocratic administration, I think it would drive out every bit of warmth and intelligence from this site. MetaFilter should remain largely self-moderated, and the admins should remain responsive and available to influence.
posted by squirrel at 8:49 AM on March 31, 2006


You guys should be better coordinated, in general.

scarabic, I don't know where you get the fucking nerve.
posted by scody at 8:51 AM on March 31, 2006


You got your peanut butter in my brownpau.
posted by loquacious at 8:56 AM on March 31, 2006


I think it's working just fine.

Don't fix it if it ain't broke and Matt and Jessamyn do a marvelous job of moderating -- how about some fucking gratitude?

Yeah, I'm a fanboy -- what of it? It's still true.
posted by cedar at 8:57 AM on March 31, 2006


If we do have another moderator, they must recite an oath of office that includes the phrase "bring back the enormous cock please!"
posted by jasper411 at 9:02 AM on March 31, 2006


I vote for more moderation; more pruning.

I vote for less moderation; less pruning.

And so: an impasse.
posted by sonofsamiam at 9:05 AM on March 31, 2006


And so: an impasse.

Exactly! Therefore, let's not hector the admins, and presume we speak for all users.
posted by pardonyou? at 9:11 AM on March 31, 2006


I vote for more moderation; more pruning.

I vote for less moderation; less pruning.


I vote for the exact same amount of both and the ability to fly, because that would be awesome.
posted by allen.spaulding at 9:19 AM on March 31, 2006


Moderation and pruning for some; miniature American flags for others! *crowd cheers*
posted by brain_drain at 9:20 AM on March 31, 2006


Well, if I'm the one to do it
They'll run their quill pens through it
I'm obnoxious and disliked, you know that, sir

Yes, I know
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 9:27 AM on March 31, 2006


Outside of touching the fire, there is one more thing that you never want to do with a fire. You never, ever, want to urinate on it in order to put it out.

Hi. I'm a city *girl*. Couldn't pee on a fire if I wanted to. Please to be explaining repercussions.

There are three factors that a good admin has to have: personality (popularity/sanity), judgement (understands the site, sense of perspective), and time.

Hitting the trifecta again is not going to be an easy task, and I don't really see anybody on MeFi right now who fits all three criteria.


Raedyn.
posted by ereshkigal45 at 9:42 AM on March 31, 2006


I'm with stavros. MeTa is where I go for my hardcore entertainment. It's the action movie of the MeFi family.
posted by Carbolic at 11:18 AM on March 31, 2006


When I was a kid things were tough. We had to walk miles to school and back, uphill, both ways......... yada yada yada
posted by caddis at 11:21 AM on March 31, 2006


Matt, Jessamyn, taking a look at this thread, I just feel compelled to toss in my two cents.

Thanks. For everything.

Yup, that's about it.
posted by WCityMike at 11:21 AM on March 31, 2006


oops, wrong thread.
posted by caddis at 11:22 AM on March 31, 2006


Ryvar writes "There are three factors that a good admin has to have: personality (popularity/sanity), judgement (understands the site, sense of perspective), and time."

Agree with last two but I think a good mod should have previously been low key, some one that 50% of the members will recognise their name but no one has a hate-on for. The popular are always hated by someone.

nixerman writes "One idea I've been toying with is allowing the poster to moderate her own thread. This allows each thread to get all the love and attention it means."

Dear god no, AxGrind topics wouldn't even have the benift of an opposing view.

squirrel writes "MetaTalk is more than a bug-submit cgi form, it's a forum for users to air their concerns and read the concerns of others. I share the frustration of those who see a topic raised, or a decision made, only to find that Matt has closed the thread right after his comment. "

Exactly. My last Meta was closed after three hours. Sure there was a bunch of foolishness from the usuals caused by my attempted cleverness (always go for the jugular) but at least few people agreed while others not so much. It would have been nice to get a feel for whether ColdChef, greasy_skillet and I were in the minority or not.
posted by Mitheral at 11:32 AM on March 31, 2006


Hi. I'm a city *girl*. Couldn't pee on a fire if I wanted to. Please to be explaining repercussions.

Well, some girls can pee standing up. You just need to practice.


Peeing on a fire is... very nearly one of the most awful things on the face of the planet. Worse then Goatse.cx. Worse then Tubgirl. Worse then 5 pounds of mutated silicone-injected cock in your lap.

I think I'd rather have a nuclear device go off in my pants.

Allow me to illustrate with an anecdotal story.

Scene: Late one evening on a Boy Scout campout somewhere in the Mojave Desert. The evening's fire is dying down. Our adult Scout leader is crashed out in his tent, the rest of us are awake swapping the sorts of tales adolescent boys tell - that perverse mixture of explosives, fire, falling off of things, pain, and misconceptions about girls and sex.

Some bright pebble - and by that I entirely mean he had a head like a rock - suggests we piss the fire out. One or two chuckles result from this, and a few groans of warning, but no one else there really knew why this was a bad idea.

So, being boys - boys on a camping trip, no less - no one seems to have any issues with whipping it out and taking a nice long wizz on the fire. It's not entirely different then taking a leak at one of those creepy steel trough urinals. Focus on the task at hand, and no checking out someone else's junk. It's dark, anyway, and the fire is now just simmering coals.

So, we pee on the fire. The fire sizzles and sputters. Clouds of steam arise.

Clouds of piss steam. The smell is unimaginably bad. Not the ugly smell of long ripe roadkill. Not the deep bass notes of a fresh cow pie. It's acrid, like cheap burning cheese and eggs, like lye soap being burnt. It's the smell of a men's restroom of a baseball stadium in late summer during a record heat wave right after the game and all the waste products of cheap beer magnified a million times. Not a few thousand times, a million or millions of times. It's like getting hit by some kind of nerve gas.

So, huge cloud of pee steam rises up. I swear to God it was yellow-tinged like cartoon mustard gas.

Then this huge cloud of incredibly painful steam blows sideways away from the fire, riding an especially timely shift in the wind right to our Scout leader's tent with the door open and the mesh screen shut. Ten seconds pass, then thirty.

Then the sounds of someone awaking very quickly, violently and unhappily. "mmmPF.. huh... Wha!? WHAT THE.. OH... OH NO DEAR GOD YOU SONSOFBITCHES I'M GONNA KILL EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU OH MY GOD THE STINK YOU BASTARDS AAAGH THE PAIN"

Cue the most unholy stream of profanity I've ever had the honor to witness. Said Scout leader came tearing out of his sleeping bag like he suddenly discovered a rattlesnake in his bag, cursing, coughing and swearing.

He fumbled with the tent's screen door zipper for a good 30 seconds, probably blinded and unable to breathe, before he simply grabbed hold of the mesh and tore a hole big enough to scramble out through like some kind of rabid, drunken badger tearing through a wet paper bag. We really thought he was going to kill us all. One of my camp mates actually stealthily sidled a few feet to one side to put himself within reach of the hatchet we'd been using to split firewood and kindling.

The tent was a loss, anyway. There was nothing that could have gotten the smell out, and the synthetic fabrics of the tent were probably chemically altered and permanently damaged by the cloud of pee steam, anyway.

A bit of fresh air and our Scout leader calmed down, but still so pissed off he was speechless. He grabbed a water-filled jerrycan and doused the fire out good, glaring at all of us. There's something extra-disturbing about the murderous glares of someone under moonlight. Wordlessly and silently he glared at each of us in turn, stole one of our sleeping bags and went to go sleep in the back of the Jeep Cherokee, taking pains to roll up all the windows and lock the doors before laying down.

He didn't say much for the rest of the trip, either, except perhaps "Pack up, we're going home early. You bastards." which we did in triple time. Not much more was said about it, and it was one of the most awkward 300 miles I've ever spent in a car.

Probably most awkward was the fact that we all wanted to laugh until our kidneys came out our noses, but we were so worried that if we did he'd drive straight off a cliff, taking all of us hellions with him.
posted by loquacious at 11:49 AM on March 31, 2006 [99 favorites]


Ahahahahaha. Thank you for that, loquacious. Pee steam. Who'd a thunk?
posted by ereshkigal45 at 12:00 PM on March 31, 2006


Well, if I'm the one to do it
They'll run their quill pens through it
I'm obnoxious and disliked, you know that, sir

Yes, I know


Awww, that brings back fond memories. Thanks.

Also, thanks for the reminder of the kudos thread, Mitheral. I desperately needed a laugh today.
posted by Gator at 12:01 PM on March 31, 2006


It would also hopefully take the wind out of whiny babies like scarabic and ryvar, who have the gall to lecture Matt and jessamyn like kindergartners.

Dear dumbass,

Go back and reread what I wrote because I completely disagree with scarabic. I just missed the italics on the first paragraph to indicate I was responding to him, and I made a note of that fact. I was backing up Jessamyn and Matt, and you'll notice that most of what Jessamyn said matches up with my response to scarabic.

Suck it,
Todd Lokken
posted by Ryvar at 12:50 PM on March 31, 2006 [1 favorite]


I'll support what mathowie does as an admin, but I don't agree with every single judgement call he makes, and I don't think he always agrees with mine.

I didn't say you have to agree, just present a more consistent front. People want expectations to be more clearly set around here.

Perhaps I do have a lot of gall to suggest you and Matt do anything differently than you're doing now. But it's pretty clear from Matt's comments here that this MetaTalk thing isn't working. I would hope you guy's be open to suggestions about other things you might try.

Ryvar's point about how your undercutting each other makes you more human might be true, it's just not significant. Some degree of being "the man" comes with being an admin. You can be a good cop or a bad cop, but you can't be a cop and everybody's best pal, too.
posted by scarabic at 1:02 PM on March 31, 2006


pardonyou? - presenting an edited version of my comments to strengthen your point is also rude. It's okay. I pardon you.
posted by scarabic at 1:05 PM on March 31, 2006


*pees on Ryvar*
posted by loquacious at 1:10 PM on March 31, 2006 [1 favorite]


loquacious, that made my day and has been duly flagged as fantastic.

pardonyou?: I was just waiting for the Ryvarhammer to descend on you. Pay attention next time!
posted by languagehat at 1:12 PM on March 31, 2006


Heh. Ryvarhammer. I'll admit to being a tool, but I always thought it was more one of the phallic variety.
posted by Ryvar at 1:17 PM on March 31, 2006


Dear dumbass,

...I just missed the italics on the first paragraph to indicate I was responding to him, and I made a note of that fact.


You're right. Sorry I missed that.
posted by pardonyou? at 1:22 PM on March 31, 2006


That's OK. We all make mistakes. I'm sorry for overreacting. Friends?
posted by Ryvar at 1:24 PM on March 31, 2006


Of course! No hard feelings.
posted by pardonyou? at 1:28 PM on March 31, 2006


I've noticed that Matt does not normally close threads that are complaining about the general policy/trend of thread closures. I think it's a wise choice.
posted by raedyn at 1:33 PM on March 31, 2006


This thread is closed to new comments.








Sorry. :)
posted by loquacious at 2:33 PM on March 31, 2006


Watch that hamster wheel spin!
posted by monju_bosatsu at 2:39 PM on March 31, 2006


I think Mathowie should close more threads about thread closing.
posted by five fresh fish at 3:11 PM on March 31, 2006


Some degree of being "the man" comes with being an admin. You can be a good cop or a bad cop, but you can't be a cop and everybody's best pal, too.

scarabic, I honestly don't know what you're getting at here. I'm all for figuring out other ways for things to work here if they improve stuff, but one of the things that has always been turned down is a firm set of rules applied unthinkingly and unswervingly. I think we're fairly consistent as a team, but the fact that we eat and sleep and have other jobs does make the adminning of the site less consistent.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:39 PM on March 31, 2006


Metafilter: bring back the enormous cock please
posted by jenovus at 3:44 PM on March 31, 2006


Metafilter: The campfire that kindles our adolescent need for perverse mixtures of explosives, fire, falling off of things, pain, pancakes, and misconceptions about girls and sex. Sometimes people piss on the fire, but we're older now, and we don't need no stinkin' Scout Leader scrambling out after us like some kind of rabid, drunken badger tearing through a wet paper bag. Better to sleep through the stink, and be wiser in the morning. With apologies to loquacious.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 4:29 PM on March 31, 2006 [1 favorite]


MetaMetaFilter: Better to sleep through the stink, and be wiser in the morning.
posted by shnoz-gobblin at 4:31 PM on March 31, 2006


MetaFilter: with apologies
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:33 PM on March 31, 2006


Sorry, jessamyn, I'm mixing my responses to you with responses to others. I've said my piece for a united front. I think it's good for all, if for no other reason than it forces the admin team to get sync up with each other often and two heads are usually better than one.

I've probably just been watching a little too closely. Total lockstep isn't required or healthy.

The subject matter of MetaFilter is totally open wide, so there will never be a strict set of rules to cover it. This doesn't mean consistency and clear guidelines are impossible in any measure, though. I'm of the opinion that MetaFilter needs more in those areas. You guys have the experience to know where the lines need to be drawn, though, and are both demonstrably nicer and smarter than I.

Does Matt have another job again? I hadn't heard.
posted by scarabic at 8:44 PM on March 31, 2006


Great, I just inspired the longest tagline ever. It'll probably end up being my epitaph. Err, right. I guess that's appropriate and deserved.

*loquacious sends bill for due royalties to weapons-grade pandemonium, but it's only for 1/200ths of a cent, 'cause he's always liked that username*
posted by loquacious at 8:53 PM on March 31, 2006


Does Matt have another job again? I hadn't heard.

Well, there's "husband" and "father"...
posted by Gator at 9:57 PM on March 31, 2006


The loquacious pee-cloud story flagged as fantastic. Funniest. Shit. Evah!
posted by supercrayon at 10:05 PM on March 31, 2006


I would just like to take a moment and thank stavros for introducing me to the word "dickpunching", which I not previously encountered.

It is a lovely term, very evocative, and I will certainly be adding it to my list of useful descriptive gerunds.
posted by tkolar at 12:31 PM on April 1, 2006


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