it's high time for a separate category for NewsFilter August 2, 2006 5:07 PM   Subscribe

Maybe this has been proposed on the 'Talk before, and I know it's been suggested on the blue, but I think it's high time for a separate category for NewsFilter. IMHO, one-link posts to, say, a CNN story would be A-OK. The renewed air strikes in Lebanon prompts me to say this: I'd like to see fellow MeFier's immediate opinions on this, and don't feel the need to construct a multi-link, "worthy" FPP.
posted by zardoz to Feature Requests at 5:07 PM (53 comments total)

*hunkers down*
posted by cortex at 5:10 PM on August 2, 2006


This is a new, novel idea and will surely be implemented.
posted by keswick at 5:14 PM on August 2, 2006 [1 favorite]


I like having the perceived anti-one-link cloud hanging over potential FPPs. It keeps the newsfilter down to a manageable level, and when something seriously new and noteworthy actually does occur, we get a one-link post and it's okay. We probably already average one Israel-Lebanon post a day right now. I can't imagine that we need more.

Now that I've attempted my serious contribution, I'll go get some popcorn.
posted by blacklite at 5:17 PM on August 2, 2006


You know where one-link posts to a CNN story are OK? On the CNN home page. There are tons of them there.
posted by majick at 5:28 PM on August 2, 2006 [1 favorite]


I'm with Zardoz. (Except for his implication that one link (non-newsfilter) posts are somehow inferior.)
posted by dobbs at 5:28 PM on August 2, 2006


One-link posts are fine.

... unless of course you just discovered the wonders of google and wikipedia.
posted by mischief at 5:29 PM on August 2, 2006


Oh, and I'm with Zardoz not for the same reasons. Hell, I doubt I'd ever visit the new section should it come to pass.
posted by dobbs at 5:29 PM on August 2, 2006


the power is yours
if newsfilter irks you so
you need not read it
posted by brain_drain at 5:31 PM on August 2, 2006


No, because you really just want to chat about current events, and mefi is more about the links to interesting sites first, the interesting comments are secondary.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 5:41 PM on August 2, 2006 [7 favorites]


It would be good for one reason, and that would be to shunt all that stuff over to a separate place, where most of us won't be bothered by it.
posted by crunchland at 5:54 PM on August 2, 2006


zardoz, try here (its what resolves from newsfilter.com). Thank you.
posted by fenriq at 5:56 PM on August 2, 2006


i want it my way
or i guess there is always
the highway, damnit.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:01 PM on August 2, 2006


I like having the perceived anti-one-link cloud hanging over potential FPPs.

Why do people perceive this? You see threads sometimes with folk saying stuff like, 'Er, only one link? Poor form. This is MetaFilter, the proper thing to do is provide supplemental links.' Seems a weird misconception. Unless I missed some long-ago edict that single links were bad?
posted by jack_mo at 6:10 PM on August 2, 2006


MeFi's traffic would nosedive if it was just about links to interesting websites without the news-ish posts to keep people refreshing and commenting.

c.f. memepool
posted by Space Coyote at 6:13 PM on August 2, 2006


I think the chat about the links is almost always as much or more interesting than the links themselves.
posted by starman at 6:13 PM on August 2, 2006


We have NewsFilter--
Daily posts, links, opinions:
CNN dot com.
posted by fandango_matt at 6:13 PM on August 2, 2006


MeFi's traffic would nosedive if it was just about links to interesting websites without the news-ish posts to keep people refreshing and commenting.

Nonsense. Mempool doesn't even have any discussion. There's a huge difference between "Hey there is something interesting going on in the world and here's something neat I found on the web about it" and "Here's a link to the front page of CNN because I want to talk about Lebanon and there's not enough people talking about Lebanon in the thread from eleven hours ago."

It's not that the site is not supposed to encourage discussion, it's just that there are so many other places that do NewsFilter topics just fine. Contentious posts that get everyone mad and fighting aren't good for the community even if they are good for "ratings."
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:20 PM on August 2, 2006 [1 favorite]


MeFi's traffic would nosedive if it was just about links to interesting websites without the news-ish posts to keep people refreshing and commenting.

We can only hope.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 6:31 PM on August 2, 2006


"MeFi's traffic would nosedive ... c.f. memepool"

In order to accurately emulate memepool's traffic nosedive, Matt would have to adjust the site to allow only 8 posts a year.
posted by majick at 6:40 PM on August 2, 2006


Newsfilter poisons this site.

I used to campaign for a separate section for news and politics. Matt basically said that there was no way it would ever happen. Not because he liked news posts on the blue, but because he disliked them enough that he would not himself be interested in a Newsfilter site. And he wasn't going to create a site he would never visit. (Apologies, Matt, if I got any of that wrong).

In the meantime I made the transition to Firefox just so I could install Grease Monkey and Mondo Meta. What a difference! A few key words, filter out a few users who only post politics, and it is a whole new MetaFilter, best of the web. (And Fark. I haven't figured out how to screen out the Fark-y posts.)


Zardoz, I mean this in the most sincere and non-snarky way: If you want to talk politics, aren't there better places to do it? Why not Kos, or any of the plethora of political blogs that allow commenting?
posted by LarryC at 6:44 PM on August 2, 2006


Why do people want to discuss politics here, rather than on sites for that purpose? Perhaps people here are more interesting and well-informed than people who frequent political discussion sites. Hmm....
posted by freebird at 6:50 PM on August 2, 2006


Maybe this has been proposed

Heh.
posted by scarabic at 7:00 PM on August 2, 2006


I just FPP's Devoter, which right now looks like the early days of MeFi.
posted by dobbs at 7:03 PM on August 2, 2006


Well done, Dobbs.
posted by LarryC at 7:07 PM on August 2, 2006


I can't believe it wasn't FPP'd before. Wtf?

Maybe it was linked from MeTa when it launched.
posted by dobbs at 7:09 PM on August 2, 2006


Zardoz, I mean this in the most sincere and non-snarky way: If you want to talk politics, aren't there better places to do it? Why not Kos, or any of the plethora of political blogs that allow commenting?

This seems to be the question many on this thread have opined. Basically because I want to hear your opinions. That's it. Sure I can go to other sites, but that's not the point--I want to read MeFiers' opinions. Like starman said, the links themselves aren't important, it's the discussion that's the most interesting.

Are there better places to talk politics? Possibly, but I like the little family of folks we've got right here. I used to read Fark, but have you tried reading a political discussion there recently? What a nightmare.

For all of those horribly annoyed by NewsFilter FPPs, then this would be a plus for you as well. Don't go to NewsFilter if you don't want to. And the blue is cleaner and neater and uncluttered.
posted by zardoz at 7:24 PM on August 2, 2006


If this does happen, I vote for Annoying Purple as the background color. No sense encouraging people too much...
posted by baylink at 7:59 PM on August 2, 2006


Why do people want to discuss politics here, rather than on sites for that purpose?

Because metafilter gets mad traffic. Devoter looks nice, but your 'bush sucks' post won't get the attention it gets here.
posted by justgary at 8:05 PM on August 2, 2006


Unless I missed some long-ago edict that single links were bad?

Single-link *op-eds* (and short news articles, to a lesser degree) have long been considered lame here by a lot of folks, including Matt. Other folks who don't read the site closely take that to apply to all single link posts, which is so hilariously off-base and unsupported by the history of the site it's mind-boggling how they got the idea. But they keep spreading it anyway.
posted by mediareport at 9:01 PM on August 2, 2006 [1 favorite]


Don't go to NewsFilter if you don't want to.

See, that's my problem with this whole thing. I *like* a news post every once in a while. But not too often - and I don't want to go to some other site for a huge dose of it.

What makes MetaFilter for me is the mix - of discussion with links, of Newsfilter with Non-news. There *is* no absolute rule that will perfectly seperate Good from Bad Newsfilter, and a seperate newsfilter site smacks to me of a Solution when I'm not sure that there is a Problem.
posted by freebird at 9:38 PM on August 2, 2006 [1 favorite]


Quite possibly my favorite comment ever in the history of metafilter. Can we get a "best comment ever" flag that we would each only get to use once in our lifetimes? Because I would have used mine.
posted by blue_beetle at 9:42 PM on August 2, 2006


The single-link bad theory is really annoying, IMO. It causes people to lard up their FPPs with pointless links, and you don't know which ones are worthwhile and which ones are not.
posted by delmoi at 11:07 PM on August 2, 2006


I doubt I'd ever visit the new section should it come to pass.
That's the best part about the idea.
posted by dg at 2:37 AM on August 3, 2006


Like starman said, the links themselves aren't important, it's the discussion that's the most interesting.

Our browsers load the same URL, and yet we find ourselves on completely different websites.
posted by jack_mo at 3:09 AM on August 3, 2006


Comedy is not pretty.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:12 AM on August 3, 2006


The single-link bad theory is really annoying, IMO.

My understanding of MeFi norms is that single-links aren't bad, except when they could easily have more links with helpful supporting or complementing information. And even more especially when it's a single link to a large media website (CNN or the like) about an in-the-long-run insignificant recent event.
posted by Plutor at 3:19 AM on August 3, 2006


Links could always have "more links with helpful supporting or complementing information", but most people are already familiar with Google and Wikipedia. The link's the thing, not padding it out with "context".
posted by signal at 6:15 AM on August 3, 2006


I used to read Fark, but have you tried reading a political discussion there recently? What a nightmare.

Who's to say a Newsfilter wouldn't collapse in the same way? I agree that MeFites opinions are more interesting but it's largely because we aren't arguing politics all the time.
posted by yeti at 6:19 AM on August 3, 2006


Contentious posts that get everyone mad and fighting aren't good for the community even if they are good for "ratings."

cortex, you should save this for refi in a few years where you can note the first appearance of the word "ratings". this may be an prescient view of the future.
posted by poppo at 8:08 AM on August 3, 2006


Heh. Duly noted.
posted by cortex at 8:26 AM on August 3, 2006


Just to clarify, since I seem to have started off the whole one-link-bad thread of conversation in here, it's not that I think that "one link is always bad" is true, or a rule, or that anyone's come up with it. I just think that the perceived aura of distaste around them is beneficial. Much like the way that people tend to value things more when they have to pay something, anything, even just a penny for them; the little tiny psychological barrier-to-posting a one-link post means that maybe people think once or twice about doing it.

Which is always good, I think.
posted by blacklite at 8:41 AM on August 3, 2006


(Finally, I feel like I've made a comment sufficiently meta for MeTa.)
posted by blacklite at 8:44 AM on August 3, 2006




I just think that the perceived aura of distaste around them is beneficial.

I hear you. It's not a rule, or a guideline, or even a consistent ethos; it's this amorphous bugaboo that just quietly exerts a little pressure, and on the whole the results may just be beneficial.

Except for some of the stupid, groundless "oh nice one link d00d j3rk" comments. But eh.
posted by cortex at 9:28 AM on August 3, 2006


blacklite writes "people think once or twice about doing it.

"Which is always good, I think."


That's the thing, there's nothing wrong with 1 link posts, so there's no reason to pressure people away from them.
1 good link is much, much better than N lame, "padding out", carets to wikipedia, links.
You should post as many links as you have interesting thingbs to post to, not any more, not any less.
posted by signal at 10:03 AM on August 3, 2006


there's nothing wrong with 1 link posts, so there's no reason to pressure people away from them.

I emphatically agree. Every bit of pressure that nudges people to adding a worthless bit of padding to a worthwhile post is a disservice to MetaFilter.
posted by languagehat at 11:20 AM on August 3, 2006


My sentiment^ exactly.
posted by brain_drain at 11:28 AM on August 3, 2006


I don't think there's any hard-and-fast way to evaluate the worth of a single-link versus multi-link FPP without actually reading the damn thing.

I know, painfully analog of me.

There are lots of single-link FPPs that are single-link because the link itself is the point. There's some explanatory text, but the link's to a game, or a novel thing that almost nobody else has seen, or done, or what-have-you, and, well, res ipsa loquitur.

I find it annoying (for lack of a better word) when someone posts a single-link FPP on something that could have been a bonanza of additional interestingness. Sometimes the comments save those threads for me, and that's the huge difference between MeFi and memepool or (augh) BoingBoing. Something that starts out somewhat lame can be utterly transformed (for the better) by the commenters here.

There are also plenty of multi-link FPPs that should have been single-link FPPs, because, let's face it, not everything needs context. My general rule of thumb is that if the rest of the links are Wikipedia or Googled rehashings of the original post, that's lame. I much prefer FPPs like this one, in which the original link is good reading, and the ancillary links augment and expand upon the original.

In my naive and uninformed opinion, I suspect that most of the people who say "SINGLE LINK BAD" are referring to the kind of stuff I referenced in my fourth paragraph, and not so much the stuff in my third paragraph.
posted by scrump at 12:24 PM on August 3, 2006


maybe we could have a MetaToilet page, where FPPs that are deleted or reach a certain amount of negative flagging (or a high flag:comment ratio) can be banished but still available for discussion...you could even have FPP redemption, in which a MeTo post can, by popular demand or extensive constructive discussion, be blessed back into the blue...

...then after coming to metafilter and reading the three FPPs per day we can go over to MeTo and check out the runners-up...
posted by troybob at 1:41 PM on August 3, 2006


note that with the ratio idea: this would discourage people from posting within the topic about how crummy the FPP is, since that would affect the ratio...they could just flag it and move on....and it would also set a standard that a topic that generates a certain amount of discussion could be considered worthwhile enough not to flush away even if it is lacking in some other way
posted by troybob at 1:44 PM on August 3, 2006


troybob: This is a new, novel idea and will surely be implemented.
posted by signal at 3:31 PM on August 3, 2006


zardoz,

if there were a seperate newfilter area where every news item on lebanon or whatever were allowed, you would stop finding out what mefites' opinions were on anything. you'd find out what a lot of people who don't read regular mefi and who just joined to get in political flamewars on the new mefi news ghetto thought about things. the mefites you want to hear the opinions of would be back on the regular blue ignoring that place.

oh, and separate mefi subsites based on topic is a terrible terrible idea, as has been discussed many many times before.

christ, does anyone read the page that they create their posts on, anymore?
posted by shmegegge at 7:16 PM on August 3, 2006


No, it is a great idea, but is not going to be implemented.
posted by LarryC at 7:40 PM on August 3, 2006


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