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Metafilter: We Love Taglines!
posted by Mach5 to MetaFilter-Related at 5:54 PM (67 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

Next installment: We Love Deletion Reasons!
posted by Mach5 at 5:54 PM on December 1, 2006


Now THAT I will be delighted to see. The taglines thing, while I'm impressed with the tech involved, just encourages the perpetuation of a REALLY tired, unfunny joke.
posted by jonson at 5:56 PM on December 1, 2006


MetaFilter: encourages the perpetuation of a REALLY tired, unfunny joke.
posted by liquorice at 6:12 PM on December 1, 2006 [4 favorites]


Did you grab a copy of every thread to produce this? That would be extremely useful in its own right.
posted by gsteff at 6:12 PM on December 1, 2006


Flagged, needs more blades.
posted by Eideteker at 6:13 PM on December 1, 2006


I did it with a simple 18 line python script that grabbed every page with urllib.urlopen and then parsed through it with readlines and a regex ".*Metafilter:(.*)<br>". I slept while it ran for MeFi, but AskMe took like 6 hours, and MeTa a bit less. The deletion reasons crawl is currently running but I'm up to 4000 and not one reason, so I'm not sure whats going on. Mabye there is no reasons in early MeFi?
posted by Mach5 at 6:19 PM on December 1, 2006


Correct - Matt didn't start adding them until 2004 or so, if I remember correctly.
posted by jonson at 6:21 PM on December 1, 2006


There's weren't deletion reasons for quite some time, I believe.
posted by bob sarabia at 6:22 PM on December 1, 2006


or what he said.
posted by bob sarabia at 6:22 PM on December 1, 2006


Actually, there deletion reasons from day one, but Matt flipped out at one point and deleted 'em all.
posted by cortex at 6:33 PM on December 1, 2006


Like a ninja?
posted by TwelveTwo at 6:35 PM on December 1, 2006


Like a virgin?
posted by wendell at 6:43 PM on December 1, 2006


liquorice : MetaFilter: encourages the perpetuation of a REALLY tired, unfunny joke.

I disagree. As cliche as it is, it's a part of Mefi history. It's been here since I started reading the site, and while yes, many many many of them are unfunny, it takes less than a second to flick my eyes over it and I'm on to the next comment.

And then there are the occasional rare gems that make me do spit-take.

What I'd love to see it Matt take these and re-incorporate them into the site. Perhaps only on MeTa, but it would be fun to have it randomly assign one on the front page of the grey every time I reload.

Very cool Mach5, I dig that there is now a comprehensive list.
posted by quin at 7:20 PM on December 1, 2006 [1 favorite]


This is cool, though I haven't built my own tool because I'm on the fence about encouraging it. Sometimes it's amusing, sometimes it's noise.

To be honest, I'm bummed to see so many from Ask MeFi. It's fine in MetaTalk, funny in MeFi a lot of times, but it most definitely never answers a question and is merely noise in Ask MeFi.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 7:25 PM on December 1, 2006


Cool. But why is mine not there?
posted by ObscureReferenceMan at 7:28 PM on December 1, 2006


There are likely no deletion reasons until you hit about thread 12,000 or so.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 7:38 PM on December 1, 2006


I was just being ironic.
posted by liquorice at 7:39 PM on December 1, 2006


metafilter: yes, many many many of them are unfunny
posted by pyramid termite at 7:44 PM on December 1, 2006


Okay, I know that MetaChat wiki looks a lot nicer, but.. Shouldn't this be on the MetaFilter wiki?
posted by Chuckles at 7:44 PM on December 1, 2006


Chuckles: meh, i couldn't figure it out in 5 seconds so I gave up. MediaWiki just makes it too easy!

ORM: because you ended your own tagline with a <br />. thats what you get for conforming to standards!

mathowie: I'm on 13700 and none yet!
posted by Mach5 at 7:53 PM on December 1, 2006


Awesome, do I get extra Metapoints™ for having the first tagline in a thread about the collecting of taglines?

Because I'm going to spend mine on hookers and booze.
posted by quin at 8:14 PM on December 1, 2006


When I did one in Ask MeFi I appended it in parentheses to a useful answer to the question...that didn't seem too out-of-bounds to me, and it was irresistible given that two people had used the exact same tagline-perfect phrase in two comments close together. Didn't mean to bum out Mathowie, though.

I find this particular repetitive in- joke generally funny if people are trying at all...even though I'm ready for "of course there's" and "this will end well" to go away. Call me inconsistent.
posted by not that girl at 8:40 PM on December 1, 2006


A minor issue I noticed while perusing the early taglines:

One of the earliest threads to discuss the phenomenon (maybe the one that got the ball rolling) features many examples that did not have the "MetaFilter:" in front of them. Of course, they are not examples of the now-traditional gag (whereby a snippet of a previous comment is used as the tagline out of context), but rather actual attempts at coming up with new, funny taglines.

While going through all of the early threads to pick up improperly formatted instances is probably not worthwhile, mayhap the examples in at least that thread should be pulled out and added to a special category?

Oh, and this is really neat, Mach5. I must admit I am a sucker for this joke (and the "im in ur whatever" one).
posted by Rock Steady at 9:12 PM on December 1, 2006


my favorite, via a five fresh fish flameout.
posted by quonsar at 9:26 PM on December 1, 2006


Im in Ur MeFi pythonzen yuor Taglinz?

I got nothing.
posted by quin at 9:28 PM on December 1, 2006


Metafilter: Come for the Askme, stay for the MeTalk.
posted by matkline at 9:41 PM on December 1, 2006


my favorite, via a five fresh fish flameout.

That makes me sad, because I think that was when UncleFes gave up on Metafilter, if I'm not mistaken.

Unless he's back under a new username and didn't tell me, the bastard. In which case, wonderchicken smash!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:55 PM on December 1, 2006


OK, so after the deletion reasons, can you do one for:

"I for one, welcome our new ..... overlords"?, and
"This ....., it vibrates"?

(And no, I am not one of Mach5's sock-puppets)
posted by mach at 10:52 PM on December 1, 2006


/Totally off topic, but "This ....., it vibrates"? reminded me of an absolutely brilliant comment about how physics has defined matter. Something to the effect of 'all matter will vibrate till everything reaches absolute zero'. Anyone remember that?

Or am I crazy? [I've been told that on occasion, my mind plays tricks]. But that comment cracked me up.

And another thing, the duck living in my wall said to stop asking about the Kennedy assassination. Apparently it's one of those 'hands off' topics in the waterfowl circles.

posted by quin at 11:49 PM on December 1, 2006


So how long does fetching the entire site take, mach5? At some point, someone really needs to do this once, reparse the info back into a database, and make it available for others to analyze, so as to keep interested parties from hammering the server unnecessarily. I suspect that many people would like lists of the most favorited/most commented AskMe threads, and have been meaning to do this.
posted by gsteff at 12:43 AM on December 2, 2006


"To be honest, I'm bummed to see so many from Ask MeFi. It's fine in MetaTalk, funny in MeFi a lot of times, but it most definitely never answers a question and is merely noise in Ask MeFi."
posted by mathowie at 1:25 PM AEST on December 2

And then, in the middle of the night, came the culling...
posted by Effigy2000 at 12:54 AM on December 2, 2006


That being said, there are far less on AskMe then there are in the two other areas which is something.
posted by liquorice at 1:18 AM on December 2, 2006


I did it with a simple 18 line python script that grabbed every page with urllib.urlopen

Gee, hammer servers much? This abusive script, it vibrates?
posted by Rhomboid at 1:23 AM on December 2, 2006


I was going to say something about the server hit but Matt didn't mention it so I didn't.

I'm pretty sure this has never been done because it involves grabbing every page which, given the status of the metafilter server, would be a field goal kick in the nuts. The fact that it's happening again with deletion reasons isn't helping either.
posted by bob sarabia at 1:48 AM on December 2, 2006


This abusive script, it vibrates?

At more than two requests per second, I'm surprised that it wasn't shut down. Happy to see the results though.

Follow-up question: When do we get the random tagline images back?
posted by grouse at 1:48 AM on December 2, 2006


a field goal kick in the nuts

more like a vigorous scratching of the ball sack. and with some random idle time easily built in to the script between requests, really just a gentle tickle. i'm pretty sure this sort of thing has been done before several times.
posted by quonsar at 5:32 AM on December 2, 2006


What is my script doing that google/yahoo/all the other search engines aren't? I'm obeying robots.txt, and also, when I fetch the pages, I'm only getting the html, no images/css/javascript. If you've ever looked at some raw apache logs from a popular site, you'd be pretty surprised at the constant hits it gets from robots, spammers, vunerability scanners, people looking for backdoors and shitty code, etc etc. I'm really nothing more than a blip.

gsteff: my deletion reason script just finished sometime last night, and i started it around 11:30. It was doing around 100-200 pages a minute, so about 5 hours. It was quicker than the taglines one, if the script didn't see a reason in the top, it short circuited itself and went to the next page.
posted by Mach5 at 6:43 AM on December 2, 2006


When I first got to MetaFilter, I thought that there was some script running on the site which caught the taglines people made up and displayed them randomly as the taglines below the logo. Boy was that a stupid idea.
posted by Captaintripps at 8:17 AM on December 2, 2006


It's abusive because search engines spread out their requests over time (as in, months), they don't hammer the hell out of the server at over 3 requests per second (jesus fucking christ!!). Also, if you read past metatalk threads mathowie specifically said that a lot of the slowdowns and server crashes that we've had in recent times have been due to unruly spiders hammering the fuck out of the server. So on behalf of everyone that has had to endure not being able to load any pages, long 30 second page loads, and lost comments lately, fuck you.
posted by Rhomboid at 8:20 AM on December 2, 2006 [1 favorite]


metafilter: if we start just randomly putting "metafilter:" in front of comments, we could sort of sabotage this kind of crap. no? metafilter:what do you think?
posted by signal at 9:01 AM on December 2, 2006


MetaFilter: more like a vigorous scratching of the ball sack
posted by grouse at 10:29 AM on December 2, 2006


Re MetaFilter:s: Funny suggestion from a user named "signal," given that it's a pure advocation for noise.
posted by cgc373 at 10:59 AM on December 2, 2006


signal : noise

antiponysterical?
posted by quin at 12:21 PM on December 2, 2006


At some point, someone really needs to do this once, reparse the info back into a database, and make it available for others to analyze, so as to keep interested parties from hammering the server unnecessarily.

A thousand times yes. I still desire a db dump for fun and wackiness—having done my own very fractional and very time-release fetch of MeTa at one point, I'd find a sanctioned db download much preferable both for politeness and parsability's sake.
posted by cortex at 12:35 PM on December 2, 2006


hammer the hell out of the server at over 3 requests per second

Only Matt can say for sure, but I doubt that's really anything resembling a "hammering". Haven't we been clocking along at something like one new posted comment per second for a few years now? That can only represent a fraction of the reading/lurking traffic.
posted by cortex at 12:38 PM on December 2, 2006


Yeah, but it gave Rhomboid an excuse to say "Fuck you" to somebody, which is what's important.
posted by languagehat at 1:42 PM on December 2, 2006


MetaFilter: an excuse to say "Fuck you" to somebody
posted by bwg at 4:59 PM on December 2, 2006


cgc373: "Re MetaFilter:s: Funny suggestion from a user named "signal," given that it's a pure advocation for noise."

Wow how clever.
posted by signal at 5:23 PM on December 2, 2006


I was just trying to be funny, and apparently not doing a very good job, signal. No insult intended.
posted by cgc373 at 5:37 PM on December 2, 2006


something like one new posted comment per second

That cannot be right, can it? 43,200 comments per day across all the meta's (blue/green/grey/jobs/projects/music)?
posted by jonson at 6:28 PM on December 2, 2006


Based on this MeTa and some rough order-of-magnitude estimation, if it took 15 months to add 500,000 comments to the blue, and mathowie says "ask mefi has about 750k and metatalk is running over 360k, so we're over 2x10^6 system wide," it doesn't seem too far off to be right to me. Some 450 days at some 40,000 comments per day would be 1.8 million comments. Say a third of those are to the blue, and you're at least near the right number. Maybe there's a comment every three seconds or every four seconds or something, but it doesn't seem impossible.
posted by cgc373 at 7:54 PM on December 2, 2006


And I should say, I guess, that there are 86,400 seconds in a day (not 43,200; were you counting a twelve-hour day, jonson?)

Off-topic: how is the sentence above supposed to be punctuated at the end? Is there a period outside the parentheses or not?

posted by cgc373 at 7:59 PM on December 2, 2006


"And I should say, I guess, that there are 86,400 seconds in a day, not 43,200. Were you counting a twelve-hour day, jonson?"

That's the minimal edit. I can also reconstruct the entire sentence to use anywhere from three to around 100 words, in such a fashion as to be indivisible into smaller sentences.
posted by Eideteker at 10:12 PM on December 2, 2006


signal : Wow how clever.

Oh come on signal, your better than that, it was kinda clever. 'signal to noise' where you are condoning noise, and your nic is signal, honestly. It's dumb humor, but it's not unfunny. cgc373 is clearly honoring you man.

And come on, 'antiponysterical?' this is my A-list stuff folks, really. That's not funny?

Back to my drawing board, I guess.
posted by quin at 10:15 PM on December 2, 2006


Thanks, Eideteker, but I knew I could rewrite it so it sucked less. I want to know whether there's any rule about the parenthesis as a sentence-ending piece of punctuation, and whether, if there is such a rule, it's at all affected by the question mark. Not that this is AskMe or anything, so it's not breaking the rules to explain how I botched the draft, but the punctuation is the thing I wondered about.
posted by cgc373 at 10:40 PM on December 2, 2006


Off-topic: how is the sentence above supposed to be punctuated at the end? Is there a period outside the parentheses or not?

Yes, there needs to be a period at the end, outside the parens.

/professional editor
posted by languagehat at 6:49 AM on December 3, 2006


Now we wait for the inevitable, tedious, and spurious complaints that languagehat is being a hypocritical prescriptivist. Although hopefully I have made the complaints evitable by this very comment.

Also, Matt, please add "evitable" to the Firefox spell checker. And "kthxbye." kthxbye.
posted by grouse at 7:21 AM on December 3, 2006


There is also a boatload of MetaTalk: flaming from mom's basement -type taglines, no?
posted by and hosted from Uranus at 8:29 AM on December 3, 2006


Oh, and thanks Mach5. Go, scrape racer, go.
posted by and hosted from Uranus at 8:31 AM on December 3, 2006


languagehat is being a prescriptive descriptivist, actually: he's merely and humbly describing how the language is in fact used by any sane, literate, non-drooling writer.

Note: kidding.
posted by cortex at 8:54 AM on December 3, 2006


Yes, there needs to be a period at the end, outside the parens. —languagehat

Okey-dokey. I thought there needed to be one, but it looked like crap with three bits of punctuation lined up like that, and I said, Ha-HAH, I'll omit it! Nobody will know! It'll look like internet typo syndroem! [sic]

But I couldn't let it go. I had to ask.

And now I have to ask, how many pieces of punctuation can be strung together at sentence's end? Probably you can cheat with brackets, right? Nests of brackets?
posted by cgc373 at 9:25 AM on December 3, 2006


LOLZ@Rhimboid
posted by quonsar at 10:31 AM on December 3, 2006


And now I have to ask, how many pieces of punctuation can be strung together at sentence's end?

Check out the end of this paragraph (courtesy Geoff Pullum at Language Log):
“TEEN LEADERS VOW ANTI-ROCK DRIVE, AIM SMUT BAN IN AREA,” the Gazette reported the following morning. “Longtime youth worker Diane Goodrich enjoys having as much fun as the next person [the story went on], but Monday night, watching a local rock band rip into a live chicken with their teeth at the 4-H Poultry Show dance, she decided it was time to call ‘foul.’ Evidently, more than a few people agree with her. Last night, at a meeting in the high-school auditorium attended on a word-of-mouth basis by literally dozen of parents, not to mention civic leaders and youth advisers, she spoke for the conscience of the community when she said, ‘Have we become so tolerant of deviant behavior, so sympathetic toward the sick in our society, that, in the words of Bertram Follette, “we have lost the capacity to say, ‘this is not “far out.” You have simply gone too far. Now we say “No!” ’ ”?’ ”
posted by languagehat at 11:16 AM on December 3, 2006 [3 favorites]


That is utterly sweet, languagehat. Thanks! When I mentioned the brackets, I half thought of them as "cheating," but didn't consider quotation marks at all. Forgot 'em. They nest, too.
posted by cgc373 at 11:28 AM on December 3, 2006


and hosted from Uranus writes "There is also a boatload of MetaTalk: flaming from mom's basement -type taglines, no?"

Yep, probably more MetaTalk: in Meta than Metafilter:.
posted by Mitheral at 12:29 PM on December 5, 2006


MetaFilter: more MetaTalk: in Meta than Metafilter:.
posted by Rock Steady at 6:23 AM on December 8, 2006


MetaFilter: MetaFilter: MetaFilter: MetaFilter: MetaFilter: MetaFilter: MetaFilter: MetaFilter: MetaFilter: MetaFilter: MetaFilter: MetaFilter: MetaFilter: MetaFilter: MetaFilter: MetaFilter: MetaFilter: MetaFilter: MetaFilter: MetaFilter: MetaFilter: MetaFilter: MetaFilter: MetaFilter: MetaFilter: MetaFilter: MetaFilter: MetaFilter: MetaFilter: MetaFilter: ...

lol
posted by Eideteker at 6:54 AM on December 8, 2006


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