Not feeling good about being mostly a reader
August 4, 2007 9:39 PM   Subscribe

I’m MetaFilter user 250, which makes me officially oldschool, but: I very rarely post on any branch; all my old posts are terrible (I checked); my recent posts on the blue are extremely conservative to avoid being terrible like the old ones (many are obituaries); and I pretty much live for AskMe. I write a ton of things on my own sites, but I never really manage to write very much of use on the various Metas. This at least is my feeling. I won’t insult anyone’s intelligence by asking “Is it really OK just to read MetaFilter?” Of course it is. I am just wondering how many other early members really, truth be told, never got the hang of front-page posts and other high-profile “content.” I’m saying this after reading through the archived contributions from some new people (with userIDs 40 times higher than mine), who are way the hell better at it. “We can’t all good at everything”? Or what? What is the right way to react to this?
posted by joeclark to MetaFilter-Related at 9:39 PM (128 comments total)

Well, at least you got in on the ground floor, huh? That's something.
posted by puke & cry at 9:42 PM on August 4, 2007


Enjoy the site and don't overthink it.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:46 PM on August 4, 2007 [2 favorites]


BTW, my post here was written in paragraphs, which then shrunk into one graf. Excessive whitespace collapse?
posted by joeclark at 9:47 PM on August 4, 2007


They also serve who only sit and read. At least, that's what I tell myself.
posted by Quietgal at 9:49 PM on August 4, 2007 [2 favorites]


"all my old posts are terrible"

So is this.

:P
posted by arse_hat at 9:51 PM on August 4, 2007 [2 favorites]


I have a sub-25k usernumber and I suck at posting - even though I've been here for two and a half years. Some people are just really, really good at it. Have you seen salvia's stuff? Freaking awesome. He/she's been here a year less than I have. Flapjax at midnight has only been here a little over a year. Amyms is a freaking fpp pro after only a few months.

This isn't a fraternity. I think usernumber has very, very little to do with a person's relationship and investment in this website.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 9:53 PM on August 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


Aptly-named arse{underscore}hat: So funny I forgot to laugh. But your smiley – it took care of everything!
posted by joeclark at 9:54 PM on August 4, 2007


I only read MeFi for years after my first post or two. I don't think I ever really got the hang of it, but that hasn't stopped me from trying every once in a while.
posted by carsonb at 9:54 PM on August 4, 2007


Old Joe Clark, user two fifty
Could not make a post
Cuz he knew if he ever did
The snarks would make him toast
Carry on, Old Joe Clark
Carry on I say
Carry on Old Joe Clark
We'll love you anyway
posted by Floydd at 9:55 PM on August 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


"Aptly-named arse{underscore}hat: So funny I forgot to laugh. But your smiley – it took care of everything!"

No wonder you only had a day short of 11 months.
posted by arse_hat at 10:04 PM on August 4, 2007


Pardon?
posted by joeclark at 10:12 PM on August 4, 2007


Here Joe.
posted by arse_hat at 10:15 PM on August 4, 2007


:P
posted by arse_hat at 10:16 PM on August 4, 2007


It just gets better and better, {underscore}. You’re so good now you don’t even need a smiley.

Anyone want to answer the fucking question?

I’m going to bed.
posted by joeclark at 10:16 PM on August 4, 2007


Of course you shouldn't feel bad. Lurking is an honorable and noble passtime. I refer to the lurkers as "the silent majority."

I write a fair amount of comments, but I've only made 22 FPPs.

I think there is a certain feel... perhaps it could be called an empathy for what might play well as a post. I think the main quality I lack in order to be a prolific Front Page Poster, is the desire to make that an important goal for myself. If it was important to me, I would spend time every day searching links that might make good posts, and post them. But I don't do that. If I happen to come across something that might make a good post, I consider it. However, about 9 times out of 10, it's already been done. I don't feel bad about not posting more. And I'm sure the majority of MeFites don't feel bad about me posting more either. In fact I'm sure there are many who would be happy if I commented less. :)

It's not like there is a dearth of posts here. Lurk away!
posted by The Deej at 10:19 PM on August 4, 2007


So am I joe.

And serious answer. Maybe a bit of humour?
posted by arse_hat at 10:20 PM on August 4, 2007


When Old Joe Clark was prime minister
he could not rule the land
His motives, though not sinister
caused him to be canned
Carry on, Old Joe Clark
Carry on I say
Carry on Old Joe Clark
We'll love you anyway
posted by Floydd at 10:20 PM on August 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


Anyone want to answer the fucking question?

Are you trolling?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:23 PM on August 4, 2007


Hang on in there joeclark, and steer us towards anything good you come across if the fancy takes you, I say. No other responsibilities as far as I can see.
I know the best liked of the posts I've made were genuinely stuff I'd happen across (or built around a core of the same) that was indeed the best of the web, rather than those where I tried to put together something on a general topic I thought might be of interest.
posted by Abiezer at 10:23 PM on August 4, 2007


Just be interested in things and if you come across something interesting post it here and don't make the post overly complicated. Let the links do the work since you're not really doing anything by posting them. Or don't, just keep 'em to yourself.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:25 PM on August 4, 2007


I totally suck at every aspect of Metafilter: I originally wanted to be an anarchist messiah but wound up being a "poor man's quonsar." And I'm still here! You can be just like me if you try hard enough!

Are you really the Joe Clark who was 16th Prime Minister of Canada? Are you any of these? Or is Joe Clark the Canadian equivalent of John Smith?
posted by davy at 10:28 PM on August 4, 2007


Hey, joeclark has a book. Congrats!

but the cover is reminiscent of something....was that intentional?
posted by Burhanistan at 10:28 PM on August 4, 2007 [4 favorites]


People that really enjoy hearing themselves talk get really good at talking. Sounds like you don't fall into that category*. I'm pretty sure this is a good thing.

*I do

I now pronounce you man and wife
posted by davejay at 10:37 PM on August 4, 2007


What is the right way to react to this?

by flaming out in a fury of brilliant, yet asshatted incandescence ...

Anyone want to answer the fucking question?

well, that's a start, but you really need to keep going ... something like, "would any of you moronic rats like to pick your drooling lips off the floor and answer the fucking question?" is the kind of invective you need to go for here ... make sure you mention the lack of opposable thumbs, compare the ones who argue with you to bush or hitler and have a knife ready to cut your hand off

and unless you get at least a week off, you haven't succeeded ...
posted by pyramid termite at 10:43 PM on August 4, 2007


And you've got a goatse book. Another plus.
posted by puke & cry at 10:43 PM on August 4, 2007


What is the right way to react to this?

From what I understand the right way to react to this is to wield your low user number like a blunt weapon when wading into contentious MetaTalk threads. "Fuck you noob, I am user #250 and I think that..." Really, it is done all the time around here.
posted by LarryC at 10:45 PM on August 4, 2007


Oh I know, it's not a name, it's a title. Like in the magazine: "I am Joe's clark." But my Daddy never let me read THAT article, so I still don't know what that is.

(Sorry if that's not as howlingly funny as I think it is; straight aguardiente is wonderfully easy to choke down.)

For good advice, see Burhanistan's. He fails to suck pretty regularly these days.
posted by davy at 10:51 PM on August 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


Just post when you want to. Then take a MeFi vacation for a day or so.

You owe the site nothing except to read it if you want to - posting is a way of giving back.

That's it.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 10:57 PM on August 4, 2007


I read metafilter for years and years before finally ponying up the five dollars of bad. Sometimes it's just impossible to make the switch from audience to player.
posted by tehloki at 11:00 PM on August 4, 2007


The advice I offered was honestly meant.

I'm taking a break from MeTa - way too much relish of small mistakes.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 11:05 PM on August 4, 2007


I'm a sub-2k and have never made an FPP.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 11:07 PM on August 4, 2007


Your posts are bad, and you should feel bad!
posted by Krrrlson at 11:13 PM on August 4, 2007 [2 favorites]


There are thousands of us now; you will just have to deal with being part of an unruly crowd.
#1 has had to take away all kinds of toys, like the img tag. But we remain unabashed, and without the sense to refrain from posting or commenting when we have nothing to say.
They also serve who only sit and read.
posted by Cranberry at 11:21 PM on August 4, 2007


You need both time and talent to consistently make a lot of good FPPs. I've got an Enoesque sub-1000 number, but only 31 FPPs. My first batch are pretty weak, although I still like this (new URL) and this.

But I didn't post at all in 2004, which was probably a good idea, and haven't posted more than three FPPs a year since. Since cutting back to the stuff that really grabs me, I think all but one of my FPPs from 2005 to now are pretty decent. MeFi somehow struggles along without volume contributions from me.
posted by maudlin at 11:23 PM on August 4, 2007


I originally wanted to be an anarchist messiah but wound up being a "poor man's quonsar."

There can only be one, davy. Broadswords in a pit, at dawn.
posted by Meatbomb at 11:33 PM on August 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


Don't be gentle with him, meatbomb.
posted by maryh at 11:52 PM on August 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


I have a fairly low user number and have made only a handful of FPPs, and none in the last five years. No big whoop.
posted by kindall at 12:02 AM on August 5, 2007


joeclark goatsed his own book cover. Awesome.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 12:02 AM on August 5, 2007


I've only made three FPPs, and had a three-and-a-half year gap between two of them.

This thread has the potential to become the lamest flameout (lameout?) ever.
posted by oaf at 12:09 AM on August 5, 2007


Anyone want to answer the fucking question?

I’m going to bed.


Holy shit, 'never got the hang of it' indeed.

I am just wondering how many other early members really, truth be told, never got the hang of front-page posts and other high-profile “content.” I’m saying this after reading through the archived contributions from some new people (with userIDs 40 times higher than mine), who are way the hell better at it. “We can’t all good at everything”? Or what? What is the right way to react to this?

I'm trying to figure out what your question actually is, here.

How many early members never got the hang of posting to the front page?

Who knows? What qualifies as an 'early member'? I joined 7 years ago, some months after you did. Am I an early member? If so, I have no problem posting things to the front page, although it pisses me the fuck off when people poison the thread with 'fr1st p0st' snark. Still, it's not about the threads, it's about the links, supposedly. Are there other 'early members' who 'never got the hang of it'? Well, that's hard to say, since very few pre-2001 members (to pick a random cutoff) post threads. Then again, proportionally very few members out of any usernumber range post, so there you go.

“We can’t all good at everything”?

Not sure if that's actually a question, but yes, that is true. Wonderchickensian polymaths excepted, of course.

Or what?

I'm going to go with "Or what".

What is the right way to react to this?

Not sure what you mean by 'this', precisely. The best way is to enjoy the site is to use it in whatever way you feel appropriate. If you can't or don't feel like contributing in a useful or entertaining way, then just lurk. If you feel guilty about just lurking, then answer as many questions as you can in the Green as constructively as you can, and take in the rest of the subsites as a spectator. Me, I made very very few posts to the blue for years, because I enjoyed the discussion aspect more, but have been squeezing posts out of the ol' tubes with some regularity lately. Who knows if I'll continue.

It's all good, man, you know, except when you ask really vague mostly unanswerable questions in Metatalk, then get pissy with people for playing around, as they inevitably will.

Like kindall said: no big whoop.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:11 AM on August 5, 2007


The best answer you're going to get, and have in fact gotten, is that it's not a big deal. Like a lot of things in life, there's natural talent involved, but it's nothing that practice can overcome, or not since there's nothing wrong with enjoying reading a site that's there for you to enjoy reading.
posted by shmegegge at 12:22 AM on August 5, 2007


nothing that practice CAN'T overcome, rather.
posted by shmegegge at 12:22 AM on August 5, 2007


I'm a relatively oldschool member. My first posts were awful, and I never really tried again.
posted by Zosia Blue at 12:36 AM on August 5, 2007


I still don't have the hang of this thong.
posted by peacay at 12:51 AM on August 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


I've been reading posts semi-religiously since 2001 and only "joined" recently so I can make the occasional comment. I think I was just as happy just reading. I don't believe that it would have been so different if I started my occasional commenting back in the olden days of yesterday yore, but I suppose my user number means I have nothing to contribute here that anyone will care to hear anyway. Carry on.
posted by DanielDManiel at 12:51 AM on August 5, 2007


davejay writes "People that really enjoy hearing themselves talk get really good at talking."

I'm not sure this is true at all. They certainly do it a lot, but lots of them are awful at it.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:56 AM on August 5, 2007


One post, 88 comments and this is my first comment in metatalk and i have been a member since April 2001 and I visit metafilter almost every day.
posted by yertledaturtle at 1:23 AM on August 5, 2007


"People that really enjoy hearing themselves talk get really good at talking."


And people who really enjoy hearing themselves type get really good at typing.
posted by maryh at 1:30 AM on August 5, 2007


It's admirable self-restraint like yours that's killing this site, yertledaturtle. Oh no, hang on, that'd be gobshites like me.
posted by Abiezer at 1:50 AM on August 5, 2007 [2 favorites]


It's admirable self-restraint like yours that's killing this site, yertledaturtle. Oh no, hang on, that'd be gobshites like me.

Ha! Thanks.
I wish I had more to contribute via posts. However, I don't worry about it much.
posted by yertledaturtle at 2:17 AM on August 5, 2007


I'm recent here under this nondescript user name, but under my sockpuppets Its Raining Florence Henderson, Madame JuJuBee, Miss Lynnster, Y2Karl and over a dozen others I post an awful lot of truly awesome stuff to the front page--and look good doing it, in only minutes per day.

Frankly, if you find a good front page post, it's probably by me, hiding behind one of my nom de guerres.

(Remind me to tell you sometime about how I suggested to Matt many moons ago that adding an "M" to the front of his proposed travel-time estimating site, "ETAfilter," [and changing the focus just a wee bit] would be a wise career move. That simple change led him to untold riches, a Time magazine cover, and even to be awarded Time's Person of the Year for 2006.)
posted by maxwelton at 3:25 AM on August 5, 2007 [4 favorites]


Actually, that should be noms de guerre, shouldn't it? Sigh.
posted by maxwelton at 3:30 AM on August 5, 2007


I used to Basque in the glory of ETAFilter.
posted by Abiezer at 3:46 AM on August 5, 2007 [9 favorites]


I originally wanted to be an anarchist messiah but wound up being a "poor man's quonsar."

They really should adjust that poverty line more often.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:10 AM on August 5, 2007


I've never been completely satisfied with any of the posts I've made either under this nick or as PinkStainlessTail, but there are only a few that I'm outright ashamed of. However, I sometimes think I bothered with any of mine because I felt bad about just reading and commenting on other people's posts. Rationally speaking, I don't think that's a valid feeling, but I think I know what you're talking about joeclark.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 4:19 AM on August 5, 2007


i'm sub-1k, and i have a fish. in my pants. but you don't see me making whiney metatalk posts about it.
posted by quonsar at 4:24 AM on August 5, 2007 [5 favorites]


You don't need to make whiney metatalk posts, q, everybody knows about the fish in your pants from your whiney metatalk comments.

Actually, I think joeclarkwhoisnottheformerprimeministerofcanada may have been doing it right all along. After all, my posts never endwell.

But anyone who has written a book with a goatse homage on the cover should be capable of legendary things. Get to work, man. You have 24 hours to do a 100-word, 5-plus-link, youtube-and-op-ed-free post in the blue or get 55K added to your user number....
posted by wendell at 4:45 AM on August 5, 2007


davy writes:You can be just like me if you try hard enough!

What I'm trying hard is to imagine why in the world anyone would want to be like you. But can we assume from this comment that you try hard to be like you? Or like a poor man's quonsar?

And Abiezer, I hereby declare you Today's King of the Brilliantly Obscure Double Pun. ("Double you pleasure, double your pun!")

And Baby_Balrog, thanks for that little shoutout upthread. (But boy, din'chew go tah skool er nuthin'? That ain't how tah spell "midnite"!)

And joeclark, man, you certainly threw in the towel and went to bed pretty early in this thread. Sheesh! Grow a bit of a thicker skin, is my advice! Sounded to me like arse_hat was just kidding around with you a little bit...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:53 AM on August 5, 2007


Hey, I am user 16070, which sounds like pretty much nothing. But, that means my 5-year anniversary is coming up!

What are you guys gonna get me?

posted by SNACKeR at 6:15 AM on August 5, 2007


I've made twenty-five posts in nearly seven years.

Looking over them I figure maybe three or four are good, three or four are absolutely terrible and the rest are mediocre. Oddly, the ones I put the most work into fell flat while the ones I fired off in passing, after seeing something shiny on the web, were the best received.

Maybe you're trying too hard?
posted by cedar at 6:43 AM on August 5, 2007


What, just commenting is a problem now?
posted by Hildegarde at 6:45 AM on August 5, 2007


Hey, Joe
Where you goin with that clark in your nick?
He said, I'm user #250
But I never got the hang of this posting schtick
posted by Eideteker at 7:24 AM on August 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


I used to Basque in the glory of ETAFilter.

Yeah, well, next time you make a post, would you mind calling first and telling me where in the site you put it?
posted by dw at 8:04 AM on August 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


The 90-9-1 observation of community participation (1% contribute every day, 9% occasionally and 90% just read) seems also to apply to individual member's involvement: we contribute daily to 1% of the websites we read, write from time to time in 9% and just read 90% of them.

I am not sure about it (I don't think I have ever seen any scientific paper about it) but I have asked a few friends and it just feels right.
posted by bru at 8:13 AM on August 5, 2007


Have you never been to a meetup? My experience is that you meet a great group of people and discover that maybe only 2 or 3 of them have usernames that you've heard of.

I couldn't guess statistics, but there are definitely lots of lurker/largely quiet members on the site.
posted by O9scar at 8:17 AM on August 5, 2007


Look, the key to a good FPP is linking to something good. If you find something cool, post it. Post a single link if you want. my most recent post was a single link and got 4 favorites, and 22 comments. This sl-fpp got 7 favorites. this sl-fpp got 32 favorites. Find something cool to link to, and then link to it. That's what's important.
posted by delmoi at 8:19 AM on August 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


I am just wondering how many other early members really, truth be told, never got the hang of front-page posts and other high-profile “content.” I’m saying this after reading through the archived contributions from some new people (with userIDs 40 times higher than mine), who are way the hell better at it. “We can’t all good at everything”? Or what? What is the right way to react to this?

Well, to reference your former life, some people who were in on the ground floor of web standards were not people whose gifts were in writing standards. (OTOH, at least they actually wrote coherent though flawed standards, where the current standards under development are making me want to leave the web as a profession behind.)

Obviously, I'm not a ground floor person, but I think you see this a lot in any long-term enterprise. The pioneers set things up, but over time they are passed by people who are gifted at what the enterprise values. And as new people came in and readership grew, the rules changed.

What's the right way to react to this? Well, don't get upset. I mean, maybe this isn't your cup of tea. But MeFi was new and free once upon a time, encompassing a handful of earlier adopters in the nascent world we call group blogging now. Then it became a clique, an elite club that you had to know mathowie in order to get into. And then it became $5 US and you were part of the rabble. As membership grew and the rules for being a member changed, the culture of the group changed. Eventually, the standards for posting rose to where multiple moderators were needed. So, of course those early posts are going to look dreary.

It doesn't mean you shouldn't post, though. It just means you have to post the best stuff you have. The game has changed, but it doesn't mean you're going to contribute. It just means you have to accept that others will be far better than you at it. OTOH, others will be far worse than you at it, too, thanks to PoliticalFilter.

And if you don't post, you still have your low user number to lord over those of us who had to pay to get in. Bastard.
posted by dw at 8:31 AM on August 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


A couple of things:

1. This is Joe Clark.

2. Don't fuck with Joe Clark.
posted by Mister_A at 8:35 AM on August 5, 2007 [2 favorites]


And on a serious note, I sometimes think, "I should make more posts", but then I remember that there are scads of people out there making good posts everyday. I have a couple I want to do, but I want to wait til I have the time to really do a nice job on them, and chances are that I'll have forgotten by then anyway...
posted by Mister_A at 8:37 AM on August 5, 2007


I haven't made a post to the blue since 2001, but I read pretty much every day. I've taken a bit more to AskMe, but that doesn't say much.
posted by sugarfish at 9:17 AM on August 5, 2007


Post a single link if you want. my most recent post was...

I have a couple I want to do, but I want to wait til I have the time to really do a nice job on them...

This seems to sum it up. These two posting styles are polar opposites and both have their proponents. I figure they're about equal in number and a y2karl masterpiece is as likely to show up here as a single link YouTube post.

Not that anybody asked, but I prefer something in the middle. A little bit of context is nice but I'm fully capable doing my own research and Googling something that interests me. Nonetheless, long or short form, the cream rises to the top and just like porn, I know it when I see it.
posted by cedar at 9:20 AM on August 5, 2007


Seems to me that there are just a lot more people here now then in early 2000. There are many more people who have the time to thoroughly research a post and put up excellent samplings of links on a given topic. I didn't join til a couple years ago, and don't feel like I've ever been a successful poster either. But I do love reading Metafilter and have for many more years before i ponied up the fiver.

But along with the rise in the numbers of quality posts, is a greater number of crappy posts and typical messageboard/forum antics. What can be done about it? Not much. Just have to ignore it, or you'll be getting worked up over nothing.
posted by Roger Dodger at 9:25 AM on August 5, 2007


"People who really enjoy hearing themselves type get really good at typing."

I haven't. I still use only two fingers, one on each hand.

Just think what I could accomplish if could train myself to touch-type!

P.S. I HATE YOU ALL!
posted by davy at 9:43 AM on August 5, 2007


And people who really enjoy hearing themselves type get really good at typing.

When I put my ear to the keyboarisdfhibdsvagirgnlbglnhskiw'a
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:10 AM on August 5, 2007


Save your energy up for telling kids like cortex to get of your lawn.
posted by NortonDC at 10:10 AM on August 5, 2007


S     o     m  e   t     i   m          e      s
y    o        u       '  v    e     j    u        s  t
g      o      t         t      o
l      a            y    y        o      u          r
c        o        c      k          o  n    t    h    e
s          p          a        c                e
b          a          r      f        o    r
a            m    o   m                e        n            t.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 10:32 AM on August 5, 2007 [2 favorites]


If Mefi was a more decent place then you might have a point. As it is, any FPP you make would probably be buried in bullshit whining and me-too snark from idiots who sincerely believe they're clever. Do you really want to deal with that? So don't worry about it. Making good FPPs is a sucker's bet as is.
posted by nixerman at 10:35 AM on August 5, 2007


Holy shit! Lentrohamsanin is PinkStainlessTail! Not that we go way back or any sort of back at all, but when I was a lurker I used to enjoy your posts and comments and then I wondered where you went.
posted by Kwine at 11:03 AM on August 5, 2007


Anyone want to answer the fucking question?

I would, if I had any clue what it is.

What is the right way to react to this?

Whatever you're feeling is just fine, Joe. Really. My therapist told me so.
posted by ottereroticist at 11:28 AM on August 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


I’m saying this after reading through the archived contributions from some new people (with userIDs 40 times higher than mine), who are way the hell better at it.

If you feel guilty for being a passive member (you shouldn't) and you want to contribute more to the blue, then study those posts and posters that you think are way hell better at it, and figure out why those posts and posters are way hell better than you/yours, and change your posting style accordingly. Some of your early posts are stinkers, others are really interesting. I think you could say that about any of us. So what are some of the posts you think are really fantastic? I'm curious.

my recent posts on the blue are extremely conservative to avoid being terrible like the old ones

At the risk of enraging anyone sick of the meme, I have to say that you're overthinking the plate of beans. Loosen up a little and don't worry so much about 'avoiding being terrible'. You are going to be terrible, and you're going to be brilliant too, if you post with any regularity. Don't get performance anxiety - it really is *just a website*.
posted by iconomy at 12:01 PM on August 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


While some people post intrepidly, I think many others might admit that posting can be a little nerve wracking. It's a little like public speaking in that the more you post, the more comfortable you get and the more sense you get of what does and doesn't resonate.

When I first started posting, I found it really fun but also highly stressful - I kept expecting to be humiliated for making some big public faux pas. Being humiliation-averse, I researched any potential posts extensively to be sure I had a good link or was correct in my text, which in turn led to additional links for the post. And then after the trigger was pulled, that was another somewhat stressful time for me - waiting to see a reaction - or even worse, no reaction. Now not so much, but I still sometimes have a tiny twinge stage fright when I post, particularly when there has been a spell of time between my last post. I figure a little bit of nerves is good, it generally keeps me from posting impulsive crap.

That may sound silly, but let's face it, metafilter is a huge public podium. Beyond just the people who comment, thousands more read the site daily. If you are someone who is generally more comfortable avoiding the limelight, posting may not be for you, which is fine. Even though you take to a podium on your own blog or in a book (congrats!), those places don't afford the immediate and very public feedback you get here, which can be wonderful but which can also be a nightmare unless your skin is made of kevlar.

Plus there is the matter of finding good things. I can't figure out how people like jonson and the erstwhile crunchland manage to turn up so many quality things. If you don't surf widely, it can be really difficult to unearth new or interesting things, and then its another matter to judge which ones will amuse this highly discerning crowd.

Don't worry about if you post or not - the readers and the commenters are the most important people here, not the posters. There's no shortage of sites with good links. One thing I would suggest of you and all the other "silent majority" - drop a "nice post" or a favorite on a newb who has posted a good link. Much as many would deny it, when you are a new poster, a few words of encouragement from long time vet or a mefi "celebrity" can be quite a thrill.
posted by madamjujujive at 1:14 PM on August 5, 2007 [3 favorites]


Are you unhappy about not contributing more?
posted by amberglow at 2:03 PM on August 5, 2007


I was actually going to bed pretty late, at well beyond 1:30 in the morning. And I posited that low-userID members should “automatically” be better at posting than high-number members – or at least such was the expectation, leading to my displeasure with my own performance on the site.

I suppose it is cause for modest optimism that a bare majority of respondents in this thread haven’t been complete dicks, intentionally misread the question, or made fun of me in some way. I would wager this is the last time I try anything like this again. If only I had a hide as tough as yours.
posted by joeclark at 2:04 PM on August 5, 2007


Hey, I am user 16070, which sounds like pretty much nothing. But, that means my 5-year anniversary is coming up!

What are you guys gonna get me?

*slips SNACKeR a certificate for anniv. blowjob at next meetup* ; >

My 5th was last week--i can't believe it's been that long already!
posted by amberglow at 2:06 PM on August 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


joe, contributing comes in all diffferent flavors, and many have joined specifically--like for AskMe, or for the Blue, or because we're bigmouths, or because there was one post one day on a topic they were really interested in and then they rarely contributed after that, etc...

I love that one post on something can make people join us, but to each their own--we all have our own private Idaho Metafilter in our minds, and if you're not happy, change something about either how you view yourself as a member, or how you contribute or don't. (like the new Music things and other things--there are all sorts of ways to contribute--this post did so too)
posted by amberglow at 2:11 PM on August 5, 2007


People are posting self-callouts now?
posted by phatkitten at 2:41 PM on August 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


Wow! Look at all my fellow 3-digit homies, who've shown up in this thread (*high-5's all 3 digiters*)! I have made something like 55 posts in the blue since I joined 7 years ago. It's probably safe to say that 1/3 of them are blah, another third kind of meh and the remaining third may or may not be interesting to Metafilterans at large, but I thought they would be at the times I posted them. I think there is only one rubric that applies. If you see something interesting that you'd like to share, just post it! The rest will sort itself out.
posted by Lynsey at 2:45 PM on August 5, 2007


People are posting self-callouts now?

Wow, didn't you get the memo? This has been going on since last year.
posted by The Deej at 2:56 PM on August 5, 2007


I suppose it is cause for modest optimism that a bare majority of respondents in this thread haven’t been complete dicks, intentionally misread the question, or made fun of me in some way.

Wow. Poor Joe. By my reading, most people here have tried in good (if jocular) faith to answer what was a vague, self-absorbed and essentially unanswerable 'question'.

I would wager this is the last time I try anything like this again.

That may be wise. A shame, perhaps, but such is life.

If only I had a hide as tough as yours.

Or any kind of skin at all, apparently.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:50 PM on August 5, 2007


and with that, you prove his point.
posted by amberglow at 4:59 PM on August 5, 2007


Now, there you go, amberglow! Directing more traffic over to MeFi Music! Go ahead bruh! You take his advice, joeclark! Maybe you could post a version of this tune, featuring yet another of your username namesakes!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:26 PM on August 5, 2007


They also serve who only sit and read. At least, that's what I tell myself.

Well, you blew that to heck, then, didn't you? ;-)
posted by WCityMike at 5:28 PM on August 5, 2007


I still don't have the hang of this thong.

try wearing it the right way around, peacay.
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:10 PM on August 5, 2007


430 checking in. I have 39 posts and none for over 2 years.

I live for the snarky one-liner
posted by Mick at 7:28 PM on August 5, 2007


joeclarknotprimeministerprincipalorpreachersson, you have less than 9 hours left.
posted by wendell at 8:00 PM on August 5, 2007


Look at 'em go!
posted by Burhanistan at 8:19 PM on August 5, 2007


Joeclark, my question is: what makes you think your posts suck? You have a handful of people calling them their favorite posts! Way more people than say that about mine (whose quality I'm always self-conscious about), and Baby_Balrog just said something nice about them (thanks, B_B!)

So, why not just post (or not) for the fun of it (or lack thereof)? You'll probably get better over time. I think madamjujujive has it here.

And B_B, while trying to find your email to say "thanks," I found a link to your first sermon!? Right on! I'd wondered what'd happened to you since last winter, and now I see this turnaround story and everything -- wow! Anyway, thanks for making a nice comment about me, otherwise I might not've come across all that. And congratulations!
posted by salvia at 9:46 PM on August 5, 2007


and with that, you prove his point.

Oh, fuck that noise. What point have I proved?

That I'm 'a complete dick' (or that 'a bare majority of respondents in this thread [aren't] complete dicks')? Hardly, at least in this particular thread.

That I (and others) 'intentionally misread the question'? Sorry, but I and others have spent way too much time charitably trying to understand what the hell his question was.

That we're all just too ready to 'make fun of him in some way'? Tough shit. This is Metatalk, life is hard. Buy a goddamn helmet.

Seriously. People have been overwhelming patient and nice to him (myself included); he's been the dick, as far as I can see.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:04 PM on August 5, 2007


(That said, he's still been less of a dick than a fair number of people are here most of the time, so there's that, I guess.)
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:12 PM on August 5, 2007


Look, ya'll.

Joe is a troll from way back. He's a pro and we're all owned.

When he's not ranting about sexy redheads or some arcane Canadian spec for closed captioning of Icelandic lesbian hockey, he makes great sense and is a friggin' genius. The book ain't bad.

Right here, right now... he's a whiny little dick admitting that he can't figure out how to post after lurking for seven years. Stavros said what we all thought.
posted by cedar at 10:17 PM on August 5, 2007


Also, after our amusing little tete-a-tete a few days back, I'm starting to get creeped the hell out by Blazecock Pileon favoriting (and only him favoriting) every comment someone makes that either disagrees with me or calls me to task for something. You're a freak, son.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:18 PM on August 5, 2007


arcane Canadian spec for closed captioning of Icelandic lesbian hockey

Now if Joe posted something about that, I guarantee there'd be a gangbusters response!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:19 PM on August 5, 2007


Also, after our amusing little tete-a-tete a few days back, I'm starting to get creeped the hell out by Blazecock Pileon favoriting (and only him favoriting) every comment someone makes that either disagrees with me or calls me to task for something.

You act like a petulant child in this thread, someone points it out, and my favoriting that single comment is "every comment"?

You're a freak, son.

You really are a joke. You've been trying to pick a fight with nearly everyone you run into on this site, lately. Don't involve me with your mental illness, thanks.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:29 PM on August 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


Rubber! Glue!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:37 PM on August 5, 2007


Whatever. Keep trollin', creep.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:39 PM on August 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


Well, if I was trolling for creepy stalkeresque monomaniacs, I appear to have landed a veritable Moby Dick. Go, me!

Yes, I know: get a room, us two. Only if BP pays, though.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:44 PM on August 5, 2007


Can't we go back to picking on Joe?

He's probably asleep by now.
posted by cedar at 10:46 PM on August 5, 2007


Well, if I was trolling for creepy stalkeresque monomaniacs, I appear to have landed a veritable Moby Dick. Go, me!

You should try your meds. It might help you with your hallucinations.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:49 PM on August 5, 2007


*shrugs*

Is this one of those things where we have to keep grinding away because it's really important to have the last word insult?

In that case, let me pre-empt:

I am a complete dick.
I am petulant child.
I am a joke.
I pick fights with everyone I run into.
I am a creep.
I suffer from mental illness.
I hallucinate.
I require medication.

There we go! Nice neat package!

See, what you don't seem to get is I'm joking around here. Almost all the time. Hell, I don't know you: you're not a freak, honestly, probably. How the hell would I know? I'm sure you're a very nice fellow, and the distribution of your +favorites was merely a matter of confirmation bias and random chance.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:59 PM on August 5, 2007


No, stav, you left out:
I live in Korea.
That's what's really frikkin' weird!

And, gosh, you two, I basically like both of you, so I sure do hate to see you fightin' like this. So listen y'all, why don'tcha go with cedar's advice, and go back to slagging on joeclark?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 11:13 PM on August 5, 2007


joeclark fed my baby to a dingo!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:15 PM on August 5, 2007


Yeah, 'cause I don't like him.

He's mean.
posted by cedar at 11:19 PM on August 5, 2007


joeclark took stavrosthewonderchicken's advice and gave my baby to amberglow who sold it to jessamyn who gave it to flapjax at midnite who fed it to a Dingo! I hates u alls!
posted by arse_hat at 11:21 PM on August 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


I hates u alls!

With good reason, arse_hat. With good reason.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:24 PM on August 5, 2007


"...to prove
Our almost-instinct almost true:
What will survive of us is love."

C'mon kids; if a miserable old curmudgeon like Larkin can get it, let's not fall short in the kindness stakes.
posted by Abiezer at 12:08 AM on August 6, 2007 [1 favorite]


stavrosthewonderchicken is a nice person, and I enjoy reading his comments on MetaFilter, but sometimes he gets angry and mean. I don't like that.

Blazecock Pileon is a nice person, and I enjoy reading his comments on MetaFilter, but sometimes he gets angry and mean. I don't like that.

It makes me sad when stavros and BP fight like this. Think of your audience, guys, and how much it hurts us to see the two of you fighting like this.
posted by Meatbomb at 12:44 AM on August 6, 2007


Jeez, I gotta work on my tone, I think. I'm not fighting, I'm dancing!

I'll cop to angry, sometimes, because I do have a temper on me, but if I've been mean to anybody, ever (without such an obvious twinkle in my eye text that it was clear I didn't mean what I was saying to wound), then I apologize. For the past and in advance.

Now come here and gimme a big kiss!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:51 AM on August 6, 2007


Y'see? Stav's just been in Korea too long! It's a nation fulla hotheads, but underneath that prickly exterior there's a heart of gold!

Now I'm just wondering where Blazecock's got off to...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 1:01 AM on August 6, 2007


Blazecock? Are you listening? stavros has apologized and promised to be nice, now I think it is your turn to say something. Do you have something you'd like to say to stavros and the rest of us about your behaviour?
posted by Meatbomb at 3:02 AM on August 6, 2007


(You have been a teacher, haven't you, Meaty?)
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:11 AM on August 6, 2007


CHRISTMAS EVE
INT: Hearth warmed two level colonial house

On Lil' Meatbomb and Towhead Maryh watching action below through second level stair railings; maryh clutches a pink toy bunny

Lil'Meatbomb:
"Why do they have to be mad at each other on Santa's night?"

CUT TO: Stavros and Blazecock hurling tree ornaments at each other; Blazecock shoves Stavros into the Christmas tree, resulting in a shower of tinsel and dry pine needles;

STAVROS & BLAZECOCK:
[adlib obscenities, acid wittisisms]

CUT TO: Towhead Maryh
"Bunny's heart has an owie."
tears Band-Aid from her knee, pats it onto bunny's chest

Lil"Meatbomb:
"Bunny's ears still hurt."
grabs bunny, drives an awl though it's head
"Now Bunny won't hear bad things no more."

On maryh:
(teary eyed) "Meaty, I think an angel just earned his wings."

SFX: distant tinkle

Stavros and Blazecock touch foreheads tenderly, hand each other combs and fobs

FADE OUT on brave little bunny, nailed to a floorboard but now made real, just like the non-nailed-to-a-floorboard rabbits dancincing in the distant meadows

THE END
posted by maryh at 3:39 AM on August 6, 2007 [4 favorites]


I'm pretty new but I wouldn't dare make a FPP with the way people snark around here. I'm too fuckin sensitive. I end up regretting pretty much every post every post I do make unless it gets me some more favorites or best answers. But for some reason beyond my apparent control, I'm still hanging around.
posted by DarkForest at 4:01 AM on August 6, 2007 [1 favorite]


maryh that made me laugh so hard i have a headache now.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 10:48 AM on August 6, 2007


wow. No more cheap Trader Joe's merlot for me after 3 AM.
posted by maryh at 11:27 AM on August 6, 2007 [1 favorite]


Man, I work here and I'm no good at posting. My only decent FPPs I cheated and stole from Projects.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:59 PM on August 6, 2007


Maybe you could just photoshop yourself here ; you know, the honourable thing.
posted by BozoBurgerBonanza at 7:34 PM on August 6, 2007


I don't think Blazecock intends to apologize. It's not like he hasn't had ample opportunity, and I have seen him in other threads.

Well, I never.
posted by Meatbomb at 4:34 PM on August 7, 2007


I'm willing to bet you probably have, but that there aren't any pictures to prove it.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:37 PM on August 7, 2007


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