It was the best of MeFi. It was the worst of MeFi. February 17, 2008 12:10 AM   Subscribe

If you were showing the MetaFilter Universe (including the main page, Ask, Talk, Projects, Music, everything) to someone for the first time, what threads would you choose as examples of MeFi at its best and at its worst?
posted by amyms to MetaFilter-Related at 12:10 AM (59 comments total) 95 users marked this as a favorite

I would pick this thread as the worst, and my comments activity page as the best.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 12:15 AM on February 17, 2008 [10 favorites]


I thought the Alain Robbe-Grillet wrote a dirty book nobody's read thread was of an impressively high quality considering the subject matter.
posted by Kattullus at 12:32 AM on February 17, 2008


If MetaFilter is a Universe, is the img tag our Alderaan?
posted by Bernt Pancreas at 12:58 AM on February 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


I always thought MetaFilter to be the only community capable of doing the limerick thread so well.
posted by theiconoclast31 at 1:03 AM on February 17, 2008




Best: my penis. Worse: my penis.
posted by puke & cry at 1:25 AM on February 17, 2008 [2 favorites]


I'm leaving the house now, but I can say that one of the worst in recent memory was definitely the boobs metatalk post. I had nightmares from that post while it was happening, and not only have I never had a mefi-based nightmare, I rarely have nightmares at all.

We lost some great people there, and I'm bitter.

On the positive side, one Metafilter post that completely fascinated me was the BPD thread, with a lot of very heartfelt member contributions, and a shocking (and heartening) lack of derailing and inane jokes, though at least one person tried to scramble that way. Nobody paid attention though, which was beautiful. (See? it can be done.)

Also, puke & cry's penis. It's what I usually send my friends who are thinking of joining.
posted by taz at 2:08 AM on February 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


i recommend the mefi universe to a lot of people, but i don't show them any threads in particular. the beauty of the site is that the breadth of content means there is something interesting for almost everyone. i'm quite sure the questions that i find interesting on askme or the posts i find interesting on mefi are reflective of my own subjective preferences, rather than some sort of objective criterion of "goodness" shared by all.
posted by modernnomad at 3:33 AM on February 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


This or maybe this.
posted by juv3nal at 4:19 AM on February 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


I don't recommend the mefi universe to my friends. Friends don't let friends join Metafilter.
posted by Dave Faris at 5:12 AM on February 17, 2008 [4 favorites]


If they have a sense of humour...scaracic's scarily thoughtful disposal method in the 'Suppose you killed somebody' thread stands out.
posted by dash_slot- at 5:43 AM on February 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


I wouldn't. Though I like dragging my friends to meetups, I would hate to have them actually start using the site and become more popular than I am.
posted by Eideteker at 6:07 AM on February 17, 2008 [3 favorites]


Recommending metafilter to others is hard. It assumes they will put in the work that enjoying metafilter requires. Though it may be easy for many here to scan a list of FPP's, choose one, scan a list of comments, and find enjoyment... this isn't an innate skill, it's learned.

To appreciate metafilter is no easy task. I am happy that my good friends have taken to reading it on ocassion, so that I'm not completetly out of context when talking about it. But its really hard to get someone hooked enough to read, follow, and appreciate the best and worst of metafilter, as it will always require an investment of some sort.

But in terms of best and worst, I would suggest the givewell ruckus. If a person can get through that and enjoy it, they'll definetly have fun here.
posted by localhuman at 6:42 AM on February 17, 2008


If I was trying to ease someone into the blue, I'd point them to a collection of posts that link to amazing art or history - preferably posts that got very few comments aside from "Awesome!"
posted by mediareport at 6:51 AM on February 17, 2008


Okay, that cat signs AskMe was the funniest thing I've read in months. alpenglow should update her Flickr stream, there are so many great suggestions there. Thanks null terminated.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 6:55 AM on February 17, 2008


Honestly? Really, for-real honestly?

I'd tell them to randomly surf around the Green and the Blue. Chances are they'll find something they'll like. However, I'd tell them to avoid the Grey at all costs.

Seriously. If Metatalk existed without the other MeFi sites for context, it would be one of the worst sites on the internet. Rarely has a website made so many people so angry for so little reason.
posted by Afroblanco at 7:26 AM on February 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


It seems like this is a place whose history is less important than its present. Knowing that once upon a time there was a catscan post or a body disposal answer is cool, but if someone's going to fall in love with metafilter they're going to start reading it at the top and make it to the bottom of the page and want to know what happens next, not start reading in 2003 and make their way forward. It's a blog: new stuff goes on top. I love the tradition and history as much as anyone here, but I only revisit the site because I, and others with better internet research abilities, get to build on top of the ruins of Givewell, the misogyny fracas, img-tag-gate, dios callouts, hand-severing flameouts, and posts about expensive chocolate that could win the Pulitzer.
posted by anotherpanacea at 7:37 AM on February 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


From music, I would recommend (in no particular order):

01) chococat's Miss Me In The Morning
02) barmaljova's If I Had Wings [In Yiddish]
03) Wolfdog's Suddenpolka
04) Baby_Balrog's Angeline
05) The Great Big Mulp's Flyball's Lament
06) miss lynnster's Love Me Or Leave Me
07) buriednexttoyou's Arboretum
08) ajp's Longing For Summer
09) ludwig_van's Julia
10) The Great Big Mulp's 4 ewe
11) melissa may's Hazy Heat
12) edlundart's in memories
13) snsranch's Blessed Every Day
14) goodnewsfortheinsane ITEOTFWAWKAIFF [feat. 16 other Mefites]
15) cortex's At The Open Mic

That could give anyone a good idea of just how varied it is. But of course there are many, many great songs there that I didn't put in the list, hope no one is offended, the list is not a best of, by any means, just a quick list trying to give a newcomer a taste of the many things that can be found there.
posted by micayetoca at 8:14 AM on February 17, 2008 [7 favorites]


The Mr. Rogers Obit thread is a good jumping off point I think, were I ever to actively encourage friends to visit MeFi (which I don't because it's MINE hiss MINE y'hear?? ...). It's a topic that most people I know can appreciate - if you've grown up in North America, you know about Mr. Rogers. Hell, I didn't move here till I was past Mr.-Rogers-Age and I still know about Mr. Rogers. The thread itself was full of well written comments and it had a real community feel to it, much like the 911 thread and the Life altering experiences thread.

But alas, I am selfish.
posted by Phire at 10:39 AM on February 17, 2008 [3 favorites]


anything but a (single) youtube link.
posted by msconduct at 11:11 AM on February 17, 2008


Some of my Metafilter bookmarks:
Anglo Women are an endangered species!

Past life as a Samurai.

I am a Mutant with an enlarged brain, and a device implanted into my head but its very sensitive to electromagnetic fields.. please help me avoid them

Phones are bugged
Need Resources on Mind Energy Changing DNA

Bus boyfriends
No longer rockin' the suburbs

I shit a worm

Vegas Threesome

I've invented a complete imaginary world. Am I insane?
The Lifecycle of the Imaginary

How to shoot a lot of sperm?

Could a typical young man, armed only with a knife, (say, six or eight inches long) be trained to consistently "win" fights with a grizzly bear?

Tommorow is your lucky day, punk ass piece of shit

Now I Know How Simone Warne Must Have Felt

Do I have a classic case of "More-ism?"

Metafilter: you fucking pissants have pulled this shit more than once.

How do I administer some mammal love?

Panty stealer!

Poo

Lawyer Harassment

I sit adjacent to a nice woman at work. I get bad thoughts.

How do I screw my neighbor?

I just got fired today for reading this thread.

What's it like to feel loved?

Bisexuality and the law?

MetaFilter is now neither meta nor a filter.

A link to NAMBLA is just wrong
Growing Up Sexually

What more could I do to stop going crazy?

How does a Protestant minister handle a confession of murder?

Help me become a professional shop lifter

Can I fix my own furnace?

Steal a dog to save a dog, but hurt a man in the process

Why can't the executives at my job spell?

End of youth?
Life-altering experiences

What to do when your s-o doesn't come through in a pinch

Trials of a Responsible Hedonist
Girl Crazy
Fell in love with a prostitute. Lasted 3 years; ended badly. How to get over it?

is an ebay fraud seller free?

I bet my right hand against quonsar's lies

I had no idea how militantly ignorant reklaw was

Calling them like I see them

If you don't know the answer, don't answer the question

Is my mom's behavior towards my little brother inappropriate?
posted by meehawl at 12:45 PM on February 17, 2008 [46 favorites]


Nullterminated: thanks for the mushroom thread.
posted by francesca too at 12:56 PM on February 17, 2008


Disappointingly, "How do I screw my neighbor?" is not about what I thought it was at all.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 1:07 PM on February 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


The thread about the Bali bombing, in which I discovered that my friend Rick had been (it turned out, fatally) injured, and the thread posted after he died changed a lot of my thinking about community on the web (for the better), and made it certain that much as I get frustrated sometimes, I don't think I'll ever want to leave Metafilter. The site itself and a lot of people here are very close to my heart.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:27 PM on February 17, 2008 [3 favorites]


It's extremely non-profound, but I really enjoyed this thread about the world's tallest man saving a dolphin. Light and funny.

My favorite pile-on was this one, where the original poster manages to take a few sympathetic souls and turn them against himself.
posted by ibmcginty at 6:13 PM on February 17, 2008


This is the new.

MySpace page Their songs are pretty catchy, and the video on their myspace page is hilarious.
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:24 PM on February 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


THE WORST.

Including such gems as "I'm driving by Brail [sic]," "I'm off like a prom dress," and "have a nice trip, see you next fall!"
posted by Joseph Gurl at 7:29 PM on February 17, 2008


shit, stavros, that's heartbreaking. i read a bit of the bali thread & had to close the browser. not the kind of thing to be reading in an office environment.
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:36 PM on February 17, 2008


I'm with you there Joseph. There's a reality distortion field in that thread that may eclipse the sun. No, they aren't clever or witty, they're stupid.
posted by smackfu at 8:32 PM on February 17, 2008


This is a good example of mefites left to their own devices. Well, so is this, but in a different way.

If you want to go the other way and completely alienate them, try this.
posted by flatluigi at 8:38 PM on February 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


Also, meehawl: I need to start reading AskMe. Great links.
posted by flatluigi at 9:06 PM on February 17, 2008


Don't know if this has been mentioned yet.
posted by hadjiboy at 9:35 PM on February 17, 2008


Regarding this AskMe linked above: it looks like nobody ever actually tracked down a copy the poem in question, so here it is (page 7).
posted by teraflop at 11:51 PM on February 17, 2008 [2 favorites]


One needs to be logged into IEEE Xplore to access that, teraflop. Care to post the poem here?
posted by Kattullus at 11:58 PM on February 17, 2008


Sure — I doubt the author would object.
“The Skull, the Dream, and the Dancer”

In the land of dreams, skull-bound, I am an eye only:
voiceless to call out or speak, a wanderer,
Without ears to hear music, without breath for weeping,
unsleeping, without solace, without even madness.

In the land of dreams, skull-bordered, a dancer dances
across a gulf from which music rises (I cannot hear it).
In the manner of dreams the abyss is as narrow as harpstrings
but too wide to reach over; and besides, I am handless.
An eye only, watching a dancer dancing
to music she only can hear.
Dearer to me than any music: closer than thought,
yet not to be touched. A dancer’s dancing,
to the deaf, is a mystery.
It is the way of beauty, to be beautiful.

In the land of dreams, skull-shadowed, I am an eye.
Footless to dance to anyone’s music, deaf and alone,
but after all: I have an eye, watchful wanderer,
under the ridge of my bony brow.

In the land of dreams, skull-deep, I can see.
May you be spared the fulfillment of dreams.

Despite all this: in the land of dreams a dancer is dancing
and fairer is the dance than any seen waking.
It is something, after all, to see beauty,
to touch dreams, even to lose them, to be at least an eye
in the land of dreams, in the skull’s hollow.
It is something to know that the music is there.
by Bradley W. Schenck
posted by teraflop at 12:39 AM on February 18, 2008 [7 favorites]


teraflop - that's awesome. I remember that thread from way back - I think it was right after registration opened and Miss Smartie Pants was a new member and I think it was referred to several times as showing the new sign-ups were not entirely useless.
posted by Rumple at 1:26 AM on February 18, 2008


Ugh, that "Situational Comments" thread.
X  XX  X XX    X  X  X   X X  X  X   X X X  X        X  XX    X  X  X   X X    X              X        X  X     XX 
posted by Wolfdog at 4:37 AM on February 18, 2008


This post about McDonalds UK answering questions from the public is somehow one of the funniest things I have ever read online.
posted by patricio at 6:43 AM on February 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


patricio, thanks for reminding me of that thread! I checked out the McDonald's UK site again, and found more gems like this one:

10. is it true that if you throw a hamburger in the trash can and spin around 3 times really fast and say,"i was hamboozled" the hamburgaler will appear?

No. (July 2007)

posted by misha at 7:01 AM on February 18, 2008


I posted that desperate question about the lost poem back in November of 2004. This morning I received an e-mail from a nice MeFite letting me know someone had finally answered the question -- in THIS thread! I think that could maybe qualify this thread as one to show someone.

(several months after I first posted the plea, someone did e-mail me a copy of the poem out of the blue (green?), and I was truly grateful. Unfortunately the computer/hard drive where I had that e-mail died a long time ago, and I had lost the poem again! Now I get to be grateful again. Thanks blue/green/gray, and teraflop.)
posted by robbie01 at 9:21 AM on February 18, 2008 [3 favorites]


Why separate the two? The best and the worst of MeFi can be found in the Kaycee Nicole threads: Prologue/Part 1/Part 2/Part 3
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 12:35 PM on February 18, 2008 [4 favorites]


Dave Faris: "I don't recommend the mefi universe to my friends. Friends don't let friends join Metafilter."
Plus, this is where I go to get away from those people.

stavrosthewonderchicken: "The thread about the Bali bombing, in which I discovered that my friend Rick had been (it turned out, fatally) injured, and the thread posted after he died changed a lot of my thinking about community on the web (for the better), and made it certain that much as I get frustrated sometimes, I don't think I'll ever want to leave Metafilter. The site itself and a lot of people here are very close to my heart."
I guess, for a lot of old-timers, the original 9/11 thread was something that really turned the site into a community for them. I wasn't here then, but those threads really did it for me. I also get pissed off about things that go on here, but I doubt that I'll ever leave because an inordinate amount of stuff that has happened to me over the past whatever years has been somehow mixed up with MeFi.

But no, I don't recommend it to people. Ever. Mostly because I simply have no way to explain it.
posted by dg at 1:26 PM on February 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


I do recommend MetaFilter to people all the time. The most effective way to get people to read it though seems to be when they're tired of digg and reddit and want something smarter.
posted by Kattullus at 1:48 PM on February 18, 2008


I forgot to include this one in the long list above:

I was quoting SCIENCE.
posted by meehawl at 5:05 PM on February 18, 2008


I would never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never recommend this place to anyone.

(and I like it here, even)
posted by Joseph Gurl at 5:48 PM on February 18, 2008


There have been so many very good and very bad posts to MetaFilter that it's simply impossible to narrow it down to a representative list.

However, I'd strongly recommend the braised lamb shank with wild mushroom and asparagus risotto. And might I suggest a 1998 Vieilles Vignes Pinot Noir to go with that? I think you'll find it delightful.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:22 PM on February 18, 2008


Can I get a portobello with that?
posted by Rumple at 7:05 PM on February 18, 2008


What's this portobello of which you speak?
posted by Kattullus at 7:14 PM on February 18, 2008


It's spelled portabello.
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:15 PM on February 18, 2008


(sometimes I weep for the education of the youth of today)
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:16 PM on February 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


also, i gave up trying to recommend this place to people ages ago, because it was disappointing to find that friends who i'd thought would dig it apparently didn't (unless they're playing silly hidey games).

i'll let others stumble upon the site for themselves, if they are so inclined. and then i'll pulverise their tender little egos with my prestigious sub-18404 usernumber & treasure trove of favourites, just as i love to crush ladybirds between my thumb & forefinger. either that, or they'll wonder to themselves, "so what is it exactly that you do for a living, again?"
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:28 PM on February 18, 2008


fine. portabella. with a side of beans.

UbuRoivas, if you got up before noon you could have had a coveted sub 18059 number. Think of the magnificent prestige. Perhaps your friends would dig it more.
posted by Rumple at 8:08 PM on February 18, 2008


Can I get a portobello with that?

Sorry, we're all outta 'shrooms, however you spell 'em. But we can garnish your plate with some pretty flowers.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:46 AM on February 19, 2008


flapjax: flagged as a double
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:52 AM on February 19, 2008


woops. Yup, looks like you beat me to it, there, Ubu...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:28 AM on February 19, 2008


Just best of stuff here. There's so much from AskMe that it's hard to narrow down, but here's a sample of things that have stayed with me:

Vienna phonebook
Talking to the dying
Life-altering experiences
Checklist for life practicalities
My 6 year old sees things other people don't

For me, the best front page posts are the ones that blow my mind in a holy smokes, I never knew that kind of way:

Mefi
The most kissed girl in the world
Italo Calvino sparks obsessions
The Codex Seriphinianus
Xylothek
Mapping the Starmaze
Thought I'd Put On a Drag Show (Funny links come and go, but this is the one that never, ever fails to crack me up.)
posted by melissa may at 7:05 AM on February 19, 2008 [2 favorites]




You're so smart you probably think this thread is about you - probably marked a watershed moment here for me, at least. 221 other members also saw *something* of interest.

And, for a bonus prize, the thread includes robocop_is_bleeding's Wheel story.
posted by UbuRoivas at 12:14 AM on February 20, 2008


This has got to be a candidate for Worst.
posted by deadmessenger at 7:30 AM on February 23, 2008


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