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March 25, 2008 6:54 PM   Subscribe

My question is a two parter. I spend way too much time surfing the net, and sometimes come up on "stuff" that I think might make a good post here, but because I am fairly new by Metafilter standards, I am not sure it would be a good post. Is there a way for me to "unofficially" run my thoughts through someone PRE-post? I would rather not be humiliated publicly, which is why I ask. Secondly, even if I was feeling up for a good potential whipping on any given day, I am pretty bad with the technical aspects here. I would really do so much better if I had some one on one help.

This isn't the first time I wanted to post something, yet didn't because of the above listed reasons. I seriously doubt that with all the lurking we got going on here, that I am the only one feeling this way. Is there a way for us to deal with this?

While this is being discussed, if someone would want to offer up their personal help to me, I will be more specific with this most recent thing which I find fascinating and worthy of discussion here, even though I have no clue how to post or if I should. If that person feels that this is worthy of a post, then they can roll with it in order to get it out there in a timely fashion. My objective on this particular suggestion is just to get something out there now, because by next week it will be old, if it isn't already. (All that, assuming it is front page material, while it just might be newsfilter?)
posted by LiveLurker to Etiquette/Policy at 6:54 PM (84 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

You can email the admins. Try the contact link in the footer and just send us a copy of the post or your questions on technical aspects and we'll do our best to answer them.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 6:55 PM on March 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


It is a rite of passage to get lambasted here for a shitty post. No need to fret on that aspect.
posted by Falconetti at 6:57 PM on March 25, 2008 [7 favorites]


First of all, relax. The worst that will happen is that your post gets deleted if it isn't right.
posted by Dave Faris at 6:57 PM on March 25, 2008


Fortune favours the bold, or as my father used to put it: a faint heart never fucked a pig.

Just post whatever you're talking about. Try and make your post similar to other posts you've enjoyed. If it sucks, it'll get deleted.

If you're either too shy or too technically illiterate to risk the process, then we'll get along without your post, so you need not worry.
posted by chudmonkey at 6:59 PM on March 25, 2008 [9 favorites]


a faint heart never fucked a pig.

The hell?
posted by nola at 7:12 PM on March 25, 2008 [13 favorites]


First, learn to use more inside. Second, it doesn't matter what we think. Is it interesting? Not, are you interested in it, but is it interesting? If it is, it doesn't matter what we think.
posted by Toekneesan at 7:13 PM on March 25, 2008


The first post I made was shit, and it stayed up so I think you gotta really post something really lame to get deleted. Here are some soon to be deleted examples.
posted by nola at 7:15 PM on March 25, 2008


Asking if something would fly is maybe a good idea if you are unsure. I think if you want to post, though, you should figure out how to conquer the "technical aspects" yourself. It's not a very high bar to participation.
posted by OmieWise at 7:15 PM on March 25, 2008


I would rather not be humiliated publicly, which is why I ask.

This is part of the fun of posting. If you're not at least a little scared, you're doing it wrong. You just have to go for it.


Also, posting a long, rambling question to MetaTalk is a great way to be publically humiliated.

However, being that I am not an unkind soul, you may choose your humilitation:

A) Give yourself a spanking while singing "I'm a little teapot".

B) Wear a very silly hat for 24 hours. It should be at least partly constructed from balloons, toiletry supplies, and/or disgusting food products.

C) Instead of wearing said hat, you may eat it instead.

D) Please accept this heartfelt "NOOB!".
posted by loquacious at 7:18 PM on March 25, 2008 [4 favorites]


Oh man can I pick "A" for him, I'm kinda kinky that way.
posted by nola at 7:21 PM on March 25, 2008


My first post was awful. My subsequent ones haven't been much better. My post last night got deleted as a double, and we'll see what happens when I come out swinging again tonight.

The point is, don't worry about it. If it is newsfilter, provide enough links to give adequate context and to view things from all sides. Don't over-link to wiki - if you can reasonably assume that anyone interested would know the basics of who/what you're talking about, youcan do better with minimal research.

And remember, nothing gets people's attention like hate speech!

Anyway, happy posting.

(YMMV on the hate speech bit)
posted by Navelgazer at 7:25 PM on March 25, 2008


The hell?

nola,
It's a hard life up there in the prairies for chudmonkey. Other people than his dad have said it, though.
posted by lukemeister at 7:26 PM on March 25, 2008


I will be your buddy.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:31 PM on March 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


It's funny you linked to google cause I had to go google it myself a minute ago to get some context. You learn something new every day.
posted by nola at 7:36 PM on March 25, 2008


Oh heck, I can assure you chudmonkey, that my heart is not faint given daddy's definition. In fact, the little piggies squealed ...."all the way home". And one at a time, no less! Had to shut down that pig farm. It was a sad, sad day for all of us.

Have to admit that I am losing steam here because no one offered to "buddy", but hey, we'll see how this goes.

Until Jessamyn on preview! Thanks so much.
posted by LiveLurker at 7:37 PM on March 25, 2008


There are lots of ways to vet posts. Your contacts, sycophantic memails to admired posters, and even, last night saw some of this, the peanut gallery in irc. Of course, jessamyn's probably a pretty good buddy, but I'll toss my name out there too as someone willing to help and suggest angles for your material.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 7:40 PM on March 25, 2008


Unrepentant pigfucker? Yeah, I can deal with that.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 7:41 PM on March 25, 2008


Once you post, don't sit there and babysit the thread. People who stick around and try to moderate their own threads can get a bit annoying.
posted by ODiV at 7:44 PM on March 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


LL - I got no good advice. But I need one more favorite to hit an even 300 so do me a solid and I promise not to rag on your first sure-to-be turd post when it finally lands in the Blue.
posted by docpops at 7:45 PM on March 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


If you're posting cool stuff from the web which is something about which you have particular expertise, then the best thing to do is to cut it down to the bare minimum. No editorializing, no adorning with extra wiki links and extraneous bullshit. Just create the post with a link and some text and hit preview.

Now, look at it as if you hadn't already seen the post-- think -- if I was skimming Metafilter, would I click this? If you wouldn't, would a sentence or two of explanation help? If so, then go ahead and add it. If it doesn't, then just skip the whole thing. If your link isn't fpp-worthy, then no matter how much grade-b filler you add to it to make it feel weighty, it still won't be fpp-worthy.

Also, don't bother asking anyone else if they think it's fpp worthy. If you really think it is, then someone on metafilter is bound to agree with you. Just post the fucker already.
posted by empath at 7:46 PM on March 25, 2008


(uh, i meant to say which is NOT something about which, etc... If you're posting about something you know a lot about or are passionate about or have spent the past 12 hours online reading about, feel free to pile on the links and details. I love brain dumps like that)
posted by empath at 7:49 PM on March 25, 2008


If you want to run it by somebody, you can put me down as a contact and mefimail me, no problem. And I'll be glad to give you an opinion, but I've had posts deleted, too, and it really is a rite of passage here. Just don't take it personally.
posted by misha at 7:50 PM on March 25, 2008


Also, posting a long, rambling question to MetaTalk is a great way to be publically humiliated.

Posting a long, rambling question to MetaTalk... a great way to be publically humiliated? Or... the greatest way to be publically humiliated?
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 7:52 PM on March 25, 2008


I would rather not be humiliated publicly

Do not deprive of us our due!
posted by LarryC at 8:01 PM on March 25, 2008


This probably ought to be on the sidebar, eh?
posted by HuronBob at 8:20 PM on March 25, 2008


Fuzzy wasn't very fuzzy, wuz he?
posted by LiveLurker at 8:35 PM on March 25, 2008


"First of all, relax. The worst that will happen is that your post gets deleted if it isn't right."

No, no, I'm pretty sure you get gout or something too. I think I read that in the guidelines.

Also, there was that Crunshland dude who posted a bunch of good posts, and then one bad one, and he had to change his name and move to a different town.
posted by klangklangston at 8:37 PM on March 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


Also, I find it helps to shout out the post to everyone in a bar before hand, ending with, "Any of you got a problem with that?"
posted by klangklangston at 8:39 PM on March 25, 2008


Don't be afraid to post, either for technical reasons or because of thinking people might make fun.

The technical aspects are not that hard, you can take it step by step and you'll be fine. Just go to the posting page and read through the instructions, and read the FAQ or maybe the wiki. Making links: The posting page makes the first link for you automatically. If you want to add another link you can use the blue "link" button, or type this:
[a href="http://www.example.com"]here's a link[/a]
replacing the square brackets with angle brackets (greater than/less than symbol) and it will look like this: here's a link.

About the social, here are tips for avoiding trouble:
-You've been following the front page for more than a year now, right? Think about what kinds of posts go well, and which ones don't. Some hot-button issues are best avoided if you want to play it safe: Obama/Clinton, atheism/Christianity, Israel/Palestine, creationism, cat-declawing, obesity, sexist/racist jokes, etc.

- Choosing links to post:
Only post links that are interesting on their own; a good link should not require a discussion to make it more interesting. If discussion happens, great, but you're walking closer to the knife-edge when you post things that you hope will be redeemed by the discussion.

- Composing a post:
Be as simple and straightforward as possible in the way you phrase the post. So: Don't include a bunch of axe-grinding, don't try to dress up the post with clever wording; just let the link speak for itself. Don't try to "set things up for discussion". Also, (this is my personal preference) tell us what we need to know to decide whether we're interested (who's involved, why we recognize that name, etc), don't be coyly vague in your phrasing.

Choose which one link you think is most important (if you're posting more than one link). Make that link stand out in the way you frame the post. One way to do that is to make it the first link, although that's not the only way.

Examples:
BAD
"There are so many charity sites out there that I've had a hard time choosing. There's been a controversy with some of the major players lately, since they're all corrupt bastards. Also you may have heard about a bribery scandal , and that time Joe Bloggs was caught in the closet with his pet goat. And you may not realize that some people have things to say about it."

GOOD
"Well-respected charity specialist Joetta Bloggs finally issues a hilariously deadpan statement on her husband's recent pet goat scandal."

-Comments:
Don't take offense if people say "oh, what a crummy post". Just let it go; some people are cranky. Probably for every one person who criticizes, there are 20+ who enjoyed it. The one guaranteed way to get in trouble is to jump into the comments in your post and start trying to defend yourself, and it's extra-guaranteed to end in tears if you get riled up and insult people while trying to defend yourself. The best course is to post and then promise yourself you won't post a comment unless someone asks for a clarification of something, for at least the first 30 comments. A peaceful, detached frame of mind is called for.

(also, be careful because if you are avoiding a project, you might just go on at great length.)
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:48 PM on March 25, 2008 [5 favorites]


Faint heart might occasionally be the better option.
posted by flabdablet at 8:59 PM on March 25, 2008


Better link to the wiki:
What's a good post?
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:01 PM on March 25, 2008


ODiV said: "Once you post, don't sit there and babysit the thread. People who stick around and try to moderate their own threads can get a bit annoying."

Quoted for emphasis. Also, LobsterMitten's last para is spot-on (but my quotemonkey goes away when I'm already in preview).

You've had some good advice already, but I want to add on to something that empath said: "Now, look at it as if you hadn't already seen the post-- think -- if I was skimming Metafilter, would I click this? If you wouldn't, would a sentence or two of explanation help? If so, then go ahead and add it. If it doesn't, then just skip the whole thing. If your link isn't fpp-worthy, then no matter how much grade-b filler you add to it to make it feel weighty, it still won't be fpp-worthy."

I would add... "write it, edit it, save a draft, and then... walk away from it for a while." Stop reading MeFi, get up, go outside, or have dinner, or (even better) save it till morning. Then take one more look, make sure it's still good, then post.

"Oh, but, Pineapple, I just couldn't wait 12 whole hours... because it's breaking news and someone might scoop me!" Wrong wrong wrong -- a post that has to be rushed to the front page is probably crap to begin with... either because it's NewsFilter or hasn't benefited from that last little bit of time and consideration.

I say this as someone who's posted exactly 7 FPPs in ~5 years, none of which were exactly barnburners... so take my advice with a grain of salt. But I read a lot of FPPs.
posted by pineapple at 9:03 PM on March 25, 2008


Post your links already for goodness' sake. Cut and paste them into the posting script box, then read it over, then hit post. I find it amusing that people get nervous about this kind of thing, as if it is a job interview or some other momentous life event.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:09 PM on March 25, 2008


Pig-fucking is not for amateurs.
posted by homunculus at 9:27 PM on March 25, 2008


But you'd have to assume they're amateurs of pigs, no?
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:45 PM on March 25, 2008


Speaking of crunchland, check out his profile for The Crunchland Method or, How to Make a Better Front Page Post (scroll down).
posted by carsonb at 9:47 PM on March 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


Another vote for the crunchland method, and LobsterMitten's advice was also great. The main thing is the link.
posted by madamjujujive at 9:59 PM on March 25, 2008


It's getting harder and harder to follow that method, unfortunately. Back when it was written, link blogs were everywhere. Now, there are so many abandoned blogs. An interesting phenomenon, but it makes following the method much harder and more time consuming.
posted by Dave Faris at 10:10 PM on March 25, 2008


Whatever you do, don't obfusticate the links. Don't be cute and coy and post links to imdb without explicitly identifying who you're linking to. FPPs are not treasure hunts.
posted by bunnytricks at 10:15 PM on March 25, 2008


It's getting harder and harder to follow that method, unfortunately.

Oh, don't get yourself down, Dave. It's really only that one part that's not as effective as before, and even so it's still a good way to find links. The rest of the method remains solid advice and worth the read.
posted by carsonb at 10:18 PM on March 25, 2008


And if your FPP is 240+ words try and squeeze in a paragraph break or two.

Or let a friendly mod do it for you.
posted by Mitheral at 10:20 PM on March 25, 2008


I would rather not be humiliated publicly, which is why I ask.

Fuck 'em in the ear if they don't like it - no post has to appeal to every member, favorites don't mean squat, and anyone who publicly humiliates you is doing so on a website and using a goofy username, which mitigates any humiliation by several thousand orders of magnitude.

Just do the best you can do, and most of all, have fun!!!

Unless your post sucks, in which case you should feel very bad.
Fun fact: Fucking a fainted pig requires little-to-no heart at all.

posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:20 PM on March 25, 2008


Lots of people like the extensively-researched encyclopedi-posts, and that's fine, but me, I don't really get too excited about that.

I really kinda think that you're overthinking a bit. During the course of your wandering around the web, if and when you come across something that makes you go 'HOLY SHIT THAT'S X' where X is one of cool, funny, interesting, weird, [...], you come here and do a quick search to see if it's been posted before, throw the URL into the post form and let the magical URL-checker tell you if it's been posted before, add whatever stuff you figure is germane (Googling for arbitrary link padding or having to throw in Wikipedia links mean it's probably not a great post, though, in my humble), or nothing at all other than the most cursory teaser (although some people don't care for mystery-meat posts, myself among them) and bob's yer proverbial uncle.

Probably one out of five of the things I find that I want to post here haven't been posted before. That's the way it goes.

Don't grind axes or ride hobbyhorses, don't post breaking news, don't ask questions of the audience (well, that's a personal preference, maybe), just share neat stuff. It's not really that hard!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:25 PM on March 25, 2008


Oh, and if it gets deleted, do not come and complain about it in Metatalk. It's very very rare that any good at all comes out of that. Just suck it up and try again later with something new.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:27 PM on March 25, 2008


OH not likely to be deleted. Not gonna be posted even.

All of a sudden, what I thought might matter here, matters even less than I imagined.

Suggestions for improvement? Maybe best given elsewhere.
posted by LiveLurker at 1:07 AM on March 26, 2008


Sorry, I don't understand what you mean. *shrugs* Just trying to be helpful.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:25 AM on March 26, 2008


ohhhhhhhh kay now? Never expected stravros to have such a sweet tone?
posted by LiveLurker at 1:49 AM on March 26, 2008


Hmmph. It seems I have developed a reputation for abrasiveness in some quarters, despite my angelic nature and only occasional outbursts of apoplectic rage and senseless textual violence.

That's a bit of a shame. *shrugs again*
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:55 AM on March 26, 2008


Going to bed. No RSS feed. Your response tomorrow is... not noticed much.

LOVE you though!
posted by LiveLurker at 2:01 AM on March 26, 2008


you've already thoroughly humiliated yourself by referring to typing and pushing a button or two as "technical aspects". go for broke!
posted by quonsar at 3:47 AM on March 26, 2008


Is the post gonna be about soft and fluffy kitties?
Because then I will favorite it.
Bunnies are good too.
posted by Dizzy at 3:54 AM on March 26, 2008


This is the second time I've seen references to pigfucking in the last week here in the grey. Won't somebody please think of the poor neglected sheep?
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 4:42 AM on March 26, 2008


Neglected? They're all getting fucked.
posted by mediareport at 6:13 AM on March 26, 2008


Hokay, totally misread that one. Off for coffee...
posted by mediareport at 6:13 AM on March 26, 2008


Try not to fuck any sheep on your way to the coffee pot.
posted by Wolfdog at 6:15 AM on March 26, 2008 [2 favorites]


Are you kidding?
Starbucks is brimming with sheep.
posted by Dizzy at 6:19 AM on March 26, 2008


Why fuck pigs or sheep when you can be fucked by dolphins? They'll even drown you, too. Bet you don't know what drowning while being fucked by a dolphin feels like. Just make sure you wait 30 minutes after a meal before getting into the water.

I'd like to fuck a tiger someday.

Right; where's that coffee? I'm slipping.
posted by breezeway at 6:24 AM on March 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


breezeway-- you may be kidding but you speak true, too:
My good friend Merrilyn went to one of those "Swim! With! The! Dolphins" Parks in Florida.
She happened to be menstruating at the time.
She almost didn't come back--- 4 or 5 of those l'il bad boys reallly wanted to be her boyfriend that day.
We call it the "20,000 Tail Hooks Under The Sea" weekend.
posted by Dizzy at 6:44 AM on March 26, 2008


This thread has fucked more pigs than Harry Roberts.
posted by Abiezer at 6:54 AM on March 26, 2008


1. Ask for advice about posting practice.
2. [MetaTalk happens]
3. Advice about intercourse with dolphins begins to emerge.
posted by Wolfdog at 6:56 AM on March 26, 2008


Not intercourse! They just had some Coronas and fooled around a little bit! It meant nothing to her! NOTHING!
posted by Dizzy at 7:02 AM on March 26, 2008


Is this a good time to talk about the alluring yet oxymoronic cetacean furry?

The drowning risk drops slightly when, instead of dolphins in the wild, it's a guy wearing a crotchless dolphin suit into your hot tub.
posted by breezeway at 7:16 AM on March 26, 2008


That would be my cousin Dwight.
Please don't give him my number.
posted by Dizzy at 7:18 AM on March 26, 2008


Post. Do not post. There is no try.
posted by normy at 7:20 AM on March 26, 2008


And a naive question draws out the latent bestiality proclivities, again.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:23 AM on March 26, 2008


Thanks. Iolanthe is ruined for me.

I'll do it now
Grab me a sow
And pretend she looks like Twiggy.
What's the harm
Of fun on the farm?
"Faint heart never fucked a piggy!"

*showers*
posted by SpiffyRob at 7:27 AM on March 26, 2008


And a naive question draws out the latent bestiality proclivities, again.

Yeah, you got me. But think about it: if Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen were cute little twin porpoises frolicking in a billion-dollar, solid gold pool, wouldn't you want to swim with them, in the biblical sense? And what if they were hermaphrodite dolphins with whom you could have a real give-and-take? What then?
posted by breezeway at 7:33 AM on March 26, 2008


I'd like to fuck a tiger someday.

Most awkward Make-A-Wish EVAR.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:36 AM on March 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


That indeed is some kind of uber-meta koan that I might not be able to find an approach vector to or from. Need to find a cave.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:39 AM on March 26, 2008


A secluded, underwater cave.
posted by Wolfdog at 7:44 AM on March 26, 2008


Solid gold!
posted by breezeway at 7:52 AM on March 26, 2008


I totally agree with the "rite of passage" take.

You are never more a MeFite than when you've been exposed in the Blue as an intellectual lightweight, moral coward, someone with crap taste in music, your opinions about obesity/circumcision/abortion/smoking are wrong, a liberal elitist, flyover land redneck, sexist, racist, misogynist, misandrist or ceiling cat fan.

I'll wager it's happened to all of us, at least once.

Be bold, LiveLurker, and mighty forces will come to your aid... right alongside with those who will crush your spirit.
posted by psmealey at 7:59 AM on March 26, 2008


Just post what you want to. Seriously, how is having a post deleted cause for humiliation? For starters, random people on the internet thinking your post is lame really doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things. Second, people forget shit very quickly. You're not getting caught masturbating. It's just a web site.
posted by chunking express at 8:06 AM on March 26, 2008


MentorMe - the subsite for n00bs.
posted by yeti at 8:10 AM on March 26, 2008


people forget shit very quickly. You're not getting caught masturbating.

People forget that relatively quickly too. Unless, you're caught masturbating a cow, while standing on a forklift, wearing a clown suit, with fish hooks through your cheeks.

They might not forget that very quickly.
posted by psmealey at 8:11 AM on March 26, 2008


Worst. Traumautic Dairy Warehouse Episode. Ever.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:14 AM on March 26, 2008


You've read the FAQ. Just post away! You'll learn soon enough what's what.
posted by ObscureReferenceMan at 8:21 AM on March 26, 2008


Just make sure your post has a strong close. SYIH, F
posted by Rafaelloello at 8:35 AM on March 26, 2008


[NOT CEILING CAT FAN-IST]
posted by Navelgazer at 8:50 AM on March 26, 2008


people forget shit very quickly. You're not getting caught masturbating.

Do they call me Steven the Bridge Builder? No.
posted by klangklangston at 8:59 AM on March 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm quite upset, Dizzy. I've just looked at the 41 posts you've favourited and none are about cats.
posted by paduasoy at 9:14 AM on March 26, 2008


And I'M upset that Dizzy has frequented my latest fluffy kitten post without favoriting. I gotta pay the bills, Dizzy!
posted by Navelgazer at 9:24 AM on March 26, 2008


Metafilter: You're not getting caught masturbating.

sorry.
but not really

posted by owtytrof at 10:38 AM on March 26, 2008


I like when you say my name.
Makes me feel all hinky.
posted by Dizzy at 7:06 PM on March 26, 2008


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