sidecar January 16, 2009 8:26 AM   Subscribe

What system decides what gets sidebarred? While most are fantastic, sometimes an entry doesn't seem so amazing.
posted by plexi to MetaFilter-Related at 8:26 AM (67 comments total)

We're currently using the Modbot Thing Sidebarrer 3220xi, but previously it was a home-rolled system running on a Tandy in Matt's basement.

Really, we just keep an eye out for stuff that people are flagging as fantastic or favoriting the hell out of or emailing us about, or that one of us happens to come across independently and thinks is pretty keen. It's pretty much a given that different people will appreciate different entries more.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:31 AM on January 16, 2009 [5 favorites]


What system decides what gets sidebarred?

Uh-oh, he's found out about our 'system.'

*throws smoke bomb, disappears into mist*
posted by jonmc at 8:31 AM on January 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


The Cabal votes on them during their diurnal meetings.

Uh, if there was a Cabal, that is.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 8:41 AM on January 16, 2009


I'm liking it when more things get sidebarred.
posted by yeti at 8:41 AM on January 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'd like to see an episode of Law & Order where the D.A. requests a sidebar with the judge, and they huddle in the judges chambers, and the D.A. says Miss Lynster wrote a really cool comment on Americans singing and dancing in Austria.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:43 AM on January 16, 2009 [14 favorites]


Could we try frontbarring some things for a while, just to mix it up a little?
posted by Divine_Wino at 8:44 AM on January 16, 2009


Jessamyn chooses interesting and insightful questions and answers from AskMe. Cortex picks random stuff that a geeky 14 year old might find "lollworthy". And Matt randomly barges into his mod closet occasionally with a hooker under each arm and a bottle of Cristal in his hand, and slurredly says "Whaa, iz Me-ah-fil-er still goin'? Shit!"
posted by ND¢ at 8:48 AM on January 16, 2009 [21 favorites]


System? We don' need no steenking system!
posted by Jofus at 8:52 AM on January 16, 2009


The mod closet, for the uninitiated, is a walk in closet on the first floor of Matt's luxurious estate where Cortex and Jessamyn live that looks like the missile command center from Dr. Strangelove. There are lots of buttons and dials and whatnot, but it is in a very small space. There is one cot so that they can sleep in shifts. There is also a vending machine that is restocked occasionally and that has sandwiches. They used to be able to keep the door open to get a little fresh air, but then Matt was having one of his galas and Mick Jagger asked him why his maid and butler lived in a room that looks like the inside of a 1950's robot and he demanded that they keep the door closed at all times.
posted by ND¢ at 8:56 AM on January 16, 2009 [8 favorites]


Ha. The Mod Squad.
posted by netbros at 9:04 AM on January 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


I would like a bottombar showing me the best of the sidbar that shows the best of the filter that shows the best of the web. I think that would be best.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 9:05 AM on January 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


I don't know, but I did hear a funny anecdote about the origins of the term "sidebar." When Al Gore first started inventing the Internets, he found it to be radically unstable - simple queries would overload the system, a brief Googling of pop stars caused frequent crashes, and so forth. You see, back then, the Internets were housed on several Supercomputers, each the size of two Rhode Islands. Each "Computer Double-Rhode-Island" (as they were called) was an intricate system of wires, pulleys, levers, fulcrums, paper maché, bark, and scrap metal. One day, Al was at his favorite watering hole when he overheard someone say: "Hey barkeep, how about a little love over here in the sidebar?" - The man was referring to where he stood, a little section of the bar the locals called (you guessed it) the "sidebar." Well, Al Gore got himself an idea, as he is wont to do, and when he got home to his Computer Rhode Islands that night, he began fortifying every piece of equipment with "Ye Merry Syde Barrs" (as they were called at the time). Soon enough, the Internets were stabilized, and eventually saved from the certain fate of so many "Information Superhighway" projects before it. Then, over the course of the next several hundred years, "sidebar" began to be associated with any blog comment over 1,000 words of length containing (a) a story, (b) humor and/or sadness, and (c) conclusions drawn and/or advice given. Today, you can see many things in a sidebar. Songs, celebrity drop-ins, extremely clever one-liners containing esoteric site humor, and many other things. Be grateful for the sidebar - were it not for she, we'd all be speaking German.
posted by ORthey at 9:08 AM on January 16, 2009 [11 favorites]


stupidsexyflanders: If you get a bottombar, I'll do a topbar. It's only fair.
posted by boo_radley at 9:11 AM on January 16, 2009


Who reads that thing? It hasn't been updated in ages!
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 9:13 AM on January 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


In other news, the Best of the Web sometimes isn't quite the very Best.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 9:34 AM on January 16, 2009


This is a fantastic question! hint hint
posted by cashman at 9:46 AM on January 16, 2009


The system is there ain't no system.
posted by piratebowling at 9:58 AM on January 16, 2009


Yeah, I didn't get the inclusion of that mammoth thing. It was amusing but not that great (confirmed by the only 15 faves at the time I checked). And it completely misunderstood the point it was mocking. So....wha?
posted by DU at 10:00 AM on January 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


There is also a vending machine that is restocked occasionally and that has sandwiches.

I'm betting half of them are olive loaf; that stuff keeps forever.
posted by FelliniBlank at 10:01 AM on January 16, 2009


I am the decider.
posted by Mister_A at 10:07 AM on January 16, 2009


I am the eggman.
posted by owtytrof at 10:21 AM on January 16, 2009


How to make a sidebar:

1 part brandy
1 part Cointreau
1 part lemon juice

Mix in a shaker. Pour into a cocktail glass garnished with snark.
posted by backseatpilot at 10:22 AM on January 16, 2009 [4 favorites]


And Matt randomly barges into his mod closet

Don't lead your life in the shadows, mods. Come *out* of that mod closet and be proud of your Mefi orientation!
posted by PeterMcDermott at 10:28 AM on January 16, 2009


So these three guys walk into a sidebar, and the bartender says "Is this a set-up for an oblique, off-centre joke?"
posted by never used baby shoes at 10:31 AM on January 16, 2009 [5 favorites]


Yeah, I didn't get the inclusion of that mammoth thing.

We were attempting to marginalize it.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:41 AM on January 16, 2009 [5 favorites]


Yeah, I didn't get the inclusion of that mammoth thing.

Be grateful. I got a mammoth inclusion once. It hurt like Hell.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:07 AM on January 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


"it completely misunderstood the point it was mocking"

There is also a factual error in the 15th line: Gypsies do exist, though whether or not they sneak into our homes to repair our shoes at night is a question best left to the philosophers.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:12 AM on January 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


They do steal babies though.
posted by ND¢ at 11:13 AM on January 16, 2009


Be grateful. I got a mammoth inclusion once. It hurt like Hell.

Yeah, I saw the video. It was way hot tho.
posted by felix betachat at 11:13 AM on January 16, 2009


Read MeFi by RSS. You will soon forget about the sidebar, and all will be well.
posted by Eideteker at 11:15 AM on January 16, 2009


Mammoths built the pyramids and you begrudge them a sidebar?
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:16 AM on January 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


Why does the title say sidecar?
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 11:20 AM on January 16, 2009


There is no system.
posted by shmegegge at 11:23 AM on January 16, 2009


That's why people don't like mammoths - they're a pain to fit into sidecars.
posted by Dumsnill at 11:23 AM on January 16, 2009


And they steal babies.
posted by ND¢ at 11:26 AM on January 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


True story: my boyfriend and his brother were once hidden in a closet by their superstitious Italian grandmother when a neighborhood lady came to visit, so that the neighborhood lady -- suspected by their grandmother of being a gypsy or a witch -- couldn't steal them.

(Of course, they were in their 30s at the time, so I would guess that closet got mighty crowded.)
posted by scody at 11:32 AM on January 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


I recommend that the sidebar be sidebarred.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 11:46 AM on January 16, 2009


Also, watch out: I steal superstitious Italian grandmothers.

Don't hate me. I can't help myself.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 11:47 AM on January 16, 2009


So that's where nonna went!

(my Italian grandmother told my pregnant sister not to wear a necklace because the baby would come out tangled in the cord. The kid did come out tangled in the cord, but survived fine. Freaky, huh? have her make you some gnocchi, they're the best.)
posted by jonmc at 11:51 AM on January 16, 2009


Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm... gnocchi. Now if I can just learn to replicate nonna's fried zucchini blossoms, I might get scodyboy to marry me.
posted by scody at 12:11 PM on January 16, 2009


I can't believe no one's told him about the "Sidebar This Comment/Post [ ] Yes [ ] No" feature.

Disable AdBlock, and you should be able to see it.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:53 PM on January 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


I can't believe no one's told him about the "Sidebar This Comment/Post [ ] Yes [ ] No" feature.

Oh, the sidebar is a excellent add-on for the casual reader like myself, but the mammoth thing was weak.
posted by plexi at 1:01 PM on January 16, 2009


I thought the mammoth thing was pretty funny, personally, but yeah - I always thought the sidebar was for long, humorous biographical anecdotes.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:07 PM on January 16, 2009


There's only 5 episodes of AfterM*A*S*H on YouTube and I've watched them all. :(
posted by jonmc at 1:18 PM on January 16, 2009


Or kittens, or where you kept your sawed off shotgun
posted by mrzarquon at 1:24 PM on January 16, 2009


The mammoth thing had a few favorites and I thought it was amusing enough in a geeknerdy way and I popped it in there.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:29 PM on January 16, 2009


Let's talk more about scody's closeted boyfriend. (ba-doom-cha!)
posted by jonmc at 1:37 PM on January 16, 2009


I liked the mammoth thing. Remember you can see favorites, sure, but not how many people flagged something as "fantastic".
posted by ersatzkat at 1:38 PM on January 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


The mammoth thing had a few favorites and I thought it was amusing enough in a geeknerdy way and I popped it in there.

Heh, I would have bet that was cortex!
posted by crossoverman at 1:39 PM on January 16, 2009


Don't lead your life in the shadows, mods. Come *out* of that mod closet and be proud of your Mefi orientation!

MefiSexuals: We're here, we're snarky - get used to it!
posted by crossoverman at 1:41 PM on January 16, 2009


Don't discourage the mods from sidebarring things for crissakes. Some of us don't have time to read everything and it's nice to be pointed at anything that's pretty decent.

Bring on the mammoths, I say.
posted by jefeweiss at 2:12 PM on January 16, 2009


plexi plexi plexi plexi plexi plexi plexi plexi plexi plexi plexi plexi plexi plexi plexi plexi plexi plexi plexi plexi plexi plexi plexi plexi plexi MUSHROOM MUSHROOM
posted by loquacious at 2:22 PM on January 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


plexi: What system decides what gets sidebarred? While most are fantastic, sometimes an entry doesn't seem so amazing.

The Cabal.

No, really.
posted by flatluigi at 2:39 PM on January 16, 2009


plexi plexi plexi plexi plexi plexi plexi plexi plexi plexi plexi plexi plexi plexi TENDERLOIN
posted by dirty lies at 2:54 PM on January 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


plexi plexi plexi plexi plexi plexi plexi plexi plexi plexi plexi plexi plexi plexi TENDERLOIN
posted by dirty lies at 2:54 PM on January 16 [+] [!]


Recommended for sidebar.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 3:41 PM on January 16, 2009


Items selected for the sidebar are based on their ability to leverage click-thru and WOM strategies that will enable an increase in SEO, therefore engaging the netizens of Metafilter to harness the power of social networking technologies to integrate mashup services that will reinvent user-contributed mammoths.
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 4:04 PM on January 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


SEO being shorthand for Steppe Elephantidae Optimization.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:33 PM on January 16, 2009


Shit Eating Orifice
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:34 PM on January 16, 2009


Suavely, Eideteker Orates
posted by subbes at 6:19 PM on January 16, 2009


I glue some black cardboard to the edge of my monitor so I don't see the sidebar.
posted by lukemeister at 6:38 PM on January 16, 2009


Mix in a shaker. Pour into a cocktail glass garnished with snark.

If fresh snark is out of season, may I use canned snark as a substitute?
posted by the littlest brussels sprout at 9:01 PM on January 16, 2009


If fresh snark is out of season, may I use canned snark as a substitute?

Recommended for sidebar.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 11:11 PM on January 16, 2009


"'A Desire Named Sidebar'...What the...have you been drinking again? Come on, I know you can do better than this."

"You don't understand genius! You're a fool and incompetent! You wouldn't know good writing if if ..."

"And I write your checks. Now, go home, get some rest, and write something good."
posted by lysdexic at 6:37 PM on January 17, 2009


So how's that mammoth doing in the room?
posted by Sparx at 10:04 PM on January 17, 2009


HOLY SHIT! backseatpilot, you're my hero. I've been trying to remember the name and ingredients of that fucking drink for ages. All I knew was that it had brandy. A sidecar, jesus! I'm so happy right now.
posted by Caduceus at 4:58 PM on January 18, 2009


Items selected for the sidebar are based on their ability to leverage click-thru and WOM strategies that will enable an increase in SEO, therefore engaging the netizens of Metafilter to harness the power of social networking technologies to integrate mashup services that will reinvent user-contributed mammoths.

I have discovered a truly marvellous proof of this proposition which the sidebar is too narrow to contain.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:11 AM on January 19, 2009


I knew my drunken lifestyle would pay off one day.
posted by backseatpilot at 5:31 AM on January 20, 2009


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