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June 3, 2009 6:29 AM   Subscribe

A trend I like: Seems like lately there have been more posts in the blue that contain multiple links from very diverse sources. This in comparison to the ever-swelling tide of SLYT posts, posts linking to a blog, etc. (Though "Camel vs. Bin" is beyond criticism.) Not that there's anything wrong with SLYT's in and of themselves, and I actually dislike snarky "not best of the Web" responses. Just felt like offering a little pat on MeFi's collective back. I wonder if more Mefites are unemployed and therefore have more time to put together complex FPP's?
posted by scratch to MetaFilter-Related at 6:29 AM (57 comments total)

So how do you pronounce "SLYT"? I always explode it to "single link you tube" in my inner voice, but I wonder if more people just read "slit".
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 6:34 AM on June 3, 2009


Thanks to the hardworking unemployed, the slacking employed have something to keep them occupied.

The system works!
posted by DU at 6:35 AM on June 3, 2009 [9 favorites]


SLYT should almost certainly be pronounced the same way as "slight."
posted by cgc373 at 6:42 AM on June 3, 2009 [7 favorites]


Paraphrasing Mencken: In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for. As for me, I rejoice that I am not a Twitterer-er.
posted by netbros at 6:43 AM on June 3, 2009


So how do you pronounce "SLYT"?

I pronounce it as "slight". Usage: "This post is a SLYT against the entire Metafilter community. Too bad it's not about otters."
posted by zerokey at 6:44 AM on June 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


I mentally pronounce it "slit" - which reinforces the idea that it's a "thin" post.
posted by Joe Beese at 6:46 AM on June 3, 2009


I thought it was pronounced like the Norwegian word for 'end', Slutt.
posted by dunkadunc at 6:48 AM on June 3, 2009


Slyett, like nyet.
posted by infinitewindow at 7:11 AM on June 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'd like to pipe up in praise of single link posts. I prefer the "holy shit look how cool this thing I just saw is" posts to the "here's a research project you will have to click on later after work" variety.
posted by CunningLinguist at 7:16 AM on June 3, 2009 [14 favorites]


Then again, the internet has killed my attention span.
posted by CunningLinguist at 7:18 AM on June 3, 2009


This is not an accident.

The unemployed sharpen their research and writing skills, carefully selecting their targets and crafting the appropriate bait. Slackers (or the "overemployed") get lost in a great front page post while at work, and bam!, the trap is sprung! The boss notices some kind of YouTube video which might otherwise have had a NSFW tag, a reader is fired ... and one more employment slot opens up.

No accident at all.
posted by adipocere at 7:28 AM on June 3, 2009


I tend to prefer single-source posts. Not that I haven't done my share of multiple-source linkfests, but I feel posts should try to focus on one site or one subject. I don't think that a post should attempt to cover everything there is to cover about anything. I like posts that point to, for example, a cool site about plantlife above the tree-line in the Himalayas, rather than a post that attempts to gather everything there is on the internet about Himalayan botany.

Supporting links should be just that, giving context to a main link.

This is just something that I prefer, I've also liked a lot of curatorial posts (and have made some) where people gather a bunch of links about a subject.
posted by Kattullus at 7:31 AM on June 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


Quality over quantity, naturally. [Especially since so few people click through anyway.] But the fewer links you have, the better each one has to be. The odds against a SLYT making the grade are so high that I almost never bother.
posted by Joe Beese at 7:52 AM on June 3, 2009


My favorite part about this Meta is the correlation drawn between effort and being unemployed.

"You spent more than two minutes composing a post? What are you, homeless? Haw haw haw!"
posted by unixrat at 7:54 AM on June 3, 2009 [3 favorites]


My favorite part about this Meta is the correlation drawn between effortfree time and being unemployed.

As someone who went through a a 2-month stint of unemployment, one definitely has a bit more free time than when employed. Especially if your current employment situation includes 50+ hour work-weeks where you're afraid to take a real lunch break for fear of being branded a "slacker."

I read the statement as more of idle conjecture, and it definitely doesn't seem out-of-line, though a lot of the link-fests are carefully compiled and planned posts like Orange Swan's crafty posts. In those cases, it's clear they were worked on in a span of time rather than all at once, though.
posted by explosion at 8:04 AM on June 3, 2009


Don't bury the lead. That's the problem with a lot of multi-link posts, and something that single link posts avoid.
posted by smackfu at 8:14 AM on June 3, 2009 [3 favorites]


All a good metafilter post needs is a single link to something interesting on the web, with maybe a couple sentences of explanatory text. I dislike the notion that a post is better because it's been padded into an encyclopedia entry.
posted by GeekAnimator at 8:15 AM on June 3, 2009 [7 favorites]


as a reader, i am most happy with the linking style that the writer is most comfortable with.
posted by the aloha at 8:27 AM on June 3, 2009


OTOH, I wish you would use capital letters.
posted by smackfu at 8:40 AM on June 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


All a good metafilter post needs is a single link to something interesting on the web, with maybe a couple sentences of explanatory text. I dislike the notion that a post is better because it's been padded into an encyclopedia entry.

It's relative. Does a single link do justice to the topic? Then who needs nine? If I'm looking to be impressed by someone's virtuosity, I go for Yngwie Malmsteen .
posted by philip-random at 9:03 AM on June 3, 2009


how do you pronounce "SLYT"

I too break it out to "single link you tube", which is weird because if ever there was an acronym that calls out for pronunciation, that would be it.

Though if I were to pronounce it, I'd probably go for "Pineapple". Just because no one would see it coming.
posted by quin at 9:05 AM on June 3, 2009 [4 favorites]


I wish you wouldn't use imaginary acronyms.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:05 AM on June 3, 2009


IWYWUIA
posted by sleevener at 9:08 AM on June 3, 2009 [4 favorites]


My favorite part about this Meta is the correlation drawn between effort and being unemployed.

"You spent more than two minutes composing a post? What are you, homeless? Haw haw haw!"


I know, it's totally unfair. Some of us use this as our means of not doing our work.
posted by Pollomacho at 9:09 AM on June 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


Agree with Kattullus and it's been the posting style I've largely stuck to. Even when the subject's a bit obscure, most of what I'd be offering as support to the core link I thought worth sharing would just be Googled up and I trust the readers can do that as well as me if they want.
posted by Abiezer at 9:33 AM on June 3, 2009


NO
posted by the aloha at 9:40 AM on June 3, 2009


I too break it out to "single link you tube", which is weird because if ever there was an acronym that calls out for pronunciation, that would be it.

Shouldn't it really be "u o==o"?
posted by dunkadunc at 9:44 AM on June 3, 2009


We should just link every noun to Wikipedia.
posted by Artw at 10:08 AM on June 3, 2009


We should just link every noun to Wikipedia.

FTFY
posted by jabberjaw at 10:34 AM on June 3, 2009


Artw: We should just link every noun to Wikipedia.

Why just the nouns?
posted by paisley henosis at 10:42 AM on June 3, 2009


On the subject of post-formatting, it bugs me when a bunch of adjacent words in a phrase are all separately linked to something. At least with the default link formatting, it's impossible to see whether the whole phrase is a single link or multiple links, and that can lead to annoying surprises.
Worst of all, the words don't describe the content of the links.

It's a lot like the ever-so-cute [more inside] combinatorics on ask.me.
posted by Maximian at 11:05 AM on June 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


"Slit" if I don't like them, "slight" if I do. Or maybe the other way around.
posted by gurple at 11:19 AM on June 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


I just came in here to say that I think Meg Ryan is really pretty.
posted by Mister_A at 11:21 AM on June 3, 2009


I was thinking of asking why there's still the option for the super-easy single link posts, following some single link post that needed some explaining to make the content relevant (or at least interesting enough to be a FPP), but then I realized there are usually a handful of single link posts on any given day.

Also, I realized I'm on the "make this post as deep as possible" end of the scale, so I decided it was a personal preference issue. Sadly/oddly/strangely, I think writing posts on MeFi is helping me to focus my ideas in general. Thanks, MetaFilter.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:23 AM on June 3, 2009


Mr. A clearly has not seen Against the Ropes.
posted by Pollomacho at 12:58 PM on June 3, 2009


Is this where we list pet peeves? Okay. Mine is when somebody uses the [more inside] of their post to state a personal or parenthetical aside, a throwaway sentence that contains no links nor additional content, such as "(I liked the green one, personally.)". Bonus jerkwad points if it's in <small>. People, [more inside] means there's actually more inside, it doesn't mean you're getting the jump on the comments by starting off with your inane comment in the post body.
posted by Rhomboid at 2:25 PM on June 3, 2009


I just want folks to not fear the return key -- using it twice, in fact.
You have a great post, but not providing that visual break makes me a) more likely to skim your post, and therefore b) miss your carefully-crafted brilliance.
Two returns between paragraphs, people, two.

See? Much better.
posted by shiu mai baby at 2:59 PM on June 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


Disagree. Posts are blocks of text, and if you put in a blank line, I inevitably read the second paragraph as its own post and it's weird.
posted by smackfu at 3:07 PM on June 3, 2009


smackfu - I think that's the difference between material on the front page (which I thought it was all supposed to be separate blocks of text per post), and the [more inside].
posted by filthy light thief at 3:10 PM on June 3, 2009


Yeah, sorry for the ambiguity. I was referencing the phenomenon of not providing visual space in a comment.
posted by shiu mai baby at 3:20 PM on June 3, 2009


I think there is room for both.

There are certainly great single link posts, and this works great the purpose of post is the self-contained link. One awesome site. jonson was the master of these.

Then there are great multi-link posts where the purpose is more about a topic or a story that is new and interesting and may require context including various explanations. One can learn how to do these by looking at the greatness of blahblahblah.

If one's purpose is to preach, then, just don't post.
posted by dios at 3:37 PM on June 3, 2009


A good single link makes for a good single link post. A multiplicity of good links makes for a good multiple-link post. It's as simple as that. As far as I'm concerned, Mefi has a reasonably good balance, a good amount of both. Naturally enough, there are also posts with not-so-good single links, and not-so-good multiple links. But hey, whaddayougonnado?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:49 PM on June 3, 2009


I tend to make posts that are link-heavy because those are generally the kind I like to read. I'm sure some folks would look at 'em and say I go overboard.

But sometimes, a single link is all that's needed. Why not judge each individual FPP on its merits?
posted by zarq at 3:52 PM on June 3, 2009


My least favorite is posting a link because it will "start a discussion."

If you look carefully, you can often see the event horizon of a MeTa thread from the beginning of these posts. You kinda have to cross your eyes a bit and gaze into the middle distance, but it's there.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 3:57 PM on June 3, 2009


Disagree. Posts are blocks of text, and if you put in a blank line, I inevitably read the second paragraph as its own post and it's weird.

That's a personal gripe of mine with the way the front page is laid out here. There's not enough visual separation between posts. I can't count the number of times of scanned down the front page until something caught my eye, then realized that I was reading the last part of a multi-paragraph FPP.
posted by GeekAnimator at 4:19 PM on June 3, 2009


There was a one-link post to a terrible video whose first comment was "SLYT my wrist." It must have been deleted since that did not become a meme.
posted by fantabulous timewaster at 4:47 PM on June 3, 2009


That's a personal gripe of mine with the way the front page is laid out here. There's not enough visual separation between posts.

I think your gripe has more to do with the boneheads that put <br>eaks in their posts than the way the site is laid out. The "each post is exactly one paragraph" format works great as long as people quit trying to be little special snowflakes and messing up the flow.
posted by Rhomboid at 5:08 PM on June 3, 2009


> I'd like to pipe up in praise of single link posts. I prefer the "holy shit look how cool this thing I just saw is" posts to the "here's a research project you will have to click on later after work" variety.

What she said. Multilink posts can be great, but unless they look great (like flapjax's or y2karl's music posts) I tend to skip them. And when I go into a thread and find some dickhead complaining that it's only got one link and why didn't the poster add fifty-seven other links to "provide some perspective" or whatever the fuck, I tell them to go fly a kite. And inside, I'm wishing I had the power to ban them so hard they'd forget they ever heard of MetaFilter.
posted by languagehat at 5:25 PM on June 3, 2009


I think your gripe has more to do with the boneheads that put
eaks in their posts than the way the site is laid out.


well, I agree, one paragraph should be enough for anybody. But really, the failing is allowing multi-paragraph posts, but not designing for it.
posted by GeekAnimator at 6:01 PM on June 3, 2009


If I recall correctly, it was always intentionally made more difficult to add line breaks to the non-[mi] portion of a post in that the normal CR-to-<br> translation is not done, i.e. you can't just hit enter, you have to type <br>. The idea was that in some exceptional cases line breaks are okay, but for the most part they should not be used.
posted by Rhomboid at 6:15 PM on June 3, 2009


This was an awful discussion on plastic.com back in the day. There were a few people who would put so many links into a post that it made it no fun. They would cover every angle of the story, so that any discussion was just rehash and me toos and pissing contests.

Appreciate the effort, but quality over quantity.
posted by gjc at 6:16 PM on June 3, 2009


Yeah, folks who throw breaks in above the fold are actually going out of their way to put them there.

Depending on the specific layout of the post, that will often be an invitation to have your second paragraph tossed below the fold by a mod.

I'm a big proponent of the variety-makes-it-work theory of Metafilter; long posts and short posts, serious posts and dumb posts, encyclopedia and ephemera. Bring it all on, in aggregate, and I'm a jolly beeflog boy.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:40 PM on June 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


As someone who's posted both SLYTs and multiple-link posts, I can't say I really have a preference. The posts I like to see here are of the compelling/hilarious/jaw-dropping/wondrous variety. In other words, neat stuff. I don't think that's bound by any one particular form of posting.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 6:55 PM on June 3, 2009


SLYT - I imagine them as all having the same lispish author: Ethel Whitey.
posted by tellurian at 7:03 PM on June 3, 2009


I wish you wouldn't use imaginary acronyms.

Just take the square root of the square of them and you should be back in familiar territory.
posted by b1tr0t at 10:19 PM on June 3, 2009


Although I have nothing against the many excellent mulitilink posts that make metafilter into metafilter (and many of those posts are the very best of metafilter) , my general feeling is that if your primary link isn't awesome (for the many, very different acceptable definitions of "awesome"), then you haven't made a successful metafilter post. Which is to say I guess I'm a quality-before-quantity kinda guy.
posted by dersins at 12:09 AM on June 4, 2009


There was a one-link post to a terrible video whose first comment was "SLYT my wrist." It must have been deleted since that did not become a meme.

The thread and comment live on, even though no one has repeated the phrase. I think most folks realized the term is harsh in a number of ways, but fitting for the notion that the worst day of anyone's life was when their favorite person lost on a TV reality show. Overly dramatic, and suitable for trivialization.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:36 PM on June 4, 2009


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