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August 30, 2009 3:58 PM   Subscribe

How to best construct a FPP with varying links?

So in this (deleted) FPP, I collected a bunch of videos about different news organizations reporting on cats stuck in trees, which I find completely absurd and hilarious. I guess it didn't meet standards, and the reasoning given was "And that's it for this episode of Eye On Youtube." So I'm just curious what I could have used to pepper the FPP to make it worthwhile.
posted by Christ, what an asshole to Etiquette/Policy at 3:58 PM (68 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

MY POST WAS DELETED BUT I WANT TO POST IT ANYWAY
posted by Afroblanco at 4:03 PM on August 30, 2009 [12 favorites]


That same post with another (timely, worthwhile) link about the standards of news journalism probably would have stayed.
posted by spaltavian at 4:04 PM on August 30, 2009


I don't think it works like that. If the main link isn't worthwhile, padding isn't going to change that. If the decision is made to delete it, then just roll with it.
posted by Elmore at 4:04 PM on August 30, 2009


I'm just curious what I could have used to pepper the FPP to make it worthwhile.

I think, speaking not as the person who deleted that thread, is that generally YouTube posts have to either

- be something that you suspect people haven't really seen so there's an aspect of "wow I never would have seen this, thanks" like vacapinta's armadillocam post
- be an exceptionally curated set of links to things that people may have seen but not all together in one place in an awesome fashion

The big thing about the second type of YouTube post is that whatever the thing is that you're curating, it sort of need to be something that other people might be like "oh hey, that's neat all of those videos about ______ in one place together" which is often true for old TV stuff, music stuff by obscure bands, trends/memes you didn't know existed, or odd stuff from other countries [often hard to search for]. I'm not sure if "cat stuck in a tree" really hits any of that. So, Im not sure if you could have added anything to the "cat stuck in a tree" videos to make ut worthwhile, maybe you just needed a shifted topic.

I know people have different approaches to MeFi. Some people like to post frequently and come up with things they think will go well here when they feel they want to post something. Other people only post when they've already found something they think is terrific. Both sorts of posts are, or can be, good, but the second sort have a tendency to really shine.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:06 PM on August 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


If the videos had been somehow really fantastic, or if you had found some way—not some specific way, there are probably a lot of approaches that could work—to convey why these otherwise fairly banal seeming videos were interesting, the post would have had a much better chance at life.

As it is, it was a contextless and uninspired-seeming collection of videos of slow-news-day stuck-cat coverage from affiliate news crews. There's not a lot of there there.

I sympathize with the "which I find completely absurd and hilarious" thing in general, because I find random things completely absurd and hilarious sometimes too, but there's a sanity check that should ideally happen between having that personal reaction and deciding to turn it into a metafilter post. If you can't identify clearly what it is that makes it likely to be as interesting to other people as it is to you, that's probably not a great sign. If you can identify that, consider finding a way to emphasize that in your post.

There's nothing wrong per se with wanting to make a silly post, and certainly that sort of thing flies around here sometimes, but it's a relatively risky territory to work in.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:08 PM on August 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


That same post with another (timely, worthwhile) link about the standards of news journalism probably would have stayed.

Yeah, I searched for one (at least relating to cats stuck in trees), but came up empty. And given that I couldn't find something on the internet that I wanted to share...I guess I've answered my own question. GMOFB. :)
posted by Christ, what an asshole at 4:08 PM on August 30, 2009


I don't think it works like that. If the main link isn't worthwhile, padding isn't going to change that.

That's why I said timely and worthwhile. That would have become the main link, not padding.
posted by spaltavian at 4:10 PM on August 30, 2009


Probably could have used a wikipedia link or two.
posted by carsonb at 4:10 PM on August 30, 2009 [5 favorites]


That's why I said timely and worthwhile. That would have become the main link, not padding.

I hadn't seen your reply by the time I had made mine. I was referring to the initial post.
posted by Elmore at 4:11 PM on August 30, 2009


I have no idea how these people got their cats stuck into their trees, or why.

And I don't care.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 4:11 PM on August 30, 2009 [4 favorites]


Related, on the decline-of-jouno front: BUS PLUNGE.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:12 PM on August 30, 2009


posted by jessamyn at 4:06 PM on August 30
posted by cortex at 4:08 PM on August 30


Thanks. :)
posted by Christ, what an asshole at 4:19 PM on August 30, 2009


I made this post yesterday. It didn't get deleted because as Jessamyn said it wasn't something most people had seen. However that doesn't mean it will enthuse either. In general, unless it's very interesting or off the wall, Youtube only posts don't get much traction, as evidenced by mine.
posted by Askiba at 4:34 PM on August 30, 2009


My mistake, Elmore.
posted by spaltavian at 4:42 PM on August 30, 2009


Jessamyn:
- be something that you suspect people haven't really seen so there's an aspect of "wow I never would have seen this, thanks" like vacapinta's armadillocam post
- be an exceptionally curated set of links to things that people may have seen but not all together in one place in an awesome fashion


I love this. Can this be put somewhere (FAQ) so that we can get less meh youtube posts and more awesome youtube posts?
posted by bigmusic at 4:44 PM on August 30, 2009


We can certainly do that, but I don't think it's necessarily going to have the desired effect.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:47 PM on August 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


I collected a bunch of videos about different news organizations reporting on cats stuck in trees, which I find completely absurd and hilarious.

So you think that standards for what's newsworthy have dropped ... what are your thoughts on standards for FPPs?
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 4:52 PM on August 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Seven or eight videos of cats in trees. delete. Seven hundred videos of cats in trees, awesome hall of fame sidebar.
posted by klangklangston at 5:09 PM on August 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


One video of seven hundred cats in one tree? Priceless.
posted by loquacious at 5:16 PM on August 30, 2009 [6 favorites]


I can't see the forest for the cats now.
posted by Sidhedevil at 5:21 PM on August 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


What is the sound of one cat falling out of a tree?
posted by maudlin at 5:24 PM on August 30, 2009


The cat doesn't fall far from the tree.
posted by qvantamon at 5:25 PM on August 30, 2009


(D'oh! MONO, obviously.)
posted by maudlin at 5:25 PM on August 30, 2009


One video of seven hundred cats in one tree? Priceless.

Several hundred old ladies (or seven old ladies with one hundred cats) breaking their hips/other bones on the way to the tree or having dangerous panic attacks, cost in medical bills resulting from injuries and from sustained injury requiring costly prescriptions and repeat medical visits:
$1,321,523

Resulting medical costs of lost lives/injuries of unrelated citizens, as a result of having the emergency lines clogged up by frantic old ladies, and distracted firemen/police officers:
$1,643,324

Cost to remove actual seven hundred cats from tree safely, mostly ladders, large buckets, money lost in pure man hours, and organizing cats as such that they are returned to their proper owners:
$22,211

Production cost to all major local news studios to produce a segment on said seven hundred cats:
$64,321

Cost in out of court settlement in regards to posting of video of seven hundred cats and not giving credit to the man who claims to have created said video:
$25,000,000

Cost to obtain the necessary permits and rights to make the tree a local landmark (and for some reason a UNESCO World Heritage Site), the cost of the bronze statue placed next to the tree of seven hundred cats, with all profits said city would make subtracted from the total:
$80,099

Estimated money stolen from hapless tourists (over one year) who visit said bronze statue of seven hundred cats:
$1,000

Total cost of the whole ordeal:
$28,132,478

Actual video of seven hundred cats:
Priceless.
posted by Askiba at 5:36 PM on August 30, 2009 [3 favorites]


I think the best posts have a main link that is worthwhile posting on its own, and any supplementary material is a bonus. A post that contains a bunch of links that wouldn't be worth posting on their own is rarely worth more than the sum of its parts; if one cat-in-tree video makes a bad post, ten such videos makes a post that's ten times as bad. There are rare exceptions, where the post itself is a comprehensive roundup that it is a worthwhile resource in itself. A comprehensive guide to cat-in-tree videos is not something I see a need for. There is nothing that could have saved your post.

It's my opinion that where there is a 'main link', it should be the first one mentioned in the post. There was a post today on wireless electricity where the first link was to wikipedia, the next couple were links to metafilter posts, then a TED talk, then a corporate website, and then I stopped looking. Maybe one of the subsequent links contained the meat of the post but if so I didn't get that far before moving on. I'm sure not everyone reads MeFi posts the same way I do, but I think there's a general message that if your post contains a main link and several subsidiary links, it's a good idea to put the good stuff up front if you want people to find it before they're put off by the padding.
posted by nowonmai at 5:36 PM on August 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


1. Seven hundred videos of one cat in a tree
2. ???
3. Profit!
posted by ardgedee at 5:43 PM on August 30, 2009


I guess I've answered my own question. GMOFB. :)

No no, it's GYOBFW. A common mistake.
posted by armage at 5:45 PM on August 30, 2009


Video of one cat in seven hundred trees? Ew.
posted by lore at 6:01 PM on August 30, 2009 [3 favorites]


I remember the bus plunge FPP. That's when I stopped reading the newspaper and started reading Metafilter.
posted by puckish at 6:08 PM on August 30, 2009


Keep your cats out of the trees in the first place! (prototype).
posted by Rumple at 6:08 PM on August 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


If it makes you feel better, I love the cat in Memphis getting sprayed out of the tree by the fire department. It had the same kind of feel as the Mobile Leprechaun. What it lacked in amateur sketches and memorable quotes, it made up for with several government agencies on the scene and a memorable plunge.
posted by Frank Grimes at 6:47 PM on August 30, 2009


1. Seven hundred videos of one cat in a tree
2. ???
3. Profit!
posted by ardgedee at 5:43 PM on August 30 [+] [!]


Fark is actually on the other side of town.
posted by special-k at 6:51 PM on August 30, 2009


I think the best posts have a main link that is worthwhile posting on its own, and any supplementary material is a bonus.

I agree with this. I've been guilty in the past of hoping that three mehs = one cool, but that's not the case.
posted by Bookhouse at 7:08 PM on August 30, 2009


Pretty much any post whose main theme is "I plugged this unusual keyword into the YouTube search engine and I'm showing you all the videos that popped out" is going to stink.

(Likewise "I plugged this keyword into Google and dumped the first 50 non-spam links that showed up." Those stink, too.)
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 7:23 PM on August 30, 2009


Video of 700 cats, some in trees.
posted by hoppytoad at 7:28 PM on August 30, 2009 [3 favorites]


posted by Chocolate Pickle Pretty much any post whose main theme is "I plugged this unusual keyword into the YouTube search engine and I'm showing you all the videos that popped out" is going to stink.

There goes my idea for a "First Mr. Hands" FPP.
posted by mattdidthat at 7:38 PM on August 30, 2009


It's a story that happens in almost any town on any day ... someone's pet kitty gets stuck up a tree.. but is it really news? After all, it's not like it's something really weird like a dog or a horse getting stuck. Or exotic, like lions, or tigers, or bears. It's just another cat in a tree, and for all our communal rescue efforts, cats often just decide to come down on their own, once again displaying their uncanny, almost legendary ability to survive falls from astounding heights. So try not to get too worked up about things.
posted by madamjujujive at 8:17 PM on August 30, 2009 [23 favorites]


She makes it look so simple, doesn't she?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:19 PM on August 30, 2009 [3 favorites]


my cat's stuck in a tree and no one wants to get her down
posted by pyramid termite at 8:34 PM on August 30, 2009


If it makes you feel better, I love the cat in Memphis getting sprayed out of the tree by the fire department

Now that, you could build a post around.
posted by smackfu at 8:46 PM on August 30, 2009


It's a story that happens in almost any town on any day ... someone's pet kitty gets stuck up a tree.. but is it really news? After all, it's not like it's something really weird like a dog or a horse getting stuck. Or exotic, like lions, or tigers, or bears. It's just another cat in a tree, and for all our communal rescue efforts, cats often just decide to come down on their own, once again displaying their uncanny, almost legendary ability to survive falls from astounding heights. So try not to get too worked up about things.

Missing a "more inside". Flagged.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:06 PM on August 30, 2009


"You tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is 'never try'. " - Homer Simpson
posted by blue_beetle at 9:12 PM on August 30, 2009


Christ, what an asshole: "So I'm just curious what I could have used to pepper the FPP to make it worthwhile. "

Your post was lacking substance, not seasoning.
posted by iamkimiam at 9:35 PM on August 30, 2009 [3 favorites]


...what I could have used to pepper the FPP to make it worthwhile.

Just go with salt. Commenters will add pepper later to suit their own tastes.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:49 PM on August 30, 2009


I've never really understood the need to get the authorities involved for arboreal cat removal; it seems like a selfish waste of resources.

One day on the farm, we noticed our cat Wicket was missing. Eventually we heard a series of plaintive meows and soon discovered he had climbed to the top of the hydro pole. He found his way back down after a while.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:20 PM on August 30, 2009


16 Goats in a tree (slyt)
posted by flabdablet at 11:08 PM on August 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


A Cat, a Tree, and a Dirdy Birdy
posted by lore at 12:31 AM on August 31, 2009


STOP USING UP ALL THE INTERNET'S BANDWIDTH AND SERVER SPACE GUYS!
posted by turgid dahlia at 2:22 AM on August 31, 2009


My tree is stuck in my cat.
posted by turgid dahlia at 2:22 AM on August 31, 2009


Next time you do this, make sure that the one of the cats stuck in the tree is a lolcat, a ceiling cat or a keyboard cat.

Any of those would be ample protection against deletion.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 3:25 AM on August 31, 2009


Also if the cat had strong opinions on health care reform.
posted by turgid dahlia at 4:28 AM on August 31, 2009


There is one week a year ... when everything is a repeat, even the news. And everyone is on vacation except for you, and the news reporters with stories about cats in trees.

It happens every year, and it's called Cucumber Time (or close enough) in Dutch, Norwegian, Hungarian, and German. In Finland and Sweden, it's rotting-month story. Ladies and gentlemen, we are adrift in Silly Season.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:01 AM on August 31, 2009 [2 favorites]


Dude, you're a nice guy, regardless of your username.

However, on your post activity, I see a minimum of 49 youtube links. Many one or two links to the post.

Feel free to, you know, ease up.
posted by TomMelee at 9:23 AM on August 31, 2009


Yeah, maybe spice things up with a few links to HQ videos from Vimeo.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:07 AM on August 31, 2009


I find completely absurd and hilarious

You know who else found your post absurd and hilarious?
posted by GuyZero at 10:32 AM on August 31, 2009


Is there a Monty python sketch where one of them is saying "Got my head caught in the cupboard. Can;t get it out?"
posted by pianomover at 10:55 AM on August 31, 2009


OK, CWaA, you got your kitteh thread.
(thanks)
posted by not_on_display at 11:57 AM on August 31, 2009


My tree is stuck in my cat

I have a professional white background, may I suggest a curb alert? (you-p/u)
posted by hellboundforcheddar at 12:55 PM on August 31, 2009


Don't vary the links, make 'em all the same.
posted by Mister_A at 1:14 PM on August 31, 2009


People (who don't know what they're looking for) like free stuff.

small dresser&nightstand, lamp, wood (tree stuck in cat, u-haul), laundry basket, etc...
posted by hellboundforcheddar at 1:36 PM on August 31, 2009


Is there a Monty python sketch where one of them is saying "Got my head caught in the cupboard. Can't get it out?"

Gumby Theater from "Another Monty Python Record". It's "I've got my head stuck in the cupboard! Can't See anything! Can't see anything!"
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 1:49 PM on August 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


There is also a Monty Python sketch about sheep being in trees because they believe they can fly.

(and can I find that clip online right now? not at all. *sigh*)
posted by hippybear at 2:13 PM on August 31, 2009


Flying Sheep
Tourist: Yes, but why do they think they're birds?

Shepherd: Another fair question. One thing is for sure, the sheep is not a creature of the air. They have enormous difficulty in the comparatively simple act of perchin'. (Baaa baaa... flap flap flap... whoosh... thud.) Trouble is, sheep are very dim. Once they get an idea in their 'eads, there's no shiftin' it.

Tourist: But where did they get the idea?

Shepherd: From Harold. He's that most dangerous of creatures, a clever sheep. 'e's realized that a sheep's life consists of standin' around for a few months and then bein' eaten. And that's a depressing prospect for an ambitious sheep.
posted by timeistight at 3:09 PM on August 31, 2009


Once upon a time there was a fluff story in my local news about a dog having a ludicrous number of puppies. After that, "seventeen puppies" was our code phrase for things like being in a meeting where someone who had nothing to say spent a really long time saying it.

Then I saw a fake news room video that, as a lead in, had a woman say, "...now that's a lot of puppies. Back to you Steve."

If you did a collage of news stories about dogs having a lot of puppies and used that as your capstone, I'd have left it up, but that's just me.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 4:49 AM on September 1, 2009


Workers leave raccoon stranded up a pole

No video; sorry.
posted by timeistight at 10:40 AM on September 1, 2009


For me, personally, although I'm generally pretty happy to watch a bunch of cat YouTube videos of any variety, but it would be more compelling with context such as abandoned cat or animal populations in the US, information on people who actually train cats, other trivial things news organizations have a tendency to report on (ducklings in the sewer!!!!), information about how a newscast is produced--are these items a palate cleanser to follow a family slaughter or something? Or is that supposed to be our wacky note to end the newscast on?

Something like that, because otherwise it's more of a bulleted list than a paragraph.

But then, I don't have the nerve to post anything over there, so what do I know? I wanted to do a thing on the highway system and roadkill but chickened out.

Don't everybody mail me to crank that out at once.

Also, nice title.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 3:37 PM on September 1, 2009


Workers leave raccoon stranded up a pole

Must have mistaken it for another goat.
posted by flabdablet at 1:58 AM on September 2, 2009


Depends why it was deleted. Was it flagged to death by many users, or was it a one-mod executive decision? It's always hard to guess.

I didn't see the value in the post, myself... but there are 20 others from the same week that seem even more pointless. No pattern in evidence yet.

(Heck, I'd be happy with all SLYT being banned automatically. Even good ones aren't, like, posts really.)
posted by rokusan at 2:56 PM on September 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


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