Good nature, without prudence, is foolishness March 29, 2010 5:57 PM   Subscribe

Would this FPP idea I have be considered self-linking?

A distant acquaintance of mine is undertaking a big project that I feel would make for an interesting post. He and I attended the same college but were never particularly close friends and I haven't seen him in about four years. It's only through Facebook-stalking that I've become aware of what he's up to these days. I certainly don't have any personal investment in the project or anything, but I thought it would still be best to ask here first.

If I made the FPP, I would also include links to similar projects so it's not so singularly focused on the guy. Kosher?
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis to Etiquette/Policy at 5:57 PM (144 comments total)

Yes and no, respectively.
posted by DU at 6:00 PM on March 29, 2010


I wouldn't have a problem with it. But I'm not a stickler for these things.
posted by modernnomad at 6:08 PM on March 29, 2010


Why don't you send your proposed post to a fellow mefite and see if anyone wants to post it for you?
posted by hermitosis at 6:09 PM on March 29, 2010


well, now that you've told us, we would have to kill you if you posted it...

next time, if it would make for a good post, go for it.... the connection seems distant enough.

I've posted links regarding projects that were done by a friend of a friend sort of connection...
posted by HuronBob at 6:10 PM on March 29, 2010


this seems like a question better emailed directly to team mod. for me, by asking the question publicly, it becomes less ok to post somehow.
posted by nadawi at 6:11 PM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


OMG BAN HURONBOB BAN HURONBOB!!!

Please don't ban HuronBob.
posted by slogger at 6:14 PM on March 29, 2010


The mods are pretty good about answering "Uh, this is kosher?" questions. Ask them via e-mail first.
posted by The Whelk at 6:15 PM on March 29, 2010


That's an interesting point. I posted a MeTa because I thought the topic could be useful for anybody else in a similar situation. I'm leaning toward hermitosis' suggestion; I do agree that just making this thread automatically casts suspicion on my next FPP, whether it's the one I'm asking about or something completely different. So I guess I'll keep my nose clean and just say this: I'm not going to post it to avoid raising eyebrows. Thanks for the help.

And I guess the consensus is, if I hadn't said anything beforehand, it probably would've been A-OK?
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 6:16 PM on March 29, 2010


We like posts to pass the smell test for friendslinking stuff, so it's fine to post this here. Seems like it would be okay but if you're currently commenting on his blog or otherwise linked to him online, that would be less okay.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:18 PM on March 29, 2010


I once partied with Joe Strummer. We probably even shared saliva (via a joint). Does that mean I can't post about the Clash?
posted by philip-random at 6:20 PM on March 29, 2010


It's werid line, I have connections with people who Metafilter loves and or does stuff Metafilter tends to like, and I'm always like "well, he's out cause I talk to him daily but I haven't seen her in 3 years and I just barely know her uuuhhh I've met her once but didn't know they did this together but I've commented on that blog errr." In the end, I figure if it was good enough in the first place other Mefites would find it and post it, which has been the case so far.
posted by The Whelk at 6:21 PM on March 29, 2010


A distant acquaintance of mine is undertaking a big project that I feel would make for an interesting post.

Well, maybe not so distant.

I actually know him pretty well.

OK, it's me.

Would that be a self-link?
posted by Horace Rumpole at 6:29 PM on March 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


Depends, do you have multiple personalities?
posted by The Whelk at 6:30 PM on March 29, 2010


MY NAME IS LEGION, FOR WE ARE MANY.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 6:32 PM on March 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


Sorry, Leeg, I'm afraid that's right out, then. What with the "we" and all.
posted by ocherdraco at 6:39 PM on March 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


I once partied with Joe Strummer. We probably even shared saliva (via a joint).

Woo hoo! Name dropping thread! I was once in the same football stadium as Paul McCartney!



What? You're not impressed?
posted by marxchivist at 6:51 PM on March 29, 2010


I was once in the same thread as a gentleman who was in the same football stadium as Paul McCartney!
posted by Kwine at 6:55 PM on March 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


Kosher?

Depends, does the FPP idea involve leavening products? If so you'll have to wait a week or so.
posted by jedicus at 6:56 PM on March 29, 2010


I once shared a planet with a celebrity who shall remain unamed *cough*zombiejesus*cough*
posted by DU at 7:07 PM on March 29, 2010


The tenuousness thing—how close is too close—can be kind of mushy. I tend to suggest that feeling the need to ask is a good reason to just skip it and just remain totally unimpeachable, but I may be slightly more conservative about this than Jessamyn sometimes.

I do tend to like the "show it to someone you trust" maneuver as a way to give interesting content a chance to be posted even when there's some shade of connection.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:08 PM on March 29, 2010


I do tend to like the "show it to someone you trust" maneuver

That's why you don't see many self-links about the black helicopters.
posted by qvantamon at 7:13 PM on March 29, 2010 [4 favorites]


My sister once met Gordon Jump of WKRP fame.
posted by Babblesort at 7:43 PM on March 29, 2010


I'm the son of Jesus himself.
Uhuh, that's right. Didn't see that coming did ya? Well they never do...
posted by deacon_blues at 7:43 PM on March 29, 2010


I loved WKRP!
posted by HuronBob at 7:51 PM on March 29, 2010


It's a weird line.

Tell me about it.

I've had at least one current-at-the-time client and at least one (perhaps two?) ex-clients mentioned or linked to in other people's posts or comments on the Blue.

It's a little freaky. And it can take some self-restraint not to talk about subjects you're intimately aware of. I suppose I could, with an announced disclaimer. But I try not to mix business with pleasure, so I don't.

Then there are times when I post something sorta Pepsi Blue and wonder if the mods might be thinking, "He's a publicist. Is this one of his clients?" Am I watched a little more closely 'cause of what I do for a living? I dunno. After 5+ years of membership, I'd like to hope not. But if so, I certainly can't blame them if they do.
posted by zarq at 7:52 PM on March 29, 2010


Baby, if you've ever wondered
Wondered whatever became of me
I'm living on the air in Cincinnati
Cincinnati WKRP


/from Cincinnati
/not living on the air
posted by deacon_blues at 7:54 PM on March 29, 2010


let's just drop some turkeys from a helicopter and close this one up!
posted by HuronBob at 7:57 PM on March 29, 2010 [4 favorites]


As god is my witness, I thought it wasn't a self-link.
posted by Babblesort at 8:01 PM on March 29, 2010 [5 favorites]


I once met Rosalyn Yalow. She was really nice!
posted by Mister_A at 8:05 PM on March 29, 2010


Peter Tork once told me to shut up.
posted by lore at 8:15 PM on March 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


I was once accused of statutory masturbation, but I was acquitted because I didn't know I was me.
posted by qvantamon at 8:15 PM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


I once met Herbert Khaury. He was a bit odd.
posted by HuronBob at 8:16 PM on March 29, 2010


"Peter Tork once told me to shut up."

I would like to know more about this!
posted by HuronBob at 8:18 PM on March 29, 2010


Bob Hope once goosed my Mom. She was young and hot. It was before I was born. That's the closest I've ever come to meeting somebody famous.
posted by TooFewShoes at 8:37 PM on March 29, 2010


Daniel Von Bargen was my high school's acting coach for our production of Romeo and Juliet. Really. He taught me to be a better Benvolio, he wore a long overcoat, and he enjoyed his cigars.
posted by deacon_blues at 8:42 PM on March 29, 2010


Metafilter: Bob Hope once goosed my Mom.
posted by HuronBob at 8:56 PM on March 29, 2010


I once had a job on the catering crew serving the artist's area at the Fleadh in Finsbury Park. I was picking up litter in some beer tent and walked backwards into Shane MacGowan.
posted by Abiezer at 9:02 PM on March 29, 2010


Toby McGuire ate underneath a portrait of me.
posted by The Whelk at 9:03 PM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's getting late, I need to trump this darn thread now!

When Tom Cruise was considering doing a part in Watchmen, my son hosted a a private screening of 300 for him... my kid, his wife, Tom, and his wife, what's her name... in a theater, watching 300...

to the best of my knowledge, there was no discussion of that strange religion or Hubbard.

that's the best I've got folks (unless than seeing John Wayne at the '68 republican convention in Miami beach is a better hand).
posted by HuronBob at 9:03 PM on March 29, 2010


Layne Staley once called me a 'fucking asshole'.

And now he's dead. Choose your words wisely. Choose your drugs even wiser.
posted by item at 9:07 PM on March 29, 2010


I need to trump this darn thread now!
I'm sorry HuronBob; that's a great story but I'm talking arse-to-thigh contact (admittedly unwitting and uninvited and OK, barely acknowledged) with one of the finest poets of our generation!
posted by Abiezer at 9:13 PM on March 29, 2010


I peed next to Ewan McGreggor and literally stepped on John Hodgman's toes.
posted by The Whelk at 9:16 PM on March 29, 2010


Whatever happened to miss lynnster? She'd kick all our asses in namedropping.
posted by slogger at 9:33 PM on March 29, 2010


Toby McGuire ate underneath a portrait of me.

What did he eat under there?

dammit, doesn't work that way. I pulled that one on my 7 year old nephew though and he peed his pants.
posted by msalt at 9:35 PM on March 29, 2010


Famous person who worked in my bar gets talked about on mefi ALL THE TIME, and I really have to hold myself back from dropping little bits of info about her.
Pretty sure I trump all you suckas.
posted by newpotato at 9:52 PM on March 29, 2010


It would take only one phone call to get his number, that's how far it is from me to Lemmy.
posted by vapidave at 9:55 PM on March 29, 2010


Famous person who worked in my bar gets talked about on mefi ALL THE TIME, and I really have to hold myself back from dropping little bits of info about her.
Pretty sure I trump all you suckas.
posted by newpotato


sounds legit, where do i send the check?
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:00 PM on March 29, 2010


When I was 19, I tripped Robert Plant.

No, no: not "tripped with Robert Plant. That would be a better story... though possibly he wouldn't have been so very, very polite.
posted by Elsa at 10:02 PM on March 29, 2010


yeah? well once when i was working as a quasi-carney in a theme park i had to adjust a virtual reality helmet type thingy for David Copperfield!
posted by Philby at 10:02 PM on March 29, 2010


ooh ooh ooh also-in the past few weeks I've talked to Micheal Stipe on the phone twice.
posted by newpotato at 10:12 PM on March 29, 2010


Famous person who worked in my bar gets talked about on mefi ALL THE TIME, and I really have to hold myself back from dropping little bits of info about her.
Pretty sure I trump all you suckas.


Depends. How close, in electrons, has she been to a Person of Limited McCartney Experience?

(PoLME, as we USians like to say)
posted by Kwine at 10:18 PM on March 29, 2010


On the morning of my wife and I's first day of wedded bliss, we partook of the hotel's not-really-swanky-but-swanky-enough-for-us complimentary breakfast buffet. Not only did I have eggs benedict for the first time and really, really liked it, but I soon realized we were sharing the 'Gold-Level Guest' loungue with none other but CanCon icon Bruce Cockburn!

Also, I was on the bus once and we passed Guy Maddin while he was waiting to cross the street! More like Our Winnipeg, amirite, Guy?

Look, I'm not here to win, I just want to play.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:29 PM on March 29, 2010


Famous person who worked in my bar gets talked about on mefi ALL THE TIME, and I really have to hold myself back from dropping little bits of info about her.

I'm going to go with Jessamyn West.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:31 PM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


I once worked with a man who claimed to have opened the first commercial nudist colony in Britain. He often told the story of his being interviewed on the television when he replied to the question, "Haven't you had enough of the sight of naked women?", with "I still like to look down the neckline of a pretty girl when I'm ascending from the top deck of a double-decker bus".
He was working as a dish-pig on the cross-channel ferries when I knew him. He always kicked back with a glass of port and a cigar after his labours so I think he must have been the real deal.
posted by tellurian at 10:32 PM on March 29, 2010


kim gordon of sonic youth told michael stipe to shut up when he was being rude to me. he then gave me the phone number of this really nice blonde lady sitting next to him and said i should call her and ask her out. that blonde lady was courtney love.

can i play now, too?
posted by artof.mulata at 11:37 PM on March 29, 2010




My father's best friend's father was head shepherd for Edward VIII, but they probably didn't talk much. Or at all.
posted by Kevin Street at 11:47 PM on March 29, 2010


I do tend to like the "show it to someone you trust" maneuver as a way to…

get out of bar tabs
posted by klangklangston at 11:50 PM on March 29, 2010


I've shaken hands with Joan Collins not once but twice.
posted by meech at 1:01 AM on March 30, 2010


Sun Ra stuck his finger in my ear and whispered "to live forever you must give up your death!"

I still don't know what the fuck he meant.
posted by beelzbubba at 1:21 AM on March 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Roger Ebert once sent me the following email, verbatim:

"Thanks! - RE"
posted by maxwelton at 1:50 AM on March 30, 2010


My mum used to search bags at a small airport back in the early 70s. One day there was a big fuss because Kevin Keegan was due in. My mum ended up searching his bags; they chatted for a bit and she says he was quite a nice young man.

After he'd gone through, she remarked to one of her colleagues that he'd looked absolutely nothing like she'd imagined an archbishop would look.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 2:56 AM on March 30, 2010


HuronBob: "Metafilter: Bob Hope once goosed my Mom"

Giving new meaning to "Hope Me!" really.
posted by gomichild at 3:24 AM on March 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


I've had convos with jessamyn about the smell test. I don't get it. I know a bunch of folks (some well, some not so well) who are doing notable things that are my hobbies and passions (and some I feel dispassionately about) and that I think would be great fits for MetaFilter, but I can't post about them, because of the smell test.

It's endlessly frustrating. It's a very similar dynamic to how notability is determined on Wikipedia (or was, when I participated). I feel sort of punished for knowing neat people because I can't post about them and their neatness because it's presupposed that I'm not a good judge because I know them and that if they were so neat, someone else would know them too.

But I've been a member of MeFi for a long time, and I ain't seen anyone else post about them.

I wish there were some sort of idea pool I could toss links into and maybe other MeFites could make posts about them.
posted by kalessin at 4:31 AM on March 30, 2010


Oh! If we're talking like alt-sub-comics culture then I've bumped, fallen on top of, smashed into, tripped over and backed up onto any number of notable figures.
posted by The Whelk at 5:17 AM on March 30, 2010


I once smoked a joint with Willie Nelson.

All I've got.
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:21 AM on March 30, 2010 [4 favorites]


If you think about the transitive and transformative powers of music, then I think we've all smoked a joint with Willie Nelson.
posted by The Whelk at 5:29 AM on March 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


Does this mean no one can ever post about Kevin Bacon.
posted by shakespeherian at 6:27 AM on March 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's a very similar dynamic to how notability is determined on Wikipedia (or was, when I participated).

The difference is, Wikipedia treats notability as something that anyone who wants to make/support a given article has to prove to them; with mefi posts, we only ask that those people who have some sort of connection to a potential post subject refrain. Anybody else can have a go at the subject without anybody potentially blinking.

That's, again, why just dropping a line to someone whose judgement you respect and who you think might find the content interesting is an often-recommended approach to that situation. Lets someone without that connection make a call on the idea of the post and evaluate the content independently, and removes any shadow of concern of (however well-meaning) internal bias on the subject.

I know it's a bit of a hoop jump. But the no-friendlinks thing is fairly important, and we've had several headaches over the years with edgecases that we could have avoided if it was followed more consistently.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:13 AM on March 30, 2010


I once accidentally elbowed Peter Frampton in the ribs.

And a very good friend of mine accidentally punched Keith Richards in the stomach.
posted by MexicanYenta at 7:31 AM on March 30, 2010


My high school a cappella group stood outside Ben Harper's tour bus for a few hours waiting for him to come out so we could do our rendition of Steal My Kisses for him, and have him sing lead vocal. He did *NOT* want to do this, but was a good sport, and seemed to be into it by the end.

He also grabbed the camera one of our guys was holding and told us it was "rude as fuck" to tape him without asking. Spot on.
posted by SpiffyRob at 7:36 AM on March 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


cortex, I know what you're saying. I understand the limitation and I know that you know that I know that it's a rule, and because it's a rule, I know that you know that I won't break it.

It doesn't keep it from being frustrating and honestly I don't know who I'd ask to think about making the post (if they agreed it was cool). I'm not comfortable talking, as a rule, to anyone I don't know. If I did feel comfortable dropping a line to a random stranger, I could totally see how your system would work, but it doesn't work well for me. In that way, I am timid.

Further, because as I understand it (and I may be going too far here, I don't know), the way it breaks down for me is that if I get over my discomfort and I do drop someone a line and get to know them over that introduction and suggested material, I sort of use them up with the asking and have to go and ask someone else next time.

This is why in all seriousness I would prefer it if we could have a post-ideas pool. I could drop my ideas/leads into a pool and folks could decide to look into them.

But also, I know some fabulously cool people and I'd love to write posts about them and could probably do a post up about each one really well because I know them (providing some the detail I know as an insider to get more interesting in-public leads that could synthesize into a good quality post custom built for MetaFilter) and pull together the kinds of in-depth synthesized posts that I know MeFites love. And that's what's frustrating, because of the rule, I can't, because it's not allowed, so I don't even lift a finger.

I mean, I do think about lifting a finger, but then I don't. Because it's not worth the bullshit.
posted by kalessin at 7:38 AM on March 30, 2010


P.S. I mean the rule bothers me so much that aside from my sweetie, whom I've commented about perhaps twice, and Elizabeth bear, whom I've commented about in one thread, I don't even feel comfortable mentioning their names here, for fear that someone will give me a spanking about self-linking.
posted by kalessin at 7:39 AM on March 30, 2010


Kosher?

As long as you've carefully circumscribed your connection to the friend, I think it would be kosher. Especially if you have a rabbi bless it during its execution.
posted by Pollomacho at 7:41 AM on March 30, 2010


I don't even feel comfortable mentioning their names here, for fear that someone will give me a spanking about self-linking.

The rule is not about linking to friends in comments. We've always said that's okay as long as you're being clear that these are people you know. This is also fine in comments in threads.

And I really realize that this is frustrating, but it's an important rule. We're okay with saying "Yeah the site may miss out on a few really interesting posts because the only person who knew about it was the one person who was friends with the person who does the blog" if it means that the front page is also free of people spamming us and people trying to sneakliy promote friends' projects.

If your friends are web-savvy you could always get them a MeFi account, have them post about it to Projects and then other people would be aware of what they've been doing and possibly post it to the front page.

Really anyone you know about well enough to including insider information that you have about them is solidly in "not okay for MeFi" territory. You could post about them on MetaChat, your own blog, Digg or a bunch of other places. Trust me, I have the same problem.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:59 AM on March 30, 2010


Fortunately, none of my friends are as interesting as me. Except perhaps Joe Strummer, except he was never really my friend, and he's dead.
posted by philip-random at 8:14 AM on March 30, 2010


I have lame celebrity stories, but my dad was a flight attendant so he has some good ones. The best ones I know of are partying with Dennis Hopper, jumping into a cab with him to go to the next bar, and then Dennis Hopper suddenly losing his shit and kicking him out of the cab. The other one is having facilitated a one night stand between Mick Jagger and his coworker Maria, because he met Mick at a hotel lobby and thought Maria might get a kick out of meeting him. Which I'm guessing she did.
posted by DrGirlfriend at 8:18 AM on March 30, 2010


Any time you guys want to name drop, you can just casually mention that you used to hang out here on Metafilter with me.

One day that'll impress people.

I mean, they'll shun you, what with the "guilt by association" and all that. But still, it's a kind of power, I suppose.
posted by quin at 8:20 AM on March 30, 2010


jessamyn: "If your friends are web-savvy you could always get them a MeFi account, have them post about it to Projects and then other people would be aware of what they've been doing and possibly post it to the front page."

This is a great idea (I mean it really is, if you assume MetaFilter is the center of the universe) except it's never going to happen.

1) Most of these folks do what they do with or without approval, with or without participation. They don't care to let people know what they're up to - they just do it.
2) Most of these folks are so incredibly busy that they're not going to set aside time for what is essentially my pet project: Metafilter.

jessamyn: "Really anyone you know about well enough to including insider information that you have about them is solidly in "not okay for MeFi" territory."

I totally get that. And I am only expressing my frustration in this thread to the extent that I think this rule keeps us from finding out truly interesting things about interesting people from our fellow MeFites. I also get that this rule exists because the alternative is worse. But I think that there are alternatives that could possibly be explored more thoroughly that aren't being because you (moderators) can't conceive of how that would happen, and I don't blame you there either. You have a lot of good work to do.

I just think it's a shame that because of the rules it's really hard for me draw fellow MeFites' attention in a direction I think they'd appreciate. Not from an immature sense of how neat my friends are but from a pretty well-matured and well-developed sense of how neat my friends are (and watching a lot of really shitty MetaFilter posts go by in the past 7 years) and an impatience at trying to let someone else find that without violating the Prime Directive.
posted by kalessin at 9:21 AM on March 30, 2010


I met Richard Kiel! He put his hands around my head like you'd hold a grapefruit you were about to crush. But something must have distracted him, because he spared me at the last moment.

I think I was the only person there who knew him from Eegah instead of that Bond movie.
posted by echo target at 9:52 AM on March 30, 2010


Let's say I'm stalking somebody (famous), and I know intimate details about this person's life through my use of a telephoto lens and digging through said person's garbage. Is it okay for me to post an interesting web link about this person that I know intimately in hopes that this person will notice me?

Oh, and this person doesn't know me. At least pretends not to know me. One time this person made eye contact with me at the Ivy. I almost died.
posted by jabberjaw at 10:28 AM on March 30, 2010


...yeah. Let's just assume that the way I know folks I am talking about who I think are neat and interesting does not as a rule involve telescopes, binoculars, stalking or going through anyone's trash.
posted by kalessin at 10:44 AM on March 30, 2010


I just think it's a shame that because of the rules it's really hard for me draw fellow MeFites' attention in a direction I think they'd appreciate.

Put a ton of links to them on your profile page then. Or mention them in relevant threads. Or invite them to join solely for the purpose of posting to Projects. It's not that we can't conceive of other ways to handle this sort of situation it's that we really think it mostly works. Put another way, your conception of what is "too bad for MetaFilter" does not jibe with ours. We think MeFi is generally overflowing with good stuff, the fact that it's not the good stuff of close friends of MeFites does not, in my personal opinion, make it less awesome. It may make it less awesome for individual MeFites.

I understand that to a certain extent you're just grousing, but I'm not quite getting that you understand just how many more shitty posts there would be to MeFi if we let everyone link to their friends' stuff. Just the friendslinks we find and delete are already not that great. I'm coming at this from a position where we have a lot of rules and guidelines balanced off of each other to try to allow MeFi to both be open to people posting almost anything and yet to draw the line before allowing them to post anything. There are maybe eight years of practice behind this [the first few years were full of friendslinks and a community of less than a thousand people] and it seems to work better than it fails.

if you assume MetaFilter is the center of the universe

I'm assuming you didn't mean this in the crappy way it sounded, but we're in MetaTalk, talking about MetaFilter, about rules concerning what to post on MetaFilter. I'm trying to give you options and suggestions that are MetaFilter-related. GYOB is the non-MeFi related option that is always open to you.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:53 AM on March 30, 2010


I was introduced to Malcolm McDowell a few weeks ago. He was really nice and charming and I was trying to figure out if the hand I was shaking was the one they smeared with poo in Caligula.
posted by Bookhouse at 11:05 AM on March 30, 2010


> Not from an immature sense of how neat my friends are but from a pretty well-matured and well-developed sense of how neat my friends are

See, this is what you don't understand: there is no such thing as a "well-matured and well-developed sense" of how neat your friends are. By the very fact that they are your friends, you are incapable of being objective about them. That's true for everyone, even you (and we all want to think "Oh no, that doesn't apply to me, I'm objective and my friends/spouse/kids really are the best!"). I can understand your frustration, but trust me, if they're really so great, they'll be discovered. If you're the only one who can appreciate their greatness, so that if you don't post about them no one ever will... well, I'm afraid that speaks for itself.
posted by languagehat at 11:19 AM on March 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


A guy you sort-of-knew four years ago makes it a self-link?

Now I know why I never post anything. I'm pretty sure I know someone who knows someone who made every single thing on the internet.
posted by rokusan at 11:28 AM on March 30, 2010


A guy you sort of knew four years ago makes it pretty solidly not a friends/self-link, is what we actually said.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:36 AM on March 30, 2010


I can understand your frustration, but trust me, if they're really so great, they'll be discovered.

Or, more to the point, if they're doing something cool they've got as much of a reasonable chance of being featured in a mefi post from someone who doesn't know them as does anything else. There is absolutely no guarantee that any particular cool thing will ever see the front page of Metafilter, and I'd go so far as to say that Metafilter will never, ever come close to featuring everything cool and post-worthy out there.

The difference between something cool you've never heard of and something cool that you're a little too close to is, as far as potential-post-material, nil. In either case, you won't be posting it; in either case, there are tens of thousands of other users on the site who may or may not end up knowing about it and posting about it. It's a great big world of things that may or may not ever be the subject of a post, and as much as any of us may look at the things close to us and understandly want those to have some exposure, that stuff isn't any more entitled to being posted than everything else.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:42 AM on March 30, 2010


jessamyn: "I understand that to a certain extent you're just grousing, but I'm not quite getting that you understand just how many more shitty posts there would be to MeFi if we let everyone link to their friends' stuff."

jessamyn, earlier I said:
I also get that this rule exists because the alternative is worse.
by which I meant exactly what you just said.

"We think MeFi is generally overflowing with good stuff"

I disagree. I think MeFi is overflowing with good people, but not always with good stuff or good contributors. In fact, I see a lot of shitty posts squeak by the posting guidelines all the time. A lot of single-link youtube posts and a lot of single link hulu posts and a lot of weird-ass every-letter-is-linked-to-a-different-place posts (I get these are in-puzzles) and a lot of single-link flash game/silverlight game posts also squeak through, which are varyingly totally awesome or extremely crappy.

I would like to be able to contribute posts about things I feel passionately about, and you've suggested I do my hobbies, but honestly what I care about in life is people, and when I care about specific neat ones who also care about me I suddenly find they're off-limits to me to post about. Which is, yes, frustrating!

"I'm assuming you didn't mean this in the crappy way it sounded"

I don't know how else to say it. I understand that our discussion is limited to MetaTalk, but my life isn't. This is okay with me, but though I didn't mean you to read it crappily, I also don't meant to treat MetaFilter as the center of my life.

One of the things that I have done with my online life and my rest of my life is integrate them pretty comprehensively. So you can go to Google and search Malcolm Gin and find me there. Or you can find me on Facebook as Malcolm Gin or you can find me on Google Apps as Malcolm Gin or you can go to my profile here and it points you to different other identities I went out of my way to make sure are public and obviously tied to the me that is me everywhere else.

So it's hard for me to be here and not also want to tightly integrate what I would post about here with the rest of my life, and I feel the rub there between the would-be posting me on MetaFilter and who I am in the rest of my life.

I tend to see the problem, then, as MetaFilter. MetaFilter is getting in the way of me being able to really talk about the rest of my life here. And to a certain extent that's fine with me. I live my life, online and off and when I'm on MetaFilter, I can only talk about MetaFilter things. But it busts me a little that I can't get away with talking about my sweetie, Hanne Blank, on random threads sometimes, without having some fucking holier than thou MeFite tell me that doing so or talking about her work (which is, you might guess, important to me), as it relates to whatever we're talking about in the thread, is inappropriate self-linking.

Because to me, it's just my life, and MetaFilter is the one with weird-ass expectations.

languagehat: "I can understand your frustration, but trust me, if they're really so great, they'll be discovered."

I have been trusting for about 7.5 years, and I don't see it happening. I think part of it is how incredibly fucking huge the Internet is. I also think part of it is that while MetaFilter's rule against people posting about their interesting friends is a great guideline for keeping the crap out, it also keeps well-written posts about people's genuinely interesting MeFi-worthy friends also out when those friends' scopes is kind of garage-band type celebrity, when their scale is non-commercial, when their publicity is non-region-wide, country-wide or world-wide.

So we get a lot of coverage of folks who do interesting things on the internet (because it's easy to find random interesting things on the Internet from the Internet), or of folks whose PR or marketing has reached a level where some random posting-oriented MeFite runs into it and thinks it's neat, but we don't get interesting small-community geeks who don't post much or prettily on the intarwebs, folks who are stunningly interesting in my local salon-type gatherings and really are cream of the crop brilliant geeky types but aren't very self-promoting and unlikely to catch the attention of anyone here, and just don't hit the right demographic to be mentioned here except by their friends, who can't.

Which, I guess, is fine. That's the decision the mods have made.

I'll experiment with working with a couple of folks who've been kind enough to reach out to me due to this thread and see where that goes, but honestly, I'm tired of waiting, and I'll soon be tired of even thinking about trying, which is fine except it leaves me disappointed in not being able to share folks I know would be interesting to folks like you and me and the rest of the MeFites.
posted by kalessin at 11:46 AM on March 30, 2010


But it busts me a little that I can't get away with talking about my sweetie, Hanne Blank, on random threads sometimes, without having some fucking holier than thou MeFite tell me that doing so or talking about her work (which is, you might guess, important to me), as it relates to whatever we're talking about in the thread, is inappropriate self-linking.


Not really sure what strawman you're moaning about here, but there is not, and to my knowledge has never been, a proscription against making a comment that talks about or links to the work of someone you know, especially when relevant to the thread at hand. You are arguing with shadows here.
posted by Nothing... and like it at 11:56 AM on March 30, 2010


Yeah, to be super clear here, there's nothing wrong with occasionally commenting in an existing thread to talk about or even link to the work of someone you know when it's relevant to the conversation. The rule is about making posts to the front page; comments in threads are much more free-wheeling on that front and it's rare that we see someone so consistently or aggressively using comments to plug or promote something that we need to talk to them about it.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:01 PM on March 30, 2010


Nothing... and like it: "what strawman you're moaning about here"

1, 2, 3.
posted by kalessin at 12:38 PM on March 30, 2010


So you linked to the book, then complained about how folks hadn't read it, and someone groused at you about it. That's not site policy barring your from anything, that's some specific mefite being a bit of a pill about a specific couple of comments you made. I can understand you being annoyed by the reaction, but that's again not what we're talking about here.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:46 PM on March 30, 2010


How is it not? I've already said that with respect to rules, I am shy and tend to interpret them conservatively. In the face of unchallenged grousing by some MeFite, I interpreted this as a sitewide expectation. Until this moment I was not aware that mods felt differently.

In fact, the impression I got from dialogue with jessamyn about that kind of thing was that the grouser at me in that thread was the one in the right and I was the one in the wrong. So I never tried again.

As far as I am concerned, this is exactly what we're talking about: What are the mods' and community's expectations about what we can and cannot link to and where within our lives to benefit the community at large. I just don't see the difference you do, cortex.
posted by kalessin at 12:52 PM on March 30, 2010


Additionally, and this may be a quirk that's specific to me as the spouse/partner of a writer, but in the thread I also "gave away" a lot of the content in the book (that I'd expect folks would largely normally pay for as part of the system of reading the book). This materially impacts the ability of the author to make a living. Giving away the info and getting criticized for reminding folks that more can be found in the book was, to my mind, pretty important.
posted by kalessin at 12:55 PM on March 30, 2010


P.S. and by "pretty important" I mean in a "if that's the way it's going to be, screw you guys anyway" sort of way and it took a long time for me to stop taking that shit personally, but I still think it's a systemic problem that derives from this rule that we are here and now discussing.
posted by kalessin at 12:58 PM on March 30, 2010


it took a long time for me to stop taking that shit personally

Apparently the process is ongoing. Take a deep breath.
posted by Nothing... and like it at 1:06 PM on March 30, 2010


What are the mods' and community's expectations about what we can and cannot link to and where within our lives to benefit the community at large. I just don't see the difference you do, cortex.

Well, there is a pretty significant difference, the one between "don't self/friend-link in a post to the front page" and "it's basically fine to link to stuff you're involved with in comments", and it's been in place for many years now and we've been consistent about verifying that stance whenever it comes up. The FAQ, in the entry on self-linking, says this: "Including a link to your own site in a comment is okay provided that it has some relevance to the topic being discussed and is not your only form of site participation."

All of which I'm saying just in hopes of being clear about what has been our long-standing and often-voiced policy. I don't mean in any way to give you a hard time about this, kalessin; I can appreciate that you were bothered by what went down on that one occasion and it's fine if you prefer to be conservative about your interpretation of the rules. And you're welcome to ask us about such stuff, in Metatalk or via the contact form. It's not a big deal if you've misunderstood or just not been fully aware of what actual site policy is on this subject, and hopefully now you're slightly better off as far as that goes with respect to feeling okay about mentioning stuff in comments where you might have felt like you couldn't before.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:22 PM on March 30, 2010


Thanks cortex.

Nothing.. and like it, you are not doing a lot to make the situation any easier to cope with. You know that, right?
posted by kalessin at 1:43 PM on March 30, 2010


I once had lunch in an airport restaurant with Dennis Franz.

Not at the same table.

He really did not look like he wanted to be disturbed.
posted by Nabubrush at 1:48 PM on March 30, 2010


I peed next to Ewan McGreggor and literally stepped on John Hodgman's toes.

At the same time?
posted by homunculus at 2:38 PM on March 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Hi everyone, George Clooney here again.

I was sitting on my recycled-wood patio, composing a strongly-worded letter with some strongly-drawn pictures to the Academy about Elinor Burkett pulling a Kanye West on Roger Ross Williams, when I got an email from someone here saying my services were urgently needed. Which is cool--I don't have anything else to do except ask Jeff Bridges to stop calling me every twenty minutes to say the last time he felt this good was when he saw Karen Allen topless in Starman. I mean, I'm happy for the guy and I think he deserves it, but just between you and me, the whole time we were shooting, he kept moaning how The Men Who Stare at Goats wasn't going to win him anything except more Dude recognition. And now he thinks he's Jesus H. Christ on an embossed paperback Bible.

Okay, so, this name-dropping thing? You folks need to knock it off. Like, now. Next thing you know, someone's going to request a pony for perezhilton.metafilter.com. You know who cares if you heard Frank Caliendo fart at In-N-Out Burger or if Ke$ha threw up on you at the ATM? No one, that's who! Last week, I was at Whole Foods, buying some overpriced pasta sauce (I tried to get away with Paul Newman's marinara but Elisabetta said it tasted like ketchup and red crayons) and a woman said I looked familiar. "Well, you've probably seen me around, I used to be a male prostitute." And her eyes get huge, "oh wow, what's your name?" and I said, "Tom Selleck." Then, when I'm checking out, the cashier examines my bottle of wine and asks, "Was this a good year?" Not for NBC, ha ha! And he just gives me that look, like, what the fuck, man?

--George Clooney

P.S. Guess who just showed up on the Caller ID? Leno. Again. Say hello to voicemail, Jay! I'm with Coco.
posted by George Clooney at 4:04 PM on March 30, 2010 [12 favorites]


Hey, George, you looked really fine in that fox movie.
posted by Wolfdog at 4:20 PM on March 30, 2010


George Clooney once told me off on a website, sort of.
posted by Nabubrush at 4:28 PM on March 30, 2010


kalessin, if you don't mind me saying so, your links up there are a pretty good example of why these types of tenuous self-links are a bad idea (note that I don't mean bad as in malicious, evil, ban-worthy or anything like that). It's led you to take a piece of snark pretty seriously, a lot more I wager than you would have if you'd simply recommended a book you quite liked. It seems to me that this type of emotional involvement leads to more ill than good on MetaFilter.
posted by Bookhouse at 4:29 PM on March 30, 2010


in the thread I also "gave away" a lot of the content in the book (that I'd expect folks would largely normally pay for as part of the system of reading the book). This materially impacts the ability of the author to make a living. Giving away the info and getting criticized for reminding folks that more can be found in the book was, to my mind, pretty important.

I'm sorry that didn't really go in a way that was comfortable. However, if part of the discomfort was how you were viewing the transaction [i.e. I gave something away for free that people would have to pay my partner the author for] that's a little skewy to how we'd like to see people to participate. Not that you did anything wrong, but I'm going to overexplain a little....

You're more than welcome to link to your partner's book in a comment, especially if they're someone who has written a lot on the subject, is an expert, whatever. However, the link or the information should be freely given because it's good for the thread and not in any way linked to your partner being compensated either via people buying the book or through losses incurred by people not buying the book because they read your comment. We have to trust that people are linking to things because they're good information, not because they've got an angle. And if there's an angle, and if you can't get it out of your head when you're making those links, it's probably best to stick them in your profile or MeMail people directly about it.

I really viewed the comment about the book as more of an excuse to make a joke about hymens with very little to do with the book angle. That said, people on MeFi just aren't the way we as individuals want them to be. Individual MeFites being prickly is just a luck of the draw thing and there's a difference between that and some sort of site-enforced censure. I think you seem to be a little sensitive to criticism and so tend to err on wanting clearer rules or conservatively applying the guidelines we do have. That's your business and is fine if that's what you want to guide your site participation, but the guidelines we have and the guideline-as-you've-interpreted it are somewhat at odds [with the actual guideline actually giving you more leeway] so you might want to take that into consideration.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:49 PM on March 30, 2010


Kato Kaelin was in line ahead of me at Sbarros one time in the Cincy airport. With his lawyer dude that I can't remember the name of. This was just about 4 hrs ago.

I need more awesome in my life.
posted by MultiFaceted at 10:15 PM on March 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


I saw Barack Obama shirtless once, in person. It was spectacular.
posted by sallybrown at 10:37 PM on March 30, 2010


Is anyone else already sort of sick of kalessin's friends?

I mean, maybe I'm just feeling a little defensive because I like throwing big globs of smelly ol' shit up against the pristine wall that is The Blue and all, but seven hells, you're comfortable judging pert near everyone else's efforts to make a contribution to the front page, something you've never deigned to do - I'm guessing the only cool things that have ever been done in the history of the universe have been executed by people on your holiday card list - and now it turns out that you're just sore that people didn't fall to their knees when you linked to the Vagina Monograph and tossed some I/P around like candy from a float.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:44 PM on March 30, 2010


"How is it not? I've already said that with respect to rules, I am shy and tend to interpret them conservatively. In the face of unchallenged grousing by some MeFite, I interpreted this as a sitewide expectation. Until this moment I was not aware that mods felt differently."

Sorry, dude, when the conflicting forces are your shyness versus your disappointment at not engaging fully, that's maybe something you have to resolve. You know the mods answer pretty much any question patiently, so your misconceptions are also kinda on you.

Further, we're not all just random strangers. Jeez.
posted by klangklangston at 10:49 PM on March 30, 2010


I really really really wanted to beat up Perry Farrell once. I was drunk and he wasn't anywhere nearby at the time. But if he had been, I'd have totally clocked him.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 10:58 PM on March 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Well, I'm quite random and they don't come much stranger, so you might be on to something.
posted by Abiezer at 11:21 PM on March 30, 2010


I am typing this on a netbook signed by Neil Gaiman - just so you know. When he was signing it, I also showed him a copy of Cerebus he had signed 12 years ago (one of Sim's Sandman paradies) that as a result of some arrangement between Gaiman on his blog and Sim in his whateverness, had also been signed by Gerhard and Sim - Sim signed it "the Dave McKean of Earth 2). Mr Gaiman laughed. I mentioned that if I ever got McKean's signature on that issue of Cerebus it would become a geek icon of insurmountable power.

That said, I wouldn't feel awkward about posting a FPP about Neil Gaiman. He doesn't know my name - people have relationships of varying degress, but I think if no one involved in a project knows your name, that should pass the sniff test. I also think, it's better to err on the side of caution.

Kalessin's problem strikes me as that as erring on the side of closure. Which is slightly different. The mods have mentioned ways that sites can be presented for others to see if they work as FPs, MetaChat, Projects, Memailng a connection. I am not a huge user of memail, but having made that outside connection a few times , I doubt anyone in my memail history that I might ask about a site I would be offended by my asking their opinion.

I, myself have tested out a link or two on MetaChat - they weren't brilliant links, but a people seemed to like them, so I took them to a wider audience. Some worked to a startling degree, some (including things I thought were brilliant) went almost uncommented. The one thing you can say about FPPs is that *someone* thought they were worth mentioning. That's the community thing going on. You don't have to agree, and the peanut gallery frequently doesn't, but sometimes it does, and, unless you're really mean and bitter, they won't hold it against you.

If people have offered to be sounding boards for Kalessin upthread, yay! I'll offer myself, too. But I absolutely agree that there needs to be some kind of filter between what people's friends have done and what gets posted.
posted by Sparx at 11:25 PM on March 30, 2010


The pope once met me.
posted by LittleMissCranky at 11:37 PM on March 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


It feels like mostly this conversation is starting to turn against me, which is fine, but I don't see the value of responding to individuals - it seems like those responses won't go so well (which is also fine - I may be in the wrong), but I'm not really feeling like flogging into that kind of territory.

I do get what folks are saying about closeness, and I have no intention of violating any community rules.

I do come away from the discussion finally having put two and two together about expert opinion and response in comments, which is good, because not understanding that was frustrating the hell out of me. In unrelated posts I see in the future, I may throw my hat into the ring if it feels appropriate.

I also think that folks have heard my basic issues with the rule, which is good, and I figure in that I've done my part in MetaTalk by making my opinions/reactions known.

I also come away with a few really generous offers (thank you Sparx and the other folks who've offered) to look at what I do think would be good posting ideas (from the people I know and who know me) and maybe post about them if they find the same things interesting.

My hope though is that if these folks do help out, you won't know it - that it won't be obviously me and my agenda in those posts. And my pledge is that I won't participate in those threads if they happen to get posted, because I think jessamyn and Bookhouse and even the insulting Alvy Ampersand are all right in that in being too close, I don't always say or do the right things when things happen here that are too close to the people or subjects I like or love.
posted by kalessin at 4:29 AM on March 31, 2010


I blew Rob Halford.
posted by The Straightener at 6:15 AM on March 31, 2010



I blew Rob Halford.
posted by The Straightener


Anti-Eponhysterical!
posted by The Whelk at 6:35 AM on March 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


Anti-Eponhysterical!

Tell that to Rob Halford's erection!
posted by Pollomacho at 6:39 AM on March 31, 2010 [2 favorites]


And lo, Pollomacho has a new catch-phrase.
posted by The Whelk at 8:05 AM on March 31, 2010 [2 favorites]


I was just joking guys.

I ate his ass.
posted by The Straightener at 9:01 AM on March 31, 2010


I feel this thread is moving in a good direction.
posted by The Whelk at 9:18 AM on March 31, 2010


Fair warning: If Pollomacho fails to capitalize on the catchphrase, I'm appropriating it.
posted by SpiffyRob at 9:45 AM on March 31, 2010


My wife and I had dinner with Orson Scott Card and his family. My wife shopped for novelty t-shirts with Bruce Vilanch. Yvonne Craig has fondled my tie and asked who had made it for me (it was off the rack.) I once startled Casey Casem, but he was gracious about it. In a local deli we frequent, my family and William Fichtner witnessed (without comment) the spectacle of a mother running out of the bathroom, naked toddler dangling from her arm, through the restaurant on her way to get a change of clothes for him from the car.

Do I win? Am I interesting now?

Living in the San Fernando Valley is fun
posted by davejay at 11:10 AM on March 31, 2010


My friend's boss once made out with Ray Bradbury.
posted by The Whelk at 11:20 AM on March 31, 2010


My boss once made out with Ray Bradbury CAN WE BE FRIENDS NOW THE WHELK
posted by shakespeherian at 11:21 AM on March 31, 2010


HUGS!
posted by The Whelk at 11:23 AM on March 31, 2010


WHISKEY!
posted by shakespeherian at 11:33 AM on March 31, 2010


ONE LEADS TO THE OTHER!
posted by The Whelk at 11:38 AM on March 31, 2010


BACK AND FORTH FOREVER!
posted by shakespeherian at 11:42 AM on March 31, 2010


KIDNAP MR. SANDY CLAWS?
posted by The Whelk at 11:46 AM on March 31, 2010


TIE HIM IN A BAG
THROW HIM IN THE OCEAN
AND SEE IF HE IS SAD
posted by shakespeherian at 11:47 AM on March 31, 2010


Goddamn metathread making me not finish this watercolor (note, Metafilter is great for water color, wait for a layer to finish, check site, apply another layer, check site, wait for brush to clean, check site. I am a lab rat and you are my cocaine pellets.)
posted by The Whelk at 11:55 AM on March 31, 2010


Cocaine makes lab rats paint watercolors?
posted by shakespeherian at 12:01 PM on March 31, 2010


Who do you think does all the faux-naive claptrap on Holiday Inn walls?
posted by The Whelk at 12:02 PM on March 31, 2010


Until just now I'd always assumed they were Jeff Koons whose circle of irony had been completed.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:06 PM on March 31, 2010


The ciiiiiiiiiircle of irrrrrony, completes usssss alll oooor whatever.
posted by The Whelk at 12:08 PM on March 31, 2010


Repurposing song lyrics? What a terrible idea.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:11 PM on March 31, 2010


almost as bad as using an accordion.
posted by The Whelk at 12:12 PM on March 31, 2010


Once when I was having a shitty day canvassing for gay marriage in Beverly Hills (including having to call the cops over a death threat) Stan Lee came by and shook my hand and I gushed like a fanboy ("I grew up reading the Bullpen Bulletins! Make mine Marvel! Excelsior!") and him being nice totally reversed my day and made me feel so irrationally good.

That's one of the few times when I've met a celeb and haven't maintained the we're-all-humans disinterest that I try to hold myself to.
posted by klangklangston at 12:15 PM on March 31, 2010


I have the worst celebrity luck. I hung out with George Takei once, which I recognize could be incredibly cool for a ton of people, but I have never seen a complete episode of TOS and don't care for any iteration of Star Trek, so I barely even had a notion of who he was, much less value the opportunity.

I also met the guitarist for some Scandinavian black metal band that was touring the States (so I assume they were a decently big deal) but I don't care about black metal and I can't even remember the name of his band. Both of these experiences could have been amazing for me if I belonged to a slightly different cultural niche, but I don't and so I don't care.

And I can only imagine that to balance the universe there must be someone whose favorite film is Failure to Lauch and spent an afternoon with David Lynch and was bored to tears.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:23 PM on March 31, 2010


I had a one-night-stand with a big movie star, who shall remain nameless.

Five months later, he was dead.

Make of this what you will.
posted by tzikeh at 2:53 AM on April 1, 2010


shakespeherian, did you ask the guitarist where he stodd on "american" vs "USian"?
posted by Nabubrush at 11:02 AM on April 1, 2010


Stodd sounds vaguely Scandanavian, doesn't it?

GODDAMNIT

posted by Nabubrush at 11:03 AM on April 1, 2010


In the thread I also "gave away" a lot of the content in the book (that I'd expect folks would largely normally pay for as part of the system of reading the book).

Is this the sort of book that may be available in libraries, or can be borrowed from friends, or that I may have read while standing in an airport Hudson's for an hour? Is this the sort of book the author may discuss in a televised interview, or provide a reading of while in a cinnamon-scented bookstore?

That is, I don't think you understand how books work. One doesn't find publishing success by withholding the words.
posted by rokusan at 11:08 AM on April 2, 2010


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