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July 20, 2010 6:58 PM   Subscribe

Three links to previous metafilter threads and one to Google Books.
Cracked.com?
A single youtube video?

I don't mean to specifically call out The Whelk, Lazaruslong, or blue_beetle, but I know we can do better than this. I've seen it. Maybe it's time we did another best post contest to remind us all again what a good post looks like.
posted by crunchland to Etiquette/Policy at 6:58 PM (433 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

So who did you mean to call out?
posted by cjorgensen at 7:00 PM on July 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


and what did you mean by "gay up the front page"?
posted by mlis at 7:02 PM on July 20, 2010 [20 favorites]


I hate Cracked.com, for about an hour per month I'd estimate.
posted by vapidave at 7:06 PM on July 20, 2010


You should lead by example.
posted by pwally at 7:07 PM on July 20, 2010 [4 favorites]


So you want fewer posts? Because a "no post that doesn't interest crunchland!" policy is going to be terrifically difficult to follow. If a post doesn't interest you, just skip that post.
posted by moxiedoll at 7:14 PM on July 20, 2010 [5 favorites]


Why not have an informal competition to see who can knee-jerkishly pile onto a good suggestion the most snarkily?

On preview: oh, I see it's already started.
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:26 PM on July 20, 2010 [6 favorites]


Until you can explain what "gay up the front page" means, maybe you should be telling the rest of us what shouldn't be on the front page.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:26 PM on July 20, 2010 [16 favorites]


...but I know we can do better than this.

Whoa. Sudden flashback to all those miserable parent-teacher conferences. If they're any indication we need to all be careful, or MeFi will end up giving up posts altogether to get high and play Tony Hawk in Fark's garage.
posted by griphus at 7:27 PM on July 20, 2010 [10 favorites]


Well, at least no one has put out the lazy canard of "flag it and move on." It's not a matter of the content not interesting me. It's a matter of coming up with something more than another single youtube video link. It's about not being lazy and going for the easy, low hanging links, and striving for something artful. (And I've been guilty of doing it myself as anyone, for those of you who are going to dig through my posting history.)

I just think we can do better.
posted by crunchland at 7:28 PM on July 20, 2010


Know what I do? I hover over a link to see where it will take me. If it will take me somewhere I don't care to go, I don't click. It's magical.

Don't be afraid to not-click.
posted by That's Numberwang! at 7:28 PM on July 20, 2010


I like firm butts and sometimes I do in fact tell untruths, but there's not much correlation between the two.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:30 PM on July 20, 2010 [6 favorites]


CRUNCHLAND'S LINK STANDARDS ARE LOWER THAN MINE. NYAH.
posted by carsonb at 7:30 PM on July 20, 2010


I do like a best post contest idea. These callouts though are getting tedious. If you don't like the lazy canard of FIAMO then Contact is your friend. I do have to give you credit for calling out three at once. You should get mattdidthat to knit "Three in One Meta" on a shirt. The giants would fear crunchland then I tell you!

Other than hoping one of the above mentioned stops by for a grarfest or flameout I don't see the point of specifically not specifically calling people out.

I am only now realizing the irony of my not having followed my own advice with this thread. I'm a fucking feeb.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:31 PM on July 20, 2010 [4 favorites]


Why not have an informal competition to see who can knee-jerkishly pile onto a good suggestion the most snarkily?

No. It's not a good suggestion to pile onto people who make single link (funny) posts - particularly when it comes from someone prone to making single link (computer game) posts. I don't care about computer games and don't ever bother with those but because I don't (insanely, narcissistically) confuse My Taste with What Is Worthwhile, I haven't called crunchland out. That's the only reason!
posted by moxiedoll at 7:32 PM on July 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


What specifically bothers you about those posts? They are not all interesting to me, but I do think they fall within the realm of what constitutes a "good post."

I think the best-post contest went very well—but it encourages posting FPPs, which I think is bad in principle. I don't think users should be seeking out posts. If you come across something, great. If you don't...? Somebody else will, or else maybe it will be a light day for MetaFilter (emphasis added, no snark intended).
posted by cribcage at 7:32 PM on July 20, 2010


I do like a best post contest idea. These callouts though are getting tedious. If you don't like the lazy canard of FIAMO then Contact is your friend. I do have to give you credit for calling out three at once. You should get mattdidthat to knit "Three in One Meta" on a shirt. The giants would fear crunchland then I tell you!

As the first recipient of mattdidthat's FIAMO shirt, I resent that. More and more I feel like the last few days of MeTa are designed to throw me and crunchland into some nerd thunderdome.
posted by Navelgazer at 7:38 PM on July 20, 2010


It's madlibs time:

"I'm sensing a concerted effort by ___ to ___ up the ___ of Metafilter"
posted by ob at 7:38 PM on July 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


smegma to grease up the pole
posted by Burhanistan at 7:40 PM on July 20, 2010


And for whatever it's worth, I enjoyed blue-beetle's post, loved lazuruslong's, and basically ignored The Whelk's (no offense.) Some things on the blue are bite-sized, others are feasts. More feasts would be cool, yes, but if I enjoy something here I'm not going to be frustrated by the package it came in.
posted by Navelgazer at 7:41 PM on July 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


I also completely disagree. A video on YouTube can be just as great as the most encyclopedic, link-heavy serious-business post. I think that by calling out single link posts we just encourage people to trowel on a layer of Wikipedia and Google News links over top of the actual link that they came he to post, and that is a waste of everybody's time. If you do not like a post on MetaFilter, your options are ignore it, FIAMO, or contact the mods. Coming in here with your "try harder" and "we can do better" when you admittedly make these same kinds of "substandard" posts yourself is weak and hypocritical. I'm generally a fan of your, crunchland, but on this issue, you are Wrong on Posts, Wrong for MetaFilter.
posted by Rock Steady at 7:47 PM on July 20, 2010 [5 favorites]


Navelgazer: "Some things on the blue are bite-sized, others are feasts."

Exactly. I love the impressively researched, extensively linked FPPs...but you know, they take a long time to fully explore. It's nice to cleanse the palate with a few single link amuse-bouche.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:48 PM on July 20, 2010


"I'm sensing a concerted effort by ___ to ___ up the ___ of Metafilter"

cortex, eat, doughnuts

Oh wait. Am I supposed to be all productive and shit and tell you how we can get better FPPs? Hmmm. How about...I know...a filter! We pre-filter the MetaFilter! Cool. Done. Next?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:49 PM on July 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Exactly. I love the impressively researched, extensively linked FPPs...but you know, they take a long time to fully explore. It's nice to cleanse the palate with a few single link amuse-bouche.

Don't forget the single-link posts that take a long time to fully explore. Those are my favorites (and the kind I keep an eye out for to post myself).
posted by carsonb at 7:50 PM on July 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


I just think we can do better.

Certainly. But the bar has lowered more and more over the years, I think, even as there's been more unpleasant bandwagonesque snark in threads no matter what their quality. So it goes. There's still a lot of good to be found on the front page, but there's also a whole lot of stuff that goes unremarked that jmight not have flown in Ye Older Earlier Times.

Whether that's healthy democratization, the consequence of deprecating 'best of the web', the growth of video on the web, scorn for elitism, a shift in Metafilter demographics from a weblogger mentality (whatever that is -- winnowing out the obscure and interesting where the value of a post is the links being shared, maybe) to a 'socialization' mentality (whatever that is -- throwing whatever one comes across on the front page hoping for maximum favorites and comments, maybe), or some combination of all of those things, or none of them, I don't know.

Kind of a shrug from me. I don't see things changing for the better, in terms of truly amazing stuff on the front page, but I don't see things as Gone Bad, either, entirely. I also think people are right when they deny that there was a Golden Age X Years Ago. There really wasn't, I don't think. Metafilter was just smaller, and felt like more of a community.

There's always been a mix of the good, the great and the mehriffic on the front page, tastes vary, and for my part, I usually find at least a few things I'm interested in every day. It's all good.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:51 PM on July 20, 2010 [4 favorites]


I'm sensing a concerted effort by penis to penis up the penis of Metafilter
posted by Greg Nog at 7:52 PM on July 20, 2010 [6 favorites]


Love that tag.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 7:54 PM on July 20, 2010 [7 favorites]


Sometimes things ought to be judged as their own things by themselves.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 7:55 PM on July 20, 2010


Love that tag.

Hoped against hope that this wasn't the only post utilizing it. Alas.
posted by carsonb at 7:57 PM on July 20, 2010


Clearly I'm in the minority. Forget I said anything.
posted by crunchland at 7:58 PM on July 20, 2010


change begins with you
posted by nadawi at 7:58 PM on July 20, 2010 [4 favorites]


When I see single link kind-of jokey posts, I often remind myself about this one.
posted by hippybear at 7:58 PM on July 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


"I'm sensing a concerted effort by butts to poop up the butt of Metafilter"
posted by drjimmy11 at 7:58 PM on July 20, 2010 [4 favorites]


I'd suggest crunchland.metafilter.com, where only crunchland can post, only crunchland can SEE the posts, and only crunchland can comment. But then we'd have to set up a crunchtalk so crunchland could call himself out when his posts weren't up to his own snuff.
posted by Eideteker at 7:59 PM on July 20, 2010


"underacheiver" and proud of it, man!
posted by drjimmy11 at 8:00 PM on July 20, 2010


we'd have to set up a crunchtalk

Crunchtalk sounds like a radio-call-in show dedicated exclusively to discussing various types of granola.
posted by drjimmy11 at 8:01 PM on July 20, 2010 [3 favorites]


Which would be awesome.
posted by drjimmy11 at 8:01 PM on July 20, 2010


it's all yours if you want it, cortex.
posted by drjimmy11 at 8:02 PM on July 20, 2010


The Little Mathowie Underachievers. (and proud we are of all of them)

(still wondering what "underacheiving" is, though)
posted by Eideteker at 8:02 PM on July 20, 2010 [4 favorites]


and what did you mean by "gay up the front page"?

He meant that there's too many dicks on the dance floor. However, he forgot that ladies like teh dicks too.
posted by emilyd22222 at 8:02 PM on July 20, 2010 [3 favorites]


He meant that there's too many dicks on the dance floor .

When I'm down to just my socks you know what time it is.
posted by drjimmy11 at 8:04 PM on July 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


drjimmy11: ""underacheiver" and proud of it, man"

Little Crunchland Internet Underachievers.

And proud we are of all of them.
posted by griphus at 8:04 PM on July 20, 2010


God dammit Eideteker.
posted by griphus at 8:05 PM on July 20, 2010


Ah geez, are you damn kids too young to remember the Bart Simpson t-shirt that so infuriated George H.W. Bush?
posted by drjimmy11 at 8:05 PM on July 20, 2010


Is a haiku obviously inferior, as a poem, to an epic saga? Can a single haiku be worth reading? Fuck yes. Then why is a single youtube video automatically inferior to a dozen links about yarnbombing giraffes?

Quantity ain't quality and a metafilter reader should know better.
posted by Tomorrowful at 8:07 PM on July 20, 2010 [3 favorites]


Underacheivers untie!
posted by iconomy at 8:07 PM on July 20, 2010 [4 favorites]


What a terrible, disingenuous callout. crunchland, you've just forfeited your "come to me to learn how to make posts" crown.
posted by mediareport at 8:10 PM on July 20, 2010


As I understand it, this thread is about applying poison ivy to make someone's underside ache.
posted by qvantamon at 8:11 PM on July 20, 2010


Tomorrowful, I will trade you a dozen YouTube videos for a single link about yarnbombing giraffes. Two dozen if the giraffes are the subject and not the object.
posted by griphus at 8:11 PM on July 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


I agree with you, crunchland. It feels to me lately that Metafilter has become a place for everyone to display their biases. We have a thread about iPhones, so we get the tired Apple vs. non-Apple flamewar. We have a thread about Mormons in business, so we get a bunch of people talking generically about Mormonism instead of the linked article. These lazy single link posts are people just creating discussion forums for their pet topics. It's not that interesting, it's inbred community crap.

I'm the last person to lead by example; I don't make front page posts, and I participate in the very threads that disappoint me. But I think crunchland has a point, so I'm gonna back him up. (Also I'm gay and I give him a pass on the "gay up the front page" crack. I think it's clear from context he meant no ill will.)
posted by Nelson at 8:13 PM on July 20, 2010 [8 favorites]


There is absoSHITly nothing wrong with a post that is just something funny that exists on the internet. A funny thing on the internet can be a good post. If someone has this vision of Ideal Metafilter where stupid, funny, one-link posts are not allowed, I really think that would make Metafilter a muchmuchmuchmuch MUCH worse and boring place to visit on the internet.
posted by 23skidoo at 8:15 PM on July 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


* tents fingers *

As always, there are good arguments on either side.
posted by yhbc at 8:17 PM on July 20, 2010 [7 favorites]


I have had more FPP's deleted than not.

It is emphatically not the admins' fault. I am a total link-monkey, swinging through the meme-trees, harvesting the finest fruit, but I seem to crash and burn and fail when trying here.

Short story long, I suck, and thru bitterest experience, I know a sucky FPP when I see one. Seinfeld as an action movie does not suck, and has increased my link-fu tangibly, and I can tell the story about the co-worker who would stop, slowly turn, narrow his eyes and hiss at me, "Newman!"
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:22 PM on July 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


UNDER-ITCHY-CHAFERS
posted by Babblesort at 8:23 PM on July 20, 2010


I enjoy SLYT posts. Sometimes I've had a long day and the last thing I want to do is mentally chew on some heavy post. Also I can't believe the same person who posted some stupid Vuvuwhateverthefucktheyrecalled SLYT video started this Metatalk thread.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 8:23 PM on July 20, 2010



Well, at least no one has put out the lazy canard of "flag it and move on."


Flag THEM and move on.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:24 PM on July 20, 2010


I'm with crunchland.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 8:29 PM on July 20, 2010


MeTa threads are all well and good, but to show how I think we're doing, I've been using a five color warning system that I like to call the ".kobayashi.'s level of interest in Metafilter advisory system."

Here's how it works. Right now the front page is blue, which means I'm "guarded" -- there's a general risk of tedium, but yawning isn't yet necessary. If the front page turns yellow, then I'll be at an "elevated" risk of boredom -- there's a significant chance I might walk away from the computer and go get a sandwich, or read a book, or something. If the front page turns orange, well, then mods help us all...

Thankfully, we've plateaued at blue for quite some time now.
posted by .kobayashi. at 8:30 PM on July 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


Joseph Gurl: I'm with crunchland

Me too. I said pretty much the same thing, out loud, about two of those posts.
posted by paisley henosis at 8:30 PM on July 20, 2010


There's still a lot of good to be found on the front page, but there's also a whole lot of stuff that goes unremarked that might not have flown in Ye Older Earlier Times.

My POV is almost the opposite, stav, at least when I look at my own contributions in Ye Older Earlier Times (not to be confused with New York Times and I consider the almost daily SLNYT posts to be one of MeFi's weakest links right now... but then the Old Grey Lady is putting back up a paywall the first of next year so that will solve that).

I mentioned in the Cracked thread "I'm actually liking some of the content from Cracked.com these days more than the usual 'guilty pleasure' thing should allow..." but NOT the specifically linked content. And The Whelk, after months of almost-always-above-average posts is falling into the "I can't go more than a few days without posting SOMETHING" trap. And I've seen more GOOD single-link-You-Tubes than usual lately - but, again, NOT the one in THAT post.

We all have off days. I'm sure that some Generally-High-Quality posters have looked back on specific posts and wished they'd just been deleted. For myself, I've had several posts I wish would fall into a memory hole, most recently my "shotgun blast using shells reloaded with shredded dildos and breast implants instead of buckshot".

Calling out multiple examples of bad trends in posting is not a bad thing to do... but in this specific case, crunchland's criticism is a little soggy.

Note: Everyone needs a hug. But many of us also need to get laid.
posted by oneswellfoop at 8:31 PM on July 20, 2010


Clearly I'm in the minority. Forget I said anything.

Yeah, like that's how it works around here.
posted by cjorgensen at 8:32 PM on July 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm beginning to think eyeballkid has a point.

Cortex has deleted meatier posts than some of the ones I linked to on the top. I was trying for a pep talk, and instead spawned a knee-jerk snarkfest, filled with the worst sort of post history mining, and jackassery. It's clear you guys are satisfied with weak sauce.

There was a time, I remember it, when the mention of a best post contest would inspire people to try and find great stuff to share. All I've managed to do is get some of you guys to defend a Big Mac over the possibility of kobe beef.
posted by crunchland at 8:35 PM on July 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


uh, .kobayashi., I don't know how to tell you this but the front page has ALWAYS been blue.

That's why my boredom alarm system is based on color saturation, literal greyness vs. full hi-def color. When the skin tones on the cast of Jersey Shore don't look any less natural than anybody else, then it's time to panic.
posted by oneswellfoop at 8:36 PM on July 20, 2010


Oh yeah, I mean, I'm totally with crutchland on the shitty posts front, I just wanted to make teh funney.

But you all know (avid followers of my posting history that you are) how whenever I complain about crummy posts, I get shot down.

I think it'd be fun if we had a "bad post" day (April 1st?). One where we make the front page look a facebook news feed, with nothing but ooooold links, crappy poorly-researched sensationalist blog posts (Obama Hitler's Secret Grandson?), and crappy music videos. Because every time I look at fb, I *pine* for new mefi content to distract me from the inanity.
posted by Eideteker at 8:38 PM on July 20, 2010


oneswellfoop: And my level of interest has been fairly constant throughout that time. See? The system works.
posted by .kobayashi. at 8:38 PM on July 20, 2010


Well, at least no one has put out the lazy yet true canard of "flag it and move on."

FTFY (also a lazy yet often true canard).
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 8:40 PM on July 20, 2010


I also offer the theory that consistently massively awesome posting of filthy light thief
(1) makes everything else look bad by comparison
(2) encourages a some people to attempt similarly awesome posts, but prompts others to say "well, I'll never be THAT good, so I'll just throw some stuff against the wall"

And let's face it, most of us know the thief will sweep the first three places in any best post contest.
posted by oneswellfoop at 8:42 PM on July 20, 2010


"It's clear you guys are satisfied with weak sauce."

Oh man, crunkland has thrown DOWN. I totally pictured him saying that in Japanese, with hard-to-read, poorly-translated subtitles. "Join me or die! Can you do no less?" Also, he's standing on a cliff near a waterfall, and his gi is fluttering in the wind. It is the Edo period.
posted by Eideteker at 8:43 PM on July 20, 2010 [42 favorites]


It feels to me lately that Metafilter has become a place for everyone to display their biases. We have a thread about iPhones, so we get the tired Apple vs. non-Apple flamewar. We have a thread about Mormons in business, so we get a bunch of people talking generically about Mormonism instead of the linked article. These lazy single link posts are people just creating discussion forums for their pet topics.

The Iron Law of Parochialism -- The longer an internet community persists the more homogeneous it becomes. The stale repetitive arguments are not a sign of difference but a profound similarity among members of the site. Those that do not care about the things you care about have left.
posted by TwelveTwo at 8:44 PM on July 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Pep talks don't usually hinge on this-isn't-a-callout callouts and vocal disappointment, crunchland.
posted by griphus at 8:44 PM on July 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


I was trying for a pep talk, and instead spawned a knee-jerk snarkfest, filled with the worst sort of post history mining, and jackassery. It's clear you guys are satisfied with weak sauce.

OR

Maybe your opinion about what kinds of posts are good isn't the only one that has merit. You want posts that more closely resemble the kind of posts you yourself like? Then go make them. Telling people their taste sucks isn't going to get you more of the kind of posts that you like, genius.
posted by 23skidoo at 8:45 PM on July 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think it'd be fun if we had a "bad post" day (April 1st?).

I love this idea.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:47 PM on July 20, 2010


> Anyone know what eyeballkid's point is? since as far as I can tell he hasn't made one in this thread.
posted by cjorgensen at 8:49 PM on July 20, 2010


ebk is famous for saying, "I hate you, Awl."
posted by Eideteker at 8:51 PM on July 20, 2010


It's clear you guys are satisfied with weak sauce.

One's window is another's mud, I guess.

Gosh, it's hard to know where to start when responding in earnest to this callout, crunchland. I see where you're coming from (I think, I'm guessing, etc.) and I too feel that the standard for MeFi posts should be sky high. The Best of the Internet, even if it's not an official thing, is what the front page of MeFi oughta be striving for. But. But. But. There's all sorts of buts that follow that line of thought. [LOL BUTS] People have different ideas of what the best is; there's no way to get everyone on the same page, even if we're all reading the same page; in the end all one can do is embody one's idea of what the front page should show.

As to the reaction you got in this thread, all I can think of is that the combo callout/callfor isn't the way to go about it—especially if the latter is what you were really after. A call for raising the standard by having another Best Post Contest is a great idea, but easily disregarded in favor of picking apart the callout part of your post. Dollars to head-sized donuts you'd have one of those awesomely rare 100+favorite MeTas if you'd just said 'Hey, how about another Best Post Contest?' Boom, problem addressed. Without all that 'I'm not saying... but I'm sayin' crap.
posted by carsonb at 8:53 PM on July 20, 2010 [3 favorites]


"If you do not like a post on MetaFilter, your options are ignore it, FIAMO, or contact the mods. Coming in here with your "try harder" and "we can do better" when you admittedly make these same kinds of "substandard" posts yourself is weak and hypocritical. I'm generally a fan of your, crunchland, but on this issue, you are Wrong on Posts, Wrong for MetaFilter."

Your other option is to post a Metatalk thread, reminding everyone that we're at least nominally a self-policing community, and asking people to do better.

Which we can.

The links have been thin lately, with too much emphasis on the idea of provoking a "discussion," and not enough emphasis on hitting high quality posts.

And the formalist arguments that a single link to youtube can be great are missing the point here—they can be. But that's rarer than them being fluff crap.

"Well, man," my imagined version of you retorts, "maybe some of us just like fluff crap."

Sure, fine. People like Lindsey Lohan news too. But too much sugar gives diarrhea, and the front page has been full of sugar lately.

Conclusion? This is the right place to have this discussion, this discussion is necessary every so often, and declaring it wrong for Metafilter is bullshit.
posted by klangklangston at 9:04 PM on July 20, 2010 [26 favorites]


'Hey, how about another Best Post Contest?' Boom, problem addressed.

I like this idea.

I'm not sure if I actively dislike the other posts as much [weak as some of them were, they're not indicative that the site as a whole is "satisfied with weak sauce" to my read] but I'd love to see more posts where people really looked into a subject instead of "oh hey this is funny"

Super big deal? Not really. I know for a lot of people MeFi is the place they look for stuff like that and/or news and/or iphone headlines. So, it's a lot of thigns to a lot of people. But I do think it may be time for another context. Maybe with a word/link limit, or weight classes.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:04 PM on July 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


I liked the article, it was a strange bit of writing and a slice of life.
posted by The Whelk at 9:08 PM on July 20, 2010


I didn't get that impression from the way you made your post.
posted by crunchland at 9:10 PM on July 20, 2010


It looks like my planned FPP (SLYT of a cute cat) is not going to fly. I'd better get back to finding links for my 'songs about hookers and blow from the 1920s' blog post. I spent ages looking at cute cats on youtube as well :(
posted by shinybaum at 9:16 PM on July 20, 2010


I agree w/crunchland. Posts of late have included a lot of newsfilter, pepsi blue, and plain old junk.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:22 PM on July 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


Seriously, y'all are making me terrified to ever post anything on the blue - ever.
posted by patheral at 9:33 PM on July 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


I sometimes wonder about those big collections like the google magazine stash and textfiles.com. The whole thing has been linked to "in agregate", usually, but also often in particular (just one article from The Whelk here, or someone else here). One could also do more of a curation work, and link to, say, a lot of ANSI stuff on textfiles.com. How do we feel about these things?
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 9:34 PM on July 20, 2010


I gotta agree with the sentiment of trying to raise the bar ... that's never a bad thing to do. Plus, I agree with klangston's points. I think the flag it move on thing has made us lazy - we used to do more quality self-policing here in metatalk and now we yell at people if they if they have the temerity to talk about post quality.

crunch, guy, I think you upstaged your post bit by pointing to specific posts -- although you'd probly have been pilloried if you left it vague -- but I think the contest is a great idea.
posted by madamjujujive at 9:35 PM on July 20, 2010 [3 favorites]


Wait, Best of the Web? Oh man, I thought it was Breast of the web. I was wondering why all y'all were being so high-falutin'.

OR

Best of the web? That's $20 SAIT. For $5 you get a hand job with bacon grease, along with the recipe. Sorry!
posted by not_on_display at 9:36 PM on July 20, 2010


I was trying for a pep talk, and instead spawned a knee-jerk snarkfest, filled with the worst sort of post history mining, and jackassery.

DID YOU JUST CALL US JACKASSES FOR NOT AGREEING WITH YOU?
posted by zarq at 9:44 PM on July 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


On a serious note, I have no problem with holding ourselves to high standards. At the same time, I haven't felt that the front page was any order of magnitude different from usual: some stuff I dig, some stuff I don't. Same as it ever was?

Anyway, I genuinely don't remember whether the previous contests coincided with a spike in quality. And while I'm more of a believer "be the change you want to see in the blue" (occasionally effectively, occasionally not, often silently) than anything else, I see no downside to running a contest.
posted by .kobayashi. at 9:47 PM on July 20, 2010


I spent ages looking at cute cats on youtube as well :(

That's its own reward.
posted by Jpfed at 9:48 PM on July 20, 2010


I stand by my post. It is funny and worth sharing. That is all.
posted by lazaruslong at 9:49 PM on July 20, 2010


Wait, he was saying jackass like it was a bad thing?
posted by cjorgensen at 9:58 PM on July 20, 2010


Seriously, y'all are making me terrified to ever post anything on the blue - ever.

Sincerely? Don't be. If it gets deleted... so what? If people snark... who cares? If it spawns an epic MeTa thread... shit happens. [the mods may be unhappy about the latter.] You make a post: it lives or it dies. It gets a thousand favorites, it gets none. And in 24 hours, it gets swept off the front page. In a week, it will be forgotten, and you're on to your next post.

I have 134 posts to date. Some flopped. Some didn't. Some *really* flopped. Some derailed, and sometimes I was the idiot doing the derailing. Some took me days or weeks to compile. Others took me a couple of minutes.

But I bet you 99% of MeFites couldn't associate *any* of them with my user name.

Life's too short. Take what enjoyment you can out of posting! But do yourself a favor: don't turn it into a monumental undertaking.
posted by zarq at 10:02 PM on July 20, 2010 [6 favorites]


Can I just say something? My silly little FPP to a website I literally figuratively stumbled on and then posted pretty much right away has a ridiculous number of favorites right now. Proving that the people of MetaFilter's tastes are all over the place. They're capricious, and just as willing to reward something they find useful or entertaining as they are to reward a well thought out FPP that took several days to prepare.
posted by Deathalicious at 10:03 PM on July 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Irisclara and I discussed the seeming increase in people complaining about single link posts just the other day. I was of the opinion that an occasional single link post was okay in much the same way that a comic book might have a little story tucked in between two much longer stories. Irisclara said that she viewed the single links as things that could just as well have been posted on Fark or Boing Boing. Gotta admit she had a good point. I know that I like visiting this site because of the quality of the posts. Still, sometimes you see something cool and you just get this strong urge to share it with your fellow Metafiltarians, not stopping to think whether or not it's appropriately fleshed out with further contextual links. And another thing: if you don't like it, just skip it; someone else may like it, so why be a buzzkill? If you must, just flag it and let the mods decide.
posted by frodisaur at 10:08 PM on July 20, 2010


zarq: But I bet you 99% of MeFites couldn't associate *any* of them with my user name.

Didn't you do that post a couple days ago about those odd road signs & other weird public art in Amarillo? That was a fantastic post.
posted by .kobayashi. at 10:09 PM on July 20, 2010


But I do think it may be time for another context contest. Maybe with a word/link limit, or weight classes.

FTFY :)

(It's also worth noting that last time we had a "best post" contest, languagehat won a Golden Donut with a post that was a single link to a Geocities-style page with the story of a WWI German warship & its swashbuckling captain - single link goodness at its best!)
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:33 PM on July 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oddly enough when I got home tonight and refreshed the ol' Blue, I sort of muttered to myself how July 20th had a variety of pretty good-looking FPPs. Some clunkers too, but meh, at least no one fucking died.

I was trying for a pep talk

Holy crap, for both your sake and the sake of some imaginary kids out there, I hope you never coach a children's sport team.

Also, I am opposed to posting competitions as I don't know how well such a thing would scale these days, and plus I never find anything good during them.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:46 PM on July 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Whether that's healthy democratization, the consequence of deprecating 'best of the web', ...
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken


Wait, we deprecated "best of the web"? When was this? And what replaces it? "Exists on the web"?
posted by knave at 10:57 PM on July 20, 2010


I would like evidence that posts have gotten worse or lazier over time.
posted by maxwelton at 10:57 PM on July 20, 2010


Wait, we deprecated "best of the web"? When was this?

The "best of the web" is a fool's gold; nowhere near as good as it's claimed to be.

(will that do?)
posted by UbuRoivas at 11:17 PM on July 20, 2010


Wasn't the new spec <meme of="the web">?
posted by carsonb at 11:18 PM on July 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Maybe with a word/link limit, or weight classes.

Just to show I ain't skairt of losing again, I'll consider the soul-crushing-job Strawweight Division this year, in the confused-but-not-yet-senile age bracket. [This consideration may be withdrawn at any time for any reason, including the entry by anyone else in the same categories]
posted by Tuesday After Lunch at 11:19 PM on July 20, 2010


I would like evidence that posts have gotten worse or lazier over time.

1. http://www.metafilter.com/activity/7721/posts/mefi/
posted by carsonb at 11:23 PM on July 20, 2010 [1 favorite]



posted by crunchland at 11:29 PM on July 20, 2010


I support a Best of the Web Contest and propose that it should run for the entire month of August, 2010.

The winner should be awarded a pony, or failing that, perhaps an iPod Touch as I seem to remember one of those was involved the last time we did one of these.
posted by killdevil at 11:52 PM on July 20, 2010


I wish we could stop with the SLYT designation too. I have my inline player turned on, and I can tell it is a single link, and a video. It just seems redundant, annoying, and it clutters up the front page.
posted by puny human at 12:11 AM on July 21, 2010


The last Best Post Contest got me a bannin', so I would prefer we didn't.
posted by Meatbomb at 12:32 AM on July 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


I think we should have a "Best Post on a Topic Metafilter Does Horribly" contest.

Day 1: To Protect and Serve!
Day 2: Palesfine!
Day 3: iFPP!
Day 4: There's no "I" in Christian!

I can't decide if the post with the most or the fewest flameouts wins.
posted by maxwelton at 1:44 AM on July 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


Maybe we could be allowed to repost classic posts as entertainment and examples. Choose a favorite pre-20?? post (only your own? or allow us to repost other people's posts?), update the links where needed, add a note and link about it being a repost, but otherwise leave it just the way it was written X years ago. Let the kids enjoy what the old fogies enjoyed the first time around.

And if we can't find enough fantastic examples to repost, maybe there never was a Golden Age, gramps.
posted by pracowity at 1:48 AM on July 21, 2010 [7 favorites]


Pracowity's idea is EXCELLENT. This is what we're going to do.
posted by Meatbomb at 1:53 AM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'd love a chance to update my old Cartoon Network monster. YouTube rot is an ugly, ugly thing.

Of course, I've had a similarly epic post that I've been procrastinating on the same way I did with that one, so maybe a proper contest would likewise kick my ass in gear.
posted by Rhaomi at 2:03 AM on July 21, 2010


There are only two ways to "improve" the front page:
Better Posts
which means self editing which on the whole we are not good at as all those links are "wonderful" and "special".
More Deletions
which means an awful lot of noise and whining in here.
Is it time for Metafilter editors? Which is in itself problematic. Striving for higher quality is never a bad thing. At least the competitions made people try a little harder.
posted by adamvasco at 2:09 AM on July 21, 2010


Rhaomi, I've noticed the same rot on news sites, even high-profile ones such as msnbc.com. Go to a blog and click a news link that is even as little as 2 weeks old, and you'll occasionally get a 404. It's a lot of work to ensure URLs have long, healthy lives, and I bet most people never give it a second thought.
posted by knave at 2:10 AM on July 21, 2010


maybe there never was a Golden Age, gramps. No, there never was a golden age. There have always been single link vuvuzela - type posts. In the early days of the site, people got away with a lot more bs. (I mean, cat-scan.com? Come on.) It was definitely a mistake to single out those three posts like I did, except that they were all posted on the front page within the last few hours when I posted this. They weren't callouts, they were examples. Now that we're through with the dipping of my hand in the metatalk acid --- we are through, aren't we? --- I think any variations on the original contest can't be bad. And I don't even think we need to make the prizes expensive like Matt did a few years ago. I think maybe the temporary return of the Stan Chin star for the winner might be enough.
posted by crunchland at 3:56 AM on July 21, 2010


I'd suggest handling your golden age posts here on metatalk as comments inside threads. We could for example have a "classic youtube video thread" here. People could post their old favorite youtube videos, adding descriptive text to help minimize double posting, and updating the url.
posted by jeffburdges at 4:18 AM on July 21, 2010


Now that we're through with the dipping of my hand in the metatalk acid

I just had a flashback to a movie I saw at the drive-in a long time ago.
posted by pracowity at 4:29 AM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Now that we're through with the dipping of my hand in the metatalk acid

OH . MY. GOD. IT'S MEEEEEETTTTTTTAAAAA!
posted by The Whelk at 4:42 AM on July 21, 2010


crunch, guy, I think you upstaged your post bit by pointing to specific posts

No, he upstaged his post by specifically calling out three posts, then making sure on the front page that folks who didn't bother to click through knew exactly which three users had made those posts, then topping it off with "I don't mean to specifically call out" those three users.

You can call that a lot of things, but "raising the bar" isn't one of them.
posted by mediareport at 4:50 AM on July 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


I like the idea of a contest. I like the idea of a one-day contest better than a one-month contest. Concentrated distilled MetaFilter goodness!
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 5:04 AM on July 21, 2010


And now, time for a classic youtube video. This is one of my old favourite youtube videos, by David Bowie, and it's dedicated especially to crunchland and jeffburdges. Sit, people, sit - you're listening to Radio Ubu.
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:08 AM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Maybe it's time we did another best post contest

Maybe it's time we did or even made it an annual event, no matter if Matt offers prizes or not. It doesn't matter if some people aren't interested in a user started "Best Post" contest, what matters is that enough people are interested in doing it themselves.

So, who's in?
posted by new brand day at 5:20 AM on July 21, 2010


Metafilter: it's inbred community crap
posted by sgt.serenity at 5:40 AM on July 21, 2010


It's pretty crazy to argue that it matters how crunchland brought up an issue in MeTa, since everyone gets attacked for posting in MeTa. In particular, anyone who suggests that posts aren't good enough will get told to "post better one then" and/or "ignore the ones you don't like".

I feel like we need a MetaMetaTalk to discuss how disfunctional MetaTalk has become for its goals.

I sometimes wonder about those big collections like the google magazine stash and textfiles.com.

Well, the other day someone linked to the Big Picture and it was deleted because it wasn't that special and there have been plenty of links to that before.
posted by smackfu at 5:41 AM on July 21, 2010 [2 favorites]




I sometimes wonder about those big collections like the google magazine stash and textfiles.com. The whole thing has been linked to "in agregate", usually, but also often in particular (just one article from The Whelk here, or someone else here). One could also do more of a curation work, and link to, say, a lot of ANSI stuff on textfiles.com. How do we feel about these things?


This is a good idea. I found the So You're Going To Fly via ...Metachat? I think? And I had in my bookmarks as "Hey this is interesting I bet other people would be interested in it to." But It did get me thinking about all the gems in these vast archives. Curating them around a theme or general interest would be a massive, and very worthwhile undertaking.
posted by The Whelk at 5:46 AM on July 21, 2010


So, who's in?

That question is less important than establishing appropriate branding.

Can I suggest:

- Bestember: best post month.
- Octoper: posts about cephalopods.
- Noobember: $5 noobs from Nov 94 posting.
- Desimber: All-India related posts only.
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:47 AM on July 21, 2010 [4 favorites]


There was a time, I remember it, when the mention of a best post contest would inspire people to try and find great stuff to share. All I've managed to do is get some of you guys to defend a Big Mac over the possibility of kobe beef.

A best post contest would be peachy! That said, though, I kind of like Big Macs okay, and generally don't spend a gigantic chunk of disposable income on Kobe beef. I would guess that that's the case with most people, actually. I really don't see anything wrong with single-link posts about something slightly silly. I enjoy the mixture of dense, link-heavy Matters Of Import scattered throughout a bunch of Greenscreen Grandmas.
posted by Greg Nog at 5:48 AM on July 21, 2010


94 = 04
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:48 AM on July 21, 2010


Noghestmas - A week of posts just for Greg_Nog

I have a hidden agenda here
posted by The Whelk at 5:57 AM on July 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


MetaFilter of late doesn't seem to be about the links. It appears to be about how many people one can get to favourite pithy sayings and improve one's "rankings" in the datadumps that show how much more one participates than the others. Call outs are like bad press. No such thing if all you are hoping to do is get your name mentioned.
posted by terrapin at 5:58 AM on July 21, 2010 [5 favorites]


I do see a lot of short form stuff pass by on the blue that I just saw on TDW or on Twitter or whatever. And I see some short form stuff that I haven't seen before that I wouldn't see otherwise. I think this is okay; I have an RSS reader and I know how to not read something I'm not interested in. I'm not disappointed in the blue at all as it stands now with regard to short posts.

I also see a lot of really fucking awesome stuff here that I don't see anywhere else, or that started somewhere else but got masterfully fleshed out by someone who cares. In this, I'm really pleased with the blue as it stands now.

So I guess my point is this: MetaFilter is doing what it needs to, as far as I'm concerned. The moderating, the FIAMO, the community involvement -- this stuff is working.

As an infovore, I consider the blue to be a buffet. And every successful buffet has meat and potatoes as well as jalapeno poppers, vegetables, a salad bar, and a dessert bar with tasty nothings. This is what I find here, and I don't see a problem.

Except that I keep loading up my goddamn plate and not getting enough work done.
posted by seanmpuckett at 5:58 AM on July 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


I think we might also need a "best of meh" day too.
posted by ob at 6:05 AM on July 21, 2010


"I wish we could stop with the SLYT designation too. I have my inline player turned on, and I can tell it is a single link, and a video. It just seems redundant, annoying, and it clutters up the front page."

Some of us are frequent mobile browsers. I still haven't found a mobile interface that allows the equivalent of a "mouseover" showing you the link destination before you tap, so I appreciate as much indication as possible. Sorry it annoys you.
posted by Eideteker at 6:06 AM on July 21, 2010


It's pretty crazy to argue that it matters how crunchland brought up an issue in MeTa

Wow, really? So suggesting crunchland might possibly have found a way to suggest it was time for another Best Post contest to remind folks about what MeFi's like when it's *really, really* good without directly embarrassing three long-term users who've contributed immensely to the site over the years because his taste in mindless entertainment is different than theirs is crazy?

Um, no. It *definitely* matters how you bring up an issue in MeTa; it always has. My point is crunchland should have known enough to send his callouts to the specific users he felt were falling down on the job via MeMail ("hey guys hope you don't mind but I've noticed your last posts aren't quite up to your usual awesome level and I'd love to see the site keep the bar high so just wanted to encourage you to raise it a bit, thanks!" or something), and kept his MeTa post free of insults (and yes, this was a public insult if it was anything).

Really. crunchland of all folks should have framed this better.
posted by mediareport at 6:29 AM on July 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


I wish we could stop with the SLYT designation too. I have my inline player turned on...

It was made an option specifically so you could leave it off, if you'd like. I don't like my front page with anything but text on it. Plus, thanks to my ca. 2003 work computer, I don't have Flash and accidentally pulling up YouTube.com grinds everything to a halt until the site loads and I click away about five different "INSTALL PLUGIN OR DIE" alerts. So, the SLYT designation is as useful for me as the NSFW one.
posted by griphus at 6:30 AM on July 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


You did see that I admitted that I framed this post wrong. What did I do to you to make you keep grinding this axe? (Oh, and you'll have to rip the "come to me to learn how to make posts" crown from my cold dead hands.)
posted by crunchland at 6:32 AM on July 21, 2010


An apology would be nice.
posted by mediareport at 6:45 AM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Okay, so I was looking through the "Best Of '06" posts to find an interesting one to use as an example and found this one only to realize it was written by you, crunchland. Now, I find that post really, really interesting because I have a passing interest in both unorthodox use of video game engines, art preservation and architecture. Someone who doesn't -- and we have plenty of people who voice their uninterest in all three -- would think it is little more interesting than a SLYT about the latest hilarious romantic comedy trailer recut to be a horror movie or whatnot. Certainly, Frank Lloyd Wright has done more to earn respect than the latter, but I hope you see my point.
posted by griphus at 6:47 AM on July 21, 2010


> I was trying for a pep talk, and instead spawned a knee-jerk snarkfest, filled with the worst sort of post history mining, and jackassery.

Maybe you shouldn't have sounded like such a jackass, then. There is nothing wrong with a single youtube video, and when you denounce such things en masse, you sound like a clueless grandpa yelling about his lawn. As a grandpa myself, I wish you'd relax a bit.
posted by languagehat at 7:30 AM on July 21, 2010


Regardless of the tone of this post, I think a "best post" contest sounds awesome. I'm lubing up the YouTube as we speak*

*That's a saying, right?
posted by Think_Long at 7:41 AM on July 21, 2010


have known enough to send his callouts to the specific users he felt were falling down on the job via MeMail

Wow, that would really creep me out.
posted by smackfu at 7:52 AM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


And it just seems like a good way to get involved in one-on-one flamewars in MeMail. People don't like to be told their posts suck.
posted by smackfu at 7:54 AM on July 21, 2010


> And it just seems like a good way to get involved in one-on-one flamewars in MeMail. People don't like to be told their posts suck.

Yeah, that sounds like a not-so-good idea. If someone doesn't like a post and really just can't hold back their commentary, they can mention it in the post in a way that isn't thread crapping or mindless snark, but addresses the content of the post and explains in a helpful way why they think the post is substandard. And really, one should only do that if they actually are interested in the subject matter of the post, not simply because they're just looking at the post to grade it.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:58 AM on July 21, 2010


I dislike all three of the threads in the OP, but I don't mind them. I didn't respond to them and pretty much just ignored their existance. It's not like someone's about to post a great thread, sees that there's a SLYT on the frontpage and is like "Welp... looks like the inn's all full!" and trundles off into the barrens of the internet.

Sometimes I like single link stuff, sometimes I don't. I don't think there should be a concerted effort to weed it out.

I wouldn't say no to a best post contest though...
posted by codacorolla at 8:14 AM on July 21, 2010


I don't agree that complaints about users' public behavior should be sent to private email. If your complaint rises to the level where it's appropriate for public airing, then make it publicly. If not, then swallow it.
posted by cribcage at 8:18 AM on July 21, 2010


Burhanistan knows what he's talking about. Recently I made a post about a video game projected on a wall, and Burhanistan mentioned that he hoped more would happen than a seven-minute walk. It's a fair and honest view; I kinda felt the same way, actually, but thought MeFi would appreciate some of the technical wonk merits enough to forgive the length. No harm, no foul for an honest critique.

pracowity's reposting idea has come up before, and it still sounds super to me. One way to implement it might be through the Contact form. If you see an old post that looks ripe for reposting with updated links, Contact the mods and see if they'll update the links? Maybe make an editorial remark indicating that the post has been updated and reopened for comments?
posted by cgc373 at 8:20 AM on July 21, 2010


>There is nothing wrong with a single youtube video

I think there is, despite site policies and norms. And since I'm a part of this site, it's not as easy as "there's nothing wrong." There's something (you may not care about) that's wrong: This barely consequential dude, at least, thinks it's weak sauce.

But I'm sure the piling-on and browbeating is a good time, so carry on.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 8:26 AM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh god no we won't update old links or re-open old threads. That said, if there's something that has a half-assed post made about it over five years ago and something new has happened, making a newer updated post is not bad at all, not even really against the rules. We don't like to go on record as saying "oh sure, repost old links" because just doing that absent any new context isn't really that great and not sort of what people were talking about above.

I'm sort of a natural categorizer, to a fault usually, and I see a lot of different types of posts that all have their place here.

- something cool someone happened across on the web, random one-offs
- link dump essay posts on a topic
- something's in the tech news
- something's in the political/hot topic news
- obits
- ubernerdery, flash games, high geek stuff
- fluffy skunk eating a banana sorts of video stuff
- eye candy arty stuff
- history/retro stuff
- new stuff by People MeFi Loves

I'm sure there are a lot more groupings but that's what I was thinking about first. And all of these are fine, really, btu when the ratio gets screwed up, people are sensitive to it. So the Phone Wars stuff is too much tech news on a site that's not proimarily for tech news. And for some people, any variance from "cool stuff you found on the web" is sort of dilutionary and annoying. I personally would love a whole lot less newsy "assholes treat someone badly" articles because I find them tiresome and the threads predictable. But some people like them. And the site isn't about me. And, importantly, I don't think I'm right and other people are wrong, for the most part.

I think it's tough to differentiate "I don't like this" from "this is bad" from "you guys are assholes for liking this" but I think that's realy part of the problem here. And the Best Post contests are really good at sort of highlighting what we [whoever is judging, I don't even remember how it worked] think is good without also making really negative assessments of other people's tastes. So I don't mean to be "hey you're all winners!" too much, but more to say "hey we're stuck with each other!" so it's probably a good idea to make some sort of peace with the type of thign you don't like while also trying to make better posts about whatever types of posts you do like.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:33 AM on July 21, 2010 [6 favorites]


and what did you mean by "gay up the front page"?

Really? Christ, what an asshole!
posted by ericb at 8:38 AM on July 21, 2010


somebody's gotta say it
MetaFilter: Hey we're stuck with each other!
posted by oneswellfoop at 8:40 AM on July 21, 2010


Ironically the best posts contests tend to be dominated by link-fest "manufactured" GYOB posts which I don't really care for.
posted by smackfu at 8:41 AM on July 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


> and what did you mean by "gay up the front page"?

Really? Christ, what an asshole!


I didn't read crunchland's comment as homophobia. He was remarking on what he saw as a pattern or grouping of similar themed posts, and doing so in the same off-key way that he worded this post. The fact that it was about gay or male subject matter was kind of ancillary.

Still, I don't know why he has such a bug up his ass for the perceived quality of this site. For all his bitching and moaning the site has gone on as it goes, with a whole spectrum of quality of posts and comments. It's really tiresome and there is zero benefit in approaching things like that. We're not shareholders in a corporation here; we're content generating users. But, in his defense and reading charitably, that silly "gay up" comment wasn't mean spirited or homophobic--it was more of the same grumpiness about perceived quality or variety.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:43 AM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


I would like evidence that posts have gotten worse or lazier over time.

I crunched the numbers, and I'm afraid that, much my like my hips, this graph don't lie.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:54 AM on July 21, 2010 [8 favorites]


- fluffy skunk eating a banana sorts of video stuff

It was a fretful porpentine, actually.
posted by Greg Nog at 8:56 AM on July 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


I didn't read crunchland's comment as homophobia.

The way I read his comment is that he thinks there have been too many FPPs involving LGBT topics. If not homphobic, there are some who likely consider the comment/callout insulting.
posted by ericb at 9:32 AM on July 21, 2010


His full comment:
"I'm sensing a concerted effort by several users of the site to gay up the front page of Metafilter. Not that there's a problem with that, just that we're wise to your plans and schemes, boys."
I personally take offense to those statements -- and not in any funny sort of way.
posted by ericb at 9:34 AM on July 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


And, FWIW, I lurked this place on and off for about 2 years before I became a paid member, and I think it's maintained the same quality level that led me to join originally.
posted by codacorolla at 9:35 AM on July 21, 2010


I'm beginning to think eyeballkid has a point.

Cortex has deleted meatier posts than some of the ones I linked to on the top. I was trying for a pep talk, and instead spawned a knee-jerk snarkfest, filled with the worst sort of post history mining, and jackassery. It's clear you guys are satisfied with weak sauce.

There was a time, I remember it, when the mention of a best post contest would inspire people to try and find great stuff to share. All I've managed to do is get some of you guys to defend a Big Mac over the possibility of kobe beef.


Do you like getting pep talks? Do you yearn for the day that you're humming along, doing your thing, and someone sits you down to tell you that you're lazy and that some of your interests are stupid, by the way?

Maybe your next Very High Quality FPP can be a nicely-constructed post about how to inspire people to work harder in a positive way.
posted by desuetude at 9:37 AM on July 21, 2010 [5 favorites]


> I personally take offense to those statements -- and not in any funny sort of way.

It certainly failed at humor, but I think it might be worthwhile to give him a pass on being offensive. He would probably make a similar comment if there were several posts about satellites or something. It's pointless and boorish, certainly, but it comes from a lack of timing and sensitivity, rather than anything more nefarious.

But, crunchland can supposedly speak for himself here, and hasn't addressed this yet. It might be best if he did...
posted by Burhanistan at 9:42 AM on July 21, 2010


People Who Get a Pass for Borderline Offensive Jokes:
1. ColdChef.
2. Astro Zombie.
3. No one else.
4. Certainly not crunchland.
posted by yhbc at 9:43 AM on July 21, 2010


> People Who Get a Pass for Borderline Offensive Jokes:
1. ColdChef.
2. Astro Zombie.


Eh, those two have been sliced and diced here for their remarks like anyone else.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:45 AM on July 21, 2010


I didn't read crunchland's comment as homophobia. He was remarking on what he saw as a pattern or grouping of similar themed posts, and doing so in the same off-key way that he worded this post. The fact that it was about gay or male subject matter was kind of ancillary.

It's not in my top 10 of most homophobic things I've seen on the blue, and I think this was mostly just a tone-deaf snarky joke.

But y'know, little pesky tiresome snipes like this start to add up in one's head, especially when it's personally relevant. Before you know it, you're having a bad day, you see something like this that applies to you, and you find yourself tetchy and defensive. Avoiding contributing to the general omnipresent white noise of homophobia, religious intolerance, sexism, etc. is not a bad idea.
posted by desuetude at 9:46 AM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


People Who Get a Pass for Borderline Offensive Jokes (cont.):
  1. Joe Beese
  2. Brandon Blatcher
  3. BitterOldPunk
  4. etc.
I'd rather see people try for humor and fail than be afraid of being thrown in the stocks because they offended someone. If you want safe humor I suggest firing up reruns of You Can't Do That on Television. That slime joke never gets old!
posted by cjorgensen at 9:54 AM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


wow i like all of these posts... I guess I'm the problem!

But if we're doing a best post contest in august i'll start setting the lines as soon as I find out who the judges are.

Even without that info i'll start the betting at:

Greg Nog -100
Rhaomi -110
Empath -75
Whelk even-money
Crunchland +500
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:57 AM on July 21, 2010


I don't mean to specifically call out The Whelk, Lazaruslong, or blue_beetle, but I know we can do better than this.

Classic. Doesn't mean to specifically call out anyone, but feels compelled to name three persons. Doesn't even just link to the posts, but also has to call them out by name.

You did mean to call them out.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:57 AM on July 21, 2010


Cold Chef -200
Astro Zombie -175
Joe Beese +220
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:58 AM on July 21, 2010


Ironmouth +10
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:58 AM on July 21, 2010


I have 44 posts and they're all terrible.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:00 AM on July 21, 2010


MeFi FPP Quality Comparison: One Year Ago. Five Years Ago. Ten Years Ago.

Clearly we have to up our Death By Horsecock game, people! I am willing to do my probably NSFW or taste part, but if we all put our backs into the horsecock, I am sure we will come out on tip.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:00 AM on July 21, 2010


Whoever winning at Says Who -1000
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:00 AM on July 21, 2010


Clearly I'm in the minority. Forget I said anything.

I'm certain you would like that, yes. But it's a little late.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:00 AM on July 21, 2010


Out on top, rather. Dammit.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:00 AM on July 21, 2010


I'm a solid B- poster.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:01 AM on July 21, 2010


You did mean to call them out.

HE IS A LIAR!
posted by smackfu at 10:01 AM on July 21, 2010


Horsecock +410
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:01 AM on July 21, 2010


Ironmouth, I think you're about 8 hours too late to join that particular pile on.
posted by cjorgensen at 10:02 AM on July 21, 2010


> Ironmouth, I think you're about 8 hours too late to join that particular pile on.

Yeah, that's certainly a bug of this site. Someone posts a gaffe, tries to retract or apologize, but then people later can't resist getting their licks in rather than just assume some level of forgiveness. It's not like anyone is drop kicking newborns here.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:05 AM on July 21, 2010


Yeah, no. I'm not going to even address something I wrote regarding a completely different thread, days ago. You have a problem with it, start your own damn metatalk thread. People around here take offense at the drop of a hat, and if you want to start trolling through my posting history to find crap to wound me with, then two can play at that game. On second thought, don't. I'd rather not sink to that level.
posted by crunchland at 10:08 AM on July 21, 2010


I don't meant to specifically single out ericb as being overly sensitive, so I will take the highroad and not specifically single out ericb as being overly sensitive. I also resolutely refuse to specifically call myself out as being handsome and classy.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:13 AM on July 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


There's a post that mentions lion testicles on the front page. I'm not sure where that fits into this conversation, but I just wanted to make sure no one missed it.
posted by cjorgensen at 10:15 AM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Lion Testicles now even money to win best post contest.

-10 if someone creates a sock puppet of that name to repost it.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:21 AM on July 21, 2010


Didn't you do that post a couple days ago about those odd road signs & other weird public art in Amarillo? That was a fantastic post.

Heh. Okay ONE person! :D

Thanks. That's very kind of you. Was a lot of fun to put together!
posted by zarq at 10:24 AM on July 21, 2010


- Bestember: best post month.
- Octoper: posts about cephalopods.
- Noobember: $5 noobs from Nov 94 posting.
- Desimber: All-India related posts only.

January: All things Jan including Jan Brady, Jan Michael Vincent, Jan and Dean
Fibruary: Lies and the lying liars who tell them
March: Dedicated to God of war, post your I/P threads now!
Abrillo: It's brillo pad month as we carry out our spring cleaning
Mayo: Recipe month
Juno: All about big, beautiful women
Jules: In honor of Jules Verne this month will be dedicated to Fantasy and SciFi
Ughist: Post things that disgust you
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 10:25 AM on July 21, 2010 [7 favorites]


6.02 x 1023
posted by Mister_A at 10:27 AM on July 21, 2010


Horsecock +410

Thanks for promoting my band, but we actually go on at 5:00.
posted by SpiffyRob at 10:29 AM on July 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


- fluffy skunk eating a banana sorts of video stuff

Everytime someone disapproves of a post, they should be forced to watch a rabbit eating parsley.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 10:30 AM on July 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


Maybe we could be allowed to repost classic posts as entertainment and examples.

Nah, that's for Retro.MeFi.

You make a post: it lives or it dies. It gets a thousand favorites, it gets none. And in 24 hours, it gets swept off the front page.

Correction: after x posts, your post will be pushed off the page. Currently, there are posts from three days on the front page.

Also, crunchland missed the most recent contest: 2008 contest, winners. The winner was an epic post by Rhaomi that was compiled over months, but the 2nd place was one really good Indian cooking website with a lot of YT videos, and third place was mostly built around a Wikipedia list and songs on YouTube. I'm not knocking any of these, but pointing out that "best" is not classified as ridiculously extensive, but something really interesting that will take more than a glance to enjoy.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:38 AM on July 21, 2010


Correction: after x posts, your post will be pushed off the page. Currently, there are posts from three days on the front page.

Yes, yes. Grant me some poetic license, would ya?
posted by zarq at 10:43 AM on July 21, 2010


Screw you. Metatalk gives no quarter.
posted by crunchland at 10:48 AM on July 21, 2010


*gives a quarter*
posted by cgc373 at 10:50 AM on July 21, 2010


Secret Life of Gravy won. Let's close this puppy up and get back to work.

Or recipes, or cute bunny videos...
posted by marxchivist at 11:24 AM on July 21, 2010


Seriously? Why all the grief for crunchland? I'm a lurker, but check Metafilter every day. I used to READ MetaFilter every day, but skip over way more than I used to in years past. The quality of content overall seems to have dropped, in my humble opinion. I want more Filter in my MetaFilter.
posted by Roger Dodger at 11:25 AM on July 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


*gives another quarter. But to cgc, not crunchland*
posted by rtha at 11:26 AM on July 21, 2010


The quality of content overall seems to have dropped, in my humble opinion. I want more Filter in my MetaFilter.

Then post it maybe? I don't know, it seems that a better way of dealing with the lack-of-quality problem would be to post some quality, rather than scold others for not posting quality and demanding they do so.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:29 AM on July 21, 2010


I think the quality is the same.

There are more FPPs per day and thus more to skip or not like.

Conversely there may be more to like, but I've changed and have less time.
posted by P.o.B. at 11:36 AM on July 21, 2010


don't know, it seems that a better way of dealing with the lack-of-quality problem would be to post some quality, rather than scold others for not posting quality and demanding they do so.

sorry, man, but that's not how it works. Obviously, crunchland has acknowledged that his framing of this thing was poor, but the general idea of improving quality by not posting so much crap is basically right on. Posting a decent fpp isn't necessarily hard, but [awesome fpp material] is a finite quantity, and you don't always have some at hand. Conversely, [fucking stupid shit] is always around and people are too ready to put it on the front page. All solutions to that problem involve both making quality posts to begin with and cutting back on making lower quality posts.
posted by shmegegge at 11:37 AM on July 21, 2010 [5 favorites]


The quality of content overall seems to have dropped, in my humble opinion. I want more Filter in my MetaFilter.

Then post it maybe? I don't know, it seems that a better way of dealing with the lack-of-quality problem would be to post some quality, rather than scold others for not posting quality and demanding they do so.

When your issue is that your sieve seems to be letting too much through, putting more stuff in it isn't a desirable solution.
posted by stefanie at 11:48 AM on July 21, 2010


We've clearly used up the Internet. Maybe Web 3.0 will have some new good stuff.
posted by Babblesort at 12:10 PM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Well that was predictable. Like I said above: "anyone who suggests that posts aren't good enough will get told to 'post better one then' and/or 'ignore the ones you don't like'."
posted by smackfu at 12:13 PM on July 21, 2010


Part of the quality issue is that, with a site with a large readership (and postership) there are many different definitions of "quality" to contend with. I think most of the posts here are great, that's why I keep coming to the site.

I don't like every post, but I tend to err on the side of "what's the harm?" unless it's a double or a real stinker.
posted by Mister_A at 12:25 PM on July 21, 2010


sorry, man, but that's not how it works. Obviously, crunchland has acknowledged that his framing of this thing was poor, but the general idea of improving quality by not posting so much crap is basically right on. Posting a decent fpp isn't necessarily hard, but [awesome fpp material] is a finite quantity, and you don't always have some at hand. Conversely, [fucking stupid shit] is always around and people are too ready to put it on the front page. All solutions to that problem involve both making quality posts to begin with and cutting back on making lower quality posts.

It's still a request that the community conform to arbitrary personal tastes. There are MeFites who dislike link-fest posts (like smackfu) and others who like them (like f@m). Why should one group be favored over another?

I realize the reactionary urge to glorify Metafilter's past posts may be an inseparable part of human nature, but if folks don't like a post, they can ignore it. If they think it breaks the guidelines, they can flag it and move on. What exactly is stopping people from ignoring posts they don't like? If a post is not to someone's liking, what makes them incapable of skipping it? Are MeFites mindless sheep that must be protected lest their sensitive eyes (*gasp*) see a crappy video on Youtube? Oh, the horror.
posted by zarq at 12:25 PM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Well that was predictable. Like I said above: "anyone who suggests that posts aren't good enough will get told to 'post better one then' and/or 'ignore the ones you don't like'."

It's a reasonable response. If they want to change things around here, the best way to do it isn't lecturing people about how their posts suck and gee, it was never like this in the good ol' days.
posted by zarq at 12:27 PM on July 21, 2010


Imported old /b/ meme:
Remember when MetaFilter was good?
MetaFilter was never good.
posted by charred husk at 12:32 PM on July 21, 2010


well there you go, people got to talk a bit and sort of agreed on something. My posts are rubbish apart from the good ones but maybe its more a question of a mix of high brow low brow posts. Anyway its been a good thread.
posted by sgt.serenity at 12:36 PM on July 21, 2010


's still a request that the community conform to arbitrary personal tastes. There are MeFites who dislike link-fest posts (like smackfu) and others who like them (like f@m). Why should one group be favored over another?

it's a fair point. honestly, I tend to think that's a wrong headed way to approach it. Really, link quantity isn't the problem, the way I see it. We've said before, and rightly so, that padding out a link with filler crap doesn't save the post. Conversely, we've also said that sometimes a single crappy link is improved with quality supplemental material (for instance: obit posts).

at the end of the day, we know that not everything can please everybody. But it seems to me that part of the core purpose of the site has been to say that there are things we are okay with posting and things we are not, even if those things in the latter category would make a certain portion of the userbase happy. Outside of the simply awful (stormfront) we also try not to be fark (no "boobies" links, generally speaking). So I don't think it's fair to say "we can't please everybody, so if you don't like something, get over it." Part of what we do here is talk about what we don't like and why and try to figure out the happy medium for self-policing and community standards. I think saying "just skip it if you don't like it" is only useful if someone is really harping on a personal pet peeve of theirs. If someone says "I think we should talk about generally upping the quality of our material" I think it's worth discussing, even if the end of that discussion is "not this time, sad cat."

for me, I agree with crunchland. I think we're posting too much fark-like material. As fun as it was, once upon a time, to just have All Your Base as a post topic and have fun with that, I think the "lol internet meme" thing has gotten old and that we've generally been better than simply being another place that posts the popular meme or whatever. on the other hand, slyt posts - which generally annoy the shit out of me if I let them - are now an accepted thing where they used to be anathema. so I just stay out of those generally, because we discussed it a bunch of times and we all generally like them. But that's the thing: we discussed it.

so... let's have a real discussion. the only people I think are being jerks in this thread are the people who are acting like this is their carte blanche to snark away without adding anything substantive.
posted by shmegegge at 12:57 PM on July 21, 2010 [4 favorites]


I think the "lol internet meme" thing has gotten old and that we've generally been better than simply being another place that posts the popular meme or whatever.

I can understand that, but on the other hand, I don't really get around the internet that much. MeFi and a few other news sites plus my blogroll are pretty much all I got - I rely on this site to keep me abreast of all the neat things that are going on along with the stupid things (see: Sellick + Sandwich + waterfall). So, I don't mind passing over things that I'm not interested in because this way I can at least be aware of them.
posted by Think_Long at 1:14 PM on July 21, 2010


for me, I agree with crunchland. I think we're posting too much fark-like material. As fun as it was, once upon a time, to just have All Your Base as a post topic and have fun with that, I think the "lol internet meme" thing has gotten old and that we've generally been better than simply being another place that posts the popular meme or whatever. on the other hand, slyt posts - which generally annoy the shit out of me if I let them - are now an accepted thing where they used to be anathema. so I just stay out of those generally, because we discussed it a bunch of times and we all generally like them. But that's the thing: we discussed it.

Well, I think that the internet has moved increasingly to more and more content that distills to a single link. Some posts work best as a single link. Sometimes giving more information spoils the content before the viewer even has a chance to watch it.

I like some single link stuff. I liked that ghoul dancing to Celine Dionne... I like Everything is Terrible and Eric Warheim. Some of this stuff doesn't need description (the ghoul), and some stuff works with just a "previously". I know that the other side of that coin is that some people will post stuff that I dislike - reworking stuff into movie trailers for example. I hate that, but I also realize that some people like it.

It's a blessing and a curse to have a diverse user base.

I've been part of communities before where they've said "we're too far away from what we used to be, let's start using heavy handed moderation to improve things." It's never worked. It makes the place into a ghost town, because suddenly people are too scared to post.
posted by codacorolla at 1:25 PM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


How does this post jibe with Crunchland Method Rule #14?
posted by Sys Rq at 1:40 PM on July 21, 2010


Well, I think that the internet has moved increasingly to more and more content that distills to a single link.

which, again, I don't really think it's link quantity that's the problem. I acknowledge, though, that that's often the signifier of "crap post" to a lot of people who WOULD say link quantity is the problem.

I've been part of communities before where they've said "we're too far away from what we used to be, let's start using heavy handed moderation to improve things." It's never worked. It makes the place into a ghost town, because suddenly people are too scared to post.

I would think that here there's a fair amount of room between "moderate so much that people are too scared to post" and "do nothing at all and let the general quality of our posts deteriorate." I mean, we have a certain amount of community involvement in deciding our standards for a reason.
posted by shmegegge at 1:41 PM on July 21, 2010


I would think that here there's a fair amount of room between "moderate so much that people are too scared to post" and "do nothing at all and let the general quality of our posts deteriorate."

There's also "do nothing at all, and watch as the general quality of our posts continues as it always has." Which is to say that I don't agree at all with the two poles you've offered here. Indeed, this hand-wringing about the quality of the front page strikes me as unnecessarily worrisome and wearisome. Some things interest me. Some things don't. Some things are widely considered awesome, some things inspire fewer of us. The sun rises. The sun sets. I had lunch.

Really, jessamyn wrote the wisest thing in this thread when she added "the site isn't about me. And, importantly, I don't think I'm right and other people are wrong, for the most part." Why don't we all try repeating that a few times, with a couple deep exhales for good measure? Once we're done with that, we can return to sharing the stuff we think is worthy, refraining from sharing stuff that doesn't meet our own subjective standards, and everything will be just peachy.
posted by .kobayashi. at 1:51 PM on July 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


well, I would, but I'm right and you're wrong.
posted by shmegegge at 1:52 PM on July 21, 2010


refraining from sharing stuff that doesn't meet our own subjective standards
How does this work? Only about 10% of users read meta. The others carry on thinking thin posts and LOL LOOK AT THIS ITS RILY FUNNY / IMPORTANT are wonderful.
Also Metafilter is not America but that is another problem.
posted by adamvasco at 2:01 PM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


shmegegge:
1. > so... let's have a real discussion.

2. > well, I would, but I'm right and you're wrong.

Okay, now I'm confused as to what you want to see in this thread.

adamvasco: I'll refrain my way, you'll refrain yours, and what emerges is what emerges. I'll bet I won't like everything. I bet you won't either. And I'll bet we dislike different things. On the second point about Metafilter not being America, I couldn't agree more. Was there something in my comment that made you think otherwise?
posted by .kobayashi. at 2:06 PM on July 21, 2010


I don't think saying:

"people are going to complain about people"

....

"Oh, how predictable, I was right."

is going to earn you some kind of Amazing Kreskin title.
posted by P.o.B. at 2:07 PM on July 21, 2010


Okay, now I'm confused as to what you want to see in this thread.

I'm kind of confused too, because the only way I can parse what people are saying is that either the moderation needs to be better or that people need to do better.
I think both of those are bullshit statements. Although, we could say that some people need to be less lazy but I don't think anybody is intentionally making shitty FPPs.
posted by P.o.B. at 2:11 PM on July 21, 2010


Okay, now I'm confused as to what you want to see in this thread.

it was just a joke.
posted by shmegegge at 2:12 PM on July 21, 2010


Quit joking! This is serious stuff. Besides, you're not one of those authorized to make borderline jokes.
posted by cjorgensen at 2:20 PM on July 21, 2010


MetaFilter: Quit joking! This is serious stuff.
posted by not_on_display at 2:24 PM on July 21, 2010


On some good advice I got from someone via email, I've reconsidered my refusal to address the comment I made about "gaying up the front page." And even though I immediately followed the statement with "Not that there's anything wrong with that," I want to make it clear that I wasn't intending to come off as homophobic, though clearly it's open to interpretation.

I realize that a lot of the snark aimed at me in this thread was done for lulz, and I'm fully aware that I've dished out far more than I've received on that front.

I do still completely resent certain people's attempts at discrediting and derailing the thread by taking a statement I made out of context and using it as a weapon against me. Breitbart would be proud of you.

Nevertheless, since it doesn't ever hurt to apologize, I'm sorry to The Whelk, beetle_blue, and Lazuruslong for singling them out when I wrote this thread last night. And if anyone was offended by what I said the other day about gaying up the front page, I'm sorry about that, too.
posted by crunchland at 2:30 PM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


crunchland -- thanks for the apology. Very well taken.
posted by ericb at 2:38 PM on July 21, 2010


Well that was predictable. Like I said above: "anyone who suggests that posts aren't good enough will get told to 'post better one then' and/or 'ignore the ones you don't like'."

And what's wrong with either suggestion? You can lead by example by posting quality. It's a dynamic that works. Scolding and moralizing while offering nothing? Not so much.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:44 PM on July 21, 2010


Post apology, crunchland FPP to-win now selling at +288
MeMail for escrow rates
posted by Potomac Avenue at 2:59 PM on July 21, 2010


now it is time for some side-arm hugs
posted by angrycat at 3:24 PM on July 21, 2010


by taking a statement I made out of context and using it as a weapon against me.

That's not real, you made it up. /Lemon

I linked to your original comment in its entirety. And I asked a question. That's it.

I was trying for a pep talk, and instead spawned a knee-jerk snarkfest, filled with the worst sort of post history mining

"worst sort of post history mining", oh! sounds nefarious, as if several months or even years old comments were posted after considerable effort had been expended to find them. The reality is you posted this MeTa on July 20 and you posted the comment I linked to on July 17. There was no data mining, I came across the your comment two days after it was made so it was fresh in my mind.

Breitbart would be proud of you.

So over-the-top ridiculous that I chuckled.
posted by mlis at 3:51 PM on July 21, 2010


Last-wordism is a terrible disease.
posted by Burhanistan at 3:55 PM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Seriously? You have made something like 18,000 comments on the site, I see your username in my sleep.
posted by mlis at 4:06 PM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Apologizing to the three folks you called out was classy, and really makes a difference, crunchland. Amazing that words can do that. Thanks.

Oh, and just to add a bit of backstory on the "gaying up the front page" thing, it started a week earlier in the July 11 Porn Game thread, in which crunchland challenged the post-worthiness of an interview with a gay porn director early in a blue thread, which led Mayor Curley to suggest that gay MeFites post gay-related things "to remind the squares that there are a lot of gay people here" and crunchland to follow up by wondering again "what was particularly significant about this particular interview that made it postworthy, aside from reminding us squares that there are gay men in the world."

I didn't find that particulary offensive so much as weird (and ignore Mayor Curley as a matter of policy when he's being a goof like that). To his credit (and I mean that), crunchland later thanked the poster for clarifying the nuances he'd missed, but I can easily see how a bunch of queer MeFites might have rolled their eyes at that little exchange and decided independently to post something gay to the front page soon (I was tempted myself). The 3 gay-tagged posts on 3 successive days later that week is what sparked the "gay up the front page" comment.

Of course, looking over all that made me curious, so I checked the number of posts each month this year that used the "gay" tag:

Jan - 14
Feb - 3
Mar - 20
Apr: - none
May: - 11
June: - 6
July: - 10 so far (5 before July 11 and 5 on or after July 11)

Not sure I'm seeing much of a trend there, although it's the simplest possible search so could be missing something. Certainly the daily run of gay-tagged posts in mid-March was longer, which makes me doubt the need for any coordinated effort to post something gay here last week. MeFites seem to find queer content to post often enough. Anyway, just thought is was worth pointing out what seemed to me the origin of the "gay up the front page" derail.
posted by mediareport at 4:12 PM on July 21, 2010


A best post contest is a capital idea and I am looking forward to the many quality posts. Thanks for the backstory and research mediareport.
posted by mlis at 4:16 PM on July 21, 2010


Breitbart would be proud of you.

Good luck with being obnoxious. Hope that works out for you.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:00 PM on July 21, 2010


Certainly the daily run of gay-tagged posts in mid-March was longer

That happens to be the time of the annual Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras. I've made at least a couple of posts about it myself. Is there any possibility that there's a season for Pride marches? Autumn down under, Spring up North - seems like a good time for it, and all the associated publicity & events that can make for fertile FPP material...?
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:13 PM on July 21, 2010


I don't want to specifically single out turgid dahlia as being awesome, it's more a sort of general observation.
posted by turgid dahlia at 5:42 PM on July 21, 2010


man the strangest things happen when you're on a plane.
posted by The Whelk at 5:58 PM on July 21, 2010


yeah, people become total arseholes, for example - reclining their seats into your face while you try to gulp down ersatz food, sneezing without covering their mouths, farting like Gandhi on a post-fast dhal binge, pretending to sleep while letting their hands 'slip' into your crotch...
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:18 PM on July 21, 2010


I just got 3 pounds of Maui Onion & Garlic Macadamia nuts in the mail. Life is good.
posted by jonmc at 6:51 PM on July 21, 2010


How are Maui onions different from normal onions? More ashy?
posted by turgid dahlia at 6:52 PM on July 21, 2010


That's what they call pineapples over there, turgid.
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:08 PM on July 21, 2010


After re-reading this thread, I've concluded that MeFi's biggest problem is not with FPPs, but with assholes.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:10 PM on July 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


Oh man, this Ham and Maui Onion pizza is delicious.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 7:14 PM on July 21, 2010


How are Maui onions different from normal onions? More ashy? Like the Vidalia and the Walla Walla, their sulfur content is extremely low, so they're sweet and less pungent than regular onions.
posted by crunchland at 7:20 PM on July 21, 2010


This is especially important if you are using them in smoothies or fruit salads.
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:40 PM on July 21, 2010


I hate us all so much right now.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 8:00 PM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


"I realize the reactionary urge to glorify Metafilter's past posts may be an inseparable part of human nature, but if folks don't like a post, they can ignore it. If they think it breaks the guidelines, they can flag it and move on. What exactly is stopping people from ignoring posts they don't like? If a post is not to someone's liking, what makes them incapable of skipping it?"

And I'm baffled by this attitude that there's no cost to skipping posts or no detriment from having lots of skippable posts. It takes time to look at something and decide to skip it, even if that time is slight, and with each skipping comes a diminishing of MetaFilter's utility. So it's a bit like when my parents would tell me that they were disappointed with my grades, and I'd retort that they needed to lower their standards.
posted by klangklangston at 8:02 PM on July 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


Onion smoothies? That's hardcore.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:18 PM on July 21, 2010


Hey, where can I go to get one of those Borderline Offensive Joke passes? I need me one of them. Maybe I could just re-kill Astro Zombie and steal his. He's dead already, after all.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:42 PM on July 21, 2010


Office of Gay Posters, Fourth Cabal Division, 2nd floor, Room 232.

$20, same as in town.
posted by mediareport at 10:19 PM on July 21, 2010


I realize that a lot of the snark aimed at me in this thread was done for lulz...

My snark was inspired by a lack of evidence for your position. Posting the best posts we can post is certainly something to which we should all aspire to, but, well, no duh. Besides the contest suggestion, which is a temporary solution to a debatable problem, what others ways can this perceived lack of quality be addressed and resolved? Would stricter moderation with clearly defined criteria do the trick, or would it spawn an assload of other problems? Would adopting AskMe's one-post-a-week policy encourage people to make their FPPs 'count', or would it be largely irrelevant or detrimental as the number of regular posters has remained relatively static as the community's grown*? Would it be better if Matt put me on the payroll so I could handle requests from people who didn't realize they made grammatical and/or spelling errors until they posted their comments, allowing MeFites the editing option they have been clamouring for all these years and enabling me to quit my deadend job? I'm definitely for that last one, as I'm sure many of you are, but the others are all pretty iffy.

*I'm not sure on this one, but I could have sworn that someone said something to that effect, possibly in one of the InfoDump MeTas.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:42 PM on July 21, 2010


« Older Is it possible to automaticall... | Metafilter's own asavage will ... Newer »


This thread is closed to new comments.

























 
posted by loquacious at 11:00 PM on July 21, 2010


Closed?! Aw man...
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 11:27 PM on July 21, 2010


Wait a minute...

Nothing wrong with calls from the peanut gallery to "impress us." I agree it's kind of poor form to shit in thread about a topic that appeals to other, just not you. But good natured ribbing for weak posts always has been part of the culture and should be a guiding internal principle when mulling over post ideas.

I went to school at an institution where we were constantly told, if you can't say something to impress those who sit above you, then shut up. In fact, if you can't impress them, you're maybe going to fail the course and repeat the year. The result? Neurotic, but very strong doctors.

I now teach at an institution where it's damn near impossible to fail someone, in fact, if you are too harsh in your criticism of a grossly incompetent student, you get a phone call from the dean. The result? A certain major U.S. medical school is graduating students who are grossly incompetent to practice medicine.

What am I saying? That's right, weak metafilter posts cause deadly medical mistakes.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 11:37 PM on July 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


Correlation is not causation.
posted by UbuRoivas at 12:15 AM on July 22, 2010


Why is there a one link FPP to a five year old story on the blue at the moment?
Its a crap post. Crap encourages more of the same. Wake up please mods.
posted by adamvasco at 6:52 AM on July 22, 2010


We're awake. Did you use the flag queue? If so the reason the post hasn't been removed is because it's not being flagged so it's either brand new or people don't hate it as much as you do. Maybe you could have included a link with your out-of-place complaint?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:59 AM on July 22, 2010


This one. The poster commented they didn't realize it was a 4-year-old story.
posted by smackfu at 7:02 AM on July 22, 2010


Also, and I am going to say this once and repeat it in every thread where it's appropriate.

Complaining about something specific in a long MeTa thread about something else is not a great way to get our attention. Good ways to get our attention include

- using the flag feature [which I note you did not do]
- emailing us using the contact form
- seeing if we are on chat and contacting us that way

While it's nice that we can manage to see these "why is this bad thing not deleted!" comments in under ten minutes in places where we're not expecting them, I liken it to snapping your fingers at the waitstaff. It's our job to try to keep this website running smoothly and we take pride in doing it reasonably well and helping facilitate discussion and bla bla all the rest. Implying that we're asleep because we didn't immediately delete something that you personally do not like, unless you really are pissed at us, isn't that great.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:05 AM on July 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


I flagged it as something I can't remember what. The flags seem to be a not very indicative signal except as a flag.
I did not wish to name the poster a la crunchland (look at the shit storm that produced). The whole comment was more as a follow up to my last comment. As you know there has been a long meta here about quality or lack of. If you think that post was quality I disagree.
posted by adamvasco at 8:12 AM on July 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


If you think that post was quality I disagree.

I'm not that thrilled with it, but there's a range between "I think this post is quality" and "we should delete this." People are flagging it as a double I think because of ColdChef's comment and it's not a double really. I dropped cortex a note about it because it's sort of on the flagging line [was not flagged at all when I first saw it] and am comfortable letting him make the call. And who knows, maybe he really is asleep.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:22 AM on July 22, 2010


On the topic of weak posts, that one about conservative cartoons was pretty bullshit. "Look at them, they are teh suck! We liberals do humor better because we are better!"
posted by klangklangston at 8:24 AM on July 22, 2010


i couldn't tell if that was a problem with the post or the comments, though. my own comment was just "mallard fillmore pisses me off." the post actually have been trying to legitimately show people the strips. not sure.
posted by shmegegge at 8:26 AM on July 22, 2010


the post MAY actually...
posted by shmegegge at 8:27 AM on July 22, 2010


Jess : So when it comes to deleting a post that isn't obviously a shill or a double, you guys rely completely on the flagging system? If a lousy post doesn't get flagged, you guys won't make a judgment call and delete it anyway? If that's the case, how many flags, generally, does a post have to get in order to pass over the threshold of being deleted?
posted by crunchland at 8:28 AM on July 22, 2010


jessamyn, I appreciate your input re groupings. You then go on to say I think it's tough to differentiate "I don't like this" from "this is bad" from "you guys are assholes for liking this" but I think that's realy part of the problem here.
Amongst the noise above there are some calls for upping the bar. Any idea how this could be done?
posted by adamvasco at 8:29 AM on July 22, 2010


Deleting marginal posts?
posted by smackfu at 8:30 AM on July 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


shmegegge: Part of what we do here is talk about what we don't like and why and try to figure out the happy medium for self-policing and community standards. I think saying "just skip it if you don't like it" is only useful if someone is really harping on a personal pet peeve of theirs. If someone says "I think we should talk about generally upping the quality of our material" I think it's worth discussing, even if the end of that discussion is "not this time, sad cat."

True!

So let's talk.

klangklangston: And I'm baffled by this attitude that there's no cost to skipping posts or no detriment from having lots of skippable posts.

Fair enough. I would agree that it may be a minor inconvenience.

So what makes a post "skippable?"

It takes time to look at something and decide to skip it, even if that time is slight, and with each skipping comes a diminishing of MetaFilter's utility.

Your personal MeFi experience is not necessarily equivalent to someone else's, and what makes Metafilter useful to you is probably different that what makes the site useful to me.

Since we're trying to define what makes a post "skippable" and worthy of the front page, let's talk about a few of the usual complaints raised when a post is made that people don't like, but it doesn't reach the threshold for deletion. Should we start including them as reasons why posts shouldn't survive?

Taking a lesson from crunchland (and by the way man, my hat's off to you for apologizing the way you did. Very, very nicely done.) I'm using my own posts as examples here, so I don't call anyone out inadvertently:

Too few links: How many is too few? (Also, "It's being linked everywhere.") This post is basically a single news article from the NY Times that was linked by a hundred blogs that same day. i thought it was an interesting story, but should it not have been posted? The same applies to viral videos: if a lot of people have seen it, but it's going to be new to some MeFites who might find it interesting, wouldn't that make it an acceptable post?

Too many links: What defines too many? (A couple of extreme examples: Is this post GMOB material and unsuitable for MeFi? What about this one?)

The topic isn't interesting enough: I thought this was a great story, but I bet a lot of people skipped it because it was about the Yankees and/or baseball -- very American-centric topics, and therefore not terribly interesting to a majority of MeFites. "Interesting" is a subjective and undefinable criteria. I think that makes it an unsuitable measurement, but am I wrong?

Newsfilter: Like this post. This one also falls under Jessamyn's category of "assholes treat someone badly."

Obitfilter: As shmegegge says, we've discussed this a lot lately and have hashed out what's acceptable -- although some folks still don't like them. Extra links help obit posts be acceptable and interesting. So when a character actor died, I tried to make a post that (hopefully) reflected more about his life than "He's dead." So yes, sometimes we can narrow down complaints and address them.

But if the lines must be drawn, where should we be drawing them?
posted by zarq at 8:33 AM on July 22, 2010


It's neither too few links or too many links. It's too few good links.
posted by smackfu at 8:36 AM on July 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


Too subjective.
posted by crunchland at 8:39 AM on July 22, 2010


So when it comes to deleting a post that isn't obviously a shill or a double, you guys rely completely on the flagging system? If a lousy post doesn't get flagged, you guys won't make a judgment call and delete it anyway? If that's the case, how many flags, generally, does a post have to get in order to pass over the threshold of being deleted?

- No we don't rely completely on the flagging system.
- If a lousy post doesn't get flagged we sometimes will delete it anyway. Its possible, however, that we won't see it depending on when the post was made and how our day is going. cortex usually is the first line of defense in MeFi, and I'm over in AskMe. We each read all the posts in our respective locales and back up the other one. We both read all of MeTa.
- That said, since I'm annoyed, I wanted to get cortex's input since I'm not being that objective.
- Usually in MeFi anything in double-digit flag land will get us asking "should we delete this" fairly seriously, though we notice anything above one or two and will peek in. I don't think there's any post that's gone over 20 flags that we haven't deleted, though maybe there are a few exceptions that I'm not remembering.
- In AskMe we pretty much look into every flag.

And as far as upping the bar, I think a lot of it has to do with having sincere conversations about what makes a good post and what makes a bad post. I think some posts that interest the people who are discussing things in them [like maybe the salon one adamvasco refers to] maybe are okay. But they're derailed by people saying shit like "this is a bad post" in the thread because, for whatever reason they want to make their disapproval known to the thread.

I understand the impulse, but when I think about what I personally think makes the site bad, it's people grousing and taking cheap shots at each other and then the resultant defensiveness. And I think there's a pendulum effect, you see more fluff/news posts for a while, and then people react and then you see fewer of them. For a while we weren't deleting all the cops+tasers threads, and then we were. And i think even lackluster threads can spawn interesting discussion and so while I understand that the "will this get deleted?" question can sometimes hang there if you're wondering why a thread you think is bad is still around, I feel that trying to either contribute to the discussion or leave it to someone else, is tons more useful than just idle snarking and grousing in thread. At best it adds nothing to the discussion. At worst, it starts a fight and spreads ill will around.

So, raise your own personal bar first. Then come back and let us know how that went and what you think other people should be doing better.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:41 AM on July 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


I will definitely make more of an effort to flag shitty posts.
posted by smackfu at 8:48 AM on July 22, 2010


But they're derailed by people saying shit like "this is a bad post" in the thread because, for whatever reason they want to make their disapproval known to the thread.

Flags can be ambiguous. Is it not helpful to know why people are flagging something?

I'm not referring to doubles, which I know are a special case.
posted by zarq at 9:07 AM on July 22, 2010


when I think about what I personally think makes the site bad, it's people grousing and taking cheap shots at each other and then the resultant defensiveness.

Yeah, people, leave the grousing to me.
posted by grouse at 9:14 AM on July 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


when I think about what I personally think makes the site bad, it's people grousing and taking cheap shots at each other and then the resultant defensiveness. -- Then the one of the first steps to taking care of that is deleting the dns entry for metatalk.metafilter.com. If this thread did nothing else, it demonstrates that metatalk is a badly broken nuthouse.
posted by crunchland at 9:16 AM on July 22, 2010


. . . but a lovable nuthouse!
posted by Think_Long at 9:19 AM on July 22, 2010


Then the one of the first steps to taking care of that is deleting the dns entry for metatalk.metafilter.com. If this thread did nothing else, it demonstrates that metatalk is a badly broken nuthouse.

I disagree. The griping over the poor framing of the MeTa is pretty much done, the gay derail is settled, and zarq and jessamyn have made some good, substantive comments. I can understand how it's been frustrating for you, but there isn't really anything standing in the way of a goodfaith discussion and deeper elaboration on the part of those who actually want to dig into the issue. MeTa has its weaknesses, but compared to most other options for community feedback and discussion, it's probably the best venue for such things.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:36 AM on July 22, 2010


And if we didn't have Metatalk, we'd all be yelling at each other in IRC. And no one wants that.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 9:44 AM on July 22, 2010


Flags can be ambiguous. Is it not helpful to know why people are flagging something?

I just alternate between Other and Breaks the Guidelines for sub-par posts.
posted by smackfu at 9:50 AM on July 22, 2010


I'd like to see a *lot* more post deletion. I trust Matt and team. They should figure out what they want and then ruthlessly pare the site. It is only through clear leadership that we gain clear community standards. Without it, we end up with limitless shit thrown at the wall.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:13 AM on July 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


But they should first do like I recommend and take down Metatalk, because if you thought the number of "I protest" messages regarding deleted threads was bad now, under that sort of totalitarian approach, people would go ballistic.
posted by crunchland at 10:35 AM on July 22, 2010


I'd like to see a *lot* more post deletion.

I'd like to see less, really. It doesn't bother me to scan past something I'm not interested in, and I like the glorious chaos of a firehose-blast of information -- filtered less through a set of overarching community standards, more through the idiosyncratic tastes and hobbies of all the individuals that make up the community.
posted by Greg Nog at 10:48 AM on July 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


What do we have, like thirty posts on the blue per day? Is that really too much to go through?
posted by Think_Long at 10:58 AM on July 22, 2010


Apparently it is for some, and for them, the content others submit must be fine-tuned to their tastes so we don't waste their valuable, valuable time.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:05 AM on July 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's really not broken and doesn't need fixing.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:12 AM on July 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Some people say that.
posted by smackfu at 11:18 AM on July 22, 2010


That said, since I'm annoyed, I wanted to get cortex's input since I'm not being that objective.

You guys really work hard at that objectivity and it shows and is appreciated. Some days it must really be hard, too!

I agree that making "this is bad" comments that derail a thread is bad and should be discouraged. What I don't get is why everyone gets mad about bringing such a discussion over here to meta. We used to have discussions about the merits of individual posts, posting styles, content, etc more frequently here. When I was green and right up through my more grizzled years, I think such discussions helped me to learn to be a better poster, made me strive to do better. Plus, I think they contributed quite a bit to forming a community ethos. But today, more often than not, such discussions just get the "stop complaining" and "flag it and move on treatment." Flags a are indeed a great tool, particularly since there are more users and the site is bigger -- but they aren't the answer to everything. They lack nuance. They are a one to one rather than a many to many communication tool.

There have been several times that I have flagged posts as weak sauce using that unsatisfying "other" option. While eliminating a "this post sucks" type of noise and derail is largely a good thing, I think the lack of in-thread criticism sometimes fosters the false illusion that because no one is complaining, it must be good! And too often, it seems like something will stand if it generates any discussion at all.

We should be able to bring discussions about post quality here without people getting bent out of shape. While I don't think anyone should be terrified to post, there's nothing wrong with approaching the process with a healthy degree of respect and a "is this a good enough to post" type of process. Avoiding a meta call-out for a crappy post was one of my guiding lights for years. Ah, the ignominy of a call-out for a crappy post! Today, you simply have the dull and quiet disappearing into the ether - death by flags.

There's a million different link lists out there today. Part of what has always kept me coming back to mefi is the collective quest to quality, the aspiration to be a cut above, a filter. In this, we generally succeed more than we fail. But as we continue to grow and fold people in, discussions that aspire to foster post quality are worth having, in my opinion. Feel free to call out any of my posts past or future for critical analysis if it will further a quest for quality.
posted by madamjujujive at 11:25 AM on July 22, 2010 [7 favorites]


And who knows, maybe he really is asleep.

I was! It's borderline improbable, I literally cannot remember the last time I slept in past ten outside of sickness or jetlag, but I had a stupid pile of sleep-time interruptions and only really truly conked out around five a.m.

I too think that thread on the blue isn't great but being-old isn't an automatic deletion and people seem not to be flipping out over it, so eh.

I'd like to see a *lot* more post deletion.

There are a few days I would to. Most days not so much. I think we can practically look at more deletions in specific contexts when those contexts become an issue—if a specific type of post has been spiking for a while, if a specific subject is going really badly, etc—but just plain going on a tear would be a hugely disruptive thing to do in service of a principle (that, I guess, 30% or so of everything that gets posted to the front page should go) that we don't actually agree with.

Lightweight links have always been and will always be a part of the mix of what goes on the front page. They're not bulletproof, and if I had to guess offhand I'd say we remove a larger number of thin or dumb posts than we do substantial-but-otherwise-problematic ones, but they're part of the culture here.

It's fine to dislike them in general, and it's fine to flag or email or go to metatalk about specific ones that you think are problematic beyond just you personally disliking them, but they're not going to disappear entirely. It wouldn't be the same site that it is or that it was years ago; it'd be a move not toward better days of yore but some invented fiction of metafilter that more closely resembles some subset of the userbase's preferences than it does any actual historical version of the site.

But they should first do like I recommend and take down Metatalk

Metatalk can be a bumpy place and people can be more of a pain here than they generally are allowed to elsewhere, but it's also an utterly vital part of this place. I know you got a lot of grief in here over your post and that comment a few days ago and I can sympathize with you feeling bearish about a function of the site that's responsible for that, but along with that snark and chiding comes a lot of community discussion and mod feedback that's part of the reason this place has managed to survive and stay cohesive over the years.

You yourself, and I'm not saying this to pick on you and don't think it's something you'd disagree with, have been fairly grumpy and snarky and chiding toward other people in Metatalk over the years, and you've also been a strong voice in the context of community discussions and helping in your own proportion as a long time, vocal user to make this place what it is.

I don't know how to parse this repeated "shut down metatalk" idea exactly because I don't know if you're just feeling extra down on the site right now after the bad reception you got here of if this is the cresting of some long-building tide within you re: the utility vs. futility of Metatalk, but we're absolutely, positively not even considering making the grey go away. It would be a very, very bad idea.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:37 AM on July 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


madamjujujive speaks the truth about how bad MetaTalk has gotten. Having a low-moderation zone sounds good but to also make that the "discuss the site" part has led to a completely hostile environment.
posted by smackfu at 11:47 AM on July 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Here's an example. Is this what MetaTalk is supposed to be?

Q: Getting ready for my first post! I am actually pretty darn excited! I've been exploring for a couple of weeks and I'm ready to devour chunks of the Internet to find something that is unique and compelling for my FIRST OFFICIAL POST. Any tips or advice before I run out and make a huge mistake?

A: My advice: essentially pointless Meta talk threads about your own hypothetical future posts are in and of themselves generally a mistake.
posted by smackfu at 11:49 AM on July 22, 2010


Is this what MetaTalk is supposed to be?

Yes. Yes it is.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:01 PM on July 22, 2010


Hah, the damning irony is that despite the advice he got in that thread, Hasai wound up posting about a smartphone. Twice.
posted by carsonb at 12:02 PM on July 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Had another one deleted today I think.
posted by Think_Long at 12:04 PM on July 22, 2010


Yeah, honestly, I hate to condemn a guy for potentially just-not-getting-it, but that whole thing has felt mostly like people correctly getting a bad odor on the wind. Weirdly made post + bad timing isn't the best example of how people can or can't use metatalk effectively, so while I agree that I don't think that's anything like the platonic ideal of a metatalk discussion about postmaking, I also don't feel like that says much here.

People are capable of having civil, friendly community discussions over here when they start well, and even of doing so when they start not-so-well but manage to right themselves. Are people sometimes too quick to go negative and stay there in Metatalk? I don't know that I disagree, it is something that happens, and we can talk about what it would mean to try and push back on that some in a way that led to less GRAR rather than just counter-GRAR. But people being angry jerks is not some new Metatalk thing, and I honestly feel like if anything the tone is a bit better in general than it was five or six or seven years ago, even if it's not perfect and worth talking about improving.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:07 PM on July 22, 2010


Sad day on MetaFilter when toaster love gets smacked down.
posted by carsonb at 12:08 PM on July 22, 2010


I honestly feel like if anything the tone is a bit better in general than it was five or six or seven years ago, even if it's not perfect and worth talking about improving.

Holy shit, we're all just five or six or seven years older now. Almost grown-ups!
posted by carsonb at 12:10 PM on July 22, 2010


What I don't get is why everyone gets mad about bringing such a discussion over here to meta. We used to have discussions about the merits of individual posts, posting styles, content, etc more frequently here. When I was green and right up through my more grizzled years, I think such discussions helped me to learn to be a better poster, made me strive to do better. Plus, I think they contributed quite a bit to forming a community ethos. But today, more often than not, such discussions just get the "stop complaining" and "flag it and move on treatment."

The flip side to this is that civility moves in both directions. I think we can discuss posting quality standards without resorting to calling out everyone as being "satisfied with weak sauce", calling them jackasses and having no idea what quality is. The thing is, most of these "this post sucks" call-out threads already start out in a cranky, frustrated tone. This one, not so much, but it devolved into that fast enough. I don't see a problem with encouraging higher quality; I do think everyone could stand to be more civil when it comes to these discussions.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:15 PM on July 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


Yes. Yes it is.

Wow, you are in a testy mood today.
posted by smackfu at 12:16 PM on July 22, 2010


And on more careful, head-slapping why-didn't-I-make-this-connection-before review, fuck that guy. Hasai = JD Rucker = SEO douchebag fucko that we banned a couple years for serial self-linking.

I spend a lot of time worrying that I'm being too harsh in suspecting something is up with slightly-off people on mefi, because I don't want to overreach and give well-meaning people too hard a time just for accidentally stumbling into red flags without malice. And then a dickbag like this comes along and makes it harder to be generous all over again.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:19 PM on July 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


Sorry about that, I think I'm going to give up on MetaTalk for a while. Let's see if I can just adblock it into oblivision now that IRL should handle meetups.
posted by smackfu at 12:19 PM on July 22, 2010


Wow, you are in a testy mood today.

What?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:21 PM on July 22, 2010


Metafilter: utility vs. futility
posted by Skot at 12:21 PM on July 22, 2010


Hasai = JD Rucker = SEO douchebag fucko that we banned a couple years for serial self-linking.

No way. Dude seemed like he was making some legit - not great, but not seo - posts. What an interesting narrative arc for this spammer.
posted by Think_Long at 12:23 PM on July 22, 2010


fuck that guy. Hasai = JD Rucker = SEO douchebag fucko that we banned a couple years for serial self-linking.

Wow, what a great reminder of how incredibly insidious SEO douchebag fuckos are—who would go to all the trouble of trolling MetaTalk for help, let alone figuring out that yes, yes that is what MeTa is for?

Also, someone get fourcheesemac some donuts : Dollars to donuts he's shilling something and as cj_ says, playing MeFi like a fucking harp.
posted by carsonb at 12:29 PM on July 22, 2010


great detective work, cortex!

I do think everyone could stand to be more civil when it comes to these discussions.

I am with you there, dear Marisa of the Precious Thing - one can never have too much civility!
posted by madamjujujive at 12:34 PM on July 22, 2010 [3 favorites]


I recently read about a program that will supposedly analyze the content of your email and alerts you to language that may be misunderstood or interpreted as particularly negative. I would pay real spending money on having it be an option for Metafilter, because I was completely surprised by the reaction I got. I know I've been called tone-deaf before, but I was just completely blind-sided by it. So, yeah, I'm down on Metatalk now. It shouldn't have to take 270 comments before a real discussion can happen.

Maybe I'll just send all my comments to mjj to approve before I press the post button.
posted by crunchland at 12:35 PM on July 22, 2010


How did you guys figure that out. That's certainly a bizarre twist.
posted by chunking express at 12:46 PM on July 22, 2010


Banned users are shot with tranquilizer darts and fitted with a plastic eartag that has a tiny transmitter on it before they are released back into the wild. When they approach the site, a widget on the admin page starts blinking. It's quite humane, really, and preserves the natural balance.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:53 PM on July 22, 2010 [8 favorites]


Dude was on my "I should really take a closer look at this" list but at a glance there was nothing damning. I went and looked again just now because this reminded me, and somehow seeing his name in an email address (which wasn't public facing info in his case) jogged my memory.

I searched past users for "rucker" and it came back to me. A bit of googling ruled out the Crazy Coincidence possibility definitively, and here we are. More memory work than detective work, just sort of an Oh Shhiiiiiiit moment.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:53 PM on July 22, 2010


Can I have his $5?
posted by cjorgensen at 12:59 PM on July 22, 2010 [3 favorites]


And on more careful, head-slapping why-didn't-I-make-this-connection-before review, fuck that guy. Hasai = JD Rucker = SEO douchebag fucko that we banned a couple years for serial self-linking.

Whoa. Wow. Nice detective work!
posted by zarq at 1:00 PM on July 22, 2010


> But they should first do like I recommend and take down Metatalk

Or, of course, you could just avoid the place.
posted by languagehat at 1:13 PM on July 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yeah, right.
posted by crunchland at 1:19 PM on July 22, 2010


We should hang a bug-zapper switch on the preferences page, and when it's turned 'On' attempting to hit the Post or Post Comment buttons gets you redirected to TV Tropes or Youtube or something.
posted by carsonb at 1:29 PM on July 22, 2010


I like the glorious chaos of a firehose-blast of information

We do not need MeFi to be Reddit or Digg.
posted by five fresh fish at 1:30 PM on July 22, 2010


We should hang a bug-zapper switch on the preferences page, and when it's turned 'On' attempting to hit the Post or Post Comment buttons gets you redirected to TV Tropes-

Whoah, whoah, hang on. Let's not go straight to the nuclear option. What about something less infuriating, like this?
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:35 PM on July 22, 2010


> We do not need MeFi to be Reddit or Digg.

That's really an unfounded fear, though. 1)The active userbase of Metafilter is a fraction of those sites, 2)there's no "Metafilter this" button to vote a site onto the frontpage like there is for Digg and Reddit. As others have said, there are only about 30 posts each day, and there's pretty sufficient quality control. This whole business of WE NEED STRONGER MODERATION NOW is pretty much shadow boxing.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:35 PM on July 22, 2010


Metatalk: because even though the sign says civility is not a sign of weakness, we all suspect it might just be.
posted by questionsandanchors at 1:40 PM on July 22, 2010


I'd rather have quality over quantity. I'd rather see 3 outstanding posts over 30 mediocre posts. And I'm perfectly comfortable with the mods deleting a lot more than they do. It would do the site well, IMO.
posted by five fresh fish at 1:43 PM on July 22, 2010


We do not need MeFi to be Reddit or Digg.

Agreed! Which is why there's no rating system for posts; all posts sit next to each other in egalitarian happiness on the front page.
posted by Greg Nog at 1:43 PM on July 22, 2010


I'd rather have quality over quantity. I'd rather see 3 outstanding posts over 30 mediocre posts. And I'm perfectly comfortable with the mods deleting a lot more than they do.

but that just keeps bringing us back to the same problem - your 3 outstanding posts might be another person's godawful posts, so they need 3 outstanding posts for them to sink their teeth into and now we're up to 6 - but 3rd guy comes along and thinks those 6 things are all shit and so he'll want 3 outstanding posts of his own, ad nauseum.

i think 30 is a perfectly respectable number to give a user base as huge as metafilter something to read throughout the day.
posted by nadawi at 1:49 PM on July 22, 2010


I'd rather see 3 outstanding posts over 30 mediocre posts.

Wouldn't it be 27 mediocre posts and 3 outstanding posts? Like, I really don't understand what is preventing the userbase from making good posts.
posted by Think_Long at 1:56 PM on July 22, 2010


It just seems like there's a false dialectic here between mythical good posts and bad posts, and kind of weird abstract debate. Point out the terrible posts rather than speaking in dramatic terms.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:00 PM on July 22, 2010


But they should first do like I recommend and take down Metatalk

I will cut you. It may be the dying embers of smaller Metafilter these days, and more smoke than light most of the time (ask me about my theories about growth in perception of moderator Authority (which is good and fine and necessary, probably) leading to incrementally less feeling of empowerment of the userbase, which results in more aimless Metatalk japery over substantive policy discussion, or better yet, don't), but I am still attached to the old beast.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 2:03 PM on July 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


We do not need MeFi to be Reddit or Digg.

That's right, we're already a lot like Slashdot, in some not-so-great respects.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:07 PM on July 22, 2010


Thankfully not in how comments are organized, though.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:08 PM on July 22, 2010


It's neither too few links or too many links. It's too few good links.

By whose standard? What makes a link "good"? What makes a post "good"? Can you quantify it beyond, "I Know Crap When I See It?"
posted by zarq at 2:16 PM on July 22, 2010 [3 favorites]


And if we didn't have Metatalk, we'd all be yelling at each other in IRC. And no one wants that.
* zarq slaps Marisa Stole the Precious Thing with a large trout.
posted by zarq at 2:20 PM on July 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Point out the terrible posts rather than speaking in dramatic terms. -- You haven't been paying any attention, have you?
posted by crunchland at 2:26 PM on July 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


> You haven't been paying any attention, have you?

I wasn't talking to you, I was talking to the people like five fresh fish. who were railing against bad posts as an abstract.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:32 PM on July 22, 2010


Oh. So I'm not allowed to point out bad posts, but they are. Is that what you're saying?
posted by crunchland at 2:38 PM on July 22, 2010


You haven't been paying any attention, have you?

I'm pretty sure he has, actually.

You started this thread off with vague comments like "We all can do better than this" and "Maybe it's time we did another best post contest to remind us all again what a good post looks like?" You were then asked relatively quickly to clarify what bothered you about those three posts. I may have missed it, but did you do so?

If you would like us want to talk about resetting the bar by which posts are measured, then please explain what you think is problematic about them in ways that are a little more detailed and concrete and less abstract?
posted by zarq at 2:40 PM on July 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


And crunchland... I'm really not trying to single you out here. Note that this is the same request I've been making throughout the thread.
posted by zarq at 2:41 PM on July 22, 2010


Actually. You're right. I never did specify what was wrong with the three posts I linked to. I had assumed that wasn't necessary. I thought we all knew that linking to Cracked.com was pretty much like linking to The Onion. I thought we all knew that linking to Google Books was like linking to Wikipedia -- ok if you needed support on your post, but as the main link? Not so much. And I didn't think I needed to elaborate on the inherent qualities associated with a single link you tube video.

I guess I made some assumptions that I didn't really need to elaborate. I suspect that had I done so, it would have diverted the lulzy pile-on not a single iota.
posted by crunchland at 2:45 PM on July 22, 2010


> Oh. So I'm not allowed to point out bad posts, but they are. Is that what you're saying?

No, but there's that tone deaf thing again.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:49 PM on July 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


I suspect that had I done so, it would have diverted the lulzy pile-on not a single iota.

Probably not, but then, you also got plenty of people agreeing with the idea that the quality of posts can be improved, that it's been lagging lately, and so on. The issue here is more about the entirely subjective nature of what is a "good" or "bad" post. As you heard, loads of people love SLYT posts here, love a single, quirky article or fun Flash game. Believe it or not, these are often the same people who love multi-link wonders delving into the obscure. There's a kind of false dichotomy arising from this entire thing, that you're against the SLYTs or you're with them, wholly apart from the subjective nature of "good" and "bad" posts. I think that's a big reason why people got lulzy, and why you subsequently accused them of "jackassery" - this request, "more quality links plz", is not only kinda vague, it has this "Entertain me, knaves" vibe to it that, even if it's totally not the way you intended it to come across, is going to rub people the wrong way.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:57 PM on July 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


This post, crunchland, seemed to me to begin by trying to have it both ways -- on the one hand linking to three specific threads, but on the other hand suggesting that these posts are just endemic of another problem described in the tags as "underachieving."

Something I've just come to understand: call-outs that speak to overall FPP quality raise my dander in ways that call-outs about specific posts don't, because those more specific call-outs allow us to pointedly discuss some norms, one at a time. We may not get anywhere: some will like single-link youtube, some won't. Some eyes will still roll at Wikipedia links, but others will still be happy with them. And sometimes, we might find more agreement than we think. Even when we don't, responsible readers can't help but get a sense of what makes a lot of users tetchy, and keep it in mind when they post.

In other words, I have a hard time seeing how a pep-talk about overall post quality can get anywhere -- at its worst, people will begin to worry that it's a spinning-the-wheels conversation about "Metafilter as I would want it to be" imposed on others who have different ideas about the site.

And I'm still not sure what these 3 posts had in common other than "not good enough" by some standard. I didn't find them as objectionable as all that, but I could imagine a reasonable call-out on any of them, or each of them.

For The_Whelk's, it's a probably a conversation about how long to go before bringing something back up (2 of the 3 previous linked discussions are within the last 12 months), and how much added value is necessary for something to be other than a repost. That conversation would, I suspect, proceed rather differently than this one has.

For Lazaruslong's, it's a conversation about how much is too much from any one specialized site? I suppose that conversation could get us somewhere too.

For blue_beetle's it's a conversation that's hopefully not "SYLT, yay or boo?" (I doubt that'd be worth hashing out again) so much as "Does anyone else feel as if we've been awfully heavy on the re-cut movie trailers lately?"

Each of those conversations, I think, might have had a more satisfying conclusion for you than this one. It's might not be late for this one to move in that direction, actually.

In close: call-outs are fine (both those that praise and those that bury). And the more specific anyone is in a call-out, the less likely people might be to interpret that call-out as "I wish Metafilter was something that appealed to me, specifically, more" instead of "Can we get a read on whether or not we're okay with this specific example of this specific trend?"
posted by .kobayashi. at 2:59 PM on July 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


But that's just it. I don't have anything at all against a single link post. 80% of my posts are a single link. In fact, years ago, in rebellion against the great y2karl, I made an effort not to make any posts with any commentary, which was something he really wasn't doing. I guess what I was suggesting is that the posts I pointed to -- all posted within a couple hours before I made this one, but I could have picked three others, or a hundred others -- just seemed to exude a vibe of laziness to me. Like, "lookit what just popped up on my facebook feed from my grandmother."

And not to call out the Whelk, but had he elaborated on why that link to the Popular Mechanics article was interesting, maybe added a little background, other sources for stories about what it was like to fly back in the 30's, it could have been a better post. Instead, he put the link in, saw that there were three previous posts to google books associated with that magazine, and clipped it onto the post. (Again, assumption.)

I guess I just expect people to put a little effort to put something good on the front page for the rest of us. And, yes, as was mentioned above, I should lead by example. And, yes, as was mentioned above, I've done my share of lazy posts, too. Maybe it was the heat, combined with some other bug up my ass that made me press the post button -- when I actually vowed I would not make any more Metatalk posts, because I just didn't have the stomach for the bullshit that inevitably arises from making them.
posted by crunchland at 3:08 PM on July 22, 2010


> because I just didn't have the stomach for the bullshit that inevitably arises from making them.

It's really more garbage in garbage out in this case, though. Posts that are well framed and on point do much better here, even with the signal to noise ratio being what it is in MeTa.
posted by Burhanistan at 3:10 PM on July 22, 2010


See this callout a few posts before yours, crunchland. Nobody reared up against the poster because it was a salient post with no weird passive aggressiveness. If posts are like that then they generally don't blow up in the poster's face. It has little to do with the perceived "bullshit that arises" and everything to do with calling bullshit on the poster. It may not always be pretty, but it's certainly a strong hedge against bullshit.
posted by Burhanistan at 3:13 PM on July 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


I never did specify what was wrong with the three posts I linked to. I had assumed that wasn't necessary. ... I suspect that had I done so, it would have diverted the lulzy pile-on not a single iota.

That's an ironic brush-off. Because as the guy who asked the question (and who, for the record, did not participate in the "lulzy pile-on"), I assure you it was sincere. And while you were blowing it off because you figured it was unnecessary and the whole thread was going to deteriorate into something not to be taken seriously anyway, I noted your nonresponse and concluded that your complaint was no longer to be taken seriously.

I dislike the "lulzy" crap just as much, if not more than you. My advice? Next time, ignore it and have your conversation around it. If the people actually conversing don't respond to the peanut-gallery antics, then it visibly shifts the onus on the mods to corral that stuff.
posted by cribcage at 3:16 PM on July 22, 2010


Actually, Burhanistan, I fairly cop to framing the post badly. I also think that part of what prevented that post from spiraling out of control is that a mod deleted the post in question one hour after it started. I also think part of it had to do with when the post was made 4:22 in the morning as opposed to 10pm on a weeknight. I don't think that the second comment, a total derail, made in this thread helped matters any. I realize that there are other ways I could have better framed it. (How many times do you need me to admit I fucked that part up, guys?)

But, as you've clearly just demonstrated, I have no control over how people are going to react. You just latched onto the last thought of a long comment of mine, and ignored the basic gist of it. Whose fault is that?
posted by crunchland at 3:48 PM on July 22, 2010


> But, as you've clearly just demonstrated, I have no control over how people are going to react. You just latched onto the last thought of a long comment of mine, and ignored the basic gist of it. Whose fault is that?

That's not exactly a correct assessment, but if you want to keep digging your heels in feel free. If you want to be understood like you feel you deserve to be, you should really just cut out all that passive aggressive sniping at the end of all of your comments.
posted by Burhanistan at 3:53 PM on July 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


I tell you what. Half of this thread tells me that I can't tell other people how to post on the front page, and the other half tells me that I made this post wrong, and that I'm tone deaf and can't comment properly to be taken seriously. I wish you'd make up your fucking minds.
posted by crunchland at 4:08 PM on July 22, 2010


Maybe you should just take a break.
posted by Burhanistan at 4:11 PM on July 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


And now I'm on favor of the mods banning everyone who participated in this thread. FFS.
posted by five fresh fish at 4:29 PM on July 22, 2010


Except for me, because I am awesome. AND MODEST.
posted by elizardbits at 5:18 PM on July 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


> You just latched onto the last thought of a long comment of mine, and ignored the basic gist of it. Whose fault is that?

Is it even possible for you to make a comment without lashing out with passive-aggressive bullshit like that? It's one thing, and very commendable, for you to apologize for past sins, but one would hope you would learn something from the experience.
posted by languagehat at 5:22 PM on July 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Anyone know if the mods are sleeping?
posted by cjorgensen at 5:35 PM on July 22, 2010


Jess is out having fun somewhere, I'm at the Oregon Brewers Fest, Matt and pb spent the day working on site stuff I think.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:45 PM on July 22, 2010


cortex is sleeptyping!
posted by qvantamon at 6:37 PM on July 22, 2010


Would it make any of you happier if we turned this into an alphabet thread?

Whaddaya mean, "no!"?
posted by not_on_display at 6:57 PM on July 22, 2010


...and how come none of you can spell achieve right? Even the tag is spelled wrong! And none of you called this out!?

NOW I'm disappointed.
posted by not_on_display at 7:01 PM on July 22, 2010


not_on_display, pppssssstttt!
posted by cjorgensen at 7:09 PM on July 22, 2010


Why am I reading this when I could be outside, reading by the beach in the sunlight?
posted by neuromodulator at 7:17 PM on July 22, 2010


The great sensei Randō Korunchu was touring the capital of the Meita Prefecture one day. He was known for his exactitude. A great crowd had assembled as he walked the temples of the village square.

«See this building? This is no house of learning! It is only the front solid, but the other three walls of paper!» With that, the master felled the temple with one punch, sending the students within scrambling.

The master came to the next temple. He appraised it with his eyes for but a moment before exclaiming: «This one, has the cracked foundation!» The master shot out his leg like lightning, destroying the temple before him. As the dust settled, he lowered his extended leg but not his scowl.

Then the great sensei came to the last of the temples, which was build on a raised foundation, supported by stilts. The master bent at the waist, craning his neck to see below the building. «Aha! It's is as I though! This temple is support only one bamboo tube!» And then, rather curiously, the master did not strike. Instead, he merely inhaled a great breath, as if preparing his energy for a strike. However, he but exhaled—though it was a fierce gust—toppling the unsteady structure despite its apparent solidity.

«Shameful!» cried the master. «These are not the place where you are to learn the great art. One cannot build oneself with such foundations. You must take the pride in all that you do; there is no honor in such weakness.» And with that, the great sensei Korunchu stormed off.

It was some time later when the master was meditating at the Taku Falls outside the city. A gust of wind blew. Cherry blossoms fell. A single pink petal landed on the shoulder of the master, throwing bright contrast against the black cloth of his gi. But so still was he that it did not shift for a great while. And when it did, he knew he was approached. «You come from the town. You wish to speak with Master Korunchu. Be gone! I will have no thing with such pitiful persons.» He had neither turned to face the intruder nor opened his eyes.

The one who approached was Geigi Shumo. He was a young pupil of some regard. Many said his skill would make him a master if his temperament did not interfere. Such temperament as bade him dare approach the master. «Korunchu-sama, I heard what you have to say in the city. I come because I agree with your a sessments. But what can one student do, swimming against the mighty river of complasency?»

The master stroked his graying beard thoughtfully. He held the silence overlong, as if in hopes the student would depart. When he sensed that he would not, and his commitment was genuine, the master spoke. «How can the people of your city survive? Are your prayers mumbled so the gods cannot hear them? Do you let your feet bleed for lack of proper shoes? Do you enjoy the struggle to swallow your food down, soaked as it is in the weakest sauce?» Though the master now stood, he still faced away from the youth, gazing over the cliff down which ran the falls. «I see with the sight of the blind that you do not see what I say. One does not need the skills of a master to behold that you are stupified. Then, go! You must build the temple again, as you see fit. You will not find the strength where there is not; you must make the strength. Only then will you have risen to the level of a fool I can teach. I will return at the time when this thing is done and no sooner.»

«Master, how may I guard against failure?»

«Do not speak of failure! You have already failed. There is nothing you can do now but fail more, or succeed. The choice belongs to you, and fate. Can you not surmount this baleful precipice? Do you dispair at the summit, or the foot? Do you fail and fall to your death, or do you fail to live in the first place? I have said already to go, you have not. Do you wish destruction?»

The student stood fast, though, and trembled not. At this, the master smiled, though it could not be seen as he still faced away. A moment passed as the young man gathered the wisdom of the master and departed as silently as he had come. A gust of wind blew. Cherry blossoms fell. A single pink petal landed in the outstretched palm of the master. He regarded it thoughtfully.
posted by Eideteker at 7:50 PM on July 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Anyone know if the mods are sleeping?

Not if you all keep making so much NOISE.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:59 PM on July 22, 2010 [5 favorites]


posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing "Love that tag"

...ooops, I missed that one huh?

Was the tag spelled that way with ironic intent? My irony detectors are weak.

{sob} I'll never be a hipster.
posted by not_on_display at 8:02 PM on July 22, 2010


I thought it was ironic, but funny either way.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:09 PM on July 22, 2010


Hipsters would claim later that it was ironic, but non-hipsters like you and me, n_o_d, we'll always know the truth.
posted by donnagirl at 8:09 PM on July 22, 2010


Unfortunate timing makes it appear that I called MarisaStPT a hipster in a slightly insulting fashion. Non-ironic apologies!
posted by donnagirl at 8:12 PM on July 22, 2010


It's totally cool. I kinda like the skinny jeans look, actually.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:22 PM on July 22, 2010


Oh thank god, I thought I was becoming one of those thread-killer people I heard about.
posted by donnagirl at 8:29 PM on July 22, 2010


I hope homunculus shows up with a news article about hipster mis-spellings right now.
posted by not_on_display at 9:13 PM on July 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Also, someone get fourcheesemac some donuts : Dollars to donuts he's shilling something and as cj_ says, playing MeFi like a fucking harp.
posted by carsonb at 12:29 PM on July 22 [+] [!]


Why thank you, carsonb.

So why is the smartphone thread still not deleted? Who cares how many (obnoxious) comments it has?
posted by fourcheesemac at 9:23 PM on July 22, 2010


Main priority was to ban the guy. The original post there didn't have any sketchy links—they're all at a glance familiar and reasonably well-established sites, no random also-ran link to like seometrics-bullshittery-experts.com or whatever.

So, fuck him, he's banned on the grounds that he's a known spammer and hopefully he'll fuck off for good this time, but if there's not a clear problem with the actual links in the post we don't necessarily feel a need to delete it.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:32 PM on July 22, 2010


"The same applies to viral videos: if a lot of people have seen it, but it's going to be new to some MeFites who might find it interesting, wouldn't that make it an acceptable post?"

This sentence is the most salient to your misunderstanding of my point. First off, no, generally, the more people who have already seen it, the less acceptable the post is. You can always argue that there's some hypothetical new person who would be interested or entertained, but a moment of consideration will show you that this ignores the principle inherent in one of the stronger guidelines: to avoid doubles. The general prohibition against doubles is instructive, in that it shows that it's not merely the discussion that redeems, and that newness and novelty is inherent in the criteria of what a good post is.

But second, and more importantly, by looking toward the standard as one of "acceptable," and construing deletion as negative, therefore all posting as starting from a position of positivity, you're both undercutting the ideal of excellent posting and ignoring the plain language meaning of "filter." The goal shouldn't be to be simply to find acceptable links to post—there's a practical infinity of them. The goal shouldn't be to lazily post whatever burbles to the top of the google news feed or whatever internet social disease is spread on facebook. I can't believe that when you took the trouble of tracking down Brudda Iz links that your goal was to make a post that merely wouldn't be deleted. So why do you ask what makes an "acceptable" post now? Why not seriously discuss what makes a good post, what makes a great post?

If the paucity of ambition leads us to simply discuss what makes posts acceptable, than we do need to seriously enforce the guidelines through deletion—we do need to call for posts of material that has been widely seen to be deleted, we do need to call for posts that are only momentarily distracting to be deleted (if it's not going to be a good post in another day or another week, it's not a good post now), we do need to call for posts that are nothing but shallow partisan trawling to be deleted, we do need to call for posts that are weaker than the resultant discussion to be deleted, and deleted with alacrity and diligence. But the costs of that in terms of moderation are high, and given that MetaTalk panders to loudmouths only slightly less than FoxNews talkshows, doesn't it make more sense to argue and advocate that posters think harder and aspire higher when making posts?

Stop asking if a post is acceptable. Start asking if you can make it great and memorable. If you can't, maybe it doesn't need to be posted, because plenty of ephemeral or mediocre links already are and we don't need more.
posted by klangklangston at 9:39 PM on July 22, 2010 [5 favorites]


Goodnight, jessamyn. Goodnight, cortex. Goodnight, Matt. Goodnight, pb. Good morning, vacapinta.
posted by cjorgensen at 10:04 PM on July 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ok, cortex. I understand.


I still think it was a crap post and an even crappier thread and mefi could stand to lose it.
posted by fourcheesemac at 10:40 PM on July 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


in rebellion against the great y2karl, I made an effort not to make any posts with any commentary, which was something he really wasn't doing

Jesus Christ, dude. It's largely because of shit like that that you're getting pushback on this thing, not simply because everyone else just loves to roll around in mediocrity like swine in muck on a hot day.

You have a complaint about what you perceive to be a lack of quality material on the front page, but you shoot yourself in the foot by being patronizing and insulting. Unfortunately, someone brings up an unrelated comment you've made, not your fault, derails happen. Then you make a weirder insulting comment trying to preempt people from pointing out you're just as guilty of shit-posting as anyone. The derail gains some traction - again, not really your fault, I guess you figured it wasn't worth dignifying with a response - but shit, you know how MeTa works. Finally that bit comes to a head, is done with, and now your line is some ridonculous tripe that MetaTalk is a festering wound - again, you were here in the puss-filled circa 2006 era, compared to then, MeTa is now all doilys and spats - and haven't contributed anything substantial to your own damn post aside from the suggestion that they run out a contest, a pretty empty one-off gimmick, I think. Whenever someone has made an effort to honestly address things, you've either ignored it, responded with some glib bunk, or whined that you're so hard done by and that it shouldn't take so many goofy comments to get to the meat of the issue.

I'm guessing 'The Crunchland MeTahod Or How To Make a Better Post On The Gray' is not in the offing.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:49 PM on July 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


Holy shit, you posted a Microsoft Flaw FPP? Are you trying to give me an aneurysm?
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:51 PM on July 22, 2010


Oh sweet mercy I am never reading a long meta thread again on a mobile phone. Screen too small to hold this much drama!@&$@ n

(renders really great, pb. Just walls and walls and walls....)

No it's not a N1 why do you ask?
posted by cavalier at 3:41 AM on July 23, 2010


Hee heee. This is makin' me laugh to myself now. Hooray!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:43 AM on July 23, 2010


I still think it was a crap post and an even crappier thread and mefi could stand to lose it.

Well, it's more like a crappy family argument that's already happened. It wasn't good, but it certainly wouldn't really accomplish anything to have everybody pretend it didn't happen; that's not going to prevent future arguments or make the context any clearer if the same old shit comes up again.

We basically don't remove posts after fact just because they weren't great and didn't go well. That a version of metafilter where the lousy posts with lousy threads never happened in the first place would be a bit better of a place is a fair thought, but there's no profit in deleting stuff just for the sake of pretending it's so.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:31 AM on July 23, 2010


I removed a single link SLYT post. Do I get a cookie?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:43 AM on July 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


No. BatPug taught me how to love again, and you took that away from me.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:46 AM on July 23, 2010 [3 favorites]


You forgot how to love? How does that happen?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:48 AM on July 23, 2010


Hey lady, you know where AskMe is.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:49 AM on July 23, 2010 [4 favorites]


I don't know where AskMe is. Is there a website where I could ask people about it?
posted by shakespeherian at 8:51 AM on July 23, 2010


I don't know where recursion is. Is recursion where I don't know where recursion is?
posted by Burhanistan at 8:56 AM on July 23, 2010


(Also I'm gay and I give him a pass on the "gay up the front page" crack. I think it's clear from context he meant no ill will.)

Well, at least we got that straight.
posted by y2karl at 9:02 AM on July 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


I don't know where recursion is. Is recursion where I don't know where recursion is?

Did you mean....
posted by zarq at 9:25 AM on July 23, 2010 [3 favorites]


Heh
posted by Burhanistan at 9:27 AM on July 23, 2010


I love that little easter egg. :D
posted by zarq at 9:29 AM on July 23, 2010


hay no fair i didnt get the easter egg. is someone looking at a picture of me typing "recursion" into google and finding nothing, but not finding the picture of me typing "rec--

fuck it. you get the joke. i didn't see nuthin tho.
posted by not_on_display at 9:42 AM on July 23, 2010


When you Google "recursion", you are asked, "Did you mean recursion?"
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 9:45 AM on July 23, 2010


If you click on the "did you mean" link 17,777 times you get another easter egg.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:48 AM on July 23, 2010


Whoah, that was so worth it.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 9:54 AM on July 23, 2010


Man I was at a swanky industry party last night and almost every single dude was rockin the suit-jacket dress shirt-converse look. We've all just decided to be Dr. House I suppose.
posted by The Whelk at 10:02 AM on July 23, 2010


Or Craig Ferguson. Maybe it's a British thing?
posted by Think_Long at 10:06 AM on July 23, 2010


If you click on the "did you mean" link 17,777 times you get another easter egg.

Dude, that's just cruel. :)
posted by zarq at 10:11 AM on July 23, 2010


i think Daviid Tennant,s outfits have finally reached critical mass.
posted by The Whelk at 11:49 AM on July 23, 2010


"If you click on the "did you mean" link 17,777 times you get another easter egg" posted by Burhanistan

OK, so I started clicking and clicking, and was really getting physically and mentally fatigued, but I kept going and finally made it to 17,777 clicks--then I started seeing the wildest shit! Recursive patterns and whorls and fractal swirls that, well, I cannot really describe in words at the moment.

Problem is, I stepped away from the computer for a while, but I still keep seeing it, on the walls, on my hands, everywhere. Is this some kind of plug-in that Google installed onto my visual cortex? How do I unsubscribe from this Easter Egg Recursion plug in?

I mean, I love recursion and everything, and these patterns are amazingly beautiful, but I have to get on the bus soon, and I don't want everyone staring at me while I babble, "Whoa, what does this mean? Double rainbow all the way!!! Bwaugh auuuuughh!" y'know?
posted by not_on_display at 12:24 PM on July 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


Not_on_display is gonna wake up with Steve jobs' blood on his hands.
posted by The Whelk at 12:29 PM on July 23, 2010


n_o_d: Just yell Royal Rainbow! and state "This Katamari feels fractalsish," while in a safe place and the plug-in will activate your gag reflex and you should puke up a big fractal rainbow that your laser eyebeams will then turn to stardust. Problem solved.
posted by edbles at 12:31 PM on July 23, 2010


When did double rainbows become a thing? All of a sudden I'm seeing mention of them everywhere.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:34 PM on July 23, 2010


I just meant that the 17,778th click would also be that same easter egg.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:44 PM on July 23, 2010


Double rainbows! Oh my God it's incrediblits almost a triple rainbowohmygod!
posted by Think_Long at 12:48 PM on July 23, 2010


Neil Patrick Harris Freaks Out Over Double Rainbow.
posted by ericb at 12:58 PM on July 23, 2010


Somewhere, I think it was in this thread, someone mentioned Conservative Comic Strips as an example of a bad post. I thought about this when I was falling asleep last night. I disagree. Even though I did not contribute to the thread, I got a lot out of it.

First, the post introduced me to several comics that I was not aware of.

Second, it caused me to question why I have such loathing for Mallard Filmore. Is it just a liberal reaction to a conservative comic or is it something more? This topic was explored in the comments that followed.

Third, this additional link posted by Epenthesis was well worth a read and I thought the highlight of the entire post. I thought the few Day by Day strips that I read were not funny, but didn't try to analyze why they weren't funny-- after all I don't know much about the art of drawing comic strips. Shaenon K. Garrity takes the time to analyze it for me and I found that very informative.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 1:21 PM on July 23, 2010


Clearly I'm in the minority. Forget I said anything.

Selling ice to the eskimos again, are we ?
posted by y2karl at 1:54 PM on July 23, 2010


Thinking about this issue further and it is probably too late to engage further at this point, but fools rush in...

Several people up thread noted that speaking in generalities wasn't particularly useful, so I will offer a few recent concrete examples that I noted as not quite what I think of when I think of good posts. My apologies in advance to those whose posts I use as examples - it's not personal, guys! Think of it as furthering science!

The double jeopardy award - a link to a blog post with a list of twitter posts - a twitter contest about the worst imaginary book title for kids.

A bear with a jar stuck on its head. I like local animal stories but unless something is really unusual, I don't think local news stories are a great choice for mefi

Subway has changed the way they put cheese on their sandwiches
Well some marketing person somewhere is delighted about this post.

Sometimes I forget how lucky I am, not living in Iran - news clip about iran cracking down on men's hair styles, which might make for a good post if it were fleshed out and not so poorly framed

Car salesman tells the truth - SLYT grainy, old clip that has been out there and around the block forever.

26 seconds of weird al using a shredder - SLYT, the best feature of which is that it is only 26 seconds.

Just pass them by? What's the harm? Well when weak posts are allowed to stand, it lowers the bar. It says to the 500+ new posters that join every month that this is the standard, this is what's OK here on mefi. And if we rely only on flags and shout down any metatalk discussions with the fiamo mantra, well, that pretty much eliminates a big part of the self policing that I think contributes to site quality.

I realize there many people that like the flow, the bigger the better. There are so many flow sites out there tho. Me, I have always preferred the Filter. I'd be fine with more deletions. And call me elitist, but I've always liked being part of something that is a cut above. It's my opinion that we have to work to stay that way.
posted by madamjujujive at 4:40 PM on July 23, 2010 [9 favorites]


I flagged most of those. They kind of suck.
posted by Burhanistan at 4:48 PM on July 23, 2010


Flagging posts from a few weeks ago doesn't really do anything except make us run around looking at them. I'm totally happy if people flag these sorts of things going forward, if you think they're bad posts, but don't go back flagging things from weeks ago please. I'm not sure if that's what you were doing or not.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:55 PM on July 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


No, I meant at that time, sorry.
posted by Burhanistan at 4:56 PM on July 23, 2010


I will go on the record as saying I thought the SUbway story kicked ass, but them I found out about the whole cheese controversy on my own, so it wasn't news to me, but I still liked the post. In fact, I am going to favorite it out of spite! A spiteful favorite! Because I can!

The rest of those posts were not my thing. I won't vote for any of them in the best post contest.
posted by cjorgensen at 6:18 PM on July 23, 2010


madamjujuve, the goal of my Used Car Salesman post was to bring the massive LOLs to the people of MetaFilter. I almost peed - didn't you? Everyone needs to almost pee from LOLs as often as possible... have you no soul??!

And please note the value added transcription that I brought to the table! It's poetry!
posted by Meatbomb at 6:50 PM on July 23, 2010


I think I may have psychically willed the Weird Al post into survival. It's a ridiculous little no-context bit of ephemera that would probably have been deleted nine times out of ten, but some combination of my mood that day and my life-long love of Yankovich made it a thumbs up for me and I just cleared out the borderline-modest pile of flags as an act of personal love and selfishness.

To some extent part of what makes mefi a nice generalist place for a lot of different people to hang out is that for probably any of those posts there are some people who feel the same way—yes, it's not super substantial stuff, but they really like it and engage with it for one reason or another. Cheese at Subway is a deeply silly issue but it's also something that a ton of people related to in one way or another. Collation of twitter jokery is sort of obvious but it's still nice to see it in one place now and then, and is the sort of thing that (while that thread may not be a great successful example) can lead to wonderful on-site punning sprees and such.

Which, that's just devil's advocacy to an extent, one man's trash is another man's really well-loved trash, and honestly I don't think any of those posts was particularly strong, mjjj, and don't really ultimately disagree with what you're saying. I think that vying, when faced with a post that could be done well or done lazily, to do it well as much as possible is a laudable goal—and that just as much when considering making a post that just can't be done well to really second-guess that Will To Post and just give the thing a pass.

Insofar as folks passionate about the ongoing health and quality of this place want to think about that stuff—about how to post as well as they can, whether they're posting complicated substantial curatorial things or ephemeral weirdness or anything in between—I think having discussions like this is worthwhile, and I get crunchland that that's essentially what you were aiming for, framing issues and bumpiness aside. Grumpy and snarky as people can be here (depending I think in large part on the actual circumstances but also certainly in part on just a random whammy factor and a years-long tradition of ritual snarkiness), I do like threads whose aim is to get folks to look critically and collaboratively at the idea of good posting and quality contribution/participation on mefi.

How to accomplish that beyond having these discussions in Metatalk is another question, and that's the classic dilemma: those of us who spend time here, spend time here; everybody else who doesn't, won't see it. So something like a posting contest, as short-lived as it may be as an explicit motivation, is maybe a good thing to do every year or two regardless because it's a way to make the question of considered posting more public and introduce it explicitly to newer users, who will then with some luck retain that sensibility long after the contest itself has gone by, in how they think about making posts of every stripe.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:54 PM on July 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ah Meatbomb, I love you madly and you always do make me laugh, but I still think that post sucked.

And, Meatbomb, cjorgensen, cortex, anyone still following - I have a huge tolerance for weirdness, silliness, whatever. It's my stock in trade. It honestly isn't any one of these posts in particular, we've always had some outliers - particularly for silly stuff.

What troubles me more is the absolute "fiamo" philosophy that rules. I get that there are flags and they work to clean up a lot of things, and you mods are all really great, please don't think I am criticizing you. But to me, it seems we transitioned from far too excessive in-thread flesh-flaying over post quality to the other end of the spectrum. We're so reliant on the flags and dainty now that nobody ever wants to say "dude, this is a tad thin" or "gyob" even when those things maybe should be said. Yes, my friend crunchland stepped in it here with his framing, but I applaud the intent.

I'm not under any illusion that we had a golden age, but we are bigger now and things are different, they scale differently. Some things are better. We are kinder, more diverse, more tolerant. The continual flow of new folks brings new energy, new creativity. All good things. But on the flip side, I think it's a little more of a challenge keep the "filter" in metafilter.

I like the idea of an annual contest, particularly if it's paired with some dialogue.
posted by madamjujujive at 7:57 PM on July 23, 2010 [3 favorites]


i am a strident believer of FIAMO. how i see this:

nobody ever wants to say "dude, this is a tad thin" or "gyob" even when those things maybe should be said.

is - what's the worst that would happen if those things didn't get said and people really started flagging things they don't like? if no one derailed the thread than either conversation would happen, conversation would stall, or it'll get flagged to hell and the mods will decide to remove it. there's even an option beyond FIAMO, which is instead of saying all those things in the thread, you email the mods and say them there. i have nothing but praise for how the entire mod team responds to emails. it's timely, it's satisfactory in much the same way their explanations on metatalk are, and it's done in a direct way. to me, the "chatfilter!", "thin post", etc type of statements are an attempt to kill the thread. if you want to do that, just bring it up to the mods and see if they remove it.

i think a lot of people, myself included, keep from making metafilter posts for fear that all our hard work at putting a post together will immediately derail based on the whims of the community at that exact moment, when if people had FIAMO, maybe a few hours later someone would see it and really want to talk about it.

not only does FIAMO keep people from posting threads, i think it keeps people from participating in conversations on the site, because if half the thread is filled with "this is thin!" "no it's not!" it's hard to get to meat of it. and finally, i think if the threads didn't fill up with those sorts of comments the userbase would be more likely to learn a lesson from their deletions because they wouldn't be able to say "oh, it got deleted because some snarky people derailed it early on" instead of saying "huh, this didn't garner any conversation, and the mods said _____________".
posted by nadawi at 8:11 PM on July 23, 2010


number of comments in a thread is not something that designates post quality. nor does the a lack of comments get a post deleted.
posted by shmegegge at 8:26 PM on July 23, 2010


no, and i didn't mean to indicate that it did. i was saying, let the threads live or die on their own without sniping in there, because it only detracts and i can't see what value is added that isn't better served by mailing the mods directly.

and, if the sniping and "bad post for mefi!" stuff happening in the thread is discouraging people from even trying to make posts or discouraging people from discussing the posts that are made, it seems like that's actually far worse for metafilter than a dumb post flying through sometimes.
posted by nadawi at 8:42 PM on July 23, 2010


yeah, shitting in threads is a bad thing. sorry I didn't get that's what you were saying.
posted by shmegegge at 8:58 PM on July 23, 2010


nadawi, earlier in this thread I said...

"I agree that making "this is bad" comments that derail a thread is bad and should be discouraged. What I don't get is why everyone gets mad about bringing such a discussion over here to meta. We used to have discussions about the merits of individual posts, posting styles, content, etc more frequently here."

...so I agree that flags have contributed greatly in minimizing threadshitting and derails. But the fiamo has been extended to discussions over here on metatalk too - "if you don't like it just move on..." I don't think flags or one-to-one exchanges with the mods solve everything, I think there is value in the discussion and the hashing things out in the community. I'm a firm believer in the peer-to-peer and self policing functions even if though it means things get messy sometimes.

Ah, nadawi, if you have something to post please do so and the masses be damned. Even though I have made a lot of posts, I still have a little bit of stage fright every time I do. (and I think that is a healthy mechanism that protects me from making too many very bad kneejerk posts) But I actually prefer overt criticism to the sting of total silence and apathy.
posted by madamjujujive at 9:08 PM on July 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


FIAMO is, quite literally, Slashdot. Except Slashdot at least let's you filter the down-flagged.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:03 PM on July 23, 2010


And MeFi doesn't need more posts. It is *perfectly ok* if you don't post anything. In fact, unless you can make a better front page post than most, it's better if you *don't* post.

That's where the "filter" in MetaFilter comes in: self-policing instead of relying on moderators.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:09 PM on July 23, 2010


Just pass them by? What's the harm? Well when weak posts are allowed to stand, it lowers the bar. It says to the 500+ new posters that join every month (and everyone else) that this is the standard, this is what's OK here on mefi. And if we rely only on flags and shout down any metatalk discussions with the fiamo mantra, well, that pretty much eliminates a big part of the self policing that I think contributes to site quality.
This.
Thank you mjj.
Maybe the flags could be tweaked to have a bit more meaning: noise, derail, breaks the guidelines, other. Noise is a derail so one's redundant straight up and they both break the guidelines or if they don't they should so that's now two redundant which could be renamed.
posted by adamvasco at 10:46 PM on July 23, 2010


This sentence is the most salient to your misunderstanding of my point. First off, no, generally, the more people who have already seen it, the less acceptable the post is. You can always argue that there's some hypothetical new person who would be interested or entertained, but a moment of consideration will show you that this ignores the principle inherent in one of the stronger guidelines: to avoid doubles. The general prohibition against doubles is instructive, in that it shows that it's not merely the discussion that redeems, and that newness and novelty is inherent in the criteria of what a good post is.

By that criteria, very, very few posts would probably appear here. But a double on this site is simply not equivalent to a so-called double that appears elsewhere. People who are on this site may not surf to others. By telling people not to post things that appear elsewhere, you are making an assumption that they spend time on non-Metafilter sites. I would be willing to bet that some don't.

I agree that the discussion which appears in a thread doesn't make or break a post's quality. But on the opposite side of the spectrum from SLYT posts that get 200 comments are the heavily fleshed-out posts which don't attract many comments, and in which a substantial discussion never really gets off the ground.

Do posts that have lots of links in them deter some people from talking about them? We talk about raising the level of discussion here. I'm not entirely sure that deeper posts create an evironment which encourages community discussion. Take my Hoder post. Most of the comments there were praise for the quality of the FPP, which is nice for my ego and all, but I found it somewhat disappointing that only a handful of people bothered to talk about what the post was actually about. I know full well that once I hit the post button, the post is no longer "mine." But still... I wonder if it's worth the effort.

You talk about making posts memorable. If people favorite but don't comment, doesn't that say something about the inherent qualities of a post?

But second, and more importantly, by looking toward the standard as one of "acceptable," and construing deletion as negative, therefore all posting as starting from a position of positivity, you're both undercutting the ideal of excellent posting and ignoring the plain language meaning of "filter." The goal shouldn't be to be simply to find acceptable links to post—there's a practical infinity of them. The goal shouldn't be to lazily post whatever burbles to the top of the google news feed or whatever internet social disease is spread on facebook.

I agree that the standard shouldn't merely be "acceptable' -- that's not what I'm saying. "Acceptable" would be a minimum threshold required so a post doesn't get deleted, not an end goal.

But I'm not entirely sure that a well-fleshed out post is great for the community either, if it doesn't spark a conversation. Of course, not every post will. I posted something about Holocaust poetry last night, and knew when I did that it wouldn't attract much attention. Poetry has never been terribly popular here as a post subject, and then... frankly... the subject is kind of depressing and Jewish-centric. So it will only appeal to some folks, and not a majority.

I can't believe that when you took the trouble of tracking down Brudda Iz links that your goal was to make a post that merely wouldn't be deleted.

Absolutely right! :) But while we're trying to figure out what content makes a good post, perhaps we should also talk about what a good post should try to accomplish?
posted by zarq at 6:48 AM on July 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Maybe the flags could be tweaked to have a bit more meaning

We've talked before about why we have the flags we have. Some people want more reasons, others want fewer reasons so what we have is a balance. I don't really see that changing the reasons would impact user behavior much, but I could be wrong.

But I'm not entirely sure that a well-fleshed out post is great for the community either, if it doesn't spark a conversation

Not to bring up a potentially sore spot here, but this is sort of why I [we?] didn't delete the "bear with jar on head" post. It was a short dopey news story, but the thread was full of hilarious bear jokes by the time I saw it. Not something I'd like to see in every thread, but a good balance to some of the more serious/grar threads we've had lately. So whatever each post is supposed to be, the mix of posts is also sort of important too, and something we think about (as much as it pains some people) when we're making modly decisions.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:18 AM on July 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


By telling people not to post things that appear elsewhere, you are making an assumption that they spend time on non-Metafilter sites. I would be willing to bet that some don't.

To be very blunt: So. Fucking. What.

MeFi can not be all things to all people. Go to Reddit if unfiltered Internet firehose is what you want.

It is Meta*Filter*. Filter the fucker.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:54 AM on July 24, 2010


> To be very blunt: So. Fucking. What.

To be very blunt: Your opinion matters only to you. I too don't spend time on other sites like BoingBoing and Reddit, and I appreciate having these things brought to my attention (assuming they're worth posting aside from having been "everywhere"). So you lose.
posted by languagehat at 7:58 AM on July 24, 2010 [3 favorites]


So. Fucking. What.

So the question of how the wide availability of a link or set of links on other sites plays into decisions about whether or not to post it to Metafilter should be approached with a sense of balance, with an appreciation for the fact that while Metafilter should not be all things to all people, neither should it be some anti-internet that rejects anything anyone else thinks is noteworthy.

Posting something just because it's on Reddit or BoingBoing or wherever: lazy posting. Posting something that happens to be on some of those other sites because there are other places on the internet where people also post neat stuff: not a problem at all. Generally speaking, we're looking at the latter, not the former.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:04 AM on July 24, 2010


Go to Reddit if unfiltered Internet firehose is what you want.

It is Meta*Filter*. Filter the fucker.


I'm not at all saying that we should be unfiltered. This is already something of a gated community -- we do "filter the fucker" by setting a certain standard which posts have to meet if they're going to survive. What we're talking about here is raising the bar, right? It sounds like some folks want to raise it substantially and in theory, I don't have a problem with that -- as long as we can define where the bar should be without it being too arbitrary.

But in practice, does it make sense to measure quality of a post's content based on whether it's shown up elsewhere?

Also, does timing matter? Let's say you make an FPP. Minutes later, the same thing shows up on Reddit and Digg and is upvoted like mad. Should we then delete it from MeFi just to prove we're not them? Ridiculous, no?
posted by zarq at 8:41 AM on July 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


It is ridiculous, and has a kind of high school "cool kids" attitude to it. God forbid some amazing FPP get cooties from Digg or Reddit. Some of us don't even visit those sites. Who cares where it's been posted before? That alone shouldn't bear any kind of weight. Clear framing, links that work, funny and/or interesting information (yes, even on subject we know about) - all these are elements of a good FPP.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:47 AM on July 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


Cortex: So the question of how the wide availability of a link or set of links on other sites plays into decisions about whether or not to post it to Metafilter should be approached with a sense of balance, with an appreciation for the fact that while Metafilter should not be all things to all people, neither should it be some anti-internet that rejects anything anyone else thinks is noteworthy.

Posting something just because it's on Reddit or BoingBoing or wherever: lazy posting. Posting something that happens to be on some of those other sites because there are other places on the internet where people also post neat stuff: not a problem at all. Generally speaking, we're looking at the latter, not the former.


Makes a lot of sense to me. So does this:

Jessamyn: So whatever each post is supposed to be, the mix of posts is also sort of important too, and something we think about (as much as it pains some people) when we're making modly decisions.
posted by zarq at 8:48 AM on July 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


nadawi, I know I said this earlier in the thread, but I agree wholeheartedly with madamjujujive. Please don't be afraid to post!
posted by zarq at 8:56 AM on July 24, 2010


Whether MeFites spend time on some other site is irrelevant to the question of whether a post should be made. It *doesn't matter* if they might not see it otherwise.

If seeing everything is important to a user it is up to that user to seek it elsewhere. MetaFilter is not a firehose.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:17 AM on July 24, 2010


Who's asking for a firehose? Just saying "this was posted on Reddit!!!" is not a good reason to delete a post.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 9:19 AM on July 24, 2010


Saying "but someone might miss out on this if I don't post it" is *not* a good reason to post.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:22 AM on July 24, 2010


five fresh fish: "Saying "but someone might miss out on this if I don't post it" is *not* a good reason to post."

That goes for comments, too. Just sayin'.
posted by ShawnStruck at 10:36 AM on July 24, 2010


"By that criteria, very, very few posts would probably appear here. But a double on this site is simply not equivalent to a so-called double that appears elsewhere. People who are on this site may not surf to others. By telling people not to post things that appear elsewhere, you are making an assumption that they spend time on non-Metafilter sites. I would be willing to bet that some don't."

First off, I disagree. I don't think there's any real basis to argue that very, very few posts would appear—you'd have to argue that there simply isn't enough great stuff to sustain MetaFilter at a high standard, which I don't think is true. Perhaps fewer, sure, but very, very few? That sounds like counteractual hyperbole to me. And I don't mind fewer so long as they're better.

Second off, again, I think you miss what the prohibition against doubles has to represent as an idea for shaping what should occur. I mean, why do we prohibit doubles? It seems explicitly to ensure novelty and reinforce the permanence of archive with respect to MetaFilter. If that's true, then it follows that the principle is good, and if it is good, then its utility is not limited to the single negative expression of disallowing doubles, but also to the positive argument that we should be posting content that is relatively unpublicized. It is not telling people to not post things that appear elsewhere, as that's clearly absurd—this is the internet. Shit's linked. Most MetaFilter posts don't even, my suspicion is, come from the primary content. Most is already aggregated from other aggregates. But likewise, the idea that we should cater to those who only surf on MetaFilter is absurd and antithetical to the idea of MetaFilter. Those who only surf MetaFilter will never bring new links to MetaFilter—they're, in the language of torrenting, leechers not seeders. It likewise plays into the impetus to make MetaFilter all things to all people, seen in calls for more and more functionality even away from the core mission.

"I agree that the discussion which appears in a thread doesn't make or break a post's quality. But on the opposite side of the spectrum from SLYT posts that get 200 comments are the heavily fleshed-out posts which don't attract many comments, and in which a substantial discussion never really gets off the ground. "

Ah, but a great post with no comments still fulfills the mission of MetaFilter in posting good stuff. Discussion isn't necessary to every link—see Chunking Express's posting history.

"Do posts that have lots of links in them deter some people from talking about them? We talk about raising the level of discussion here. I'm not entirely sure that deeper posts create an evironment which encourages community discussion."

If a post has so many links that it can't be easily explored within five to ten minutes, then it may not be a good post for MetaFilter, which means that purely weighting the number of links isn't a good way to view this either. And again, discussion isn't necessary for good links, though good links encourage better discussion when discussion does happen, because good links have enough content in them that they can be discussed by many people well. That's a big flaw in a lot of newsfilter sort of stuff, where we succeed in spite of the paucity of content.

"You talk about making posts memorable. If people favorite but don't comment, doesn't that say something about the inherent qualities of a post?"

Yes, I think it does, at least given the way I use favorites. I've gotten laxer with them in comments, but as far as posts, I always come back to those posts again. I mean, I guess you can argue that there's something purer about not mechanically remembering a post, but rather having the impression strong enough that you don't need tools, but I think that's a red herring.

I've got more on your next point, that posts should provoke discussion, but my girlfriend's right that I've got a lot of crap I need to do before we have people over and that having a philosophical super-nerd meta-discussion is probably not as important right now as sweeping.
posted by klangklangston at 11:26 AM on July 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


its utility is not limited to the single negative expression of disallowing doubles, but also to the positive argument that we should be posting content that is relatively unpublicized

Marry me!

Relatively unpublicized. That is what should make MetaFilter stand out from the crowd. Filtered.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:07 PM on July 24, 2010


Saying "but someone might miss out on this if I don't post it" is *not* a good reason to post.

But nobody said that. Cortex was saying it was okay to have a post even if it was something that already showed up somewhere else, if that thing was worth posting and not just a lazy copy/paste.

(p.s. HI EVERYBODY!!)
posted by cavalier at 12:12 PM on July 24, 2010


Oh good grief, could have previewed that. I'm going to sign off, because I don't need to campaign against a secret society of web assassins that only bring the secret stuff to MetaFilter. Filter should stand for the quality of the content, and since quality is one of those words that's subjective to everybody in this thread, you can rest assured that other people don't feel Filter means "WE GOT FRIST POST, BABY!!" Good can be good while still being linked somewhere else in the world.
posted by cavalier at 12:15 PM on July 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


Eh, don't worry about it. There's a broken record bleating something about WE NEED TO DO THIS THING without even quantifying what the hell he's yammering about.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:22 PM on July 24, 2010


But nobody said that.

It doesn't matter. The strawman army must march on!
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:44 PM on July 24, 2010


What filters wouldst thou apply?

(I usually apply my own. I skip a majority of posts because they don't appeal to my interests at the moment. There are people with other interests visiting the site and appreciating those posts that I skip, and many of those people will probably skip the posts that I like without incident. Metafilter FPPs point to many types of intelligent things, appreciated by people who are, I've found, intelligent, each in their own way. The thing we all (the users, the audience) have in common is that we mostly know when something's just plain dumb or boring or overdone; and it's those posts which accumulate many flags and are thereby flushed from the system by our mods, in the manner of Devo.)
posted by not_on_display at 2:42 PM on July 24, 2010 [6 favorites]


^ This right here is saying it far better than I ever have or could. That's what it's all about.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:47 PM on July 24, 2010


One thing I find that is both good and inexplicable, and I'm slightly afraid to mention lest I somehow jinx it: The userbase has grown (tripled? septupled?) but the number of posts has not increased as the ratio. What sort of magic is this?
posted by vapidave at 6:51 PM on July 24, 2010


It's good magic. Roll 1d100 for constitution.
posted by not_on_display at 9:36 PM on July 24, 2010


Rough magic, vapidave. The best sort of magic.
posted by cgc373 at 11:12 PM on July 24, 2010


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