Replies in Metafilter? November 28, 2010 5:06 PM   Subscribe

Replies in Metafilter? I assume this has been discussed in the past, but since my searches in didn't unearth anything, here it goes anyway.

Is there a plan for the Blue to have a system of replies (maybe not a full-fledged threaded conversation thing like Reddit, but a lighter @-based system like Twitter)?

Again - I'm sure this was discussed before, and probably dismissed. Just curious why that functionality doesn't exist.
posted by falameufilho to Feature Requests at 5:06 PM (222 comments total)

falameufilho: Is there a plan for the Blue to have a system of replies ?

Can you expand at all on what you mean by 'replies'? If I may venture a guess, you may wish to peruse the threading tag here in MeTa and see if that answers any of your questions.
posted by carsonb at 5:10 PM on November 28, 2010


Everytime you do an @ reply your life gets 3 seconds shorter.
posted by The Whelk at 5:10 PM on November 28, 2010 [19 favorites]


What it comes down to is that with threaded conversations OR with @replies, what is designed to be one conversation about a post turns into multiple conversations. The management here likes us to have one conversation, not many.
posted by beagle at 5:14 PM on November 28, 2010 [5 favorites]


Is there a plan for the Blue to have a system of replies

Nope. There is no plan for any kind of formal or built-in comment-reply tracking or threading functionality. Folks roll their own around here.

If you want to make it clear that you are replying to something specific, common convention is to set off a quoted portion of what you're replying to in a typographically conspicuous fashion. Italic tags are the most common method, though folks occasionally use other formatting methods instead (bold, small tags, blockquote). Linking back to the comment, or addressing the user you're quoting by name, are also common in situations where that context would for one reason or another be helpful.

Use of twitter-style @username notation is pretty strongly dispreferred.

There are a couple of scripts mefites have written—I don't use them, so I can't tell you offhand what they're called—that provide a degree of customizable automated reply functionality if you find manually typing out the html for a specific kind of quote-and-reply annoying.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:16 PM on November 28, 2010 [3 favorites]


see, e.g. or if that isn't semantic enough for your needs, try this.
posted by boo_radley at 5:19 PM on November 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


cortex: "dispreferred"

Jesus, cortex. It's like you poured sand in my gas tank.
posted by boo_radley at 5:20 PM on November 28, 2010 [8 favorites]


It might be because you don't post to MetaTalk much, but from what I understand, most people here hate Twitter-style "@username" responses. Or at least find them annoying. Mostly because it looks impersonal, like you're talking "at" someone. A threaded system like Reddit is a non-starter, too, because it breaks up the flow of the conversation.

There's nothing inherently wrong with replying, though. Most people make do with copy-pasting a comment and italicizing it, and if you do that a lot, you can save time by installing Plutor's excellent Mefiquote script for Greasemonkey. I think something like this would be a nice addition to the site, but it's pretty tough to sell a change to something as ubiquitous and critical to user experience as the comment byline. Also, I think it's discouraged as an official site feature because it encourages extended quote-offs during heated debates. Don't quote me on that, though. Heh.
posted by Rhaomi at 5:20 PM on November 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Rhaomi: "people here hate Twitter-style "@username""

indeed, the graybeard old-guard would probably say "we dislike it because we talk with each other, not at each other".
posted by boo_radley at 5:22 PM on November 28, 2010 [11 favorites]


Is there a plan for the Blue to have a system of replies

There is in fact a plan for us not to have this sort of situation. As threaded discussion becomes more the norm than the exception on the larger web, this makes MeFi stand out as a little weird, but we're okay with it. Our feeling is that this would dramatically change the way the site works, is moderated and sort of feels to interact with. We like the fact that everyone sort of needs to talk to everyone else. MeMail is available for side conversations, as are all the other tools the interbubs has to offer.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:22 PM on November 28, 2010 [18 favorites]


Man, dispreferred? Real gov't writing time: "This office nonconcurrs with the proposal."
posted by fixedgear at 5:28 PM on November 28, 2010 [5 favorites]


Man, dispreferred?

I blame it on reading linguistics blogs. The reader may, if they like, substitute "widely considered to be kinda butt".
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:32 PM on November 28, 2010 [37 favorites]


how about 'is looked upon as rather poopy'?
posted by Ghidorah at 5:37 PM on November 28, 2010


I'm a little disappointed that the mods are so inflexible about this topic since this is the first time we've discussed it.
posted by mullacc at 5:47 PM on November 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


I like "dispreferred."
posted by rtha at 5:48 PM on November 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


"dispreferred" == "mal-liked"
posted by DU at 5:53 PM on November 28, 2010 [4 favorites]


@ is doubleplusultraungood. Aka dispreferred. That is all.
posted by nevercalm at 5:57 PM on November 28, 2010


Is this a good place to ask what to do when someone uses @username? It drives me batty, but I sort of have the feeling that it's not the best thing to say something about it in thread.
posted by stoneweaver at 5:59 PM on November 28, 2010


My preferred response is to attempt to light the @-user's toenails ablaze with the power of my mind. So far I appear to have been unsuccessful.
posted by elizardbits at 6:03 PM on November 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


@stoneweaver: Flogging's too good for them. I say we force them to eat a plate of beans.

I believe from now on, I will definitely "roll my own" when it comes to responding to specific users and specific comments. Thanks!
posted by TrishaLynn at 6:05 PM on November 28, 2010


w/boo_radley: Totally!!
posted by AkzidenzGrotesk at 6:07 PM on November 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


When I see people using the "@username" thing, I liken it to when my kids send me messages in textspeak. It kind of hurts my brain and makes me feel a little old and cranky, but I don't kill them or anything.
posted by amyms at 6:08 PM on November 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Just curious why that functionality doesn't exist.

Hey, in the interest of understanding, could you explain why you think it should exist? I find it terribly disruptive and not community oriented.
posted by nomadicink at 6:18 PM on November 28, 2010


interbubs

I think I like this. Almost no Google hits for it, either.
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 6:19 PM on November 28, 2010


Pony: Can you make the <quote> tag a synonym for <blockquote> in the stylesheet? It'd be a nice shorthand for us lazy folk.

Also, a left-border on quoted items would make them easier to identify, in contrast to something that got indented and italicized for some other reason.
posted by schmod at 6:20 PM on November 28, 2010


RT @boo_radley indeed, the graybeard old-guard would probably say "we dislike it because we talk with each other, not at each other".
posted by special-k at 6:23 PM on November 28, 2010


I find it terribly disruptive and not community oriented.

You find the ability to have a followable conversation disruptive and not community oriented?
posted by DU at 6:30 PM on November 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


>>>>special-k: Oh, I understand that what you wrote in that specific context was ironic to that situation; it is very amusing to me and I wish to express it with some brevity.

I only wish that it were easier to type ASCII codes when you're on a laptop and don't have a numeric keypad to easily reference. Then I could easily get fancy with my reply references.
posted by TrishaLynn at 6:33 PM on November 28, 2010


w/boo_radley

That shorthand "w/" looks casual & unprofessional.

Wouldn't some nice, dignified Latin improve the tone of the place?

As in, "Cum boo_radley"
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:41 PM on November 28, 2010 [4 favorites]


What freaks me out is the I button is the EM tag
posted by Ad hominem at 6:42 PM on November 28, 2010 [4 favorites]


Just to throw another example out there, threaded vs. not threaded doesn't have to be black and white. Ravelry* has forums with numbered posts, so things are in order of posting (like MeFi) but you can respond to specific posts, and each post has links to the ones it responds to and the ones that respond to it. Honestly, though, I'm just fine with MeFi the way it is now, and it would be weird if it was different. Check out the MeFi Navigator script for Greasemonkey - it doesn't thread, but you can jump easily between a user's comments. I find it helps me keep track of things in long threads.

* Ravelry requires registration, but it's free, and honestly - if you are interested in internet communities and their websites, you should join just to see how amazingly it's built and then learn to knit.
posted by booksherpa at 6:42 PM on November 28, 2010 [7 favorites]


what @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@The Whelk said.

(I've got nothing but time).
posted by cjorgensen at 6:44 PM on November 28, 2010


To be be clear I understand it's so the text is emphasised. You could change the stylesheet to make it pink, or bold, or 24 point font. But I always go, whoa EM, where did that come from.
posted by Ad hominem at 6:48 PM on November 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


The first thing I do on any threaded BB or forum is choose the linear viewing option so this all makes me happy.
posted by unSane at 6:49 PM on November 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think I like this. Almost no Google hits for it, either.

I am an actual linguist.

I like the forums that have the numbers too, but this forum is not that forum. The way discussions work here is that everyone talks to everyone about the topic of the thread. This has up sides and down sides, but whatever people think about it, I think we can all agree that changing it would be the beginning of the end of everything [which also has up and down sides] and not something we'd likely undertake unless there was a huge clamoring for it, which there isn't.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:49 PM on November 28, 2010 [3 favorites]


> Everytime you do an @ reply your life gets 3 seconds shorter.

You're always getting closer to dying.
posted by Burhanistan at 6:50 PM on November 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yes, lets make Mefi as unreadable as Reddit. While you're adding that can we have animated 3-D emoticons too?
posted by octothorpe at 6:52 PM on November 28, 2010


I loathe threaded view and am so happy every time this comes up (12 billion and counting!) that the mod squad stamps on it kindly but firmly.
posted by winna at 7:06 PM on November 28, 2010 [9 favorites]


I think discussion would be easier to follow if everyone used the "quote in reply" greasemonkey script.
posted by tehloki at 7:19 PM on November 28, 2010


I am watching a TV news story about atheist billboards.
posted by Mister_A at 7:28 PM on November 28, 2010


...twitter-style @username...

This makes me twitch. Like most conventions on Twitter, it was grafted on by users. This one came from online forums. It's about as much a 'Twitter convention' as hashtags.

Heck, how is it any different than naming the person without the '@'? Same frakin' thing.

That said, I tend to just quote whatever I'm replying to without attribution. Primarily because it's easier (especially when I'm on my phone) but also because I'm replying to the idea, not the person.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:30 PM on November 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


"dispreferred"

I think you meant "disempreferenciated".
posted by Forktine at 7:36 PM on November 28, 2010 [4 favorites]


It's about as much a 'Twitter convention' as hashtags.

Sure, the evolution and transmission of typographic conventions from platform to platform and user group to user group is complicated stuff that long predates the currents fads. That said, those are both manifestly Twitter conventions in the practical sense that they are widely held conventions on Twitter, and Twitter is a pretty visible landmark of random internet chatter at the moment, so, well, what do you do. "Twitter-style @username replies" is a lot more concise than the alternative and, practically speaking, pretty much on the mark for the world we're currently living in, all question of who should or should no be on whose lawns aside.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:55 PM on November 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


You find the ability to have a followable conversation disruptive and not community oriented?

Begging the question. Obviously, many people here find the non-threaded conversations eminently followable. I find them far more followable than threaded conversations.
posted by Lexica at 8:06 PM on November 28, 2010 [3 favorites]


One of the things I like most about all of Metafilter is the fact that the forums are not threaded. I've never had a problem following the conversation.
posted by patheral at 8:26 PM on November 28, 2010 [4 favorites]


If you don't like it, you should probably just start your own Internet.
posted by Eideteker at 8:39 PM on November 28, 2010


On Twitter, prepending an "@" to the name links to the user. On MeFi, it does no such thing, so you might as well omit it. Or do you address people in conversation by saying "at" before their name?
posted by Eideteker at 8:41 PM on November 28, 2010


"Twitter-style @username replies" is a lot more concise than the alternative...

"Forum-style @username replies" is even more concise.

I guess my problem is that there's a lot of Twitter hate 'round here, so framing it that way seems to be pejorative in itself.

There's a small chance that I could be overthinking this.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 8:46 PM on November 28, 2010


I overthink it with you in love, but, yes, I think for the purposes of this discussion we're a good bit deeper in the weeds than we need to be. Lovely weeds, though.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:52 PM on November 28, 2010


sticky too.
posted by The Whelk at 9:02 PM on November 28, 2010


Dispreferred?!? Is that a George W. Bush created word or a Sarah Palin created word?
posted by Daddy-O at 9:08 PM on November 28, 2010


I dunno, sounds like a good idea to me.

------------------------------------------------
ArchLinux 750GB HD, 5GB RAM, Intel Core 2 Duo T5450 @ 1.66 GHz

"I may be drunk, but I would still never buy anything from M$" - W. C. Fields

Click here to read my fanfiction!!!
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 9:08 PM on November 28, 2010 [14 favorites]


Marisa Stole the Precious Thing: "------------------------------------------------"

What the fuck is wrong with you? TWO DASHES, ONE SPACE, ONE NEWLINE. Ugh, it's eternal September all over again.
posted by boo_radley at 9:11 PM on November 28, 2010 [13 favorites]


(that comment means I am an old, thank you.)
posted by boo_radley at 9:12 PM on November 28, 2010 [3 favorites]


Sieg Heil, .sig file?

I am so going to the naughty spot.
posted by TrishaLynn at 9:16 PM on November 28, 2010


(that comment means I am an old, thank you.)

Would you like some help getting those kids off your lawn?
posted by Karmakaze at 9:18 PM on November 28, 2010


No, I so rarely get to fire up the zamboni.
posted by boo_radley at 9:23 PM on November 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


I would really like avatars though. I've got this hilarious .gif of a cat playing a banjo that I've been meaning to use.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 9:26 PM on November 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Well, I guess I got my response, with healthy servings of helpfulness, thoughtfulness and douchebaggery on the side. :-)

What prompted me to ask was the fact that replying to someone in a Blue thread sometimes takes two to three copy-and-paste cycles, not to mention scrolling up and down what can be a loooooong page... that is, if you want to link to the original post and make things somewhat more readable. Of course you can just not link to anything, and refrain to quote whoever you're talking to. That makes it really easy, and that's the behavior the current system rewards and encourages. Which is fine, if that's what the community wants.

But if you want to quote whoever you're replying to and link back to that post it's kind of a pain in the ass. And that pain would be understandable in, say, 2003, but these days it seems like being old school for old school's sake, and silly considering the site already uses some small AJAX helpers like adding to favorites, marking as best response, etc.

And you know, just like the comments from OP are marked on AskMe, it seems logical that responses to you would be similarly marked on the Blue - hence the suggestion of a Twitter-style @ response system (excuse me, purists, but Twitter can easily claim ownership on this one now) to make that kind of dynamic formatting automated.

I think it'd be cool if the reply-related dynamic formatting would be totally contextualized by the user seeing the post. If you didn't participate on that post, it would look just like today. If you did, then you'd see some special formatting for your own posts, replies, etc.

Doesn't seem like a radical departure from what we have today, methinks.
posted by falameufilho at 9:31 PM on November 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Marisa Stole the Precious Thing: "I would really like avatars though. "

don't know if it still works, but eh.
posted by boo_radley at 9:33 PM on November 28, 2010


{}
posted by clavdivs at 10:01 PM on November 28, 2010


@everyone: What's wrong with the @username construction? It seems to be a pretty effective way of directing a comment. I don't use it but if I did I'd keep using it until pb gave us a quote or blockquote button.
posted by doublehappy at 10:07 PM on November 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


I don't mind @username, or any of the other ideas suggested. Was just getting nostalgic for sigs, that's all.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:12 PM on November 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


I don't really mind seeing the @ either. I used to, but I either dropped the pretense I had that it was aesthetically displeasing or else I just became inured to it in the way a prisoner gets used to mistreatment. Either way. It can get confusing in long threads without some standard means of reply. I'd like to see something like a quoting bookmarklet that attributed the quoted poster included in our selection of HTML buttons, actually.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:16 PM on November 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


What prompted me to ask was the fact that replying to someone in a Blue thread sometimes takes two to three copy-and-paste cycles, not to mention scrolling up and down what can be a loooooong page

(paraphrasing): so what you seem to be after is not some kind of threaded discussion at all, but an automation of italicising + linking back to an original quote?

Put that way, I think it would be a handy feature, if only because people relying on it might stop using that fucking annoying @ protocol.

I'm not sure technically how it would be achieved, though, because most of the time one doesn't reply to an entire comment, but to a cherry-picked morsel within it.

For this to work, the steps would have to be something like:

STANDARD FLOW

1. User highlights the text they wish to reply to
2. User clicks Reply
3. System inserts selected text with tags for italicising
4. System inserts hyperlink from selected text to original comment location
6. User types own comment
7. User clicks Submit Comment
8. System posts comment, complete with quoted text & hyperlink

EXCEPTION FLOW

6e. User pastes the Treaty of Westphalia
7e. [as per standard flow]
8e. [as per standard flow]
9e. User gets a timeout
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:17 PM on November 28, 2010 [3 favorites]


I'm sort of a naive user, I admit, but to get that effect can't you use a combination of tabbed browsing and favoriting?

That is, I see a bunch of upthread posts I want to quote and respond to, I favorite them all, and then I open my Favorites in another tab in my browser and copy-and-paste from there? Or if I really don't want the posters to feel popular, just use the time-sig to generate a new tab for each relevant comment and copy-paste from there?
posted by gingerest at 10:26 PM on November 28, 2010


huh. I guess one of the things I like about this place is that people usually take the time to create thoughtful responses. Adopting @name to me makes it seem like less care is taken, and that other, less delightful aspects of twitter type posting are more likely to end up in threads. I don't know about other folks, but I kind of like the fact that leetspeak and 4chan-esque re-Englishes are usually only used sarcastically here, and for the most part, people keep the discourse at a level that feels like actual conversation between intelligent adults.
posted by Ghidorah at 10:29 PM on November 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


boo_radley: " indeed, the graybeard old-guard would probably say "we dislike it because we talk with each other, not at each other"."

So it should be w/boo_radley instead of @boo_radley?
posted by IndigoRain at 10:30 PM on November 28, 2010


damn, somebody already made that joke.
posted by IndigoRain at 10:31 PM on November 28, 2010


But if you want to quote whoever you're replying to and link back to that post it's kind of a pain in the ass.

My feeling is that if you're doing a lot of quoting and you're finding the process of quotation annoying, you're probably an ideal user for Plutor's mefiquote script, mentioned upthread. It is, as I understand it, flexible enough to let you have a bit of control over the presentation of your quotes, and it makes the whole process lickety split.

A lot of people here don't do much quoting so the net burden to them for the quoting they do do is quite low. Of the people here who do a lot of quoting and find it burdensome, I think that the quote script is pretty much the standard solution. For the folks who quote a lot and don't mind doing it manually (that'd be me, for one), it's a non-issue.

One of the things I like about mefi is that folks who end up engaging with a problem like e.g. how to go about quoting/referencing/addressing other users or their comments end up having to be a little thoughtful about the problem, and so when they come up with a solution it fits them pretty well. So you get people making an informed decision about how to quote, what to quote, what tools if any to use to make it happen, etc.

One undesirable side effects of creating a built-in quotation function is that it encourages folks to jump in on the powered-up quotation features without putting that thought into the process first. And so you run the risk of seeing a culture of lazy overquoting, with folks just quoting entire paragraphs or comments because it's easy to do so. Obviously that doesn't apply to everyone—for many people on mefi, this is not remotely their first rodeo, textually speaking—but unfortunately the people it does apply to are precisely the people who lack the internet street smarts to know that they don't know what they're doing.

So that's one of the basic acclimating-to-mefi things that comes into this. But totally aside from that, creating a more complicated system of reply-and-quotation at this point when we've got over a decade of established conversational convention seems unnecessary and not at all a good idea. There's all kinds of valid approaches to conversational branching and threading and so on, certainly, but how mefi does it is how mefi has always done it and it works perfectly well for the site as it has existed since 1999.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:33 PM on November 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Can Metafilter stave off the creeping Eternal Septemberish @username hordes? Or, like a band of plucky heroes barricaded inside a shopping mall with a horde of ravening zombies outside, are we doomed to eventually be overrun?

Film at 11.
posted by Justinian at 11:53 PM on November 28, 2010 [4 favorites]


@stoneweaver: Spouse them.
posted by NoraReed at 12:42 AM on November 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


like a band of plucky heroes barricaded inside a shopping mall

Oh, we'll be fine as long as no one does anything silly. I mean, no one is hiding the fact that they've been bitten, right? And surely we'll never have any petty infighting that leads to poorly thought out ways of feeding each other to the zombies that inevitably go awry, right? Guys?
posted by Ghidorah at 1:24 AM on November 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


so... cold... didn't realize it would go so fast... hard to type through the blood. Not sure if it's mine, or someone else's... feeling faint.

It happened so fast. One minute we were joking... it was about the treaty of westsomething...

then... NoraReed, out of nowhere, god, stoneweaver, he's gone...

she'd @him...
posted by Ghidorah at 1:33 AM on November 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


I always thought that the anti threading crowd here was a bit zealous and snobby but over time I've grown to appreciate the more subtle reasons for discouraging directed replies. I do think that non- or lesser-directed replies help squelch flamewars and that the urge to direct replies can be an early warning (at least to me) that a person is getting overinvested in the conversation and might be getting a little truculent. I also agree that non-directed replies keep the discussion feeling more inclusive.

Non-threaded discussion is certainly not a panacea for all that ills Internet discussion but I do think that at least on MetaFilter it helps.
posted by kalessin at 4:16 AM on November 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


No, I so rarely get to fire up the zamboni.

At least buy me dinner first.
posted by zamboni at 5:27 AM on November 29, 2010 [20 favorites]


that is, if you want to link to the original post and make things somewhat more readable. Of course you can just not link to anything, and refrain to quote whoever you're talking to.

The middle ground is just to copy and paste the sentence you are replying to, without including a link or the username or whatnot, just adding italics. That is pretty much MeFi convention, and I think the only people who go above that are using the script cortex mentioned.
posted by smackfu at 5:32 AM on November 29, 2010


I have never met a disgruntled Zamboni driver. I met this one who was missing an eye, had diabetes, impetigo, lumbago, and lambada, but he was more than happy to limp out of bed every morning knowing that he would get to operate the Zamboni once again.
posted by Mister_A at 5:33 AM on November 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


I always thought that the anti threading crowd here was a bit zealous and snobby

Good lord, no. We are over-zealous and completely snobby about it, and rightfully so!
posted by rtha at 5:48 AM on November 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


The middle ground is just to copy and paste the sentence you are replying to

QFT
posted by Mister_A at 5:50 AM on November 29, 2010


Metafilter: pretty strongly dispreferred.
posted by blue_beetle at 5:58 AM on November 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


But if you want to quote whoever you're replying to and link back to that post it's kind of a pain in the ass. And that pain would be understandable in, say, 2003, but these days it seems like being old school for old school's sake, and silly considering the site already uses some small AJAX helpers like adding to favorites, marking as best response, etc.

This is ok, IMO, because people can not easily just pop off replies. You do have to copy, sometimes scroll, and paste, then format. It does get annoying, especially when you're coming it to a longer thread. But that's ok.

Because I've seen, far to often, how being just able to hit a button in order to reply seems to result in a lot more noise than signal. Too much chatter, not enough talking. I, personally, am totally ok with Mefi being different from the rest of the web.

Remember, just because something can be done doesn't mean it should be done.

Finally, as to having getting any notification that you're getting replied, I think that's an intended feature, designed to sort of "force" you to read the whole thread and not to skim for comments directed to you. You can still do it, of course, but the site doesn't and probably won't build that functionality into its toolset, 'cause you should be reading the whole thread.
posted by nomadicink at 6:00 AM on November 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


@everyone: What's wrong with the @username construction? It seems to be a pretty effective way of directing a comment.

What's the point of the "@" in the first place? Why even use it at all? On Twitter, it's a necessary tool for the other person to know you're directing a comment towards them, because conversations on Twitter don't take place all on one convenient page. Basically, Twitter is every person in the world standing alone in their own individual sandbox talking to themselves, and occasionally hollering over the fence at somebody else (which is what the "@" is used for).

Here, since the conversation is all on one page, it's enough to just type the username. "@" doesn't do anything, and there's no need for it. There's also the thing somebody mentioned upthread (they may have been kidding, but some of us really feel this way) in that it's kind of off-putting to have someone talking "at" you instead of with you. Drop the "@" and save the pixels.

Finally, as to having getting any notification that you're getting replied, I think that's an intended feature, designed to sort of "force" you to read the whole thread and not to skim for comments directed to you.

AMEN. We're all in the sandbox together, here.
posted by Gator at 6:52 AM on November 29, 2010 [7 favorites]


EXCEPTION FLOW

6e. User pastes the Treaty of Westphalia
7e. [as per standard flow]
8e. [as per standard flow]


This is known historically as a Buffer-state overflow.
posted by Devils Rancher at 7:55 AM on November 29, 2010 [5 favorites]


I guess my problem is that there's a lot of Twitter hate 'round here, so framing it that way seems to be pejorative in itself.

Not at all. I like twitter. Aside from Metafilter, twitter is the only other social media I regularly use.

Difference between twitter and Metafilter is when you're responding on MeFi, the context is right there, all around you.

When you're responding to something on twitter, the thing might have been written three days ago and is scrolled away on everyone else's client because they follow so many people. Using the @ sign allows people to track down that context -- if they care sufficiently to be bothered to do so.

My view is. if you feel the urge to @ someone, you should probably take it to MeMail.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 8:14 AM on November 29, 2010


I do think that non- or lesser-directed replies help squelch flamewars and that the urge to direct replies can be an early warning (at least to me) that a person is getting overinvested in the conversation and might be getting a little truculent. I also agree that non-directed replies keep the discussion feeling more inclusive.

That's been my impression as well. I think it also encourages richer, more involved participation by the group.
posted by zarq at 8:21 AM on November 29, 2010


Maybe I'm wrong, but I think the Twitter hate has largely subsided. It was mainly a reaction to the insane overselling of Twitter as something NEW and VERY IMPORTANT, which also seems to have faded. It seems like most people just think of Twitter as a thing that they're either interested in or not interested in these days, rather than taking a strong reactionary or evangelical stance.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 8:22 AM on November 29, 2010


Rhaomi: "A threaded system like Reddit is a non-starter, too, because it breaks up the flow of the conversation."

No, what breaks up the flow of the conversation is having two unrelated conversation cliques serialized.

It might be time to start a guerilla threading movement, using hefty amounts of greasemonkey. As long as quoted comments link to the quoted text, it should be possible to thread mefi from the browser itself. Of course, deciding which quote to parent a comment to when multiple quotes are used is an open question.
posted by pwnguin at 8:37 AM on November 29, 2010


I would like usernames to have more distinguishing characteristics, like color or an image. even animated .gifs would help a little.
posted by theora55 at 8:44 AM on November 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


You know what's funny is I can't even bring myself to hate the descriptively-named MySpace and FaceBook Mashup. Someone hate it for me, won't you?
posted by Mister_A at 8:56 AM on November 29, 2010


> You know what's funny is I can't even bring myself to hate the descriptively-named MySpace and FaceBook Mashup. Someone hate it for me, won't you?

Of course you can't. It would be like hating an old skunk that was writhing in agony after being clipped by an SUV. It stinks but it's suffering and will be dead soon.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:59 AM on November 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


"If you were a gentleman, I would speak to you. I was speaking at you, sir." -- Rochefort
posted by kirkaracha at 9:57 AM on November 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


I love this place. That there are so many people willing to write little mini-treatises about why having to slow down when you reply is a good thing? It means that MeFi does something very very right. Having somewhere that cares about the conversation is a wonderful and special thing.
posted by stoneweaver at 10:04 AM on November 29, 2010


no u
posted by shakespeherian at 10:10 AM on November 29, 2010


I'm a little disappointed that the mods are so inflexible about this topic since this is the first time we've discussed it.

I'm not sure if this statement represents some kind of extra-super-mega sarcasm or simply a lack of information about the eleventy-kajillion times this has, indeed, been discussed.

If it's the latter, this has been discussed eleventy-kajillion times and the answer has always been "Thanks, but no thanks; we do unthreaded discussion here for a reason."

If it's the former, I raise my hat to you.
posted by Sidhedevil at 10:18 AM on November 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


No, what breaks up the flow of the conversation is having two unrelated conversation cliques serialized.

Right, which usually leads to a suggestion to take it to MeMail. Or someone goes over to Meta in a huff and starts a new thread. The system works!
posted by smackfu at 10:35 AM on November 29, 2010


What's wrong with the @username construction? It seems to be a pretty effective way of directing a comment.

If you want to direct a comment to a specific person, use MeMail.

What I'm getting at here is a subtle but important distinction: the difference between writing a reply in response to another person's comment, and writing a reply directed at another person. The former, while in response to another's comment, is still meant to be read by everyone. The latter is really intended for one person only, and at best the person writing it doesn't care if anyone else sees it or not.

Writing a comment in response to another comment is fine, and there are various nondispreferred methods for indicating the comment which is being replied to. The @username convention, whether intended or not, seems to have more of a connotation of the message being directed at another person, not in response to another person.

Another way to look at it: are you replying to a comment, or to a person? If you are replying to a comment, who wrote the comment is secondary if not completely unimportant. If you are replying to a person, use MeMail.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 10:37 AM on November 29, 2010


Having somewhere that cares about the conversation is a wonderful and special thing.

But the discussion doesn't matter and can't save a bad post. Contradiction is a wonderful and special thing.
posted by carsonb at 10:38 AM on November 29, 2010


I misread the title as Recipes in Metafilter. Can we have that smack-down/discussion again now, please?
posted by Curious Artificer at 10:38 AM on November 29, 2010


Couldn't we just revive HAMBURGER for this purpose?
posted by Sys Rq at 10:38 AM on November 29, 2010


But the discussion doesn't matter and can't save a bad post.

The discussion matters but less so than the post itself, and rarely saves a bad post.

Happy now?
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 10:49 AM on November 29, 2010


Just to make it clear, here at the Meta*, we dislike it because we talk with each other, not at each other.

Wait, did someone already say that?
posted by OneMonkeysUncle at 10:54 AM on November 29, 2010


nondispreferred

Quality work, sir.
posted by Devils Rancher at 10:57 AM on November 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


It might be time to start a guerilla threading movement.

This is a joke right? Please tell me it's a joke.
posted by dersins at 10:59 AM on November 29, 2010


'I'm a little disappointed that the mods are so inflexible about this topic since this is the first time we've discussed it. '

I'm not sure if this statement represents some kind of extra-super-mega sarcasm or simply a lack of information about the eleventy-kajillion times this has been discussed.


I had assumed it was eleventy sarcasm. It comes up once a month, so anyone who pays attention knows it is a non-starter.
posted by winna at 11:07 AM on November 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


It might be time to start a guerilla threading movement.

       This is a joke right? Please tell me it's a joke.

              Of course it's only a joke.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 11:13 AM on November 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


A gorilla threading movement would be cool though.

Oo oo oo oo!
posted by nomadicink at 11:16 AM on November 29, 2010


~ The middle ground is just to copy and paste the sentence you are replying to

~ QFT

I'm on Team You Guys.
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:24 AM on November 29, 2010


On November 29th at 11:13am DevilsAdvocate wrote:
> On November 29th at 10:59am dersins wrote:
>> On November 29th at 8:37am pwnguin wrote:
>>>
>>> It might be time to start a guerilla threading movement. (snippage)
>>
>> This is a joke right? Please tell me it's a joke.
>
> Of course it's only a joke.
>

At least do it properly.
-- 
	       ___  |\
	   __| .  \_| \
	  /                \
	/'                  .\
	\             .       |
	 \.     ___      . /
	   *_/      \_._/
           /  
 PERTH
posted by Justinian at 11:25 AM on November 29, 2010 [6 favorites]


lol so true

> On November 29th at 11:13am DevilsAdvocate wrote:
> > On November 29th at 10:59am dersins wrote:
> >> On November 29th at 8:37am pwnguin wrote:
> >>>
> >>> It might be time to start a guerilla threading movement. (snippage)
> >>
> >> This is a joke right? Please tell me it's a joke.
> >
> > Of course it's only a joke.
> >
>
> At least do it properly.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:27 AM on November 29, 2010 [7 favorites]


             \
              \
  ___          \
:` o `:         \
|`---`|          \
|MmmmM|  .--.    ()
|MMMMM| /    \   /\
|mMMMm|/      `.'  '.__.
 `---`
I'm just gonna close this up here.
posted by The Whelk at 11:32 AM on November 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Cortex, you magnificent bastard.
posted by Justinian at 11:34 AM on November 29, 2010


On Twitter, prepending an "@" to the name links to the user. On MeFi, it does no such thing, so you might as well omit it.

Yep. I don't mind people using @replies here (save for the complaining it prompts) but it's never made much sense to me for this reason. You might as well just use normal grammar and punctuation, and use fewer characters in the process. As in:

"Username, I think you're wrongity wrong wrong wrong."
posted by brundlefly at 12:07 PM on November 29, 2010


Man, I sure don't miss top-posting, but, somedays, I do miss trn.
posted by bonehead at 12:27 PM on November 29, 2010


It's not a matter of "minding" people using things like @whatever on Metafilter, at least for me. I've seen first-hand what happens when a vibrant online community is either no longer able or no longer willing to maintain social norms and conventions. Yes, it's a little tiresome to ask people not to make up their own quoting and replying conventions as they go along. It's a lot tiresome to read it. It's not as bad as what happens if everybody starts doing whatever they feel like doing.
posted by Justinian at 12:27 PM on November 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Does anyone else remember when the "talk to another member" syntax on twitter was "t username"? So much better and MUD-y than "@". It worked in parallel with "@" for a long time but it doesn't seem to work anymore. Sad.
posted by mendel at 12:41 PM on November 29, 2010


re:@ Should such a comment be limited to to 140 characters?
posted by Cranberry at 12:42 PM on November 29, 2010


Rhaomi: Most people make do with copy-pasting a comment and italicizing it, and if you do that a lot, you can save time by installing Plutor's excellent Mefiquote script for Greasemonkey.

If you're running a Mac and Safari, here is the script for GlimmerBlocker that will allow you to have this quote functionality. Just edit the lines that say, "BUTTONTEXT" and "QUOTEFORMAT". (Lines 16 and 17)

Is there a place on the Wiki for me to put this script?
posted by 47triple2 at 1:55 PM on November 29, 2010


I'd say put 'er there.
posted by Gator at 1:59 PM on November 29, 2010


Marisa Stole the Precious Thing:

You forgot your Geek Code block!
Also, I was expecting more Tohou/Azu slashfic in that link.

-Chad Imbrogno
cimbrog@bgsuvax.bgsu.edu
-----BEGIN GEEK CODE BLOCK-----
GCM d s-:++ a C++ P++ L+ E---- W++ N o+ K--- w+ !O !M V PS+ PE Y+ PGP+ t+ 5 X++ R+++ tv b+ !DI D++ G e+ h- r++ y?
------END GEEK CODE BLOCK------
posted by charred husk at 2:02 PM on November 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


I haven't seen a Geek Code block in lo, these many. It's astonishing. It's like a Close-and-Play record player in its sheer blast-from-the-past-ness.
posted by Sidhedevil at 2:48 PM on November 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


The place I'd most appreciate this kind of thing is in the situation where selecting some text, copying it, going down to the bottom of the page, typing <em>, pasting that text, typing </em>, and then starting my comment is a real pain in the ass — on my phone. And that's the situation where I wouldn't know how to hack up this kind of mod.

Defaulting the feature to off and hiding it on an obscure preferences page might mitigate the issue of some of the people you worry about overusing it overusing it. It could even have a length limit!
posted by floam at 2:56 PM on November 29, 2010


6e. User pastes the Treaty of Westphalia

Now that would be dispreferred with extreme prejudice.

Dispreferred is a great word, and fills a need for a term that covers mild disapproval without suggesting outright rejection. Despite its previous use (36,400 times according to Google), it's not in any of the online dictionaries (and not in the spellcheck dictionary) and I want to declare it to be Cortex's word!

As for the @ prefix, we've already heard from cortex and jessamyn but I'm sure m@howie would also disprefer it.

I like cranberry's suggestion for dealing with it:
re:@ Should such a comment be limited to to 140 characters?


But generally, I think the best way for MetaFilter to co-exist on the web with Twitter and Reddit (and Facebook and BoingBoing and Wikipedia and other big names on the web) is to NOT be like any of them. If I start "An important message from Matt Haughey" with a picture of Zachary Quinto at the top of every page, I am OUT.
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:05 PM on November 29, 2010


correction: "If I start seeing..."

WHERE'S OUR THREE MINUTE CORRECTION WINDOW, MATT?
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:06 PM on November 29, 2010


WHERE'S OUR THREE MINUTE CORRECTION WINDOW, MATT?

Right here.
posted by nomadicink at 3:23 PM on November 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Man, that "butts lol" shirt makes me laugh every time I see it.
posted by brundlefly at 3:25 PM on November 29, 2010


I love that photo. So much.
posted by rtha at 3:49 PM on November 29, 2010


Dispreferred is a great word, and fills a need for a term that covers mild disapproval without suggesting outright rejection.

What's wrong with "deprecated"?
posted by Justinian at 5:56 PM on November 29, 2010


well, okay, you said "mild". But cortex said "strongly dispreferred" so defining it as mild seems counter-intuitive.
posted by Justinian at 5:57 PM on November 29, 2010


"Deprecated" suggests that it was preferred at one time. "Dispreferred" may or may not have been preferred in the past.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 6:03 PM on November 29, 2010


What's wrong with "deprecated"?

It's not at all the right word for what I was saying. The idea isn't that @username notation has been retired or phased out or otherwise removed from a prior state of accepted use; it was never an accepted convention around here in the first place and its somewhat increased usage around here in the last few years has mostly prompted grousing about same.

I went with "dispreferred" because it was a concise and also kind of neutral alternative to saying something like "shitty and generally disliked", and because I wanted to convey not "a lack of preference" but "an active preference that it not be used"; the closest thing to my intent that uses the same root would be I guess "actively not preferred" or something like that, which is pretty clunky.

I'd probably just rewrite the sentence in an active voice to get around the whole problem if I were going to replace dispreferred. Which in hindsight I would probably do because, clear as the meaning of it is, it's obviously a lot more conspicuous and uncommon a word than I expected.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:22 PM on November 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Meh. I'm disconcerned about the whole @ thing.

Or any of the other varieties of responses that I've seen.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:48 PM on November 29, 2010


Come on, guys, don't use a latinate form when there's a good anglo saxon version.

dispreferred == frowned on
posted by unSane at 6:50 PM on November 29, 2010


Latin was good enough for my great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great grat grandfather and it's good enough for you!
posted by The Whelk at 7:05 PM on November 29, 2010


I have not a single cell of latin blood in me.

I am pure Anglo-Dutch-Irish-Saxon. Pure, I tells ya. PURE.
posted by unSane at 7:12 PM on November 29, 2010


considering my ethnic background, the Latin exchanges of my ancestors where probably like...

Salve barbare! Orci gravida Hadriani potentes eligo. Venti sumus facere lumen scientiae et culturae et veterem sola insula!

Está a levar posto unha saia de metal!

Etiam. ita sum. Quid hinc ad concitant, imperii ...

Será que a súa nai fai isto para ti! Wooo home saia pouco de metal eo seu sombreiro brushy pouco! Ten esa cousa de pente ou que?

Bene adolebit super terram et sal terrae ieram.

posted by The Whelk at 7:15 PM on November 29, 2010


STANDARD FLOW

1. User highlights the text they wish to reply to
2. User clicks Reply
3. System inserts selected text with tags for italicising
4. System inserts hyperlink from selected text to original comment location
6. User types own comment
7. User clicks Submit Comment
8. System posts comment, complete with quoted text & hyperlink


5. The cabal redirects you to plastic.com

there is no cabal
posted by armage at 7:25 PM on November 29, 2010


The idea isn't that @username notation has been retired or phased out or otherwise removed from a prior state of accepted use

AFAIK that's only what deprecated means in a narrow programming context; it's not the primary definition of the word. Except in the sense that there are a lot of programming types on Metafilter, I guess. The primary definition of deprecate is along the lines of "to express strong or earnest disapproval of."
posted by Justinian at 8:04 PM on November 29, 2010


My only problem with people saying "well just use the existing greasemonkey scripts" is the fact that greasemonkey only works with Firefox, so it isn't really a solution for everyone. ( I pretty much use Chrome, the Safari and only Firefox when I have to)
posted by thewalledcity at 8:29 PM on November 29, 2010


Or I could just read through the mefiquote page to find Mefiquoteplusplus that *does* work with Chrome.
posted by thewalledcity at 8:34 PM on November 29, 2010


AFAIK that's only what deprecated means in a narrow programming context; it's not the primary definition of the word.

Point taken. On the other hand, outside of either that jargony usage or the specific compound "self-deprecating", the word's a bit moldy at this point; which isn't to it can't be used perfectly well and be understood as such, but I'd argue that aside from the mefi-has-programming-nerds-about point you acknowledged there's also a who-else-is-even-using-the-word aspect bolstering that.

But as the person who unblushingly trotted out "dispreferred" in the first place I may not have any ground to stand on regardless.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:49 PM on November 29, 2010


Which in hindsight I would probably do because, clear as the meaning of it is, it's obviously a lot more conspicuous and uncommon a word than I expected.

Gah, it's like you guys don't spend all your time reading the conversation analysis literature.


Wait, you don't?
posted by DiscourseMarker at 9:34 PM on November 29, 2010


I know, right? You're like "Gricean maxims" and they're all "oh yeah I think Megan Fox was on the cover of that this month" and its like, wevs.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:50 PM on November 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


Also, I was expecting more Tohou/Azu slashfic in that link.

I would totally read that. Most slashfics involving Touhou involve magic girl anime like Utena and Sailor Moon. Which is understandable, Touhou being nothing but magic girls and all, but I always thought the point of slashfic was "look at THIS highly unlikely pairing!"
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:44 AM on November 30, 2010


boo_radley wrote: "see, e.g. or if that isn't semantic enough for your needs, try this."

So what's the difference between plain mefiquote and mefiquoteplusplus?

doublehappy: Why the need for an extraneous @ sign?
posted by wierdo at 8:45 AM on November 30, 2010


The middle ground is just to copy and paste the sentence you are replying to, without including a link or the username or whatnot, just adding italics. That is pretty much MeFi convention, and I think the only people who go above that are using the script cortex mentioned.

Here's a perfect example of where nesting comments would be useful. I see something I want to respond to, and so I copy and paste the sentence, scroll all the way down... and now I've forgotten who wrote it. And if the person who wrote these sentences wanted to engage in a thoughtful conversation with everyone who quoted it, he or she would have to do a Ctrl-F on specific words and phrases rather than just the username. With Firefox, such a thing would be easier to do than with IE; I don't know how the other browsers or even a browser on a phone handles Ctrl-F.

It's a somewhat isolated and specific case, but I've come into threads late enough to where I'd want to see if anyone had a response to what I had to say and it doesn't seem like there's a way to help that kind of user/reader.

(It also makes me feel like MeFi is not for me if I can't log in every day and comment on every post... but that's the subject of a completely different post.)
posted by TrishaLynn at 4:45 PM on November 30, 2010


Metafilter: with healthy servings of helpfulness, thoughtfulness and douchebaggery on the side. :-)
posted by Tuesday After Lunch at 8:41 PM on November 30, 2010

I see something I want to respond to, and so I copy and paste the sentence, scroll all the way down... and now I've forgotten who wrote it.
Sometimes I'll middle-click on the datestamp to open the post I'm replying to in a new tab, so I have it handy as a reference. Don't know if that'd work for your posting style.
posted by Karmakaze at 6:26 AM on December 1, 2010


>>>>Karmakaze: Only if I feel like having tons of tabs open! ;)
posted by TrishaLynn at 8:19 AM on December 1, 2010


My big takeaway from this thread is learning how to do ASCII art on Metafilter and have the formatting preserved. Now the sky is the limit.

--
	       ___  |\
	   __| .  \_| \
	  /                \
	/'                  .\
	\             .       |
	 \      ___      . /
	   *_/      \_._/
           /  
 PERTH
posted by Justinian at 12:19 PM on December 1, 2010


YOUR COUNTRY KINDA LOOKS LIKE A BUNNY.

WHICH IS IRONIC.
posted by The Whelk at 12:20 PM on December 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


Nested quotes are only good for pranks where you comment with a single letter in each comment until it spells out a rude word.

I like dispreferred and say huzzah for such a precise word.
posted by winna at 8:39 AM on December 2, 2010

A
 
R
u
d
e
 
W
o
r
d
Um... I guess...
posted by Karmakaze at 9:27 AM on December 2, 2010


YOUR COUNTRY KINDA LOOKS LIKE A BUNNY.

WHICH IS IRONIC.


Man one time a guy came into Blockbuster while I worked there and he was like 'Uhh... I heard about this movie in like... Africa?... and there are these kids who ran away...?' and I was like 'Are you thinking of Rabbit Proof Fence?' and he said 'YES!' and then I retired on a pile of awesomes.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:44 AM on December 2, 2010


ha ha you worked in a blockbuster
posted by The Whelk at 9:45 AM on December 2, 2010


But at least I don't claim a love for the Super Mario Brothers movie.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:49 AM on December 2, 2010


At some point in the future, "Blockbuster Nights" will be a popular MMO where you'll walk around in a virtual recreation of the by-then-wholly-defunct chain video store environment, earning points for successfully locating poorly-described films quicker than the other players and spending those points on new flair for your uniform.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:02 AM on December 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


That game will give me PTSD flashbacks.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:06 AM on December 2, 2010


In fact, Netflix could fund the whole thing. Make it free-to-play. When you earn points they get you a discount on your membership or whatever. And you're not playing against a computer, you're actually fielding requests from Netflix customers looking for human recommendations or trying to track down poorly-remembered stuff.

It'd double as a chatroom, people could stand around just discussing movies as well. And there'd be monitors showing random films and such, just like in a real video store, and if you walk up to one you can zoom in and watch the movie fullscreen while keeping the chat interface up if you want to sort of multitask.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:10 AM on December 2, 2010


But can we do it in Minecraft?
posted by The Whelk at 10:17 AM on December 2, 2010


And candy? Can there be overpriced out-of-date candy, all sort of fused together in a sticky wad of packaging?

LITTLE-KNOWN FACT: At least in Chicago, most Blockbuster stores must, by law (because of zoning or some shit) be equipped with two restrooms, one per sex. However, at least in Chicago, most Blockbuster stores don't allow customer access to the restrooms, so they're just for employee use, really. And with the number of employees working during any given shift, you really only need one rest room. Also, the storage areas in Blockbuster stores are incredibly tiny. All of which is to say, if you've ever bought candy at a Blockbuster, there are staggeringly good odds that it has already spent several months in a musty unused bathroom that has a cardboard box over the toilet to keep candy from falling into the bowl.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:19 AM on December 2, 2010


Driving into work today, I passed two Blockbusters that have closed in the last year.

One of them had the following scrawled on one of the windows
CLOSED PERMANENTLY

"I WASN'T EVEN SUPPOSED TO BE HERE TODAY."
-CLERKS
The fact that they couldn't even get the quote right (It's "I'm not even...") really speaks to my impression that it wasn't just Netflix and RedBox that killed them.

For Chicago peeps, it's the one on Clark south of Devon.
posted by SpiffyRob at 10:24 AM on December 2, 2010


And candy? Can there be overpriced out-of-date candy, all sort of fused together in a sticky wad of packaging?

Oh hell yes. And you can try to upsell customers on candy after you successfully complete a query quest for them, and for every ten successful upsells you get credited for a free candy of your choice as well.

This won't really be viable until someone comes up with a way to deliver candy on demand to Netflix customers, though. You could do the whole thing with like vouchers or whatever but I think we all know that would be kinda bullshitty and unsatisfying.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:47 AM on December 2, 2010


We install vacuum tubes in the homes of subscribers. Hitting the customer in the head with a high-velocity sack of skittles is a mini-game
posted by The Whelk at 10:48 AM on December 2, 2010


When I worked at Tower Video, my coworkers were in awe of my ability to parse incoherent synopses. I want this game to be real, because finally there'd be a game I'm good at.
posted by brundlefly at 10:53 AM on December 2, 2010


Man, I've got this vision now of a whole genre, or maybe like universally-linked complex, of lovingly satirical workplace simulations as window dressing for topic-driven chatrooms. Go pretend to be a slackerly Blockbuster employee to talk about movies, go hang out on a virtual construction site and talk civ eng. or contracting stuff, fake record store to argue about music, etc. Lots of window dressing and minigames, sort of a post-post-post-ironic metagaming conversation space. Hipster VR.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:54 AM on December 2, 2010


It's getting to a "Simulated rural village at Versailles" place now.
posted by The Whelk at 11:08 AM on December 2, 2010


I am a bad person.

The store referenced above is actually a Hollywood video.

May Blockbuster's glory never be tarnished again.
posted by SpiffyRob at 7:27 AM on December 6, 2010


Man I was having a hell of a time coming up with which BBV you must be talking about.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:29 AM on December 6, 2010


It's good to know you keep close watch on these things shakes.
posted by The Whelk at 7:34 AM on December 6, 2010


What's your excuse?
posted by shakespeherian at 7:43 AM on December 6, 2010


i have no where else to go!
posted by The Whelk at 7:44 AM on December 6, 2010


Is that a Critic reference?
posted by shakespeherian at 7:49 AM on December 6, 2010


It's more of a hussy white.
posted by The Whelk at 7:51 AM on December 6, 2010


Who died and made you El Presidente?
posted by shakespeherian at 8:02 AM on December 6, 2010


Kabong.
posted by The Whelk at 8:11 AM on December 6, 2010


The pilot's a penguin? And he's been drinking?!
posted by shakespeherian at 8:14 AM on December 6, 2010


COUNTRY BEAR JAMBOREE
posted by The Whelk at 8:19 AM on December 6, 2010


This film gets my highest rating: 7 out of 10.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:21 AM on December 6, 2010


............ no one must know
posted by The Whelk at 8:31 AM on December 6, 2010


BUY MY BOOK

BUY MY BOOK

BUY MY BOOK
posted by shakespeherian at 8:34 AM on December 6, 2010


What is Me in roughly a year Alex?
posted by The Whelk at 8:35 AM on December 6, 2010


Oh shakes, you're the nicest guy to ever call me a superfreak.
posted by SpiffyRob at 8:38 AM on December 6, 2010


Aw thanks now can you see what you can do about warming it up outside maybe?
posted by shakespeherian at 8:56 AM on December 6, 2010


we move Chicago a hundred miles underground.
posted by The Whelk at 9:06 AM on December 6, 2010


Right, closer to the mutants? Think, Whelk, think!
posted by shakespeherian at 9:15 AM on December 6, 2010


Doesn't Chicago already have an underground realm inhabited by mutants or whatever portal to the underdark I entered last time I was there?
posted by The Whelk at 9:22 AM on December 6, 2010


You're thinking of Batman.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:42 AM on December 6, 2010


I'm never not thinking about Batman, though.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:45 AM on December 6, 2010


...you guys CORTEX WAS WATCHING US THE ENTIRE TIME.


BE ASHAMED.
posted by The Whelk at 9:48 AM on December 6, 2010


Every time you displace your conscience like that, God kills a kitten.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:52 AM on December 6, 2010


The banhammer is coming from inside the house!
posted by shakespeherian at 10:03 AM on December 6, 2010


The underground realm you speak of totally exists! eamondaly gave us a tour one time. It holds such mysteries as an Equinox gym and a bar with an identity crisis.
posted by SpiffyRob at 10:54 AM on December 6, 2010


it's a bar but it secretly dreams of being a laundromat.

Wait, laundromat that serves liquor. This is my new business plan.
posted by The Whelk at 10:55 AM on December 6, 2010


You will die poor.
posted by shakespeherian at 11:00 AM on December 6, 2010


but happy.

And in freshly laundered duds.
posted by The Whelk at 11:01 AM on December 6, 2010


I feel like the combination of laundry scents with fruity vodka cocktail scents is a bad one.
posted by shakespeherian at 11:02 AM on December 6, 2010


we'll serve nothing but scotch
posted by The Whelk at 11:15 AM on December 6, 2010


So you're looking at a customer base consisting of people who can afford to drink scotch but can't afford in-unit laundry?
posted by shakespeherian at 11:17 AM on December 6, 2010


Freelancers.
posted by The Whelk at 11:18 AM on December 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


So you're looking at a customer base consisting of people who can afford to drink scotch but can't afford in-unit laundry?

Welcome to Manhattan.
posted by zarq at 11:25 AM on December 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Here is ...a Manhattan.

You'll need it.
posted by The Whelk at 11:33 AM on December 6, 2010


Not even I am willing to make a pun about a man who is hattin'.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:09 PM on December 6, 2010


mad hatters?

Speaking of Mad Men and D&D
posted by The Whelk at 12:10 PM on December 6, 2010


WHERE IS MY MAD MEN ZOMBIE FILM
posted by shakespeherian at 12:32 PM on December 6, 2010


IN YOUR STUPID BUTT
posted by The Whelk at 12:36 PM on December 6, 2010


(B movie makers, if you need a hook for your next zombie movie....1962 is all I'm saying. )
posted by The Whelk at 12:37 PM on December 6, 2010


That or Fantasstic Voyage, I guess.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:43 PM on December 6, 2010


I really really hope that's a typo.
posted by The Whelk at 12:43 PM on December 6, 2010


IN YOUR STUPID BUTT, DAMMIT. IT'S A B MOVIE ABOUT 60s AD EXECS FIGHTING ZOMBIES IN SOMEONE'S COLON. YOU SET IT UP, I KNOCK IT DOWN. BUT THEN YOU'RE ALL LIKE 'MAN SET WHAT UP I DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT' AND I'M LIKE WHAT THE FUCK MAN
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:46 PM on December 6, 2010


I think we broke him.
posted by The Whelk at 12:48 PM on December 6, 2010


All the animals come out at night-- trolls, lolxtians, flamers, self-linkers, SEOs, lurkers, sockpuppets, sick, venal. Someday a real banhammer will come and ban all this scum off the threads. I go all over. I take people to the blue, grey, I take 'em to IRL. I don't care. Don't make no difference to me. It does to some. Some won't even take SLYTs. Don't make no difference to me.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:00 PM on December 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm amazed at how many threads about inline replies get this long. We really like to talk about it.
posted by tehloki at 1:01 PM on December 6, 2010


INLINE YOUR STUPID BUTT
posted by SpiffyRob at 1:52 PM on December 6, 2010


STOP FIGHTING! GOD I HATE THIS HOUSE!

*sobs, stomps off to room, slams door, blasts Iron Maiden*
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:04 PM on December 6, 2010


TURN THAT DAMN NOISE UP! IF YOU KEEP ACTING LIKE THIS I'M GONNA GET YOU NEW SPEAKERS BECAUSE THOSE SUCK!
posted by rtha at 4:08 PM on December 6, 2010


HOUSE PAAAAAAAAAAAAAARTY.

No one throw up on the cat.
posted by The Whelk at 4:15 PM on December 6, 2010


*throw up the cat*
posted by shakespeherian at 6:57 PM on December 6, 2010


And it's in a tidy little pellet too!
posted by The Whelk at 6:59 PM on December 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


I am trying to figure out the best way to get blood spatters on a prom tux.
posted by The Whelk at 7:05 PM on December 6, 2010


I have a fun job.

Any ideas?
posted by The Whelk at 7:05 PM on December 6, 2010


Don the tux and head out with a machete.
posted by unSane at 7:08 PM on December 6, 2010


serious you people will use any excuse to hack me to death with a machete.
posted by The Whelk at 7:11 PM on December 6, 2010


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