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New Twitter/Facebook sharing options proposed January 7, 2011 11:34 AM   Subscribe

Check out the small new twitter/facebook share links on this thread (only enabled there as a test) and let us know what you think

Quick story: I noticed since the uptake of Quora by seemingly everyone online that friends on twitter started to pop their freshly asked questions into their twitter stream as a way to alert their following friends that they had a question they could use some help on. I found that super handy and we've had several requests over the past year to do something like that on the posting page (adding a "share this on twitter/facebook as well?" checkbox or something). But instead, I think it's pretty minimal and useful to just add the two biggest social sharing options (instead of the giant SHARE THIS plethora of icons you see on many blogs asking you to Buzz it! Sblast it! and Shmedlink This!) for everyone, not just at the moment you ask a question.

It'll be useful not just for sharing your freshly asked Ask MeFi questions with your followers, but we would add it to all subsite comment thread pages, so it'd be much easier to share an awesome song from MeFi Music on twitter (something I do often and by hand using URL shortener services). You could share job openings you just posted to MeFi Jobs, your newest Project, or just a MeFi post you loved that you weren't the original poster of. Since we launched IRL for meetups and offline events, we've tried several avenues for helping people promote their event, having a simple link to share a meetup with your local mefi friends following you on twitter or facebook would probably be the best way to let them know, better than email reminders or status messages at MeFi.

For the twitter link, we did implement a simple URL shortener apache .htaccess hack. The format is as follows for all sites:

MeFi: mefi.us/w/[link id]
Ask: mefi.us/a/[link id]
Projects: mefi.us/p/[link id]
Music mefi.us/m/[link id]
Jobs: mefi.us/j/[link id]
IRL: mefi.us/i/[link id]
MetaTalk: mefi.us/t/[link id]

The boba fett test thread has a short URL of http://mefi.us/a/175073 and follows the above conventions (and it bounces to the canonical full URL through a simple redirect).

I tested this out myself on Twitter and Facebook and it worked, so we could push this out today if the consensus is that everyone is cool with it.
posted by mathowie to Feature Requests at 11:34 AM (278 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

My first reaction was "burn slash burn kill kill kill" but then I thought about it for a minute and realized that sometimes change is okay.
posted by Kattullus at 11:37 AM on January 7, 2011 [9 favorites]


So you're saying You Are OK With This?
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:39 AM on January 7, 2011 [13 favorites]


Having been consulted, I am.
posted by Kattullus at 11:40 AM on January 7, 2011 [3 favorites]


It's great, but everybody knows that twitter and facebook are fads. By july, everyone will have moved on to the next facespace or mybook, or whatever you kids are doing today.
posted by TheBones at 11:40 AM on January 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


*sigh* you're becoming just like the rest of them...

But yeah, what Kattullus said.
posted by Melismata at 11:40 AM on January 7, 2011


Eww, they're so bright...can't we make them a nice muted green or something?
posted by phunniemee at 11:40 AM on January 7, 2011 [4 favorites]


Yeah, not a bad idea to try making them black and white muted with color on mouseover. pb! Fire up the coffee pot and photoshop!
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:42 AM on January 7, 2011 [4 favorites]


dude, askme.fi is available.
posted by boo_radley at 11:44 AM on January 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


Any thoughts about doing a "share this on twitter/facebook as well" on the posting page, or is the thought just to have it on the actual post itself?
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 11:44 AM on January 7, 2011


My first reaction was "burn slash burn kill kill kill" but then I thought about it for a minute and realized that sometimes change is okay.

That was pretty much my experience this morning, too. The knee twitched, but I've calmed it because I don't really have a coherent objection. "Lots of crappy places do this" can be a good starting point for criticism, but not-doing-it-crappily seems like the important thing. Lots of decent places do this as well, etc.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:45 AM on January 7, 2011


I'm an only child, what's this sharing you speak of?

Maybe it gets a little lost on the side? Put it under the actual post? Too much?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:45 AM on January 7, 2011


Can someone please write a greasemonkey script to hide this, please?

I don't want everything on the internet to come with a share on FB button. So far Mefi has been one of the last remaining safe havens.
posted by special-k at 11:45 AM on January 7, 2011 [17 favorites]


Not green! It would ruin my professional white background.
posted by Grither at 11:45 AM on January 7, 2011


I demand email and NNTP links as well.
posted by DU at 11:45 AM on January 7, 2011 [3 favorites]


...or is the thought just to have it on the actual post itself?

There's no URL to share until the post is actually posted. And once that's done you're sent right to the actual post. So I think that's the best spot for it.
posted by pb (staff) at 11:46 AM on January 7, 2011


but yeah it's cool and yeah maybe tweak the colors a bit.

also maybe a profile option to disable? I dunno. I like them, but I know some people might FTFO when they see them.
posted by boo_radley at 11:46 AM on January 7, 2011 [4 favorites]


My first shared link would be a little acapella ditty sitting over in Music named "rock and roll".
posted by Ardiril at 11:47 AM on January 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Any thoughts about doing a "share this on twitter/facebook as well" on the posting page, or is the thought just to have it on the actual post itself?

Personally, I think having it only be on actual live posts makes a lot more sense than trying to incorporating some sort of multicasting dynamic into the mefi/askme/etcfi posting process.

One interesting facet of this will be seeing how spammers interact with the feature.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:47 AM on January 7, 2011


ah, speak of the special-k
posted by boo_radley at 11:47 AM on January 7, 2011


As long as you don't start doing the thing where on-mouseover some big box comes up urging me to pass along the page to every social networking site in existence, then we're cool.
posted by ODiV at 11:48 AM on January 7, 2011 [10 favorites]


I have a kneejerk negative reaction to it, but it's great if it brings in ad revenue, etc. I agree that it would be cool for the icons to match the Metafilter color scheme.
posted by roll truck roll at 11:48 AM on January 7, 2011


I feel kind of like a whiny crybaby even asking this, but could these share links be opt-in for askme questions? I realize that any question I or anyone else posts can easily be linked on fb or tw without using the buttons, but I'd rather not make it easier to do so for some things, particularly questions that are embarrassing to post but not enough to anon or sockpuppet.

Also it would be great if they could be automatically disabled on any questions that the poster asks to have removed.
posted by elizardbits at 11:48 AM on January 7, 2011 [12 favorites]


I like it, though you may see a huge increase in membership from India if I end up posting questions I liked to my FB. And so beware, the majority of my facebook newsfeed shows that my extensive Indian network prefers chatspeak.
posted by anniecat at 11:50 AM on January 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


I do sometimes share things on Twitter/Facebook, but I never use the Share buttons. So to me they'd be noise.
posted by zennie at 11:50 AM on January 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


How about a Print button for sharing in what remains the most popular social media, meatspace?
posted by carsonb at 11:51 AM on January 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm OK with anything I can turn off in my profile. Is "am willing to put up with because others want it" the same as "OK with?"
posted by Obscure Reference at 11:51 AM on January 7, 2011


Can someone explain something to me? When I post a link to a big site on Tweetdeck (Like Huffington Post, Youtube, etc.) it automatically converts to the short URL using that site's native shortener. When I post the Boba Fett link, it doesn't.

Where does the recognizing the shortener happen? At the Twitter level? At the Twitter app level? What do you need to do to make Twitter use your own shortening scheme?
posted by roll truck roll at 11:52 AM on January 7, 2011


How about a Print button for sharing in what remains the most popular social media, meatspace?

If you use the Print command in your browser we have a nice print stylesheet that formats the page for pressed wood pulp.
posted by pb (staff) at 11:53 AM on January 7, 2011 [6 favorites]


I can't imagine ever using them but yeah, they look nice and unobstrusive.
So, keep 'em is my vote.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 11:54 AM on January 7, 2011


I'd prefer a profile option to choose which, if any, "share via" chiclets appear on each page. Or an option to turn them off altogether. Or, I guess, a Greasemonkey script, although I have so many running on MeFi at this point that there's irritatingly noticeable load lag.
posted by hat at 11:54 AM on January 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Maybe a single "Share" link with the Open Share Icon next to it that springs open a list of "Sharables?"

Personally, my social circle shares lots of links on Google Reader. An icon for this would be nice. Seems like a lot of folks here are also starting to use Pinboard. Having a collapsible list could help bridge the gap between minimizing visual clutter, and pleasing everyone.

ALTERNATIVELY, you could have this be a user preference. Have a section on the User Preferences page, where we can tick off all of the "share" links that we want (or don't want) to see on the sidebars...
posted by schmod at 11:54 AM on January 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't want everything on the internet to come with a share on FB button.

I share this sentiment. And speaking of the ubiquitous "plethora of SHARE THIS" buttons, is there a greasemonkey script that generally removes them from evevrything?

On preview, a preference setting would be great.
posted by Maximian at 11:55 AM on January 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


Where does the recognizing the shortener happen?

I'm guessing Twitter has a list of sites that are linked so frequently that they have their short URLs mapped in a database somewhere.
posted by pb (staff) at 11:56 AM on January 7, 2011


I'm not wild about it in concept (totally a Jerky McKneeson reaction to seeing those icons all over the web) but don't mind as long as they are off to the side where I can't possibly accidentally click on them or better yet to opt out of their display, as elizardbits mentioned.

(So the other day a friend sent me a link to a blog that was horrifying in content and in my haste to leave the site, I fatfingered a Share on FB icon. I've never clicked on one of those before, I have no idea how they work, like if they are automagically linked to FB if I'm logged into FB or whatever so I spent much of the rest of the day monitoring my FB profile in fear of OMG I've Shared This Horrible Link With Everyone I Know.)
posted by jamaro at 11:58 AM on January 7, 2011


roll truck roll: Tweetdeck is programmed in with shortening everything through the link shortener you have in your preferences, but it's also got some hard coded in for sites they know have short links, and it's just delivering that link to you. It's an app-level thing, just for Tweetdeck.
posted by deezil at 11:59 AM on January 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Why does the share via twitter option open in a new tab, but share via facebook opens in the same tab?
posted by sambosambo at 12:00 PM on January 7, 2011


schmod: "Personally, my social circle shares lots of links on Google Reader. "

There's a bookmark link for that.
posted by Grither at 12:01 PM on January 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Can you have the Twitter link automatically add a #askmefi hashtag? That would be very useful.
posted by jbickers at 12:02 PM on January 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


Why does the share via twitter option open in a new tab, but share via facebook opens in the same tab?

This is a bug we'll need to fix. You have links set to open in a new window in your preferences. When that happens, we set all links to a target of _blank. However, if a link contains the URL for the thread you're currently reading, we set the target to _self. Because 99.9% of the time a link that contains the current URL is quoting a comment within the page and there's no reason to open those in a new tab. The Facebook link contains the thread URL so we'll need to add some JavaScript to exclude the Facebook link from that check.
posted by pb (staff) at 12:05 PM on January 7, 2011


Man, I could see this being useful for jobs right off the bat, too.
posted by boo_radley at 12:09 PM on January 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Thoughts:

It feels weird to single out one or two services. Why not add several more (perhaps using the social sites on profiles as a guide) and conceal them behind a [share] button that shows all the icons when clicked? More options, less initial clutter.

It might also be nice to let logged-in users choose which services to display, if any. If you're not on Twitter or Facebook (or don't use them to share links), then it's just noise.

Re-coloring the icons is a good idea.

Is me.fi available as a shortlink URL? It would work better than mefi.us, IMHO -- it's shorter, and does away with the odd .us TLD and the connotations that go with it.
posted by Rhaomi at 12:09 PM on January 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


Just please don't let that area of the page turn into a Web 2.0 ghetto with a thousand buttons exhorting me to Blend This on Mixr! or Get this with LamP! or Share on CrapPile! and we'll be fine.
posted by The Lurkers Support Me in Email at 12:09 PM on January 7, 2011 [6 favorites]


This new internet is so depressing. I don't want to like things and share things. Can we have 'dislike' and 'hoard' buttons too, please?

I get why this is a good thing for the site, I guess. I'm just so tired of seeing things like "COME LIKE DORITOS ON FACEBOOK!" I already like you in real life, little buddies. Stop it. It's the internet. I need a hug.
posted by mintcake! at 12:10 PM on January 7, 2011 [12 favorites]


Is me.fi available as a shortlink URL?

No, sadly. That would be our first choice too.
posted by pb (staff) at 12:12 PM on January 7, 2011


"Maybe a single "Share" link with the Open Share Icon next to it that springs open a list of "Sharables?"

God, NO. I effing hate those effing popups., NO, NO, NO, a thousand times NO
posted by Confess, Fletch at 12:14 PM on January 7, 2011 [6 favorites]


...and what's the deal with Quora, anyway? I can't figure out how to actually do anything there without opening an account. Why would I do that if I can't even browse anonymously to get a feel for the place?
posted by The Lurkers Support Me in Email at 12:14 PM on January 7, 2011


I have mixed feeling about this, at least for askme. It's not like cutting and pasting a URL into your FB/twitter is a huge barrier, but it is a barrier, and sometimes barriers are good. Askme is hardly a walled off place, but I feel like there are a lot of (non-anonymous) personal/help my life is fucked/please fix me etc. questions that don't need the wider audience that an impulsive click of a "share this!" button would bring.

I've linked to cool posts from the blue on fb, and I've occasionally considered doing so for "help me find this book" kinds of askme questions (but the answer is always given before I get around to posting it on fb).

I dunno. Like I said, mixed feelings.
posted by rtha at 12:15 PM on January 7, 2011 [12 favorites]


I also have a knee jerk reaction that I don't want this cluttering up MetaFilter.
posted by Falconetti at 12:16 PM on January 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


I dunno. Like I said, mixed feelings.

Yeah. In a perfect world would prefer it not be there, but if you guys feel it's need, then so be it.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:17 PM on January 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


I like this feature a lot, but I can see why people are resistant. Perhaps instead of having links to twitter/facebook/whatever there can just be a space with the shortened URL so that people can share it however they like?
posted by sambosambo at 12:17 PM on January 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think it's awful, that not everything needs to be linked to every other goddamn thing on the internet, that I get queasy just looking at it, and that I hate it with the power of a thousand burning suns.

But that probably doesn't surprise anyone who follows along at home.
posted by Justinian at 12:18 PM on January 7, 2011 [12 favorites]


me likey
posted by Ironmouth at 12:18 PM on January 7, 2011


Why not add several more (perhaps using the social sites on profiles as a guide) and conceal them behind a [share] button that shows all the icons when clicked? More options, less initial clutter.

Because like I said, I find those useless in practice and comical in their attempt to cover every site on earth, and hiding a feature behind a confusing new icon no one has seen before defeats the purpose. Most people use those two main services being listed and adding links into them isn't easy and it actually offers some utility in shortening and directly sharing stuff.

Is me.fi available as a shortlink URL?

Nope, you have to be a business owner in Finland to get a .fi URL, and they don't allow super short ones. I think everything was companyname.co.fi as the shortest possible finland URL.

I don't want to like things

We will never add a facebook like button. Those things serve no purpose or utility. Getting your friends a job or help answering your question though, I think those are useful things.

Tweetdeck is programmed in with shortening everything through the link shortener you have in your preferences, but it's also got some hard coded in for sites they know have short links

I think tweetdeck only shortens URLs over a certain length, like anything <50 characters is ignored by their shortener, since it's impossible they have added in an exception for MeFi since we just debuted this to the world an hour ago.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 12:18 PM on January 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


However, I am willing to get on board compromise-style if we can get more aggressive in our gentle guidance when people use @username or "THIS! A MILLION BILLION TIMES THIS!" or other sophomoric, twee little stylistic quirks that make Mefi a little bit worse every time someone does it.
posted by Justinian at 12:21 PM on January 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Perhaps instead of having links to twitter/facebook/whatever there can just be a space with the shortened URL so that people can share it however they like?

This would be a perfect compromise. A shortened link below each post in the same shaded gray as the everyone needs a hug text so it remains non-intrusive. Heck, even include a little button/link next to it that will copy that into the clipboard. Then people can go into their FB page, or favorite twitter client and just paste along with some context.

So a little easier than it is currently, but prevents the impulsive over sharing.
posted by special-k at 12:22 PM on January 7, 2011 [3 favorites]


I want an "unshare" button, which will, when clicked, randomly remove the post from someone's facebook or twitter feed.

This is okay, but most of my twitter people are from MeFi, and most of my facebook people are folks I'd rather not know about MeFi. I'd love an option to hide the clutter, personally.
posted by Eideteker at 12:22 PM on January 7, 2011 [4 favorites]


When did tags get added to the page titles in AskMe? It looks like random junk added on. It should at least be stripped out of the share links.
posted by smackfu at 12:24 PM on January 7, 2011


"Is me.fi available as a shortlink URL?"

What about me.fi?
posted by Eideteker at 12:25 PM on January 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Fire up the coffee pot and photoshop!

While you're there, airbrush the buttons a little so their abs look harder.
posted by Greg Nog at 12:25 PM on January 7, 2011 [3 favorites]


Seems like a good idea. People re-post MeFi stuff all the time on FB and this makes it even a little easier.
posted by Miko at 12:26 PM on January 7, 2011


Anything that helps get mefi out there for more people is a good thing.
posted by Blake at 12:27 PM on January 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


For Facebook, it's not really a big win over sharing it normally. No shortener stuff needed there. Click Facebook, Click Link, paste the URL, done.
posted by smackfu at 12:30 PM on January 7, 2011


We will never add a facebook like button.

Fair enough. I see the utility in the share button. I'm being selfish because the vaguely (intentionally?) anachronistic design around these parts makes me happy and reminds me of Using Lynx or something. To the future.
posted by mintcake! at 12:33 PM on January 7, 2011


Perhaps instead of having links to twitter/facebook/whatever there can just be a space with the shortened URL so that people can share it however they like?

We've held off on doing any sort of in-house shortening service or even using an established outside one for the basic principles of not encouraging short URLs in general on the web since they have a giant set of issues.

Printing out the short URL code on the page in text is encouraging the use and uptake of the shortened URL with all the problems and baggage that goes with it. Twitter is really the only service of any that greatly benefits from shorter URLs, Facebook ignores them and expands them, and other services are based off the full URL in your address bar.

So that's why we are reluctantly doing short URLs just hidden in the link to Twitter, instead of printing it out on the page. I didn't post the above list of shortened URLs in the post to encourage everyone to start using them but to just answer questions of how the shortener works before they would come out in this thread.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 12:33 PM on January 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Man, that Zuckerberg prick has his claws EVERYWHERE now, eh?
posted by Grither at 12:35 PM on January 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


"COME LIKE DORITOS ON FACEBOOK!"

I'm embarrassed at how long it took me to parse this correctly, and how confused I was until then.

As long as I don't see my facebook profile picture actually appear here without my ever having supplied any information, I guess it's not completely awful.
posted by darksasami at 12:36 PM on January 7, 2011 [10 favorites]


is there a greasemonkey script that generally removes them from evevrything?

You don't need a greasemonkey script. Most of these "flair" things are implemented as third party scripts, or failing that, recognizable keywords in the URL. Next time you see a page with something that annoys you just pop open the Adblock "list of blockable items" pane and look for it, and add a filter to block it. Here are some that I'm accumulated over the years:
blogshares.com/images/blogshares
button_shareThisPage.png
facebook.com/images/share/facebook_share_icon
fbcdn.net/images/share/
images/blocks/block-Share_this_Page/
images/share-content/
images/share_save.gif
img/graphics/share_icons/
js/shareSocial.js
linkshare
loader.sharethis.com/
nytimes.com/css/*/screen/common/modules/sharetools
nytimes.com/js/article/articleShare
nytimes.com/js/*/blogShare
shared/js/livestats*.js
share-server.com/share/widget/
sharethis.com/button/
sharethis.com/widget/
social/lg-share-en
stats.topofblogs.com/
washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/js/saveshare
widgets.fbshare.me/
wikihow.com/skins/WikiHow/sharetab/
wp-content/*/plugins/share-this/
wp-content/plugins/share-this/
wp-content/share-this.php


This does not just apply to "share" flair, but many other annoying aspects of the web like Facebook Connect. And if you're not using Adblock then I pray for your soul because the web you see must be horrid.
posted by Rhomboid at 12:37 PM on January 7, 2011 [23 favorites]


Is adding the tags to the window title a new thing too, or just something I didn't notice until today?
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 12:38 PM on January 7, 2011


I like.
posted by brundlefly at 12:42 PM on January 7, 2011


I don't use either of those sites and aside from just being tired of hearing about them and seeing them tied into everything as if they are what makes things on the 'net important, I can't come up with a real objection to adding the links.

I can just ignore them here too; thanks for making them less obtrusive than usual. (I also try to block all that popping-up "share" stuff on other sites.)
posted by fritley at 12:44 PM on January 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Thanks, Rhomboid. I am indeed using AdBlock, but for some reason it didn't occur to me that I could use it to block these widgets.
posted by Maximian at 12:45 PM on January 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


"COME LIKE DORITOS ON FACEBOOK!"

I'm embarrassed at how long it took me to parse this correctly, and how confused I was until then.


Yeah, I was wondering how Doritos could jack off with their little corn chip hands, and what kind of corny noises of ecstasy they might make while doing so, and then I started wondering about Dorito porn and what kind of things might turn Doritos on, and then I realized that basically there is no cure for these kinds of trains of thought and I should just sit and think about what my life has become and maybe have a good cry.
posted by elizardbits at 12:46 PM on January 7, 2011 [18 favorites]


The mental image of a bunch of drunken rowdy Doritos bukakkeing a Facebook page is still pretty funny though.
posted by elizardbits at 12:48 PM on January 7, 2011 [6 favorites]


I don't know if we've really said so in this thread, but, yeah, the idea of providing a mechanism for hiding the share links (probably just a simple binary, there or not) is something we were discussing as a likely-wanted feature this morning before Matt even made this post.

Whether it's as a server-side option (opt out in Preferences) or a client-side thing (hit "x" to set a special hide-this cookie), I think it's a gimme that we'll provide that option.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:48 PM on January 7, 2011


"COME LIKE DORITOS ON FACEBOOK!"

That sounds like the worst one-night stand ever.
posted by The Lurkers Support Me in Email at 12:51 PM on January 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


mathowie: For the twitter link, we did implement a simple URL shortener

That was my idea, I DEMAND CREDIT! I imagine it being something like a little cartoony exclamation mark below the Twitter and Facebook icons, and the text "thanks to flt" with a link back to said thread. /hamburger

Actually, I rather like the simple implementation of both the URL shorteners and twitter / fb links. I won't use either (and I still think "follower" sounds a bit like Tweeters want their personal cults, but that's beside the point).

In short, the filthy light thief approves.

One question: was the omission from the mobile version a choice, or because it would have to be manually added somewhere?
posted by filthy light thief at 12:51 PM on January 7, 2011


...was the omission from the mobile version a choice, or because it would have to be manually added somewhere?

The mobile version doesn't have a sidebar so there's no obvious place to put it. The mobile site is all about essentials and I think this is a nice extra for some.
posted by pb (staff) at 12:56 PM on January 7, 2011


I am opposed to this because of things like this: "Facebook's 'Like This' button is tracking you (Whether you click it or not)"

That article describes some kind of cookie trickery, but it's my understanding that even without that, when my browser loads the URL "http://www.facebook.com/sharer.php?u=http://ask.metafilter.com/175073/Why-is-Boba-Fett-so-popular", Facebook is logging my IP address and presumably my secret marketing profile gets updated with 'Boba Fett' as one of my interests.

Is that not the case?
posted by free hugs at 12:57 PM on January 7, 2011


I find it hard to understand complaints about a new feature that say A) I will never use this! or B) Too many other places have this feature and we should be cooler than them! jontyjago said this when there was a debate about Silverlight and I think it applies to these complaints. Don't like the new feature? Ignore it.
posted by soelo at 12:58 PM on January 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


I hate sharing.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 12:59 PM on January 7, 2011


Yeah I seriously hate this. I'm off Facebook and Twitter and don't need the constant reminder that they exist, as if that's possible.
posted by phaedon at 12:59 PM on January 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


...when my browser loads the URL...

To load that URL you have to click a button. I have no idea if Facebook is updating a secret marketing database based on your IP, but no one is forcing you to load that URL. We aren't adding a Like button as mathowie mentioned upthread.
posted by pb (staff) at 1:00 PM on January 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


I love it. I LOVE IT. I love sharing things from Metafilter on Twitter and this will help.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:01 PM on January 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


matt/pb can you talk specifically about making this opt-in in preferences, please?
posted by boo_radley at 1:01 PM on January 7, 2011


Sharing is the whole point of hypertext.
posted by Ardiril at 1:03 PM on January 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


So, I'm missing something:

Why is it not possible to just copy-paste the URL from the browser into whatever social tool you happen to be using? The technical barrier is so incredibly low that I'd argue any attempts to reduce it any further would invite undesired sharing.

I don't want Mefi to integrate with any other sites. This doesn't seem to solve any real problem.
posted by odinsdream at 1:03 PM on January 7, 2011 [4 favorites]


boo_radley, cortex already mentioned: "Whether it's as a server-side option (opt out in Preferences) or a client-side thing (hit "x" to set a special hide-this cookie), I think it's a gimme that we'll provide that option."

I think we'll probably put a little "hide this" or "[x]" link next to it just like we do with Deck ads.
posted by pb (staff) at 1:04 PM on January 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Nice! Any chance you can implement Open Graph meta tags so that you have more control over what shows up in the Share box? You can use the "og:description" one, for example, to add the front-page version of the question.

free hugs: I am opposed to this because of things like this: "Facebook's 'Like This' button is tracking you (Whether you click it or not)"

Share and Like are two separate and distinct actions. Sharing a piece of content does not cause you to Like it. Also, the "Auto-Like" behavior is because of nefarious site owners exploiting cross-site scripting flaws, not Facebook.
posted by mkultra at 1:04 PM on January 7, 2011


Consider me a fan too! Not bothered one bit by the concept, style or implementation ... but adjust/appease/change as necessary.
posted by iamkimiam at 1:05 PM on January 7, 2011


Is that not the case?

That is indeed not the case here. We don't load anything from Facebook, so there is nothing being tracked, no cookies being loaded, no information of any kind is being sent to Facebook. There's just a shortcut link to update your status on the facebook servers if you click it, if you're logged into fb, and if you actually want to share it (you have to hit a big save button to do that).

Is adding the tags to the window title a new thing too

Yeah, and it's in response to the things the Stack Overflow dudes had to do, which we also have problems with, which is spam blog dorks copying our feeds and showing up in Google results. We chase after every one of them and tell them to stop, but the Stack Overflow guys found success in always coming out ahead of other copycat spam sites by putting tags as keywords in the title tags. They put theirs first in a URL, we decided to put them farther down the URL. It helps keep our search working and seems to be helping with the inevitable giant loss in revenue that happens each spring after the big xmas ad rush. Last year around April, I was worried we wouldn't be making payroll a few months later but though we cut it close last year, we never quite ran into losing money. I think this year will work better (knocks on wood).
posted by mathowie (staff) at 1:05 PM on January 7, 2011 [9 favorites]


pb: thanks for pointing out cortex's comment. I completely missed it.
posted by boo_radley at 1:08 PM on January 7, 2011


This doesn't seem to solve any real problem.

I used to think that too, until I saw friends saying "hey all, answer my new question over on Quora" on Twitter (I would have missed their question otherwise, since I don't hang out on Quora. It was super useful. I think it'd also be quite useful for getting your local twitter mefi users to show up to your IRL event by reminding them a week or day before that the event is still on.

You can do it already with Twitter by hand, but it's a multi-step process to grab the link, go to a shortener, get the short link, then back to twitter to post. We're just making it one click to twitter.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 1:08 PM on January 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


Do we seriously need the icons? God. Sorry for playing the victim here.
posted by phaedon at 1:09 PM on January 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think we'll probably put a little "hide this" or "[x]" link next to it just like we do with Deck ads.

Ok, right, but all that does is keep me from seeing the ads, it doesn't disable the existence of the ads. I don't care about seeing the buttons on the pages, because someone will eventually greasemonkey them out of existence for anyone who doesn't want to see them. I care about having the option to remove their functionality from individual askme questions, so that no user, logged in or otherwise, will have a one-click capability to share my (or other fussy people's) personal stuff.
posted by elizardbits at 1:09 PM on January 7, 2011 [9 favorites]


I care about having the option to remove their functionality from individual askme questions, so that no user, logged in or otherwise, will have a one-click capability to share my (or other fussy people's) personal stuff.

I think this is asking a lot for no good reason. You realize that a lot of people already read the site, right? And share it in multiple ways? Enough people read it that the place offers benefits to the multiple full-time employees who run it. A locked Livejournal might be a better option if you're looking for privacy.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:14 PM on January 7, 2011 [9 favorites]


As long as I am NEVER EVER asked to log into MeFi using my Facebook account, I do not care if these buttons show up on every page of the site.
posted by briank at 1:16 PM on January 7, 2011 [6 favorites]


I care about having the option to remove their functionality from individual askme questions, so that no user, logged in or otherwise, will have a one-click capability to share my (or other fussy people's) personal stuff.

I totally hear what you're saying, but I feel like this is a perception bandaid, not a practical one. Askme gets slurped up by god knows how many RSS readers every day, gets indexed aggressively by google, gets talked about on Lifehacker and Reddit and so on. I don't want people to feel uncomfortable about their private stuff going public, absolutely, but AskMe isn't fundamentally private in the first place and we need people to do their own frank assessment of what they're comfortable broadcasting to the world in the first place. The presence or absence of a "share this" link is, functionally, a tiny incremental detail of that big personal-space question.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:19 PM on January 7, 2011 [7 favorites]


I think this is asking a lot for no good reason. You realize that a lot of people already read the site, right? And share it in multiple ways? Enough people read it that the place offers benefits to the multiple full-time employees who run it.

Yeah dude I am totally aware of this. That's why I said "maybe an opt in for individual questions by individual whiners like me" not "EVERYONE MUST BOW TO MY PARANOID WHIMS OR DIE". If it's not possible, it's not possible, and I'll have some cake and get over it. It's not like matt and cortex and jessamyn are going to come to my house armed to the teeth and force me to make a facebook account or anything.


I feel like now everyone is deliberately and maliciously twatting my dorito sex ramblings.
posted by elizardbits at 1:22 PM on January 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


mathowie: the Stack Overflow guys found success in always coming out ahead of other copycat spam sites by putting tags as keywords in the title tags. [...] It helps keep our search working and seems to be helping with the inevitable giant loss in revenue that happens each spring after the big xmas ad rush.

Just a side question (from a position of total tech naivete), why does putting tags in the URL help kill those copycat sites?

And does the second sentence above mean that the existence of copycat sites is hurting Mefi's ad revenue significantly? That sucks, if that's what it means!
posted by LobsterMitten at 1:22 PM on January 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Since you've asked us what we think, I'll go ahead and say that I irrationally hate this. "Irrationally" because I have no good reason. I just know that I flinched a when I clicked through to the thread and actually said out loud "Oh fuck that." Part of it may be that I irrationally hate that it makes metafilter a little bit less of a unique place, and a little bit more part of the giant corporatized social network that the internets have become. But mostly it's just a gut reaction of "Hate it".

That said, I don't think my personal irrational hatreds should carry any weight here at all, given what seems to be an overall positive reaction in this thread, and especially if this helps with your ad revenue-- which is after all the thing that makes metafilter's continuing existence even possible. But you asked what we think, and what I think is that I hate it.
posted by dersins at 1:26 PM on January 7, 2011 [6 favorites]


I'm fine with this. I don't think I'll ever use them, but I can appreciate their utility and it might lead to a higher average of quality referrals from mefites' networks. Bonus.

I also like the X to close option (but probably won't bother closing it) and hope you do add the faded-out / fade-in hover to the graphics to help them blend better.
posted by empyrean at 1:27 PM on January 7, 2011


I guess I vote yes, but only because I am a yes man.
posted by cjorgensen at 1:28 PM on January 7, 2011


Cool. More Twitter and Facebook buttons I'll never click on!
posted by Thorzdad at 1:31 PM on January 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Just a side question (from a position of total tech naivete), why does putting tags in the URL help kill those copycat sites?

The tags aren't going in the url, they're going in the <title> tag. And the reason is that Google gives extra special weight to the page title -- it's what's most prominently shown for each search engine result -- and so it treats page titles containing keywords from the search as better matches, causing them to rank higher. If the spam blogs do it, then the original content site has to do it too in order to not risk being outranked by them.
posted by Rhomboid at 1:32 PM on January 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


You can do it already with Twitter by hand, but it's a multi-step process to grab the link, go to a shortener, get the short link, then back to twitter to post. We're just making it one click to twitter.

I feel a couple ways about this:

1. It's twitter's fault that URLs need to be shortened to use their service. I hate the thought of going out of our way to fit their stupid-ass limitation.

2. The very small barrier required to post the URL of a Mefi page to another service isn't something we need to reduce. If people want to share something, they'll share it. It should not be possible to tab up a ton of Mefi pages and clickspam every one into your Twitter feed.

On point 2, yes, I want to annoy people who use these services and want to post Mefi stuff to them.
posted by odinsdream at 1:33 PM on January 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


I find the placement of the things a little non-intuitive - my brain wants them to be somewhere more inline with or below the question text. Otherwise I think this is a good utility.
posted by ersatzkat at 1:34 PM on January 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Part of it may be that I irrationally hate that it makes metafilter a little bit less of a unique place, and a little bit more part of the giant corporatized social network that the internets have become

I hear you, and really I hate facebook with the energy of a thousand suns, but this is really about helping mefi users help other mefi users on those networks. I don't know about your use of twitter or facebook, but I have dozens of mefi users I follow on both. If they ask a question on ask mefi or upload a new song to Music, chances are low that I will find it on my own. If they posted it on Twitter, I'd almost definitely see it and be happy to help them or check out their new thing.

Though it is adding corporation logos to the page, the aim is squarely on making MetaFilter more useful for its members.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 1:37 PM on January 7, 2011


yes, I want to annoy people who use these services and want to post Mefi stuff to them.

I'm just as standoff-ish about twitter and facebook; they are two sites I don't see myself using any time in the near future. But I don't see how you can logically come to the conclusion that helping spread the word about MeFi threads is a bad thing. For one thing, a lot of Mefites do use those sites, and so if an existing member is notified of a question that they would otherwise have not seen, then both the asker and the site benefits from another potential good answer. And if non-members are drawn to the site by seeing their friends' tweets or facebook posts then all the better -- we potentially get a new member to sign up and contribute to the site. I just don't see how either of those things can be considered bad, and the way they've implemented it is very unobtrusive so I have no problem with the aesthetics of the idea.
posted by Rhomboid at 1:40 PM on January 7, 2011 [4 favorites]


Ah, thanks Rhomboid.
posted by LobsterMitten at 1:41 PM on January 7, 2011


mathowie: "[...] the Stack Overflow guys found success in always coming out ahead of other copycat spam sites by putting tags as keywords in the title tags. They put theirs first in a URL, we decided to put them farther down the URL. [...]"

Thanks for not putting the tags at the start of the page title like SO does (even though it's not as effective). Every horizontal pixel of my browser tab is a special and unique snowflake, dammit.
posted by The Lurkers Support Me in Email at 1:43 PM on January 7, 2011


Yeah, I was wondering how Doritos could jack off with their little corn chip hands,

They can't, as you note. But a bag of Doritos is basically one big circle-jerk, what with all of 'em rubbing against each other just right...

and what kind of corny noises of ecstasy they might make while doing so,

Obviously they shout "OLE'!" in a terrible faux-Mexican accent as they climax. The thing ya gotta ask yourself is, what, physically, is the product? Nacho sauce? Cheeze-powder?

and then I started wondering about Dorito porn and what kind of things might turn Doritos on,

Hot cheeto-on-cheeto action, inter-chip-al sex between Doritos and Fritos, anything with Little Debbie on the receiving end. Dom/sub stuff between Chester Cheeto and a dogpile of Keebler elves.

The relevant episodes of How It's Made = Dorito child porn.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 1:44 PM on January 7, 2011 [3 favorites]


Well, it messes up MeFi Comment Divider script a bit. And I have to wonder why those two services? There's a bunch and there will be more. I'd prefer it to have something more like a "Share on" button/menu that pops up a box with whatever trendy social site you want. That also makes them harder to hit by accident.

I'm generally against the "share" links. They just seem like clutter to me.
posted by chairface at 1:48 PM on January 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah I seriously hate this. I'm off Facebook and Twitter

This is me too except that I'm occasionally on Twitter. Since I despise FB and its utter disregard for privacy with the unimaginable heat of the interior of the sun, what would make this most acceptable for me is the ability to opt out somehow, e.g. not contribute to a thread that is linked to FB.
posted by bearwife at 1:50 PM on January 7, 2011


Absolutely nthing elizardbits!
posted by jgirl at 1:55 PM on January 7, 2011


Love this and glad to be a part of it. It's a little thing, but it will be extremely useful. It's another one of those things that's pretty easy to ignore--if you don't want to use Twitter or Facebook you can disregard it and/or scroll down really fast so you don't have to see it.
posted by Kimberly at 1:57 PM on January 7, 2011


Since I despise FB and its utter disregard for privacy...

That's interesting because while I'd agree without hesitation, when I look at the two sites Facebook seems to have more options for privacy than MetaFilter. You can't post a question that only your contacts can see, you can't restrict your profile info to contacts only, etc.

I guess a big difference is that Facebook is (almost) necessarily tied to your real identity. Plus, I don't really know what's going on with the info they give their advertisers.
posted by ODiV at 1:57 PM on January 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


what would make this most acceptable for me is the ability to opt out somehow, e.g. not contribute to a thread that is linked to FB

Exactly how is the Metafilter supposed to know that in order to opt you out? You can post a link to a Metafilter thread on facebook without using this new feature, and people have been doing that for years so you're probably unknowingly participated in countless threads that were linked to by someone, somewhere on facebook.
posted by Rhomboid at 1:58 PM on January 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Plus, people usually share threads after people have started answering, not before.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 2:01 PM on January 7, 2011


Also nthing rtha and Brandon Blatcher!

For the blue, great! For the green...well....
posted by jgirl at 2:06 PM on January 7, 2011


Hating Facebook and Twitter seems irrelevant to the discussion. Nobody is forcing anyone to use those services if you don't already find them useful as part of your life. Facebook and Twitter are not "staining" Metafilter or taking up precious space anymore than all the threads you may not be personally interested in.

Metafilter's strength always has been, and always will be, that it is an excellent community. It's a community whose mission is to disseminate information its members find interesting, compelling, or entertaining. Being able to easily integrate what I find to be the best parts of Metafilter with people that I think would appreciate them seems to me like a plus.

It gives us the chance to let what we find to be the best parts of the community shine more brightly.
posted by nickjadlowe at 2:10 PM on January 7, 2011 [8 favorites]


I love it.
posted by sweetkid at 2:10 PM on January 7, 2011


For Twitter: I like it! I especially like that it puts you into the editing window rather than just launching off the stock message without giving you a chance to tweak it.
posted by Artw at 2:17 PM on January 7, 2011


"Maybe a single "Share" link with the Open Share Icon next to it that springs open a list of "Sharables?"

God, NO. I effing hate those effing popups., NO, NO, NO, a thousand times NO


Not a popup. A collapsible list (which would work where mathowie wants to place the links, and won't cover up content). There's a very big difference. Could be done with a tiny bit of Javascript.
posted by schmod at 2:20 PM on January 7, 2011


I like this feature.
posted by donovan at 2:27 PM on January 7, 2011


As long as twitter and facebook don't start showing up in my list of scripts that I'm blocking for MetaFilter, I am fine with it. If MetaFilter suddenly started asking for me to allow facebook.com and the three other scripts that it usually comes with, I would be a very unhappy Mefite indeed. Revenue is good, and so is helping out the Mefites who use those services. My irrational grumpiness will go away, and I will forget the links even exist once I turn them off in my profile.
posted by stoneweaver at 2:27 PM on January 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


They both look like one way links, no script required.
posted by Artw at 2:30 PM on January 7, 2011


If someone hits the "share on facebook" button, what exactly happens? Just a link to the question appearing on their wall? Or what?
posted by Justinian at 2:35 PM on January 7, 2011


I actually think the Twitter short-linking is sort of cool. For example, if you have a song or something. I don't see why anything I think should keep someone from taking advantange of that cool nomenclature.

It's a community whose mission is to disseminate information its members find interesting, compelling, or entertaining. Being able to easily integrate what I find to be the best parts of Metafilter with people that I think would appreciate them seems to me like a plus.

Totally hating Facebook aside, I feel that "interesting conversation" is also part of the MeFi credo. It's not just sharing cool links, it's about talking about them. I imagine that's part of why this place costs $5 to get in, why it's so heavily moderated, why we have a favorites system, why the site's been so successful, why I love it so much. I actually think that in the long run, these links will chip away at the conversation that takes place here. Call me paranoid.

Maybe I'm wrong. I understand that I am a curmudgeon, I would pay extra to keep this place Facebook-link-free but alas nothing I say will lessen the impact of FB/Twitter, and we're really only talking about making something super-easy just a little more convenient.

So my two cents are these links should be opt-only, and offered to members only, so that lurkers are encouraged to join the foray.
posted by phaedon at 2:36 PM on January 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Adblock got rid of the images and I can ignore the text. I like that it provides a stable shortened url and can see how that is useful, even though I don't forsee using it myself. So yeah, go for it.
posted by shelleycat at 2:37 PM on January 7, 2011


you're probably unknowingly participated in countless threads that were linked to by someone, somewhere on facebook.

Yeah, got that. And -- rats! But would be much happier about this new option if there were some way to strip out my comments from a thread using the new button to post to FB.

I realize this pony preference of mine may be impossible to achieve.
posted by bearwife at 2:40 PM on January 7, 2011


If someone hits the "share on facebook" button, what exactly happens?

I always imagine this as somehow being magically linked to the sound file from the drama button site but ymmv.
posted by elizardbits at 2:47 PM on January 7, 2011


Took me a while to find the icons on the page. I think they may be so ubiquitous on the web these days that my brain skips over them. They'll be pretty handy though. I'm cool with it.
posted by IanMorr at 2:47 PM on January 7, 2011


ok, a couple quick changes to the test. The icons are now black and white and they switch to color on hover. There's a small x to the right of the Share headline that will remove the share links altogether and set a permanent cookie that tells the page not to display the links for you. Also fixed up that Facebook link bug so it should be opening in a new tab now.
posted by pb (staff) at 2:47 PM on January 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


I realize this pony preference of mine may be impossible to achieve.

I'm not even sure if I understand it. You'd like comments of yours in threads where people have shared the link to the thread on facebook to not show up? Yes, that's impossible.

In fact many people copy links from AskMe threads over to Facebook [and tons of other sites] already, we just don't know that they're doing it.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:49 PM on January 7, 2011


You know, you could link their appearance to whether or not users are on Twitter or Facebook accounts associated with their Mefi account, since you have that data already.
posted by Artw at 2:50 PM on January 7, 2011


Heh. With all this talk of how adding links to the page is infecting it with Facebooky evil I'm reminded of doing tech support for the elderly.

Watch out, your comments may be indexed by the Googles!
posted by Artw at 2:52 PM on January 7, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm meh about this but not agitated or against it. But I'm also already seeing Ask questions and discussions in my FB feed, so the lack of a button isn't preventing people from linking the filters. It's not a hypothetical thing; it's already happening.
posted by immlass at 2:58 PM on January 7, 2011


You know you've picked the right job being a web site moderator when you go to work thinking "Gee, I'm really looking forward to seeing how the spammers are going to interact with this new feature!".

Also, I totally think "Come like Doritos on Facebook" should be a meme.

"So how was the soiree last night?"
-"Awesome. I came like Doritos on Facebook, bro."

On topic, I like this feature. But then my motto is "Integrate EVERYTHING!".
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 2:58 PM on January 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


I [+] it.
posted by fight or flight at 2:58 PM on January 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


would be much happier about this new option if there were some way to strip out my comments from a thread using the new button to post to FB

*boggle*

I don't like -- or use -- Facebook myself, but surely:

a) comments and posts here are public by dint of them being freely visible to anyone on the web.
b) comments and posts can -- and I imagine very frequently do -- be shared on Facebook by anyone who cares to copy-and-paste the URL.

I think some posters may need to reset their expectations of just how private an enclave Metafilter is. This is a glasshouse, not a locked room.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 2:59 PM on January 7, 2011 [8 favorites]


Just to clarify for non-Facebook/Twitter users, when someone shares a MeFi link on those services, it doesn't reproduce the entirety of the thread's content, it just links back to a page on Metafilter.com.

Bearwife's concern/pony request reminded me of one expressed by a coworker of mine. They personally didn't use Facebook, and thought sharing things there resulted in copy/pasting the content wholesale. That's not how it works, just in case that's what you were worried about.
posted by donnagirl at 3:00 PM on January 7, 2011


So, reactionaries on the right, progressives on the left, and 10 dodge balls in the middle.

GO
posted by Ardiril at 3:01 PM on January 7, 2011


Wow. I'm a privacy nerd up one side and down the other, and even I'm blown away by some of the reactions here; "some way to strip out my comments from a thread using the new button to post to FB"?!

This is the Internet. It's for links to content. That's the whole point of the endeavour. Your content is here to be linked to, and if it matters to you who is linking to it, that's a bug. In you.

Like others have said, I hate Facebook with the adjective heat of something very hot, but that's why I don't post to it. Whether my content gets linked to from Facebook is entirely immaterial.
posted by ChrisR at 3:09 PM on January 7, 2011 [3 favorites]


So I can hide the share links, which is nice. How do I unhide them?
posted by chairface at 3:09 PM on January 7, 2011


How do I unhide them?

Sign out and sign back in. Or if you're handy with editing your browser cookies, remove the "hide_share" cookie.
posted by pb (staff) at 3:13 PM on January 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Y'know what? It's amazing to me that this is a real back and forth, and that ideas mentioned in-thread are already getting tried out. Thanks, mods. I love this freaking place. Sorry about the Doritos.
posted by mintcake! at 3:22 PM on January 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Only thing I have an issue with is short URLs, these buttons seem fine to me. Short URLs are the work of the devil and should not be encouraged in any way. ESPECIALLY for MeFi which has such nice descriptive URLs! I mean "http://metatalk.metafilter.com/20211/New-TwitterFacebook-sharing-options-proposed" is so much better than "http://goo.gl/8I33h"
posted by wildcrdj at 3:22 PM on January 7, 2011


They both look like one way links, no script required.

Same for me. I was trying to express (inelegantly) a desire for it to stay that way.
posted by stoneweaver at 3:24 PM on January 7, 2011


oh how I agree with you wildcrdj. In a world without Twitter we wouldn't even entertain the idea of short URLs. And we've resisted despite repeated demands as Twitter has gained in popularity. We just can't ignore the overlap between Twitter and MetaFilter members, and their character limitation makes shorter URLs a necessity. I wish they'd just use HTML links so the length doesn't matter, but we have to work with the Twitter we have not the Twitter we want.
posted by pb (staff) at 3:25 PM on January 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


pb - I love that when you hit the x the facebook and twitter links do the fade out effect. It's one of the little details that just makes this place so nice.
posted by stoneweaver at 3:25 PM on January 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


I like the make it go away x thingy because I'm easily distracted, but it really wasn't that distracting to start with.

And bearwife, I know for sure that I've posted a link on facebook to a thread which you commented in. That doesn't mean your comments are on facebook, just that there is a link there to a page here which includes your comments. If you want to opt out of this you pretty much need to stop posting anything anywhere on the internet that is not password protected. So many people have a facebook account, more than half the people in my country for example, and posting links to other websites is a really common activity within those accounts. This makes it a tiny bit easier to post that link but it was happening anyway.

I find it a bit ironic that people are getting upset that it's now easier to link to metafilter content from other websites given the whole point of metafilter is to link to external content hosted on other websites. If it's good enough for us to do here it should be just fine for facebook or twitter users to do out there.
posted by shelleycat at 3:26 PM on January 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


And by rolling our own short URLs at least we have some control over them. People are going to use URL-shorteners anyway, so we're just gritting our teeth and helping in the least objectionable way.
posted by pb (staff) at 3:27 PM on January 7, 2011


Eh. It kind of bugs me, but in some vague way that I can't really articulate.
posted by Gator at 3:32 PM on January 7, 2011


Hurry up and roll this out so I can pimp my IRL meetup, TIA. :D
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 3:51 PM on January 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Initially, it kinda bugged me that it was just providing an easier way for people to post "hurf durf look at the looser!" updates on their facebook wall. After reading this thread, I was convinced that it was in fact merely a useful aid to MeFi members who wouldn't be that crass.

Then I looked at the test thread while logged out in another browser.

Now that I see it makes copying posts to facebook and twitter available to everyone - logged-in member or not - I think I'm back to my original opinion…
posted by Pinback at 3:52 PM on January 7, 2011


Another "I like it" vote - not sure I'll use it myself, but it's discrete and functional, so I like it.
posted by smoke at 3:59 PM on January 7, 2011


I like it! This will make it easier to show off my favorite website to my facebook buddies.
posted by chiababe at 4:01 PM on January 7, 2011


I always find it interesting to find out about changes that happen (for me) during the night, and the usually lengthy threads about them. This one? I honestly don't like it, but it took me quite a while to figure out where the buttons were. When I first looked at this post (yes, I check MeTa first, it's usually the least busy and easy to catch up on), I had this hideous image of buttons under each comment, which would have given me hives or something. Off to the side, easy to ignore, and even better, with an opt out? I don't like it, but you've done, as usual, a good job of making it fit the site. I'm definitely clicking the x, and I won't use it, but if it makes the site prosper, okay.

I imagine, though, that this will probably lead to a bump in membership (good for $) and views of ads (good, again) but will also mean increase in mod workloads as people coming from pretty radically different approaches to internet communities (twitter/facebook) figure out how things work here (increase in "@user" comments, which is bad). Good luck with that part.
posted by Ghidorah at 4:14 PM on January 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


I like it just fine. I will probably use it, especially for Music.
posted by Karlos the Jackal at 4:21 PM on January 7, 2011


Don't like Twitter, especially don't like Facebook, don't like this idea. Can't those who are interested enough figure out how to share on Facebook or Twitter without this? Frankly, if I post something here, I really am posting it here, to Metafilter. If I wanted to post it to the whole internet at once, I'd find a different venue.
posted by Wordwoman at 4:32 PM on January 7, 2011 [3 favorites]


I like it; if I have a question on ask, I want an answer, dammit. Asking more peole seems smart.
posted by jenkinsEar at 4:37 PM on January 7, 2011


And yes, of course I get that Metafilter isn't password protected and this is the whole internet at once. But it's not Facebook.
posted by Wordwoman at 4:38 PM on January 7, 2011


So...

that's why Boba Fett is famous?
posted by fuq at 4:49 PM on January 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


*gag reflex*
posted by rain at 4:58 PM on January 7, 2011


I imagine, though, that this will probably lead to a bump in membership

You'd be surprised how many people balk and leave when they see the $5 charge. I would guess it's something in the 99% range.

I really am posting it here, to Metafilter. If I wanted to post it to the whole internet at once, I'd find a different venue

Again, just to reiterate, nothing from MetaFilter is being copied to any other site except for just the title of the post and the short URL. Nothing else, it's for people using Twitter and Facebook as link blogs basically, and will hopefully bring fellow MeFi members to more posts. If we pick up a few non-members that's fine but it's not the primary goal.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 5:27 PM on January 7, 2011


About the <title> tags, could you put them in square brackets or parentheses? They could use more separation from the title, I think.

My first thought was that someone posted badly. My second was fear that my last post on Mefi looked even dumber than intended.
posted by Pronoiac at 5:35 PM on January 7, 2011


I'm not happy with the amount of reasoning going on in this thread. Can we get a bit more 'NUH-UH' from the mod team pls? And users who irrationally hate things really should consider a bit more steam coming out the ears when expressing their irrational hatred. As it stands the display comes across a bit weak.

On a serious note, it would seem to be much handier for those so-inclined to remove the links to be able to do so at the Edit Preferences level rather than do it in a single thread, for ALL threads, then have to log out and log back in to change their mind. I understand it's easier to set it up on the one page you've implemented the feature on for now, but for the sort of setting that's site-wide like this would be it makes sense to toggle it where we toggle all the other site-wide prefs, and it makes less sense to intuit that clicking one [x] will remove the links for all threads. I know we lose the totally awesome fadey-effect, but you'd get it anyway when your profile page says 'Your Changes Have Been Saaaaved'

Another question, and sorry if this is addressed up-thread: If I click on a comment's permalink to bring it up in the address bar, will clicking these shortcut links shorten the whole URL#comment or just use URL? In other words, will this work for comments AND threads?
posted by carsonb at 5:43 PM on January 7, 2011


I like this
posted by Mick at 6:25 PM on January 7, 2011


The anchor of a URL (#foo) is not part of the request sent to the server, which means a redirect will see neither the presence or absence of an anchor, meaning that http://mefi.us/t/20211#850908 will work as a link to your comment in this thread, with the redirect expanding everything to the left of the # and everything to the right remaining unchanged.

However, the "Share on twitter" link isn't going to create a shortened link with an anchor to a specific comment for the same reason: the Metafilter server doesn't see the anchor when you load a page. In order for that to work, the feature would have to use client side scripting to see if the current page contains an anchor and the modify the Twitter submit link to also have that anchor. But if you want to construct one yourself by hand you can just add the anchor yourself.
posted by Rhomboid at 6:29 PM on January 7, 2011


My opinion of this is almost exactly the opposite of how I felt about the new TRON movie. Specifically, I really wanted to hate this, but once I sat down in the thread and saw it, I realized it was just fine. It looks right, it makes sense, and it doesn't waste a bunch of time and space with pointless dialog boxes.
posted by FishBike at 6:30 PM on January 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


I don't like it. But now I can set the option to make it invisible I've gone from spit-at-your-feet vexation to thin-lipped disgust.

The galling thing about 'sharing' stuff with Facebook is the asymmetricality of the relationship. You can share stuff on Facebook, but if you want to share stuff from FB with another site you have to take a screenshot and post the webpage as an image. To Hades with that. FB the corporation doesn't share with anyone, why share with them? If people want to paste MetaFilter urls into their FB newsfeed, fine. But I don't see any reason to lubricate that operation.

Twitter, and any other social networking site that isn't a walled garden, I don't care about. In fact I think it's probably a good idea. But not Facebook.
posted by Ritchie at 6:36 PM on January 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


Though it is adding corporation logos to the page

This was asked before, but I'm curious and don't see the answer: Why use the corporate logos at all? It'd be better to not have them.
posted by mediareport at 6:55 PM on January 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


(I'm fine with the functionality and appreciate the Twitter stop at the edit window, too, btw.)
posted by mediareport at 6:56 PM on January 7, 2011


If God had meant us to use Twitter he would have given us the attention span of gnats.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 7:04 PM on January 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


Twitter is silly; Facebook is hazardous. I usually keep these opinions to myself, but you asked.
posted by bukvich at 7:07 PM on January 7, 2011 [3 favorites]


carsonb, the little x on the right side will hide the feature from all threads, not a per-thread or per-subsite basis, but make the feature disappear entirely on whatever computer you click it on.

Rhomboid, we were aware of the lack of targeting, which is why we don't prepare any short URLs for comment targets. We are only providing them at the thread level.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 7:08 PM on January 7, 2011


"If God..." : I stopped reading there.
posted by Ardiril at 7:09 PM on January 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Thanks for this.
I wished for it every time I wanted to post something on Twittter.
I did the copy-paste dance but this is definitely better.
posted by bru at 7:13 PM on January 7, 2011


Facebook is like bacon. Other people love it, it's all over the internet, and its tainty greasy flavour gets on everything it touches.*

However, if this helps pay for banhammers and I don't have to look at the logo or the word "facebook" on every page, it's not worth grousing at.

I am glad it is positioned on the side at the top of the thread. I only look there once, but the bottoms of threads get refreshed.


* and if you smell like bacon it causes your ex-boyfriends try to contact you... hm. simile fail!
posted by Sallyfur at 7:23 PM on January 7, 2011


All I want to know is what do you have against Shmedlink? *takes her Shmedlink and goes home*

Shmedlink, I love it!
posted by IndigoRain at 7:25 PM on January 7, 2011


I think it's visual clutter. To those of you who say that they're unobtrusive, compare these icons to some past additions to the website design:

mefimail icon - tiny - used by a lot of members and pretty integral to the site.
profile pictures - large - used by a lot of members and tucked away in the user profile.
social services icons - medium - used by a few members, but tucked away in the user profile.
front page sidebar - large - used by many members and non members, and pretty integral to the website.

The "share this" buttons will

a. be used by a minority of members
b. a minority of the time
c. to save maybe a few seconds

but the buttons are always there on every post page.
posted by yaymukund at 7:33 PM on January 7, 2011 [5 favorites]


This is the best 5 bucks I've ever spent.
posted by Sailormom at 7:34 PM on January 7, 2011


carsonb, the little x on the right side will hide the feature from all threads, not a per-thread or per-subsite basis, but make the feature disappear entirely on whatever computer you click it on.

Comprende, compadre, and what I'm saying is that that is totally not-obvious—ignoring this meta thread and looking at nothing else but the feature on the example page—that that is the functionality. It is also totally not-obvious that logging out and logging back in will turn this puppy back on. So I suggest a move of the preference to the preferences page.
posted by carsonb at 7:38 PM on January 7, 2011


Also, thanks for the response Rhomboid, that answered my question and some.
posted by carsonb at 7:39 PM on January 7, 2011


Having a "hide" option next to the thing in question is not out of the ordinary. Off the top of my head we have "hide live preview", "hide the deck ad", "hide contact activity", and maybe more. There's an argument to make that all preferences should be persistant and on the preferences page. But some people like different prefs in different browsers. And sometimes you just need to click near a thing to make it go away without going through the whole process of visiting your site preferences. There's a place for both types of preference switching and I think this is a good candidate for casual turning-off.
posted by pb (staff) at 7:49 PM on January 7, 2011


yaymukund: The buttons will also be used by a large amount of non-members who make up a very large portion of the traffic the site gets. They will undoubtedly frequently make the difference between whether something gets passed on to Twitter/Facebook or not. Whether this is intended or desirable, I'll leave to someone else, but I'll bet that once this is implemented it will dramatically increase the amount of MetaFilter content being linked to on Twitter/Facebook.
posted by ODiV at 7:51 PM on January 7, 2011


Thanks for the response, pb.

I can see that categorizing this in that group of preferences is an option, but those arguments seem a bit hollow. Why do you think it's a good candidate for casual turning-off? What keeps you from allowing different prefs in different browsers set from the prefs page? (Question asked from honest ignorance/curiosity.) The need you describe to click near a thing to make it go away is not one I am familiar with. It sounds awfully like swatting a fly. And to painfully extend the analogy, I'd rather just put screens on the windows.

My personal site-usage habits entail patterns that ensure I'll have to click that thing a lot if I don't want to see the links. (I realize that this is a description of a very personal and potentially unique thing, but still want to enumerate it as one example: FB and Twitter are behind my websense block at work, where, yes, I read lots of MeFi. I have to log on and off various semi-public stations over the course of my shift.) Because of these circumstances, this is one of those things I'd love to just shut off and not think about ever again. Also, I go on about this not out of any feeling one way or another about social media websites and sharing functions, but more from a quonsorian standpoint of websites working intuitively and consistently for users. From my perspective those qualities outweigh the inertia of tradition.
posted by carsonb at 8:03 PM on January 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


The buttons will also be used by a large amount of non-members - This, I think, is a good thing.
posted by Ardiril at 8:23 PM on January 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


What's more intuitive? Clicking a "hide" or "x" next to the thing in question? Or seeing a thing, thinking that you'd like it to go away, and then visiting your preferences page to see if there's a way to turn it off?

What keeps you from allowing different prefs in different browsers set from the prefs page?

Nothing. That's how our preference page prefs work now. But our preferences page comes with its own list of issues. It's not infinitely expandable. We don't want one hundred check boxes to wade through to find something that can simply be checked off at the source. I'm sorry this style of preference won't work for how you use the site, and I understand your vote against them. But I do think they're convenient and don't waste mental/page space beyond the moment of seeing that option and clicking it.
posted by pb (staff) at 8:23 PM on January 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


ODiV: Non-members? What are those? :)

In terms of raw numbers, a lot of people will use it but a much larger percentage won't. Being able to disable it in preferences is cool, but I think it would be better as an optional greasemonkey script like mefiquote.
posted by yaymukund at 8:29 PM on January 7, 2011


If this is the future, then I don't really have a choice and its fine. Some would say this is progress. I might say that this is like our relatives coming down out of the trees - which seems like a good idea at the time - but I'd point out, that among many things, this ultimately gave us Wall Street bankers... trees are mighty nice.
posted by Nanukthedog at 8:53 PM on January 7, 2011


"burn slash burn kill kill kill"

This.

1. Is it really so difficult for people to put stuff on their Facebook wall without these buttons?
2. Server side? Really? This seems like more of a Plutor project than a pb one.
3. Why not add "Digg This" et al. while you're at it?

These buttons are nothing but ugly clutter and they are steadily ruining the internet. They are the banner ads du jour. Make them go away.

The buttons will also be used by a large amount of non-members - This, I think, is a good thing.

*coughcough*
posted by Sys Rq at 9:08 PM on January 7, 2011 [4 favorites]


(Also, I'm willing to bet that this whole "share button" phenomenon was invented by SEO spammers.)
posted by Sys Rq at 9:14 PM on January 7, 2011


Yeah, I was going to make some Eternal September references too. But how many people still feel the pain of Eternal September?

I believe today is September 6246th, 2011.
posted by Justinian at 9:25 PM on January 7, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'll add in my "like" here. But not there.
posted by FlamingBore at 9:25 PM on January 7, 2011


I like them. I share stuff from here on facebook all of the time, and it would be nice to have a link right there. Not that it's incredibly difficult to use the share gadget on my toolbar, but... I still like them.
posted by patheral at 10:10 PM on January 7, 2011


*coughcough* - ...and look where usenet is now. heheh ;-P
posted by Ardiril at 10:14 PM on January 7, 2011


I am happy that people will use this functionality but I am sad any time Metafilter encodes preferences for large corporate sites.
posted by one_bean at 10:39 PM on January 7, 2011


I don't see myself using this feature, but I think it's a good idea overall.

My only criticism would be that I don't like the placement on the page: The tag box is content, it is surrounded by comments which are also content but now we have a little bit of mechanism stuck in there. It looks a little like it's asking me to share the tags.

I would suggest moving it further up, right after the 'sign out' link, and possibly using the same text style used for 'sign out' for the 'Share' label to blend it in - also lowercase the S while you're at it.
posted by Dr Dracator at 11:28 PM on January 7, 2011


I personally like them and think they would be useful.
posted by gemmy at 11:32 PM on January 7, 2011


I'm surprised at the vitriol (or maybe I'm not) but everyone's entitled to their opinions, of course. I like how you gray-scaled the logos but upon reflection I wonder if it wouldn't be an improvement to ditch the logos and go with something along the lines of "via Twitter" & "via Facebook." This is my lone opinion but I think it'd help remove some of the corporate effluvium people are objecting to. I did say some. I also think it'd just flat-out fit the site's style better.

Either way, love you guys.
posted by empyrean at 12:09 AM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Is there any reason there can't be both a small [x] by the links and also a "turn this off on all computers" option in preferences? I also use a lot of public computers, and would love to see both options available.
posted by lover at 12:44 AM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I like it. Plus, now I know why Boba Fett is so popular.
posted by Nattie at 1:27 AM on January 8, 2011


I wonder if it wouldn't be an improvement to ditch the logos

I wouldn't mind this, or maybe they could be moved to the right. The icons are sticking out to me with the current layout, it's a couple of images in the middle of all the text.

You did want design advice from a committee of amateurs, right? I bet you never thought of trying out any alternatives before rolling this out to an audience of thousands of users!
posted by Dr Dracator at 2:23 AM on January 8, 2011


I was worried we wouldn't be making payroll a few months later but though we cut it close last year, we never quite ran into losing money. I think this year will work better (knocks on wood).

Oof. Suddenly I feel bad about aggressively blocking ads.

I know this is tangential, but I've been wondering about this a bit lately, and you skirted the subject: Is there a way to donate cold hard cash to Mefi? If not, why? Will it ever be possible? If yes, how?

I don't feel the 5 bones I threw down 8 or so years ago really covers what I get out of this community, but on the other hand I really hate advertisement. I understand the role it plays in free content, but I would much rather pay money to support you than subject myself to advertisements. I am very grateful you respect this quirk and offer opt-out for all advertising, but there's no way to give you money to make up for that either.. So it's either watch ads or be a freeloader. I'd like Option C where I support the site financially without viewing adverts.

The idea of MetaFilter worrying about money concerns me. I'm not saying you guys should offer Mefi Gold or any bullshit like that, but if an option to donate existed, I would exercise that right now. Just sayin'.

If this is already covered territory, forgive me, and point me to the meta thread so I can catch up.
posted by cj_ at 3:57 AM on January 8, 2011 [6 favorites]


cj_, you might want to scroll to the bottom of the About page.
posted by Dr Dracator at 4:22 AM on January 8, 2011




Thank you, I had no idea that existed. Judging by the short list of usernames and the $700 aggregate, I'm thinking I'm not alone..

Is there a cultural bias against donating?
posted by cj_ at 4:40 AM on January 8, 2011


Also that first link to Amazon is broken.. I noticed because I try to avoid paypal. Are the links in that post still working?
posted by cj_ at 4:43 AM on January 8, 2011


cj_, Dr Dracator has the better suggestion of donating via this paypal link (found on the bottom of this page).
posted by yaymukund at 4:47 AM on January 8, 2011


When I click on that, I just get a generic account page showing my current account balance. There is no indication of what buttons I would push to donate to this site. I may not be PayPal savvy or something?
posted by cj_ at 5:00 AM on January 8, 2011


Here is what I see when I click on that: link.

Am I missing something?
posted by cj_ at 5:05 AM on January 8, 2011


Hmm, I get that too. According to the URL, it's just donating to paypal@haughey.com. You might be able to just pay that account directly, but you should probably wait for Matt to confirm that it's working.
posted by yaymukund at 5:09 AM on January 8, 2011


Is there a cultural bias against donating?

People donate to mefi every single time they post an fpp, every single time they go to a meetup, every single time they contribute to signal and not noise. This place is about content before it's about money or branding. One can donate by being interesting, thoughtful, and/or funny. By not participating in pile-ons. By closing the window before one makes that tone-deaf comment. By not being That Guy that shows up in every thread about topic X. By being welcoming and helpful to n00bs. Sometimes, by shutting up and saying nothing. And so on.
posted by Ritchie at 5:10 AM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't like it. I cannot articulate why.
posted by Mikey-San at 5:12 AM on January 8, 2011


Since Facebook is the anti-Metafilter as far as I'm concerned (like a lot of Mefites in this thread), my instinctual reaction is DO NOT WANT. On reflection, since others "Like" it, I'd be more comfortable with an opt-in version with customization and flexibility.

After all, Facebook won't be around forever, especially if their financial shenanigans with Goldman Sachs attract the SEC's notice.
posted by Doktor Zed at 5:46 AM on January 8, 2011


Ritchie: "People donate to mefi every single time they post an fpp, every single time they go to a meetup, every single time they contribute to signal and not noise. This place is about content before it's about money or branding... And so on."

True, but apparently our contributions and the ad revenue they generate aren't always enough to pay the bills. These bills include server costs, programming, and the moderation which makes this place what it is.
posted by gman at 5:47 AM on January 8, 2011


I worry, because what I like about mefi is that the rest of the internet isn't here. I realise that is somewhat delusional and makes me an asshole. I love that we, as members, invite in people we feel would be a good fit for the place. I know that 95% of the people I am friends with on FB are not people I would want on mefi, how ever much I like them.

FB is the new AOL, and yeah I know, eternal september, etc, but that's the concern I have, that uncle Bob joins up and legitimately, helpfully answers that question you shared about floor varnish, but hangs around to also answer questions about peoples relationships, drug use, belief systems and mental illness. All that said, I think these are probably unfounded fears, the mods are good and great and I am happy to be here whatever way you want to run the place.
posted by Iteki at 5:55 AM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Agh, forgot to say I think that letting people chose to make their askme "unsharable" (I realise anyone can share anything) would be a courtesy, people may mean well by sharing my TMI-question, but by the time it's been re-shared enough to turn up on my own feed, well, I think by then I am not going to be asking many more questions in the future.
posted by Iteki at 5:59 AM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's been almost 24 hours now and this change hasn't affected the way I interact with the site or vice versa. Am I doing something wrong?
posted by Sailormom at 6:03 AM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


I do not like this at all,
I do not want it on your wall,
I do not want to curb my speech,
Because I fear it will become a tweet.

I am not on facebook or the twit. I bet that there will be more anon questions because of this. I do realize that anything that is posted on the web is open game and can be reposted anywhere but isn't this making it too easy? My big fat 2 cents.
posted by futz at 6:10 AM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


If y'all will forgive a slight derail, I feel compelled to share a joke that I heard in church a while back, which I have repurposed for the audience here.

"How many MeFites does it take to change a lightbulb?"

"CHANGE?!?!?!" [with eyes bulging and hands waving wildly]

It's funnier in person.
posted by Gator at 6:27 AM on January 8, 2011 [7 favorites]


For the record, I didn't like the addition, so now I've hidden it. I'll survive if it stays for those who do like it, but I have to admit I would prefer if it didn't exist at all.
posted by knapah at 6:47 AM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'll just post this because I imagine that interested people and decision-makers will read through this to see what people make of the changes, and perspectives like mine (by their very nature) will be underrepresented:

I'm less invested in Metafilter than I was a few years ago, so I don't care very much either way. But decisions like these are part of the reason why I'm less invested.
posted by Kwine at 7:05 AM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


*text-based site member cries out in darkness for text-based sharing links, is unanswered, sobs at tiny unnecessary corporate branding, mourns loss of ever so teensily contrarian approach to sharing with web behemoths, drinks coffee, forgets about it*
posted by mediareport at 7:15 AM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I like it. Plus anything that allows metafilter to infect the most popular social networks is great in my book.
posted by seanyboy at 7:19 AM on January 8, 2011


If this helps Metafilter win the Internet, I'm all for it.
posted by Mngo at 7:26 AM on January 8, 2011


I worry, because what I like about mefi is that the rest of the internet isn't here.

This new feature is not bringing any FB content into MeFi, but rather the other way around. It does not link your MeFi identity with your FB identity - you can only do this with means you already have at your disposal. The magic $5 will still apply to any of the blithering idiots FB users who manage to find their way here, so I don't see what is there to worry about.
posted by Dr Dracator at 7:28 AM on January 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


I like it.
posted by Stynxno at 7:38 AM on January 8, 2011


Dr Dracator: of course. However, if I am sharing a link with my friends, then presumably there is something there to interest them specifically, which lowers the threshold of the magic $5 barrier. I link to a post about bikes, because I have friends who enjoy biking. They see that "someone is wrong on the internet" and I am guessing 5 dollars is a small price to pay to explain why blablah brakes are for heathens. It's also a small price to pay to talk to some poor misguided person about their parenting choices, won't someone think of the children.
Again though, I don't think it's going to be a big issue, five bucks is little enough too that you won't stick around complaining about how you don't like the tone/culture of the place. Unless that is you're uncle Bob, wanting to make a stand.
posted by Iteki at 8:36 AM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oof. Suddenly I feel bad about aggressively blocking ads.

Don't. Our ad revenue comes from the anonymous horde of non-members reaching the site via search engines and other off-site links. Our revenue is down some for the same reasons it ever went up: passive income produced as if at a whim by the force of nature that is the internet ad economy. You blocking ads on the site is the fluttering of a single tassel on the sleeve of the jacket of the cowboy scrabbling to stay saddled on a great big nasty bucking bronco named AdWords.

Like Ritchie says, the most important thing a mefite can do to help metafilter thrive is to participate here in good faith, to engage this place thoughtfully; post, comment, help the community be the interesting and vibrant place it is.

If that's happening, the worst case scenario is that it continues to be an awesome site that doesn't generate as much passive revenue as it used to, and while for personal finance reasons I don't like the idea of our revenue going down I like the idea of this place not being awesome even less and that's more of a priority. It's a kind of miracle that the site can pay a staff of four well with benefits and so on; I hope that keeps up, but if not I'd much sooner tighten my belt a bit than try and make any member of this site feel bad about not wanting to see ads.

if I am sharing a link with my friends, then presumably there is something there to interest them specifically, which lowers the threshold of the magic $5 barrier. I link to a post about bikes, because I have friends who enjoy biking. They see that "someone is wrong on the internet" and I am guessing 5 dollars is a small price to pay to explain why blablah brakes are for heathens. It's also a small price to pay to talk to some poor misguided person about their parenting choices, won't someone think of the children.

I hear and understand this fear, but my take is that we have had many contentious askme threads end up heavily linked in the past (and lots more linked not-so-heavily, I look at the referrer logs every day and there's always two or three threads popping up on some little forum or other), and it's basically never lead to a storm of new users. Maybe an incremental person here or there off of some link or metadiscussion, but not measurable above noise.

Beyond that, we get lots of folks who sign up and leave their comment about The Way It Is, and then...nothing. The $5 stops most of the drive-bys preemptively, but even the folks who drop that savbuck are still faced with the question of acculturation and community assimilation, and as far as I can tell those who don't kind of get or immediately like how mefi operates once they've gotten through the door just don't bother to keep commenting much if at all after they get that initial Let Me Tell You What bit out of their system.

So I get the concern, I worry about the same sort of thing and it's one of the things that gave me pause when we first started talking about this as a team, but I don't believe based on long observations that it's an actual threat. These links don't change anything fundamental, they're a small convenience that we're really awfully conservatively moving to recognize as practical for how people currently use metafilter anyway in the context of their extra-mefi social internetery.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:53 AM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


If y'all will forgive a slight derail, I feel compelled to share a joke that I heard in church a while back

Love it. And so true when it comes to church people, too!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:04 AM on January 8, 2011


I like it. But I get paid to be on social media so I'm probably the equivalent of an SEO spammer in many Mefites' books.
posted by misskaz at 9:08 AM on January 8, 2011


I am actively trying to keep this place AWAY from my Facebook friends because they're almost all people I know IRL. My husband brought up mefi at a family holiday gathering and I'm all SHUT UP!! WORLDS COLLIDING!!
posted by desjardins at 9:20 AM on January 8, 2011 [7 favorites]


I like this and already missed it after opening a thread.
posted by Memo at 9:41 AM on January 8, 2011


I would think someone posting a Metafilter thread to reddit or digg would be much more likely to cause the effects some are worried about than just posting to your Facebook wall or twitter feed.
posted by smackfu at 9:45 AM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I like it
posted by Wilder at 10:03 AM on January 8, 2011


Seems simple and clear, not obtrusive. Not sure I quite understand the howls of outrage if nothing is automatically linked to FB, no cookies are involved, etc. If it generates more revenue for the site, I'm all for it. On that note, as I've said previously, I think other models than the one time $5 payment ought to be considered if there's any sort of continuing issue about making payroll for the staff. $5 membership plus $1 a year, for example -- it's easy to set up recurring annual subscriptions on paypal. I don't think it's unreasonable to annually ask for such a minor contribution from members who spend so much time here.
posted by modernnomad at 10:16 AM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Someone (who is now a member) first saw this site and assumed it was ancient and not updating anymore (until they saw the dates, of course). I think having share links is a little way of modernizing (not that there is anything wrong with not doing so).
posted by The Devil Tesla at 10:54 AM on January 8, 2011


I am also happy to contribute a few shekels annually so Mathowie can continue to afford the ultra pasteurized organic pony tears that he slips into pb's coffee each morning.
posted by special-k at 11:30 AM on January 8, 2011


Nicely understated!
posted by ignignokt at 12:55 PM on January 8, 2011


I am opposed to this because of things like this: "Facebook's 'Like This' button is tracking you (Whether you click it or not)

free hugs, when you click on the link, it will. However, simply loading the MetaFilter page will not do anything since MetaFilter is using a simple link to Facebook rather than the Like or Recommend widget that Facebook provides, which loads a bunch of Facebook stuff in an iframe.
posted by ignignokt at 12:59 PM on January 8, 2011


I'm neutral on it, can't see me using it a lot. I tend to keep a bit of a walled garden between FB and MeFi, not that I'm ashamed of y'all, more "my precious" and want to keep MeFi all to myself.
I'm tempted to say we should have a "login to share" mandated, so it forces the purists to contribute their $5. Or doe Matt think more revenue will come if share is open to none members?
Also, if Matt confirms that donations are still working off PayPal, then money will certainly be heading MeFi's way.
posted by arcticseal at 4:14 PM on January 8, 2011


Short URLs, huh?

I never would have thought I'd see the day. But at least they're recognizable as being from Metafilter, so my fury is contained.

In terms of Twitter/Facebook, fuck that, but I'll just hide the box and never think of it again, so whatever, all good. If it helps with revenue generation, more power to you.

Quick story: I noticed since the uptake of Quora by seemingly everyone online

Huh again. I pretty much live online, and I'd never heard of Quora until now, that I can recall. Maybe it's a Twitter/FB thing.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:18 PM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


How the hell did spellcheck convert lurker to purist? Must preview!
posted by arcticseal at 4:19 PM on January 8, 2011


do not want
posted by spinturtle at 8:25 AM on January 9, 2011


NAK. -1. No. Nyet. Veto. Hate.

I'll hide it and forget it exists immediately but you did ask. Also I think I prefer the idea of making them textual links, fits the Mefi aesthetic better I think.
posted by Skorgu at 6:40 AM on January 10, 2011


It does not offend me. I'm not sure I've ever used a "share this" button or link, though ... does using one give you an opportunity to edit the link before posting it to your Twitter/FB feed? I assume it does...

And having MetaFilter URLs shortened by Metafilter's own shortening service, rather than having people run them through bit.ly or one of the other services, is worth implementing the feature for just by itself. Those 3rd party URL shorteners need to die.
posted by Kadin2048 at 9:55 AM on January 10, 2011


Thanks for all of your feedback so far. We discussed this over the weekend, and decided to go with a profile preference to hide the Share links. We understand the intense negative reaction this particular feature provokes, and the need to never see it again once you've made that decision. So instead of the floating x, you can now check the profile preference: "Hide Share Links?" and click Save to keep them hidden forever.

We'll be adding these links across the sites today, but the profile preference is ready to be set as I type this. So if you want them gone, go ahead and update your preferences now and you won't see them when they go live.
posted by pb (staff) at 10:19 AM on January 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Thanks pb!
posted by special-k at 10:47 AM on January 10, 2011


We'll be adding these links across the sites today,

Get ready for a bunch of metatalk posts from people who haven't seen this thread, which is now off the front page...
posted by dersins at 1:25 PM on January 10, 2011


It's a pleasure to be able to interact in this way with a company that is part of my life. To be asked for an opinion, give an opinion, feel like you were heard, and then receive notification and explanation of an implementation that was clearly thought through. This has nothing to do with the side the decision can down on.

This is what it feels like to be part of a community. Thanks.
posted by nickjadlowe at 1:47 PM on January 10, 2011


Bug report:

I've got "Hide share links" checked on my profile, but I'm still seeing the share links on AskMe questions. I'm using the Plain theme, if that matters.
posted by odinsdream at 2:50 PM on January 10, 2011


odinsdream, try saving your preferences one more time. It sounds like the hide_share cookie wasn't set properly on save. Let me know if you're still seeing it.
posted by pb (staff) at 3:03 PM on January 10, 2011


By the way, we set the hide_share cookie when you save preferences and when you log in. If you switch computers or browsers, you'll need to do one of those two things to set that cookie for the browser you're currently using. Once set, the cookie doesn't expire until you log in/out or save preferences again.
posted by pb (staff) at 3:07 PM on January 10, 2011


Ah. I didn't realize the user preferences page was setting cookies. That explains it - I set the preference at work and then came home.
posted by odinsdream at 6:22 PM on January 10, 2011


Yeah, it's a bit counter-intuitive but that's the way our preferences have always worked. With the cookie system you can set different preferences for different browsers. So if you need the plain theme at work and the default theme at home, or bigger fonts on a netbook and smaller fonts on a large monitor you can do that.
posted by pb (staff) at 7:51 PM on January 10, 2011


cortex: "but even the folks who drop that savbuck are still faced"

A sawbuck is ten dollars. The old-timey slang word you want is "fin."
posted by Chrysostom at 10:30 PM on January 10, 2011


Is there a reason why when you're logged out the links appear as 'Share on Facebook /n Share on Twitter' and when you're logged in you get 'Share: /n (logo)facebook /n (logo)twitter?

This is with the professional white background, but I'd be interested to know the thinking behind the presentation (for professional reasons - I swear).
posted by Sparx at 11:20 PM on January 10, 2011


I'm having a strange problem (might just be me and this old brower- Firefox 2.0.0.9)- I shared a link on Twitter using the button, but now whenever I open Twitter, the link is still there text box, demanding to be tweeted again. Once is enough, link!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:07 AM on January 11, 2011


A sawbuck is ten dollars. The old-timey slang word you want is "fin."

No, no, a savbuck is half a savvbuck, which really should be written "saxbuck" but what do you do. Further information about this indisputable fact of English usage is available on the internet.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:12 AM on January 11, 2011


cortex: "No, no, a savbuck is half a savvbuck"

Hmm, that does sound truthy.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:08 AM on January 11, 2011


Sparx, just a bug that should be fixed now. No thinking behind it.

ThePinkSuperhero, sounds like some agressive caching on Twitter's end. You might try logging in and out of Twitter to see if that clears it. I don't think there's anything we can do about it on this end. Some browser extensions can save form data for you too, so you might check to see if Lazarus or something similar is saving it for you on your end.
posted by pb (staff) at 10:48 AM on January 11, 2011


Thanks!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 11:29 AM on January 11, 2011


I would just like to pint out that an X does not look like a sawhorse. An A does, though.

So clearly, saw, or sax, should logically become saa, which happens to be Danish for saw.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:53 AM on January 11, 2011


I'd also like to pint out that 'pint out' is a real expression. It means 'to argue facts while under the influence of beer, ale, lager, etc.'
posted by Sys Rq at 11:55 AM on January 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


In areas that use metric, this is known as "thought litership".
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:01 PM on January 11, 2011


Litreship, surely.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:51 PM on January 11, 2011


As a MetaTalk discussion grows longer, the probability of the subject of British/US spelling differences arising approaches 1.
posted by Kattullus at 2:58 PM on January 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's spelled "proubability".
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:25 PM on January 11, 2011 [6 favorites]


Yeah, but how do you pronunce it?
posted by iamkimiam at 6:01 PM on January 11, 2011


It rhymes with Cholmondeley-Featherstonehaugh.
posted by elizardbits at 8:48 PM on January 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


As a MetaTalk discussion grows longer, the probability of the subject of British/US spelling differences arising approaches 1.

To be fair, though, as a MetaTalk discussion grows longer, the probability of any arbitrary subject arsing also approaches 1.
posted by FishBike at 8:13 AM on January 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


I have used the thing!
posted by Artw at 2:38 PM on January 13, 2011


I just opened a new tab and saw the new Sharing area for the first time. My first thought was "agh!", then my second "there will have been a long mefi thread about this somewhere", then my third "I bet I can turn this off in my preferences". Lo and behold, both were true.

I'm glad this is available for the folks who are happy to have it and I'm equally glad that I can turn it off for myself. You guys are always so great about giving us nice new features tastefully implemented but also allowing those of us who go "agh! change!" to disable them.

The funny thing is, it's not even the sharing to fb and twitter that made my teeth set on edge. I use the better contrast script, so the little box that the share icons sit in was showing up in the original mefi colours, not is the custom colour scheme I use (#154E6B, #2C452F, #444444 doncha know) and I didn't feel like trying to go into the script and somehow get that little box to show up in my custom colour scheme. This was just too tough to deal with for me in my current (hungover) state.
posted by mosessis at 2:49 AM on January 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm sorry, I'm sorry, but I still hate it.

Every advertisement, event, and news story either demands my fealty or cheerfully! suggests! more! Click here, "like" this, comment below, visit our partners, eat at Joe's, enter our contest, check this out, tell all your friends...Whew.

Meanwhile, the guidelines here (no self-promotion via FPPs, AskMe answers have to be in good faith, etc.) all boil down to urging a more manageable and considerate level of "Me! Me! I haz a thought! Loudly overshare blahblah!" than is upheld by the internet and public world in general.

So, to me, this feature just feels kind of fundamentally out of sync with the "it's better to think before you hit send" atmosphere of Metafilter.
posted by desuetude at 8:30 PM on January 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


I completely understand your frustration with the feature, especially if you don't like Twitter and Facebook and believe they're filled with nothing more than Farmville addicts or oversharers. I think there are a good number of MetaFilter members who use either Twitter or Facebook or both, and don't have impulsive oversharing problems. It is possible to use either of these services in a thoughtful way, and the presence of shortcuts doesn't goad people into using these services irresponsibly.

People participate in networks away from MetaFilter, and there is value in those networks. We provide links to those networks on profile pages because we know MetaFilter doesn't exist in a vacuum and we'd like members to support each other elsewhere. These buttons are an extension of that. We aren't closed to the public, and we invite participation from others who want to join and contribute. There are good people who participate at these sites—including MeFites—and we're providing a simple way to connect with them.
posted by pb (staff) at 8:40 AM on January 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


Oh, pb, don't get me wrong, I enjoy my usage of Facebook and Twitter. And I like that we can link up our accounts on our profile pages here. I guess my position is that shortcuts seem like they would indeed maybe goad people into using these services less mindfully.
posted by desuetude at 10:37 PM on January 17, 2011


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