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Matt's 2011 SXSW Talk
March 14, 2011 4:58 PM   Subscribe

Lessons from 11 years of community - a video by some guy who runs a blog. (2011 SXSW)
posted by blue_beetle to MetaFilter-Related at 4:58 PM (74 comments total) 40 users marked this as a favorite

This is great! Thanks for re-presenting it and sharing it with us (and for posting it on MeTa, blue_beetle).

Matt, how did you create this slideshow+video video?
posted by iamkimiam at 5:07 PM on March 14, 2011


Is that a shock of gray hair? That's pretty sweet. Stentorian.
posted by boo_radley at 5:23 PM on March 14, 2011


Matt, how did you create this slideshow+video video?

It's a pain in the ass, and has in the past required like a billion tools. This time was slightly more simple, but still really kind of dumb.

Set up two computers running ichat in my office (one has mathowie @ AIM the other is my .mac account). Start a video chat between them, disable all incoming/outgoing audio on the second computer you're not presenting at. Go to the first computer and drag your Keynote presentation into the video window, and it will start a "iChat Theater" presentation. Walk to your second computer and start a screencasting app (ScreenFlow, in my case). Walk back to your first mac, sit down, and give the talk.

When you are done, walk to the second computer, end the screencasting, resize (they call it "scale" in Screenflow) so your iChat window fills the screen, then save, export out as a AppleTV sized movie and upload to Vimeo.

Also iamkimiam, you might recognize a certain photo later in the presentation...
posted by mathowie (staff) at 5:24 PM on March 14, 2011 [11 favorites]


Is that a shock of gray hair?

It's my little Clooney.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 5:26 PM on March 14, 2011 [6 favorites]


HA! I just got to the favorites bit! :)
posted by iamkimiam at 5:34 PM on March 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


I forgot to mention in this version of the talk that we deleted everything the spammer guy did within two hours of him making his "tips for spamming metafilter" video and we found people complaining to him that the techniques don't work and they got banned too.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 5:35 PM on March 14, 2011 [7 favorites]


What does the shirt say?
posted by Horace Rumpole at 5:35 PM on March 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's my little Clooney.
posted by mathowie

Ah yes. It's your shock and my awwww.
posted by George Clooney at 5:42 PM on March 14, 2011 [8 favorites]


"man this guy sucks at askme"

I don't really want to know who it is, but how sad it is to be able to fail at using a website.
posted by Cold Lurkey at 5:54 PM on March 14, 2011


Also, thanks for the info about making the video. Sounds like a pain and totally not the type of answer I was expecting! It's a clever workaround and the end result looks slick.

(Heh. The idea of setting up the two laptops and separate chat clients talking to each other so that you can record yourself presenting remotely to your audience is a nice example of de se ambiguity, if not conceptually weird enough already. "Matt is presenting to mathowie.")
posted by iamkimiam at 5:54 PM on March 14, 2011


The user notes page at 17:30 is full of (appropriately redacted) comedy gold.
Metafilter: coming on real strong and assholish today for some reason.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 5:56 PM on March 14, 2011


I understand why you shouldn't tell me, but now I really want to know if I have any user comments. Instead, how about telling me how many users you have notes about at all? Is it mostly only trouble-makers and "signed up because there's a thread about me" people?

I guess what I'm getting at is what do I have to do to get a visible-only-to-mods comment on my account that says I'm awesome?
posted by aubilenon at 6:04 PM on March 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


a visible-only-to-mods comment on my account that says I'm awesome

Done.

Seriously, though, maybe 5% of the userbase ever gets a mod comment, and it's usually for innocuous stuff.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 6:21 PM on March 14, 2011


Heh, Ninja Moderators!
posted by octothorpe at 6:33 PM on March 14, 2011


I would like to request that my mod-comments be written in the form of a sonnet which rhapsodies on the subject of my amazing intellect and wit.

Oh great, now it says I'm a smart-ass, doesn't it? TELL ME WHAT IT SAYS!
*twists around furiously trying to see what's written on the back of his profile*

posted by Salvor Hardin at 6:39 PM on March 14, 2011 [5 favorites]


Good stuff, Matt. Thank you.

Perhaps you've addressed this elsewhere, but you mention about 300 heavy users/day. What constitutes "heavy use"?

I'm not a heavy user. I can quit the big green Ask anytime I want.
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:44 PM on March 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh yeah?! Well I'm making notes on the mods.

unsually mody today and slow on the MeTa, needs sunshine?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:51 PM on March 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


I was asked by HR to stop referring to my little Clooney.
posted by found missing at 6:59 PM on March 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


I saw this live, it was wonderful.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:02 PM on March 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Odd, I thought we were being watched.
posted by found missing at 7:05 PM on March 14, 2011


I love iamkimiam's tattoos. One hand giveth (favorites) and the other taketh away.
posted by empyrean at 7:29 PM on March 14, 2011


Seriously, though, maybe 5% of the userbase ever gets a mod comment

So are the Five Percenters the same as the ones in The Cabal? The secret aspects of this site are so confusing.
posted by burnmp3s at 7:38 PM on March 14, 2011


THE ASS STRAGGLER TOOL?!?!?

Oh, wait. That's not what he said.

Never mind.
posted by hippybear at 7:42 PM on March 14, 2011


Oh, wow, thanks so much!
posted by restless_nomad at 8:17 PM on March 14, 2011


Awesome talk! I really enjoyed a view into the thinking behind the awesome UI that is the moderators here.
posted by dg at 8:34 PM on March 14, 2011


Yay! I'm bummed I missed the live performance so I'm glad I'll be able to watch this once u get home and catch my breath. People generally seemed super impressed with it from what I heard.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:37 PM on March 14, 2011


Seriously, though, maybe 5% of the userbase ever gets a mod comment

The 5%ers are the ones with rockers above and below the club logo.
posted by Justinian at 8:38 PM on March 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


my little Clooney

Sweet! My sister and I had 76 of those when we were little.

Oh wait.
posted by ocherdraco at 8:48 PM on March 14, 2011


Wow, that '17 Minute Trick' video is a real thing. Crazy.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 8:57 PM on March 14, 2011


Reenactment of Metafilter mods catching spammers.
posted by special-k at 10:11 PM on March 14, 2011


Matt doesn't even see text anymore, just patterns of blondes, brunettes, redheads...
posted by Dr. Zira at 10:15 PM on March 14, 2011


> It's a pain in the ass, and has in the past required like a billion tools. This time was slightly more simple, but still really kind of dumb.

It's gotten better with Podcast Producer, but it still requires a second computer to process the video workflow for (or some rejiggering to have the service run locally via localhost). You can setup a job to record two sources, one from the Mac's built in camera, and one of the keynote presentation, then once your are done, it will stitch the two feeds together for you (and if you are bored, you can have it change focus, ie pull the talking head foreward after 30 seconds of idle time on the presentation stream). The real 'magic' of it is once you are done with the podcast you can have it automatically compress it out to a few different formats and upload to iTunes U, etc. Also, you don't need to have the camera running on the same computer doing the slides, so for a guest lecture environment, you can have the computer running the slide deck be at the podium for the presentator to use (or their assistant) and then have a mac mini plugged into the high end facilities AV camera that is recording the 3/4 shot of the speaker. You just have to beat the camera operator over the head enough so that they don't try to zoom out to capture the slides, as a second computer is doing that already.

Actually, it wouldn't be too difficult, with enough planning, to get something like this setup for the entire SXSW thing. The big thing is once it is loade up properly and configured, a professor can get their entire lecture uploaded and out the door within hours of their presentation. Not as pretty as a TED talk, but 'good enough'.

why yes, I did spend a good deal of 2009 deploying this, why do you ask?
posted by mrzarquon at 10:15 PM on March 14, 2011


pony: may users get their own admin dashboards? please.
posted by the aloha at 10:20 PM on March 14, 2011


Neat peek behind the scenes. Thanks.
posted by dws at 10:26 PM on March 14, 2011


Incredibly useful, thanks.

Matt, do you know if there is a collection of all articles and interviews on moderation by yourself and the mods?
posted by Foci for Analysis at 10:47 PM on March 14, 2011


Here are two articles I've written about community: 2001, 2007 and here are two interviews where we talked a lot about mefi and community: 2008, 2010
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:14 PM on March 14, 2011 [5 favorites]


Thanks for that, Matt. I was just going to ask for those links you promised in the talk, and there they are!

After more than 3 years of running MefightClub, I still feel like I'm just learning how to do a decent job of community management...
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:21 AM on March 15, 2011


I saw this live too and it was great. Also meeting jessamyn was great and also SXSW is great and I might be a little drunk and that is great.
posted by misskaz at 12:38 AM on March 15, 2011


Don't sell the team short. You could totally beat those kids at whiffle ball.
posted by louche mustachio at 1:26 AM on March 15, 2011


Reenactment of Metafilter mods catching spammers.

Luckily, Matt speaks Leet.
posted by Ghidorah at 1:51 AM on March 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Thanks for the links Matt, I hadn't seen them before. Thanks to the mods for keeping the peace here.
posted by arcticseal at 2:33 AM on March 15, 2011


That was a great talk. Thanks for recording it online, Matt!
posted by vacapinta at 4:31 AM on March 15, 2011


One thing I've noticed re: the comments in old threads thing. A comment in an old thread will often bump up someone's Recent Activity who will see the spammy comment and flag it. And so you get the flag queue yet again helping you out.

I use Recent Activity a lot. I wonder how prevalent it is among the site's users?
posted by vacapinta at 4:41 AM on March 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's where my bookmark is set, where I load the site on first visit every time. From there, I wander further afield.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:11 AM on March 15, 2011


Given that every time somebody posts about it on MeTa, somebody says something to the effect of "HOW DID I NOT KNOW ABOUT THIS MEFI IS CHANGED FOREVER", and MeTa readership is dramatically lower than the Blue or Green, I've got a gut feeling it's not used by a majority of users. But I'm led to understand it's a beast to the server, so maybe that's okay.

Huzzah! A query that the infodump can't answer! Once everyone gets back from SXSW, any chance we could get a peek at the % of unique visitors who hit RA?
posted by SpiffyRob at 6:08 AM on March 15, 2011


I use Recent Activity a lot. I wonder how prevalent it is among the site's users?

Second stop, for me. First stop if I'm involved in a conversation. Great tatoos, kim - would have been even better on your knuckles.
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:25 AM on March 15, 2011


I guess we could do some sort of temporary bit of extra logging, just check userid on RA loads and throw a tally into a temporary table or something and see what that looks like after a month or so. It would be interesting to have a real idea of how widely it's used, yeah; my guess doesn't get any better than "a fair number of the regulars".

For me, RA is generally where I go once I've taken care of whatever work needs taking care of; I finish making my morning rounds on the back end, or take a breather from answering questions on email or metatalk or from monitoring a specific problem thread or two directly, and it's over to RA to catch up on what's transpired in the meantime on all the other threads I actually want to be reading.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:30 AM on March 15, 2011


I don't like the sound of logging into Metafilter's back end. It sounds like a trip through the giant colon model.

Interesting talk - are you worried about creating an arms race by promoting (some) of your techniques?
posted by plinth at 7:00 AM on March 15, 2011


I kind of love/hate that we all secretly have mod report cards. Makes so much sense from an admin perspective, but I keep hearing in my head

I hope you know this will go down on your permanent record!
posted by gwint at 7:41 AM on March 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


That was way more interesting than I expected. I mean, I kind of figured I'd listen for a couple minutes then, you know, move on. But the way you guys have come up with solutions to the problem of how to keep track of so much info coming in almost all the time, is kind of fascinating. Even for someone with exactly no experience/ use for it.
posted by From Bklyn at 8:10 AM on March 15, 2011


Most people's permanent record says something like "they're pretty awesome, posterity". I wish that angle had been stressed a little harder when I was actually in school.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:10 AM on March 15, 2011


Stentorian.
posted by boo_radley at 1:23 AM on March 15


I do not think this word means what you think it does. :-)
posted by Decani at 8:34 AM on March 15, 2011


I use Recent Activity all the time. I love it because otherwise it would be hard to keep up more than one concurrent conversation. With RA, I can check in on many conversations at once and know when the right time is to jump back in with a comment. This makes the site much more community-friendly and happy.

Not a fake testimonial.
posted by Night_owl at 9:17 AM on March 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


aubilenon: "I understand why you shouldn't tell me, but now I really want to know if I have any user comments."

It's not a mystery for me, because I happened to be the user highlighted for the "User Notes" slide. Unfortunately, the only comments were Jessamyn noting the time MY MOM accidentally posted to AskMe under my account when I was at home a couple of summers ago.

And cortex saying "Ha!"

GAH.

(At least my Planet Earth post showed up for the "Feature Best Content" slide. But still, GAH.)

MonkeyToes: "Perhaps you've addressed this elsewhere, but you mention about 300 heavy users/day. What constitutes "heavy use"? "

I imagine it's similar to the 200 most active users in the Sporcle quiz discussed here. (Try it, it's fun!)
posted by Rhaomi at 9:23 AM on March 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Meatbomb is on double secret probation.
posted by flabdablet at 10:07 AM on March 15, 2011


I hope you know this will go down on your permanent record!

Oh yeah? Well don't get so distressed. Did I happen to mention that I'm impressed?
posted by SpiffyRob at 1:18 PM on March 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


I use Recent Activity a lot. I wonder how prevalent it is among the site's users?
It's the first stop for me. I use it to catch up with what's happened while I was sleeping, then wander off to see what other things are happening.
posted by dg at 2:35 PM on March 15, 2011


Holy fuck, I can feel the knowledge of user-comments in the admin console altering my metafilter behavior.
posted by synaesthetichaze at 4:07 PM on March 15, 2011


So, I never really thought about the burn out problem, and I appreciate that you addressed this in the post. Your automated systems show you the chaff; perhaps you need something to show you the love.

I think you should add an interface element that appears wherever a moderator's name appears that signals our love for you all that would aggregate up to your main overall status page (or send Matt an email).

e.g. a heart at the end:

posted by mathowie on March 15 [+] [!] []

This is a serious suggestion. "Everybody needs a hug."
posted by willF at 5:43 PM on March 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


RA: pretty much first stop. Especially useful for AskMe, I think, where the threads tend to run shorter and less conversational than the blue, and where you'll often find older threads pop up with a wrap-up response/resolution from the asker.
posted by holgate at 9:29 PM on March 15, 2011


For anyone who cares especially about the admin back-end stuff a lot of the juicy stuff with screenshots and explanations of the "mod routine" starts at around 12:10. But the content prior to that explaining how Matt came up with the tools he needed and kind of talking the audience through the logic of the Metafilter "admin style" is really interesting, too, and very insightful not just for community managers, but for anyone in a leadership position, ever. Great talk.
posted by Phire at 11:36 PM on March 15, 2011


I want to see my report card!

Granted, I'm not going to be surprised if it simply reads "Does just what it says on the tin - talkative, argumentative and frequently wrong."
posted by loquacious at 5:02 AM on March 16, 2011


I want to see my report card!
second. comments saved about me behind the scenes? intriguing.
posted by krautland at 5:34 AM on March 16, 2011


I've been using RA as my jumping off point ever since I discovered it last year. Been here since 2006 so I'm a little slow to get up to speed.
My report card probably says "Need to focus, easily distracted". Some traits carry over from the real world.
posted by arcticseal at 7:06 AM on March 16, 2011


krautland, you may be, like an enthusiastic hypochondriac, disappointed to hear that you have a clean bill of health.

loq, your admin notes section was, like most users', blank until you asked us to do something about that a couple years ago. It currently reads:

Notes about this user:

Wanted a note in his profile saying that he has "nice hair".
posted by cortex on October 08, 2009 at 12:12 PM

posted by cortex (staff) at 7:07 AM on March 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Ooh! Ooh! Me next! Does mine say, "Ruggedly handsome!" or "Handsomely rugged!"?
posted by ColdChef at 8:40 AM on March 16, 2011


"Gets handy when drugged."
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:51 AM on March 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ooh! Ooh! Me next! Does mine say, "Ruggedly handsome!" or "Handsomely rugged!"?
posted by ColdChef


I used CSI software to unblur parts of Matt's video and yours says "Not to be confused with Chad Sexington"
posted by special-k at 8:53 AM on March 16, 2011


IIRC, that 2001 article is how I originally found Metafilter; at the time I was a regular reader of Digital Web (RIP).

I only just discovered RA, and it was totally a "where have you been all my life?!" moment.

special-k: OMG, "Chad Sexington" is one of my nicknames for mr epersonae!
posted by epersonae at 10:33 AM on March 16, 2011


willF: "I think you should add an interface element that appears wherever a moderator's name appears that signals our love for you all that would aggregate up to your main overall status page (or send Matt an email)."

Life Lesson #52 I learned from Metafilter: The first time you get a favorite, it's the greatest feeling in the world. The 100th time, you're pumped to be so popular. The 1000th time, you wonder why so few people love you.

Beware the digital carrots - they get very addicting.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 10:50 AM on March 16, 2011


Wanted a note in his profile saying that he has "nice hair".

Well, I walked right into that one.
posted by loquacious at 12:48 PM on March 16, 2011


Does mine say " charmingly maladept" or " maladeptly charming" ?
posted by The Whelk at 5:10 PM on March 16, 2011


I'd like to know what mine says too, if anything, but am scared. So I shall live in blissful ignorance.
posted by Effigy2000 at 2:29 AM on March 17, 2011


I watched this and realised, like Caesar upon seeing the statute of Alexander the Great, what have I done with my life?

While at first I was troubled by these secret notes, I decided to make my own secret notes. I am the internet's Harriet the Spy.

Just imagine one day I will run into loquacious at the store and they will be trying to buy some white milk and they will not have enough money but I will know this and then pretend they dropped money by the canned soup so they then will have enough to pay for their milk.
posted by oxford blue at 12:35 AM on March 18, 2011


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