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Why MetaFilter is Awesome
June 16, 2011 6:33 AM   Subscribe

Why MetaFilter is Awesome And Why the World Needs to Know

Since I joined MetaFilter recently after a month or so of lurking, I'm becoming increasingly amazed by it's awesomeness. I'm greatly uplifted by these examples of the greatness of humankind. I'm grateful. A bit high on endorphines, actually. And I think many other people would like to feel like that too, if they knew how.
I mean, without needles and stuff.

So! Could you kindly please:
a) provide links to more such MetaFilter Awesomeness cos' I'm hooked and I need my fix
b) weigh in on the idea of creating a permanent repository of MetaFilter Awesomeness so that any passerby can appreciate it
c) and/or tell me this has been proposed previously by many a breathless newcomer and point me to the relevant discussion where my idea was crushed ruthlessly by logic and reason long before it was born.
posted by hat_eater to MetaFilter-Related at 6:33 AM (74 comments total) 39 users marked this as a favorite

After a while you get used to it. Chewing gum helps to reduce the internal pressure.
posted by Miko at 6:42 AM on June 16, 2011 [16 favorites]


Welcome! We kind of don't use awesome much anymore, people got fighty about it, but yeah MeFi is awesome :)
posted by arcticseal at 6:46 AM on June 16, 2011


You probably want the Sidebar/Sideblog Archive. That's where they stick all the really awesome stuff like why you should always take a tampon with you in the wilderness and other useful and/or interesting things.
posted by BlooPen at 6:50 AM on June 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


arcticseal: "We kind of don't use awesome much anymore, people got fighty about it,"

Wha..? Really?
posted by Grither at 6:52 AM on June 16, 2011


Well, in case you're ever in the position to attempt to cover up a murder...
posted by litnerd at 6:56 AM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Obligatory: Eddie Izzard on "awesome."

Metafilter: Like a hundred billion hot dogs, sir.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 6:57 AM on June 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


hat_eater: " b) weigh in on the idea of creating a permanent repository of MetaFilter Awesomeness so that any passerby can appreciate it"

Behold the MeFi Wiki.

I've been toying with the idea of creating a special "Sidebarred Comments" page, which would include any and all comments tagged by the mods as being of greater interest to the community, but I've been a little concerned it would rapidly become unwieldy.
posted by zarq at 6:57 AM on June 16, 2011


We kind of don't use awesome needles and stuff much anymore, people got fighty about it

For you, I gave you a fix.
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:57 AM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


"matthewchen is spamming" springs to mind. (The song link is broken, but you can listen here.)
posted by John Cohen at 7:02 AM on June 16, 2011


Some A+ comments:

first-hand look at the world of a 14-year-old

how to find your passion

ask culture vs. guess culture
posted by John Cohen at 7:06 AM on June 16, 2011 [6 favorites]


More seriously, see what BlooPen said above about the sidebar archive.

Just recently, for example, some guy had restored a bunch of photos his great grandfather had taken in St Petersburg circa 1900; the photos were linked here, then guy himself showed up, and a few people in Russia etc who knew about the photography community & galleries helped suggest where they could be exhibited.

That kind of thing is really a win-win for absolutely everybody involved, and is a great result from "hey, here's something cool I found on the web..."
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:07 AM on June 16, 2011


zarq: I've been toying with the idea of creating a special "Sidebarred Comments" page, which would include any and all comments tagged by the mods as being of greater interest to the community, but I've been a little concerned it would rapidly become unwieldy.

Wouldn't that be the same as the sidebar/blog archive?
posted by bjrn at 7:07 AM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


St Petersburg Moscow
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:09 AM on June 16, 2011


We buy libraries for schools in rural China.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:14 AM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Hello enthusiastic muffin! I'm glad you're here and happy. I'm not sure if you did this or someone else did but there is a metafilterhistory tag that is attached to some particularly notable [though not always awesome] MeFi threads. Here are the ones for metatalk, askme and mefi. I'm one of the mods here, along with cortex and restless_nomad and mathowie. pb does a lot of the magic coding and vacapinta sometimes sneaks in under the dead of [US] night and helps keep the place tidy.

The Wiki has some delightful things in it including this orientation and this set of AskMe collections. If somehting looks weird or broken, feel free to pitch in and make some changes. You might also like to read the timeline. One of the neatest things about MetaFilter, to my mind, is that it's made out of some pretty interesting people. Think about going to a meetup [maybe tough in your region but not impossible] or hopping over to GameFilter for some social gaming.

I'm sure you'll get some other decent answers [as well as some wiseass remarks, MetaTalk is a lot snarkier than the rest of the site], feel free to drop us a note via the contact form if you have other questions.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:20 AM on June 16, 2011 [14 favorites]


What's the best thing you've ever seen here.

Some other, less "Meta" AskMe's, in no particular order:

What experience most shaped who you are?

Unusual American History 101

What does it take to be a dad?

A Year in a Minute

help

What's your favorite old reliable recipe?

What clever relationship "hacks" have you come up with?

Help! My door knob is stuck and I'm trapped in my room!

What single book is the best introduction to your field (or specialization within your field) for laypeople?

What conversations are a MUST before two people get married?

Best Free Services Online

And this comment by scody: "Life is suffering. Life is joy. That they coexist and you are able to experience them and move through them is the wonder of the universe."

Also see the infodumpster for most favorited posts and comments across Metafilter and its subsites.
posted by zarq at 7:23 AM on June 16, 2011 [14 favorites]


bjrn: " Wouldn't that be the same as the sidebar/blog archive?"

Yes! :) Forgot about that. Thanks for saving me a lot of work.
posted by zarq at 7:25 AM on June 16, 2011


Ooooh, thank you! Thank you all! I'm off exploring the Awesomeness Archives, cradling the vision of 'The Best of MetaFilter' in the warm and cozy embrace of my neocortex.
posted by hat_eater at 7:27 AM on June 16, 2011


I came for the abusive snark, and stayed for the oblique Simpsons references.
posted by blue_beetle at 7:35 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


'Enthusiastic muffin' is the best nickname ever. I'm stealing that.

Welcome, hat_eater. Please do feel free to use the word 'awesome' all you like.
posted by mintcake! at 7:36 AM on June 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


Best Overlooked Comments of 2009

Best Overlooked comments of 2010

Oh, and on preview, seconding mintcake! Welcome to mefi! :)
posted by zarq at 7:37 AM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


[as well as some wiseass remarks, MetaTalk is a lot snarkier than the rest of the site]
Is this where I jump in to say it's its not it's, hat_eater ???
posted by misterbrandt at 7:38 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well, in case you're ever in the position to attempt to cover up a murder...

I was wearing my Metafilter t-shirt recently around some non-Mefite nerds. One of them saw my shirt and the conversation went like this:

Him: "I only know about Metafilter from one post I saw linked recently..."

Me: "Was it the one about disposing of a body?"

Him: "No, it was... wait, what?"

Me: "Um. Nevermind. What was the post?"

Him: "Um... it... um... it was something about if you're using a free website you're not the customer. You're the product. But what's this about hiding a body?"

Me: "Um. Nevermind."

*awkward silence*
posted by bondcliff at 7:41 AM on June 16, 2011 [26 favorites]


If you're not hiding the body, you're the body being hid.

*BAM* Nailed it again!
posted by blue_beetle at 7:44 AM on June 16, 2011 [26 favorites]


bondcliff: " *awkward silence*"

Next time, be smart from the very beginning....
posted by zarq at 7:55 AM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Hello enthusiastic muffin!

Can this just be your signature term of endearment?
posted by liketitanic at 8:02 AM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Also, the Podcast is way more entertaining than you would expect three people talking about a website could ever be. I find out about a lot of great posts from listening to it.
posted by bondcliff at 8:05 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


misterbrandt, what can I say? That's MetaFilter - it's its awesomness that makes its snarkiness sting less, although it's not stingless.
posted by hat_eater at 8:05 AM on June 16, 2011


Oh shit! I hadn't realized any MetaFilter comment had gone quadruple digits.
posted by Rory Marinich at 8:12 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


My Ass Culture meets Gas Culture comment didn't do quite as well.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 8:17 AM on June 16, 2011 [6 favorites]


the warm and cozy embrace of my neocortex

Hey now, we've only just met.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:26 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


...creating a permanent repository of MetaFilter Awesomeness so that any passerby can appreciate it

They started that back in August of '02.
posted by quin at 8:26 AM on June 16, 2011


You hear that, Mr. Millard? That. Is the sound. Of. Inevita. Bility.
My name! Is! neocortex!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 8:29 AM on June 16, 2011


Seconding the podcasts. Podcasts are my main source of entertainment. And the MeFi podcasts are the ones I look forward to the most. They're sort of like sitting in on a party of people you actually know. And if you're looking for a fun way of catching up on the history of MeFi, listening to the podcasts would be a good way to do that. And each podcast has an associated thread with links to all the posts discussed so you can look up the ones that you want to know more about.
posted by marsha56 at 8:52 AM on June 16, 2011


For me, the realization that this site had a special quality was solidified by the Metafilter Scholarship Contest. I am usually sceptical that a bunch of strangers arguing from keyboards constitutes a community, but that initiative certainly proved that management here had an interest in fostering a website that stepped beyond phony names and snarky insults. Maybe this is just an example of Matt being awesome, as Metafilter was far from a financial success for him at that time.
posted by TimTypeZed at 8:52 AM on June 16, 2011


In her profile the everawesome madamjujujive lists links to some interesting mefi members wesites.
posted by adamvasco at 8:55 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


wow.. that ebay askme was crazy.
posted by royalsong at 9:12 AM on June 16, 2011


...I'm grateful. A bit high on endorphines, actually...


FTFY

I keed! I keed!
posted by slogger at 9:20 AM on June 16, 2011


It's Raining Florence Henderson: My Ass Culture meets Gas Culture comment didn't do quite as well.

Maybe that's because no one rides for free.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:29 AM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


My Ass Culture meets Gas Culture comment didn't do quite as well.

Ask, guess or flask, nobody rides for free.
posted by Apropos of Something at 9:35 AM on June 16, 2011


You're probably looking for stuff more along the lines of here, take my nice stuff to help restart your life, though MonkeyToes had some great help if you're thinking about leaving the city life and heading to a farm.
posted by cashman at 9:58 AM on June 16, 2011


On Metafilter I'm the person I wish I was in real life.
posted by tommasz at 10:02 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I did the same thing as you are doing not too long ago, digging around the history. And actually, many current threads refer back to older popular threads. Here are two awesome awesome favorite comments of mine:

Insanely cool secret Starship Titanic community

And How Awesome Pixar Is
posted by Glinn at 10:21 AM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


I just wanted to say thanks for this thread. This will provide hours of wonderful reading.
posted by LSK at 10:45 AM on June 16, 2011


One of the newer inductees to the ranks of Metafilter Awesomeness is the new Metafilter Magazine!

A lot of fine Mefites died to bring us this information contributed to this project, and (I think) any Mefite can submit work for future editions.
posted by misha at 10:46 AM on June 16, 2011


I've been on the internet a good many years (think gopher) . I've seen a lot of crap and very little awesomeness. MeFi , imho, qualifies as awesome.

Thing is , I have to wonder why? What thing or combination of things seems to keep the signal to noise ration so high here? Is it the merely five buck entry fee (which I speculate has a huge amount to do with it). Are the mods doing something special that no one else is doing? Non threaded discussions? Some specially coded algorithm that identifies crap posts and/or posters? WTF?

Seriously - maybe I should make a meta on this myself (and if so very sorry for the derail) but if whatever MeFi is doing to make the place do damn decent could be quantified I bet there would be a lot of people interested in making their online communities better as well. Any speculations (or insider knowledge)
posted by Poet_Lariat at 11:04 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh shit! I hadn't realized any MetaFilter comment had gone quadruple digits.

This hilarious comment is getting really close.
posted by John Cohen at 11:07 AM on June 16, 2011


Any speculations (or insider knowledge)

This was sort of what Matt talked about at his SXSW talk this year. I mean, obviously the mods and what we do is only a part of why things go well here. But it's worth understanding a bit about what we have to work with. The whole site is homegrown which means that the tools we use aren't just out of the box "oh and here are some comment deleting tools" they're really catered to how this site works, how the mods work and the things that we think work to help keep things in line.

Many other large sites have to repurpose out-of-the-box CMSes and then try to bring their moderation ideas either in-line with how the software works or have someone build plug-ins for them. When I was a one-week guest poster at BoingBoing, I was amazed at just how few tools they had to run a site that's a ton more heavily trafficked than ours is. And, no disrespect to BB, but I think it shows. We have a ton of little slicers on the back end that let us know what's going on without having to do the impossible and read every thread. But we also participate as real humans who also enjoy the site, not just moderate it. And we're well-respected and well-compensated so when stuff is really hard or starts taking over our larger lives offline, we have support.

So, that's speaking only for our part here but I know very few sites with happy moderators with good tools and I think that's a part of it.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:25 AM on June 16, 2011 [7 favorites]


Hmm, how come people with Mac laptops never write "laptop"? It's always "MacBook Pro" or whatever.
posted by adamdschneider at 11:40 AM on June 16, 2011


Hmm, how come people with Mac laptops never write "laptop"? It's always "MacBook Pro" or whatever.

I'd say Thinkpad users do this too. It's mostly because "laptop" is non-descriptive--and with most non-Mac laptops, saying "HP" or "Dell" wouldn't be much more descriptive. But the Apple line of laptops is quite distinguishable and forms a strong visual reference.

I can tell you I'm using my MacBook Pro, and you'll have an instant reference of what I'm using, how it works, what it looks like. Not the same with my Dell Latitude D531.
posted by litnerd at 11:47 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


adamdschneider- not sure if that's a joke, but if they did use "laptop", then you would not know that they served as a counterexample to your hypothesis.
posted by Jpfed at 11:48 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


adamdschneider: "Hmm, how come people with Mac laptops never write "laptop"? It's always "MacBook Pro" or whatever."

Because it's a ubiquitous product that's kept the same name for several years, and is more descriptive than 'Laptop,' but doesn't require more syllables. (Note that virtually all Apple products have simple, two-syllable, highly-descriptive names)

Things like this are why Apple's marketing gurus get paid the big bucks.

I think that the syllable thing is really important. I know a lot of people who do this with their cars -- but only for certain cars -- Civic, Jetta, and Prius are the three that immediately come to mind.
posted by schmod at 12:07 PM on June 16, 2011


Yeah - MacBook Amateur ROFL Jr. III wasn't nearly as successful.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:12 PM on June 16, 2011


And Sony execs wondered why the NWZS616FBLK didn't garner the same name recognition as the iPod.
posted by Devils Rancher at 12:16 PM on June 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


It didn't really have the same élan as NWZS616FCHARTREUSE, true.
posted by mintcake! at 12:20 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Funnily enough whilst I was in Bakersfield last I actually killed and dismembered airnxtz using scarabic's instructions.

A double win for AskMeFi.
posted by longbaugh at 12:21 PM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Scooty Puff Jr. sucks.
posted by adamdschneider at 12:43 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think that the syllable thing is really important. I know a lot of people who do this with their cars -- but only for certain cars -- Civic, Jetta, and Prius are the three that immediately come to mind.

Of course, almost all words in all languages (including proper nouns, like every single town in Europe) have been bought up by the motor companies' trademark lawyers, either for potential future use, or to prevent competitors from using them.

The creatives have been forced to approach car-naming more laterally, and have reverted to experimenting with combinations of basic syllables, almost as if they were fast-tracking the evolution of some kind of proto Ur-language, which is pronounceable & seems almost meaningful across the widest range of modern world languages - a kind of "lowest linguistic common denominator" approach.

One example is the phoneme "tra", which is proto-Indo-Euro-motorlingo for "travel". You'll see this pop up in car names all over the place: Astra, Elantra, Vectra, and also used in slight variations like Tarago (Tra-go, get it? Travel-go).
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:53 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Introducing... The new Pontiac Glarzle! Okay... The New Pontiac Meguglia. No... The New Pontiac Fradwoo! Hmm... The New Pontiac Veedrod! Hootrom? Snidmar? Broulia? Dreeble? Stugodria? Plamoloria? Deestroplarium? Shit, this is hard!

Also, Prius always makes me think of prions, which are bad things. Ladies and gentlemen! Introducing the new Toyota Spungiform Encephalitis!
posted by Devils Rancher at 3:22 PM on June 16, 2011


That new Toyota has mad skillz!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:24 PM on June 16, 2011


Can't say I like Prius much. For a start, how do you pronounce it? Pree-us? Pry-us? Pry sounds like it's a kind of wedge, the thin edge of the wedge, leading us into the future. Mostly, though, it reminds me of priapism, which I suppose fits because there must be an overlap between Prius drivers & Viagra users.

Astra is astral travel. Elantra is getting around with elan. Vectra is more technical. This car drives with vectors!
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:32 PM on June 16, 2011


I never knew how smooth a car could ride until I bought my new Subaru Succubus. It just blows me away.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:35 PM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Hello enthusiastic muffin!

If I ever open a restaurant, I'm totally putting "enthusiastic muffin" on the menu. Not sure exactly what it'll be yet. Either a quickbread batter with a lot of things in it and baked in a large tin lined with paper, or else some kind of breakfast sandwich.
posted by hippybear at 4:44 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hippybear, that sounds like just the thing to get over a hangover with. As long as the paper doesn't rustle too loudly.
posted by arcticseal at 4:53 PM on June 16, 2011


Oh, I think an enthusiastic muffin is just a muffin overflowing with stuff: blueberries, raspberries, almonds and pecans, maybe some banana too, what the hell.
posted by misha at 5:21 PM on June 16, 2011


Devils Rancher: And what of the Dodge Obscenity? Why, it's only the largest multipassenger vehicle EVER!

I just made that up, it's not a Real Thing but should be: Google it
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 7:04 PM on June 16, 2011


Bigger than that Wall of Steel, the Ford Exclusion? I think that's an Exa-Passenger vehicle. I've seen small planets hide behind them at intersections.
posted by Devils Rancher at 7:58 PM on June 16, 2011


Yeah, the Bronco’s been discontinued. We’re trying to shed that whole fugitive on the run thing... This is the Escape!
posted by haveanicesummer at 10:49 AM on June 17, 2011


My Ford Fuck Yeah! is way better than your piece of shit car.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:01 AM on June 17, 2011


c) and/or tell me this has been proposed previously by many a breathless newcomer and point me to the relevant discussion where my idea was crushed ruthlessly by logic and reason long before it was born.

I most assuredly like you already.
posted by herbplarfegan at 5:05 PM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Could someone please write a greasemonkey script that would add "you enthusiastic muffin!" to the end of snarky comments on Metafilter? Thank you.
posted by jammy at 6:37 AM on June 18, 2011


Hat eater will always be "enthusiastic muffin" in my mind. Your post was so Awsome that it made me realize how Awsome metafilter really is. It is totally worth the five bucks.
posted by cairnoflore at 10:52 AM on June 18, 2011


Unicorn on the cob writes "And what of the Dodge Obscenity? Why, it's only the largest multipassenger vehicle EVER!"

Dodge used to manufacture buses.
posted by Mitheral at 9:23 AM on June 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Indeed. The old 4WD Powerwagons are actually sought after as caving vehicles. They were common in rural appalachia as school busses in the 40-60's, when it took 4WD to get to some of the kids. There's two of 'em in the background of this pic. They can haul about 8 people and enough gear for a good week-long trip.
posted by Devils Rancher at 9:35 AM on June 19, 2011


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