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July 13, 2011 6:54 AM   Subscribe

On the eve of MetaFilter's twelfth birthday, the Willamette Week sits down with Matt Haughey to talk about his roots at the dawn of the blogging age, the value of lifestyle work vs. captaining industry, and the future of community blogs in an online landscape increasingly dominated by Twitter, Facebook, and mobile browsing.
posted by Rhaomi to MetaFilter-Related at 6:54 AM (102 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

Had to look at the date just to make sure this wasn't written in 1999. Red bull and razor scooters? Do people still do that?
posted by the dief at 7:03 AM on July 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Otherwise great article though!
posted by the dief at 7:03 AM on July 13, 2011


Wonderful interview! Thanks for posting it, Rhaomi.
posted by zarq at 7:06 AM on July 13, 2011


A MetaFilter meetup is (partly) responsible for the founding of Gawker? Wow...
posted by Jahaza at 7:13 AM on July 13, 2011 [7 favorites]


Matt's comments on being a lifestyle business (last question) are particularly interesting. "I’m just running this thing and I have a few employees and we’re all happy."
posted by Nelson at 7:38 AM on July 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


That's a great interview. You're a good person, man. Sappy of me to say, but it is really calming the way you handle the site, the community and interactions with tech people.
posted by cashman at 7:39 AM on July 13, 2011


I can attest to the fact that (a) he's just running this thing, (b) he does have a few employees, and (c) notwithstanding the frustration of wading through the occasional Festival of Assblasting type week-long metatalkish madness we are all basically pretty happy with our jobs.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:41 AM on July 13, 2011 [6 favorites]


Metafilter: Festival of Assblasting type week-long metatalkish madness.
posted by kmz at 7:45 AM on July 13, 2011


"There is no interactivity with social media."

What does that mean?

"There are no images…"

.
posted by grouse at 7:46 AM on July 13, 2011


Had to look at the date just to make sure this wasn't written in 1999. Red bull and razor scooters? Do people still do that?

Yes. Nowadays we put birds on those, though.
posted by curious nu at 7:51 AM on July 13, 2011 [8 favorites]


You have created an almost troll-free comment section.

Pfft, what about all those people I disagree with?

*Spits in Bob's direction*
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:05 AM on July 13, 2011


Dammit. Made me read the WW when I much prefer the Mercury...

Still a good article.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 8:12 AM on July 13, 2011


Why didn't you consult with us about this interview?!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:13 AM on July 13, 2011 [8 favorites]


Lifestyle company? That is a real word people use to describe caring about something other than your job?
posted by The Whelk at 8:17 AM on July 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


"Lifestyle company" is a derisive term used by investors to describe a startup that will never make much more money than to support the lifestyle of its employees. Ie: a bad venture investment. Matt does a great job explaining that not every company needs to be designed to be worth $300m+ some day.
posted by Nelson at 8:22 AM on July 13, 2011 [10 favorites]


Festival of Assblasting

My next username.
posted by running order squabble fest at 8:25 AM on July 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Lifestyle company" is a derisive term used by investors to describe a startup that will never make much more money than to support the lifestyle of its employees.

I don't want to live on this planet anymore.
posted by The Whelk at 8:29 AM on July 13, 2011 [14 favorites]


Dammit. Made me read the WW when I much prefer the Mercury...

I am more likely to be amused by a random chunk of the Merc than by a similarly random chunk of WW, but I have this overriding preference for WW because it's the old school local altweekly and is usually making more effort at trying to be a newspaper than the Merc, which seems to have occasional pretensions toward being a paper but is constantly distracted by its need to (a) Not Be WW and (b) Be Totally Irreverent, Y'all.

It's a weird dynamic. I haven't read either regularly since I quit my dayjob, but I consumed both very regularly between 2002 and 2008, and it was always weird if a little entertaining to watch the posturing between the two, in part because as much as it was reciprocal sometimes it really mostly felt like the Merc kept shouting HEY WW LET'S HAVE A POSTURING CONTEST, CHECK OUT MY POSTURE, MY POSTURE IS AWESOME, HOW COME YOU SUCK SO MUCH AT POSTURING WW and it was like, hey, it's okay. It's okay. You're an altweekly too. You're very nice. Now hush.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:30 AM on July 13, 2011 [6 favorites]


"Lifestyle company" is a derisive term used by investors to describe a startup that will never make much more money than to support the lifestyle of its employees.

It's sort of like what people used to call "Mom n Pop" businesses I think.

a magic number of just-right size.

This is how I'll explain where I work to the next person who asks.

It's funny how it's an online article and it doesn't link to anything in the text of the article.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:31 AM on July 13, 2011


"Lifestyle company" is a derisive term used by investors to describe a startup that will never make much more money than to support the lifestyle of its employees.

I don't want to live on this planet anymore.


Seriously. I thought that this was pretty much how companies are supposed to be operating in the first place.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 8:31 AM on July 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


I have a friend who says if you don’t blog it, it didn’t happen. Twitter’s too ephemeral.

You guys clearly aren't using ass möde.
posted by mintcake! at 8:35 AM on July 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh man, let me first apologize about that redesign answer. I was sort of exaggerating about how everyone here reacts to UI changes but she printed just the harshest parts.

The lifestyle business talk was in response to questions of why am I not raising funding and because two months ago their cover story was about how a bunch of Portland companies had just raised like 25mil in funding this year.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 8:35 AM on July 13, 2011


"Lifestyle business" is a term I need! Way easier than explaining that "I want to end up living sort of like a classic farmer, not in that I'd be doing agriculture, but that I'd work hard and directly with the things I sell, but reliably get some downtime so I can take vacations and have other hobbies and stuff."
posted by ignignokt at 8:37 AM on July 13, 2011


the term "Civilized" comes to mind ignignokt.

HEY WW LET'S HAVE A POSTURING CONTEST, CHECK OUT MY POSTURE, MY POSTURE IS AWESOME, HOW COME YOU SUCK SO MUCH AT POSTURING WW


Okay raise your hand if you sat up straighter after reading this.
posted by The Whelk at 8:40 AM on July 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


Also I'm surprised they didn't mock me with a reverse zuckerberg: "You know what's cooler than a billion? Much, much less."
posted by mathowie (staff) at 8:41 AM on July 13, 2011 [5 favorites]


Yeah, I think once we get to 100,000 it could start to get too big.

Here's an idea: treat sign ups like dance clubs do ("we're at capacity"). Set up a sign-up queue, and every time there's a flamout let the next person on the queue in.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 8:41 AM on July 13, 2011


Also they called Anil, Neil. Oh well.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 8:42 AM on July 13, 2011


By the way, I'm headed to Portland in a couple hours, but can anyone snap a pic of the cover in the newspaper boxes? I'm curious what it actually turned out looking like.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 8:47 AM on July 13, 2011


mathowie: "By the way, I'm headed to Portland in a couple hours, but can anyone snap a pic of the cover in the newspaper boxes? I'm curious what it actually turned out looking like."

You got internet all over my newspaper! The whole thing!
posted by wcfields at 9:11 AM on July 13, 2011 [8 favorites]


I was like "who the fuck is Neil", but you know so many goddam people that I just figured it was another person I haven't heard of because I got to the scene five years too late.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:13 AM on July 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


Okay, I loved the article. A fine, fine thing.

...And I apologize for what I am about to say from the very depths of my soul. But....I am wrestling with the fact that the photo they took reminds me of the black velvet Wesley Crusher painting.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:14 AM on July 13, 2011 [6 favorites]


the frustration of wading through the occasional Festival of Assblasting

Yeah, it's cool to "SUPPORT LOCAL MUSIC", but sitting through a bunch of mediocre goregrind regularly has got to get old.
posted by ignignokt at 9:16 AM on July 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm supposed to be working today, people. What with the new podcast and this article, not to mention the World Cup games, how am I supposed to get anything done?
posted by rtha at 9:26 AM on July 13, 2011


Here's an idea: treat sign ups like dance clubs do ("we're at capacity"). Set up a sign-up queue, and every time there's a flamout let the next person on the queue in.

Ooh! And a bouncer working the door who arbitrarily refuses to let people in! And coke in the bathroom! And sex in the VIP area!

MetaFilter: Studio 54.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:30 AM on July 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


In a really weird space, because of Twitter and Facebook. There’s definitely been a decline in the last year or two, but I sort of see a resurgence of people who want to be serious writers be like, “Why am I dicking around with writing things in single sentences?” So I think serious blogs might come back, but I don’t think raw numbers of people blogging will ever get up again. Because Twitter and Facebook are so much easier.

I really enjoyed the article. I especially liked this part of it. I think that's a real avenue for growth and development on the web - giving people a way to showcase serious work. It's anecdotal, but among the net-art type people I hang around with occasionally, it seems like there's more of a desire to move back to actual webspace instead of being locked into the boring gray-and-blue walls of a Facebook profile. In a way, I'd say that having your own webspace or blog is like owning a house compared to the bare-bones tenement living of a Facebook or Twitter account.

I can actually see G+ integrating with Blogger to be a good thing. One of the disadvantages of having a blog is that people have to surf to it in order to become readers. Providing social media tools to hook readers into your more expansive content definitely would be a benefit for a writer, artist, or musician. I already see a lot of people in the MeFi circle doing what are basically blog posts to the feed (I like it too, keep it up).

I hope that G+ succeeds... it seems so promising in a way that Wave and Buzz didn't.

Anyway, thanks to Matt for keeping this site in 1999 and "lifestyle" and not making it seem like either of those qualities is a bad thing.
posted by codacorolla at 10:10 AM on July 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Anyway, thanks to Matt for keeping this site in 1999 and "lifestyle" and not making it seem like either of those qualities is a bad thing.

Seconding this. Whenever I've tried to explain Metafilter to people, I always start by asking, "remember back when the Internet was all text-based and people still knew how to spell?" They always grin wistfully, and when I point out MeFi is still like that, that gets some converts right there.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:16 AM on July 13, 2011 [17 favorites]


Oh god, we're the Portlandia of web communities.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:20 AM on July 13, 2011 [16 favorites]


where's our bird?
posted by The Whelk at 10:29 AM on July 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't recommend googling Festival of Assblasting if you haven't already finished your morning coffee.
posted by homunculus at 10:32 AM on July 13, 2011


Whenever a thread isn't going quite the way I'd like it to, I simply whisper "Cacao".

Great article, and I too would like to thank Matt for keeping Metafilter unique among web communities.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 10:36 AM on July 13, 2011


Oh god, we're the Portlandia of web communities.

The dream of the 90s is alive in MeFi, MeFi, MeFiii...
posted by villanelles at dawn at 10:38 AM on July 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


Great article.

That this place is more Lifestyle than Venture explains why I've been here for 10 years.
posted by vacapinta at 10:39 AM on July 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


A fervent thank you from the 50- or 60 thousand....
posted by Lynsey at 10:44 AM on July 13, 2011


That this place is more Lifestyle than Venture

We're totally Spider-Skull Island.
posted by The Whelk at 10:46 AM on July 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


and people still knew how to spell

I started out on Commodore BBSs in like 1988 and trust me, no one has ever known how to spell.

But yeah, this is a really good site.
posted by drjimmy11 at 10:49 AM on July 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Matt looks like he is this close to busting out laughing in that picture.
posted by norm at 10:58 AM on July 13, 2011


"The Blogfather?" Eh, it's okay, but I prefer "Blogfellas."

or the "Sopran-logs"
posted by ColdChef at 11:00 AM on July 13, 2011


We have a thousand or so hyper-fans who hate everything.

/slinks off to corner to pout
posted by desjardins at 11:01 AM on July 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh god, we're the Portlandia of web communities.
posted by cortex

MetaFilter is big copper statue on a roof downtown?
posted by Cranberry at 11:04 AM on July 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh god, we're the Portlandia of web communities.

Is this a free range web server?
posted by entropicamericana at 11:04 AM on July 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


Say 'Blogoshphere' again.
posted by ColdChef at 11:11 AM on July 13, 2011


Metafilter: at the bottom so you can be gently surprised
posted by chavenet at 11:18 AM on July 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


Oh god, we're the Portlandia of web communities.

I'm sort of shocked if that hasn't come up already; my wife was all "That's totally like your Mefilter thing, isn't it?" after she watched this bit.

To which I replied, "a) It's MetaFilter, or Meee-FIII, and b) Like any of us'd read a Steampunk article on BoingBoing. You're waaaay off."
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:23 AM on July 13, 2011 [9 favorites]


I’m OK with this lifestyle business. It’s a put-down for a lot of people, especially in Silicon Valley. I think it’s the best thing in the world. You don’t have to kill yourself. I’ve been at startups where we worked 16 hours a day and didn’t get anything out of it. It’s stupid. Geeks who know how to program and make things should be able to make a small thing that runs forever and make $100,000 a year and live off that. I mean, what is wrong with that? It’s an awesome goal.

I'm OK with this lifestyle business too. This is the best thing in the world and surely to be a trend as big as blogging. So what if I haven't had a raise in ten years? I work one third as much and spend the rest of the time goofing off with my kids. It's the only inheritance they're gonna get.

Those who say it as a put-down, just don't get it.
posted by three blind mice at 11:56 AM on July 13, 2011 [4 favorites]


To do that, he had to create blog comments.

Was MeFi really the first weblog with comments? I can't think of an earlier example off the top of my head...

I'm now imagining an argument between mathowie and pb devolving into them bellowing 'Well, I invented weblog comments!' and 'Pfft! I'm the father of the permalink!' at each other.
posted by jack_mo at 11:58 AM on July 13, 2011


You got internet all over my newspaper! The whole thing!


The article's great, but that cover isn't very professional looking, is it?
posted by FelliniBlank at 11:59 AM on July 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


So Mathowie is my blog daddy?
posted by babbyʼ); Drop table users; -- at 12:06 PM on July 13, 2011


Was MeFi really the first weblog with comments?

Wikipedia seems to suggest that claim to fame is held by Open Diary with a 1998-ish commenting feature.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:09 PM on July 13, 2011


It's funny how it's an online article and it doesn't link to anything in the text of the article.

And when they do bust out the links they get them wrong. The Russian Girls thread link goes to the 9/11 thread.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 12:15 PM on July 13, 2011


Previously.
posted by ColdChef at 12:35 PM on July 13, 2011


> where's our bird?

I got two for you right here.
posted by mrzarquon at 12:36 PM on July 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


I just looked at our stats and, like, 12 percent of all our traffic’s on mobile devices. I thought it would have been 2 percent.

That's because the mobile site ROCKS.
posted by roger ackroyd at 1:20 PM on July 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


"You know what's cooler than a million dollars? Having outside interests."
posted by The Whelk at 1:36 PM on July 13, 2011 [6 favorites]


"You know what's cooler than a million dollars? Being a boss whose employees have dental coverage."

"You know what's cooler than a million dollars? Having a family I get to hang out with."


"You know what's cooler than a million dollars? Having friends I can talk to about something other than the internet."

"You know what's cooler than a million dollars? Knowing I don't have to screw anyone over to survive."
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:39 PM on July 13, 2011 [29 favorites]


(wish I could work for Matt.)
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 1:41 PM on July 13, 2011 [9 favorites]


Everywhere I go today, Matt is staring at me. I'd be interested in hearing about the surge in new Portland registrations after today.
posted by perhapses at 2:26 PM on July 13, 2011


...And I apologize for what I am about to say from the very depths of my soul. But....I am wrestling with the fact that the photo they took reminds me of the black velvet Wesley Crusher painting.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:14 PM on July 13 [4 favorites +] [!]



I sort of thought they were trying to be funny and were referencing this.
posted by chococat at 2:39 PM on July 13, 2011


90% of views are lurkers? Jeebus, I'd pay $5 for a lifetime ad-free even if we couldn't comment.

Also, user#'s are in the sextuple digits, so half of MeFi's history of registered users are inactive?

I feel so very, very special.
posted by herbplarfegan at 2:47 PM on July 13, 2011


...realsies.
posted by herbplarfegan at 2:47 PM on July 13, 2011


I like that commenting on the Willamette Week site doesn't require an account.
posted by ODiV at 3:31 PM on July 13, 2011


But comments DO have to be approved though.

Never mind how I know that.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:35 PM on July 13, 2011


"There is no interactivity with social media."

What does that mean?


It means the author hasn't noticed the links to share threads through Facebook and Twitter (and Google Plus shortly, I imagine).
posted by ODiV at 3:45 PM on July 13, 2011


To be fair, they're pretty unobtrusive.
posted by ODiV at 3:46 PM on July 13, 2011


I guess that explains it, although I think it is a stupid way of describing the situation. MetaFilter is social media.
posted by grouse at 3:57 PM on July 13, 2011


90% of views are lurkers? Jeebus, I'd pay $5 for a lifetime ad-free even if we couldn't comment.

It's funny how big a barrier that little five spot turns out to be.
posted by octothorpe at 4:11 PM on July 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Every time I read or view something featuring Matt talking about MetaFilter, I'm always struck by how human-scaled his idea of the site is. I love the idea of a "just right" size of business, even though it seems antithetical to most business ambitions.
posted by xingcat at 5:02 PM on July 13, 2011


Through the looking glass, people.
posted by ColdChef at 5:59 PM on July 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


It's mathowie all the way down
posted by The Whelk at 6:13 PM on July 13, 2011


Wikipedia seems to suggest that claim to fame is held by Open Diary with a 1998-ish commenting feature.

Thanks jessamyn! That's a blast from the past. Pitas is still going, too. I remember friends telling me I was crazy for picking Blogger instead of Open Diary or Pitas when I worked out that the cool kids weren't editing index.html by hand every day.

"Lifestyle company" is a derisive term used by investors to describe a startup that will never make much more money than to support the lifestyle of its employees.

God, I hate that term. It's part of a filthy ultra-capitalist culture that considers a business that doesn't attract silly money from venture capitalists before being sold to a bigger business an obscene failure.

I'm pretty certain that a post on Hacker News titled 'I raised $4bn in VC funding for my Bitcoin-powered app that connects paedophiles with vulnerable pre-teens!' would garner more positive comments than a link to mathowie explaining how he made a nice website that employs a few folk who enjoy their jobs.
posted by jack_mo at 7:44 PM on July 13, 2011


I thought this user comment at the end of the article pretty much typifies trolling (or bad internet behaviour), and is also pretty much the antithesis of MetaFilter:

"There was no software for blogs. So I built [some] blog software"

Wow. Not even close. A quick perusal of Google will explain why. And MetaFilter is like Digg--a collection of crap aggregated into a "portal" where you can waste time--and this kind of thing has been around since the 80s. Online. Calling them "community driven" is like calling a public wastebasket "participatory democracy".

The semi-reverential tone of the article was good for a laugh amongst the geeks around here, though.


"What about writing certain things to get hits—search engine optimization and link-baiting and such?"
"I hate that stuff, because I’m an old-school Web person and I can’t stand people gaming search engines."

Oh, really? MetaFilter doesn't use search engine optimization? Let's have a reality check, shall we?
posted by KokuRyu at 8:27 PM on July 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


I thought this user comment at the end of the article pretty much typifies trolling (or bad internet behaviour), and is also pretty much the antithesis of MetaFilter

Funny, I think that comment would be right at home here on MetaFilter. "Your favorite web site sucks."

Oh, really? MetaFilter doesn't use search engine optimization?

The addition of tags to page titles is definitely SEO, and gaming the search engines, although it is not a particularly noxious example of the latter. It still reminds me of the old joke: "How many SEO consultants does it take to change a lightbulb? - lighting, light fixture, light switch…"
posted by grouse at 8:39 PM on July 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


I love the idea of a "just right" size of business, even though it seems antithetical to most business ambitions.

I love how in a lot of tech-related pieces, there's usually a picture of the subject doing the thing with their hands that makes it look like they're either holding an invisible salad bowl or miming really big boobs.

I SMELL A TUMBLR!!!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:00 PM on July 13, 2011 [5 favorites]


I spent a week in Eugene a couple years ago, and they taught me how to pronounce "Willamette."
posted by planetkyoto at 9:32 PM on July 13, 2011


It's a nice family business.
posted by pjern at 9:46 PM on July 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


Ask for one too many features, and you'll see a dead pony head in your bed next morning...
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:03 PM on July 13, 2011 [4 favorites]


codacorolla: "In a way, I'd say that having your own webspace or blog is like owning a house compared to the bare-bones tenement living of a Facebook or Twitter account."

I really love this analogy, and to extend on that a little bit, living in a Facebook or Twitter environment is really kind of like living in a co-op, or a dorm. There's that casual feeling of being free to wander in and out of each other's rooms, and by extension, each other's lives. That's not to say that having your own little space is definitively better or worse than being in a community; they're simply different ways of interacting with people.

Sometimes I see super awesome comments on Metafilter and I wonder why those people don't have their own blogs...and sometimes I write a blog post about something I read about on Metafilter and I wonder why I'm not posting it on Metafilter*. But that's almost a false dichotomy. Both modes of interaction offer their own unique advantages to your growth and development on the internet, and just as sometimes I miss being able to wander into a friend's room at 2 AM and chat about nothing, other times I'm immensely grateful that I can shut the door and just hear myself think for a little while.

*Okay, it's because I'm scared people will tell me my favourite [x] sucks.

Matt, great interview. It's silly, but the commenter snarking about MeFi and calling it a Digg-like aggregator makes me almost viscerally angry.
posted by Phire at 11:43 PM on July 13, 2011


Wait, mathowie considers my silly Roadrunner question to be up there with 9/11, the Russian Girls, and the birth of meetups in terms of notability? Well gosh.
posted by yellowbinder at 11:54 PM on July 13, 2011


Willamette Week missed out by not ending with "[+] Save this article as a favorite" at the end.
posted by klausman at 6:28 AM on July 14, 2011


I don't know about the Mercury but its sister publication, The Stranger up in Seattle, is the best weekly in the USA.
posted by josher71 at 7:09 AM on July 14, 2011


I thought this user comment at the end of the article pretty much typifies trolling (or bad internet behaviour), and is also pretty much the antithesis of MetaFilter

Funny, I think that comment would be right at home here on MetaFilter. "Your favorite web site sucks."


The comment is technically correct, which is of course the best kind of correct.

Of course blog software and comments existed back then and of course MetaFilter uses what can be considered SEO. If Matt had to qualify every damn statement so that it was completely accurate then the interview would be much longer (and would have to be cut down for publica... ohhhh).
posted by ODiV at 7:49 AM on July 14, 2011


I thought this user comment at the end of the article pretty much typifies trolling (or bad internet behaviour), and is also pretty much the antithesis of MetaFilter


When I read that comment, I pretty much assumed it had to be from a mefite, or ex-mefite, for them to have any sort of opinion about the site at all.
posted by Secretariat at 12:46 PM on July 14, 2011


Also, weird, the WW must have moderators- I think there's there's an inside jokey comment missing that I remember reading yesterday.
posted by Secretariat at 12:49 PM on July 14, 2011


Yeah I saw another comment gone missing too. Curious.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:46 PM on July 14, 2011


The other comment that went missing addressed the content of the post quoted above, but was actually posted as a reply to the injoke comment.
posted by ODiV at 1:59 PM on July 14, 2011


... so is it true that about half of the MeFite accounts ever opened have been closed?
posted by herbplarfegan at 3:16 PM on July 14, 2011


Nope. Those accounts mostly just haven't seen the registration process through to the end.
posted by ODiV at 3:18 PM on July 14, 2011


I still can't get over the Gawker connection.
posted by ZeusHumms at 4:14 PM on July 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Regarding "what's cooler than a million dollars", the latest A Softer World seems fitting.
posted by Lexica at 4:45 PM on July 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


the occasional Festival of Assblasting

Oooh, does this include distance competition?
posted by exogenous at 6:22 PM on July 14, 2011


The addition of tags to page titles is definitely SEO, and gaming the search engines, although it is not a particularly noxious example of the latter.

I wouldn't call it "gaming" the search engines. The purpose of a search engine is to direct people to information that is relevant to their query. Putting tags in the page titles makes that job easier for the search engines, sure, but that's a good thing, not a bad thing. The word "gaming" (to say nothing of "SEO") implies that you are trying to get more attention than you deserve, I think, which isn't the case when you simply organize and title your information in a way that makes it easier for people to find.

It's sort of like saying that a well organized library that makes it easy for customers to find books is "gaming" the marketplace.
posted by gd779 at 11:06 AM on July 15, 2011


And to be totally clear about the tags-in-titles thing: we think it sucks too, and did it only as a retaliatory measure against sundry actually-in-the-gaming-search-engines-game mercenary SEO scumbags who rip content and republish it on their shitbox websites. We tried to find the lowest-impact solution we could as far as the site-reading experience.

One of the difficulties here is that the scumbag types have so thoroughly entrenched Google et al with shitty antics that what would not be necessary in a universe where the benefit of the doubt still held water is, in fact, necessary sometimes in practice.

There's cutting in line, and there's telling people to quit fucking cutting in line. A million SEO crapmages have been gleefully doing the former for a quick buck; we're grudgingly doing a bit of the latter to try and avoid being fucked over financially by said crapmagic.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:47 AM on July 15, 2011


crapmagic.

fecalmancer
posted by The Whelk at 11:54 AM on July 15, 2011


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