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MeFi on the Today show
April 23, 2002 6:17 PM   Subscribe

Today on Today the guy who runs modestneeds.com talked about his site said he got thousands of hits after it was posted to Metafilter. I can't find a transcript though.
posted by darkpony to MetaFilter-Related at 6:17 PM (27 comments total)

Was the word 'Metafilter' uttered on national television? Wow. Was that the first time Metafilter has been on TV?
posted by evanizer at 6:23 PM on April 23, 2002


I seem to recall that Matt was on CNN once. So much press, it's hard to keep track!
posted by jjg at 6:27 PM on April 23, 2002


Yeah, but this is NBC, baby! Broadcast! Prime Time! Whoo-ha! Break out the hookers!
posted by solistrato at 8:35 PM on April 23, 2002


I don't have any links to transcripts either (yet) but I do believe when asked what his "big break" for the site was, Keith informed the viewers that MetaFilter mentioned ModestNeeds.
posted by gummi at 8:59 PM on April 23, 2002


I'm a bit perturbed that a professor of medieval literature, drama and film feels the need to place a comma between every and single every, single time he uses those words. And he uses them a lot.
posted by dogmatic at 9:55 PM on April 23, 2002


Er, 8 AM is not Prime Time. Nevertheless, I will second the call for hookers.
posted by jjg at 11:32 PM on April 23, 2002


Break out the hookers!

Do prostitutes come in convenient, reusable packages in America these days?

The future is indeed now.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:00 AM on April 24, 2002


I'm thinking ahead a bit here, but I vote that if we end up with a bunch of dead prostitutes on our hands we blame Miguel.
posted by ttrendel at 12:47 AM on April 24, 2002


I'd say more than a little recognition is owed to Brittney, as her blog was the first place I'd seen Keith's site mentioned (before it was even fully up), and she was the one who brought Modest Needs to MetaFilter's attention, which wouldn't surprise me if that is what lead to it's larger exposure.

Oh, and dead prostitutes are almost as much fun as fresh ones.
But then you probably knew that


posted by dong_resin at 12:51 AM on April 24, 2002


I found the transcript on lexis-nexis .

Hope it works for you. They spelled Metafilter wrong though, the transcribed it as medifilter (about half-way down).
posted by cowboy at 6:27 AM on April 24, 2002


UserID and Password required for the lexynexy thing, unfortunately.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:30 AM on April 24, 2002


What we never talked about here was that Brittney is a friend of Keith's. In fact, I suspect the link from Metafilter was part of a planned promotion of the site: it wasn't a big "break." It was organized and intentional.
posted by Mo Nickels at 6:58 AM on April 24, 2002


Sorry about that. I got to it through our university library website and i guess it authenticates there without a password. Here's the pertinent section:

ROKER: So the site goes up with really no fanfare, and you get like, what, 10,000 hits on the first day?

Mr. TAYLOR: No, what happened is--it's a little longer story than that. I put the site up actually on the 21st of March, and it existed very, very quietly for about 10 days. It got 100 hits in 10 days.

ROKER: Mm-hm.

Mr. TAYLOR: A friend of mine put it on medifilter, which is a large site on the Web, the site over--overnight started getting thousands of hits. Then I had a person from LA Weekly call and want to do a spot, 99X radio in Atlanta wanted to do a spot. And from there these major markets found out about it and within three weeks it had gotten 10,000 hits.

posted by cowboy at 7:01 AM on April 24, 2002


The original post.
posted by jpoulos at 7:26 AM on April 24, 2002


Mo: Here and now is a good a time as any. Yes, I am a friend of Keith's. Yes, the publicity was intentional, as I posted the link with a clear, conscious mind. However, it was not organized by anyone other than myself, therefore "organize" might not be the right word. As a matter of fact, I sent Keith an e-mail telling him to hang on to his butt because he may get a lot of traffic. He was unaware of the link previous to its being posted and was surprised by the amount of traffic it generated.

I posted the link to Metafilter with a great deal of apprehension. I thought surely the community would ridicule him for being stupid or naive. But I thought better of it and decided I'd risk it if it would help modestneeds.org help others. And I would like to think that exposure led to a few blessings for some people who desperately needed one.

posted by brittney at 8:33 AM on April 24, 2002 [1 favorite]


As far as I can see, you did nothing wrong, brittney. It's fine to post links to things on your friends' sites if they are interesting. And this was. The only really strict rule MetaFilter has is not posting front-page links to a site you are involved with. And even if Keith had posted it himself, I can remember at least one instance in which Matt allowed a self-link to stand because it was so interesting.

As for feeling apprehensive that the site would get ridiculed, I think we've got enough hard-line softies here to make that unlikely.
posted by kindall at 8:46 AM on April 24, 2002


Or, soft-line hardies.
posted by D at 9:12 AM on April 24, 2002


I fail to see what your problem is, Mo.
Keith has an interesting site, and Brittney linked to it.
I don't see how their being friends effects things. It's not as if modestneeds were a business venture, and MetaFilter was used as free product promotion.
Even if you squint, this is neither a self-link, nor a conflict of MetaFilter's interest, nor even mildly underhanded in any way.


I'd drone on further, but I have to go stare at that Cristie Kerr kissing the big glass dick trophy picture some more.
Y'know I almost belive in god again, that something like that could get on the AP wire.
posted by dong_resin at 10:32 AM on April 24, 2002


In one sense, we're all "friends" here. I recently posted owillis's Enron pages. I've never met him IRL, but we've communicated via email. Is that out of bounds? What if I met him once at a MeFi gathering? Where do you draw the line?
posted by jpoulos at 11:13 AM on April 24, 2002


Was that the first time Metafilter has been on TV?

Also, a few weeks ago, Megan ([sigh] Meeeggaaannnn.....) from the ScreenSavers mentioned that she got one of her "links of the day" from here.
posted by jpoulos at 11:17 AM on April 24, 2002


Even if the original post was a self-link, I think the link was worthy of being posted, so let me explain.

The point of a no self-link rule and frowning upon people posting things "for their friend" (self-link by proxy) is that it largely removes objectivity from judging whether or not something is good enough to be posted here. The rule is in place to make sure people aren't posting things for promotional reasons, and to keep the quality of links high.

However, once in a while, a self-link is perfectly fine if the material is truly metafilter worthy and it is handled well. I can't go zero-tolerance on this policy though, I've said it before and I'll say it again that self-links are 99.5% bad, and only once in a blue moon are they good enough to make the grade. I would say the modest needs site is one of them. It was an interesting site with an interesting story. People checked out if it was a scam and were satisfied it was not, and even some people got help through the site. If brittney didn't post it, someone else would have (I would have, if I found it), but we got to see it here before it showed up anyplace else, because of some friendship between the creator and a member here.

I'm getting 2-3 emails a week from people that have written something or made a site and ask me if it is worth linking to, and I would say one of those a month is metafilter worthy, and I end up posting them (two of them come to mind: the post about the racism lawsuit against Time Warner Cable that one guy served on the jury for, and some story of beer I posted in March). If they posted the links to these previously unknown sites themselves, people could cry foul, but there isn't any other way people would have found these sites, like the modest needs site. I suppose eventually someone in the world of blogging could have stumbled upon them and spread it around, but we all got to benefit from seeing it here, more quickly than any other means.

This doesn't mean it is ok to self-post or get your friend to post things for you, but if something truly passes muster for metafilter worthiness, we get a great link worth discussing and there's no harm in that. I still have to stick to the rule that self-linking is bad though, since it is hard to convey when it is ok, but I can't say that any rule here is really zero-tolerance. On a case-by-case basis, most any rule here can be broken if it is appropriate, handled correctly, and not done in bad faith.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:56 AM on April 24, 2002 [1 favorite]


As far as I can see, you did nothing wrong, brittney. It's fine to post links to things on your friends' sites if they are interesting.

I wouldn't go that far. Minor nit: If you're posting a link to a friend's site, you should state that in the link. Brittney should've said Modest Needs is a friend's personal project (which became clear later in the discussion).
posted by rcade at 1:55 PM on April 24, 2002


rcade: *should* I have?

Sorry you think so, but I believe I followed the given rules for posting to the front page.
posted by brittney at 4:13 PM on April 24, 2002


What part of "frowning upon people posting things "for their friend" (self-link by proxy)" didn't you understand?

If you're certain you followed the rules, why did you hide the fact it was a friend's project? My guess is that you knew it was skirting the rules.
posted by rcade at 6:08 PM on April 24, 2002


rcade: Had I posted the link "for" Keith (i.e. after him asking me to, or to directly benefit him) then you'd have a right to bitch. But I didn't post it "for" him, I posted it to provoke discussion and to publicize a worthwhile site. The fact that he is my friend in this particular instance was irrelavent.

And I didn't hide my relationship with him because I felt I was breaking regulations, but because I didn't think to. It didn't matter. Later in the discussion I freely admitted to knowing him, a matter no one seemed to have a problem with. Until now.
posted by brittney at 6:15 PM on April 24, 2002


I fail to see why we should turn a modest criticism I described as a "minor nit" into the Lincoln and Douglas debates. I think people who link to a friend's site, however excellent the site, should acknowledge the friendship in the link. I'll concede the point that I'm a horrid little man for thinking this.
posted by rcade at 6:38 PM on April 24, 2002


Megan from the Screen Savers? She's hangin wid' my posse along wid that fine woman Morgan.

We gots all the hotties, yo.
posted by insomnia_lj at 10:29 AM on April 29, 2002


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