IGMOFB! January 9, 2012 1:45 PM   Subscribe

New sub-site suggestion: MOFB.metafilter.com

So, here are the thoughts that prompt this:

A. A lot of mefites - I mean, a lot - have really interesting blogs of their own.
B. Mefite bloggers cannot link to their own blogs on the blue.
C. According to the text of the Projects subsite, they can't post them there either.

I for one would love to be able to browse a section of self-submitted blog posts from mefites - much of which I surely would never have otherwise been exposed to. Perhaps a once-per-month posting limit? I would think that that would evolve into this really interesting, self-curated mixture of great content on just an amazingly diverse array of topics and approaches.

(I'm only part-way serious about the mofb name, but I'm totally serious about the concept. There is probably a better name.)
posted by jbickers to Feature Requests at 1:45 PM (47 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

You can totally link to your blog on Projects. The submission text is just trying to communicate "don't submit individual, non-epic blog posts as Projects", though I haven't read it for a while so I can't recall if that's ambiguous.

Basically, "here is my blog" is fine. "Here is my latest post, about the cheese sandwich I just ate", is not.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:47 PM on January 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


C. According to the text of the Projects subsite, they can't post them there either.

I don't think you interpreted that rule correctly. I think you can't post individual entries to Projects, but rather you have to go whole-hog and post the entire blog itself. And that happens plenty.
posted by griphus at 1:48 PM on January 9, 2012


Yeah, I know, but what I'm talking about would be a place where people would submit individual blog posts that they think are especially good.
posted by jbickers at 1:49 PM on January 9, 2012


I knew it. Metafilter hates my cheese sandwiches.
posted by crunchland at 1:51 PM on January 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Maybe if you made them with something other than Daiya and potato bread we'd have enjoy them more.
posted by griphus at 1:51 PM on January 9, 2012


I wanted to hate this idea, but I kind of like it. I actually want to browse read MeFites random blog posts, without having to search individual blogs, especially if other people read and liked those posts (oh god, I feel like facebook culture is creeping in here, ack). Kind of like how I discover other MeFites' good music tracks by browsing through the playlists that are associated with tracks I like.
posted by iamkimiam at 1:53 PM on January 9, 2012 [9 favorites]


I didn't think about any facebook-like aspect to it. I was thinking more like "a longreads of mefites" kinda thing.
posted by jbickers at 1:57 PM on January 9, 2012


I guess, like a writer's corner.
posted by iamkimiam at 1:57 PM on January 9, 2012


I wonder if there's a way we could have some sort of MeFiRSS aggregator. I don't know if a self-curated set of blog posts would work because there would be the constant problem of some people oversubmitting and a lot of people not submitting at all. I'm one of the people who maintains the MeFiUserSites blog but I'm super cautious about not mingling information that is on people's profle page that isn't already google-findable, so it's slower going than I might like. This might be a good side project for someone, since it doesn't really seem like it's something that needs to be hosted on the MetaFilter.com empire of subsites for any particular reason. Maybe someone could build a meta-aggregator of the blogs posted to profile pages and/or Projects and have some sort of random button you could click to get some new bit of writing.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:57 PM on January 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


WriteMeFi, even.
posted by iamkimiam at 1:58 PM on January 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


Maybe set up a planet? http://www.planetplanet.org/
posted by ConstantineXVI at 1:58 PM on January 9, 2012


Well, our profiles can show our last 6 flickr pics. and our last tweet. Why not our last three blog posts?
posted by crunchland at 1:59 PM on January 9, 2012 [7 favorites]


Blog posts by Mefites, in one convenient place? We have that already. It's called MetaFilter.

To address what you're actually asking for, though: You can roll your own private Mefites-only blogroll simply enough. Blogs have RSS feeds; Mefites with blogs list them in their profiles. Have at it!

(Maybe this would be a good place to trot out the MeFite blogs?)
posted by Sys Rq at 1:59 PM on January 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


it doesn't really seem like it's something that needs to be hosted on the MetaFilter.com empire of subsites for any particular reason

Inclusion within the favorites/flagging functionality (man, that's fun to type) seems like a very strong reason to me.
posted by jbickers at 2:03 PM on January 9, 2012


I would think that that would evolve into this really interesting, self-curated mixture of great content on just an amazingly diverse array of topics and approaches.

Isn't that MetaFilter?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:10 PM on January 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I know, but what I'm talking about would be a place where people would submit individual blog posts that they think are especially good.

For what it's worth, it's totally okay to do even this assuming it's not a clockwork monthly thing. If you have a really substantial blog post once a year, something that's really worthy as a standalone thing, submitting those are okay as well.

That said, I like the spirit of the idea. I don't see it as a subsite thing, but like Jess said it would make a neat curatorial project for some enterprising mefite who wanted to manage it themselves.

Well, our profiles can show our last 6 flickr pics. and our last tweet. Why not our last three blog posts?

Because we don't have a rock-solid, all-inclusive API hook that functions across the plethora of blogging platforms, basically. Twitter and Flickr are both single-point-of-entry services that we can predict the behavior of pretty easily. With blogs-in-general we'd basically have to try and do some sort of one-size-fits-all RSS parsing and filtering, or duct tape together a ton of different aggregation hooks. Neither sounds like it's really worth the effort just to stick a widget on profile pages.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:13 PM on January 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


You mean you couldn't parse an rss feed?
posted by crunchland at 2:17 PM on January 9, 2012


Ah. Apparently you can, but you won't. Man. You really don't like my cheese sandwich.
posted by crunchland at 2:20 PM on January 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


The thought has merit but the practicalities seem difficult. Either it's going to be a page or an rss feed or the whatnot of a firehose of blog posts without any real context or else someone or someones will have to be the curator(s). That could be burdensome.

I don't think this has much viability except in some profile page freeform field.
posted by peacay at 2:21 PM on January 9, 2012


From what I remember of when Mark Pilgrim was still blogging, it's notoriously difficult to parse RSS feeds reliably and adequately because so many of them are broken in so many different ways.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 2:23 PM on January 9, 2012


I'll second We had a deal, Kyle. I ran a blog aggregator for several years that collected posts from blogs in Oregon. (ORblogs!) And yeah, it was full time job getting everything to parse correctly and supporting people with odd formats. I shut it down shortly after I started full time here because it was too much to manage as a side project. I think it'd be too much work for a little profile page widget.
posted by pb (staff) at 2:42 PM on January 9, 2012


Ah. Apparently you can, but you won't. Man. You really don't like my cheese sandwich.

We could in theory do a brute force thing where we just arbitrarily lop off all but the first 200 or whatever characters of any RSS entry we see, but that becomes a parsing headache and a potential security thing besides.

Honestly, if there was a slam-dunk easy solution that worked across everything, we'd talk about it seriously. But as far as I know, there isn't.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:42 PM on January 9, 2012


MetaFilter: warmed over Face Book and Twitter.
posted by Cranberry at 2:42 PM on January 9, 2012


Someone needs to invent a MetaFilter blogging platform. With the IMG tag allowed. That is all.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 2:46 PM on January 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Maybe set up a planet? http://www.planetplanet.org/

Better to use something maintained.
posted by 3.2.3 at 3:20 PM on January 9, 2012


Let me phrase it a different way and make my case for this one final time: if songwriting merits its own subsite (with its own culture and cast of usual suspects), why wouldn't writing? Just use music as the template and let it organically happen.
posted by jbickers at 3:23 PM on January 9, 2012


song are to music
blog posts are not to writing. Much.

something like that
posted by peacay at 3:25 PM on January 9, 2012


If creating songs merits its own subsite (with its own culture and cast of usual suspects) why shouldn't creating babies? Just use music as the template and let it organically happen.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:30 PM on January 9, 2012


jbickers: Let me phrase it a different way and make my case for this one final time: if songwriting merits its own subsite (with its own culture and cast of usual suspects), why wouldn't writing?

One reason is because there's a massive queue of most-likely-never-going-to-happen subsites (travel, cooking, etc.) that are lined up in front of your idea.
posted by gman at 3:32 PM on January 9, 2012


Let me phrase it a different way and make my case for this one final time: if songwriting merits its own subsite (with its own culture and cast of usual suspects), why wouldn't writing?

Because the constraints that are already present in the write-record-and-share music system are already a decent limiter for a small sub-community. Some sort of music aspect of this site has been around pretty well since the beginning because it was something that mathowie was interested in. There are a lot of musicians on the site and having a place to share content, offer feedback and discuss music topics was something that sort of organically grew. The content is actually hosted ON the site and has its own small community that mostly self-manages with a minimum [actually a near total absence] of drama. What you're suggesting, a sort of aggregator for MeFite-produced content written and hosted elsewhere, would be significantly larger, would introduce a lot of hassles that are not easily solveable, and seems to fall into the "reinventing the wheel" category for the most part. I'm not saying it's not a good idea I'm saying that it's not that feasible as a subsite for a few hard-to-overcome reasons, though it might make a great user project somehow.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:39 PM on January 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Let me phrase it a different way and make my case for this one final time: if songwriting merits its own subsite (with its own culture and cast of usual suspects), why wouldn't writing? Just use music as the template and let it organically happen.

The two major differences for me:

1. The baseline speedbump that comes with making a musical recording naturally significantly throttles the contributions such that Music gets a regular, very moderate volume of posts. Physically producing even a lousy recording takes a bunch of effort and time, which is a pretty significant organic disincentive to just posting tons of stuff.

Without dismissing the significant time and effort than can and does often go into writing, there's no such real natural barrier and what a writing subsite ends up overwhelmingly featuring may be the stuff that is easier to produce rapidly, which probably isn't the stuff the idealized notion of the subsite is premised on.

2. The Music subsite is servicing a medium that we have no other home for on the site: people aren't posting music elsewhere, there's no natural outlet for recorded musical instincts. Writing is something mefites do everywhere on the site; creating a new subsite to specifically host more of it is less of a bright-line obvious move in my eyes.

That said, my feelings about it are as much informed by things I think are a bit weird about Music in the context of the site: it reveals significant difficulties in getting attention to shared creative output, with comment threads on songs much, much shorter than threads anywhere else, because the implicitly very narrow scope of discussion ("listen to this song and then talk about it") and requisite blind upfront investment in time (step 1: listen to song; step 2: decide if you even have any interest in discussing it) creates a kind of pre-participatory obligation on the reader that I think seriously reduces average engagement.

I don't think it would be any better with writing; in fact, I think it'd probably be the opposite, if pieces were other than very short, because the attention required to read a piece and the inability to listen to it in the background so to speak creates an even bigger obligation.

I consider Music a mixed success. I think it functions well enough as a small subcommunity on the site and I am very glad we have all that creative recording work from members in one place, but it's still a very, very small subsite compared to the blue and green and grey and I am not totally convinced it's a model for additional subsites. If I were going to argue for a new creative subsite it'd be of broader scope, basically more like "create.metafilter.com" to encompass all sorts of creative work, but even at that I have some reservations and in previous Team Mod conversations we've never really come to feeling like there was a clear good reason for it and path forward on it.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:40 PM on January 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


We should call it Original Content ("oc.metafilter.com").

And when people call it "The OC", we can say "Don't call it that."
posted by defenestration at 4:03 PM on January 9, 2012 [8 favorites]


Physically producing even a lousy recording takes a bunch of effort and time

Finally some recognition! You like me, you really like me!

Man. You really don't like my cheese sandwich.

Yeah, but make a cheese sandwich with a bunch of gingers and they'll be elbowing their way to the front of the queue to coo and fawn over it! Liberal bias I tell you!
posted by Meatbomb at 4:43 PM on January 9, 2012


Kuro5hin got a Diaries section, and now look at Kuro5hin. The front page is 10 stories, goes all the way back to September, and three of the stories are by Trollaxor (who I have nothing against, but let's be honest, when Trollaxor dominates your contribution base, your web site is sunk).
posted by planet at 5:51 PM on January 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


Profile pages have an option to list your website. I assume most people do.

Two clicks? Is that somehow too hard a thing to do if you want to read more of someone's work?
posted by timsteil at 9:41 PM on January 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Basically, "here is my blog" is fine. "Here is my latest post, about the cheese sandwich I just ate", is not.

And "here is my latest post, about the grilled cheese sandwich I just got" is really not okay.
posted by Mikey-San at 1:07 AM on January 10, 2012


Sounds like the ROI wouldn't be worth it. Its complicated.
posted by infini at 4:34 AM on January 10, 2012


www.cheesesandwich.metafilter.com
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:06 AM on January 10, 2012


Because we don't have a rock-solid, all-inclusive API hook that functions across the plethora of blogging platforms, basically. Twitter and Flickr are both single-point-of-entry services that we can predict the behavior of pretty easily. With blogs-in-general we'd basically have to try and do some sort of one-size-fits-all RSS parsing and filtering, or duct tape together a ton of different aggregation hooks. Neither sounds like it's really worth the effort just to stick a widget on profile pages.

Have you considered PubSubHubbub? Superfeedr has a commercial implementation with what seem to be fairly agreeable fees.
posted by spitefulcrow at 5:32 AM on January 10, 2012


Okay, I give up. What the hell does MOFB stand for?

I tried searching, but I'm pretty sure you aren't talking about the Missouri Farming Bureau.
posted by yaymukund at 11:15 AM on January 10, 2012


My Own Fruit Basket ?
posted by Pendragon at 11:22 AM on January 10, 2012


Probably Metafilter's Own Fucking Blog, if I had to guess.
posted by gman at 11:23 AM on January 10, 2012


My Own Fucking Blog, as a complement to the old cry of Get Your Own Fucking Blog, often GYOFB.

That old usage is complicated by the use as well of GYOBFW, Get Your Own Blog Fuckwit.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:24 AM on January 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Every time I see that I associate it with BYOB.
Time for a wee dram.
posted by likeso at 11:51 AM on January 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


If someone does work on some kind of aggregation, I think an OPML file of RSS feeds would be a cool thing to include. I would be willing to add everyone's feeds to my RSS reader all at once and then weed out a few if they bothered me. I guess they can be used to import bookmarks as well.
posted by soelo at 12:09 PM on January 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


That old usage is complicated by the use as well of GYOBFW, Get Your Own Blog Fuckwit.

I thought that was Gee, You're One Bad Fuckin' Writer.
posted by Sys Rq at 1:32 PM on January 10, 2012


Mystical Obfuscationist Freerange Bacon
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:14 PM on January 10, 2012


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