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The Joy of FPPing
December 7, 2012 10:06 AM   Subscribe

To people who have done this; why did you create Front Page Post(s) on MetaFilter? The motivations are interesting in themselves, and may also provide positive reasons for people to cross the rubicon from lurker to poster.

It's an activity which takes a variable amount of time, from a single link cat video post, to a multi-screen, multi-linked complex. There is no monetary or career-enhancement reward for posting. There's (arguably thankfully) no shiny gamification 'badges' for posting many times on MetaFilter. As the poster you are, in a sense, putting your head "above the parapet". And it is very unlikely (tho' guess not impossible?) that posting to MetaFilter will ultimately result in you "getting laid".

So, what have been the motivation(s) for you to post. Were they different depending on the nature, subject matter, of the post? Were they different from posting on e.g. online newspaper comment sections, community blogs, other sites where people link to and discuss online content?

Was it to illuminate something you think should have a wider audience? To provoke debate, be the catalyst for comment? To highlight something negative you think people need to be aware of? To make people happy(er) with something cute? To digitally shout out "OMG!" at some news, event, happening in the world? Or did you take an intrinsic pleasure in creating the post (the "inner librarian" concept); editing it, doing the research, refining it for the particular audience which is MetaFilter? Or post to become more immersed, "meshed" into the MetaFilter network/community? Or to altruistically add to a "sum of MetaFilter community knowledge". Or, for regular posters, is the motivation to post more of a reflex reaction to encountering something interesting online?

Or some other motivation(s) for why you dedicated the time and effort to creating a specific post?

Related: Jessamyn's comment about mini-bibliographies.
posted by Wordshore to MetaFilter-Related at 10:06 AM (122 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

I've always been the kind of person who, upon seeing something I think is cool, will want to turn to someone and say "Hey, look, a cool thing!" and tell them about it. Even when I was six I was doing this.

That's pretty much it.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:15 AM on December 7, 2012 [17 favorites]


I make about 1 FPP every three years. So... 4 (not counting deleted ones).

The last three I made because I liked the article/website, didn't see it on Metafilter, and didn't think that most Mefites would see it on Digg or Reddit. These kinds of posts don't take much more than 10 or 15 minutes, most of that trying and failing to come up with a funny post title.
posted by muddgirl at 10:15 AM on December 7, 2012


I want to show you this thing! This thing! It's awesome!
posted by The Whelk at 10:16 AM on December 7, 2012 [7 favorites]


Because I saw a neat thing or things and wanted to tell people about it. Specifically, mefites.

I don't make many fpps because A) I am lazy; B) It takes me forever to come up with decent copy to frame it; C) see A).
posted by rtha at 10:18 AM on December 7, 2012


The first one: because I saw something about it on 60 minutes and wanted more useful information, and I figured the best way to get it was to start a mefi discussion about something I know fuckall about.

The rest: because tumblr.
posted by elizardbits at 10:25 AM on December 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


tumblr, the cause of and solution to all of life's corgis.
posted by The Whelk at 10:26 AM on December 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


"This is cool, other people should see this" or "this is interesting and thought provoking, other people should see this." For a few longer, multi link posts the impetus was "Wow, a lot of details in this larger story are interesting, people should see or know about all these fascinating details"

Sometimes when reading comments or Metatalk posts, I think the subject is interesting, Goggle it and make a post about it. Those are iffy, as the subject may be too controversial or recent for the site to deal with independently.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:26 AM on December 7, 2012


I did not want to suffer alone with gangham style.
posted by special-k at 10:27 AM on December 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Have you ever taken Stength's Quest or anything like that? There are personality types where people really, really (really) enjoy sharing information with other people, not unrelated to values connected to education or teaching professions. Also, there are certain personality types that enjoy connecting people over new-found information. So, I enjoy sharing information with people, and I also enjoy seeing fruitful discussion that comes from engaging that information that helps build community. It's the kind of thing that gets me out of bed in the morning, actually (and perhaps drives my wife bonkers at times).
posted by SpacemanStix at 10:31 AM on December 7, 2012


I was afraid that no one on Metafilter would have become aware through any other sources that one of the most famous people in the world has died.
posted by found missing at 10:31 AM on December 7, 2012 [10 favorites]


Hey neat! The Mefi crowd would enjoy this.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 10:31 AM on December 7, 2012


Usually, "hey, this is interesting or weirdly niche-geeky, I bet MeFites would be interested." In one case, it was sort-of newsfilter but I made a point of getting some background info included. In another case, because I was really surprised that nobody had done an FPP on the topic yet so I thought I had to rectify that situation.
posted by rmd1023 at 10:33 AM on December 7, 2012


There is no monetary or career-enhancement reward for posting...And it is very unlikely (tho' guess not impossible?) that posting to MetaFilter will ultimately result in you "getting laid".

Not immediately, no, but I'm playing the long game. Just you guys wait until I am in my 90s, I am going to be wading hip deep in hookers and blow and it will all be thanks to my posting on metafilter.
posted by juv3nal at 10:34 AM on December 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


I have actually gotten four paying jobs as a result of posting on Metafilter and the friendships and connections made from socializing and participating in threads.

So people who say you can't make money loafing around the internet all day can fuck right off enjoy the difference of opinion. .
posted by The Whelk at 10:35 AM on December 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


I've only done one FPP and it was relatively recent. My motivation was simply to make Metafilter a little cooler. I've benefitted to a certain degree from AskMeFi, I've learned how to be much more articulate, and I've even become a more open-minded person in some respects - so I feel like to a certain degree I am indebted to MetaFilter. I don't like to have debts hanging over me, so generating some interesting content (and thus hopefully helping to bring in new users) is me beginning the process of paying it back.
posted by wolfdreams01 at 10:41 AM on December 7, 2012


I post in hopes that people who 1) know more about the topic and can elaborate, or 2) have a personal story to tell about the topic, or 3) might also think the topic is interesting will comment on it. So, in summary: virtual catnip, because I am unable to grab all of your lapels simultaneously as I say "LOOK AT THIS SHINY OBJECT!"
posted by MonkeyToes at 10:42 AM on December 7, 2012


I was really hoping that the smartest-sounding people I knew could figure out what the heck was going on at the other end of some links. They couldn't, but I was glad I showed it to them and asked anyway.
posted by carsonb at 10:43 AM on December 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


I get the feeling that making your first post is a lot like going to your first meetup: it feels like a really big deal, and it's easy to overthink and overworry, and then you do it and it's over and you realize that it's just a thing that people do and all the anxiety suddenly feels less pressing.

I remember stressing a lot over my first one, and it wasn't exactly brilliant stuff in the end, but I started worrying less after that. But I've never made a ton of posts to the front page; these days it's usually equal parts "hey here's a neat thing someone linked somewhere that hasn't been posted on mefi, let's do this!" and that except someone has posted it and dammit.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:44 AM on December 7, 2012 [7 favorites]


There is no monetary or career-enhancement reward for posting. There's (arguably thankfully) no shiny gamification 'badges' for posting many times on MetaFilter. As the poster you are, in a sense, putting your head "above the parapet". And it is very unlikely (tho' guess not impossible?) that posting to MetaFilter will ultimately result in you "getting laid".


You're not going to the right meet-ups.

But seriously and less-Chicago-slandering, probably about 60% of what I learn these days is here -- and the number has been some where around that for the last 5 years. So when I learn something else some way that wasn't here, I think about posting it here. 95% of the time, someone else beats me to it.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:45 AM on December 7, 2012


Hey, guys! Check this out! Isn't it neat? Huh? Huh?

...

okaaay
posted by brundlefly at 10:46 AM on December 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


To show off something cool and/or to see what the Metafilter community at large has to say about whatever I'm posting.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:49 AM on December 7, 2012


I made my first (and thus far only!) FPP because I'm ending a Nabokov kick (I'm even reading the plays! They're not so good!), and I had to inflict it on like-minded nerds. Also, Nabokov had a funny voice, and funny voices are fun to listen to. Why not spread the joy?
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 10:57 AM on December 7, 2012


Why? Mostly because I feel like I ought to put a little bit of knowledge back into the system that enables my to goofing-off and learning stuff.

That's right: If I'm not working, no one should be working.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 10:59 AM on December 7, 2012


I've made mine for different kinds of reasons.

Many of the smaller ones I've made were just really neat things I found on the internet that took just a couple minutes to share with a bunch of neat people.

For a while I was making monster posts about especially neat scientific papers that were especially accessible to the lay public and publicly available on the internet because people seemed to really like them, I read a lot of papers and can filter them, and I think engaging with actual science as it is practiced is particularly important for an understanding of science as it is presented. Kind of a the world is a better place with more mefites reading real papers thing combined with how neat they are. I've had to stop, or at least tone it down, however as it did get kind of GYOBey.

I've also spent large amounts of time assembling humongous posts about all sorts of things from my entire collection of 3D movies depicting molecular things doing stuff in biology, to everything Charlie Chaplin ever produced, to the fifteen Cosmos episodes, to every clip the Swedish Chef or Muppet Labs was ever featured in, to all of the Coronet Social Instruction films from the 50s. I've been doing it largely because I'm really interested in the topics themselves, HTML is a really convenient way to store this kind of information, and so long as I'm putting it all together why not share it?

A lot of it though is that I really like this place and want to make it better using what talents and perspectives I have.
posted by Blasdelb at 10:59 AM on December 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


I've always been the kind of person who, upon seeing something I think is cool, will want to turn to someone and say "Hey, look, a cool thing!" and tell them about it. Even when I was six I was doing this.

also, alcohol is sometimes a factor -- particularly all those single link posts of mine that have gotten deleted.

As for my very first post, that was a case of fumbling around on Youtube one afternoon, looking to see if there was a live version of Richard + Linda Thompson doing The Wall of Death ... and discovering the rather spectacular moshpit application of the same term of phrase.

Next thing I knew, it was posted and not everybody hated it. Hell, two people even liked it. But here's a hint. In your first FPP, try to avoid commenting. Seriously. It's like day one of kindergarten, sending your little darling off. Don't be that parent who stands at the edge of the playground and then comes rushing in the instant something "bad" happens.
posted by philip-random at 11:02 AM on December 7, 2012


Because I found something cool on the internet that I thought MeFis would find a bit, very, quite, or hugely interesting. This place has distinct tastes and interests. Usually I figure someone else already saw it and got it up -- and usually I'm right -- but sometimes I'm pretty sure if I don't post no one will. So then it is worth the effort, because people say the most interesting things once any post goes up.
posted by bearwife at 11:03 AM on December 7, 2012


Related to "I want people to see this cool thing!" is "I want people who I can talk to about this cool thing!", which is a pretty big reason for me.
posted by kagredon at 11:15 AM on December 7, 2012


Because it's fun, a labor of love.
posted by y2karl at 11:17 AM on December 7, 2012


Hey Mom, look at me!
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 11:23 AM on December 7, 2012


Because, after 4+ years of participating on AskMe, I finally got my fear of being absolutely savaged on the Blue. And my post was minimally savaged, and I was happy, and I may post another one in fewer than four years!
posted by julthumbscrew at 11:30 AM on December 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Because who else was I going to discuss Alien Nation with?
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 11:32 AM on December 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


My first FPP was this week! I was reading something cool then noticed I wasn't reading it on metafilter. I was surprised because metafilter is teh source of most cool things I read. So I figured I'd post it.
posted by pointystick at 11:36 AM on December 7, 2012


Actually, a lot of my FPPs have been something like that--I stumble across something dorky, but interesting, and want to watch smart people converse about it.

For my first bunch of posts, I practically had panic attacks after (you can see me being defensive on the Alien Nation post) because I was terrified of snarky/insulting derails. Then I learned to just not check the post for the first hour or so. Now it's all good.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 11:36 AM on December 7, 2012


Sharing is caring, and I care so much.

Actually, I love researching odd topics, and as jessamyn wrote in the comment linked in the OP, "[t]here's a huge chasm between 'available' and 'accessible'," and I like closing the gap.

As cortex mentioned upthread, my first post was a stressful thing. I had a lot of things I wanted to share, but ended breaking the ice with a news post, just because I thought it was interesting and worth sharing. The next two posts weren't that great, either, but then I realized no one had posted about Buddha Machines. Even then I showed my newbie status, calling mods "editors" in a comment.

Since then, I've had fun wandering down rabbit holes with the idea that there might be something big around the corner, something as of yet unseen on MetaFilter. Also, I've thought more about how I present my ideas through making posts, which has been quite instructive.

In short: making posts gives me an excuse to obsess on a topic for a short while, and makes me put my thoughts together in a coherent sort of way.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:39 AM on December 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


My first one was about Soviet-era punk rock and it was definitely one of those things where I had just found out about it and was really, really interested in it, and knew other people would be too, and also knew that if I wasn't going to FPP it, no one else would. When nasreddin posted translations of a few songs I knew that holy shit making FPPs about shit I like would put me in touch with people who knew more about the subject than I ever would, and I would learn more cool shit. So, in a way, basically every FPP I post has a big selfish component in that I want someone to show up and say I KNOW EVERYTHING THERE IS TO KNOW ABOUT THIS AND HERE IS THE REAL DEAL.
posted by griphus at 11:40 AM on December 7, 2012 [5 favorites]


Because I thought it was a cool thing people would be interested in and maybe I could learn more about it in the process both while creating the FPP and from other users.

Unfortunately, most of my posts end up with a population of crickets. So, I might not be the person to ask.
posted by jillithd at 11:41 AM on December 7, 2012


(And also that exact thing has happened more times than I can count.)
posted by griphus at 11:41 AM on December 7, 2012


I believe I was trying to counter the constant stream of American political posts with a political posting from somewhere that wasn't America. Just so now you guys can see how boooooring most of those posts are.
posted by GuyZero at 11:43 AM on December 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


It's a combination of thinking:"This is a cool/interesting/important thing! Maybe other people will also think it is cool/interesting/important! I should share it!" and: "I think that this would generate a good conversation on MetaFilter."

So, I like to share content but I also like content that generates good conversation on MetaFilter. After all, community is an important part of "community weblog."
posted by asnider at 11:43 AM on December 7, 2012


I do it for the sweet, sweet favorites.
posted by DynamiteToast at 11:44 AM on December 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


I do it for the sweet, sweet favorites.

One of my favorite FPP moments was when I posted an admittedly niche-interest resource for Dungeons and Dragons, which amassed a grand total of 18 comments by 8 unique users. And 46 favorites.

I have never since been as confounded by the feedback to something I posted.
posted by griphus at 11:47 AM on December 7, 2012


I only post about walruses, just because they exist.

And are tasty too.
posted by spitbull at 11:47 AM on December 7, 2012


I thought making FPP was one of the reasons of joining MetaFilter. Can't have MetaFilter without something to talk about.
posted by KokuRyu at 11:49 AM on December 7, 2012


I'll admit, my reasons for posting/commenting may, at times, verge upon what some might call selfishness, let me see if I can explain my thought process...


"Oh, Joy! Look upon this splendiferious and multifaceted thing. It would indeed be prudent to know more about it.

I could ride forth to the land of Google but that way is fraught with peril and danger and has led me astray before.

Ah, hark, yonder over the horizon rides Sir Metafilter and his Lady AskMe. Even the young and adventurous MeFightClub rides between them, perhaps they can be of assistance for I have seen a trove of discourse that they have provided in the past!

Perhaps I can prove myself worthy to speak to them by slaying the vicious signup demon Abraham! *crash* *bang* *ka-ching*

Verily I shall approach them and describe unto them this thing. Yet even now, after slaying the demon, I must tread lightly as I have heard they are prone to reproach and anger if my manner offends them by being filled with hidden messages and meanings. It is truly best to be faithful and honest. For it is said in their kingdom, and truly, that all can use hugs."
posted by RolandOfEld at 11:50 AM on December 7, 2012


I found a cool thing on the internet.
posted by 23skidoo at 11:52 AM on December 7, 2012


Lots of people don't vote in elections, because they figure their lone vote doesn't matter. It's just one among hundreds, thousands, or millions. I vote because my vote is one among many others. If everyone held off voting there would be no votes. Together they add up. If I want there to be lots of votes, I'd better be prepared to contribute my share.

Why do I contribute FPPs to MeFi? Masochism, mostly.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 11:54 AM on December 7, 2012


I have never made a FPP because I do not believe links are an important part of the Metafilter experience. For the same reason, I rarely click the links in other people's FPPs.

This is not a troll. I am completely serious.
posted by ryanrs at 12:08 PM on December 7, 2012


For people who HAVE done this.
posted by 23skidoo at 12:12 PM on December 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've had different reasons behind each post. The first one was something interesting that I thought was likely to engender a good discussion, probably involving some experts on the subject, hopefully involving one expert in particular, since it seemed like it was in his backyard. The second was a tribute, like all obit posts, and like all obit posts I was afraid someone would come along and do a worse job of it if I didn't pipe up. My third post arose out of annoyance at a deletion of someone else's post, so I followed the mod's instruction and fleshed it out a bit more so the discussion could be had.

Back when the site was young, under my first username, my posts rarely garnered much in the way of comments, so I got out of the habit. Now it seems I only post when I'm pretty sure there will be a discussion.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 12:13 PM on December 7, 2012


Something else to take into account when making an FPP is that some people indeed don't read/watch the video in the post, or only read the first page/watch the first minute. I completely believe ryanrs, although I disagree with his Metafilter philosophy. People who don't read the post often make stupid comments (I am guilty of this). The gracious thing seems to be to ignore those people and carry out the discussion with people who've actually engaged with the content.
posted by muddgirl at 12:20 PM on December 7, 2012


One of my favorite FPP moments was when I posted an admittedly niche-interest resource for Dungeons and Dragons, which amassed a grand total of 18 comments by 8 unique users. And 46 favorites.

Adding on to my last comment - having more favorites than comments is not a bad thing! I don't know where we got this cultural idea that controversial posts were better than interesting posts that don't engender a lot of back-and-forth discussion.
posted by muddgirl at 12:23 PM on December 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


EmpressCallipygos: "I've always been the kind of person who, upon seeing something I think is cool, will want to turn to someone and say "Hey, look, a cool thing!" and tell them about it."

Ditto. I will admit that this is one reason I like favorites-they are another avenue (beside comments) that let me know someone thought this cool thing I found was pretty cool, too.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:24 PM on December 7, 2012


...having more favorites than comments is not a bad thing!

Oh I didn't interpret it is as a bad thing (uh, assuming you're implying that, which you may well not be) just a confusing one. The purpose of favorites is hotly debated, and it is situations like that where there's a pretty significant asymmetry when I get really, really curious as to why people favorited something and didn't comment. It's not, like, I am upset that they didn't say COOL POST, GUY! but I just really want to know what they are doing with this information they acknowledged.
posted by griphus at 12:27 PM on December 7, 2012


I have taken what others have given freely here, and enjoyed, and want to give back. Each of us should contribute to the overall wealth of coolness here as best we are able, which in my case isn't all that able, but.
posted by Devils Rancher at 12:28 PM on December 7, 2012


Back in August, I posted an FPP about the struggle between food trucks and brick-and-mortar restaurants.

I posted it primarily because I was interested to hear what the diverse MetaFilter community had to say about the issue. I follow the topic because I'm a food blogger, but if you're not involved with the food-truck or restaurant industries beyond being a customer, you probably aren't aware that there's this raging debate in cities across the nation about imposing time-and-place restrictions on food trucks. This means that there is a relatively narrow range of people participating in the debate. But the wider the range of participants on an issue, the more rich the discussion is and the more interesting it is to me personally.

So the long and short of it is, I posted it more for selfish reasons: I wanted to hear the community's opinions because I thought that the opinions would be interesting to me. Of course I thought that the post itself would be interesting to and beneficial for the community—and I believe it was!—but even more than that, I thought the post would make for a great discussion for me to read. I was happy with how the discussion turned out, and glad I posted that particular FPP.
posted by The Girl Who Ate Boston at 12:28 PM on December 7, 2012


but I just really want to know what they are doing with this information they acknowledged.

I favorite posts because they contain interesting information that I might want to return to at some point in the future. This also why I favorite posts more than comments. In fact, it might be time to do some pruning.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:34 PM on December 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


I do it for the butt elephants.
posted by slogger at 12:41 PM on December 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


I am often lonely for people to talk to about math and science and odd space/weather phenomenons and I like talking to this crowd about that stuff.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:50 PM on December 7, 2012 [6 favorites]


I am often lonely for people to talk to about...

I have never heard this turn of phrase before and it basically sums up my entire thing here.
posted by griphus at 12:51 PM on December 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


Yeah I mean I also have a lot of real life people that I talk to about all manner of things but they're not usually that topic-sticky "let's learn more!" nerd type of person or if they are they are maybe TOO sticky and only want to talk about what they want to talk about and not talk about cool neat things in general. Usually I find this in the librarian community [on and offline] but they're not always as plugged in to the online world (especially rural librarians) and so I try to get more and more of them to show up here.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:53 PM on December 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm that kid who always raised his hand, usually had the right answer, and argued with the teacher when he didn't, but only long enough to be set straight. So, I guess I just really like putting myself out there in a public forum, and seeing if I don't learn something new.
posted by cthuljew at 12:54 PM on December 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


So I've been here for 4+ years (and of course lurked longer than that), and just made my first FPP 6 months ago. I made it because I thought the topic was interesting, but more because I wanted to see where the discussion would go and I thought it was a fairly successful post. I was totally creeped out by the story, but I have a tightly-wound invasion-of-privacy sensor and partially wanted to know if it needed recalibration since I do not use an ebook reader.

Then last month, I made a second post which completely flopped - I thought it was a cool idea that could be applied elsewhere (it was specific to one state), and I wanted to share the idea with other people.
posted by antonymous at 12:56 PM on December 7, 2012


I am often lonely for people to talk to about...

Exactly. Because Burnell down at the feed store does not want to discuss the patriarchy, or the works of Robert Hughes, or recipes from South America. Thank you, all, for being people who do.
posted by MonkeyToes at 1:02 PM on December 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


sharing.
is.
caring.

I also do it because the comment thread afterwards usually enhances my own interest in the subject, either by more links, anecdotes, jokes, etc. It's a great way to give and to receive information about cool stuff you've found or like.

(I have 193 FPP's to my name, but have recently downshifted due to time constraints.)
posted by not_on_display at 1:06 PM on December 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't post a lot of FPPs, and when I do, it's almost always because I saw something and thought, "I'd like to hear what [x metafilter user or users] would think about this!"
posted by xingcat at 1:13 PM on December 7, 2012


Why do people anything that they're not paid for?

Because it's fun.

Do a good post, you get a bit of egoboo in return, get a nice discussion going, it's fun. It's easy too, especially if you don't take MetaFilter or yourself too seriously. The cool thing of the internet is that there is so much cool, interesting, thought provoking stuff on it that it shouldn't be too hard to find something that would be of interest to the people here.

For me MeFi came at just the right time when I was getting bored with the usual blogs and sites I was reading, sometime last year, then the choice to plunk the five bucks to tell people they were wrong, wrong was easily made and hey, in for a penny, in for a pound.

Actually some of my first posts were things I found amusing but too slight for my own blog but wanted to use somewhere.
posted by MartinWisse at 1:15 PM on December 7, 2012


Alternate answer: I do it for the whuffie.
posted by cthuljew at 1:19 PM on December 7, 2012


I make one FPP for each question I ask. I don't know why it just feels right.
posted by 2bucksplus at 1:26 PM on December 7, 2012


Building a brand and establishing market presence.
posted by Meatbomb at 1:27 PM on December 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


What provoked me from lurker to contributor:

I have a chronic health problem: psoriasis. One day I was coming home from work on the subway and yet again someone was staring with distaste at my skin. As I generally do, when I see this happening, I waited until I was getting off the train and told the person that it was psoriasis and not contagious.

I was not in a good mood about this. I decided that I was kind of tired of educating the world one subway rider at a time and that maybe I should do something more constructive: a FPP. So I did.

I'm generally a bit shy on putting together posts - also, most of the time when I think of something that strikes me as post-worthy, a quick search reveals it to have already been posted.
posted by sciencegeek at 1:37 PM on December 7, 2012


I do it because a member of America's daring, highly trained special mission force told me to let people know, and well, you know what knowing is.


I do it for pretty much what most everyone above has said. Lookit!Neat!
posted by Atreides at 1:57 PM on December 7, 2012


I was encouraged to post something I found by the folks in the IRC room #mefi.
posted by Green With You at 2:02 PM on December 7, 2012


I like being creative in small bursts. FPPs are like mini collages with words. And these are my internet friends...I like being able to talk to them about things that interest me. I want to hear what they have to say about those things. It's just another way to be a part of this community in a small, unobtrusive way that's creative and fun.
posted by iamkimiam at 2:15 PM on December 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


I had been looking for a way to contribute, so when I saw an article that had not been posted on Metafilter, I figured people would want to know and I posted it.
posted by A Bad Catholic at 2:22 PM on December 7, 2012


Each post contains a coded message.

Each message contains a subtle clue.

Each clue is a small piece of a larger puzzle.

On the day all the puzzle pieces are finally put in place, you will know exactly why I have made these posts.

August 14th, 2014.
posted by Atom Eyes at 2:28 PM on December 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


> I get really, really curious as to why people favorited something and didn't comment. It's not, like, I am upset that they didn't say COOL POST, GUY!

I can only speak for myself, but I've posted a lot fewer COOL POST, GUY! comments since Jessamyn made it clear she thought they were a Bad Thing. I still don't understand why, since they harm nobody and give the poster a warm, fuzzy feeling, but I don't want to be Bad for MetaFilter, so I usually just click the favorite button these days.
posted by languagehat at 2:37 PM on December 7, 2012


Huh. I missed that. When did that happen? (and shit. I do this all the time.)
posted by iamkimiam at 2:54 PM on December 7, 2012


here's my take on FPPing: A few years ago I started reading Malcolm Gladwell's The Tipping Point. The first few chapters were about how there were "...three very rare and special psychological types, whom I call Connectors, Mavens, and Salesmen."

After reading these chapters, I was pissed and put the book down, not to read another word. Pissed because I read the maven chapter and I was astonished that he described me to a shocking level of detail (which I found a very uncomfortable experience).

So, I'm a maven, and posting FPPs (a whopping 8 in 8 years, which I think is the proper rate for most Metafilter users), answering AskMe questions, recommending music and movies to friends, over-researching things just so I know what to tell people about Whatever...it's what I do.

Metafilter FPP posters are made up of a wildly disproportionate population of mavens.

2006 article on this phenomenon in relation to Digg
posted by mcstayinskool at 3:00 PM on December 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Where was that, languagehat? There might be something to be said about like aggressively contentless stuff if it seems disruptive, but usually that's an issue primarily with people doing like drive-by shitting on posts, not just expressing a little praise or whatever, so I feel like maybe this was a misreading or something.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:03 PM on December 7, 2012


Jessamyn made it clear she thought they were a Bad Thing

Huh? I have said many a crazy thing but I like random "Hey this is good" sorts of comments. I dislike random "This sucks" comments. It's possible I was having a bad day or under the throes of some sort of philosophical wave that did not take hold.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:05 PM on December 7, 2012


I made my first one like a week ago because in a separate thread someone said the subject matter would make a great FPP and it was true. I'm enough of an expert on the subject, and it's one I care a lot about, so I felt I'd be able to do the topic justice (it was the list of women who make video games post).

I would have done the research anyway and left it in my google docs folder, just like the bazillion other research-on-games collections I've made for personal use. It was nice to actually present it to others to enjoy for once. I might do it again with some of my other annotated lists.

I'm too stuffy to link to a cat video unless it was, like, a list of every cat video of all time. I'd rather be comprehensive. But thank god not everyone is like that else there'd be nothing to read most days.
posted by subject_verb_remainder at 3:05 PM on December 7, 2012


I can only speak for myself, but I've posted a lot fewer COOL POST, GUY! comments since...

I try to give comments like that whenever I can, especially when I don't think I have anything intelligent to say on a subject. This way, I can express my appreciation without sounding like a dimwit.
posted by zarq at 3:22 PM on December 7, 2012


I saw a cool thing.

I wanted other people to see the cool thing, because it was cool.
posted by KChasm at 3:27 PM on December 7, 2012


why did you create Front Page Post(s) on MetaFilter?

I'm an autodidact. And love to share what I learn. (I guess that makes me a didactic autodidact?)

Plus each FPP is a bit of an interesting puzzle. What's important to convey. What's not. Etc. It's fun.
posted by zarq at 3:32 PM on December 7, 2012


Because I consume more media than is appropriate for anyone, and distilling that into a coherent body-of-knowledge is just how I think about things, and then I like to share them.

Also, the favorites. Delicious, delicious favorites.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 3:40 PM on December 7, 2012


Why do I make FPPs? DUH! Because Matt PAYS me. HELLOOO.

i've said too much
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:11 PM on December 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


I can only speak for myself, but I've posted a lot fewer COOL POST, GUY! comments since Jessamyn made it clear she thought they were a Bad Thing. I still don't understand why, since they harm nobody and give the poster a warm, fuzzy feeling, but I don't want to be Bad for MetaFilter, so I usually just click the favorite button these days.

Oh, lhat. COOL GUY, POST.
posted by ersatz at 4:14 PM on December 7, 2012


So I can share all the cool things my friends and I have made.
posted by Nomyte at 4:16 PM on December 7, 2012


Over the years this site has provided me with endless enjoyment and entertainment as well as knowledge of the obscure and so I like to hopefully return the favor.
posted by adamvasco at 4:25 PM on December 7, 2012


I can only speak for myself, but I've posted a lot fewer COOL POST, GUY! comments since Jessamyn made it clear she thought they were a Bad Thing.

I have too, but I still don't know what Jessamyn has against GUY.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 4:41 PM on December 7, 2012


Looking back, I think most of my posts are motivated by three things: nostalgia, curation, and politics.

The best way to make a good post is to have a real passion or interest in the subject matter that makes you eager to dive into it, the better to collect more diverse, interesting, and obscure material about it. And if you really enjoy something or think it's valuable, it's easy to talk about it in an engaging way that rivets likeminded people and educates newcomers. I suppose I could do a megapost on the history of, say, Sid and Marty Krofft, but I never watched their shows growing up, don't know much about them, and thus don't have a strong incentive to (re)discover content from them that exists online. But I could browse through equally obscure stuff from Cartoon Network or Nickelodeon for hours (and have), just because it's so gratifying rewatching stuff that you'd utterly forgotten about only to have it all come flooding back. And sharing that feeling is fun.

So a lot of posts are directly tied to something that was important to me growing up. There's the TV I grew up with, 90s Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon. There's the first role-playing game I played written by my favorite author, Starship Titanic. My favorite Disney movie (and music), The Lion King. The Mind's Eye, a fascinating demo reel of early CGI. Active Worlds, the nearly forgotten wonderland of pioneering virtual environments, still freely accessible today. The terrifying Scary Stories illustrations I read in the dark. The Powerpuff Girls + Beatles episode I never really understood till I watched it again years later. Larry Gonick's cartoon guides that, on reflection, shaped my political opinions and understanding of US history far more than I grasped at the time. It's wonderful sharing such formative ideas with people who can likewise relive them, or enjoy them for the first time.

It's also fun sharing scattered repositories of interesting content that don't have a big spotlight on them or don't have some central place where all its material can be browsed and discussed in an organized way. These usually turn into laundry lists of links, but the laundry is fascinating. And as long as link rot stays low, they serve as useful references and clearinghouses of great content months and years into the future.

Ted Chiang short SF stories
O Brother folk music
Louis CK stand-up (pre-Louie)
Wired's Artifacts from the Future
The Dune Encyclopedia
Disney song translations
TVTropes Useful Notes
Incredible Explosions
David Langford's BLIT stories
The Onion's Our Dumb Century
AVClub Sawbuck Gamer

...and then the politics. People talk about such posts like they're vices, but they've often been among my very favorites, both as a poster and as a reader. And this past election season saw the best discussion yet. I've had the privilege of "covering" the 2010 midterms, the genesis of Fox News, the Wisconsin recalls (among many other posters), Rick Perry's implosion, the 2012 Iowa caucuses, the Supreme Court health care ruling, Paul Ryan as VP, Charlie Pierce's columns, and gerrymandering. It's sometimes hard to write about hot-button topics well, especially if you're racing to do something regarding some imminent current event, but it's so satisfying watching the ensuing discussion play out as a real-time record of history. I really admire gerryblog's 47% thread especially for crystalizing the importance of what turned out to be a pivotal moment in politics, even if it lost top honors as longest post to the election thread proper. These things often become valuable historical records, and it feels good to help provide a platform to lift that kind of illuminating commentary up.

It reminds me of one of my most interesting posting experiences, when FishBike helped me cobble together the list of best Google Videos on Mefi before the shutdown of the service. It was a microcosm of what I like about making posts -- gathering links to compelling content I care about -- focused on the site itself. It's why I like ideas such as being able to sort searches by favorites and having some mechanism to fix broken links after the fact -- it makes finding good stuff easier and makes said good stuff last longer. Even the most immaculate post is humbled if all its links point to 404s (such as that Google Video post... WTF Google?)
posted by Rhaomi at 4:42 PM on December 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


My first few FPPs were kind of rough. I learned some lessons quickly early on (and continue to learn with every FPP I make)...

But mostly, I have two things which factor in to me making an FPP.

The first is quick and dirty -- was this thing I found appealing and is it something I can share on MetaFilter in an unbiased way which might find an audience here?

The second thing is, if there's a musician or band which I really like and want to learn more about, I use creating a mega-FPP as my excuse to do in-depth research about the topic. Creating the FPP allows me to organize my thoughts, chase down tangents, listen to EVERYTHING someone recorded, try to put it all in some semblance of order, and then have a public place to stash my research and see if anyone else is interested in learning about the same artist or band.

Really, the thing about any imagined barrier between non-posting and posting on MetaFilter is that any member can make a post, but few members seem to trust other MeFites when it comes to talking about a post. And really, THE MAIN LESSON I've learned about that is: MetaFilter is a place to share things you think are cool. Whether others think that thing is cool or not doesn't matter. What matters is the sharing.

The ratio of readers to members is so off-balance that it's safe to assume that for every comment you get, there are 1000x as many people who see your post and read it and respond to it. Trying to play to a members-only audience is a fool's errand. Sharing what you've found is the point, and if there are absolutely zero comments to your post, you can be assured that a giant audience had exposure to that thing who would have not had exposure if you had not posted.

As the mod team has said frequently -- the discussion isn't the point of MetaFilter. It's the sharing. The discussion is a great thing, but it's having the material linked through the front page which is the actual reason to make an FPP.
posted by hippybear at 5:26 PM on December 7, 2012 [8 favorites]


Looking over my post history, I realize that I often do it because somebody cool died.



And it is very unlikely (tho' guess not impossible?) that posting to MetaFilter will ultimately result in you "getting laid".


Posting on Metafilter is pretty much the opposite of getting laid.

"Aren't you going to come to bed?'

"NOPE GOTTA WATCH JIM STEINMAN VIDEOS ALL OF THEM"

"....ok."
posted by louche mustachio at 6:43 PM on December 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


I looked back and was pleased to discover that most of the links from my first fpp are still live.

I recall making that one because I wanted to talk to people in real life about how sophisticated and amazing the animation on Sesame Street was and nobody seemed that interested.
posted by louche mustachio at 6:51 PM on December 7, 2012


Basically in Jessamyn's camp.

Otherwise just trying to fill voids around here.
posted by JoeXIII007 at 7:35 PM on December 7, 2012


Without reading any prior post:

Drunk interest.

I'm busy when I'm not here, MF is a relaxation, a visit after a few.
Sometimes (or not) it's worthwhile.
posted by Mblue at 8:24 PM on December 7, 2012


I just post because Al Qaeda pays me to waste the time of decadent American infidels and weaken them to the coming jihad with youtube, soft-core pornography and conceptual art.

Catch you on the flipside, pig dogs. Bin Laden's paying off my student loans.
posted by klangklangston at 9:03 PM on December 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Or was, before he died.

THANKS OBAMACARE
posted by klangklangston at 9:03 PM on December 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


i was thinking the other day about what made me make my first post all the way back in 2005. i honestly can't remember. it went ok, was received well, and then i didn't make another until 2010.

that second post was prompted by "this is something that has come up in a niche area that the typical mefite might not stumble upon, but could be interested in if it were presented to them." then i waited another 2 years to make another.

i got in my head about it, i think. i mentioned in metatalk about how i felt the blue was hostile and so i didn't post fpps. i was encouraged to try, so i did. in the last 11 months i've posted 11 times. those have all been "oh, neat, i wonder if metafilter would like this." the sky didn't fall and i haven't been flamed and it's been generally nice to watch people smile at something i posted.
posted by nadawi at 11:11 PM on December 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


I've been here since September 29, 2000 and have yet to make an FPP.

Really never thought about it.

Plenty of fine FPPs and most of the things I'm excited and deeply knowledgeable about I'm also personally involved in.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 11:47 PM on December 7, 2012


Mountains of cocaine.
posted by krinklyfig at 1:17 AM on December 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


Shit dude, I was just at a party where every other permutation of people all took trips to the bathroom together (I assume coke) and I wasn't invited because I was either old or straight.
posted by klangklangston at 3:09 AM on December 8, 2012


So I comment while drunk.
posted by klangklangston at 3:09 AM on December 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


In the social entity that is Metafilter, making a FPP is one of the ways one participates. Why does anyone want to be part of a community as opposed to, say, living in a cave? You can argue that we evolved that way (social participation is just our genes' technique of better replicating) but there's not enough woo for me in that explanation.

I am fascinated by contemplating the many ways one connects or fails to connect with others (and read all the relevant AskMe questions) and how one creates and inhabits a role in a society, which is what drew me to read this thread (though I presumed that many who would respond would think they knew why they posted but be mistaken, but why should I believe that?)

So, to actually answer the question, among all the reasons others have already listed, most of which resonated with me at least a bit, let me add a few more:
1) Because I couldn't continue to live with myself if I ran in fear from the challenge of creating a FPP.
2) Because I felt lonely having just my private reaction to reading something on the web and wanted to see how others felt about it.
3) Because I wanted to be one of those people who made FPPs. You know, the cool ones.
4) Because some things out there shouldn't be ignored so I wanted to call attention to them.
5) Because I figured someone else would post something but I wanted to be the first.
6) In compensation for an experience I had a few months back were I "found something cool on the web" but figured it was too arcane or required too much specialized knowledge to appreciate so I didn't make a post from it, only to find that someone else then did and there were scores of others eager to discuss it.
7) Because I imagined others pointing to me and whispering "He never makes FPPs."

But, then there are also those times when months go by and I post nothing, relishing my feeling of separateness, or doing what in AA they call "isolating", or feeling very different and/or misunderstood and not wanting to risk either confirming or shattering this position.
posted by Obscure Reference at 7:26 AM on December 8, 2012


> Huh? I have said many a crazy thing but I like random "Hey this is good" sorts of comments. I dislike random "This sucks" comments. It's possible I was having a bad day or under the throes of some sort of philosophical wave that did not take hold.

You definitely said it, because I couldn't really believe it and asked "are you sure?" and you were like "yeah dude whether it's positive or negative if it doesn't contribute info to the thread it's noise and I deprecate it," but since I don't know how I could possibly search for it (this was a few years ago) and it's not the way you feel now, I won't bother, I'll just heave a sigh of relief and return to my profligate COOL POST, GUY! ways.
posted by languagehat at 8:06 AM on December 8, 2012


I bet what happened was that jessamyn was briefly possessed by Bizzarro Universe jessamyn, which is the jessamyn that's all "fuck you you're banned for saying 'Nice post, thanks!'" because that's against the guidelines in Bizzarro Universe MeFi.
posted by rtha at 8:12 AM on December 8, 2012


since I don't know how I could possibly search for it (this was a few years ago) and it's not the way you feel now, I won't bother

Yeah I just went skimming through all your MeTa comments from 2009-2010 and did not see it. In any case, my current feeling is that COOL POST GUY comments of most stripes are totally fine in MeFi.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:27 AM on December 8, 2012


I could see that comment in relation to AskMe, maybe? Noise isn't really discouraged on Metafilter - it's all sort of noise, signifying nothing. But AskMe is intentionally as noise-free as possible.
posted by muddgirl at 8:44 AM on December 8, 2012


Wait, who is this Cool Post Guy?
posted by Devils Rancher at 9:55 AM on December 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


OP here. Thank you to those who took the time out to post here. An interesting and intelligent compendium of reasons and explanations.

I like this place.
posted by Wordshore at 10:08 AM on December 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Found it:
I'm not thrilled with "Yay" types of comments either but saying something bland and positive rarely has the effect of killing a thread. What's one person's noise can quickly escalate into a violent derail and we'd like it if people would take some time to think "Am I adding anything to the conversation here, or just having a bad/lackluster day/life and trying to get that point across?"
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:42 PM on June 9, 2009
Scroll down for the exchange I'm remembering. (It's true you weren't as negative as I remembered, but you were hardly encouraging.)
posted by languagehat at 11:22 AM on December 8, 2012


"Yay-type comments aren't really interesting for anyone but the OP" is hardly a controversial or indefensible opinion.
posted by muddgirl at 12:42 PM on December 8, 2012


Did anybody say it was? Besides, yes it is controversial, because I disagree with it.
posted by languagehat at 2:05 PM on December 8, 2012


I was thinking of going to a meetup and clicking through site links and noticed that I had a big 0 in my posts column and thought I should try to contribute, remembered something interesting about boats and posted. Seemed to get a few good comments.

Now on to posting to ask. Oh the brutal indecision, asking about ideas about good questions seems just embarrassing. And I'll never get around to asking my procrastination question...
posted by sammyo at 2:15 PM on December 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Acknowledged, and I think I probably mistated Jessamyn's opinion in a way similar to how you seem to have misremembered them.
posted by muddgirl at 2:40 PM on December 8, 2012


My first and only FPP was something that was local and I thought would have broader interest. It was pretty much up to me to present it to you. My humble contribution to the community. Fraught with nerves, I served it up.

I don't feel compelled to do another FPP. Some of us just like to hang out. When something comes up that deserves attention, you'll be the first to know.
posted by wallabear at 9:45 PM on December 8, 2012


Because it wasn't there.

(Then I went right back to lurking.)
posted by reprise the theme song and roll the credits at 4:28 AM on December 9, 2012


It's all part of my long lead SEO strategy. In truth, I saw something interesting and thought Metafilter might find it interesting too.
posted by arcticseal at 8:16 AM on December 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Favourites. They are like wine to me.
posted by Sebmojo at 2:22 PM on December 9, 2012


I make an FPP when I have something especially worth sharing and the energy to make a decent enough post about it. This has only happened once, but I think it's important that people know about Hausu because seriously, holy shit.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 6:52 AM on December 10, 2012


I remembered that exchange and took it as a nudge to make my comments (that might otherwise just be "oh, yay"), particularly early in a thread, contribute more towards discussion. So, a bit of content in addition to "yay".
posted by rmd1023 at 7:36 AM on December 10, 2012


I've only posted once there, and I was VERY VERY AFRAID. I was sure I'd do something wrong. But I just really wanted to share something I'd read on a short trip that stuck with me the whole way home. I couldn't stop thinking of it. I thought if it affected me that much, it should be shared.
posted by emcat8 at 2:47 PM on December 11, 2012


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