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What constitutes a thin post?
February 1, 2013 2:51 PM   Subscribe

This post, a single-link recipe, was killed for being a bit "thin," yet innumerable SLYTs of cat--and, to be fair, dog--videos are allowed to stand. Lots of MeFites love pets, and lots of MeFites love food. What's the qualitative difference here?
posted by Johnny Wallflower to Etiquette/Policy at 2:51 PM (38 comments total)

Really it's just a cultural thing. SLYTs of cute animals stay up because lots of people like them, post them, comment in the threads, etc, and they don't do anyone any harm. We don't have a similar culture for posting a single recipe.

Plus, a recipe isn't really web content in the same way. There's a lot less to discuss or comment on, because to really interact with the recipe, you have to go make it. Without some sort of larger conversational framework, it's just not as much of a conversation-starter.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 2:59 PM on February 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


I recall Trurl made quite a few recipe related posts (eg 1,2,3,4) generally following a format of one link for context and one to an actual recipe. It doesn't hurt if the recipe link is a blog with a bit of a personal touch as opposed to nothing but the recipe.
posted by Lorin at 3:02 PM on February 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


If someone would like to make me Nacho Macaroni and Cheese, I would gladly discuss and comment on it.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 3:05 PM on February 1, 2013 [6 favorites]


yet innumerable SLYTs of cat--and, to be fair, dog--videos

And not one example? This is an example of a thin MeTa.

I think the qualitative measure is, like with most FPPs, to be found in the comments.
posted by three blind mice at 3:12 PM on February 1, 2013


Thin MeTa, yeah, but anyone reading this doesn't need links to know that there are lots of cat videos here. I'm just looking for clarification.

Comments are key, to be sure. I expected a lot of "needs mor bacon" vs. "soy cheeze is just as good" discussion.

Hmmm, maybe it's a good thing that it was deleted.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 3:22 PM on February 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


soy cheeze is just as good

The "cheeze" is a lie.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:24 PM on February 1, 2013 [5 favorites]


Yeah, I'm seeing one of those recipes that perfectly represents the general vibe of sites that I dearly wish I could quash forever from my Google search results. It's the generic first 7 pages that happen when I type "[name of food item I want to make] recipe" into the search box, and find a gazillion different ways to mix off-the-shelf products together, without any soul or context.

I want some context to show me why you think it's awesome; without that the front page of MeFi becomes a set of links to eHow and Epicurious and FoodNetwork and all those other search engine spammers who are actively working to remove value and connection from the web, and, by extension, my world.
posted by straw at 3:45 PM on February 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


If it was a particularly entertaining video, or a very unusual recipe, then maybe. Random mac and cheese meets nachos recipe, comments for which indicate a quarter of people wouldn't make twice? Not so much.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 3:49 PM on February 1, 2013


Just checked out the comments thread on Epicurious and found this:

This is a great twist on an old classic. I use only about 1/2 cup cilantro to keep it "kid-friendly" for the under-5 crowd. It has been a crowd pleaser for family dinner and as part of a dinner party menu since finding the recipe 2 weeks ago! Love it!

How deep does the rabbit hole go? Trust no one.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 4:10 PM on February 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


I think that the difference between a single recipe and a single video is clear, even if it's tough to put into words. A single recipe is, essentially, a prescription, with which people can agree or disagree, while a single video is a cipher upon which users impose their own meaning.
posted by OmieWise at 4:18 PM on February 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


What constitutes a thin post?

I don't know, but there's definitely nothing thin about that post. 3 cups of cheese, 1 cup of whole milk, and 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream? No way anyone's getting thin out of that one. Unless your arteries clog up and you die, which I've heard is a good way to get skinny.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:23 PM on February 1, 2013 [8 favorites]


Is there something about this recipe that makes it exceptional and worth reading, beyond the untold millions of other recipes out there? Will it make you smile or laugh or feel contemplative? Is it wonderfully creative, or challenging, or cute, or sad? Cute cat videos at least make you smile and might even turn your day around if you are feeling down.
posted by PercussivePaul at 4:39 PM on February 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah if there was something super interesting about this post, we would have liked to have known what it was or what parmanparman thought it was. Some topics have a sort of built in "I can see why you would post this to MetaFilter" apsect within them, some don't. parmanparman has been here forever and I assume this is something he knows, leaving the "So why did he post this then?" question fairly up in the air.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:00 PM on February 1, 2013


Quick bit of counting.

1. The 20 most recent FPPs containing the word 'cat' in the title or post body have so far generated 1,242 comments between them. Or, an average of 61 comments (and rising) per post.

2. Taking the last full day on MetaFilter - January 31st - there were 48 FPPs. Of these, only 11 (23%) have generated more than 61 comments so far.

Yes, that's superficial - and no doubt could spend all night doing a more thorough or rigorous piece of analysis (or someone could spend all night demolishing that rough bit of work). But cat-related posts do seem to often generate a goodly amount of comment on the blue.
posted by Wordshore at 5:10 PM on February 1, 2013


My question has been settled by mathematics. Good enough.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 5:21 PM on February 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


A cute cat video is complete in and of itself. Cute kitten goodness, instantly. Everything is accessible, right there on the monitor.

The recipe has to be shopped. The macaroni must cook. The oven must heat. The casserole must bake. Then goodness.

There is a MeTa just a bit down this page about an FPP that was a link to where the winning puppy video will be. It is not there now, and the deletion was a righteous one.

So was this one, although that recipe looks good. If only we could eat the screen...
posted by SLC Mom at 5:56 PM on February 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


I’m working on a cat recipe post right now. Everyone wins!
posted by bongo_x at 6:13 PM on February 1, 2013


I’m working on a cat recipe post right now.

Don't forget the pictures!
posted by she's not there at 6:23 PM on February 1, 2013


The nacho casserole post could have been fleshed out in interesting ways. A history of southwestern food, a range of related recipies, the story of salsa. Nacho casserole could be your madeline.

There's just very little you can do to make a SLYT post more than it is. Nothing about the taxonomy of felis catus would make a kitten video more interesting qua kitten video.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 6:29 PM on February 1, 2013


tip for recipe posts: there's always more than one way to skin a cat make nacho mac-and-cheese.
posted by jacalata at 6:30 PM on February 1, 2013


One video is worth a thousand recipes.
posted by Ardiril at 6:33 PM on February 1, 2013


Because, kittehs!
posted by arcticseal at 7:09 PM on February 1, 2013


I'm working on a cat recipe post right now.

RIP Trim
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 7:29 PM on February 1, 2013


I would have deleted the post with:

This post was deleted for the following reason: Ugh! Cilantro! - cjorgensen
posted by cjorgensen at 7:42 PM on February 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


A pulled-pork nacho mac-n-cheese recipe, with extensive detail on how to smoke the pork, make the tortillas and then fry them into chips, and how to select and make the meltable cheeses capped off with a casserole recipe and macaroni how-to would have made it.

You ask, what cullinary FPP's with a single link can compete with a cute puppy SLTY FPP?

Well, I'll tell you.

That's the bar you need to meet. It's very high.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:03 PM on February 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


I love recipes. But since the comparison to cat videos is invited, it's fair to make. For one, a cat video is a (usually) short shared experience which will then result in comments of meaning to the community who experienced it, while a recipe is just an idea, not yet a shared experience.

Secondly, it's not a remarkable recipe. When a cat video appears on MeFi, I'm usually willing to watch it, because I am assuming that it stands above the baseline average for cat videos on sites like, say, Facebook. Something about it is impressive, surprising, funny, or cute to a level beyond average. This recipe doesn't contain any content that would catapult it above average. It is a 'tweaked' mac and cheese recipe like a thousand other tweaked mac and cheese recipes, not distinguished by any literary, humorous, anecdotal, historical, or personal context to lift it above average.

tl;dr it's not that it's a recipe, it's that the content of the link isn't good/unusual enough to get it above the baseline average for "recipe link."
posted by Miko at 8:21 PM on February 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


To me, part of the problem is that this recipe reads like a "Look at these assholes" of recipes. Maybe that's a taste thing...but why the hell would you add cloves to that mess?
posted by maryr at 9:28 PM on February 1, 2013


(Actually, without the cloves it doesn't look so bad. But seriously, it's not effing gingerbread, why would cloves go there?)
posted by maryr at 9:30 PM on February 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Basically, Miko said what I was thinking.

I just wanted to note that there could exist single recipe links that had merit as FPPs; I would nominate these three, for instance. (Especially with a couple sentences set-up and a hook for further conversation, like talking about dips and party food.)

Similarly, while one may not appreciate the high level of cat videos we typically enjoy as FPPs, it is entirely possible to find cat videos that are without merit entirely. (Dog videos, too.)
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 9:33 PM on February 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Could be much thinner.
posted by sourwookie at 9:38 PM on February 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


maryr: "(Actually, without the cloves it doesn't look so bad. But seriously, it's not effing gingerbread, why would cloves go there?)"

I thought the same thing. But I was curious so in they went. And it really does work. The cloves and cilantro make a surprisingly pleasant, if mellow, combination. However, it failed on the Nacho front. It's just a soothing batch of Mac and Cheese that has some corn chips on.

I'm intrigued by the idea of Nacho Mac and Cheese. But too do it right you'd need to flip it around. Start with a strong Nacho base and then add macaroni.
posted by zinon at 10:04 PM on February 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


This one is quite thin.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:51 PM on February 1, 2013


To me, part of the problem is that this recipe reads like a "Look at these assholes" of recipes. Maybe that's a taste thing...but why the hell would you add cloves to that mess?

Probably because the base mac and cheese recipe had nutmeg and some feel nutmeg is disgusting while cloves are in the same taste neighborhood but awesome.

I think the post should have stood, just because there wasn't much compelling reason for it to be deleted even if it wasn't so great. I'm going to try the recipe even if it is an artery clogger, and I'm glad I had a chance to see it here since it vanished from the blue before I could. In context of Super Bowl Sunday this type of single link recipe makes sense.
posted by Drinky Die at 12:53 AM on February 2, 2013


Cloves and cilantro totally go together, if you're used to garam masala in your food. My mother, her first time in the US, gagged when she tasted cinnamon in the apple pie my dad's boss had made. Cinnamon/cloves/nutmeg as spices that go in sweet stuff was totally unheard of for her. Different strokes for different food cultures. :)
posted by bardophile at 12:58 AM on February 2, 2013


"cat-related posts do seem to often generate a goodly amount of comment on the blue"

Metafilter is about the links, not the discussion.

Or so we've been told.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 9:59 PM on February 2, 2013


Well shoot, I just had a great idea for a single link recipe post, but I think I'll hold off a week. It'll keep.
posted by Gygesringtone at 7:34 AM on February 3, 2013


I'm just gonna post a cat recipe.
posted by sourwookie at 8:01 PM on February 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


I love cloves. In gammon, in tea, in perfume - I still miss Potion.

That recipe looked great until I scrolled down to the bottom and noticed it has 3/5 of your recommended daily saturated fat. Though I could just eat one a day and I'd end up on top!
posted by mippy at 1:59 PM on February 5, 2013


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