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The new Mefi Wiki site
July 7, 2013 7:50 PM   Subscribe

The unofficial Metafilter Wiki, long hosted by Adrian Hon, has a new website and host - it's now at mefiwiki.com, and I'm taking over hosting. This switch gives it a sizable software and hardware upgrade. It should be easier to update, and more spam-resistant.

So, what's changed?
To resist spam, we've added some small speedbumps; now, when you create a new account, you will be asked an easy question about Metafilter, like "who's the tech guy? (two letters)". Soon, we may ask "who are you on Metafilter?"

Old links will automatically go to the right place on the new site; we made sure they worked because we hate breaking links.


I owe major thanks - "Major Thanks! *salutes*" - to a few people.
Adrian Hon hosted it and kept it running for over a decade! I only hope to keep it going as well as he did.

Thanks to RichardP, for spam-fighting and for an impressive battle plan for the switchover. The domain mefiwiki.com was his idea, and he kept on top of the various issues.

Thanks to Jessamyn, the wiki liaison for the mods, for encouragement and for the Mefi-specific questions for registration.


Go check it out!
posted by Pronoiac to MetaFilter-Related at 7:50 PM (44 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite

I really want to thank you guys for just HANDLING this. You did a wonderful job in a fairly short timeframe and I'm very happy with how it's gone.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:52 PM on July 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


Adrian Hon hosted it and kept it running for over a decade!

Holy shotgunning shit. That's amazing. Good work!
posted by absalom at 8:06 PM on July 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


Ooh, can we finally update the front page?
49,000 registered users, 100,000 discussion threads, 190,000 question threads, 20,000 administrative threads, 5,700 music threads, 6,100,000 overall comments
Is "registered users" different from the more than 100,000 user IDs we've had since November, 2009? And we're heading towards 250,000 question threads, and 34 songs away from 7,000 music threads.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:44 PM on July 7, 2013


I believe I have all references to the wiki in the FAQ pointing at the new location - please feel free to poke them and let me know if I've missed/borked any.

(The header and footer links need pb's touch, so no need to alert us to those yet.)
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 8:54 PM on July 7, 2013


Thanks to all involved, and especially to Adrian for hosting it for so long.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:55 PM on July 7, 2013


Congratulations are due to both Pronoiac and adrianhon, they did most of the heavy lifting involved in the switchover. My role was primarily being the pushy guy with a checklist.

filthy light thief, I updated the front page of the wiki. I don't know how many "registered users" MeFi has -- the infodump says there are more than 180,000 user ids and approximately 70,000 active users. I know that a large percentage of user ids belong to people who started to create an account but never completed registration, so the current number of registered users is somewhere between 70K and 180K.
posted by RichardP at 9:13 PM on July 7, 2013 [5 favorites]


My role was primarily being the pushy guy with a checklist.

Never doubt that a thoughtful, committed pushy guy with a checklist can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:29 PM on July 7, 2013 [58 favorites]


Awesome, y'all!
posted by iamkimiam at 12:09 AM on July 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


I wrote a script a long time ago to do the counts, because I got tired of people eyeballing it and getting it very wrong. Based on the infodump of 2 days ago:
MeFi:  118807 posts, 5041074 comments
AskMe: 235718 posts, 3374127 comments
MeTa:  21925 posts, 1038596 comments
Music: 6811 posts, 35218 comments

Total users:    61383
Total posts:    383261
Total comments: 9489015
posted by Rhomboid at 12:33 AM on July 8, 2013 [4 favorites]


Cool!
posted by vegartanipla at 12:35 AM on July 8, 2013


Thanks for the accurate numbers Rhomboid.
posted by RichardP at 12:44 AM on July 8, 2013


Will our logins from the old Mefi wiki work or do we need to create new ones?
posted by IndigoRain at 3:32 AM on July 8, 2013


Just tried my old login (had to rack my brain for the password) and it works fine. Well done to everyone involved, this is a fine bit of work.
posted by arcticseal at 3:36 AM on July 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Thanks all - I know the Mefi wiki will be in safe hands with Pronoiac and RichardP because they've been taking care of it for the last several years, even though it's been on my server! It was time to hand it over to someone who had a better server setup and knew more about maintaining Mediawiki than I did.

I always use the Mefi wiki as an example of how to build up a valuable online resource that will last - it requires a burst of energy at the start to show people how it works and why it'd be useful, but then it requires constant care and feeding to stay operational. Good times ahead for the wiki for the next 10 years, I am sure of it!
posted by adrianhon at 4:24 AM on July 8, 2013 [6 favorites]


Thanks for all the work to everyone involved. The MeFi wiki is really fantastic, and I am sure it has taken all sorts of time and effort to keep it going so well.

Is it possible to have some kind of "This used to be the MeFi wiki, but it's now at mefiwiki.com" page at the old location? I'm thinking of all the links to the old wiki in comments over the years. If someone is trawling the archive, they might think the wiki is defunct when all those links just resolve to a 404 page on a seemingly unrelated site.
posted by Rock Steady at 5:20 AM on July 8, 2013


Is it possible to have some kind of "This used to be the MeFi wiki, but it's now at mefiwiki.com" page at the old location?

Don't worry, as Pronoiac mentioned in his post, not breaking the existing links to the old wiki was a critical requirement we placed on ourselves for the switch to the new site. Links in the MeFi archive (or anywhere else on the web) pointing to pages on the old wiki still work.

We're running a redirection script on Adrian's server that detects and redirects the old links. Old links are automatically redirected by the script to the corresponding locations on the new server. The script requires few resources. Adrian will be running it for a long time — hopefully for as long as the wiki continues to exist.
posted by RichardP at 5:35 AM on July 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


RichardP: Don't worry, as Pronoiac mentioned in his post, not breaking the existing links to the old wiki was a critical requirement we placed on ourselves for the switch to the new site. Links in the MeFi archive (or anywhere else on the web) pointing to pages on the old wiki still work.

Oh, that's fantastic. I must have missed it in the post. I tried it with this link: http://www.mssv.net/wiki.cgi (which I found here) and I got a 404, so I thought that's what would happen with all old links. Y'all have done great work on this. Thanks again.
posted by Rock Steady at 5:56 AM on July 8, 2013


Oh, that's the "even older" wiki, the predecessor to the wiki we just replaced. Those links haven't worked since September 3, 2007.

Now that I think about it, we might now have the necessary infrastructure to resurrect those old links and direct them to the correct locations on the brand new wiki. I'll see what I can do. I wonder how many places on the web are still referencing the wiki via links that haven't worked for 5+ years?
posted by RichardP at 6:04 AM on July 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


Wow, cool! Thanks, Pronoiac - I owe you a beer at the next meetup! (Remind me, as I will probably forget between now and then.)
posted by rtha at 6:16 AM on July 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


RichardP: Oh, that's the "even older" wiki, the predecessor to the wiki we just replaced.

I figured it was something like that. I realize that links to an editable wiki are always going to be subject to a given amount of link rot, and I honestly wouldn't worry too much about those superold wiki links. I was more concerned when I thought it would be every link to the wiki in any comment ever.
posted by Rock Steady at 6:29 AM on July 8, 2013


Thanks for the time and effort you guys have put into this. Very appreciated.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 6:55 AM on July 8, 2013


This is great! I have always wondered why metafilter doesn't host / maintain the wiki itself.
posted by shothotbot at 7:50 AM on July 8, 2013


Total users: 61383

Not to dispute, but to interpret: that's the number of unique ids who have posted/commented at least once, right?

That's a lower bound on the minimum number of users, but not a definitive count on "real" vs partial accounts, right?
posted by bonehead at 9:21 AM on July 8, 2013


Thanks for all this work, guys.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:38 AM on July 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Thanks adrianhon for all the work maintaining it this long, and thanks to RichardP and Pronoiac for keeping the site online, migrating it, and continuing on with the great work.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 12:30 PM on July 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Not to dispute, but to interpret: that's the number of unique ids who have posted/commented at least once, right?"

That's not active users, no. I don't have the most current data, but am staring at chart of active vs. registered users by year and for 2012 there were 59,775 registered users, but only 16,296 active users (people who posted or commented at least once in 2012 (not overall)).
posted by iamkimiam at 12:38 PM on July 8, 2013


Incidentally, that number of active users is down from both 2011 and 2010's number of active users. Any thoughts as to why that might be? I've been trying to figure out some possible causes for that (because I'm curious).
posted by iamkimiam at 12:40 PM on July 8, 2013


This is so great. Thanks for the heads-up --- and, of course, for all the hard work!
posted by Elsa at 12:50 PM on July 8, 2013


Awesome work! Wiki maintenance is hard, so your efforts are much appreciated.
posted by immlass at 2:02 PM on July 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Seconding everyone who has praised you guys - thank you for doing this, all three of you.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 2:59 PM on July 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Thank you for maintaining and upgrading this valuable Metafilter resource, you guys. Much ♥ and appreciation!
posted by Lynsey at 3:54 PM on July 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Not to dispute, but to interpret: that's the number of unique ids who have posted/commented at least once, right?

No, it's the number of total user accounts that exist. It includes users who haven't used the site in a decade and users who have never posted or commented. The number of users that have posted or commented in the last year1 is 15745, and roughly a third of those (31%) have commented or posted 3 or fewer times; half have commented or posted 9 or fewer times. The 500 most active users were responsible for nearly half (49%) of the total output, and the 1000 most active accounted for about two thirds (64%). 90% of the output was from roughly 3800 users, and 95% from approximately 5600.

Based on its volume, MetaFilter seems like a large site, but it's essentially a few thousand people at any given time, give or take.

[1] defined as 2012-07-06 to 2013-07-06, the date of the latest infodump
posted by Rhomboid at 6:58 PM on July 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


iamkimiam: Incidentally, that number of active users is down from both 2011 and 2010's number of active users. Any thoughts as to why that might be? I've been trying to figure out some possible causes for that (because I'm curious).

At a guess I would say Twitter. Not solely Twitter, of course, but I suspect more and more people are getting their "link sharing and discussion" needs met on your various social media platforms. Twitter, FB, Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram, Vine, etc.
posted by Rock Steady at 5:25 AM on July 9, 2013


True, but I would have then expected the decline sooner, rather than in 2012. Also, this is a decrease in active participation...there's still a steady increase of registered accounts over time, but people are lurking more? Something happened? Normal ebb and flow?

Actually the more I think about it, I could make a case for Twitter and other social media platforms increasing MetaFilter participation, as we have a corral in a sense.* So people might be inclined to come here and read/comment because this is nicely curated (with a strong community aspect), where some of the other sites/communities are a bit chaotic from that perspective (still, love 'em for that).

*corral and cabal are dangerously close to each other.
posted by iamkimiam at 5:38 AM on July 9, 2013


Yeah, thanks for the excellent work guys.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane (staff) at 7:14 AM on July 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Can you infodump wizards see how many people favorited something in the last year? Or even fancier, see who favorited, favorited and commented, and only commented? It would be an interesting glimpse of how MetaFilter is used.

Also, thanks so to Adrian Hon, Pronoiac, RichardP and Jessamyn for all your collective work, and thanks to Rhomboid and iamkimiam for sharing info from infodump.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:18 AM on July 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


For the same interval as before:
Commented                              : 15192
Posted                                 : 8566
Commented but didn't post              : 7178
Posted but didn't comment              : 552
Posted or commented                    : 15744
Favorited                              : 14729
Favorited but didn't post              : 7571
Favorited but didn't comment           : 2242
Favorited but didn't post or comment   : 2034
Posted or commented or favorited       : 17778
Posted but didn't favorite             : 1408
Commented but didn't favorite          : 2705
Posted or commented but didn't favorite: 3049
posted by Rhomboid at 8:56 AM on July 9, 2013 [3 favorites]


Is it weirdly appropriate that all the image links are broken in Shadowy Back Alleys?

Shadowy Back Alleys item 4, images: first few links all return 404s.
posted by RedOrGreen at 10:22 AM on July 9, 2013


Hi everybody! I'm glad to see this was so well received! I've been too swamped to add much more here!

*happy flailing Kermit arms*
posted by Pronoiac at 3:23 PM on July 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


Catching up to the thread:

In the process, I think each of us involved said something to the effect of "oh hell no we won't break links."

IndigoRain, the old password should work. The username is case-sensitive, which has definitely surprised and annoyed me before. Let me know if you need a reset.

RedOrGreen, yup, lots of unused images were cleaned up and removed from Metafilter - maybe during the shift to using mefi.us for static resources. An archived version from the Internet Archive might be helpful (if incomplete), if you want to browse the images from there. I want to leave a note to that effect on that page, but I'm not sure where on the page.

It's ... hard to keep up with the activity on the wiki right now. Which is awesome. Thanks everybody!
posted by Pronoiac at 3:52 PM on July 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Nice work!
posted by Chrysostom at 6:12 PM on July 9, 2013


Thanks, Rhomboid!

From this, there were 17,778 "active" users who posted or commented or favorited, a mere 1,482 more more than iamkimiam's 16,296 count.
posted by filthy light thief at 6:12 PM on July 9, 2013


That sounds about right in general. My count does not include those who favorited at least one post or comment and also only measures activity as one post or comment made in the year in question (in this case, 2012). So really, 16,296 to Rhomboid's 15,744 would be a more accurate comparison (just different time periods measured).
posted by iamkimiam at 3:39 AM on July 10, 2013


Earlier in this thread mention was made of links to the really old UseMod-based wiki that preceded the one one we just replaced. We've gone through the entire MetaFilter archives (MeFi, MeTa, AskMe, etc.) and extracted every link to the old UseMod-based wiki. We also used archive.org and some old page listings to identify articles. We believe we've identified every article that ever existed in that old wiki, circa 2003-2007.

With regards to those old links, we now redirect them to an appropriate article on the new wiki. Unfortunately, a number of those old links point to articles that were lost in the Great Spam-Apocalypse of 2007. Those links are now directed to a page on the new wiki that explains what happened to the original article and offers some suggestions on how the content might be found.

As of earlier today, every link to the MetaFilter Wiki in the MetaFilter archives, no matter to which incarnation of the wiki, should now be directed to someplace reasonable on the new wiki. If you run across a broken wiki link in the MetaFilter archives, please let us know.

No Link Left Behind!
posted by RichardP at 4:19 PM on July 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


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