Join 3,564 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)

What did we miss?
July 18, 2013 8:52 AM   Subscribe

Sometimes you spend a disproportionate amount of time putting together a Mefi FPP on a subject that is dear to your heart, making sure it's not a double, researching links for the More Insides, framing it just right to pique interest a little, but not be fight-bait... and then you hit POST...And nobody responds. It is tragic.

Well I'd like to read these posts that were dear to your heart but for whatever reason got only 0-4 favorites and a handful of comments. What post of yours do you wish had made more of an impact, generated more discussion or gathered more "I'll come back to this and read the heck out of it later" bookmarks? Whether it's your own post or one that really stuck with you that nobody else seemed to get, post them here and we will love them (to the best of our ability, participation may vary, no purchase necessary, offer not open to skate videos or 2009 mustache meme tumblrs)
posted by Potomac Avenue to MetaFilter-Related at 8:52 AM (117 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite

My first post, in the pre-favorites era, only got 3 comments. I thought it was a pretty good concert photo site, but that's pretty much all it is, not really something that leads to any kind of discussion. Link still works, but it looks like nothing's been added for a couple years and the site is now in a painfully archaic size.
posted by LionIndex at 8:56 AM on July 18, 2013


I've only made 7 posts, and the one that had the most comments was a relatively controversial topic.
posted by Brocktoon at 8:58 AM on July 18, 2013


Oh I take that back; my Gordon B. Hinckley obit thread had at least 50 comments before it was deleted for being a train wreck.
posted by Brocktoon at 9:00 AM on July 18, 2013


The Congressional Softball League which I posted about in 2004, is apparently still going. And this is one of my favorite local weird stories and I wish I could have made a better post out of it. Same with this one. I feel there should be a Barn Hoards website someplace.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:03 AM on July 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


Always been curious how this post managed to get zero comments.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:07 AM on July 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Many times I think the best posts get the fewest comments, because there is nothing left to say.
posted by Rock Steady at 9:07 AM on July 18, 2013 [31 favorites]


Brandon, maybe they thought the links were a scam? (I kid, those are awesome photos!)
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:09 AM on July 18, 2013


My first post on Saharan rock art got all of 8 comments. It's hard when your passion (it's actually my research interest) is kind of oblique to most other folks' interests.
posted by anansi at 9:12 AM on July 18, 2013


The article was super dense so I get it, but I always thought the history of Nick Arcade went mostly unnoticed.
posted by yellowbinder at 9:15 AM on July 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


Granted it's a bit niche:

http://www.metafilter.com/125397/More-Burroughsian-music
posted by Doleful Creature at 9:16 AM on July 18, 2013


While it did get a few comments and a good number of favorites, one of my personal favorite posts of mine -- "Come with me into the tormented, haunted, half-lit night of the insane." -- on May 1, 2011, had the horrible timing of being posted 14 minutes after this one, which was the announcement that Osama Bin Laden had been found and killed. In other words, it went up unbeknownst to me while I was composing mine. Very surreal moment.

I think it might have been the universe's balancing effect from when my post Large earthquake off coast of Japan in March of that year got over 3000 comments and was one of the more intense online experiences I've ever had.*

* from the conversation, not the number of posts
posted by Celsius1414 at 9:19 AM on July 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


If you want to see various stats on your posts, use the Infodumpster.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:21 AM on July 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


I was happy with all the favourites that I've received for my limited number of posts. Thank you, darlings!

I'm linking to my last post just because I love this song.
posted by arcticseal at 9:25 AM on July 18, 2013


I would also like to point out that the appropriate meta-meta joke here would have been for all of us not to comment on this post. ;)
posted by Celsius1414 at 9:27 AM on July 18, 2013 [9 favorites]


I would literally explode with shame.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:36 AM on July 18, 2013 [7 favorites]



Brandon, maybe they thought the links were a scam? (I kid, those are awesome photos!)


ugh not funny
posted by sweetkid at 9:36 AM on July 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


:(
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:37 AM on July 18, 2013


You just need to market your post better. Have a great post about Roman shipbuilding? Give it a snazzy title like "Osama bin Laden found ALIVE in Las Vegas!"
posted by double block and bleed at 9:39 AM on July 18, 2013 [5 favorites]


I thought it was funny...
posted by Wretch729 at 9:39 AM on July 18, 2013


I remember being a little baffled that this very timely and, to me, very interesting post about the Time Square New Year's Eve Ball was pretty much overlooked. It links to a neat photo-essay that goes into depth about the mechanics, planning, and future technology of the ball drop.
posted by gilrain at 9:40 AM on July 18, 2013


I have 23 FPPs, with an average of 107 comments per post.

I don't know if I should be proud or not--my favorite topic got the least amount of comments.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 9:41 AM on July 18, 2013


I was pretty proud of my post about Toledo Torches. It didn't get many comments, but there was some nice nostalgia in the ones it did get. It also has the highest favorites::comments ratio of all my posts.
posted by usonian at 9:44 AM on July 18, 2013


I'm not bothered by a lack of comments too much; a lot of what I FPP is pretty slight and not really worth a discussion. But I still feel bad for this FPP about an offensive Bob Dylan parody comic drawn by Neal Adams that didn't get any favorites.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:44 AM on July 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


I don't know if I should be proud or not--my favorite topic got the least amount of comments.

There's a pretty distinct correlation between the quality of the links in the post and the number of comments it generates. I'm not sure if there has been any datamining on this, but I would wager that the higher the comment count, the lower the favorites count.
posted by Think_Long at 9:45 AM on July 18, 2013


MisantropicPainforest: "I have 23 FPPs, with an average of 107 comments per post."

How did you calculate the average? I'd be curious to try it.
posted by zarq at 9:47 AM on July 18, 2013


If I didn't like you zarq I would snark really hard right now.

But I did it by hand.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 9:51 AM on July 18, 2013


I think also the FPPs that get a lot of comments are the ones that are in some way related to a topic that people like to talk about. Like, parenting or music or something. If the topic, no matter how good, does not lend itself to a wider discussion of a topic that a lot of people are interested in, it's not going to get a lot of participation.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 9:51 AM on July 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


I always thought this was a nifty thing, but it got sidetracked by a whole bunch of "taters" jokes right out of the gate.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:53 AM on July 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Also, the Credible Likeable Superstar Rolemodel post on the main page right now seems to be in danger of becoming one of these, despite being interesting and discussable.
posted by gilrain at 9:58 AM on July 18, 2013


I always thought this was a nifty thing, but it got sidetracked by a whole bunch of "taters" jokes right out of the gate.

That is, in fact, a very nifty thing.
posted by Gygesringtone at 10:02 AM on July 18, 2013


That News Years Eve Ball post just caused the extraordinarily late realization to dawn on me that Times Square is named after the New York Times. Durrr.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:10 AM on July 18, 2013 [8 favorites]


I thought the NPR April First article on an efforts to record the stories of retired Navy dolphins was great, but I mentioned there was no transcript at the time of posting, and it seemed not many listened to the piece.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:13 AM on July 18, 2013


MisantropicPainforest: "If I didn't like you zarq I would snark really hard right now.

:D

But I did it by hand."

Ugh. Yeah, i was hoping for a shortcut.
posted by zarq at 10:23 AM on July 18, 2013


This post of mine actually received more favorites than comments. Don't know if posting this late at night was the issue or if there just wasn't much to say.
posted by The Gooch at 10:25 AM on July 18, 2013


I'm still fond of my link to the site compiling vintage commercial art showing people (mostly children, mostly African-American) being eaten by alligators. Not a lot of favorites. Although the comments were almost all positive, so I'm glad it struck a nerve among a few people.

The linked site took their pages down, which is unfortunate. I always thought of it as material waiting for the right author to make something insightful from.
posted by ardgedee at 10:27 AM on July 18, 2013


Honestly, I most often just forget to favorite the FPPs in which I'm most engaged since I'm, um, engaged.

No that is not a double entendre
posted by digitalprimate at 10:35 AM on July 18, 2013


Although the comments were almost all positive, so I'm glad it struck a nerve among a few people.

That's not what "struck a nerve" usually means?
posted by sweetkid at 10:37 AM on July 18, 2013


Given the comments in that thread I'd say it was used accurately.
posted by LionIndex at 10:43 AM on July 18, 2013


It's hard to pick just one. I've made 160 posts in 12 years to the front page, and eyeball-averaged something like 20 comments per post. Nearly all of them have more favorites than comments, which I hope is some proof to the 'all there is to say' pudding.

Personally, I really enjoy going back through my own posts. Well.... except for all of the spelling mistakes and execrable writing. But the links are good!
posted by carsonb at 10:52 AM on July 18, 2013


This recent post of mine only got a couple of comments. The only downside is that people won't see the new stories as they get added in their Recent Activity. I hope Warren Ellis's contribution comes out before the thread closes.
posted by homunculus at 11:00 AM on July 18, 2013


That's all my posts. My last post got zero comments, but it really didn't have much going for it other than "look at this thing." My askme questions seem to get little action, also.

That's ok, though. I guess I'd prefer to have a few or no comments over starting a big ugly mess that spawns a fight in MeTa.
posted by ctmf at 11:01 AM on July 18, 2013


I don't mind terribly when a post gets few favorites or comments. Nothing is interesting to everyone and some things appeal only to the happy few. I'll just make another post in a few days time and maybe that will interest more people. I have a list of every active user. When users favorite or comment on one of my posts, I take their name off the list. Soon the stars will be right and those still on the list will be eaten last.
posted by Kattullus at 11:08 AM on July 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


I was the first to comment on this post (Focusing on the process). After which, it only garnered 2 more comments before fading to the obscurity that is not the Front Page.

I mention this to assuage my guilt at killing that post.
posted by zinon at 11:10 AM on July 18, 2013


Doesn't it depend on the type of FPP?

If its informational FPP ("hey look at what I found"), people will read it and if they really like it, would comment on it. But, mostly, the reaction would be "hmmm nice information". The FPP leaves it to the person to comment.

More comments are where the FPP invites a discussion: by asking a question or putting across a debatable topic with two sides.

Now whether its better to have an FPP which looks for a discussion or just shares a cool piece of information is another question.
posted by TheLittlePrince at 11:11 AM on July 18, 2013


If you want a post with more comments, here is a theory:

A large group of humans saying "yeah, thats soo cool", "I agree with you!", "kumbaya" is much more rarer than large groups of humans having very divergent and strong point of views and arguing with each other on the best way to wipe their asses.

One of these days I should make an FPP about the disadvantages of driving on right hand side of the road, why countries choose right hand side vs left hand side and what does that say about their national identities :)
posted by TheLittlePrince at 11:24 AM on July 18, 2013


Quite a few of my posts have more favorites than comments. I'm with ctmf: I'd also rather have fewer comments than an on-site controversy. I've had one or two that had no comments at all. Their contents weren't particularly noteworthy.

TheLittlePrince: "Doesn't it depend on the type of FPP? "

Yes. But posts that share information or a cool thing and don't invite debate are also capable of attracting a lot of comments. A few posts I've made that link to youtube videos have sparked discussions, especially when they're about classic television shows.

Potomac Avenue: "What post of yours do you wish had made more of an impact, generated more discussion or gathered more "I'll come back to this and read the heck out of it later" bookmarks?"

I can't think of any. There are a few posts where I wish the thread had gone differently, though.

Shakespeherian once mentioned that posts about art usually attract fewer comments and favorites for some reason. Has anyone else experienced that?
posted by zarq at 11:29 AM on July 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


No, wait. I do wish this one had sparked a deeper discussion.
posted by zarq at 11:31 AM on July 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


It was a quick post, but I thought this Swedish kid's show was so odd and charming. Five comments - but two are mine!
posted by Glinn at 11:32 AM on July 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


One of these days I should make an FPP about the disadvantages of driving on right hand side of the road

But only barbarians do that, surely?
posted by Grangousier at 11:33 AM on July 18, 2013


These are all great but the ones that need the most love have neither comments NOR favorites.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:43 AM on July 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


I did one about music in constructed languages back in ... sweet Jebus, 2006 ... that fits this bill exactly. So there.
posted by graymouser at 12:08 PM on July 18, 2013


I was really proud of my post about The Noah and disappointed that no one noticed it.
posted by pxe2000 at 12:08 PM on July 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


That made me use the infodumpster to see which posts of mine got fewer comments than I hoped. The main one was this New Year's Day post, which I had saved up year. I thought I had discovered the perfect kind of timely, historical minutiae with some expressive culture and archives thrown in for good measure that would get some traction, but not really.
posted by Miko at 12:09 PM on July 18, 2013


Looks like the Noah is now posted in full on Youtube pxe!
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:27 PM on July 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Many of my posts about art get a single figure number of comments, and frequently more favorites. I think this is because it takes quite a bit of thought and time to engage in a level more than 'cool pics' or 'hadn't seen this before' which is fine and is probably an acknowledgement that maybe the commentator is digging deeper but not communicating.
If people get pleasure and interest my job is done. If the comments turn to 'why bother' or 'crap' I'll go home. Interestingly if people disagree with the content they seem to say so in more words and thus often start a conversation.
See 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and many more.
posted by adamvasco at 12:55 PM on July 18, 2013


The main one was this New Year's Day post, which I had saved up year. I thought I had discovered the perfect kind of timely, historical minutiae with some expressive culture and archives thrown in for good measure that would get some traction, but not really.

You were expecting comments on the one day almost everyone the world over is sleeping off their hangover? (Cool post, though).
posted by Rangeboy at 12:57 PM on July 18, 2013


This post of mine is still on the front page and has only two comments and 10 favorites. Maybe it was just too complete or something? Mostly, it's a mystery to me.
posted by jiawen at 1:07 PM on July 18, 2013


I rarely post, but of my three posts, this one only got 9 comments by a total of 5 people. I even mention in the thread that it is too bad more people did not get involved in the discussion. It turns out that while the post was good (I thought), the few comments were even better as they were personal stories of homelessness and triumph.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 1:12 PM on July 18, 2013


This post of mine is still on the front page and has only two comments and 10 favorites. Maybe it was just too complete or something? Mostly, it's a mystery to me.

I think we're all afraid of coming off as dull by saying "His pictures are nice." I certainly clicked links and didn't comment pretty much for that reason. (I was also tempted to say "Did you know Michael Palin is from Sheffield?" and then realised my reflexive response to every mention of Michael Palin was probably not useful.)
posted by hoyland at 1:29 PM on July 18, 2013


The main one was this New Year's Day post, which I had saved up year.

You were expecting comments on the one day almost everyone the world over is sleeping off their hangover?


Yeah, timing is
posted by Herodios at 1:45 PM on July 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Sometimes it's because of the "McCall-Brill" effect.

Never heard of Mitzi McCall and Charlie Brill? They made their American television debut on the Ed Sullivan Show, February 9, 1964.

As did four young musicians from Liverpool, England.
 
posted by Herodios at 1:45 PM on July 18, 2013 [9 favorites]



everything.
posted by Herodios at 1:45 PM on July 18, 2013 [5 favorites]


Is there such a thing as a pity comment? Or pity favorite?
posted by Area Man at 2:01 PM on July 18, 2013


Sara C. gave me a pity answer to my fancy toothpaste question.
posted by sweetkid at 2:08 PM on July 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Fancy toothpaste! I didn't know that was a thing. Is there artisanal toothpaste yet?
posted by Area Man at 2:36 PM on July 18, 2013


dude, you probably never had Molton Brown freshmint.
posted by sweetkid at 2:40 PM on July 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm a fancy girl, what can I say?
posted by sweetkid at 2:41 PM on July 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


I had a post about something really dear to my heart, that I had spent a long time researching ...that was totally derailed and gone to seed within like, three comments.

It sucked then! And it sucks now! But forget it Jake, it's Internet.
posted by The Whelk at 2:45 PM on July 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


Is there such a thing as a pity comment?

They are probably more common than pithy comments but less common than pissy comments.
 
posted by Herodios at 2:46 PM on July 18, 2013


I had some imported Swedish toothpaste once, but it didn't taste any better.
posted by Area Man at 2:55 PM on July 18, 2013


ok but Molton Brown fresh mint. I mean it was the jam.
posted by sweetkid at 3:21 PM on July 18, 2013


My highest-comment FPP was from me unknowingly posting a mefi hot button issue, and for a long time my highest-favorite comment was snark at the expense of another user. Lots of comments and favorites aren't necessarily indicative of quality.

There are plenty of times that I really love an FPP but don't comment or favorite for various reasons. It's possible more people liked your post than you think.
posted by zennie at 3:41 PM on July 18, 2013


I still think William D'Alton Mann is an utterly fascinating character, but I think it was probably a bad post --- I didn't do enough to make clear what the main link was (it's the one under his name --- has a fascinating discussion of him in the review of a book on gossip), and a bunch of the subsidiary links were paywalled. But if any of y'all have a New Yorker subscription, please do check out the famous mountebank. He invented the blind item! And led a heroic cavalry charge at Gettsyburg! Don't see Michael Musto doing that, I'll tell you what.
posted by Diablevert at 3:42 PM on July 18, 2013


My posts (all two of them) simply don't get comments... I think it's 'cause I suck at them. XD
posted by Deoridhe at 3:53 PM on July 18, 2013


The Rise and Fall of the Black Voter was my first and still best FPP and it got almost no love. Great hook and links and, even though its almost 10 (gasp!) years old, (almost) all the links still work!
posted by googly at 4:07 PM on July 18, 2013


You know, I love Metafilter and I love you all, but sometimes I'm kind of gratified when there aren't many comments on posts (rare as they are) that I make, because I only tend to post things I think are spiffy, and there are always (less so than on the Internet At Large perhaps, but still) going to be a few cranky Mefites who can be counted on to poop on my enthusiasm parade.

Which, fair enough, but it can still be disheartening.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:27 PM on July 18, 2013 [1 favorite]



I'm not bothered by a lack of comments too much; a lot of what I FPP is pretty slight and not really worth a discussion. But I still feel bad for this FPP about an offensive Bob Dylan parody comic drawn by Neal Adams that didn't get any favorites.


Hah, I love this comic!

http://www.metafilter.com/104713/Worst-Movies-Ever This collected pretty much all the links I read growing up on the Internet and didn't get many comments.

It's not mine, but there's a Ken Russell FPP http://www.metafilter.com/130112/Who-are-you-I-really-wanna-know today that nobody seems interested in... maybe its a remenent of an earlier age of cool, before Boing Boing and cat gifs
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 5:13 PM on July 18, 2013


The worst, though, was this: http://www.metafilter.com/103021/I-want-to-realize-too-late-I-never-should-have-left-New-Jersey

an FPP, posted on my birthday, about one of my favorite bands... 14 favorites and a hundred haters
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 5:14 PM on July 18, 2013


You can't make links CiS?
posted by sweetkid at 5:16 PM on July 18, 2013


I keep forgetting that MeFi doesn't automatically parse URLs. it should do that
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 5:17 PM on July 18, 2013


I have a thought about this that is not really a feature request since I don't know if you guys would want to put the time into doing that.

But most of the threads on the Blue that I read, I end up reading because one of my contacts has a comment in them that has enough favorites to make my sidebar. OR I happen to be looking at the front page after that, and see something else that catches my eye.

The thing is, most of the time, comments with enough favorites to make the sidebar are about controversial topics. Sometimes it's just a really great comment about anything. But usually, it's about something controversial.

So then I think about how I see "interesting" web links in general, that are not from sources I see on my own (NYT etc.). Usually, it's because one of my friends posts it on Facebook or forwards it to me.

So it would be nice if we could have a way to do that here, maybe an option to have the posts which our contacts favorite displayed in the sidebar. Or have a way to mark something "interesting" and you could follow what your contacts mark as interesting.

Just a thought.
posted by cairdeas at 5:40 PM on July 18, 2013


What post of yours do you wish had made more of an impact, generated more discussion or gathered more "I'll come back to this and read the heck out of it later" bookmarks?

I have the opposite of this. I have one post where the links are either dead and/or of highly dubious legality to begin with that once in a while (as recently as June this year) still gets the odd favourite, presumably because my post makes it sound like the awesome thing I originally thought it was when I posted it and the people favouriting it haven't actually tried clicking through to anything or reading the discussion.
posted by juv3nal at 5:45 PM on July 18, 2013


When I was Methylviolet, I posted this awesome thing. It got 7 comments, 2 of which were mine. I thought it was fascinating and important, the best of the web for sure, but... crickets.
posted by pH Indicating Socks at 7:37 PM on July 18, 2013


I sincerely regret starting this post with a reference to a pop song and somewhat burying the lede, as it was meant to be primarily about Owens Coffin and Chase, & the Whaleship Essex/Moby Dick tie-in, including Philbrick's magnificent opus, and everyone was all, like, "great song, dude!"

Except Miko, of course, who is awesome.
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:13 PM on July 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


And this is one of my favorite local weird stories and I wish I could have made a better post out of it. Same with this one. I feel there should be a Barn Hoards website someplace.

I absolutely loved both of those posts, for what it's worth, despite having nothing to say either time. Hoards of old stuff generally fascinate me, and those were two of the best.

yes I am that guy who checks cameras in junk shops to see if they have film in them. I'll be right along to look at those chairs in a minute, I swear.
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:25 PM on July 18, 2013


I keep forgetting that MeFi doesn't automatically parse URLs. it should do that

Maybe just stop forgetting? It's how the site works. Please make the small effort to make an actual link instead of just chucking a url into the comment box, it makes this place more readable.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:09 PM on July 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


zarq: How did you calculate the average? I'd be curious to try it.

One quick way: ask the infodumpster for your Mefi posts sorted by number of comments, page down until it fills in all the data, select the whole page, copy and paste into a spreadsheet program that's smart enough to parse the HTML table, and then use =AVERAGE(...) or whatever.

Your 631 posts have an average of 50.4 comments, I believe. (Your profile page says you only have 625 posts; I guess the infodumpster is counting deleted ones too.)
posted by stebulus at 10:16 PM on July 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Also, the Credible Likeable Superstar Rolemodel post on the main page right now seems to be in danger of becoming one of these, despite being interesting and discussable.

Since Potomac Avenue was the only person kind enough to comment in that thread, I wonder whether the deafening silence that met my latest effort inspired this post ;-)

I must admit I expected more than one comment - perhaps as many as nine! - but looking at the post on the front page, I realise I totally arsed it up - without the 'more inside', it looks like a post about an eccentric palaeontologist who's done a couple of not-terribly-good pop songs. A 'But all is not as it seems...' teaser above the fold would've been way too cheesy, though, no?

Whatever, I love the fact that - obits and newsfilter aside - it is wonderfully impossible to predict how a post will be received here.

In conclusion: my post was very good and very interesting, and it was about a wise and funny nine-year-old feminist designing her own pop star, and none of youse could even bother your flaccid, entitled Yank arses to rage against this middle class microsvengali's hideous patriarchy-reinforcing decision to make her ideal singer of songs a cisgendered heterosexual able-bodied white woman? No one had a MetaTalk-spawning ironically sexist thought about the pretend pop star's left tit to share? Not even a derail-provoking expression of disdain for Yoko Ono? The fuck, MeFi? Do I need to quote eyeballkid? Because I will. I'll do it. Here, look:

I hate you all1.

1. Not including Potomac Avenue.
posted by jack_mo at 11:02 PM on July 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


I have one weird tip to getting a reasonable amount of comments and favourites:

1 - Don't overdo it. Point to either one or two sources. You really want to drive people to a single thing. If you're building up some complicated 10 paragraph thing with multiple links pointing all over the place then people aren't going to read it and they're not going to visit all links. Metafilter is not your blog. Also - If you write too much, then people not replying can feel kind of harsh.

2 - Not too short. If it's too short, then it'll get visually lost on the page. Some people hide titles, and it's really easy for a short post to be missed.

3 - Ideally a single quite descriptive link with 3 - 4 lines of supplemental information is fine. I like to quote from the article in my 3-4 lines in the hope that it'll drive more people to actually read the thing.

4 - The time of day you post is really important.
posted by zoo at 3:39 AM on July 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


But saying that:

This is the post I made where I expected many, many more comments. Three favourites, and 9 comments. Meanwhile a different Guiness Records style post about a computer game played for 10 years elicited 166 comments and 86 favourites.

So why one, and not the other. Length of article? Relatability? Science vs Fun?
I couldn't tell you.
posted by zoo at 3:45 AM on July 19, 2013


Charlemagne In Sweatpants:

One thing I've either noticed, or which is specific to me is that I'm particularly sensitive to posts which are not "hey look at this cool thing I found" but which are "here is a thing that I like, and this post is designed to make you like them too." That Titus Andronicus fills the latter category spectacularly. As soon as I started reading it, my hackles were up. I would never comment in that kind of thread.

It's a bit like a self link, and as a posting policy, it's one that would ruin the site (tragedy of the commons) if everyone started doing it.
posted by zoo at 3:57 AM on July 19, 2013


You're Welcome Jack_mo and yes, I think having a teaser before the More Inside would have generated more interest. I didn't see your post until after making this one, I would have commented on it either way.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 4:01 AM on July 19, 2013


I was the first to comment on this post (Focusing on the process). After which, it only garnered 2 more comments before fading to the obscurity that is not the Front Page.

I mention this to assuage my guilt at killing that post.
posted by zinon at 1:10 PM on July 18


I emailed that post to some of family, and got nice comments back. Most of the links I mail them are met with silence, so they seemed to have really liked it.
posted by MexicanYenta at 5:42 AM on July 19, 2013


The link didn't come through on my previous comment about zinon's post. So here, for your viewing pleasure, is zinon's post.
posted by MexicanYenta at 5:59 AM on July 19, 2013


The time of day you post is really important.

Aren't the mods on record as saying the time or day of the week of a post doesn't really have an impact on the reception? Because time zones.
posted by arcticseal at 6:00 AM on July 19, 2013


Ok, and now I see it was actually jammy's post. I'm going back to bed. Sorry!
posted by MexicanYenta at 6:01 AM on July 19, 2013


I believe someone crunched data like it was ice with their bare hands and found out that time of day didn't really mater in the end. I can't remember if weekend vs. weekdays was a factor, but my feeling is it all evens out once the Mondayheads finish scrolling through the weekend posts at work.
posted by Kattullus at 6:49 AM on July 19, 2013


I think time of day can be important, depending on the subject. If you have a post about, say, Australian political intrigue, it's probably going to get more action if you don't post it at midnight Sydney time.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:56 AM on July 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


It looks like the time of day isn't as relevant to whether something gets passed over as if the thing the link is about:
A. Is written up in an article from a non-canonical journalism source
B. Is old
C. Is from a non-English speaking country
D. Isn't fully available online.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:57 AM on July 19, 2013


If you have a post about, say, Australian political intrigue, it's probably going to get more action if you don't post it at midnight Sydney time.

The question is, is it going to get more action, or just get its action sooner? Because the Aussies with a daily mefi routine are going to get up in their morning (or their bleary early afternoon, or whatever) and check Metafilter like they usually do.

The datawankery has indeed painted a pretty compelling case for day of week and time of day not having a meaningful effect on the average level of participation according to at least a couple of metrics (number of comments, number of favorites, number of best answers I think for ask specifically), and showed off something like a 24-hour heartbeat effect—the decay in participation happened with visible day-wide shelves, where day one was busier as a lump than day two, and day three less so, etc.

There totally could be (I'd say almost certainly are) local effects on how any given post goes, and no one's been able to set aside the comparatively huge resources it'd require to analyze and annotate and interview users about e.g. a thousand-thread sample of the post archives to dig further into that. But on average, broadly, there's less of an aggregate effect there than I think we're inclined to think based on gut suppositions.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:19 AM on July 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


I've always felt that time of day matters a lot for AskMe, maybe not so much for the blue.
posted by Think_Long at 7:20 AM on July 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Time of day basically doesn't matter. Here's a graph plutor did in 2009 that shows that AskMe questions get between around 14 answers on average, no matter when they're asked.

As a bonus, here's cortex's MetaFilter heartbeat graph which he mentioned before. I feel also that this has been done for AskMe as well, but I couldn't find it.
posted by Kattullus at 10:37 AM on July 19, 2013


Yeah, I'm not arguing about time of day mattering in the aggregate. I'm saying that I could see that on specific, geographically related topics, it could matter. Cortex's point that maybe people will just show up in the thread later is valid, but certainly, posts get lost on busy days.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:29 PM on July 19, 2013


I have only posted to the blue once, in 2005, about a social book recommendation site (similar to what Goodreads does nowadays). It got 3 comments.
posted by matildaben at 12:34 PM on July 19, 2013


I expected far more comments on this post but realize now that I really buried the lede by not stating up front that the site contains instructions for making your own panflute out of tampons.
posted by agatha_magatha at 2:15 PM on July 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


Cortex's point that maybe people will just show up in the thread later is valid, but certainly, posts get lost on busy days.

Sure, totally. I guess the comfort I can offer in terms of the law of large numbers is that if you just keep posting now and then, it irons itself out; it's only if you keep worrying about the response that That One Post gets that you're really in a pickle on the details.

Which kind of applies to a whole lot of things in life, I suppose.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:58 PM on July 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


My average is thrown off by the Boston Marathon bombing thread, which is an outlier FPP in so many ways. Other than that, my average is 34ish.

In general, I actually hold back a number of possible FPPs I've considered, because I feel like the majority of mine don't go very well, in one way or another. One that I thought was a cool topic, that had lots of meat, that I thought numerous MeFites would enjoy, that got little play was my post about Samuel Arbesman. I also felt my Con Bro Chill post was a bit of a gamble that a bunch of people would likely enjoy. It just ended up with a flat response.
posted by knile at 5:03 PM on July 19, 2013


I'm not entirely surprised that my post about Oz and Ends (and the Weekly Robin) got so little love, but I was disappointed nonetheless.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 7:09 PM on July 19, 2013


Upon review,

Carlo Ginzburg,

Kenneth Rexroth, Sappho, and The Bureau Of Public Secrets,

The Minstrel Show 2.1 - William Henry Lane & Pattin' Juba, and

On Alfred Mainzer Cats Dressed As People Postcards

are a few that come to mind.

Even more galling it is when half the comments are actually 'more inside' style mine.

But, on the other, what few there are otherwise certainly make up in quality what is lacked in quantity.

And, I mean, who doesn't like cats dressed as people in amusing European situations ?

People: go figure.


And, ah, Zurishaddai. There is another great one I miss.
posted by y2karl at 5:23 PM on July 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Okay, now I want The Cheese and the Worms
really bad.
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:22 PM on July 20, 2013


All of my posts have been deleted, except for the one that really should have been.
posted by scottymac at 12:04 PM on July 21, 2013


Robot Improv
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:08 AM on July 22, 2013


My least-commented on post was this one about a musical YouTube series. Three comments, two of them by me. And only three favourites.

In retrospect, the series was a bit shit, so maybe other people saw that as soon as they started to watch it. It took me a few episodes to realise it wasn't kinda terrible.
posted by crossoverman at 7:56 PM on July 22, 2013


It isn't mine, but.
posted by cashman at 12:09 PM on July 29, 2013


Heh. Wouldn't you know it, the Ellis story went online the after the thread I mentioned above closed. Here it is if anyone's interested:

"Lich-House" by Warren Ellis
posted by homunculus at 2:22 PM on July 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


the day after...
posted by homunculus at 2:30 PM on July 29, 2013


Now that this thread has just about run its course I feel I can mention my own lost classics:

I really wanted people to feel the weirdness of the Kendall family in this thread. I also was hoping my thread about Bertrand Taveriner would bring a bunch more of his fans out of the woodwork but I guess I'm still the only American who considers him the world's greatest New Wave director. And recently I was sure that this So Many Sports post would either get people talking about who the best athlete of all time was (one link awesomely claimed it was Kelly Slater) or the Cardboard Gods blog that was really really interesting writing about Baseball Cards. 0 Faves. Brutal. But fair.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:59 AM on July 30, 2013


« Older When you post a FPP to the Blu...  |  I can't believe no one started... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments