Olympics on FanFare August 5, 2016 11:32 AM   Subscribe

We're trying out discussion threads for the Olympics on FanFare. For tonight's opening ceremony, and for the athletic events that follow. Will aim to aggregate it all over here.

We're doing a test of how discussion for sports and other live events can fit on FanFare. So we're setting up some mod-posted threads for Olympic events, and we'll see how it goes. Our current plan is:

1. We're rolling out a simple new FanFare post type, "Special Event", as a catchall media type for stuff like this that doesn't consistently line up with existing media choices and their metadata needs. Helpful for this case but also for future stuff.

2. The opening ceremonies tonight will get their own thread.

3. There will be one big general All Sports catch-all thread for most of the athletic events, and we'll split off separate threads for those events that seem to be generating enough conversation that they need their own space. Our initial thought is that we'll probably want separate threads for:
- gymnastics
- swimming and diving
- track and field, and other running events
- football (soccer)
- ???

The goal is to be sure there's a critical mass of people in the thread to sustain the discussion, so for this experiment, we're erring on the side of "keep it all in one thread" rather than splitting off events that would be only sparsely commented-on. If it turns out the main catch-all thread is too busy, we can deal with that problem when it happens, with additional event-specific threads.

4. There will presumably be a thread or two on MetaFilter proper as well, and it's okay if there's some overlap in what gets talked about there and on FanFare. But on Fanfare, we'd like to not see the more general newsy or meta-level discussion of or arguments about the non-sports aspects of the Olympics as an organization, general geopolitical clusterfuck stuff, Zika, doping, etc. That stuff is a good fit for MetaFilter discussion and ideally it'll stay there where we can keep close mod eyes on it, and folks talking about the various actual sporting events can focus on that stuff grar-free on FanFare.

5. We'll signpost this stuff on the site, with e.g. sidebar and banner stuff, so that it'll be easy for folks otherwise not particularly familiar with FanFare to know where to go.

6. Spoiler alert: there's no sane way to avoid 'em within the context of this sort of live-ish, time-shifted, multi-day sprawling extravangnza. So all threads should be considered pretty spoilery. As usual we'll avoid spoilers on the front page of anything, but if you want to avoid finding out what's happened so far at the Olympics, avoid the inside of Olympics posts.

For now, the FanFare Olympics threads will be mod-posted. If it's clear that there should be additional threads beyond the ones we're initially planning, we'll run with that based on community feedback.

Folks are welcome to use this MetaTalk to brainstorm, give feedback on the idea, talk about potential other sport-specific threads, etc. This is all pretty experimental, so let us know what you think.
posted by cortex to MetaFilter-Related at 11:32 AM (80 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

Where do we put smart-ass comments about Matt Lauer?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:37 AM on August 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


the (hide) thing for the notification isn't working
posted by poffin boffin at 11:38 AM on August 5, 2016


Where do we put smart-ass comments about Matt Lauer?

In a mash note in his locker, I think.

the (hide) thing for the notification isn't working

We're tweaking it a bit at the moment; this is frimble's first banner rollout so we may discover a couple little things that pb knew that we didn't know we don't know, as far as that goes. Bear with us!
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:39 AM on August 5, 2016


This sounds like a great way to do it to me.

I'd like to put in an early request for a separate thread specifically on the South Korean women's archery team because I am highly invested in watching them out-sport and out-charming-uniform the rest of the world again this year.
posted by phunniemee at 11:42 AM on August 5, 2016 [6 favorites]


the (hide) thing for the notification isn't working

Sorry about that. It should be working now. I got distracted between points A and B by shiny things and pits full of spikes C, D, E and Aargh.
posted by frimble (staff) at 11:43 AM on August 5, 2016 [22 favorites]


Pits full of spikes is my favorite Olympic sport. We can haz thread?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:44 AM on August 5, 2016 [8 favorites]


This is a great idea! Looking forward to it!
posted by Melismata at 11:45 AM on August 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


I know staff time is an issue, but I was thinking that if you're going to do this with special events going forward (knowing that those threads are more likely to receive a lot of comments).... is there any way to use a unique css framework/template/theme just on those pages that trims down anything extraneous in the modern and classic themes? Something that would reduce the server workload when they hit a couple of thousand comments?
posted by zarq at 12:02 PM on August 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


That's something we'll keep thinking about in the long-run, yeah. Finding the right balance point between stripping down extras and cutting out useful functionality is a tricky bit, but we've chewed on it before and will some more.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:03 PM on August 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


This makes a lot of sense -- I'm excited about it and hope it goes well!
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 12:05 PM on August 5, 2016


Swell Idea. Looking forward to it.
posted by theora55 at 12:05 PM on August 5, 2016


Pits full of spikes is my favorite Olympic sport. We can haz thread?

Next time, in 2020 death skateboarding is official.

(oh heck, boarder pits are bad enough without the spikes)
posted by sammyo at 12:08 PM on August 5, 2016


That's something we'll keep thinking about in the long-run, yeah. Finding the right balance point between stripping down extras and cutting out useful functionality is a tricky bit, but we've chewed on it before and will some more.

Makes sense.

If Olympic threads are posted once a day, then it might not become an issue. Most folks don't seem to have trouble until posts go past 2000 comments. The modern theme functions very well on my phone, and things don't usually break down until they're over 3000 comments.

I uh... promise not to complain if you eventually cut out my favorite functions to help longer threads load better. :D
posted by zarq at 12:14 PM on August 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


I'm not sure soccer is going to be popular enough to need its own thread, at least until the semifinals and finals. Might also want to keep an eye on the basketball discussion and split that off too.
posted by clorox at 1:01 PM on August 5, 2016


I demand a separate thread for chessboxing and also for chessboxing to be included in the Olympics.
posted by griphus at 1:10 PM on August 5, 2016 [3 favorites]


Yay! Thanks for this! I'd been thinking all week of asking if there would be Blue or Fanfare threads for this.
posted by dnash at 1:12 PM on August 5, 2016


I realise that Cortex said, "all threads should be considered pretty spoilery," but I don't see that as any reason at all to spoil the mystery of chessboxing.
posted by frimble (staff) at 1:14 PM on August 5, 2016 [15 favorites]


I'd definitely say basketball. I feel like I wind up watching a lot of volleyball every four years, but some Googling suggests that it might not be hugely popular. I know we've got some dedicated cycling people here, and we could give them a thread (so that the rest of us can avoid them and their weird obsession ).

I feel like we might want to post a new catchall thread every now and then just so it doesn't wind up being way too slow. I don't think daily is necessary, unless people get super into live blogging the equestrian events or the entire American swimming team contracts zika or something.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 1:15 PM on August 5, 2016


Do we have written consent from the USOC to discuss these things? Are you guys prepared to handle the flood of cease and desist letters and DMCA complaints because Metafilter is not an official Partner?
posted by clorox at 1:29 PM on August 5, 2016 [5 favorites]


I think we're safe as long as we don't post gifs.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:31 PM on August 5, 2016 [3 favorites]


Is there a way I can get all the Olympic special events into My FanFare?
posted by noneuclidean at 1:48 PM on August 5, 2016


As long as all the bugs are worked out to have healthy, robust discussions for curling during the 2018 winter olympics, I'm in favor of this.
posted by hippybear at 1:50 PM on August 5, 2016 [5 favorites]


> Is there a way I can get all the Olympic special events into My FanFare?

Nevermind, I figured it out. I didn't realize that joining the club would do what I wanted.
posted by noneuclidean at 1:53 PM on August 5, 2016


Yes, if anyone else is wondering the same, you join by going to the Olympics Club page and clicking "Join this club" -- that will bring all the Olympics posts to your My Fanfare page.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 2:21 PM on August 5, 2016


Of course, when you're dealing with "Special Events", this may be a useful strategy for the 2020 American Political Party Conventions (if the U.S.ofA. survives until then). Even an Election Day FanFare thread dedicated to the Live TV Coverage may be a valid option. Although enforcement of what sub-topics belong in the TV thread and what belongs in a Front Page thread may cause killer headaches. I'm just throwing this out; you have three months to ponder it, so feel free to throw it back, but please don't Fastball Special me, bro!
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:29 PM on August 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


I don't see that as any reason at all to spoil the mystery of chessboxing

Red Leicester chessboxing can't be spoiled. It just turns into Bleu chessboxing.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:29 PM on August 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


Don't we already have a chessboxing thread?
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:32 PM on August 5, 2016


- football (soccer)

I considered it (in fact, it's on the MeFi FC events list), but i don't think it would get much traction. The Euros went on perfectly, but the Copa America started well but lost traction quick. Considering the mens' side is a bastard tournament that nobody cares that much about and the womens' only gets competitive in the medal rounds, it might be wiser not to jump into it.
posted by lmfsilva at 2:33 PM on August 5, 2016


If this gets busy are you planning on getting a couple of volunteer mods to help moderate the threads? Preferably people who know about the sports involved.

[Shoutout] There is a "Where do we go from here" new football season post on Fanfare, it isn't very active right now, but we are still pre-season. If anyone wants to join in discussion of the new footy season, whether you follow the prem, La Liga, Bundesleague, whatever, come and join us.

Now that's out of the way, I was wondering if you had looked at how the Euros threads went, and had any data and ideas for how sport should be handled on Fanfare? The way things are described in this post makes me feel as if you feel that liveblogging of sports events on Fanfare is ok, is this correct?
posted by marienbad at 2:36 PM on August 5, 2016


Also if anyone has any ideas about how sports, particularly footy (association style) could be done on Fanfare I would like to hear about them.
posted by marienbad at 2:37 PM on August 5, 2016


If this gets busy are you planning on getting a couple of volunteer mods to help moderate the threads? Preferably people who know about the sports involved.

Fertile though my imagination sometimes is, I can't really see a situation where even very busy threads chatting about various events will require significant moderation. One or another person losing the plot and going on an angry rant about non-sports issues is something we'd need to step in on, but otherwise I expect the moderation load of these to be pretty minimal.

That's in fact part of why I emphasized the "keep that meta/newsy stuff on the blue" in the post; the idea is that that sort of discussion can happen on MeFi proper like it does every two years, but we can also have a much more accommodating space than normal for side chatter just about the actual events and such, instead of trying to roll it all into one big one-size-sorta-kinda-fits-all thing.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:54 PM on August 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


Fertile though my imagination sometimes is, I can't really see a situation where even very busy threads chatting about various events will require significant moderation.

Yeah, but I bet you didn't wake up this morning thinking the election thread would have hundreds of nominally on-topic comments riffing on people named Steve, now did you?
posted by zachlipton at 3:23 PM on August 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


I realise that Cortex said, "all threads should be considered pretty spoilery," but I don't see that as any reason at all to spoil the mystery of chessboxing.

I misread that as cheese boxing.

It's been a really strange week.
posted by Wordshore at 3:46 PM on August 5, 2016 [3 favorites]


I misread that as cheese boxing.

It's been a really strange week.
posted by Wordshore at 6:46 PM on August 5 [+] [!]


That is a good idea! Hang up huge block of cheese by meathook and practice boxing skills. (Or maybe you were considering boxing it up and sending it to cortex as some sort of bribe?)
posted by mightshould at 3:51 PM on August 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


The mystery of cheese boxing
posted by ardgedee at 4:20 PM on August 5, 2016


If Rocky Balboa could punch meat in 1976, why NOT cheese boxing in 2016?
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:29 PM on August 5, 2016


This is going to get very interesting as we, er, cross streams between live, NBC East Coast (one hour delayed), and NBC West Coast (four hours delayed)
posted by zachlipton at 4:37 PM on August 5, 2016


Grumblemumble
posted by Night_owl at 4:50 PM on August 5, 2016


This is going to get very interesting as we, er, cross streams between live, NBC East Coast (one hour delayed), and NBC West Coast (four hours delayed)

I beg to differ, I really don't see an issue here as long as everyone who wants to participate in these threads picks up and moves to somewhere within the eastern time zone until the games end on 8/21. I really don't think that's an unreasonable request, though I could be wrong?
posted by bologna on wry at 5:09 PM on August 5, 2016 [5 favorites]


Here you are, Metafilter majority! wow...556 atheletes
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 5:34 PM on August 5, 2016


John Kerry taking selfies.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 5:35 PM on August 5, 2016


Pssst, the Opening Ceremony thread is over here.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:46 PM on August 5, 2016


Peter Mansbridge: "You know, you don't often hear funny stories about Iran."
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 5:51 PM on August 5, 2016


Huh...I got lost.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 5:51 PM on August 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


I, for one, am thoroughly enjoying the entertaining mess that time zones, livestreams, and broadcast delays have conspired to create in the FanFare thread. Obviously none of this is the fault of MeFi staff. And anyway, like I said, it's pretty entertaining. Like holding several simultaneous conversations in a bar... full of time travelers.
posted by duffell at 6:17 PM on August 5, 2016 [5 favorites]


We're working our way up the learning curve here... it might be of value to split future Olympic threads between "Live Feeds" and "NBC/Comcast* Coverage" (and maybe any other international broadcaster playing fast and loose with tape delays, if they have enough audience among us MeFites); it'd be almost like the "Show Only" and "Show and Book" splits.

*remember once this gets going, events are going to be on multiple Comcast-owned channels, and all of them will be playing the tape delay game, as they have at several Olympics before
posted by oneswellfoop at 7:51 PM on August 5, 2016


Thanks to Cortex and the gang for doing this; the live coverage of the opening ceremony has ended and I think the FanFare discussion went well.
posted by DanSachs at 8:08 PM on August 5, 2016


I agree that there is a sort of surreal feel to the Fanfare thread due to the multiple conversations going on all at once. On the other hand I liked that we were all in the same place, talking about it. There were a lot of funny comments and it was fun to watch it and liveblog with others. So on preview, what DanSachs said.
posted by marienbad at 8:11 PM on August 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


> remember once this gets going, events are going to be on multiple Comcast-owned channels

...in countries where Comcast exists and is running the show.
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:11 PM on August 5, 2016


...and I've just been reminded that NBC also has a three-more-hours-delayed West Coast Feed. Hello from the Specific Time Zone.
posted by oneswellfoop at 8:11 PM on August 5, 2016


...in countries where Comcast exists and is running the show.
I tried to acknowledge "any other international broadcaster playing fast and loose with tape delays, if they have enough audience among us MeFites" and also the "multiple Comcast-owned channels" was on an asterisk referring directly back to the "NBC/Comcast* Coverage". Yes, I use too many asterisks, parentheses and semi-colons. But I digress.
posted by oneswellfoop at 8:15 PM on August 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


In case it hasn't come up in staff conversations already, I'd love to see Paralympics events included on FanFare! The opening ceremony will be September 7.
posted by duffell at 6:38 AM on August 6, 2016 [4 favorites]


In case it hasn't come up in staff conversations already, I'd love to see Paralympics events included on FanFare! The opening ceremony will be September 7.

Hell yeah!
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 10:23 AM on August 6, 2016


could someone direct me to the olympic beanplating thread?
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 3:19 PM on August 6, 2016


I've just made a thread for Gymnastics, too.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 7:42 PM on August 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


Would love one for volleyball if possible.... :)
posted by zarq at 8:49 PM on August 6, 2016


I am not sure if this goes in here or in the fanfare thread, but was Tom Brokow wearing a full head toupee tonight?
posted by AugustWest at 9:18 PM on August 6, 2016


The awesomely named pop culture documentarian Kliph Nesteroff has an equally awesome tumblr of "Showbiz Imagery and Chicanery" that includes a LOT of old television stations' promo and ID 'slides', most recently this one which fits the current Olympic-mania so well: "NBC SPORTS IN ACTION"
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:49 PM on August 6, 2016


I've added volleyball; bump, set, spike!
posted by taz (staff) at 10:37 PM on August 6, 2016


Thank you!!
posted by zarq at 2:45 AM on August 7, 2016


I've added Swimming and Diving too.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 7:50 AM on August 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


Was going to ask for a fencing thread... but then someone up thread said they didn't think there's enough interest for soccer/football and I lost all hope.
posted by chapps at 10:54 AM on August 7, 2016


For the moment we're trying a "fewer threads are better" approach to keep the activity centralized so we always have a critical mass for conversation. Starting off with keeping most things in the catchall thread, even if it gets a little chaotic with people watching different events. So far it's felt okay to me, not too confusing. The fact that folks are talking fencing in there is awesome, yay fencing!
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 11:13 AM on August 7, 2016


fair enough. :) Thanks for doing this, mods!
posted by chapps at 11:25 AM on August 7, 2016


Thanks for adding Swimming and Diving. Those are my favourite events in the Summer Olympics.
posted by Fizz at 2:41 PM on August 7, 2016


Hey I'm not saying that there aren't enough categories, but maybe some sort of boating catchall? Sailing (10 events), Rowing (14 events), Canoe Slalom (4 events) and Canoe Sprint (12 events)... That puts it on par with swimming...

Now watch me propose this and then not comment in it if it comes to fruition because my life is work right now and work sucks...
posted by Nanukthedog at 9:36 AM on August 9, 2016


I super love this bronze, silver and gold pony so much, thank you!

(Not to diminish the superlative metallic pony shininess but can you lie or use the NBC times or something to make it possible to add to MyFanFare?)
posted by DarlingBri at 2:32 PM on August 9, 2016


Not sure what you mean? You can add the Olympic posts to your My Fanfare by joining Olympics Club.

Do you mean make all the events show up on the Fanfare calendar, when they're showing? We don't have a way to do that.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 2:44 PM on August 9, 2016


Not sure what you mean? You can add the Olympic posts to your My Fanfare by joining Olympics Club.

Oh! Yes. Thank you. How do I do that, please?
posted by DarlingBri at 2:47 PM on August 9, 2016


Ah, sorry, go to the Olympics Club page and click "join this club".
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 2:50 PM on August 9, 2016


Hi diddly ho, moderinos...track and field encompasses quite a few events - maybe it's time for a dedicated thread for that at this point since they're underway?
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 7:57 AM on August 12, 2016


Yep, just posted it!
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:58 AM on August 12, 2016


Glad we got over that hurdle.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 8:35 AM on August 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


Hey thanks for doing this mods! I've really been enjoying following along.
posted by lalex at 7:41 AM on August 15, 2016


Will there be a closing ceremony thread?
posted by mightshould at 4:27 PM on August 20, 2016


2nding the closing ceremony thread idea, came here to ask this very thing. Also any feedback from staff and mods as to how this went yet? Anything you would have done differently? There seemed to be a few dedicated threads and a catchall thread, how did this work out? Would seperate threads for each area have worked better (football/archery etc.) Are you planning to have threads for next years athletics World Championships in London?
posted by marienbad at 8:13 AM on August 21, 2016


The closing ceremony has started (watching it on the BBC). Nice and colorful so far. Intrigued by what will be in the eight minutes allocated to Tokyo 2020. (Quietly hoping it includes Godzilla rampaging out of the stadium and eating the Christ the Redeemer statue)
posted by Wordshore at 4:08 PM on August 21, 2016


Oh shoot, I'd misunderstood and didn't realize it was tonight! I've hastily made a closing ceremony thread.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:16 PM on August 21, 2016


I thought the various threads worked well. It didn't seem to cause too many mod headaches (except when people simultaneously posted in the catchall post, this MeTa, and via the Contact form strongly requesting a track and field post), no one went nuts, and there was a nice combo of live-blogging, recommendations, related news items, oh-hey-X is on! comments, and appreciation. I would definitely participate in a Winter Olympics Club for Korea in 2 years.

For four-years-in-the-future reference' sake, I would add the following sports to the collection of sport-specific posts (track and field; swimming and diving; equestrian; gymnastics; plus the catchall post and the opening and closing ceremonies posts): Rugby, Archery/Shooting, Cycling and Boats-a-rama (rowing, kayak, white water, sailing, even board sailing). I suspect other sports like the Volleyballs, the Football/Soccer, Basketball, and maybe Water Polo could all have traction, too.
posted by julen at 7:41 PM on August 21, 2016


I thought it worked well too, and personally I would be in favor of a relatively small number of threads except where demand clearly warrants it. The catch-all thread worked well for most sports, and diluting things into lots of per-sport threads would make it hard to follow.
posted by zachlipton at 10:32 AM on August 22, 2016


« Older The Cheese Heist Movie   |   Bug and bad UI in 'blank link' detector Newer »

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