Spread the Dot on MeFi August 1, 2002 12:56 PM   Subscribe

At what point did the "Spread the Dot" thing get added to Metafilter? It's a googlebomb attempt.

WHAT.
THE.
FUCK.
MATT?
posted by Irontom to Etiquette/Policy at 12:56 PM (51 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

I've posted about this before, and have come to the conclusion that agreeing to disagree is the only solution to my anger at the Googlebomb meme, but this really pisses me off. This is my favorite site on the web, and I really enjoy the conversations here, and I do generally agree with (or cheerfully abide by) everything Matt does. But I'm now reconsidering my participation here.
posted by Irontom at 12:59 PM on August 1, 2002


Here.
posted by BlueTrain at 12:59 PM on August 1, 2002


All right then. I missed that week of posts when I got my layoff notice.

Apparently I'm the only one who has a problem with it.

Delete the post Matt.
posted by Irontom at 1:02 PM on August 1, 2002


I don't get why anyone would freak out over a person linking to a site and encouraging others to do the same because it will help the site move upwards on Google. It's OK for Google to capitalize on the tendency of people to link to good things they like, but it isn't OK for us to capitalize on Google?
posted by rcade at 1:10 PM on August 1, 2002


WHAT.
THE.
FUCK.
MATT?


Nice technique, Irontom. With the CAPS and the unnecessary agression, I suddenly realized you were serious about this!



posted by pardonyou? at 1:15 PM on August 1, 2002 [1 favorite]


you know, even though this thread is about to get deleted, i'd like to point out that the blue dot links to a page that doesn't talk about, in a simple manner, why they want the publicity. I had to do a bunch of looking before i figured out what they were about (which i totally agree with, as i'm also, yes, a .org owner).

anyhow, this doesn't seem to me to be the best strategy of spreading information/garnering support from people who *don't* know who they are, and what they're about.

(ps, i know there's an explanation in the sidebar, but i'm a lo.fi user, and we don't have that; and anyways, the point is that the issue should be on their page.)

i guess i should mail them and let them know ("dear sirs: fishfucker confused!"), really. but i'm lazy.
posted by fishfucker at 1:20 PM on August 1, 2002


It's not strictly a googlebomb Tom. It's helping spread the word about something, much like the blue ribbon campaign did for the EFF lo those many years ago.

A lot of people that visit and participate at metafilter own .org addresses, and I thought it was worth their while to know that verisatan will no longer be controlling the .org registry and that only one of the competing proposals holds the true public domain in mind and is worth knowing about.

If other people see it, read it, and spread it around, all the better.

It's not google bombing, it's a blue ribbon campain of a slightly different sort.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 1:23 PM on August 1, 2002


Hey, there's little boxes all over the place on MetaFilter.

WHAT.
THE.
FUCK.
MATT?
posted by ColdChef at 1:24 PM on August 1, 2002


(yeah, I know.)
posted by ColdChef at 1:25 PM on August 1, 2002


Irontom, you should not get so worked up over this stuff. It's only a web page.
posted by websavvy at 1:26 PM on August 1, 2002


And Tom, if you are disagreeing with me for posting it, why exactly? They're not hijacking a previously used phrase. "Spread the dot" is their own doing, or maybe I'm missing something.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 1:26 PM on August 1, 2002


fishfucker, you have a good point. I think that perhaps this page would be a better destination for people clicking on the dot.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 1:30 PM on August 1, 2002


website, websavvy. It's only a website.(TM)

If I could figure out how to do the fancy-schmancy superscripts and junk, I'd do that too. But alas, I am Nick Burns' worst nightmare.
posted by BlueTrain at 1:32 PM on August 1, 2002


BlueTrain, here's a good list of some of the most common HTML characters.
posted by pardonyou? at 1:34 PM on August 1, 2002


I've disagreed with Matt (regarding keeping a post up that I thought shouldn't be here) and plent of others before, but nothing ever made me "reconsider my participation here."
posted by adampsyche at 1:45 PM on August 1, 2002


No need to get upset, Irontom. Matt and Metafilter have a long history of googlebombing.
posted by crunchland at 1:49 PM on August 1, 2002


What I don't get is the supposed effectiveness of this. Does anybody google for "Spread the dot" who hasn't already heard of the campaign in the first place?
posted by signal at 1:53 PM on August 1, 2002


The effectiveness isn't measured by Google. It's measured by the number of people spreading the dot.

I put it on one of my .org domains. It caused some confusion, some explanations were made, discussion erupted, and the word was spread.
posted by perplexed at 1:59 PM on August 1, 2002


crunchland, Irontom has made his feelings about googlebombing quite clear from the outset.

What I don't get is the supposed effectiveness of this. Does anybody google for "Spread the dot" who hasn't already heard of the campaign in the first place?

That's the point I was trying to make. This is not a googlebomb just because the phrase google is mentioned on the linked page.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 2:01 PM on August 1, 2002


I was very appreciative of that little dot! I own and administer several .orgs, and I was happy to know about it - it's now also on randomwalks.
posted by djacobs at 2:33 PM on August 1, 2002


Speaking of googlebombs, I just can't help but point out that the textism googlebomb did eventually get a much higher (second page) ranking, after a few months. Others (matt, I'm looking at you) doubted my explanation of how google rankings sometimes took a while to filter through, because of some fortunately timed counterexamples...
posted by websavvy at 2:35 PM on August 1, 2002


All right then. I missed that week of posts when I got my layoff notice.

The dot is also mentioned on the sidebar.

I'm curious if many people actually read the sidebar nowadays or if they just keep it collapsed. In additional to this dot thread, some of the "what the hell is trackback?" threads posted probably could have been avoided had the posters read the sidebar. Perhaps the Post a New Meta Thread page could either include the sidebar or recommend that posters skim the sidebar before posting.
posted by gluechunk at 2:42 PM on August 1, 2002


Talking about the sidebar, Matt. What happened to:

Now that those bugs are fixed, I'm putting the finishing touches on a new feature for MetaFilter I think everyone will enjoy. More soon.
posted by vacapinta at 2:49 PM on August 1, 2002


I think that was the no double comments thing, vacapinta. Maybe there's more coming

::feels the giddyness coming on::
posted by Ufez Jones at 2:52 PM on August 1, 2002


Ummm...
posted by vacapinta at 2:55 PM on August 1, 2002


Still working on it vacapinta. I spent a couple days working on the new user system because that was a more urgent priority, then the double post things, etc.

I'm hoping to get it done today, it'll be fun.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 3:07 PM on August 1, 2002


Yeah, I was wondering about the new feature thingy, too.

As for the thread topic, I agree with Rcade: It's simply a use(if sort of alternate) of the way Google chose to make their system work. And they have stated repeatedly that they really doubt Googlebombing will be a problem. Seems they're actually kind of amused by it.
posted by Su at 3:13 PM on August 1, 2002


i ♥ mefi!
posted by quonsar at 3:35 PM on August 1, 2002


Since it's clear now that this thread ain't gonna get the axe, could you at least collapse

WHAT.
THE.
FUCK.
MATT?

into a single line so it doesn't continue to mar the MetaTalk homepage?

As for you, Irontom: people put whatever the hell they want on their own sites. Google is what it is * because it searches for what other people have done. That is to say, it exploits other people's work. Website creators are under no obligation to only write things that fit well into the Google schema, just as people are not required to publicize their phone numbers to facilitate telemarkerters. Sure, Google = good and telemarketing = bad, but I'm sure you see my point.

I think that the whole practice of googlebombing is kinda lame. But I certainly don't go around demanding "What the fuck?!" of those who choose to participate by posting something to their own sites, fer crissakes.

* The greatest thing on the net.
posted by Shadowkeeper at 3:36 PM on August 1, 2002


But I certainly don't go around demanding "What the fuck?!" of those who choose to participate by posting something to their own sites, fer crissakes.

obviously, you've never run a community site, and tried to pull a surprise re-design.
posted by crunchland at 3:39 PM on August 1, 2002


Somebody the other day said that if you find yourself getting worked up at the keyboard, you'd probably better go out and get some fresh air. I should have taken that advice.

I was wrong to post what I did. It's Matt's site, and his party. I got pretty full of myself, and went way off the deep end. I'm sorry for it, if that helps at all.

To be clearer: I formally apologize for my tantrum, to Matt specifically and everyone else who comes here. I think I'll probably take some time off and recalibrate.


posted by Irontom at 3:55 PM on August 1, 2002


I think I'll probably take some time off

Geeze, don't do that. MeFi can't afford to lose the people who can apologize with grace.
posted by Shadowkeeper at 4:06 PM on August 1, 2002 [1 favorite]


It's simply a use(if sort of alternate) of the way Google chose to make their system work. And they have stated repeatedly that they really doubt Googlebombing will be a problem.

If you look at the effects of a googlebomb over several months, it's pretty clear that Google is already pretty successful at dealing with it. The bomb puts a link on top for a very short period of time, then it falls back downward when bomb links scroll off a weblog's main page into archives.
posted by rcade at 4:21 PM on August 1, 2002


I was wrong to post what I did. It's Matt's site, and his party. I got pretty full of myself, and went way off the deep end. I'm sorry for it, if that helps at all.

Irontom, you're a participant here and have some say in how things go. That's why I set up MetaTalk, so people can say what they think about things.

I'm still curious as to why you're so against it, can you answer my earlier comment?
posted by mathowie (staff) at 4:30 PM on August 1, 2002 [1 favorite]


Matt:

I am philosophically opposed to googlebombing because, to me, it's functionally identical to spam and telemarketing. All three hijack a great tool in order to produce some effect that is contrary to the original benign intentions of the creators. We can debate this endlessly, and I will probably lose, because I cant give clear definitions of where the line is and what activities cross that line. I will fall back on this: it offends my sense of propriety (jeez I sound like a Victorian spinster when I say that).

As far as the Spread the Dot meme (attempt? thingamabob?) goes, I got angry because
1) I hate googlebombing
2) I do some dev work myself and think I understand how your site is built; i.e. I believe the footer is an included template and thus it stays on the main page and on all the rendered pages forever (or until you take it off) and thus becomes another end-around to the Google ranking system (as I understand it Google gives less weight to links that fall off the main page).

And (this is the important one)

3) I didn't think. I read something in a hurry, thought I had stumbled across one of my hotbutton issues, and completely blew my stack.
You're right when you say this isnt a googlebomb. It's different, and if I had stopped for even 2 minutes to think, I might have saved myself a great deal of embarrassment.
posted by Irontom at 6:10 PM on August 1, 2002 [1 favorite]


I ? Irontom for the graceful turnaround and pardonyou for the link!
posted by Lynsey at 6:53 PM on August 1, 2002


Dang, it didn't work! I still don't get it! How did you get your heart to work, quonsar?
posted by Lynsey at 6:56 PM on August 1, 2002


As far as the Spread the Dot meme (attempt? thingamabob?)

thingamabomb. (alt: thingiemabomb)

The most common idea of a googlebomb is far different from spam since it requires people to agree (or succumb to peer-pressure) in order for the idea to rise on Google. Sure a spammer could use the same mechanism to promote whatever they want, but the work required will probably prevent that. Also, the Marketplace of Ideas is likely to intervene before they could.

I've said it before, MetaFilter is Matt's, and he's free to do whatever he wants with it. We're guests in his treehouse and if we want to play with his toys, we have to put up with him. That idea is part of the foundation of community building, and the reason MetaFilter is so different from Fark or Slashdot.
posted by joemaller at 7:27 PM on August 1, 2002


Okay, after expert consultation, I'm ready to try again. I ♥ mefi, irontom, pardonyou and quonsar!
posted by Lynsey at 8:26 PM on August 1, 2002


Yippee!
posted by Lynsey at 8:26 PM on August 1, 2002


All three hijack a great tool in order to produce some effect that is contrary to the original benign intentions of the creators.

People choose the words in their hyperlinks with Google in mind all the time. Sometimes, a terrible publisher will link to something in an oblique way for sarcastic effect.

Are these examples of hijacking also? How can we know if our linking style is appropriate, when Google's algorithm is secret and always being tinkered with?
posted by rcade at 8:50 PM on August 1, 2002


How did you get your heart to work, quonsar?

Angioplasty.
posted by jonmc at 8:51 PM on August 1, 2002


Oh, yeah, I remember her. Angie O'Plasty. Hottest Irish babe in the whole 9th grade.

Rrowr.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 9:02 PM on August 1, 2002


"’ ‘ " " " ‘ " " " " " ‘
posted by y2karl at 9:06 PM on August 1, 2002


thanks for the feedback ...

matt's right that the voice your support page provides more explanation (it launched first, and then the dot page got a life of its own). the comment page is linked from the dot page several times, but apparently not prominently enough? I do think we should keep the dot page linking to the dot page so we can keep it spreading around...lemme see what I can do.

(and no...we're not hijacking a known phrase that I know of ... unless Spread the Dot had dibs on it :-)
posted by webchick at 2:16 AM on August 2, 2002


oh...

i forgot to mention that the ♥ thingamabob reminded me of this.

posted by webchick at 3:52 AM on August 2, 2002


Cheers for the CSS link, webchick.
posted by walrus at 6:30 AM on August 2, 2002


I think from now on ALL bug reports should be followed by

WHAT.
THE.
FUCK.
MATT?
posted by insomnyuk at 7:27 AM on August 2, 2002 [1 favorite]


Watch out if "the dot" turns out to be the nickname of the next great sexually-transmitted pandemic.


posted by beth at 12:11 PM on August 2, 2002


From Words and expressions for menstruation at the Museum of Menstruation and Women's Health:

Dot, the: the contributor writes (2000), "In late 1970s, some enterprising teens called it 'the dot' to keep others from knowing what they were talking about when sharing secrets."
posted by Marquis at 12:16 PM on August 2, 2002


Watch out if "the dot" turns out to be the nickname of the next great sexually-transmitted pandemic.

i thought that was "dot-com" ... a lot of people sure got screwed. :-)

Anyhoo, when it comes to who first spread the dot, a little credit where credit is due.
posted by webchick at 2:00 PM on August 2, 2002


« Older ASCII display errors   |   manhattan meetup preparty Newer »

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