call-in show: Ask A Moderator February 23, 2017 2:12 PM   Subscribe

For the next podcast episode, I think it'd be fun to do another call-in show. This time: Ask A Moderator! Drop us a voicemail at (505) 663-6334, that's (505) 663-MEFI, with a question about MetaFilter, moderation, being a mod, or whatever, and we'll try and give you an answer!

We had a lot of fun when I asked for calls and included y'alls messages in our New Years episode, so let's do it again!

Based on guidance from last time and the experience of processing those messages, some key bits:

1. Speak up! Phone audio quality is pretty garbage by default, so help keep things decipherable.
2. That goes double for names and especially usernames, which can be tricky to decipher over the phone.
3. Introduce yourself, ask your question, and keep it concise!
4. If you super mess it up, it's okay to nix it and call back.

The number goes straight to voicemail, so don't expect a human or worry about having to talk to one.

We'll use/answer as many calls as we can and if your question is for a particular mod we'll see if we can arrange for them to answer (but it might be me or jessamyn answering by proxy), but running time, audio quality, repeat questions, etc. may mean we don't get everybody on the recording.

We're planning to podcast middle of next week, so try and get your calls in by Monday or so if you want the best chance of it getting it used. Worst case scenario we can bank some for the future though, and I'm keeping the voicemail box up full-time in any case if you randomly want to drop the mods a friendly line whenever.
posted by cortex to MetaFilter-Related at 2:12 PM (56 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

Done. (Admittedly, not the most cerebral question)
posted by Wordshore at 2:26 PM on February 23


Or whatever? Wow, that opens it up to anything, bwa ha ha...
posted by Melismata at 2:55 PM on February 23


don't expect a human or worry about having to talk to one.

Ha!
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 2:56 PM on February 23 [11 favorites]


I'm keeping the voicemail box up full-time

god help you if anyone gets this number mixed up with the one for their senator
posted by AFABulous at 3:06 PM on February 23 [13 favorites]


I'll be doing this later tonight after work. Maybe on the walk to the garage where I park. I'm excited. I love this and support more call-in feature-esque episodes/questions.
posted by Fizz at 3:55 PM on February 23 [1 favorite]


In the 80s, I was that girl who called the top 40 station every night to try and get on air. Suffice it to say, my question has been left. :)
posted by kimberussell at 4:18 PM on February 23 [4 favorites]


me, in a creepy teutonic whisper: is it safe

and then dental drills happen in the background
posted by poffin boffin at 5:05 PM on February 23 [8 favorites]


(secretly hoping for a me question so I get to answer one)
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 5:42 PM on February 23


Whyyyyyy did you delete my commmmmment?

(No... I know why.)
posted by ODiV at 5:46 PM on February 23 [2 favorites]


Voicemail, eh? I guess that means I can't hold my phone up to the lukewarm chicken on my counter to submit a picture supporting my CIET question. Dang.
posted by wenestvedt at 7:20 PM on February 23


Wish I'd seen this before last night. The noises in the background would have been priceless.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 4:53 AM on February 24


Left vm, need info on how to be smart from the very beginning.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:14 AM on February 24


(secretly hoping for a me question so I get to answer one)

I got ya covered.
posted by bondcliff at 10:35 AM on February 24


Can we just play snippets of songs? Because I just want to ask What's he building in there? What the hell is he building In there? I'll tell you one thing - he's not building a playhouse for the children.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:00 AM on February 24 [6 favorites]


i asked kind of a complicated insider-baseball-y question but I hope you guys take the time to think it through and answer it
posted by Greg Nog at 11:19 AM on February 24


also I'm checking out local lumberyards and forgot i was calling the mod hotline and not a lumberyard and for a brief second i panicked and all i could think to ask was "HOW MUCH PER BOARD FOOT IS YOUR RED OAK"
posted by Greg Nog at 11:20 AM on February 24 [8 favorites]


"HOW MUCH PER BOARD FOOT IS YOUR RED OAK"

Twenty-- no. I'm stopping myself. Let the record reflect.
posted by Etrigan at 11:23 AM on February 24 [9 favorites]


with a question about MetaFilter, moderation, being a mod, or whatever,

---

(secretly hoping for a me question so I get to answer one)
posted by Eyebrows McGee


Why does the Orthodox church regard as a theological dispute what is CLEARLY A political dispute, and how did the Greek Catholic et al churches resolve this?

bonus points for demonstrating how to pronounce phyletism
posted by the man of twists and turns at 12:34 PM on February 24 [5 favorites]


"HOW MUCH PER BOARD FOOT IS YOUR RED OAK"

What width? And rough-cut, or tongue-and-groove?
posted by wenestvedt at 12:45 PM on February 24


(secretly hoping for a me question so I get to answer one)

Windows ME is dead, let it go!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:15 PM on February 24


Oooo! I got the call-in to work this time around! Yay!
posted by hippybear at 3:41 PM on February 24


"HOW MUCH PER BOARD FOOT IS YOUR RED OAK"

What width? And rough-cut, or tongue-and-groove?


Worst Tinder first date ever.
posted by hippybear at 3:42 PM on February 24 [9 favorites]


HOW BORED IS RED OAKFOOT
posted by Wolfdog at 4:33 PM on February 24


He was one of Merry Brandybuck's cousins, right?
posted by Chrysostom at 5:20 PM on February 24 [6 favorites]


Alright... Eyebrows McGee leaves Chicago on a train traveling towards New York at 85MPH and Cortex leaves Portland on a solar powered tricycle traveling towards Seattle at 35MPH. Which moderator will stop to investigate the plate of beans first?
posted by Nanukthedog at 6:20 PM on February 24 [6 favorites]


My question started out really strong and then I made it awkward and rambled a bit and then I said goodbye and good morning and good night and hung up really fast because I was scared. Yup. Me on a phone call.
posted by Fizz at 8:09 PM on February 24 [1 favorite]


Just stopping by and have to ask: Is this MetaTalk? In my day we had flameout exits (that often returned under pseudonyms), we had personal conflicts exploding in comments with multiple uses of the word "asshat," we had out-of-control political threads with burning rabbits (despite only 0.00007% of MeFi being conservative)... we had QUONSAR. Now we're reduced to Dear Abby jessamyn and cortex ?
;)
posted by Shane at 8:29 PM on February 24 [3 favorites]


"Why does the Orthodox church regard as a theological dispute what is CLEARLY A political dispute, and how did the Greek Catholic et al churches resolve this?"

I mean basically the Eastern Catholic Churches are under a separate set of boundaries which are clearly delineated by Rome. Whereas the Eastern Orthodox Churches fighting over boundaries (one diocese, one bishop, is the general rule in Christianity) have a variety of authorities to appeal to and it's a problem.

The Orthodox have a variety of opinions on which churches are self-governing and allowed to establish daughter churches, which patriarchs can organize new dioceses, etc., and most Orthodox churches are ethno-religions or linguo-religious (as Orthodox Churches are traditionally co-terminal with what today we call nation-states, but historically were ethnic groups or linguistic groups) and so there are political complications to any claim of autocephaly that don't exist in Eastern Catholic Churches, who are all subject to Rome and Rome just tells them what their territory is.

Also the Western Church decided that councils could be called by the Pope to settle major theological disputes; but the Eastern Church stayed with the more traditional mode that only the Emperor could call a council. So the last emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire was Manuel II Paleologue, and his last surviving son was Thomas Paleologue, whose daughter, Sophia Paleologue, married Ivan III of Moscow, and gave birth to Vasili III, who fathered Ivan the Terrible, first Tsar of All Russia (and is why Moscow is called "New New Rome"), which eventually ends up in the Romanovs and BASICALLY if Anastasia (of the animated movie) survived, she would be the only heredity Eastern Roman Empress with the power to call a council. Which is why people are really fuckin' freaked out about whether Anastasia survived.
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 8:38 PM on February 24 [8 favorites]


And the answer was Eyebrows McGee with a plate of beans over religious reformation.

Darn, I actually had expected to be Colonel Mustard in the Billiard Room with the Candlestick, but didn't we all really expect that to be the case?
posted by Nanukthedog at 4:15 AM on February 25


> Just stopping by and have to ask: Is this MetaTalk? In my day we had flameout exits (that often returned under pseudonyms), we had personal conflicts exploding in comments with multiple uses of the word "asshat," we had out-of-control political threads with burning rabbits (despite only 0.00007% of MeFi being conservative)... we had QUONSAR. Now we're reduced to Dear Abby jessamyn and cortex ?

Shane, you owe it to MetaTalk to flame out. I'll hold your coat and light the bonfire.
posted by languagehat at 6:43 AM on February 25 [1 favorite]


I thought Constantine XI was the last Byzantine emperor.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:15 AM on February 25 [1 favorite]


I actually practised what I was going to say like a nerd and then choked on my own saliva right as I started (that's a thing) and then said the words in the wrong order and now I'm slightly worried about the job interview I have coming up that involves a telephone role play situation. Apart from that it's all fine.
posted by billiebee at 8:29 AM on February 25 [5 favorites]


Why does the Orthodox church regard as a theological dispute what is CLEARLY A political dispute, and how did the Greek Catholic et al churches resolve this?

That would be an ecumenical matter.
posted by Wordshore at 8:30 AM on February 25 [4 favorites]


Now I feel frivolous wanting to ask about Eyebrows McGee's eyebrow care regimen.
posted by needled at 8:32 AM on February 25 [1 favorite]


I just left my question and my partner, Harley, shouted from the other room, "What the hell was that and who are you talking to?" to which I replied, "It's a Metafilter thing, you wouldn't understand."
posted by Stanczyk at 3:39 PM on February 25 [2 favorites]


I don't know what's stupider: my frivolous question, that I have actually considered making a MeTa thread to ask my frivolous question many times (though always successfully talked myself out of it), or that now that I actually had the opportunity to ask said frivolous question in a way that made it seem less frivolous, I still mentioned the fact that I kept wanting to make a MeTa out of it. The answer is Me. I am the most stupid.

Still looking forward to the answers, though.
posted by Mchelly at 7:07 PM on February 25


"Now I feel frivolous wanting to ask about Eyebrows McGee's eyebrow care regimen."

Pluck the center so I don't turn into EYEBROW McGee, and sometimes some clear eyebrow gel. Part of the reason I'm known for my striking eyebrows is I'm way too fuckin' lazy to do the work required to make them fashionable.

Also important to this regimen is hiding my good tweezers from my husband.
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 7:40 PM on February 25 [4 favorites]


I see you are avoiding the Constantine XI issue.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:39 PM on February 25


So, basically mathowie was Nicholas II and cortex is Lenin and jessamyn is Anastasia and nobody is sure if she's alive?

Is this a question the mods can even answer?
posted by hippybear at 8:47 PM on February 25


"I see you are avoiding the Constantine XI issue."

Constantine passed the (now-empty) title to his son Thomas Paleologue, who passed it to his son Manuel Paleologue, who was the last of the line to live within the traditional territory of the Eastern Roman Empire; he passed it to his sister Sophia who had been married out to Rus.

Empty titles can last a long time!
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 9:33 PM on February 25 [1 favorite]


Mmmm, I don't normally like to disagree with you on church stuff, EM, but I think there is some confusion there. Constantine XI (last reigning Byzantine emperor) was the son of Emperor Manuel II. Constantine didn't have any offspring, so after his death in the fall of Constantinople, the title fell to his brother Thomas. After Thomas's death, it went to HIS son, Andreas, who turned around and sold the rights to the title to the French monarchy. Now, adding confusion, Andreas did have a younger brother named Manuel, but this Manuel specifically renounced any right to the title in exchange for some land from the Sultan.

I can see how the House of Rurik could have felt that they were in some moral/spiritual sense the inheritors of Byzantium (Third Rome, and all that), being also Orthodox, and having had a real Byzantine princess married into the family. But I don't think in a legal sense they have any leg to stand on. To the extent there is a legit heir to Byzantium, it would be one of the pretenders to the French royal title.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:24 PM on February 25


jessamyn is Anastasia and nobody is sure if she's alive

I am right here!

TIL that eyebrow gel is a thing. But now I want to know what it does.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 7:07 AM on February 26 [1 favorite]


There's two kinds. It looks like a mascara wand but it's a gel. You can get tinted, which helps sparse brows look more filled in. That is clearly not my problem. The clear gel just kinda keeps the bushier brows in place so I look more well groomed and less mad scientist. It's a lot lighter than hair gel, it's not visible. I get the Maybelline at the drug store for like $4 although I'm sure there's super Hollywood versions that cost $60 but I can't imagine what's different! It's pretty low tech.

A friend of mine used the tinted kind when she had cancer and her brows were thinning but not yet gone. She liked it a lot better than when she had to draw them on when they fell completely out, it's a lot less work and looks a lot more natural.

Anyway. Works for bushy-browed men too.
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 9:41 AM on February 26 [2 favorites]


I too have been cursed with the brow of Brezhnev and intentionally sport a long, bushy Fu Manchu 'stache. Mathowie mentioned somewhere he used a beard trimmer set at maximum length to help with the the taming of the brows, which I started doing and it works well, but I also use coco butter in me beard, 'stache, and brows to tame them. It allows me to occasionally shape my beard into a point and said 'stache into movie villain curls when a more dastardly approach is needed or if I just want to frighten some random children. Bonus, it smells really yummy so people tend to treat me more nicely, as they would a candy bar or a cup of coco.
posted by Stanczyk at 11:21 AM on February 26 [1 favorite]


Thanks for doing this! I left a question asking if you've ever encountered research that changed how you think about moderating, and if there are any questions that you really wished someone would do on the topic of online moderating.
posted by honest knave at 11:30 AM on February 26


Before the clear gels, we used to spray hairspray on an old toothbrush to shape and "fix" the brows. Or a dab of Vaseline.
Tie an onion to your belt, and you were good to go.
posted by furtive_jackanapes at 1:07 PM on February 26 [6 favorites]


Whaat!? Youse guys are super-accessible already, who wants/needs to mouth-ask you anything?
posted by comealongpole at 2:40 PM on February 26 [1 favorite]


sometimes it's just fun to use the head flaps to make actual meat sounds
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:01 PM on February 26 [7 favorites]


Fuck me am I bad at phone calls.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 5:59 PM on February 26 [3 favorites]


languagehead! Wow, there's a memorable old character. Well, lh, they say it's better to flame out than to fade away (or something like that), but while I REALLY appreciate your offer (and I don't doubt you could spark a good bonfire), it also makes me think that somehow there might be a tiny bit of the old assholic snarkery still around here, and, y'know, who wants to miss that? It's not as if life's too short. Best of luck to you, honestly, though.
posted by Shane at 7:19 PM on February 26


Shane: Check your MeMail.
posted by languagehat at 8:02 AM on February 28


Can I be Rasputin?
posted by jonmc at 1:53 PM on February 28


If you have access to a time machine or a holodeck, sure.
posted by Chrysostom at 1:59 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


sometimes it's just fun to use the head flaps to make actual meat sounds
posted by cortex


It’s like a memo between different parts of Herman’s head.
posted by Going To Maine at 6:16 PM on February 28


I use Eyebrow Rogaine so I look like a mentat
posted by XMLicious at 4:00 AM on March 1


The episode is up! Thanks again everybody for calling in.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:08 PM on March 2 [1 favorite]


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