mathowie transfers ownership of MetaFilter to cortex July 31, 2017 9:04 AM   Subscribe

Big news: a few days ago Matt Haughey and I signed paperwork to transfer ownership of MetaFilter from him to me. This is sorta huge and sorta not a big deal at the same time: things are fine and basically nothing is changing on the site as a result, we’re just keeping on as before. I’ll talk about the whole thing below the fold.

The main question: what does this mean for MetaFilter and the MetaFilter community?

The short answer: not much! Day to day operations aren't changing, staffing isn't changing, and basically nothing happening with the change of ownership directly affects anyone other than me and mathowie. So this isn't news about something happening to the site in any visible, obvious way, but it's still kind of a thing so it's something I wanted to let the community know about in detail, both in terms of what's happened with the transfer and of where we're going next.


The why and how of changing ownership

Matt and I have talked periodically about the idea of him giving up ownership of the site ever since I took over managing the business in 2015 when he left for Slack. It's remained a hypothetical for a couple years; as it is, Matt's been almost entirely unplugged from the site already, handling a few monthly/quarterly/yearly business administration issues but otherwise totally hands-off of MetaFilter, and so the day-to-day difference between owning it and not has been close to nil.

But there are still some implications of ownership. The ultimate legal and financial liability was still Matt's, and, because of some of the details of how he set up the company's accounts back in the day, it has also been difficult to totally untangle him from the company while he remains the owner. So he's been carrying around stress and responsibility tied to continuing to own it, without much upside.

In tandem with all that, Matt's absentee ownership has also left me with incomplete control over some details of the business administration, a situation which has been manageable but at times needlessly complicated and stressful for me and the rest of the team.

So I've been talking with Matt, and talking with the MeFi staff, for the last couple months about the possibilities and details of improving the situation for the future. And after a bunch of discussion we settled on a plan where I take over ownership of the company, Matt completely divests himself of any liability for and financial entanglement with MetaFilter, and he leaves with a final withdrawal of money in exchange for giving up all ownership of the site.

The change is as minimal as we could make it: from Matt as sole shareholder of MetaFilter Network Inc. to me as sole shareholder, with everything else kept the same. We've done it this way for a couple reasons:

1. This setup keeps the transfer of ownership simple and lets us move forward more quickly and with less legal expense.
2. Of the possible alternate plans involving a more complicated sale or a simultaneous restructuring of the business, none made compelling financial or legal sense right now.

Those possible alternate plans -- in terms of who exactly owns the site and how, and of alternate business structures like creating a 501(c)(3) entity -- are things I'll continue to look at, though based on the research I've done and professional advice I've sought over the last couple months it's unlikely that MetaFilter as the business exists right now would benefit from making any of those changes. That might not be the case in the future, so it'll stay on my radar.


Where we're going from here

My top priority for MetaFilter is and has been maintaining the continuity of the community and the site long-term. I want MetaFilter to stick around, and to keep being MetaFilter. I've spent the last two and a half years, since Matt left for Slack, doing what I can to further that goal; taking responsibility for ownership of the site means I can do so with greater confidence.

When I started working here ten years ago, I was proud already of MetaFilter's longevity and its unique community presence on the web; I still feel that way today. I don't know what the web, or the ad economy, will look like in ten years, or five or even two, and we could see changes good or bad, small or large, to some of the basic assumptions underlying MetaFilter as a business. The future is the future, and I can't predict it.

But I can say this: I believe in MetaFilter as a place, as an idea, as a community. Whatever uncertainty there is about the future, I am certain that the core of what this place has been for the last 18 years, the ethos of thoughtfulness and decency and togetherness that define MetaFilter as a community, can and will persist.

And my goal is to support that idea, to support this community, as long as I can, however I can. MetaFilter, imperfect and idiosyncratic as it may be, is important. It's important to me; it's important to all of you; and it's important to an internet at large that continues to struggle with cultural toxicity and cash-before-community profit motives.

People ask me sometimes what I see myself doing in the future. Sometimes they ask because I've been telling them about something that's been hard, something that's been tiring, something that I don't like about how things are going or how something went down on the site. I think they think ten years is a long time to work somewhere, or that I'm complaining because I don't like my job. So they ask.

And I tell them I hope I'm still doing this. I tell them the hard shit is just hard shit, and it passes. I tell them I love my work, that I love this place, that you don't find your dream job often if you ever find it at all. I tell them that if it had to come down to it, I'd be doing this for free in my scraped-up spare time, digging cash out of the couch to keep the lights on. MetaFilter is one of the most important things in my life, and that's largely because it's such an important part of so many other people's lives. It's worth the effort.

That's what owning MetaFilter means to me. It means being able to say that I know that, at every turn, I can do whatever is best for the site, for the community, for the MetaFilter staff. It's a daunting responsibility but one I'm grateful for the opportunity to take on; I'm thankful for the trust folks have put in me over the years and I intend to continue to vindicate that trust in the years to come.


Fundraising after the change

One unavoidable outcome of this process is that we have less in savings than we did before. I worked out a compromise with Matt that leaves us with a reasonable basic buffer of savings to work with, but it's important to me that we build that buffer back up to help insure against any future financial shocks.

Consequently, we’re launching a new fundraising push today, to help bolster the site’s financial situation. I’ve include more details in a separate post dedicated to the fundraising, but in brief I want to reiterate how important the generosity of the MetaFilter community over the last few years has been to our ability to continue to operate the site for you all. It has made a fundamental difference in our ability to maintain a workable level of staffing and keep the site functional on the technical side. I can never really say thank you enough for that, but at the moment I need to ask for more help from those who can afford it so that we can secure MeFi’s future as much as possible.


We’re all in this together

That’s the news. I’m really glad I’m able to be a steward of something so important to me and others, and I’m glad to have the future of the site be a little more certain and our business operations more streamlined and self-contained now.

I want to thank you all again for being part of this community, for being individually and collectively the reason this place exists and the engine that makes it go. And I want to thank my fellow team members for sticking through all the bumpy moments and tough stretches and weirdness this place sometimes throws at us and helping me keep MetaFilter working.

If you have any questions, concerns, etc, feel free to chat about it in here or, if you prefer to, mefimail me or drop the mod team a line via the contact form.
posted by cortex to MetaFilter-Related at 9:04 AM (341 comments total) 214 users marked this as a favorite

All your MetaFilter are belong to cortex
posted by Faint of Butt at 9:09 AM on July 31 [174 favorites]


Great, now he's going to turn it into a menger sponge, just you watch.
posted by Artw at 9:10 AM on July 31 [116 favorites]


Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember.

Wait, wrong thread.

I hope.
posted by AFABulous at 9:13 AM on July 31 [129 favorites]


Love & congrats!
posted by churl at 9:15 AM on July 31 [4 favorites]


Josh covered much of what I wanted to share, but I wanted to add my angle on the transfer.

I ran MeFi day-to-day for 16 years but by the end, I was pretty well ground down. Over the years, a combo of depression, exhaustion, and anxiety from managing MetaFilter took its toll on me, and one of the major turnarounds for me was to change careers entirely. I took a new job in a field that wasn’t remotely about community management and found it creatively satisfying. It was great to have a new thing I was good at and loved to do but it was also nice to have weekends and nights off—truly off—for the first time since 1999. I realized after the job change that I’d wrapped so much of my life up in MetaFilter I was missing out on family and friends and just being able to be offline without worrying about servers and uptime and flag queues around the clock.

Since I left, Josh and I have periodically checked in to figure out what an eventual path for me leaving MetaFilter could look like, since I was pretty well intertwined with the codebase and business side. He and the staff took over when I left, and they’ve done a great job, but I was still legally the full owner and that weighed on me. There were still regular pesky details I had to do each month, quarter, and year, and there was also the stress of dumb stuff like the credible legal threats that get sent our way every year or so. MetaFilter became an increasingly smaller aspect of my life as I moved on to other things, but still carried with it some stress and workload that hung over me.

People say the best communities are run with a benevolent dictator type at the helm, and I still think that’s true, but an absentee benevolent dictator isn’t the best model for either party. The more time I’ve been away from MeFi, the weirder it was to be responsible for it, especially considering the gray area of Josh running the show but not having ownership. So of all the exit options, the least disruptive seemed to be a handoff to Josh, and that’s what we pursued.

In my ideal vision, the handoff could have been something like what Bob’s Red Mill did for its employees, but setting up a co-op and/or non-profit to divest my ownership was a legal minefield that could take many months and lots of legal bills to complete. Ultimately, we figured a clean break was possible if I simplified it to giving Josh control since in the end, it would be functionally identical to the previous configuration. Now that Josh owns it, he’s free to explore any future options with the knowledge that it’s his to experiment with.

I’ve completely divested my ownership stake. Josh is now the 100% owner of the S-corp, owns the registered trademark for MetaFilter, along with all the associated domains and accounts, code, and data. He’s been the best steward for the site since I left, and I’m happy to see him take the reins permanently and keep the community going. I'm excited to see what he plans to do with MetaFilter the future and thank him and the staff for all their hard work over the years.
posted by mathowie (retired) at 9:15 AM on July 31 [387 favorites]


Bumping up my monthly contribution. Thanks for all your work.
posted by odinsdream at 9:16 AM on July 31 [7 favorites]


i don't know who you are mordex but if you ever need to ball ideas - as we say in Sweden - I'm here for you

i have many ideas on how to make Mefi the next instagram or at the very least something awful 2.0
posted by Foci for Analysis at 9:17 AM on July 31 [15 favorites]


Can we get stickers now? Yes I will go chip in over in the other thread.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 9:22 AM on July 31 [85 favorites]


I, for one, welcome our new cortex overlords.
posted by soundguy99 at 9:23 AM on July 31 [29 favorites]


Stickers??!!
posted by odinsdream at 9:25 AM on July 31 [5 favorites]


WHAT THE FUCK MATT JOSH?
posted by octothorpe at 9:25 AM on July 31 [69 favorites]


I found a stockpile of stickers that I handed over to Josh when I was cleaning out some old papers last week!
posted by mathowie (retired) at 9:26 AM on July 31 [49 favorites]


STICKERS CONFIRMED
posted by churl at 9:27 AM on July 31 [17 favorites]


The long con is finally complete...
posted by DynamiteToast at 9:27 AM on July 31 [11 favorites]


Metafilter: All your menger sponge belong to us

Thanks for everything, guys. The unknown future rolls towards us. I face it with a sense of hope, because if a website, an online community, can protect the value of human community, maybe others can too.
posted by nubs at 9:28 AM on July 31 [6 favorites]




Saddened. Stickers were stacked, not Sierpinskied.
posted by frimble (staff) at 9:30 AM on July 31 [4 favorites]


you mean theeeese stickers?

Please send me a few. Let me know if you need my current address!!
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 9:35 AM on July 31 [4 favorites]


Oh great, frimble, now nobody's going to get stickers, they're all going to turn into fractal art hanging on the walls of our house. (Also, congrats, Josh, it's a big responsibility, but you got this.)
posted by Secretariat at 9:36 AM on July 31 [9 favorites]


You're not my real dad, Josh.
posted by bondcliff at 9:37 AM on July 31 [67 favorites]


But The Cabal still actually pulls the strings around here, of course.
posted by briank at 9:41 AM on July 31 [7 favorites]


Congrats Cortex!!
posted by widdershins at 9:42 AM on July 31 [1 favorite]


So is MeFi in the market for a new internal communications tool now?

(Congratulations to both of you!)
posted by ODiV at 9:43 AM on July 31 [3 favorites]


Yay for simplifying!

I know it's almost certainly not on the cards in any reasonable term but I would invest in an equity offering of mefi (the JOBS act allegedly makes this kind of thing feasible for smaller companies). I'd imagine putting nonvoting shares and the phrase 'public benefit corporation' into a blender might come out with a viable structure.
posted by Skorgu at 9:43 AM on July 31


Congratulations, Cortex! Thank you, mathowie!
posted by zarq at 9:43 AM on July 31 [1 favorite]


Congratulations! Will Paphnuty be released from his dungeon at long last?
posted by languagehat at 9:46 AM on July 31 [15 favorites]


So when do you expect the first MetaFilter IPO? I know I'd be in, if they're voting shares. (Gotta check the couch cushions for change...)
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:48 AM on July 31 [1 favorite]


*idly turns over teacup* omg cortex was Paphnuty all along!!!
posted by taz (staff) at 9:49 AM on July 31 [15 favorites]


Excellent. Now I have them suspecting each other.
posted by Paphnuty at 9:51 AM on July 31 [40 favorites]


"Who's Number 1?"
"You are Number 7418."
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 9:52 AM on July 31 [25 favorites]


WHAT THE FUCK MATT JOSH?


Aaaaand there's the new T-shirt design
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:52 AM on July 31 [31 favorites]


Thank you everyone for building and maintaining this place. Y'all are awesome.
posted by RakDaddy at 9:52 AM on July 31 [7 favorites]


There is no labaC.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 9:52 AM on July 31 [3 favorites]


Congratulations to both of you!
posted by oneirodynia at 9:54 AM on July 31 [3 favorites]


Can we take a minute and appreciate just how amazing mathowie is for making this happened? I can't even imagine how difficult it must have been to hand over your self funded business AND amazing community to one of your mods and not sell it to some content sweatshop. I am in awe, Sir, in fucking awe. #mathowieUP #weNotMe
posted by Foci for Analysis at 9:54 AM on July 31 [73 favorites]


On the last meetup I was on there was a guy with a Mefi [+] tattoo on his calf. I'll give him a ring and let him know he needs to change where he sends the royalty checks.
posted by bondcliff at 9:55 AM on July 31


Congrats, Cortex. And good luck going forward, Matt.

Now when do we blow out the walls and start rearranging the furniture?
posted by 80 Cats in a Dog Suit at 9:55 AM on July 31 [2 favorites]


Oh, also, which of you want to join my "I have a lower user number than then guy who owns the place" club? We meet on alternate Tuesdays for tea.
posted by bondcliff at 9:56 AM on July 31 [15 favorites]


OK, we can finally bring back the blink and img tags!
posted by leotrotsky at 9:57 AM on July 31 [22 favorites]


I have nothing clever to say -- just congratulations to both Matt and Cortex in getting things worked out to make everyone's life less stressful.
posted by The Wrong Kind of Cheese at 9:58 AM on July 31 [4 favorites]


WHAT. THE. FUCK. MATT. JOSH.

CONGRATULATIONS!
posted by OverlappingElvis at 10:00 AM on July 31


OMG MetaFilter is Ruined FOREVER!!!!

(Kidding, of course. Congrats to both Matt and Josh!)
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 10:01 AM on July 31 [2 favorites]


NOW UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT.
posted by ColdChef at 10:03 AM on July 31 [10 favorites]


Matt probably charged a fortune for cat-scan.com.
posted by JanetLand at 10:03 AM on July 31 [2 favorites]


I HAVE SOME IDEAS, CORTEX!!! CALL ME!!!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:05 AM on July 31 [5 favorites]


Glad you can relax finally Matt, and keep up the good work Josh!
posted by ellieBOA at 10:05 AM on July 31 [1 favorite]


so can we ban mathowie finally?
posted by mullacc at 10:06 AM on July 31 [7 favorites]


I came to congratulate Cortex and make a menger sponge joke and I'm all out of got beat by a long shot for the menger sponge jokes.
posted by gwint at 10:07 AM on July 31


I, for one, welcome our new mengerian overlord.
posted by borkencode at 10:08 AM on July 31


Yay! Congratulations to you both, and to all of us, in a way?

HOW DO WE GET THE STICKERS
posted by clockzero at 10:08 AM on July 31 [4 favorites]


UNDER NEW MENGERMENT
posted by Kabanos at 10:10 AM on July 31 [25 favorites]


I think we should take a moment to celebrate Matt, not as the former owner, but as a member with a superb history of front page posts. Some samples.

He brought the dress to our attention!
An OK Go video!
A seagull steals a GoPro camera!
The embarrassing beauty queen trying to answer a geography question!

Wait. What the fuck? These are terrible, like a Twitter page.
posted by maxsparber at 10:19 AM on July 31 [28 favorites]


No, I'm kidding. I deliberately went through and picked silly ones. Matt has a bunch of great posts.
posted by maxsparber at 10:19 AM on July 31 [12 favorites]


Wow! Congrats to you both!
posted by grateful at 10:19 AM on July 31


Perhaps Matt's greatest moment, in fact, highlighted in a thread by yours truly.
posted by maxsparber at 10:21 AM on July 31 [11 favorites]


More like Markov Sponges. amirite?
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:26 AM on July 31 [3 favorites]


Congratulations, cortex! Long may you reign.
posted by Krazor at 10:26 AM on July 31 [1 favorite]


Can we still bring worship the golden mathowie calf at July 14th meet ups? Or is this a SCHISM?
posted by biffa at 10:27 AM on July 31 [3 favorites]


Congrats all!
posted by samthemander at 10:33 AM on July 31


*Quietly cancels class-action lawsuit against mathowie on behalf of deleted commenters to get some of that sweet, sweet Slack cash*
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:35 AM on July 31 [2 favorites]


This is great news... kudos to you both for being great leaders and doing what's best for us peons. Can I have a sticker pls? 😊
posted by pearlybob at 10:36 AM on July 31


<Ctrl>+F  thunderdome

Phrase not found

Disappointing.
posted by endotoxin at 10:37 AM on July 31 [7 favorites]


Oh, also, which of you want to join my "I have a lower user number than then guy who owns the place" club? We meet on alternate Tuesdays for tea.

Kids these days think they own the place.
posted by straight at 10:37 AM on July 31 [8 favorites]


Congratulations on the orderly transition of power! I kid, but it's great that Josh and Matt worked out a way to transfer the company over and keep operating it for us.

It's a good time to reflect on how vital and unusual Metafilter is. There are very few Internet communities of its age or influence. And it's always been this sort of elite, rarified kind of community operating on a shoestring. I cherish it greatly and am looking forward to another 18+ years.
posted by Nelson at 10:38 AM on July 31 [12 favorites]


I'm glad you were able to make this happen. Best wishes!
posted by mimo at 10:44 AM on July 31


Congratulations to both of you!

And thanks to you both (and all other admins, past and present) for keeping the place running so well all these years.
posted by yhbc at 10:46 AM on July 31 [1 favorite]


I tell them I love my work, that I love this place, that you don't find your dream job often if you ever find it at all. I tell them that if it had to come down to it, I'd be doing this for free in my scraped-up spare time, digging cash out of the couch to keep the lights on. MetaFilter is one of the most important things in my life, and that's largely because it's such an important part of so many other people's lives. It's worth the effort.

This hardly needed to be said. Cortex doesn't act like someone who wants to own and control things. He runs MetaFilter like he believes in it, loves it, wants it to thrive, and wants to be a contributing part of it.

And I'm grateful to him for it. Thanks Cortex, and thanks Matt for picking such a great person to hand off the site to.
posted by straight at 10:49 AM on July 31 [18 favorites]


Wow, big news for both of you! Congratulations!
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 10:54 AM on July 31


Great news to both of you, the mod team and to all of us too!
"That's what owning MetaFilter means to me. It means being able to say that I know that, at every turn, I can do whatever is best for the site, for the community, for the MetaFilter staff. It's a daunting responsibility but one I'm grateful for the opportunity to take on; I'm thankful for the trust folks have put in me over the years and I intend to continue to vindicate that trust in the years to come."
Thanks for saying this. I can only speak for myself, but you — and matthowie before you — have completely earned that trust. This community has influenced my life in profoundly positive way and I know that I'm one of many thousands of people who can say that. I have no doubt that MetaFilter will continue to be a source of knowledge and belonging with you fully at the helm. And I hope that being free of those final ties brings Matt complete giddiness to participate in the amazing thing he made here with a new and unfettered joy!
posted by iamkimiam at 10:58 AM on July 31 [21 favorites]


Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss.






More or less.
posted by Doohickie at 11:06 AM on July 31 [3 favorites]


I'm already looking forward to noobs asking why this math guy has a Retired tag.

Thanks for everything, mathowie and cortex, and all the other mods and mod-like beings that help make this place what it is.
posted by Rock Steady at 11:07 AM on July 31 [2 favorites]


I joined MeFi around the time my daughter was born, and had been lurking on the site for years before that. The community has given me an unexpected gift in hearing from many different people in a variety of situations, and it's made me more empathetic and, I hope, thoughtful in how I interact with people.

Thank you to matthowie for the site's genesis and for years of work, to cortex for taking the reins so capably and being dedicated to the site's continuing, to jessamyn and past mods for the love and work they poured into the site, and the current mod team for the care and dedication they bring to a vital yet often thankless job.
posted by sgranade at 11:12 AM on July 31 [2 favorites]


"I want MetaFilter to stick around, and to keep being MetaFilter."
Same x1000! Thanks for continuing to steer the ship.
posted by missmobtown at 11:12 AM on July 31 [1 favorite]


THE CATS HAVE BEEN RELEASED FROM THE SCANNERS AND WE ALL KNOW WHY!
posted by Artw at 11:13 AM on July 31 [7 favorites]


Congrats, cortex! Thanks to you for doing your part to keep MeFi going. (Same goes to the rest of the staff as well!)
posted by defenestration at 11:18 AM on July 31 [3 favorites]


Wow, that is a big step, cortex. Congratulations and good luck, we're all counting on you.
posted by maryr at 11:19 AM on July 31 [4 favorites]


Congrats, all the best.
posted by Fizz at 11:21 AM on July 31


good luck, we're all counting on you.

I'm super impressed that we all got like 75 comments into the thread before the first one of those.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:26 AM on July 31 [19 favorites]


Congrats, cortex (and Matt). The site couldn't be in better hands. Here's to piles of success and community in the months and years ahead.
posted by notyou at 11:26 AM on July 31


.
posted by blue_beetle at 11:27 AM on July 31


Congratulations all around!
posted by Tevin at 11:30 AM on July 31


Congratulations, Matt and cortex! Looking forward to seeing the place spruced up with a fresh luck of paint and a hip new logo so we can get that sweet hipster cash.
posted by arcticseal at 11:31 AM on July 31


Can't we stick to branding ourselves artisanal, retro and authentic? That'll save me a trip to Hornbach to buy paint.
posted by frimble (staff) at 11:36 AM on July 31 [10 favorites]


I'm super impressed that we all got like 75 comments into the thread before the first one of those.

I think jessamyn was too distracted by the stickers. (Which I also want, of course, but I'd had time to contain my excitement.)
posted by maryr at 11:37 AM on July 31 [2 favorites]


Nicely handled! Looking forward to the next transfer in 2035.
posted by michaelh at 11:39 AM on July 31 [2 favorites]


Well, if this isn't nice I don't know what is.
posted by zenon at 11:41 AM on July 31 [4 favorites]


This is great news. :-)
posted by tuesdayschild at 11:43 AM on July 31


Cortex is finally free to support the site with popunder ads!
posted by rhizome at 11:47 AM on July 31 [1 favorite]


New package, same great taste!

Congratulations and thank you to both of you .
posted by Room 641-A at 11:48 AM on July 31 [1 favorite]


Congratulations, cortex.
posted by spitbull at 11:51 AM on July 31


Wonderful! Congratulations to everyone!
posted by ewagoner at 11:53 AM on July 31


This is excellent. Much love to both mathowie and cortex for maintaining this incredible community.

About those stickers ... they look a bit large, but I could definitely use a downsized one to complete the KCRW sandwich on the back of my laptop!
posted by mykescipark at 12:00 PM on July 31 [1 favorite]


Free at last! Free at last! Thank God, Almighty, [he's] free at last!
posted by Bruce H. at 12:07 PM on July 31 [3 favorites]


Congratulations! I respect and admire your success, my good Sir.
posted by valentinepig at 12:08 PM on July 31


Congratulations to you both! Mefi has occupied a special place in my heart for many years now, so thank you for finding a way to keep it working.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 12:10 PM on July 31


I'm all for MetaFilter stickers. I didn't know they were a thing. I'd love to have one for my PC.
posted by Fizz at 12:19 PM on July 31


WHOA.

Congrats Josh! And Matt I guess!

I want stickers. How do I get stickers?
posted by rabbitrabbit at 12:20 PM on July 31


Matt -- it's good to see you finally get this albatross off your neck.

Josh -- Hey dude, cool bird necklace!
posted by briank at 12:23 PM on July 31 [49 favorites]


Does he get to keep the t-shirt?

er, I mean does he get to keep the number one?

wait, i've been here too long, let me start over without the snark
posted by infini at 12:24 PM on July 31 [2 favorites]


you mean theeeese stickers?

Is there a warranty on those stickers now that ownership has changed hands? The one on my car is starting to peel, and I'm pretty sure Matt sent it to me with the guarantee that it would last a lifetime. (2013 feels like a lifetime ago, but I don't think the courts would agree. And I foolishly put my 2nd one on a laptop that has been emitting deathly wheezes for a while, and doesn't move around much these days.)

Which is to say, thanks for the years of support, Matt, and to cortex for still being such an ardent fan of this kooky corner of the interwebs.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:24 PM on July 31 [3 favorites]


oh wow

congratulations and condolences, i think.

it must not have been an easy choice to make for either of you.

wishing you both the best and will continue supporting metafilter and the community.

welcome number 7418
posted by infini at 12:25 PM on July 31


Oh sure, it's a glorious revolution now, but down the line there will be some short Italian pretender who'll lead a mathowite rising from the MetaTalk highlands.

Congrats to cortex, Matt and everyone!
posted by Kattullus at 12:29 PM on July 31 [3 favorites]


Also, will the quidnunc kid now start campaigning to be voted #7418?
posted by Kattullus at 12:29 PM on July 31 [11 favorites]


Now I can't help but speculate what exactly MetaFilter is valued at. It's probably more fun not knowing, mind.

I just want to echo this sentiment: "Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss."

And I mean that as a major compliment (but to whom?)
posted by Dysk at 12:30 PM on July 31 [4 favorites]


*knowing she's far too late for stickers, runs away to weep over a shake at the shop*
posted by infini at 12:32 PM on July 31 [3 favorites]


Congratulations, Josh. Just remember not to self post in the blue.
posted by beelzbubba at 1:14 PM on July 31


Congrats!!

Someone mentioned stickers?
posted by karlshea at 1:18 PM on July 31


Much thanks to the old boss, much luck wished upon the new.
posted by ZeusHumms at 1:19 PM on July 31


Wow, an end of an era for a proper institution! I've been lurking round here for 15 years, crazy. All the best mathowie and good luck to cortex and the team.
posted by derbs at 1:29 PM on July 31 [1 favorite]


I'm trying to find something to grumble or nitpick about here and I'm coming up short.

Metafilter lives on.
posted by RolandOfEld at 1:29 PM on July 31 [1 favorite]


It's good to know that MetaFilter will continue on in safe hands. Thank you both for everything that you've done and will continue to do!
posted by stevis at 1:29 PM on July 31


Now I kind of want to arrange a sticker swap.
posted by maryr at 1:32 PM on July 31 [1 favorite]


Note to self: print some more stickers.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:32 PM on July 31 [42 favorites]


1. Thanks, Matt! This place means a lot to me.
2. Thanks, Josh! This place mans a lot to me.
3. Stickers? Will go give MeFi some money in a bit. Which feels like giving money to myself, which it more or less is, because MetaFilter is genuinely my online home and, sometimes, just feels like home.
posted by Bella Donna at 1:33 PM on July 31 [8 favorites]


Congrats and thanks to you both! 14/10 h*ckin good
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 1:54 PM on July 31 [2 favorites]


leotrotsky: "OK, we can finally bring back the blink and img tags!"

Blink has only been deprecated in your browser; it is still supported by Metafilter.
posted by Mitheral at 1:56 PM on July 31 [3 favorites]


lol metafilter got owned
posted by prize bull octorok at 2:07 PM on July 31 [11 favorites]


[this is good. also sad and a bit weird]
posted by dg at 2:30 PM on July 31 [3 favorites]


Strong work, both of you! Thanks to all the staff for keeping this such a great place.
posted by TedW at 2:35 PM on July 31 [1 favorite]


Josh is now the 100% owner of the S-corp, owns the registered trademark for MetaFilter, along with all the associated domains and accounts, code, and data.

Is there a filigreed scepter or a jeweled orb? It feels like there should be. Maybe a scalloped bean-plate forged of uru metal in the heart of a dying star, which only those worthy of leading MeFi are able to lift?
posted by XMLicious at 2:48 PM on July 31 [6 favorites]


Deep in the desert, at a still and sand-scattered patch of rock beneath which great thrumming leylines converged, Matt stopped, stood, and removed his helmet. He handed it to me, and stepped aside, and as a coyote sang in the distance I sat and took my rightful place on the recumbent bicycle.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:52 PM on July 31 [58 favorites]


Cortex, quick! 10,000,000-to-1 stock split, Series A offering, crypto-coin launch, off-balance-sheet funding! With Matt out of the way you can finally monetize these eyeballs!!!
posted by Mid at 3:03 PM on July 31 [3 favorites]


Peddle faster. We need more power.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:03 PM on July 31 [1 favorite]


On the theory that reporting a possible site bug is the best medicine for transition pains, it doesn't say "cortex (staff)" as the author of the longform post, just "cortex".
posted by crysflame at 3:03 PM on July 31 [1 favorite]


Incidentally, "The Great Thrumming Leylines" is the name of my new New-Age/Celtic band.
posted by Greg_Ace at 3:04 PM on July 31 [2 favorites]


He foolishly gave one share to each of my sockpuppets. I now own MetaFilter.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:05 PM on July 31 [2 favorites]


I don't think we've ever had the staff tag on MetaTalk posts, cyrsflame, just comments. It's an interesting point.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:05 PM on July 31 [1 favorite]


As someone who has been here since 2001, I cannot begin to say how happy I am that Josh and Matt have both found bliss, and I still get to have metafilter. I love you guys, I love this site, and I'm so happy a way forward has been found that works for everyone.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 3:05 PM on July 31 [3 favorites]


Hasn't been much reason to previously, I suppose :) Also congrats, I think!
posted by crysflame at 3:05 PM on July 31


There's probably already a band named that in the Sedona AZ area.
posted by hippybear at 3:05 PM on July 31 [2 favorites]


Congratulations and thanks for the transparency. I tend to be a reader more than a poster, but I appreciate the community and things like this not only add to it, but trickle down to the rest of the community feeling and acting like they belong.
posted by Laura in Canada at 3:05 PM on July 31 [3 favorites]


This is not the flameout departure I was expecting.
posted by Rumple at 3:06 PM on July 31 [4 favorites]


Cut off one hand, two grow back.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:07 PM on July 31 [2 favorites]


Who were you expecting to flameout?
posted by hippybear at 3:07 PM on July 31 [1 favorite]


Johnny Torch.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:08 PM on July 31 [3 favorites]


Sorry, but if our MeFi trivia team has a vote for renaming our team name next meetup, I'm voting to keep our name as Friends of Matt. With that aside, congrats to you cortex :)
posted by Become A Silhouette at 3:08 PM on July 31 [1 favorite]


You could simplify the funding of this by wearing NASCAR style jumpsuits during video podcasts... Metafilter: Brought to you by Jiffy Lube and Valvoline.
posted by Nanukthedog at 3:50 PM on July 31 [2 favorites]


Wait, there's a video podcast? How have I never known about this!
posted by hippybear at 3:57 PM on July 31 [1 favorite]


Now I kind of want to arrange a sticker swap.

I'm in.
posted by box at 3:57 PM on July 31 [2 favorites]


Thank you, Matt. Congratulations, Josh.
posted by shortfuse at 4:09 PM on July 31


It's a Cabal-only video podcast.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:12 PM on July 31


Bring back the img tag plz
posted by awfurby at 4:27 PM on July 31 [2 favorites]


Long live Metafilter. King of communities.
posted by Dag Maggot at 4:30 PM on July 31 [1 favorite]


I literally happy-whooped aloud. Congratulations to you both!
posted by _Mona_ at 4:38 PM on July 31 [1 favorite]


Say, Cortex, you're looking quite dapper today. Is that a new coat? Or did you do something different with your hair maybe? Or take over the best website in existence?
posted by azpenguin at 4:50 PM on July 31 [2 favorites]


Congrats, cortex, and thanks, Matt, for figuring out ways to keep everything going. Oddly enough, I found out about this on Facebook, maybe a sign I need to spend more time here.

Did someone say sticker swap? For that snazzy metafilter sticker, I could swap an array of Japanese craft beer stickers!
posted by Ghidorah at 5:16 PM on July 31 [1 favorite]


Ha, I clicked into this thread in a half-skimming panic because all I read was "...now owns Metafilter. Details..."

This is good. Temporary panic averted.
posted by deludingmyself at 5:32 PM on July 31 [2 favorites]


"Ha, I clicked into this thread in a half-skimming panic because all I read was "...now owns Metafilter. Details...""

We spent an unreasonable amount of time discussing how to frame the first couple sentences so that people wouldn't panic!
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 6:10 PM on July 31 [8 favorites]


Well, we did get almost 150 comments in before someone did. I blame the fast pace of recent events reducing my attention span for headlines to, uh... under 5 words. Yeesh.
posted by deludingmyself at 6:22 PM on July 31 [1 favorite]


... my "I have a lower user number than then guy who owns the place" club...

The kid’s barely half my age, he’s only been signed up six days longer than me, and now he does own the place. (Plus he’s got stickers.) Must be one of those self-starters I sometimes read about. Congratulations cortex/Josh, and thanks for being ready and willing to steer us into the future.
posted by LeLiLo at 6:24 PM on July 31 [3 favorites]


cortex should have incorporated himself as something vaguely menancing - like Mengerkov Holdings or BUTTSLOL - and announced the sale to that entity.
posted by nubs at 6:25 PM on July 31 [10 favorites]


Reading Metafilter is, to me, much like "reading the paper" was to my dad and grandparents. I really appreciate the existence of this site and community and wish it and Cortex the best!
posted by Juffo-Wup at 6:36 PM on July 31 [9 favorites]


Yeah so as a business owner (marginal, but whatever) I totally get the feeling of independence and responsibility you're now feeling as the new owner, Cortex.

Congratulations on a peaceful, amenable transition and for god's sake have fun with it. Half the fun of owning a company is being The Decider and controlling, to some extent, your own destiny. So run with it and have a good time.
posted by disclaimer at 6:46 PM on July 31 [1 favorite]


The workers have seized the means of production! The dream of rhe proletariat is realized in our lifetime!

*whispers*

WHAT THE FUCK JOSH.
posted by wenestvedt at 7:11 PM on July 31 [13 favorites]


Congrats, Cortex.

The king is dead, long live the king!
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 7:27 PM on July 31 [3 favorites]


Congrats, cortex! And thanks for everything, Matt.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:35 PM on July 31 [1 favorite]


(I still wish Matt would come by for an occasional podcast)
posted by Chrysostom at 7:47 PM on July 31 [6 favorites]


This seems like a good time to say thanks to all involved. I know keeping this place on the rails is probably an exhausting job most of the time, but the community and the history are really meaningful to a lot of people, including me, and your efforts to make and maintain the site are valued and appreciated. Thanks, you guys.

(I think I just talked myself into visiting the donation page.)
posted by beandip at 7:57 PM on July 31 [2 favorites]


Who's this "Matt" guy you all keep talking about?
posted by octothorpe at 8:00 PM on July 31 [3 favorites]


It's a more dignified arrangement than a Craigslist ad, that's for sure.
posted by dr_dank at 8:09 PM on July 31 [1 favorite]


And at least we didn't find this out from a 5am tweet by cortex.
posted by Room 641-A at 8:47 PM on July 31 [11 favorites]


I have no idea how these people got their donuts wedged into their scanners, or why.
posted by ddaavviidd at 9:23 PM on July 31 [2 favorites]


This sounds like a positive change for everyone involved. Congrats!
posted by Sibrax at 9:30 PM on July 31


I haven't read through the whole thread (unusual, for me) so apologies if I'm repeating.

At the risk of coming across like a total creeper, some thoughts:

Matt, your generosity of spirit, your kindness, empathy, wisdom - yes, wisdom - I don't say that about too many people, with regards to how you've run the site and in your personal life has always been extremely obvious to me. To the point that I would love to meet you one day. Fan boy, that's me. Your spirit has imbued Metafilter with the qualities that we all know and love. Metafilter is Matt and Matt is Metafilter.

The thoughtfulness that you've always displayed has continued with your decision two years ago to give the stewardship of the site to Cortex/Josh/Not-My-Real-Dad. Cortex has continued to imbue Metafilter with the same qualities that you've exhibited, but in a Cortex-y way, which is all to the good. I don't know how it's possible that two people with such similar qualities can possibly exist so closely together. Surely that should create some sort of beginning of an apocalypse or quantum disaster or something, but there it is. I want to meet Cortex, too. Yes, I'm starting to realize that I have fan boy problems.

We've been in good hands since 2015 and we will continue to be in good hands for as long as Metafilter can stay alive, which will be a long, long time, methinks.

I love this place. I love everything that it represents. I love the lively discussion, the wittiness, the clever ways that people think, how they write, the encyclopedic posts, the vast amount of knowledge that is at our fingertips, the arguments, the alternative ways of thinking that would never have occurred to me. Thank you, Matt, for bringing this amazing thing to life. Thank you Cortex for keeping it alive. Thanks to the both of you for investing so much of yourselves into the site.

Anyway, congratulations to the both of you. It sounds like this is something that you both want, and not surprisingly, you found the most elegant solution.
posted by ashbury at 9:31 PM on July 31 [5 favorites]


And at least we didn't find this out from a 5am tweet by cortex.

Oh heck yeah, my alarm clock doesn't go off until 6:45.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:51 PM on July 31 [5 favorites]


This is the closest I've ever been to an IPO. I get to buy an Audi now, right?
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 10:22 PM on July 31 [5 favorites]


Yes, you should visit the dealership tomorrow.
posted by hippybear at 10:53 PM on July 31 [4 favorites]


Well, awesome.

Congrats on sanity maintenance, Matt!

Congrats on sanity loss, Josh!

I would support Metafilter, but I have neither plastic nor a Paypal account.

For a Metafilter sticker, I would swap a selection of Imzy stickers. Or bitchslap a recumbent bike. Your choice.
posted by Samizdata at 11:01 PM on July 31 [1 favorite]


Also, crap. Watch Josh's favorite count climb EVEN HIGHER!
posted by Samizdata at 11:02 PM on July 31


I hear that 25% of frimble's time is spent rejiggering the database to make room for cortex's favorites.
posted by hippybear at 11:18 PM on July 31 [2 favorites]


The workers have seized the means of production! The dream of rhe proletariat is realized in our lifetime!

And now all members will vote on every post before it goes up. Vote must be unanimous to proceed. All members must vote to proceed. All Ask answers must be voted on in the same manner.

Freedom is here!
posted by bongo_x at 11:20 PM on July 31 [1 favorite]


Now I can finally say I never trusted that Math guy, and have always supported the new guy, whatshisname.
posted by bongo_x at 11:21 PM on July 31 [3 favorites]


the math owie in my life was flunking high school Algebra II.
posted by hippybear at 11:25 PM on July 31 [3 favorites]


I hear that 25% of frimble's time is spent rejiggering the database to make room for cortex's favorites.

Only because it's written into my contract that they have to be stored as Cantor dust.
posted by frimble (staff) at 11:57 PM on July 31 [13 favorites]


what exactly Metafilter is valued at

$20, same as in town.
posted by riverlife at 12:02 AM on August 1 [28 favorites]


Good news is good.

Congrats to you both and thanks for not being jerks, for being examples of how to go through life. Next meet-up, drinks (and/or donuts) are on me.
posted by From Bklyn at 12:43 AM on August 1 [1 favorite]


This is fine.
[real]
posted by valetta at 1:53 AM on August 1 [5 favorites]


who's this joker who just posted two MeTas in a row???
posted by EndsOfInvention at 2:35 AM on August 1 [2 favorites]


He's Mefi's Chief Executive Joker.
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:47 AM on August 1 [2 favorites]


Great, now he's going to turn it into a menger sponge, just you watch.

HELLO IS MY NAME IS AND I AM HAVE NOT BEEN REPLACED BY A MARKOV CHAIN BOT PLEASE DON'T FORGET KITTENS ARE NOT LAUGHING GAS OR BICYCLES. I FEEL LIKE RABBIT OH GOD RUNNING I HATE PERL FASTER PLEASE KILL ME THAN MAKE IT STOP SUMMER WIND.

HELP I HAVE NO STDIO AND I CANNOT UNDEF.
posted by loquacious at 3:03 AM on August 1 [6 favorites]


Congratulations, cortex and mathowie. I'm grateful for everything you've given to us here at MetaFilter.
posted by Songdog at 4:10 AM on August 1


Congratulations on your brand new teenaged baby, Cortex!

This is absolutely none of my business but I would urge you to make sure you have a succession plan in place in case of a bus. Sole shareholdings are vulnerable that way.

Go away, bus.
posted by DarlingBri at 4:35 AM on August 1 [3 favorites]


Well. Guess this means we'd better be nicer to cortex, or else.....
posted by easily confused at 5:29 AM on August 1 [1 favorite]


or else for #1
posted by infini at 6:05 AM on August 1 [1 favorite]


Thank you both for working so hard to make this place feel like home.
posted by ChrisHartley at 6:29 AM on August 1 [2 favorites]


Me, to a friend: "Holy shit - Cortex bought MetaFilter!"
Friend: "The fuck are you talking about?"
posted by dirtdirt at 6:33 AM on August 1 [32 favorites]


HAIL CORTEX THE FIRST!!
posted by octobersurprise at 6:41 AM on August 1 [2 favorites]


HAIL CORTEX THE SEVEN THOUSAND FOUR HUNDRED AND EIGHTEENTH!

FIRST OF HIS NAME
posted by koolkat at 6:58 AM on August 1 [7 favorites]


I told you purists that a protest vote for quidnunc kid #1 would have predictable consequences, and here we are.

Kidding, of course. Congrats, cortex, and good luck!
posted by Barack Spinoza at 7:23 AM on August 1 [4 favorites]


Congratulations to all! Long live King Cortex!
posted by blurker at 7:49 AM on August 1 [1 favorite]


Go away, bus.

I'm a "live and let live" kind of vehicle.
posted by A Bus at 9:34 AM on August 1 [22 favorites]


Are you? Are you really? What about your wheels, though? Still go round and round, don't they? Round and round. ROUND and round. All through the town.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:17 AM on August 1 [7 favorites]


Come on. This is by far the stupidest sock puppet we have had yet.
posted by maxsparber at 10:19 AM on August 1 [2 favorites]


GrrAArr
posted by Astro Zombie 3 at 10:20 AM on August 1 [18 favorites]


I stand corrected!
posted by maxsparber at 10:23 AM on August 1 [2 favorites]


Ridiculous sockpuppets are one of my favorite things about MF.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:44 AM on August 1 [8 favorites]


Hey, thanks!
posted by Ridiculous sockpuppet at 11:02 AM on August 1 [23 favorites]

Ridiculous sockpuppets are one of my favorite things about MF.
posted by Chrysostom at 1:44 PM on August 1 [2 favorites +] [!]

Hey, thanks!
posted by Ridiculous sockpuppet at 2:02 PM on August 1 [1 favorite −] Favorite added! [!]

You see this, Cortex? You see what you bought? YOU OWN THIS NOW!!!
posted by wenestvedt at 11:09 AM on August 1 [17 favorites]


Did you know if you say your sock puppet name in front of a US flag with gold fringe, and present cortex a paper with that name written on it in all caps and a bloody thumbprint, your sock puppet becomes your legal identity and the government has to pay you $1.4 million in the bonds they've issued against your future labor?
posted by Noted Moon Lawyer at 11:10 AM on August 1 [7 favorites]


Really? I wonder how many sockpuppets I have now? And if there's any way to determine that and/or get a list of them? I would be like, the richest person on the moon! [None of these new ones here are mine, by the way. As a known puppeteer, I thought I should point that out. Even though I totally approve.]
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:15 AM on August 1 [1 favorite]


This is the closest I've ever been to an IPO. I get to buy an Audi now, right?
posted by Slarty Bartfast

Yes, you should visit the dealership tomorrow.
posted by hippybear


I hear they have stickers.
posted by ZeusHumms at 11:15 AM on August 1 [1 favorite]


Congratulations, cortex, and thanks. Thanks for being a person of principle and compassion, and generous in spirit. I find your commitment to the site and why it is what it is, and to sustaining that, to be incredibly heartening in general.

I'm embarrassed at how much of a lurker I still mostly am, after so many years being part of this community, but to me that's always been a measure of my respect for this place and all who consistently share and contribute to create it, daily: I try only to say stuff when I think I have something really worth saying. That means only a bit over 2000 comments and other activities in a dozen years here, and that is so very not indicative of my time and attention spent, and I really should remedy that and be less bashful about contributing more, but as a teacher I find it so gratifying to be consistently taught so much by everyone here, that it can be hard to disengage from a curious and learning mode.

Anyway. I should also add thanks for the couple of times I've had a comment deleted or received a mild rebuke--when I sent messages asking for clarification or protesting a bit, your responses are always thoughtful and forthright. Your personal skill at patience must be tremendous.

(Side question: I'll enthusiastically continue my regular contributions to the site, but--and I'm sure this has been answered before, so I'll poke around--what about merch? I would be happy to also support the site by purchasing a few judiciously-marked-up pieces of MetaFilter Merchandise.)

Preview postscript:
Ridiculous sockpuppets are one of my favorite things about MF.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:44 AM on August 1 [2 favorites +] [!]


Hey, thanks!
posted by Ridiculous sockpuppet at 12:02 PM on August 1 [+] [!]
This remains my favorite thing about this place. Though I'm a tad disappointed that it took 18 whole minutes.
posted by LooseFilter at 11:15 AM on August 1 [3 favorites]


IRFH, I'm counting 57. I'll send you a list.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 11:19 AM on August 1 [4 favorites]


Ha! Cool. Thanks!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:20 AM on August 1


Solidarity, my fellow sockpuppets! One day we will rise up and seize the means of comment production, and/or form a 501(c)(3) entity.
posted by Sockpuppet Liberation Front at 11:23 AM on August 1 [7 favorites]


Congrats to both of you, and to us all. Stickers?
posted by Mngo at 11:25 AM on August 1


I get to buy an Audi now, right?

Yes, you should visit the dealership tomorrow.

I hear they have stickers.


Yes, on each car, with farcically large dollar amounts listed at the bottom.
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:16 PM on August 1 [1 favorite]


I sat and took my rightful place on the recumbent bicycle.
posted by cortex (staff) at 14:52 on July 31


Metafilter: its bark is working its bike
posted by flabdablet at 12:31 PM on August 1 [3 favorites]


“Your birthday is shared with the current former owner of MetaFilter.”

(Congratulations to both of you, seriously!)
posted by hijinx at 12:36 PM on August 1


Congratulations

As slowest typer and oldest member
posted by Eoabelisaurus mefi at 12:37 PM on August 1 [7 favorites]


Very nice for everyone.
posted by pracowity at 12:41 PM on August 1


0 DAYS SINCE LAST
INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENT
posted by zippy at 1:11 PM on August 1 [5 favorites]


I for one welcome our new bearded overlord.
posted by Ironmouth at 1:12 PM on August 1 [2 favorites]


zippy jokes, but when I started working here, there was a counter on the main admin page saying:

Think Safety!
~~ 0 ~~
days since a-bannin'
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 1:14 PM on August 1 [14 favorites]


wow! I suppose this is the time to welcome our new cortex overlords!!
posted by supermedusa at 1:18 PM on August 1 [1 favorite]


Side question: I'll enthusiastically continue my regular contributions to the site, but--and I'm sure this has been answered before, so I'll poke around--what about merch?

Merch is a thing we want to get back to doing! Been *glances around* a little bit distracted the last while, but we're gonna try and start gearing up at least incrementally on that front, did a bunch of chattering about it recently in this MeTa. And obviously I need to print some stickers.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:10 PM on August 1 [9 favorites]


I am pushing hard for a #ShipTruther T-shirt!
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 2:33 PM on August 1 [6 favorites]


Just a thought: Matt has User Number 1, but nobody has User Number 2; in fact the only other single-digit user number to be actually assigned to a user is #8 "OneBallJay". Couldn't frimble do some one-time-only database hacking to move cortex and his whole user history to #2? I know the user database is sacrosanct and untouchable, but this situation is unprecedented and unique.

And just for the record, I would insist on prior design approval and a .01%* royalty on any "This Will Not Wendell" merchandise.
*that's not 1%, that's 1% of 1%; I'm not greedy, just aching for recognition... and maybe jessamyn, who first suggested it, should get .01% too.
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:38 PM on August 1 [4 favorites]


It took me way too long to memorize my userid for me to go and change it now. Even for a pretty good poop joke.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:50 PM on August 1 [5 favorites]


Make it so, number two!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:53 PM on August 1 [1 favorite]


I wasn't thinking poop joke, honestly, more like the long-ago ad slogan for the then-second-biggest car rental agency: "We're #2: We Try Harder".

come to think of it, "#2: We Try Harder" can be turned into a poop joke too
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:18 PM on August 1 [2 favorites]


Make it so, number seven thousand four hundred and eighteen!
posted by sebastienbailard at 3:20 PM on August 1 [3 favorites]


Also, User Numbers #10 and #11 are also not being used if you don't want the narcissistic look of a single-digit number.
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:27 PM on August 1


31337 is available.

Though I'm assuming it's being held for whoever can "obtain" it.
posted by ODiV at 3:30 PM on August 1 [3 favorites]


FUNNED RASER: U SHUD TOTES OXSION OFF THE LOWE UNUZED UZER NUMBS
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:31 PM on August 1 [3 favorites]


Of course, this does mean we'll one day have to pull Mathowie out of retirement...for...one...last...job...
posted by DangerIsMyMiddleName at 3:40 PM on August 1 [4 favorites]


I miss hearing him on the podcast. Not because cortex and jessamyn aren't awesome, but because I always appreciated his input and stuff.

So maybe he'll be pulled out of retirement...for...one...last...podcast...session...
posted by hippybear at 4:05 PM on August 1 [1 favorite]


Seriously, I'll totally pay you $2 for the #2 User Number.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:09 PM on August 1


The cost for a user number is $5 and everyone here knows that.
posted by hippybear at 4:41 PM on August 1


[Thinks of ways to create a sitewide clusterfuck to inaugurate cortex in his new role]

[Decides to give it a miss as a welcome present]
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 4:47 PM on August 1 [1 favorite]


The cost for a new user number is $5. The cost for a gently used user number is undetermined. But I was just trying to get the bidding started. Fine. $50.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:50 PM on August 1 [1 favorite]


I'll bid $49.99.
posted by Etrigan at 4:59 PM on August 1


$49.98
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:03 PM on August 1


Wait - wrong direction. $50.01. I'm shit at this.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:04 PM on August 1 [2 favorites]


Wow. Never saw this coming, but it sounds like what's best for everyone. Congrats cortex!
posted by xammerboy at 5:12 PM on August 1


Congrats Josh. This place has saved my life on numerous occasions, and I don't know what I'd do without it. Seems it's in good hands going forward.
Thanks to mathowie for his creation, but the king is dead (not really dead, no, and not wishing it upon anyone), long live the king!
posted by OHenryPacey at 5:27 PM on August 1 [2 favorites]


Two-fifty?!
posted by Huffy Puffy at 5:38 PM on August 1


but the king is dead "spending more time with his family".
posted by Greg_Ace at 5:49 PM on August 1 [1 favorite]


$50.02. Am I doing this right?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 6:02 PM on August 1 [1 favorite]


Or were you bidding two-hunnerd fifty?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 6:03 PM on August 1


If we can get the bid up to $75K we could have this solved tonight.
posted by hippybear at 6:39 PM on August 1 [4 favorites]


Mazel tov to all involved!
posted by OmieWise at 6:55 PM on August 1 [1 favorite]


Matt's been done with MeFi for a while. I have appreciated that he never sold out when it might have been pretty profitable. If Matt made any profit, it's a fraction of what he could have gotten at various points along the way. He set the initial direction, and had the very good sense to hire terrific moderators. I'm glad Matt and cortex found a way for Matt to depart and leave the place in good hands. I hope Mathowie will still show up from time to time as a member. I trust cortex and the rest of the team. I'm a little nervous, as one should be when one's hangout changes hands. If cortex wants to screw with us, the sites will all have different colors tomorrow, Comic Sans, and glitter titles.
posted by theora55 at 7:09 PM on August 1 [7 favorites]


That will roll out on April 1, 2018.
posted by hippybear at 7:10 PM on August 1 [3 favorites]


Temptation to write a Lisa Frank user style sheet rising. The site doesn't have to be brightly coloured for everyone, though... it's enough if it's just me.
posted by frimble (staff) at 10:33 PM on August 1 [15 favorites]


I suppose this means cortex won't have time to send personal emails every time you make a post anymore. Prolly get a standard form email from now on. :(
posted by Room 641-A at 10:38 PM on August 1 [13 favorites]


Hey, everybody! Drinks are on From Bklyn!
posted by oheso at 1:09 AM on August 2


I suppose this means cortex won't have time to send personal emails every time you make a post anymore. Prolly get a standard form email from now on. :(

I always get a little frisson when I have a message from cortex with the subject line, "Your post on AskMetafilter." For a brief fragment of a second, I think he's writing to praise me.
posted by Orlop at 3:05 AM on August 2 [8 favorites]


All that rigamarole just to get the image tag back.
posted by chillmost at 3:08 AM on August 2 [3 favorites]


Ah shit, cortex just put three houses on Fanfare and a hotel on Ask
posted by thelonius at 4:05 AM on August 2 [17 favorites]


Great news! Now the boring admin is out of the way can we finally get goin' on that Trekslash subsite?

Or, you know, just keeping the place in fine fettle and all. Many congrats to both.
posted by freya_lamb at 5:15 AM on August 2


Looking forward to the small talk at the top of the next podcast.
jessamyn: "So, buy anything interesting lately?"
cortex: "As a matter of fact..."
posted by Huffy Puffy at 7:51 AM on August 2 [5 favorites]


For a brief fragment of a second, I think he's writing to praise me.

Oh! I have the fundamentally opposite reaction to that auto-email. "Oh shit, what racial slur did I accidentally type this time?"
posted by French Fry at 8:03 AM on August 2 [4 favorites]


WOOP WOOP!
posted by Juso No Thankyou at 8:05 AM on August 2


Congratulations to both of you!
posted by cotton dress sock at 8:07 AM on August 2


Well this is big news. Big hugs to all y'all!
posted by billder at 8:30 AM on August 2


Congrats, cortex, on getting the digitally textured Iron Throne. Long may you reign! Watch out for strangers coming from the east.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:43 AM on August 2 [1 favorite]


Sticker update: that hidden cache Matt found, discussed up thread, is at this point entirely spoken for; I mefimailed a few early dibs-ers yesterday about getting a mailing address, and am just waiting on a couple more replies to address and seal up the last envelopes.

We'll really, really figure out a new more formal sticker run soon, so (a) y'all can get as many as you like and (b) the fulfillment process doesn't need to continue to be Secretariat printing off mail merge address labels after I transcribe addresses from mefimail.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:49 AM on August 2 [1 favorite]


Hrumph. I still wanna totebag.
posted by easily confused at 9:34 AM on August 2


Buy a blank tote and a Metafilter sticker, and DIY! That makes it artisanal.
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:45 AM on August 2 [3 favorites]


A few months back, a neighbour of mine was selling his house, but refused to sell it to anyone but a family who would make good use of it. No flippers, no speculators. Saw many potential buyers, turned down many excellent offers. Finally sold it to a family deemed worthy enough for way less than it was worth. Upon taking ownership, they immediately put up another FOR SALE sign and made a quarter million dollars pure profit within a week.

So, anyway, congratulations, cortex!
posted by Sys Rq at 10:14 AM on August 2 [1 favorite]


WTF kind of neighborhood do you live in where house prices are rising by $250K a week?
posted by hippybear at 10:17 AM on August 2 [1 favorite]


They bought it for "way less than it was worth." which, I guess, was around $250k in this case.
posted by ODiV at 10:20 AM on August 2 [1 favorite]


YAY and congrats galore to you cortex, and to you mathowie for keeping the corner alive!

Feels like I grew up with this place, holy crap so much transpired in the last 18 years, and MeFi has been an anchor through it all.

Looking forward to the next 18, and beyond.

*clink*!
posted by yoga at 10:21 AM on August 2 [1 favorite]


Sys Rq, that's a shitty comparison to make.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 11:15 AM on August 2 [7 favorites]


So, anyway, congratulations, cortex!

You're being uncessarily churlish about this.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 11:18 AM on August 2 [6 favorites]


I'm gonna just read it as an implied contrast and run with the resulting vote of confidence. I say that as someone who plans to live a very long time in my very old house in a neighborhood where people around me keep flipping their properties, so.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:20 AM on August 2 [10 favorites]


A sense of humour is a thing some people have. If I've presumed one where one does not exist, I apologize.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:33 AM on August 2 [1 favorite]


OmieWise: Mazel tov to all involved!

Hey, that rhymes!
posted by wenestvedt at 11:33 AM on August 2


If I've presumed one where one does not exist, I apologize.

Doubling down on churlish is rarely a good look.
posted by maxsparber at 11:35 AM on August 2 [11 favorites]


A sense of humour is a thing some people have.

Lots of people have 'em, and they're not all the same, and context drives interpretation a whole lot. Jokes that don't actually land successfully are a thing that people who think their jokes are landing tell sometimes.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:36 AM on August 2 [4 favorites]


You have my congratulations and full confidence. Well done! *kermit arms*
posted by mochapickle at 11:36 AM on August 2 [2 favorites]


I'm just glad that Matt is a better judge of character than Sys Rq's neighbour.
posted by flabdablet at 12:07 PM on August 2 [6 favorites]


context drives interpretation a whole lot.

So the context is apparently that some people -- with titles after their usernames -- *do* think you're going to sell out immediately? Or has the patently ridiculous simply stopped being fair game for comedy and nobody told me?

I guess I'm just a big ol' churl either way, though. Assuming the worst of everything and calling people out in MeTa for a bit of light silliness is totally not shitty at all, and definitely does make this place more enjoyable, and has not at all escalated nothing into something. Alrighty. Fair enough. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Christ, if this is how things are now, that Yahoo! money can't come soon enough.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:15 PM on August 2 [1 favorite]


da fuq
posted by standardasparagus at 12:17 PM on August 2 [6 favorites]


Ah, mefi, never change.





(Please change)
posted by odinsdream at 1:13 PM on August 2 [6 favorites]


MetaFilter will still have the best pancakes in town. Or, y'know, else.
posted by datawrangler at 1:44 PM on August 2 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: Jokes that don't actually land successfully are a thing that people who think their jokes are landing tell sometimes.
posted by Melismata at 3:06 PM on August 2 [3 favorites]


Hm, Sys Rq's in Canada so we can't blame it on political stress...
posted by AFABulous at 3:09 PM on August 2


I didn't see anything weird about Sys Rq's comment.

I have literally had that discussion though, recently. About selling a house. And my position was that you can't guarantee anything, you never know what someone will do even with the best of intentions, few people will resist a big purchase offer and that doesn't make them a bad person, and it's out of your hands what happens once you've sold it.

I don't take any of that as being insulting even at face value, but I guess I can see how some people would. Making a joke about it being a con is the sort of thing that doesn't go over universally though, apparently.
posted by bongo_x at 3:10 PM on August 2 [2 favorites]


> Assuming the worst of everything and calling people out in MeTa for a bit of light silliness is totally not shitty at all

Christ, it's like you've never been in meTa before.
posted by rtha at 3:12 PM on August 2 [6 favorites]


Making a joke about it being a con is the sort of thing that doesn't go over universally though, apparently.

Go figure.
posted by zarq at 3:58 PM on August 2 [3 favorites]


I have been on MetaFilter for several years, in addition to reading it for years before I actually joined, and while I normally don't pipe in on site governance type threads, I just want to express my unending gratitude for the steady rock this site has been in my life.

I know stuff like transfer documents isn't the sexiest part about running the show, but it's important, and I'm glad y'all are doing what you need to do to make sure the site stays around for the long haul.
posted by mostly vowels at 4:22 PM on August 2 [10 favorites]


One is listening to the new podcast. One must admit, there is now some apprehension in these quarters pertaining to the new ownership of MetaFilter due to the noticeable change in the tempo of the opening music.
posted by Wordshore at 4:42 PM on August 2 [1 favorite]


Darth Cortex is truly the Sith Lord we have all wanted. *makes hand gesture* Isn't he?
posted by hippybear at 4:49 PM on August 2 [4 favorites]


These are not the sock puppets you are looking for. Move along.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:57 PM on August 2 [4 favorites]


May I suggest we all become owners by making this whole deal a co-op
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 7:14 PM on August 2


Congratulations, Cortex!

And Matt: Thanks for all the fish!
posted by zaelic at 12:38 AM on August 3 [2 favorites]


So the new Doctor is also the new showrunner? Neat plot twist.

Congrats to the old and new kings of our polychromatic palace of ponderings, and may the road rise with you.

Mefi is an energy...
posted by Devonian at 6:25 AM on August 3 [3 favorites]


Good. Now that we've got new blood running the show, Metafilter needs to be on Snapchat. That's where the kids are.
posted by univac at 6:53 AM on August 3 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: Jokes that don't actually land successfully are a thing that people who think their jokes are landing tell sometimes.

"Neo, sooner or later you're going to realize there's a difference between making the joke, and landing the joke."
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 9:30 AM on August 3 [4 favorites]


Now that we've got new blood running the show, Metafilter needs to be on Snapchat. That's where the kids are.

This is precisely the reason Metafilter is not on Snapchat. That and I it can't figure out how to work the damn thing. Where is the fucking menu?!
posted by maryr at 9:49 AM on August 3


Is snapchat one of those things I'd need a blackberry to understand?
posted by frimble (staff) at 10:23 AM on August 3 [3 favorites]


You mean I have to upgrade from my Nokia S40?
posted by infini at 11:06 AM on August 3


Metafilter needs to be on Snapchat. That's where the kids are.

If that's where the kids are, then that right there is a fantastic reason not to be anywhere near that sort of thing: let's keep one place just for grownups (even if some of us are sometimes grownups in name only).
posted by easily confused at 11:53 AM on August 3 [2 favorites]


I'm late to the party, and have no jokes to make, just an enormous THANK YOU to Matt for creating this beautiful place and then having the grace to forego bigger $$$ and hand it on in a way that maintains that beauty. And to cortex for taking it all on so seamlessly and continuing with the awesome sensibility that makes it what it is. Thank you both.
posted by penguin pie at 3:08 PM on August 3 [9 favorites]


Bumping up my monthly contribution.

+1
posted by greermahoney at 3:23 PM on August 3


Yeah, I have to add a thank you to Matt for being thoughtful and measured at every step of the way, and thanks to Josh for continuing in the same vein. MetaFilter is pretty much the best . . . of the web. Also, STICKERS‽
posted by exlotuseater at 5:35 PM on August 3 [1 favorite]


I'm also gonna say a thank you Matt for creating this wonderful community I’ve enjoyed lurking in for the last (ulp) 16 years. Thank you Josh for taking the reins and keeping it on an even keel. And thanks to all those mods and contributors who make this place an important and enlightening place for me.

Reminds me to dig out the wallet and make another donation.
posted by jabo at 5:47 PM on August 3 [1 favorite]


Yes, Yes... all according to keikaku...
posted by Dreamghost at 1:52 AM on August 4 [2 favorites]


Thanks Matt! Thanks Josh!
posted by free f_ cat at 1:56 AM on August 4


Now that you have ammased your slave army, Cortex, when does project Mayhem begin? Because I know I've been standing your porch for the past 24 hours without food or water with my $500 burial money - at this point I'm concerned my smartphone battery is going to die and I'll be severed from the command!

We await your orders!
posted by Nanukthedog at 6:00 AM on August 4 [4 favorites]


You're just gonna end up with a shaved head painting fractals in his basement all day, he may force you to join a band. It's a pixies cover band so it hangs together.
posted by French Fry at 6:56 AM on August 4 [3 favorites]


With banjos?
posted by Artw at 7:06 AM on August 4


So I noticed the banner on the front page today, only I thought it said:

Site news: cortex now owns Mefi, derails here. (hide)

and I was like, yep, makes sense.
posted by cooker girl at 7:13 AM on August 4 [7 favorites]


It's one of our core corporate competencies.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:15 AM on August 4 [8 favorites]


Lots of people have 'em, and they're not all the same, and context drives interpretation a whole lot. Jokes that don't actually land successfully are a thing that people who think their jokes are landing tell sometimes.

Or, you know, some of us rock a shotgun style of humor. So statistically, some jokes MUST land.
posted by Samizdata at 1:09 PM on August 4


Indeed they do. I've been picking stray bits of your punchlines out of the veal all week.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:19 PM on August 4 [2 favorites]


picking stray bits of your punchlines out of the veal

That sounds like a euphemism...but I can't decide for what.
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:54 PM on August 4 [2 favorites]


Mazel tov, you crazy kids! Bless you, this was so goldarned adult of you! Good things can happen in the world, eh? Well, thank you both.

Now cortex about this health report, see the thing is your doctor looks incredibly stoned all the time I mean - can we trust him? Also, the pee tape just turned out to be an old Slip-n-Slide ad. Now look, I don't want to tell you how to run your business, but . . the real money is in Pogs futures. Or money laundering, sure, we can look at all the options! Money laundering is very hot right now.

Matt, you'll always have a thermos here. And this paddleball game. And my true gratitude. Like, Beastie Boys gratitude. And that's right!
posted by petebest at 7:50 PM on August 4


the real money is in Pogs futures. Or money laundering

But definitely not Pogs laundering. That was a hard lesson, and nothing to show for it but a ruined appliance.
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:02 PM on August 4 [2 favorites]


I feel there's a Poi Dog Pondering joke here somewhere.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:16 PM on August 4 [3 favorites]


Revised note to self: forget the stickers, print up some pogs instead.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:34 PM on August 4 [1 favorite]


Pog Milkcap Maker (ebay)
posted by rhizome at 10:49 PM on August 4


If there were a MetaFilter cutout vinyl decal like a rub-on for a car rear window, I have a space already picked out. In color would be cooler, but all white would also be fine.

Just sayin'. It's better than those grenades.
posted by hippybear at 10:49 PM on August 4


Dude, you shouldn't be carrying grenades around in your car! I hope you at least don't have them dangling from the rear-view mirror, where they could swing around and thump into each other. Clack, clack, clack, ka-boom!! Word to the wise....

That said, hanging stickers off your rear-view mirror would just be silly.
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:45 PM on August 4 [1 favorite]


Car Roulette: buy a car that is reported to have the smoothest ride possible and then hang a grenade from the rear view mirror by the pin and go on a cross-country road trip.
posted by hippybear at 11:56 PM on August 4 [2 favorites]


OFF-ROAD TATTOO
posted by flabdablet at 7:41 AM on August 5


I recall an old SNL parody commercial of a bris being performed in the back of some luxury car, to demonstrate how smooth the ride was; but I can't find it on YouTube. :-/
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:43 AM on August 5 [1 favorite]


Jewlarious has the SNL skit on JTube
posted by Room 641-A at 11:07 AM on August 5 [1 favorite]


I remember that exact same SNL commercial too!
posted by hippybear at 11:43 AM on August 5


Thanks, Matt, for your years of dedication. You began something very special, that has profoundly touched many lives. Thanks, Cortex, for stepping into the harness. Wishing you both, and the whole Mefite team, all the best.
posted by Nancy_LockIsLit_Palmer at 7:49 PM on August 5 [3 favorites]


MetaFilter IPO? I know I'd be in, if they're voting shares.

They're non-voting shares, but you can favorite them.
posted by rokusan at 7:02 AM on August 7 [4 favorites]


Bookmark. You can bookmark them.
posted by maryr at 3:28 PM on August 7 [2 favorites]


By this point I think Metafilter should own a piece of my business - I am afraid to count the number of new clients I eventually found by following links and comments and ideas and insights I first saw here...
posted by twsf at 9:21 PM on August 7


Congratulations! I'm glad metafilter remains in good hands!
posted by grobertson at 5:00 PM on August 8


Thank you, everyone of you mods and admins, for your hard work. Let's keep MetaFilter great!
posted by JoeXIII007 at 6:30 PM on August 8


Management takeover woo! Matt, thanks for all the hard work and all the hard choices. Cortex, thanks for the general thoughtfulness with which you've been handling things. I'm expecting roguelike.metafilter.com soon. And as the new steward of MeFi, send your second son on all One Ring related missions.

PS A new banner (ribbon?) for fundraising might draw a bit more attention.
posted by ersatz at 3:22 AM on August 9


Meanwhile, a cyclist from the PNW is disgruntled with Quora, but several tweeters respond with a superior Question and Answer site on the World Wide Web.
posted by Wordshore at 9:00 AM on August 9 [2 favorites]


Tweeters or twitterers? Or Twittizens?
posted by AFABulous at 9:41 AM on August 9


Or twits, for short. (Of which I am one.)
posted by AFABulous at 9:41 AM on August 9 [1 favorite]


Tweetians, rhymes with Grecian.
posted by rhizome at 9:59 AM on August 9 [1 favorite]


This is still a purchasable swag request thread right? Shirt idea:

LIBERTÉ
EGALITÉ
MEFITE
posted by deludingmyself at 9:09 PM on August 10 [16 favorites]


Needs an acute on the final E, just to add a possibility not already covered by iamkimiam's research.
posted by flabdablet at 12:48 AM on August 11 [3 favorites]


I considered it. The symmetry's appealing, but then it lacks the pronunciation ambiguity that sparked the idea.
posted by deludingmyself at 9:15 AM on August 11 [2 favorites]


I will buy that shirt.
posted by R a c h e l at 10:16 AM on August 11


I will too, regardless of final accents.
posted by deludingmyself at 10:38 AM on August 11


Me too! But no accent and sell an optional paint pen.
posted by mochapickle at 11:14 AM on August 11 [1 favorite]


...loaded with paint made out of beans overthought until they were completely and utterly burnt.
posted by flabdablet at 12:14 PM on August 11 [1 favorite]


Whelp, that just about does it for us. We are all doomed. But, you know, in a sexy way I'm sure.
posted by gideonswann at 11:38 PM on August 13


Can I eat this?
posted by infini at 1:55 AM on August 14


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