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Cool it with the "NewsFilter" shit, ok?
October 5, 2002 9:34 AM   Subscribe

Cool it with the "NewsFilter" shit, ok? [more]
posted by mathowie to Etiquette/Policy at 9:34 AM (113 comments total)

We're all getting tired of 30+ posts to news stories. I get it. You get it. Most everyone who reads comments or MetaTalk gets it.

But you know what? A few interesting news links are going to be ok. Thirty is too many. Five may be alright. A single link to a news event might be worthy, if there is something really interesting about the news (and not just the 1278th post about a minor sliver between the US and the middle east).

I know some people have good intentions for this place, but posting "NewsFilter!" with a link to MetaTalk just became the new (and worse, IMO) "First Post!" It's dissmissive and filled with arrogance that you understand the site better than someone else. All I'm asking is that people cool out, and if they have to say something negative about a thread, would it kill someone to be nice about it? I've asked people to be as polite as possible when pointing out previous discussions of a similar topic, but in this case I don't think it'll work.

I've just witnessed a mob mentality where someone points out newsfilter, then five more people join in on the person for making the original post. That type of thing is going much too far. In the wonderfully and purposefully vague world of non-rules I've set up for this place, everything is elastic and occurs in shades of greys, not black and white. Thirty or more threads a day about minor news events are definitely sub-par and I'd love to see the tide swing back the other way. But a raging mob challenging the first mention of a news item each day isn't optimal either. It's sub-par in the opposite direction.

I promise I will spend the next few days reworking the posting page at MetaFilter to make this more clear; that people should think before posting, do research before posting, consider waiting and not posting the most content-free "breaking news" rumors/news, and that if something is truly interesting, it's ok to pass muster. In exchange, I'd like to ask that people mellow out on shouting down their fellow members for not reading every character ever posted to MetaTalk. Sound good?
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:47 AM on October 5, 2002


To attempt to further clear things up: "calling newsfilter" on something isn't going to gain very much understanding from your fellow members and instead allows further animosity to grow between self described old timers and newbies (judged so simply due to the time they signed up, not the time they started using the site).

Everyone chill.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:50 AM on October 5, 2002


I apologize.
posted by Stan Chin at 10:01 AM on October 5, 2002


For clarification, does this mean it's no longer acceptable behavior to make a MetaTalk thread, link it to the MeFi thread in question by just saying MetaTalk and leaving it at that? I personally see no difference between

MetaTalk

and

NewsFilter

so are you putting a stop to that behavior as well, Matt? I'm honestly not trying to be argumentative (please don't delete me again, it's so unbecoming of you), but wish clarification.
posted by ZachsMind at 10:17 AM on October 5, 2002


Beautifully and fairly put, Matt. The reaction to NewsFilter was becoming more annoying and destructive than the news items themselves.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 10:21 AM on October 5, 2002


In the wonderfully and purposefully vague world of non-rules I've set up for this place, everything is elastic and occurs in shades of greys, not black and white.

It's the poetry that I keep coming back for. I wish that line could appear on the top of every Metafilter page. Yay benign anarchy! Yay Matt!
posted by RJ Reynolds at 10:28 AM on October 5, 2002


10 yard penalty for piling on.
Apologies for the mob mentality. Lesson learned. Please to continue with the journey.
posted by jaronson at 10:32 AM on October 5, 2002


everything is elastic and occurs in shades of greys

on MetaTalk. Shades of blues on MeFi. ;)

I get the message, sir. O.K.

posted by matteo at 10:33 AM on October 5, 2002


Zachsmind- seems to me that any one-word callout is a bit lame, but a MetaTalk is usually a 'This has become an issue, viz the MeTa, si'l vous plait' whereas NewsFilter has just become 'This is a news story' be it a dumb link, great link, change-your-life link, or baby-jesus-tear-provocation link, and is just no use.
posted by robself at 10:33 AM on October 5, 2002


Zach, if you have to raise an issue with someone, be nice about it. "MetaTalk" is a bit uninformative, no? There are more polite and non-derailing ways of making a point to discuss something further in another place. I leave it up to you to figure out how to do it.

And I deleted your earlier post because it was the exact antithesis of what I wanted to say, and you didn't wait until I had gotten my chance to finish my "more" post.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 10:36 AM on October 5, 2002


Brilliant!

It's annoying to have to go through at least 10 comments about whether or not the story belongs on Metafilter, before the actual discussions about the post start.

I agree that repeated posts about the same news item get old after a while, but one of the main reasons I visit Metafilter is to read interesting discussions about the latest news. Writing Newsfilter!!! every time someone links to a news story is not my idea of interesting discussions.
posted by einarorn at 10:41 AM on October 5, 2002


Benign anarchy? ...ah, okay.

RobSelf I still don't see a difference, and seek clarification.

MetaTalk linked in a MeFi thread means, "I question the validity of this front page post that is not from a new, interesting and discussion-provoking source and wish to discuss this outside the thread so that I'm not accused of derailing the thread."

NewsFilter means the same thing, only with the added specification of it being a news-related link. If Matt is to abolish one, then the other should also be censored from now on, as the behavior is almost identical.

Mathowie: "...exact antithesis of what I wanted to say..."

In what way? I'm asking for self-policing. I police me. You police you. I'm begging for common sense. We stop this pointing of fingers, which is basically what "NewsFilter" behavior is doing. How can that possibly be the antithesis of what you're asking for?
posted by ZachsMind at 10:45 AM on October 5, 2002


*gently squishes mr.abominable's grey matter back in and backs away with cat-like caution*
posted by interrobang at 10:47 AM on October 5, 2002


NewsFilter means the same thing, only with the added specification of it being a news-related link.

NewsFilter doesn't seem to be used as 'I question the validity of this post' with the addition of it being news-y, though, more as 'I question the validity of posting news to metafilter' which is on a slightly different chair.
posted by robself at 10:50 AM on October 5, 2002


I beg to differ. I see no difference.

This is JUST an example by the way (I absolutely adored that flipflop link), to show the absurdity of this argument. The above link says, "I question the validity of posting flipflops to MetaFilter" which is the same as saying I question the validity of the post in general. Again. I see no difference. Where's the difference?
posted by ZachsMind at 11:05 AM on October 5, 2002


What about creating "newsfilter.metafilter.com" for discussion of interesting news/headline type stories?
posted by Swifty at 11:10 AM on October 5, 2002


That was lame even for you ZachsMind. What's the use of disrupting a perfectly good thread to prove a point in MeTa? You like the post and yet you're derailing it. Nice.
posted by eyeballkid at 11:15 AM on October 5, 2002


Swifty: it's been suggested before. On closer examination, though, it probably wouldn't work anyway; the NewsFilter people are posting to metafilter for a reason. They really want the attention.
posted by interrobang at 11:18 AM on October 5, 2002


Yes, I guess MeFites tends to call out posting faux-pas in their own charmingly graceful, polite manner, using a kind word of admonition to the poster.
posted by Shane at 11:18 AM on October 5, 2002


I'm trying to make a POINT, Eyeball, and believe me so many threads have been derailed one more won't make a difference at this point. My point is, ONE word, one link be it MetaTalk or NewsFilter or even something absurd like FlipFlopFilter, it derails the thread.

I've tried to use it myself and tried being as inoffensive as possible, but if NewsFilter is unacceptable behavior, so is MetaTalk in a MeFi thread. They both adversely affect the thread on an equal level, OR have the potential to do so. If you censor one, you gotta censor the other.
posted by ZachsMind at 11:24 AM on October 5, 2002


The main difference is that MetaTalk exists, which is why pointing to MetaTalk in a thread is logical. Where is NewsFilter exactly?
posted by eyeballkid at 11:29 AM on October 5, 2002


Zach, stop. Don't shit on other places to make a point.

If anyone can't discern the differences being discussed here, or understand the nuances, then don't take it upon yourself to point things out on the site at all. Leave it to others.

As for the newsfilter call-outs, something just came to mind: I'm objecting to people doing it because is smacks of so much zero-tolerance bullshit. Again, the reasons why there are no hard and fast rules and only vague guidelines is because nothing is absolute. I'm saying yeah, 30 posts a day is too much, especially if they're all news items, but you know what? half of that is just fine, it's tolerable. Some have taken it as a sign that too many news links means no news links ever, and it's their duty to point this out, and that's what I have a problem with.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:37 AM on October 5, 2002


Hrm, I've thought about it a bit more, and I'll throw out an idea--I can't convince myself whether it's stupid or not, so here goes: How about create a FPP-purgatory of some sort?

When Matt sees a FPP that's a bit questionable for MetaFilter (such as pure news stories, "What's your favorite...?, etc., but not something absolutely terrible), he can move it to purgatory instead of trying to decide on the spot about whether he should just delete it.

Then, add a link at the top of the front MeFi page saying something along the lines of "13 FPP posts moved to Purgatory today" that people can click on and see/participate in those threads.

Then, pick 4-5 old time, reliable members that happen to like those type of stories to act as moderators in the purgatory section.

Front page is cleaned up. Heavily opininated or questionable threads--such as current events--get moved to a moderated section.

I can't decide if this is just silly, or too difficult to implement--so I figured I'd throw it in here to see if anything thinks it's worth considering.
posted by Swifty at 11:38 AM on October 5, 2002


Matt - I think part of the problem is there is no real way to reward good behavior, so people who are invested in MetaFilter have to rely on our traditional shaming/punishing bad behavior.

I think it's totally within your character to want to step in and dampen the mob mentality, and I'm sure a lot of people will try to honor your wishes - healthy debate from ZachsMind not withstanding.

But, you said yourself - 30 news oriented minor posts is too many. I hope that the modifications you plan to make to the posting page will help. Have you figured out a way to reach through the monitor and slap somebody around for not reading, because that may be what it will take.

I would suggest that what is needed is a way to increase the perceived value of posting rights on MetaFilter. Last time we started attracting too many posts you implementing a one a day posting limit. That worked a bit. Is it time to up the ante again?

Can we go to a 30 day waiting period between posts? If people understood they'd have to wait 30 days before they could post again, one would hope they'd stop to consider whether that Op/Ed about the Iraq war is really how they want to spend their link currency.

Combined with that, I really feel we need some way to reward great posts. Several people have floated the idea of a "Thanks, this was a great link" type of voting system. This is great because it pulls the emphasis off comment count which is a horrible proxy for the worth of a post.

You could also use it to reward good posters by allowing them to post more frequently. Your last post got X number of great link votes, so you don't have to wait 30 days to make your next post.

How 'bout it? If you're going to ask that people not focus on changing behavior through negative reinforcement, can you give us some tools to allow for positive reinforcement instead?
posted by willnot at 11:40 AM on October 5, 2002


What about creating "newsfilter.metafilter.com"

The 30 second answer is I don't go around building sites I would never use or like. If 15 posts about Iraq a day is too much (and it is, and there have been days like that), people suggest I build Iraqfilter.metafilter.com (no, really, it's happened).

I beg to differ. In building a home for something that is frowned upon, you create a permanent home in which it can flourish. You legitimize what you were trying to diminish. That's why you can't killfile people or categorize and filter by category here. I don't want to make permanent homes for things I don't like.

But that's just me, anyone can feel free to build their own newsfilter, iraqfilter, or sillyfilter.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:42 AM on October 5, 2002


Sound good?

Absolutely. Thank you.

The reaction to NewsFilter was becoming more annoying and destructive than the news items themselves.

You ain't just whistlin' Dixie.
posted by rushmc at 11:42 AM on October 5, 2002


ZachsMind: I think the difference is that "MetaTalk" when used as a link almost always links to an individual MeTa post about something specific to the MeFi post or comments ("I don't think Foo should have said blah" or whatever). "NewsFilter" has mostly just been linking to the same general MeTa post over and over again, it's not dealing with something specific to the MeFi post, it's just a rude "neener, you posted a NewsFilter post". Not to speak for Matt, but I suspect what he's getting at is that something news-related isn't necessarily unacceptable, and lately people have been pouncing all over news-related posts with "NewsFilter" without regard to whether the post is interesting or not.
posted by biscotti at 11:43 AM on October 5, 2002


swifty, purgatoryfilter is another way to create a permanent home for unruly behavior, exactly what I don't want to do.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:44 AM on October 5, 2002


"...nothing is absolute... I'm saying yeah, 30 posts a day is too much"

There's an absolute for you.
posted by ZachsMind at 11:45 AM on October 5, 2002


The only POINT you have, Zach, is the one on top of your head.
posted by azimuth at 11:47 AM on October 5, 2002


willnot, I suggested the same thing about a month ago. Letting people only post once a week, letting others vote positively on posts they like, then giving people with lots of positive posts the chance to post more often.

The response I got?

"That's unfair"

(I'm too lazy to look it up and am on my way out for a few hours, but it's there somewhere)
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:48 AM on October 5, 2002


FPP Purgatory already exists. It's just very difficult to navigate.
posted by ZachsMind at 11:51 AM on October 5, 2002


come on zach, if i can cool it, so can you. (i was not coolheaded this morn though)
posted by clavdivs at 12:03 PM on October 5, 2002


The problem, as I see it, is not the syntax of calling out "Newsfilter!" in a news-related post, it's that it was called out in every post that could possibly be considered a news post -- i.e., it was overused and abused in a way that missed the entire point of the original complaint that there were too many news posts.
posted by mcwetboy at 12:10 PM on October 5, 2002


I haven't called "NewsFilter" on anyone yet, and if you say not to do it, Matt, I won't, but I guess I'm with Zach insofar as I'm not exactly sure how to react to "bad" posts if not to tell people their posts are bad. There is a large enough community of people who are happy with 30 unnecessary news links every day to make simply ignoring them and moving on a totally useless strategy, because for everyone who does that there's going to be ten more who take the bait. I'm a little pessimistic about the efficacy of simply urging people to be wiser about posting, too; frankly, I don't think most of them will. I hope they do.
posted by Hildago at 12:10 PM on October 5, 2002


i happened to remember just now that among the various and sundry unused domain names i have registered for whatever reason, there is shitfilter.com.
[quonsar envisions the brown background, the one-word links to shittalk.shitfilter.com, and the endless puns ("i question the validity of posting that shit here..."). quonsar slaps himself, grabs the keys to the tracker and heads off into the sunshine...]
posted by quonsar at 12:21 PM on October 5, 2002


Cool it? I'm very cool. In fact, contrary to what your perception of me might be on your end, Clavdis, I'm very much enjoying the repartee here. Granted, it's mildly annoying when Matt opts to silence me by hitting the delete key every now and then, but that's par for the course and I'm certainly cool about that too. Hell it's not the first time. I'm thankful he doesn't delete me entirely.

I'm enjoying this conversation. I feel we're making some progress. We at least talk about it. Okay. Occasionally I get a salami slammed in my face but talk is good.

"it was called out in every post that could possibly be considered a news post..."

It was making the point, and making it VERY well I might add. Had whoever was doing that not done that, this thread wouldn't be happening. We wouldn't be discussing it. For the record by the way, I've NEVER done the NewsFilter thing, but I applaud whoever was doing it. They shed light on the subject in a way that actually got attention over the din of noise. Earlier someone asked where NewsFilter is. The answer is that MeFi is becoming NewsFi and I think everyone agrees something needs to be done. It's just that no one can agree on what should or can be done about it. Someone tries to show how many news-related links there are by doing the NewsFilter thing. They get zapped. Had they just used the word "MetaTalk" instead of the word "NewsFilter" would we be having this conversation?

AND I'm with Hildago. If we can't react to bad posts by pointing out the posts are bad, what can we do? However I disagree with Hildago that self-policing is not the answer. The alternative is either Matt going mad hovering and slaving over the delete key like Ren the chihuahua with a happy helmet on his head, or MeFi gets hardcoded to enforce what people should be doing on a self-policing level anyway, and the thrill of a "wonderfully and purposefully vague world of non-rules" will once and for all be gone.
posted by ZachsMind at 12:26 PM on October 5, 2002


However I disagree with Hildago that self-policing is not the answer.

Let me clarify my position here: I think self-policing is the perfect answer, just that very few people will police themselves. Some parallel may be drawn to communism.

The alternative is either Matt going mad hovering and slaving over the delete key like Ren the chihuahua with a happy helmet on his head

Something that, even if it cost me my user account, I would pay GOOD MONEY to see. :)
posted by Hildago at 12:41 PM on October 5, 2002


It was making the point, and making it VERY well I might add.

Is it lonely at the top?

I agree with you, however, about not being able to react to bad posts. How does self-policing work without being able to point out that something is wrong?
posted by eyeballkid at 12:42 PM on October 5, 2002


You police yourself. You don't worry about the bastard to your left who's doing everything wrong. You just do the best you can to insure that you're doing things right. That's true self-policing. And yeah you're gonna screw up. We all screw up. That's okay.
posted by ZachsMind at 1:14 PM on October 5, 2002


[quonsar throws himself to the ground and after a brief struggle manages to get the cuffs on too tightly.]
posted by quonsar at 1:37 PM on October 5, 2002


Let's take the following within the context of coming from someone(read: me) who has somehow garnered a reputation for being one of the "MeFi cops" and all-around killjoy:

Had whoever was doing that not done that, this thread wouldn't be happening. We wouldn't be discussing it.

Um...have you looked at the MeTa threads over the last week, much less last several months? MeFi supposedly morphing into "NewsFi" hasn't stopped being discussed for a long time now.
The only thing that we wouldn't be discussing had somebody not been making all these callouts, is somebody having been making all the callouts.

Not "everyone" agrees that "something needs to be done." Some very vocal people do. There are a few other vocal people who think it's a non-issue, and have shown that on most days, the ratio of news posts isn't really any greater than it has been in the past(Danelope's 20:17 notwithstanding). The great majority of the rest of the users(no it's not 16k, but let's not get into that discussion) seem to be fine with it, if they even care, seeing as it's largely the same group of people commenting in all of these threads. This is something else you would find obvious from paying attention to all of those previous threads I mentioned above.
If it were "MetaTalk" being used to drag all the posts in here, you can still be damn sure it would be commented on. This would be a safe assumption, given the other, more specious, assumption that the news link-reading people are some sort of sub-set of the users. By that reasoning, somebody would've spotten that same person MeTa'ing all of the posts, and they would have said something.

"...nothing is absolute... I'm saying yeah, 30 posts a day is too much"
There's an absolute for you.


...and this is why Matt hits that delete button every once in a while. As good as your points might occasionally be, you're also being gratuitously obnoxious at times. Witty one-line responses to everything Matt says are doing nothing to support your position or lend you credibility.

Regarding using NewsFilter as the call-out link. Empirically, yes, it's no different from using MetaTalk. BUT, it's annoying, and directly references a charged issue. It's not necessary, and as has been pointed out before, MetaTalk actually exists. I find it odd that now it's considered sub-optimal, since I remember it being agreed upon sometime in the past that simply linking out of the post was probably the best way to completely remove the objection from the thread. Actually objecting in-thread generally results in people responding to it there, rather than in MeTa where it belongs. But if that's how it's wanted now, fine.

Me, I do think there's too much news being posted. I have no illusion that a hard-coded solution will fix it. Requiring a longer time between posting won't work unless it's really long, because it's been shown that the number of active posters(as opposed to users/readers) is actually rather small. That won't affect ratio in any way. Shorter times for people who got votes won't change much for essentially the same reason, and note that the news posts often get the most comments. It's likely they'll get the most votes, which will be counter to this proposal, anyway, unless Matt weighs against news items, which is simply unfair. The voting/karma system sounds nice initially, but it will need lots of development to really have it work.
I have no ideas anymore, and so I've just mostly stopped participating for the time being. I've been brought up, along with Vacapinta and a few others as examples for having made posts that while interesting, get largely ignored in terms of discussion(which was fine with all of us), and it seems like we've all just gotten tired. I can't even be bothered to complain when I see crap any longer. There's just too much of it and you get to thinking you have a Cassandra complex after a while. I actually spend more time at this point reading what's going on in MeTa than the front page, likely as some sort of gauge for when to put in the effort of paying attention to the links again.

You don't worry about the bastard to your left who's doing everything wrong. You just do the best you can to insure that you're doing things right. That's true self-policing.

Funny. I always took the self-policing to refer the community as a whole. Expecting it to be an entirely internal process would seem to imply that simply denying the existence of that bastard(or even just the uninformed newbie) will magically make things better.
posted by Su at 1:38 PM on October 5, 2002


unless Matt weighs against news items, which is simply unfair

agree with all you say (at a quick read) except that comment. since when has there been a great moral compunction (is that a real word?) to rate all things equally? if matt wants less news posts and ratings, he's prefectly free to scale down ratings for news posts. why not?

technical solutions aren't a magic cure-all, but they do allow more specific control. the whole point of that control is to change things, not leave them as they are. you can put that control in the hands of a few (matt, mini-matts) or everyone (personal killfiles).

personally, i think matt's trying to play both sides at the same time. the only thing that's kept this site moderately ok (editorial-wise) is the mob mentality. it's been ugly for ages - i have no idea why he's suddenly flipped and noticed it (a couple of weeks ago he was hounding neu out of the place along with the rest of them). if he's now objecting to the mob, what does he want to replace it with?
posted by andrew cooke at 1:57 PM on October 5, 2002


that people should think before posting, do research before posting, consider waiting and not posting the most content-free "breaking news" rumors/news, and that if something is truly interesting, it's ok to pass muster. In exchange, I'd like to ask that people mellow out on shouting down their fellow members for not reading every character ever posted to MetaTalk. Sound good?

That's pretty much how I feel about it. I should note, however, that occasionally people (read: myself and stavros in that earlier thread) are just trying to point out that it has been discussed, and a quick search even of the front page of MetaTalk would reveal it--although in that case it seems that the guy read the whole thread and still didn't come to the conclusion that we don't agree on anything here ;)

Either way, I don't think I've ever been overly aggressive with anybody on this issue. It's certainly not the way to make someone see your point of view on an issue like this.
posted by The God Complex at 2:07 PM on October 5, 2002


zach, your one of the few i haven't confronted yet.

If you censor one, you gotta censor the other.

who says, you? who said this was a pure democracy. it is a web site. matt does place limits on things, like the cult threads. this is the natural course that authority takes when something becomes an issue. The beauty of MeFi is no flashy carrots and sticks and all that. MeFi does not mimic democracy, it strives to place ideas and technology into praxis. someone said something about ben franklin in an earlier thread. In Franklins time, the printing press was more powerful then the musket. They were expensive and a bit complicated but quite a few around. Now everyone has a printing press zach, see the progress or do you see the digression. Look, Zeldman is a great example of someone who has made the transition from printing to computers. kinda like our franklin.

your hand wringing with yourself. I think you have a mind and a heart. but take some advice. I suggested cooling it. I did not break-in and smash your printing press. Zach, i have soup to make so wont be able to respond until tomorrow or tonight. e-mail me if you want. wouldn't mind something other then the porn spam and "finish your degree" mail. (i love that one) Zach, if you noticed, Matt made a request not an edict.

Quonsar- take it allenfuntfilter.com
(does imperial hand wave)

"sugar or waffle cone folks."

technical solutions aren't a magic cure-all, but they do allow more specific control.

was it not Arthur C Clarke whom said that advanced technology would/will be indistinguishable from magic.
posted by clavdivs at 2:07 PM on October 5, 2002


How does self-policing work without being able to point out that something is wrong?

Argh. I don't think anybody is saying that we shouldn't point out when something is wrong. I took the point of this thread to be that droning "NewsFilter" and linking to the same old 2661 post every time someone posts something news-related regardless of the content isn't helping. If you have a specific problem with a post, make a MeTa thread about it and link to it (or whatever), but don't just randomly comment "NewsFilter" simply because someone makes a news-related post. Something being news-related doesn't automatically make it inappropriate for this site. Or that's my interpretation anyway.
posted by biscotti at 2:08 PM on October 5, 2002


Biscotti, I think you're right. But, that doesn't change how useless the occasional metatalk thread condemning a poor post is in changing the tendency of people to painstakingly transfer the contents of CNN.com to the metafilter front page. Clearly, the laissez-faire attitude isn't working, so some people are cracking the whip a little too zealously in an effort to raise everyone's awareness. This is bad too, but in my mind it's the lesser of two evils.
posted by Hildago at 2:27 PM on October 5, 2002


go fvck yovrself, clavdivs :-)

posted by quonsar at 2:46 PM on October 5, 2002


since when has there been a great moral compunction (is that a real word?) to rate all things equally?

There isn't, but Matt does tend to operate on the side of treating all things equally, otherwise we probably would have had categories long ago*. It's too easy for the rating system this would likely be based on to devolve into people using it as a personal preference filter, ie: the person calling out every single news post(I missed the whole thing) would instead be pushing that button. I don't think that anybody is arguing the news posts are categorically bad(though a lot of them are). The issue seems to be more concerned with the sheer volume of them, and subsequent increase in unnecessary ones.

*Like last November, for one example, in which thread Matt gave some pretty detailed explanation for not filtering/categorizing the site.

I don't think Matt has suddenly flipped and noticed something. Neu was a particularly noxious case who was posting inflammatory comments in apparently every single thread s/he wandered across. I don't see that one as having been any particular turnaround for him to hound out(add in that there was no way to reach Neu and handle it privately).
This, on the other hand, is something that while it has existed for a while to some degree or other, has reached critical mass relatively recently.
posted by Su at 2:52 PM on October 5, 2002


A couple things, some of which I've said here before.

Not "everyone" agrees that "something needs to be done." Some very vocal people do. There are a few other vocal people who think it's a non-issue, and have shown that on most days, the ratio of news posts isn't really any greater than it has been in the past .... The great majority of the rest of the users .... seem to be fine with it, if they even care, seeing as it's largely the same group of people commenting in all of these threads.

Su, I agree that not "everyone" agrees that something needs to be done - but I disagree with you that silence=consent. I'm almost never vocal on this subject, but that doesn't mean that I'm pleased about the evolution. I'm very sure that any number of users are simply wandering away as they discover that Metafilter offers them less and less.

Then there are users like this guy and this guy who believe firmly that Metafilter is actually a News link site, because that's all they've ever known it to be. adrober is an especially interesting case - 50+ links, and all save one a link to a very mainstream news or entertainment site. If the community doesn't work to educate him and others like him that Metafilter is, indeed, about more than the news, then Metafilter is, in the end, going to just be about the news.

On to the thing I've said before: so long as the community as a whole continues to add 50 or 100+ comments to the news posts, and only a dozen or fewer comments to the quote-good-unquote posts, then users are going to continue to perceive news posts as the kind of posts the community is interested in, and non-news posts as the kind of the posts that the community ignores. I know that Matt doesn't want this site to be all about the comments, but human nature dictates that the posts that get the most attention are the posts that are going to be replicated.

Want to discourage news posts? Don't comment on them. At all. Want to encourage non-news posts? Comment on them, even if you just say "nice post' or "great link".


posted by anastasiav at 2:59 PM on October 5, 2002


"Zach, if you noticed, Matt made a request not an edict."

Matt's "requests" in MetaFilter/MetaTalk ARE edicts.

That's not a one-liner. It's not a flippant comment. It's a fact. If you say something he doesn't like, he's fully within his rights to delete your happy butt. I'm living proof of that.

"Want to discourage news posts? Don't comment on them. At all. Want to encourage non-news posts? Comment on them, even if you just say 'nice post' or 'great link'."

Jesus! Isn't that what I just said?
posted by ZachsMind at 3:05 PM on October 5, 2002


I like the idea of voting for good posts, and having people only be able to post once an X amount of time, with the people who get good votes being able to post a little more often. I don't think people who get no votes should ever not be able to post though. I wouldn't want people with no votes to have to wait more than, say, a month between posts. I also think the posts should only be positive, as in "great post" and when you get so many of those you get to post sooner. Maybe when you post, a countdown starts, with each positive comment taking a day off, or 12 hours, or something. (time until next post)=(normal post interval time)-(number of positive ratings*some time interval) I like that idea. Then people that had good posts would come back a day later or something and be like, "oh cool, i can post already, people like that sort of thing" But not so good posts don't get hidden or anything.

Another thing you might do instead are categories with variable post intervals. Like, "Is your story a news link, or something else?" you can only post news links 1/month, but other links are 1/week. Rely on the poster to give the category, and if they give it wrong delete it immediately. I know you don't like categories, and I like the first suggestion more too, but it's just an idea.
posted by rhyax at 3:15 PM on October 5, 2002


That's not a one-liner. It's not a flippant comment. It's a fact. If you say something he doesn't like, he's fully within his rights to delete your happy butt. I'm living proof of that.

Zach, you really enjoy playing the victim, don't you?
posted by moz at 3:30 PM on October 5, 2002


Damn. I piled on before coming here and seeing this thread. Sorry, Matt. But I too would like to know how self-policing is supposed to work. Most offenders don't read MeTa. If we don't say something in the thread, they will go merrily on their way. Also, there's a difference between merely lame NewsFilter links (which Matt says are OK in moderation) and truly bad links; should we have more leeway in piling on the latter? Concerned citizens want to know.
posted by languagehat at 3:30 PM on October 5, 2002


Sorry, Zach, I have to admit that I couldn't really wade through your manifesto, so I didn't see it.

Willnot said it too, although I don't think he believes that it will work:
"I think part of the problem is there is no real way to reward good behavior, so people who are invested in MetaFilter have to rely on our traditional shaming/punishing bad behavior"

I just always feel so bad when I see posts like this - I live for the day when this post gets fifty replies, and an I/P post gets one or two at most.

on preview
rhyax, why make it so technical and rules filled? You have a vote today. Go out to the front page right now and comment on the posts you'd like to see more of. You don't have to say much, but you can if you want to.

Trust me, human nature is a wonderful thing. Reward people for doing things you like by acknowledging them and the work they put into the post, and ignore the others, and soon everyone will work for the reward.
posted by anastasiav at 3:32 PM on October 5, 2002


I, for one, welcome our new NewsFilter-less overlords.

Really, I was shocked when I logged on today and say nearly no news posts. How did that happen? So I came over here and now I know. I'm happy. I really don't see what the problem with mathowie's edict is; the NewsFilter-calling was getting annoying, as were the multitudinous news posts. This sums it perfectly.

Trust me, human nature is a wonderful thing. Reward people for doing things you like by acknowledging them and the work they put into the post, and ignore the others, and soon everyone will work for the reward.

Exactly. I've received positive comments for every post I've put up, and that makes me want to keep doing them. So now off I go to cast my vote for life, liberty, and a less-newsy way of MetaFilter.
posted by The Michael The at 3:45 PM on October 5, 2002


Though I disagree that human nature is a wonderful thing.
posted by The Michael The at 3:46 PM on October 5, 2002


I went out for a Chinese meal with my Dad last night and we ended up talking about Metafilter. He wanted to know why I'd literally gone out and bought the t-shirt and I began to descibe all the things I liked about the site and how I felt about it. I talked about Kaycee, and 9/11 and the time there was a discussion about little old me. I mentioned the fact that sometimes, News stories appeared on here weeks before they featured prominantly on the mianstream news and how everything which needed to be said on a topic had been said, and how said media sometimes quoted from here to get the 'web's view' on things.

I happen to like Metafilter as it is. Granted I haven't been about for a while, but in my absence, things don't seem to be adverse either way. I like that I can come here and see enlightening and intelligent discussion (sometimes) on the world's news. I like that there are sometimes great things I would have missed otherwise (the Palin's Travels link, for example).
posted by feelinglistless at 3:49 PM on October 5, 2002


Moz: "Zach, you really enjoy playing the victim, don't you?"

I wasn't aware Matt deleting my words on his server could be viewed as a form of victimization. Thank you Moz, for enlightening me.

Rhyax's comments in general caused me to want to bang my head against a wall repeatedly, but I'm supposed to be playing it cool. The answer isn't more 'guidelines' any more than the answer to the gun debate is more laws. The guidelines as they exist make sense. People just need to follow them better.

languagehat: "Most offenders don't read MeTa..."

And whose fault is that? It's not like Matt HIDES MeTa. There's a link to it on practically every MeFi page. Ignorance is not an excuse. Believe me. I've tried but it's just not possible to use ignorance as an excuse, especially if you're faking it.

anastasiav: "Sorry, Zach, I have to admit that I couldn't really wade through your manifesto, so I didn't see it."

The Short Attention Span version was just too much for ya, huh? Yeah, it can happen to the best of us, Big Guy. Don't sweat it. Maybe next time you can hang.
posted by ZachsMind at 4:19 PM on October 5, 2002


"sugar or waffle cone folks."

Clav, uh, l'll go with the waffle cone, it will hold more right? Man, they must be out of the pancake cones folks, not even on the menu.............
posted by thomcatspike at 4:49 PM on October 5, 2002


The guidelines as they exist make sense.

I'm not saying they don't, but if the consensus is that something needs to change, you can't do nothing and expect a change to result. (this applies to guns as well) I don't think my suggestion was that rule-heavy actually, maybe it was my presentation, posters would still be able to post anything they wanted fairly often. The comments wouldn't change at all. I don't see that as a rule, more a system.

Anyway, as to having my own vote now, and being able to say I like posts, I do that when I like them a lot. My view of this conversation is that people want something changed, I don't think that will occur if nothing is done. My commenting on a few threads is pretty much nothing. It's a nice idea to comment on threads saying you like them, but how many people read a thread? I'd guess hundreds at least, do you want that many "good job!" comments? I sure as crap don't.

I don't think metafilter needs changing in some desperate way, but it seems a lot of people do based on the amount of times people complain about newsfilter. If you do think changes should happen I don't really think my idea is very extreme.
posted by rhyax at 4:55 PM on October 5, 2002


Here's the Thread where Matt floats the idea of voting for those who are interested in reviewing it.

Matt - I saw a few people who were surprised because it seemed like a reversal of your previous position on the matter (which doesn't invalidate the idea by the way).

A few were against ratings on principal, but I don't think I've ever seen a thread where there weren't some people taking devil's advocate. I also wonder how many were influenced by RushMC weighing in on the matter. I know I was to some extent - focus groups are bad for decision making because one voice can sway everybody.

Mostly, there seemed to be a lot of people were just speculating as to what it would do to MetaFilter, or offering their input to how it might work. The truth is unless you implement it, it would be hard to say what will happen. I think it's an experiment that's worth perusing. You can always back out of it later.
posted by willnot at 4:57 PM on October 5, 2002


"Does anybody remember laughter?"

posted by jonmc at 4:59 PM on October 5, 2002


I honestly hope that you guys apply the same of honest heartfelt feeling to your real lives that you do to Metafilter. Chill out.

It's a fucking website.
posted by owillis at 5:07 PM on October 5, 2002


Jesus, everybody, guns back in their holsters OK?!

This is a website, for crying out loud. It's supposed to be fun(which it still often is), and maybe you'll learn something(I definitley have), maybe make some freinds(I again definitely have).

Sadly days like today especially here on MeTa, it seems more like bar brawl. Matt(at to a lesser degree, the rest of us) have created something that for the most part is pretty damned cool. It's also(indirectly at least) gotten me to start a blog, steered me toward some good books and music, made me rethink some issues , encouraged me to learn about programming again and make other changes in my life. It'd be a damn shame if all this internal strife kept it from doing more of that for other people.
posted by jonmc at 5:08 PM on October 5, 2002


laughter? that word looks hard to say.

Anyway, I hope I am not contributing to the bar brawl feel. I just liked that idea, I don't really care either way, and I don't think anything is wrong really. Anyway, time to go play animal crossing, the best game ever!
posted by rhyax at 5:23 PM on October 5, 2002


I've been a member of MeFi for 784 days. Some days I easily spend 2 or 3 hours reading the threads or following the links. Just to be conservative though let's say I spend an average of just 30 minutes a day. That works out to at least 392 hours or over 16 full days of my life. In that time, I've contributed just 611 comments or posts to the site. How many characters is that? How many rewrites that never got posted? How much of myself is in this server?

I would say a lot.

John - You've contributed 2,267 comments or posts.

Oliver - You've contributed 3,721 comments or posts.

I would guess though it's impossible to know for sure that you've both invested more hours, more of yourselves, into the site than I have. This IS our "real lives," so I'm not sure what you mean when you say it's just a web site. I guess I don't have tightly drawn boundaries between this is on-line so it's not real and this is out in the sunshine, so it is real. Call me the crazy one, but I don't understand that attitude.
posted by willnot at 5:43 PM on October 5, 2002


Yay, jonmc. Matt for Pres, honestly.
posted by Fat Buddha at 5:43 PM on October 5, 2002


Don't get me wrong, I think it would be interesting to see what sort of anonymous consensus would be revealed by an approval-click system. I do worry about the possible unintended consequences, however. What I think would prove unworkable, and contrary to the tone of the site that Matt strives to encourage, would be a disapproval-click system, even in conjunction with an approval-click.

In either case, I think the lines between what is being rated--the poster? the link? the topic? the ensuing discussion (or lack thereof)?--will blur. A signal may emerge from all that noise, or it may not, I don't know.

And are we so sure that popular = worthy = good?
posted by rushmc at 5:58 PM on October 5, 2002


Willnot: put down jonmc and owillis as peace-makers (and blessed they are because of it) and all will become clear.

"It's only a website" is no slight on MetaFilter or its members - it's just a simpático, friendly way of saying "Calm down"; "It's cool"; "Use your energies more positively"; "We get what you're saying; no need to make it into a life-or-death situation".

It's (admittedly- but unfairly - a tacky word) a nice to say!
posted by MiguelCardoso at 6:02 PM on October 5, 2002


a nice thing even!
posted by MiguelCardoso at 6:02 PM on October 5, 2002


"Metafilter: It's a fucking website."
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:17 PM on October 5, 2002


XQUZYPHYR : amen.
posted by Dark Messiah at 7:02 PM on October 5, 2002


It's a fucking website.

Enough, already, Oliver. You don't need to post your little tedious little bon mot in every single thread to make your point.

How's that for irony?

I've just woken up, and need to get some coffee into me, but on first read, I agree entirely with ZachsMind, if I understand him correctly. It seems to me that I may misunderstand what this place is all about, if I am to believe that Matt's posts above represent what has always been his thinking on this matter, and aren't something new. I'm going to have to think about it for a bit.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:05 PM on October 5, 2002


This thread contains lots and lots of words.
posted by joemaller at 7:54 PM on October 5, 2002


joemaller, and the words bored me to tears.

Folks help fix the post if it's broken, add some links, offer things to discuss, pose a question. We can salvage bad posts, and teach people how to post in the process. If we are going to be a community we need to work to make it a better place, and helping some person by adding a few links, and posing a few questions is a lot better then endlessly talking about rules.
posted by jbou at 10:54 PM on October 5, 2002


Some signs you may be ready to join The Cult of MetaFickle:
  1. You love arguing about posts---even deleted posts---more than actually discussing or adding to the actual topics of the posts themselves.
  2. You believe you have *special* MetaFickle powers that allow you to know what other users think and believe, as well as what they should think and believe.
  3. You don't feel complete unless you post a snippy MetaFickle proverb in every single MeFi/MeTa thread.
  4. You post to MeFi/MeTa more than your own blog.
  5. Just like urinating, you find that showering all the infidels here with your golden MetaFickle knowledge droplets is both necessary and pleasurable.
  6. You love how sending threads to MetaTalk makes you feel.....like Jeff Probst when he says "The tribe has spoken."
>;]
posted by blackholebrain at 11:32 PM on October 5, 2002


You know what? Fuck it.

On further thought this afternoon, I don't agree precisely with what Zachsmind said above, but I do think that he and others in this thread have raised some painful and relevant points, and I think it's possible that we may have reached the point where the experiment is a failure.

Imminent demise of Metafilter predicted, and all that. The sky is falling!

I don't expect him to be infallible in his stewardship of the community, but I think Matt has made a mistake in the way this has been handled, and that for the first really significant time since I started reading Metafilter he's put a foot wrong, but trying to talk about it rationally is farting in a freaking windstorm of dumbitude and breast-beating around here these days, and although I just can't be bothered anymore, I'll wade in for one more round.

It may well be that because I can't see all the horrendously rude me-too dittohead pile-ons that Matt describes above as the "Newsfilter shit" - phrasing that has done nothing to defuse the situation, I might add - and were excised between last night and this morning, my time, I don't really know how bad the dogpiles got. I'm not going to bother trawling lo-fi to find them, though.

The fact that Matt perceives them as a manifestation of 'zero-tolerance bullshit' and 'dissmissive and filled with arrogance' says enough about the future of Metafilter as he sees it, I think, whether those perceptions are justified or not. Whether the "newsfilter" accusations (or were they merely gentle chiding? Or some of both?) were manifestations of the worst side of self-policing or the best is up for debate. What is clear, if you stop and think about it for a couple of minutes, is that once the Metatalk thread in question - "What shall we do about Newsfilter?" had cycled off the front page of Metatalk for a few days, the callouts would have diminished and possibly disappeared, as the me-too brigades lost interest, with the net result that a lot of people (and there are a lot of people here who have no sense whatsoever of the history of Metafilter, or that Metatalk exists, or what its purpose might be) who might not otherwise have taken care with making a front page post might do so in the future. As many have noted, the fact that the Post A Thread page has admonitions to make at least a token attempt at 'quality' in large friendly letters doesn't seem to put many off, so it's somewhat doubtful that a rewrite of the guidelines will ave much effect.

Worse, I think Matt, in posting this thread (judging by tone, in a justifiably grumpy mood) and pruning, has pre-empted what might otherwise have been an organic situation that would have worked itself out, and schooled some of our more uppity new(s)bies. [/joke] Not only that, but dollars-to-donuts people will end up using it as a "yeah, but Matt said...." stick to beat anyone who comments unfavorably in future on the quality of a post.

In fact, and we've had this discussion before I know, it's up for a great deal of semantic debate about what 'self-policing' actually means, both (to borrow some terminology from Nothing yesterday) prescriptively and descriptively, for Metafilter, as others have touched on above. Is it a)controlling one's own behaviour (ie policing your self), or is it b) the community as a whole, policing itself as a whole? I submit it is a combination of both, but that any discussion of what it should be has been somewhat mooted by the sentiments expressed by mathowie in this thread. The implication, it seems to me, is that the policy is now that it is, if not precisely forbidden, at least frowned upon to link from a thread in the blue to a pertinent discussion in the grey (more than x number of times in y days).

OK, now that's reductio ad absurdum to a degree, I'll cop to that, but where does the line get drawn, but us or by Matt, is the question, and one that I'm aware has no answer. There's the rub, you see? Is it OK if I mention in this thread that we're talking about a subject related to it, in a Meta way, in Metatalk? Has anyone else done it? Am I going over the line, transgressing the unwritten law? Will this be seen as part of a pile-on? Am I starting a pile-on? I ask these questions rhetorically, of course. The problem is that there is no clear answer to them, but they are naturally consequential to the (perceived by some, including myself) change of tack by Our Moderator.

So, anyway : I'm not leaving in a huff (no matter how many here might like to see that (if only for the entertainment, heh)), but I am at the point today of not caring any more if this place goes down the toilet, and I'm tired of fighting against the constant stream of dimwits and chuckleheads (that are coincidentally or not finally providing Matt with his long-absent revenue stream). It's exhausting, and in the same way as many who hope and try to have a reasonably positive influence on this place, not as a matter of self-aggrandizement, but one of trying to give something back, I'm gonna have to give up, 'cause at the end of the day, it's not worth it.

I'm interested in the dynamics of this community, and that won't change, I don't think. But here's my Self-Appointed MeFi Cop Badge, friends. I'm done with it. Again. Heh.

Carry on.

[apologies for length, as usual]
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 2:02 AM on October 6, 2002


In retrospect, I should probably note that Matt asked us to 'mellow out' rather than stop completely from the poking of one another with sticks, but I don't think that makes much difference to the general if slightly muddled thrust of my Great Whacking Soliloquy above.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:57 AM on October 6, 2002


we may have reached the point where the experiment is a failure

Perhaps by your personal definition, but not necessarily by the holistic definition of the community.

posted by mischief at 4:24 AM on October 6, 2002


Jumping off of stavros's points, only because I really don't sleep at all these days, the problem is simple: While some discussion of how MeFi as a whole operates is more than warranted, people take MeFi and MeTa just too damned seriously. In the face of imperialism, even Gandhi had a sense of humor about Western civilization. That an acronym like "FPP" exists is in itself indicative of why the community as a whole suffers. The need to label, bitch, bemoan, point fingers, and otherwise throw bricks into the window with this combination of rigmarole and ostensibly silly terminology is what's dragging us through the mud here. The biggest struggle that MeFi has, and it is by no means a recent development, is that there are too few people willing to go with the flow, whether that means (in this case) a front page day with 25 news links or a few new users who are spinning a thread differently but well within the guidelines, and there are too many people wanting to piss in the pool or complain about the Bermuda shorts that some feckless Post-10000 User has worn to the party.

Moreover, when someone is being a smartass here, they are often accused of being an insensitive asshole or beaten by the mob for for an Andy Kaufman stunt. The narrow latitude of what flies and what doesn't and the febrile need to condemn for any reason are contributing factors to a community that is increasingly hostile to ideas that sometimes ooze outside the box.

It would probably behoove some folks here to allow posts and the resulting thoughts to just plain happen, even if they are opinions, approaches or links that you may disagree with, with Our Fearless Leader Benito Haughey a benevolent moderator (unless he's tired of being benevolent because of some of the more hard-core stringers; I sense the saunter of an overworked man trying to appease too many) with an invisible hand that guides MeFi in the direction that he sees fit. And to jump from what stavros has said of self-abnegation, it is both your duty to contribute to this site in a monetary form when you can and to encourage thought and the other impromptu things that happen rather than lead someone out to the prison yard for an impromptu execution. Unless you're jaded already, you're regularly referring to this place as "Metafark," or you're prepared to slide commemorative coins underneath your fingernails before posting so much as a whisper to MeFi again.


posted by ed at 5:16 AM on October 6, 2002


You love arguing about posts---even deleted posts---more than actually discussing or adding to the actual topics of the posts themselves.

blackholebrain, I bet you that no MeFi user has actually contributed more comments to MetaTalk than to MeFi

no sane user, at least
posted by matteo at 6:52 AM on October 6, 2002


I don't see this place going down the drain. My version of what happened:
1. Lots of people became disaffected as MeFi started turning into WarFilter. The sheer volume of news posts and trolling political discussion drowned out the voices of people who wanted a different MetaFilter.
2. Danelope called the situation out to MetaTalk, where people realized they were not alone and formed a lynch mob to shout down the NewsFilter posts.
3. The mob aggressively communicated the message to the NewsFilter people.
4. The front-page got a lot more interesting and diverse as the repetitive ¨Get Your War On¨postings went away.
5. Matt asked the mob to back off the vigilante justice, since it was starting to become counterproductive.

Isn´t this how things are supposed to work?
posted by fuzz at 7:38 AM on October 6, 2002


don't need to post your little tedious little bon mot
Consider the source on that one.

I suppose I could vary it some. (and I've only said it TWICE. I know many other "bon mots" used by other "community members" that reach into the hundreds not called out. But I suppose I should consider myself special. Anywho.

It's a $profanity website.

I certainly enjoy Metafilter, but my exasperation extends mainly from the point that every five seconds someone posts on Metatalk, a long discussion rehashing points from five minutes ago goes up once again. The pathological need for structure and to make Metafilter something that isn't Metafilter bewilders me. Sometimes I think people would be happier if we all had to submit essays to Professor Matthowie for approval, along with the Metafilter Community Enforcement Brigade - to get approval for posting.

CHILL.
THE HELL.
OUT.
posted by owillis at 7:39 AM on October 6, 2002


If MetaTalk is not to your taste, owillis, there is always the option of just sticking to the blue.

Not tryin' to be snarky...I'm just sayin'....
posted by rushmc at 8:14 AM on October 6, 2002


I've only said it TWICE

If that is so, then I apologize, owillis. It seemed to me that every third comment you'd made lately had that phrase embedded, but I am totally willing to admit that I dreamed that.

The reason I picked on it, delicicious irony aside, is that it annoyed the hell out of me. You realize, don't you, how arrogant it sounds? "I'm detached and cool, and all you little people and your petty squabblings mean nothing to me! How sad it is that you take your interactions and their consequences seriously! Pfah! Peel me a grape, Brittney!"

I'm guessing that's not how you intend to sound (although it may be the way others who repeat it all the damn time intend it, I don't know), but it's just really rude and unpleasant and generally (to keep to the theme of this thread) shitty to dismiss all the things that people say (and it's abundantly clear than many, including myself, duh, have some odd kind of emotional stake in this, or we wouldn't get exercised about it) here with an airy wave of the imperial hand.

You get me? No offense, but.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:29 AM on October 6, 2002


Matt's "requests" in MetaFilter/MetaTalk ARE edicts.

That's not a one-liner. It's not a flippant comment. It's a fact. If you say something he doesn't like, he's fully within his rights to delete your happy butt. I'm living proof of that.


I'll have a double Moz statement to go.

Zach, you really enjoy playing the victim, don't you?

posted by clavdivs at 9:21 AM on October 6, 2002


I agree with the thrust of Starvos' soliloquy, but

that are coincidentally or not finally providing Matt with his long-absent revenue stream

was paranoid and uncalled for.
posted by gsteff at 10:02 AM on October 6, 2002


hey: today, sunday, for whatever reason, there's lots of good posts (ok, i missed some, but i ran out of words) on the front page today -- i would go read them and congratulate the posters for their effort, but i can't make it -- so maybe you can do it for me?

(yeah, going horse racing! woo! well, betting on horse racing. i don't actually ride a horse, but, hey, that'd be a neat trick, eh?)
posted by fishfucker at 11:32 AM on October 6, 2002


(Thanks, Matt, the front page links today are AWESOME!)
posted by SpecialK at 11:57 AM on October 6, 2002


I personally prefer Sundays for posting and reading. There's less sheer volume and noise like there is on weekdays, and I'm not sure how to say it but a "lazy attitude" about it. It avoids having my ego hurt when my posts are drowned out inbetween 30-40 other links. The relative peace also gives people more patience in researching their links.
posted by Stan Chin at 12:14 PM on October 6, 2002


are = aren't
posted by Stan Chin at 12:16 PM on October 6, 2002


(Thanks, Matt, the front page links today are AWESOME!)

Better to thank the people who researched them and posted them.
posted by Hildago at 12:20 PM on October 6, 2002


God, are you still at this? Can't you all just get together and talk about it?

----------------------------------------------
ANNOUNCEMENT

The First Metafilter Peace Talks

United Nations, New York.

Refreshments provided. Including pancakes.
---------------------------------------------
posted by feelinglistless at 12:35 PM on October 6, 2002


will there be ponies?
posted by Marquis at 12:41 PM on October 6, 2002


isn't it bons mot?
posted by Ty Webb at 1:25 PM on October 6, 2002


Peel me a grape, Brittney!
One "t".

Actually, that's not my feeling. I just feel the discourse is too emotionally invested in insignificant community problems vs. the real thing. But hey, I'll pipe down and have Brit peel those grapes.

The Redskins won too, so the king is feeling gracious today.
posted by owillis at 1:53 PM on October 6, 2002


Worse, I think Matt, in posting this thread (judging by tone, in a justifiably grumpy mood) and pruning, has pre-empted what might otherwise have been an organic situation that would have worked itself out

What prompted the thread (and I didn't link to the incidents, as I didn't want to single out the people doing it or make them feel bad) was that I saw people increasingly being overzealous in their policing of the site. In the span of a few minutes I noticed a few threads where it came up and before my eyes I watched it pop up once, then others pound the hell out of the nail being driven into the thread.

It certainly would have worked itself out, as it was escalating (or at least I perceived it to be), it would eventually grow to be too much for most people's tastes and they would back down. I felt it would get worse before it got better and that pre-emptively saying something was the right thing to do, however clusmy and mean-spirited I conducted myself (I'm human and make mistakes all the time, and I admit to them willingly here.).

I don't think I've made the great mistake you seem to see, my point was to let people know they were going too far, if they were pointing out metatalk threads all over metafilter, then they would probably see my post and mellow out when I asked. The end of my post is almost a plea for peace: that no one call "newsfilter" on a post for a few days while I work out some kinks. That's all.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 12:02 AM on October 7, 2002


I am totally willing to admit that I dreamed that.

I've been coming here way too much - I'm sharing the dreams of stavrosthewonderchicken.

Good call mathowie - things were getting a bit rough and, even though I agree with the sentiment of the piler-oners 100%, it was a bit much.
posted by dg at 12:27 AM on October 7, 2002


It's cool, Matt. A week from now, it'll all seem like a bad dream, anyway.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:39 AM on October 7, 2002


Can't you all just get together and talk about it?

Um...that's what we're doing....
posted by rushmc at 2:35 AM on October 7, 2002


My apologies.

After not seeing the site for three days, it looks like there have been many incredible posts. Thanks everyone.
posted by rocketman at 7:23 AM on October 7, 2002


The quality of posts looks really fine at the moment, so maybe the NewsFilter "callouts" (or gentle reminders, or whatever they were) had some net value after all. Apologies, in retrospect, for the one I posted.
posted by walrus at 7:41 AM on October 7, 2002


MetaFilter: are = aren't
posted by Kafkaesque at 9:06 AM on October 7, 2002


Kafkaesque beat me to it, so I'll have to go with second best:

Metafilter: Farting in a freaking windstorm of dumbitude and breast-beating

Although this seems to have been a productive exchange, on the whole
posted by gottabefunky at 9:49 AM on October 7, 2002


Cool it with the "Cool it with the 'Cool it with the "Cool it with the 'Cool it with the "Cool it with the 'Cool it with the "NewsFilter" shit, ok?'"'"'"
posted by PrinceValium at 9:54 AM on October 7, 2002


I see a noticable improvement in the variety of posts this morning, interesting and thought-provoking.

This Monday morning, Metafilter makes me really happy.
posted by MJoachim at 10:09 AM on October 7, 2002


I bet you that no MeFi user has actually contributed more comments to MetaTalk than to MeFi

no sane user, at least


I'll 'fess up to having twice as many MetaTalk comments as MetaFilter comments on my record. I'm actually more interested in the process of MetaFilter than the product of MetaFilter.

This may make me insane in your eyes but, hey, it's a large world.
posted by timeistight at 10:33 AM on October 7, 2002


MetaTalk: more interested in the process of MetaFilter than the product of MetaFilter.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 10:37 AM on October 7, 2002


Metafilter: makes me really happy
posted by feelinglistless at 2:02 PM on October 7, 2002


*madly scribbling down taglines*
posted by dg at 3:01 PM on October 7, 2002


I'll 'fess up to having twice as many MetaTalk comments as MetaFilter comments on my record. I'm actually more interested in the process of MetaFilter than the product of MetaFilter.

This may make me insane in your eyes but, hey, it's a large world.


I have close to as many comments in MetaTalk as in MetaFilter and am almost as interested in the process as the product. I read MetaTalk before MetaFilter each day (lately, instead of). The why people say and do things is fascinating to me.
posted by dg at 3:10 PM on October 7, 2002


I . . . am almost as interested in the process as the product. I read MetaTalk before MetaFilter each day (lately, instead of). The why people say and do things is fascinating to me.

Me too. This is the first online community-thingie I've ever been a part of, and I'm finding the behind-the-scenes as fascinating as what goes on in front of the curtain. Often moreso.

Then I find myself 45 comments deep in a MeTa thread about misspelling one's username, and I have to lunge gasping back up into the real world.
posted by gottabefunky at 7:16 AM on October 8, 2002


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