We don't do politics well, so here are some other sites.... November 6, 2002 10:29 AM   Subscribe

Matt's deletion of this particular smudge of excrement drives home a point: for the most part, I feel that we don't do political discussion well. Anyone care to recommend some other sites better suited to political wrangling? I'll start with Poliglut.

posted by PinkStainlessTail to MetaFilter-Related at 10:29 AM (154 comments total)

Does anyone know exactly why it was cut?
posted by Pinwheel at 10:34 AM on November 6, 2002


Smidge of excrement? Jeez, PinkStainlessTail, don't mince words; tell me how you really feel.

It bugs me that Matt killed the thread only after it got several dozen posts. Despite what you (and apparently Matt) think, there was plenty of signal in that noise. It was eminently MeFi-able material. Or are we only allowed to post things that are obscure and/or cynically amusing?

Matt has let lots of worse threads continue in the past (just think of the endless Palestine/Isreal, US/Iraq posts in the past months). Why kill this one?

Bad call, man.
posted by mrmanley at 10:37 AM on November 6, 2002


Does anyone know exactly why it was cut?

Good point. It may just have been because there already were "enough" election posts. I found the content of the discussion pretty bleeech tho'.

<Mrs. Rittenhouse>
It's mere prescence on the front page offended my most delicate sensibilities.
</Mrs. Rittenhouse>
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 10:38 AM on November 6, 2002


Does anyone know exactly why it was cut?

Probably because it was usenet political chat with no real link of merit.

for the most part, I feel that we don't do political discussion well

I've lost track, can anyone define what ARE doing well these days? That might be more efficient. Hey Joe, where you going with that gun in your hand...
posted by machaus at 10:41 AM on November 6, 2002


mrmanley:

Matt has let lots of worse threads continue in the past (just think of the endless Palestine/Isreal, US/Iraq posts in the past months). Why kill this one?

it's been the policy of late to be more strict with bad threads. i don't think that's a bad thing.
posted by moz at 10:52 AM on November 6, 2002


It was an enjoyable conversation. It didn't start out that way but the tail end of that thread was actually getting interesting.
posted by revbrian at 10:59 AM on November 6, 2002


It bugs me that Matt killed the thread only after it got several dozen posts

There were 201 comments when I deleted it, all based on the front page link off CNN.com. It was discussion for the sake of discussion and was getting nowhere.

Matt has let lots of worse threads continue in the past (just think of the endless Palestine/Isreal, US/Iraq posts in the past months). Why kill this one?

It was a shitty post, and the fact that shittier posts got through in the past doesn't negate this was a shitty post. When was the last time you saw a crappy I/P post? I've deleted dozens in the past few weeks.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:04 AM on November 6, 2002


I agree that political posts don't go anywhere around here, but this was the day after the election, if there is a day for the politicos its a day like today, tomorrow we go back to playstation vibrator talk.
posted by Pollomacho at 11:10 AM on November 6, 2002


Matt: Is your objection more to the source of the post or to the conversation that ensued? I know people want to talk about the election; it's happening at water cooler's across the nation.

Would you rather a more focused point from which to begin, or simply a better conversation?
posted by Pinwheel at 11:12 AM on November 6, 2002


Of course he was right to delete this post.

I just wish he'd been as vigilant with that crap thread on September 11, 2001 that was nothing but a bunch of whimper & blather about a news article.

It was a shitty post, and the fact that shittier posts got through in the past doesn't negate this was a shitty post. When was the last time you saw a crappy I/P post? I've deleted dozens in the past few weeks.

Mathowie, like the nation, moves further toward intolerance. Deal with it, people.


posted by rushmc at 11:17 AM on November 6, 2002


What Pinwheel said: was it the topic itself, or the discussion? This to me seems to strike at the core of what MeFi is -- is it a true discussion weblog, or just a place where pseudo-intellectuals go to perform semantic deconstruction on cultural artifacts? If the former, I'll stick around; if the latter...well, there's always Fark.
posted by mrmanley at 11:17 AM on November 6, 2002


Matt: Is your objection more to the source of the post or to the conversation that ensued? I know people want to talk about the election; it's happening at water cooler's across the nation.

We went through this six months ago when Spiderman was released, half of the membership here thought a link to the spiderman movie site was just an excuse to talk about the movie for a couple hundred comments, others thought there was something useful. I was sorta on the fence about it, having given up long ago trying not to let the site go all water-cooler, but I woke up grumpy, saw all sorts of stupid pissing matches going on there, and decided to cut this one.

Would you rather a more focused point from which to begin, or simply a better conversation?

That would help, if there was something truly novel about the elections (go to any news site in the US right now and the front page is about repubs taking the senate). The point of MetaFilter is to find the diamonds in the rough. There were zillions of ballot issues yesterday, find me the one amazing and interesting one that is worth discussion.

I can't take the water cooler talk much more anymore, especially when it is about politics. Again, MetaFilter does politics pretty poorly with the large number of people here, discussions tank rather quickly.

I might as well make it publicly known here while I'm at it: I'm considering closing the site down, more seriously than I ever have before. The site isn't scaling, I've got a dozen other worthwhile projects on my plate, and I'm very, very tired of this after three and a half years.

Very tired.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:20 AM on November 6, 2002 [4 favorites]


The funny thing is that the Sept. 11th post was bad, everyone that was around before it agreed, and it kind of set a dangerous precident, but it transcended any guideline or rule, it was an outlying point like Pearl Harbor was, like Chernobyl was. It was a major event worthy of hijacking the site for a brief time.

If you can't see the difference between a horrific act of violence that caused many to wonder if their loved ones were alive, and some mid-term election water-cooler talk, then I can't help you.

Mathowie, like the nation, moves further toward intolerance. Deal with it, people.

Thanks for the love. Anyone wonder why I'm tired of dealing with this site for the past few years?
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:24 AM on November 6, 2002 [1 favorite]


Maybe my world's trivial, but that's the saddest thing I've read all day Matt.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 11:24 AM on November 6, 2002


That post blew and I'm so glad Matt deleted it. As far as I'm concerned, people should talk their water cooler talk at the water cooler. I come here to find interesting, new things that are on the web. Not to find out that there's an election and the (good/bad) guys won, or that (Israel/Palestine) is actually in the right, etc.

I realize that people want to talk about this stuff, but this isn't the place for it. It is possible to have a discussion here, so people think it was built for discussion. It is also possible to have a discussion in a library with megaphones.
posted by websavvy at 11:25 AM on November 6, 2002


Matt, are you moving to Canada too?
posted by revbrian at 11:26 AM on November 6, 2002


Matt:

Take this as a piece of advice and not criticism, okay? I like MeFi a lot, and I lurk here for a couple of hours every day. It was a vital lifeline during the terrible days after 9/11, and it's always good for something interesting or notable.

That said -- ifyou're getting that burned out, maybe it is time to shut the site. Any discussion board that wants to retain a high signal-to-noise ration must have rigorous moderation to stay on-topic. About the only usenet groups worth reading anymore are the moderated ones.

But that's the whole issue with MeFi: what's on-topic? By its very nature MeFi eludes topicality because the whole point, as you say, is to find "diamonds in the rough". But you must understand that as MeFi grows and changes, so does the definition of "diamond" and "rough".

Does MeFi reflect your own ideas of these values, or that of the members? Whose sensibilities should it reflect?

posted by mrmanley at 11:31 AM on November 6, 2002


But you must understand that as MeFi grows and changes, so does the definition of "diamond" and "rough".

No, not really. But the desire of the members might move away from finding "diamonds in the rough." In which case, yeah, it might be time to end it.

(Or just delete all the user information and reset the site. If we're gonna talk draconian measures.)
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 11:36 AM on November 6, 2002


"Does MeFi reflect your own ideas of these values, or that of the members? Whose sensibilities should it reflect?"

Considering that the decision to shitcan the site is Matt's and Matt's alone, does this question really need asking?

I'm actually starting to hope that Matt will just torch the fucker. I really used to like this site. I still do, occasionally. But there comes a time with all good things, when the busload of assholes show up and wrecks the place.
posted by websavvy at 11:36 AM on November 6, 2002


Metafilter is not a water cooler. The purpose of the site is to exchange interesting links that may (or may not) inspire discussion. If you want a general-interest place to gab about politics, look to your left or your right, or in 1,000 other places on the Web.
posted by rcade at 11:37 AM on November 6, 2002


Matt, I still love the site, but you should kill it today if you are not enjoying it. Do not waste your time polishing the teeth of an abused gift pony.
posted by thirteen at 11:38 AM on November 6, 2002


comment cap? fpp cap? wish I had something meaningful to add, but I've been there before Matt (well, not really, but sort of). Get rid of it before you start hating it. We'll all cry, but no website is worth a lifetime of sorrow and regret.
posted by blue_beetle at 11:39 AM on November 6, 2002


My only regret was that I was spinning political discussion gold in that thread! Great stuff that would have been studied for years to come!
posted by thirteen at 11:39 AM on November 6, 2002


Fuck, I haven't ordered my baseball shirt yet!
posted by machaus at 11:43 AM on November 6, 2002


Matt, please consider a transfer or a parceling out of moderation duties before you shut the site. The good stuff way, way outweighs the bad here.
posted by PrinceValium at 11:45 AM on November 6, 2002


I made a suggestion to Matt the last time burnout came up for discussion: Shut down all posts and comments for a 24-hour period on the weekends. Something like 8 p.m. PST Saturday to 8 p.m. Sunday PST. Give everybody (most importantly him) a little time where he's guaranteed to be free of Metafilter.
posted by rcade at 11:45 AM on November 6, 2002


Does MeFi reflect your own ideas of these values, or that of the members? Whose sensibilities should it reflect?

I don't see it as changing tastes. The point of MetaFilter is to filter the web for interesting things, to find the novel among the mess.

From the get-go, there have been some newsy things on the site, and according to the very rough guidelines, a news story is probably something no one has seen before (since it's new), and may be vaguely interesting.

The problem is one of moderation, in the moderate, not discussion moderation sense. A few, really interesting news stories that no one probably would have found on their own is worthy of posting here. The top story on the front page of every news site in the US isn't very novel. It's lazy. It's posting for the sake of conversation, and not much more. I'll grant you that what I consider "interesting" may differ from every other member, and what I consider "a few news links are acceptable" probably differs in number between any member on this site, but novelty is pretty clear, and water cooler talk about the biggest story ain't novel.

And let me be clear, I'm not trying to play the martyr here, I'm just getting burned out. The site is dragging down the new box and I'm looking at spending some part of the weekend revisiting the code, and all so I can facilitate unintersting water cooler talk about the latest news/product/movie?
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:46 AM on November 6, 2002


Last post for this thread, I promise.

Point the first: Matt is the final arbiter of MeFi, and he absolutely has the right to shut it down if he sees fit.

Point the second: I still think that too many on this site want it to be just a left-leaning, uber-intellectual exercise in cultural deconstruction. Which is a huge jackoff, but hey, whatever starts your jets.

Point the third: Every discussion site has the jerks and a-holes that come with allowing open posting. It's the nature of the game. When you stop being able to deal with it, it's time to throw in the towel, because the jerks and a-holes aren't going away.

Point the fourth: If scalability (both hardware and software) are at issue, MeFi's days are probably numbered anyway. MeFi has gotten slower and slower over the past year, and I keep expecting it to go away and simply never come back. If upgrading to beefier hardware isn't in the cards -- retire the site while people still have fond memories.

Matt: no hard feelings. MeFi/MeTa were and are great sites.

posted by mrmanley at 11:47 AM on November 6, 2002


"I'm considering closing the site down, more seriously than I ever have before."

This is bad. I'm sorry we all haven't been able to find a way to make this work for you though Matt. I doubt we'd get along in real life, but you remain one of my favorite people in Cyberspace. Metafilter is famous. Lots of other people have tried to do cool things like this. You pulled it off and made it work for years.

May I suggest - Shut it down for a few months. See what things look like after it hasn't been an overwhelming part of your life 24x7. You need a vacation. Anyone who can't understand that isn't worth bothering about.
posted by y6y6y6 at 11:50 AM on November 6, 2002


Matt, please consider a transfer or a parceling out of moderation duties before you shut the site. The good stuff way, way outweighs the bad here.

I would consider a transfer (sell, have a contest to giveaway, whatever), but parceling out moderation I would see as a clusterfuck. While it's not the majority, a good deal of MetaTalk posts are about questioning my choices, and I'm just one guy, operating as much as I can publicly with every decision. Imagine a team of 5-10 people making those choices. I suspect the site would get much, much less consistent, as multiple opinions and biases enter the admin fray. I've seen it happen on every group admin site I've ever been a part of, even with close friends. They all had their spats of admin infighting.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:52 AM on November 6, 2002


mrmanley:

This to me seems to strike at the core of what MeFi is -- is it a true discussion weblog, or just a place where pseudo-intellectuals go to perform semantic deconstruction on cultural artifacts?

it's not a true discussion weblog. if it were, pure discussions (threads with no links) would be allowed, but they are not. i think kuro5hin is a true discussion weblog.
posted by moz at 11:54 AM on November 6, 2002


Sometimes I think there should be a giant Ubersite where people can read, post, etc. It would be made up of existing sites, based on the content category:

Good links worth discussing go to MeFi.
Good links not worth discussing to go Memepool.
Wacky/puerile links worth (?) discussion go to Fark
Discussion for the sake of discussion would go to Kuro5hin.
Everything else would just go in YourOwnDangBlog.com.

posted by oissubke at 12:00 PM on November 6, 2002


Sports posts go to SportsFilter...
posted by owillis at 12:05 PM on November 6, 2002


I still think that too many on this site want it to be just a left-leaning, uber-intellectual exercise in cultural deconstruction. Which is a huge jackoff, but hey, whatever starts your jets

Contrary to what some of you might think, that's not my aim and never was. And I don't think "the assholes" trashed the comments, it's just the nature of totally unstructured conversation: the most important point gets just as much real estate as the lamest one.

I've thought about moving more towards a slashdot/k5 moderation style. I actually can find some utility at slashdot, if you read a major story with your moderation limits set at 5. I thought maybe MetaFilter could improve given the same feature set, but then I never wanted to run slashdot.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 12:06 PM on November 6, 2002


Matt, I echo the hurrah. I'm happy you deleted the post. As I was reading through it this morning I was waiting for someone to start quoting Ralph Wiggums. I have a water cooler for this stuff (and several hundred other weblogs and websites to read people's political opinions).

So thanks for deleting it if for no other reason than keeping me (and probably a few others) from going back in to see if it turned interesting (or to rubber-neck at a usenet-style comment accident).


posted by rodz at 12:11 PM on November 6, 2002


matt, you've done a hell of a job with metafilter. I would like to see metafilter continue, in one form or another. I feel that what you have achieved here comes as close as can be to a great online community. Obviously there are differences of opinion, differences in perspective and differences of toleration of certain issues. On the whole, though, you've managed the whole damn thing with remarkable fairness and patience. It would be a shame to see metafilter disappear and become another statistic, to have people mention, a few years down the road, "hey, I really miss metafilter." I know that I would miss it. I bet that you would miss it.

Before you pull the plug, maybe try parceling out some moderation privileges. If it doesn't work, then no harm done since you're thinking of canning the whole thing anyway. But what if it does work? That by some slim, bizarre chance you choose the right people and they actually make it work?

The sad thing is that despite all the whining and complaining that goes on about everything, Metafilter is still better than any other site like it.
posted by ashbury at 12:14 PM on November 6, 2002


Matt--

I completely agree with you on adding admins; perhaps there's a way to do it that keeps accountability and gives you a break.

Do you have a friend who could take over the site for a month or two? Just one person you trust, with your hands off. Sure, it wouldn't be exactly the same as you, but the site would still be here, and in a couple months (or weeks, or whatever), your guest moderator could turn it back over to you.

You get a nice break, and maybe some fresh ideas, and you don't take on a permanent partner so there's none of the usual garbage.

Best of all: you can blame anything bad on the guest moderator.
posted by frykitty at 12:14 PM on November 6, 2002


I'm actually starting to hope that Matt will just torch the fucker. I really used to like this site. I still do, occasionally

I wish the people would propose some way to change things, rather than just arguing that the site ought to be flushed when it no longer floats their boat. If there's something you don't like, then say so, but if your point is "I hate it, end it," then kindly go elsewhere. The site is still engaging for all sorts of people.

I've only been around for a year, which means that I wasn't here for what many people seem to think was the Golden Age of Metafilter. Still, it seems to me like there's plenty of reason to continue. There are a lot of newer users (who post way more than I do) who seem coherent, (most of the time) courteous, and add something to the community. Signal:noise has always been an issue; the nature of MeFi is such that it needs a single vigilant moderator to keep that ratio high. (on preview: what ashbury said.)

Matt, if that person is no longer you, then that's fine. Three-plus years is a lot of time to invest in anything, especially something as frustrating as this must be at times. But I wish you would hand the site to someone else before you pull the plug.

I don't want to see this die.
posted by Yelling At Nothing at 12:18 PM on November 6, 2002


Best of all: you can blame anything bad on the guest moderator.

Don't blame me, I left the moderation to Kodos!
posted by thirteen at 12:18 PM on November 6, 2002


I wish the people would propose some way to change things

We've been doing a lot of that on MeTa, though few of us can agree on anything. Matt has a lot of ideas to work with; he just doesn't have the time to implement them between his paying work and the constant demands that this site makes on him. For whatever my opinion is worth, I think he ought to shut the site down for a vacation (he did it before, back in August 2001) and take the opportunity to recharge his batteries and implement the features he wants without having to deal with the daily onslaught. (I nominate the entire month of December.)
posted by mcwetboy at 12:25 PM on November 6, 2002


Very sorry to be posting this, as I'm a fairly new (since registering, at least) user and can't hope to opine with anywhere near as much clout as the others here...but I donated the 5 bucks to register, and am prepared to donate again, possibly regularly, to keep MeFi going. Maybe the money is enough to earn a moment of your attention. I love the site, warts and all, and would be heartbroken if it went down. Just an idea: what about using the donation to determine posting rights? Any registered user can comment on threads, but only those who've donated may post new topics. I can't imagine people paying to replicate what you can find on the front page of CNN.com. Maybe veterans who've had a good track record for posting threads would be automatically given posting privileges? Maybe there's a quota on comment posting you can't exceed unless you've earned a certain rank, either through donation or the length of your membership? I don't know, just random ideas here. Whatever it takes to keep the site going.

Please, reconsider. I doubt too many here (certainly not I) can imagine what it takes to keep a site of this girth running smoothly, but there are seventeen-thousand-odd members registered, and the fact that a community so large can and does manage to keep this site consistently interesting and useful despite occasional faults never fails to astound me.

Thanks for reading.
posted by leahzero at 12:28 PM on November 6, 2002


You know, I hope, that I have the greatest respect for both you and what you have accomplished with Metafilter, Matt. One look at my comment count shows that MeFi has been an important resource for me over the past couple years; the combination of structure and content has also made it my favorite site, bar none.

I like the site as well today as I did the day I discovered it. I think it scales just fine (unless you meant hardware-wise, and I can't speak to that). What I think doesn't scale is the ability of one person to run the site well with a part-time commitment.

And you need to face up to that unpleasant reality. You've made it clear for a long while now that Metafilter is not your only (or even biggest) priority anymore, that it doesn't hold the same interest and excitement for you that it once did, that it still does for some of the users. You are clearly a person with a lot of interests and ideas, who wants to do a lot of things, and being tied to a project like Metafilter seems to be holding you back, and resentment of that fact makes you grumpy.

Do I want to see Metafilter shut down? Obviously not. But nor do I want to see it administered grudgingly, with no enthusiasm or interest. If you now view it as an albatross rather than a pride-and-joy, the only rational thing is to cut it loose.

Pretty much everything else that made me love the internet has been bought out, shut down, or made illegal or unrecognizable. Why should MeFi be any different? Perhaps it's just my foul mood talking this morning, but somehow obsessing over pointless minutia right now seems a lot like fiddling while Rome burns.

Whatever you decide, I thank you for what you have already done and wish you the best of luck. There are very few human beings on the planet that I respect, but for what it's worth, you are one of them.
posted by rushmc at 12:33 PM on November 6, 2002


[what rushmc said]
posted by Yelling At Nothing at 12:40 PM on November 6, 2002


I think Metafilter is the most consistently interesting site on the Internet and I believe a huge percentage of its user base would agree.

It's a great site, in part, because of the (very relative) reverance that its users have for it. We need it. Google and Metafilter are the most important lenses that I and thousands of others use to experience the web -- and I appreciate that greatly.

Thanks for your hard work keeping it up. If you bring it down, we'll be sorry to see it go.
posted by Pinwheel at 12:40 PM on November 6, 2002


Metafilter is not a water cooler. The purpose of the site is to exchange interesting links that may (or may not) inspire discussion. If you want a general-interest place to gab about politics, look to your left or your right, or in 1,000 other places on the Web.

What rcade said, absolutely.

Besides, Matt has allowed a lot of dubious posts and threads. If anything, he could be criticized (but not by me) for being too tolerant. If, every time he removes a post which encourages WankFilter, people get all huffy and puffy about it, making him put in extra time to explain what should already be as clear as water to anyone who has spent a little time reading the damn website, then it just beggars belief.

Leahzero's suggestion that people pay for posting privileges is so against the spirit of MetaFilter I counter-suggest someone just give him his five bucks back.

You don't have to be brilliant or good or even average to post here - all you need to do is respect the spirit of the place and follow the generous guidelines. I didn't at the beginning, through ignorance, and got deleted and abused a lot. But I learnt. Why can't others do the same?
posted by MiguelCardoso at 12:42 PM on November 6, 2002


Uh, it's she. But hey, thanks for telling me to fuck off. I might as well.
posted by leahzero at 12:50 PM on November 6, 2002


Damn, Matt--I've only been here 3 months as a "member," and I'm unimaginably hooked. If you gotta shut down, then so be it. But I'm gonna go through serious withdrawal.

I say, bluntly, you should say Fuck This and just hack, slash, delete anything you want, including the MeTa backlash posts like this one--rather than shut down. You don't owe anyone explanations when you delete, especially when you delete a post like the one discussed here. I mean, I'm thinking of moving to Canada, and I still immediately saw that post as divisive trollfodder.

I say Don't Stress, Don't Explain, and Don't Spare the Delete Key. We'll get used to it.
posted by Shane at 12:51 PM on November 6, 2002


There are a lot more users here than there were a year ago. They will eventually learn, of course, but not without a lot of heartache and flaming out.

Radical idea: close the doors of membership again. Indefinetly. Give people time to learn, and give the whole Newsfilter thing time to sort itself out. We keep rehashing "why was this post deleted?" with new people: witness the MeTa front page.

Perhaps this runs counter to the spirit of the place. But if scaling is becoming to huge an issue, closing the doors is something we ought to consider again.
posted by Yelling At Nothing at 12:52 PM on November 6, 2002


I don't want to see this die.

I would be completely open to someone taking it over, off my hands before it was shuttered. Rather than go black, I'd be happy to see it in someone else's hands. But how to do that?

Sell it? Do I trust people buying it have good intentions? What is a fair price to basically sell off all the contributed content and users? Will the site change drastically if someone buys it, as is mostly their right to do with it as they please?

Give it away? If so, who gets it and how do I determine that? Do they have the resources to run a server getting millions of pageviews each month and transmitting hundreds of Gb of traffic? Can they also program the current codebase as needed? Can they also maintain the usability and layout of the site?

You tell me.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 12:55 PM on November 6, 2002


But hey, thanks for telling me to fuck off. I might as well.

Did he say that? Did he say that? No, he didn't. Trust me, when Migs says that, he tells you straight out, albeit slowly and gently. He just thought that the money question was against the spirit of the place. Which it is. Be not touchy.
posted by mcwetboy at 12:56 PM on November 6, 2002


Matt... MetaFilter has been a great resource for me to find some of the strangest, newest, funniest things on the web.

But if the time has come for you to shut it down, then that is what you must do. Sometimes projects just get to be so overwhelming that they just aren't worth it anymore. If at the beginning of the day, the first thought in your mind isn't "I wonder what exciting thing was posted to MeFi last Night" but is rather "time to go clean up the mess that was posted last night" then the time is probably right for you to relieve yourself of it. This is assuming you get any sleep at all.

I'd greatly miss MetaFilter. Maybe an eBay auction of the server and name and code? I'd imagine you'd net a small mint from it, enough to pay for the projects that aren't just dragging you down constantly. Or you could always sell the whole thing to Microsoft and have then run MSN MetaFilter, or to Yahoo and have Yahoo! Metafilter. 15,000+ dedicated users isn't anything to scoff at.

If nothing else, and you do decide that you want to shut down, just remember the 15,000+ lives you touched with your time and your site. If it were to go down tonight, I don't think anyone would forget MetaFilter for a long, long time. The fact that many people know Matt Haughey makes you a celebrity of the net of high proportions.

Always do what will make you happy. If the time is right, then the time is right.
posted by benjh at 12:58 PM on November 6, 2002


Matt, just as an aside, what would happen next summer when Jason moves to Boston? Would the server move with him?
posted by machaus at 12:59 PM on November 6, 2002


Rather than go black, I'd be happy to see it in someone else's hands. But how to do that?

Lease it, don't sell it. Continue to own the site and even administer the hardware (if possible). In return you keep all the income from text ads and ultimate creative control, but the day-to-day stuff is someone else's responsibility.
posted by PrinceValium at 12:59 PM on November 6, 2002


Uh, it's she. But hey, thanks for telling me to fuck off.

Either you take criticism very poorly, someone is deleting posts from the middle of this thread, or I need new eyes.

The only "fucks" I see in this thread come from me, machaus (about a tshirt) and mathowie (about distributed moderation gone wrong). So unless you're distributed moderation, you might want to lighten up.
posted by websavvy at 1:00 PM on November 6, 2002


I can't believe I'm going to actually say this, but I think we should be encouraging Matt to, at least, take a hiatus; perhaps a month or two, perhaps longer.

I make no claim to know him personally, but I have been a MeFi regular for far longer than my current user ID would suggest. I can "hear" the almost exponentially growing exasperation in his tone, particularly in the past few months. This past year-and-two-months has seen the membership - what? quadruple? something like that, anyway - with a commensurate increase in problems, stupidity and frustration. Matt's borne it fairly well, all things being equal, but it's now very clear that he's reached a real crossroads (I sincerely doubt he'd have even brought up the "I'm thinking of closing the site" unless he'd all but decided to do so; he's not the type to come in here, looking for ego boosting from MeTa regulars).

So, as Wise Amongst Us say, let's ask him to stop and step away from the keyboard. Turn down the flame under MeFi to a simmer, and go off and do something else. Think some more about why he started MeFi in the first place, and if it's returning to him a reward large enough to make it worthwhile. If we're lucky, maybe he'll "stop by" and update whatever static page he puts up at www.metafilter.com/index.html just to let us know how he's doing. I, personally, thank him for his hospitality and the chance to participate in MetaFilter and wish him all possible success at whatever he chooses to pursue next.
posted by JollyWanker at 1:00 PM on November 6, 2002


I would be completely open to someone taking it over, off my hands before it was shuttered. Rather than go black, I'd be happy to see it in someone else's hands.

No way man. Mefi without Mathowie would be like those weirdass episodes of Sanford and Son. You know, the ones where Redd Foxx was off having heart surgery or something so they came up with a reason for Grady to move in? And the scripts had obviously been written with Redd in mind and it was all creepy and weird and you watched and were just like "WTF?"

So, uh yeah. No Matt, no Mefi. In my opinion.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 1:06 PM on November 6, 2002


There was some signal in the noise. Perhaps the posting guidelines, in abbreviated form, should go on the home page. I hope the site is sold before it is discontinued.
posted by mecran01 at 1:07 PM on November 6, 2002


"I would consider a transfer"

Well, why not? Let someone else deal with the whole ball of wax. Even if it's just for a while. Make it "Metafilter - Hosted by Miguel" for a few months. Like a guest moderator.

"Any registered user can comment on threads, but only those who've donated may post new topics."

The problem with this is that the threads usually go bad in the comments. Even a bad thread can have good discussion. It would make more sense to me to let anyone post on the front page, but only let paid members comment. (not that I'm suggesting that)
posted by y6y6y6 at 1:07 PM on November 6, 2002


Sell it?

No, no, no. That path leads to memberships being sold for profit, and to "I paid for it, I can do what I want with it."

Give it away?

You're in a unique position here. I'm not sure if any of our users even have the ability to do all you list there, which means that short of asking the Internet at large for volunteers (and we risk the same problems we risk with selling it, there), that's a non-starter.

So I propose sort of a compromise solution. I don't know coding, beyond HTML, but the site seems to be running fine these days. Hand off the moderation to someone else (I know who I'd pick), and stay on in a sort of cosulting role, helping out intermittently with bug fixes and things? Seems like that would let you avoid the drudgery of policing the site, and we wouldn't lose the coding expertise that makes it work. In the meantime, we can start looking for a more permanent solution, if that's what you want.
posted by Yelling At Nothing at 1:08 PM on November 6, 2002


I disagree with the two posters who commented about leahzero's comment. I think Miguel's post read as uncharacteristically rude and aggressive and was inappropriate, particularly from someone who has posted all manner of wacky ideas for Metafilter in his day. I think she was perfectly entitled to take offense.
posted by rushmc at 1:09 PM on November 6, 2002


Nobody told Leahzero (or you) to fuck off. Yet.
posted by websavvy at 1:11 PM on November 6, 2002


Just a friendly suggestion - I'd say selling it wouldn't be cool, esp. since the content belongs to the community, right? Maybe give it away as if you were selling it - evaluate the ability of the person taking over to continue in the spirit that you had intended. Perhaps selling to recoup the costs of the application, hardware, domain registration etc., but I think it'd be wrong to attach a price to the content, esp. since it is copyright the authors.

Would going to a subscription model be such a bad idea? I'm not advocating this, just throwing it out there. If you are tired of running the site operationally, perhaps you could charge people five bucks a year and hire somebody to take the site on part-time. You might also be able to get better hardware or software and not worry so much about rebooting the server. Or get an intern. Not to belittle the code in the least, but the site is Cold Fusion, right? Writing/maintaining this kind of code/application doesn't take somebody with a tremendous background in programming.

posted by drobot at 1:13 PM on November 6, 2002


Damn, I wish I had read this thread before posting this. I knew it was political and newsfiltery but thought it might be interesting enough to post. I really hope this doesn't contribute to your tiredness, Matt, and I apologize if it does.
posted by homunculus at 1:17 PM on November 6, 2002


mcwetboy, websavvy: Leahzero's suggestion that people pay for posting privileges is so against the spirit of MetaFilter I counter-suggest someone just give him his five bucks back.

I know we all love Miguel (it's the law!), but that was a nasty comment (made nastier by not even bothering to figure out "Leah" was a woman). I too read it as "fuck off" and think Leah was perfectly right to complain about it. If you bother to read her original comment, she was humbly and lovingly trying to suggest ways to keep the place going:

Maybe veterans who've had a good track record for posting threads would be automatically given posting privileges? Maybe there's a quota on comment posting you can't exceed unless you've earned a certain rank, either through donation or the length of your membership? I don't know, just random ideas here.

She didn't deserve the smackdown.

Matt: I don't like giving you suggestions (especially with all the kind people waiting to administer smackdowns), but since you're soliciting them: I agree with Shane; hack and slash when you see bad posts without worrying overmuch about the quality of the discussion inside (It's Not About the Discussion) and definitely without bothering to defend yourself in MeTa -- I think you can rely on the vets to explain to aggrieved slashees wha' hoppen to their beloved posts. Make administration as easy on yourself as possible and see if it helps your mood before you take drastic action. Christ, I'll be sorry if this place goes away.
posted by languagehat at 1:18 PM on November 6, 2002


My slightly less than two cents:

Rather than shutting it down completely, ban all news and politics from the site -- temporarily or permanently. NewsFilter is a site a lot of people want to read, but it doesn't seem to be the site you want to run. And it's not what MeFi does best, anyway.
posted by ook at 1:19 PM on November 6, 2002


Some idears:
Install slash add MetaFilter UI-Template. Make some people moderators. Walk away. Check back in a couple of months. Do a donation drive (ala Rusty), make some money off this place. Still unsatisfactory? Take the site down, archive it all and post it on Gnutella or something
posted by blue_beetle at 1:21 PM on November 6, 2002


DELETE ALERT: Someone is going to post this. I feel it in my bones.
posted by Shane at 1:24 PM on November 6, 2002


Please don't let it die, Matt. Shut it down for a week or month if you must, then reopen it, put "Metafilter is not primarily a discussion site; it is a site for sharing odd, interesting and unusual Web links" on the posting page, leave it in the hands of people who are willing to deal with the hassle, whatever. Or what ook said. But please don't let a beautiful thing like MeFi just disappear.
posted by mediareport at 1:28 PM on November 6, 2002


I have little to add except to say that I will be very bummed if this site closes. (Am I the only one here that, from time to time, starts thinking about MeFi, say, in the shower, or over dinner, then thinks Man, that's a little weird? Am I talking out loud?) Since I traded desert canyons for 10 hours a day at a computer, it's one of the main things keeping me sane.

That, and there are few better ways of figuring out if something is worth your time than to go without it for a while.
posted by gottabefunky at 1:30 PM on November 6, 2002


"I know who I'd pick"

I like Miguel these days. But can we not put him in charge? He's waaaaay too hands on. Metafilter likes the light, infrequent touch. Miguel is way too touchy.

"Maaaaatt!!! Miguel is touching me!!!"
posted by y6y6y6 at 1:33 PM on November 6, 2002


which means that I wasn't here for what many people seem to think was the Golden Age of Metafilter

Rivers of maple syrup. Pancakes as far as the eye can see...
posted by owillis at 1:36 PM on November 6, 2002


Isn't anyone going to welcome their (potential) new Miguel Overlord?
posted by Shane at 1:39 PM on November 6, 2002

They all had their spats of admin infighting.
Which is why we need admin filter!

(you can take that to mean stupidideatrial1.metafilter.com with ftp and read access to the metafilter db. metafilter.com controls the inserting and modifying, but anyone can build a filter with their own seperate db)
posted by holloway at 1:40 PM on November 6, 2002


Shane, if we aren't going to expose and discuss the celebrity shoplifting epidemic plaguing our society... who will?

Won't somebody please think of the children?
posted by PrinceValium at 1:47 PM on November 6, 2002


This is the third time now I've sat and read MetaTalk threads with a growing sense of dread and worry. The first two times, though, good things eventually came out of the situation.

The first, when I was still lurking, was the infamous “Get Your War On” episode that I really thought was going to bring the site down. Or at least have everyone involved (including Matt) so pissed at each other that it would never be the same again. That episode, however, made me want to know even more about the site and the people who were frequenting it, which of course led me to find a way in myself. I consider this a Good Thing, even if others may disagree, because I have enjoyed and benefitted from my participation here very much. Thank you all.

The second, of course, which came just a few weeks after I signed on, was the equally infamous “thread-ends” episode which led to several respected members and valued contributors leaving or seriously curtailing their participation. However, it also directly resulted in the creation of the Site We Do Not Name, which as a MetaFilter splinter site I also consider a Good Thing (again, others may disagree), as it’s existence has allowed me to be more communal and chatty in a smaller group, getting to know that group better, while reserving the more “serious” discussion and posts for MetaFilter itself. I hope (and think) that has improved my participation on both sites, which I still enjoy immensely.

Now there’s this. Where it will lead, and if it will be another good thing or not, I can’t even guess. But I’d like to say right now, that I’ve enjoyed the ride, and all of you, even the ones I personally disagree with.

I still want a baseball shirt, though, whatever happens. Large please, Matt. And thanks.
posted by yhbc at 1:49 PM on November 6, 2002


What ook said. No news...be a hard-ass. We can take it!

And no matter what happens, thanks for an amusing year.
posted by JoanArkham at 1:56 PM on November 6, 2002


My two cents; if you do sell it, it seems weird to sell the past content. If someone buys it, the slate should be wiped clean. Alot of people participated in Metafilter under the mathowie regime and may not want to be associated with a new owner.


posted by jonah at 2:03 PM on November 6, 2002


My suggestion:

Allow some of us to turn Mefi into a Self-Police State. Instead of cooling the Newsfilter shit as you've said before, let us heat it up for a week or two. I'm talking about people who constantly thump the guidelines in Metatalk on a daily basis asking for your approval, to go back into the blue, and take control of Metafilter again. Let them enforce the guidelines with harsh mob rule, instead of constant bickering with no conclusion in Metatalk. If I remember correctly, there was a rash of 'golden days' after the Newsfilter incident, with many chiming in with "Good Post!" and cheer. This may have been due to the 'weekend effect' noted by mcwetboy, but I honestly believe for a short time people were in fear of posting news links. Unfortunately, Metafilter is about a short attention span, and it slowly became a monster again.

The badside of this of course, it may lead to scorched earth. But if Metafilter is going to go away permanently, it may be worth the risk.

I can't think of anything else. Matt, thanks for the site which has brought many of us joy in sacrifice of your own. Shutting down the site may be good for all of us, we all may get lives. :P
posted by Stan Chin at 2:03 PM on November 6, 2002


My brother in law has a robot that competes in Battlebots he's been working on with a friend of his. For three years he's been working on it, has spent $10,000 and several thousands of hours working on it, but the biggest problem now is that he's not enjoying it and is in too deep to get out. This friend is no longer really a friend of his-- he only spends time with him when it is time to work on the robot, and he (friend) is still very obsessed with the robot, posts to all the little robot web pages and trashtalks incessantly. In other words, no way out, no fun any more, and everyone would think my B-I-L was crazy if he walked away from the project.

The worst part is that there are fans of it, it's recognizable, and it's indestructible. He doesn't want to let the friend just take it over-- he put in the majority of the work and can't really countenance someone eternally taking the credit and having the thing go on forever. I have counseled him to throw it off the High Bridge into the Mississippi. Or use a bomb.

Matt, if it's that bad, throw it off a bridge or use a bomb. I feel bad for you because you're held almost hostage to the fans. I love this site; I always have and even though I don't post much any more I still read it plenty, but it's just a website and people will live if it's gone. Thanks for the fun, and whatever you decide to do is the right choice and I support you. Like that ought to matter.
posted by norm at 2:11 PM on November 6, 2002


I think someone should just post the "Cat Bowling" link from popculturejunkmail.com.

That would give us all something to do if/when Matt pulls the proverbial plug.
posted by konolia at 2:21 PM on November 6, 2002


MetaFilter: Throw if off a bridge. Or use a bomb.
posted by Yelling At Nothing at 2:26 PM on November 6, 2002


My cents;
The folks that come to Meta-Talk are the one's who care.

Maybe Matt's words should be a FPP post, as it's news worthy. In regards to the closing of Meta-Filter.

I agree with Stan. Bring on our OverLords: Pancaked, GYOBF and all the other other Meta-Snark policing alerts.
posted by thomcatspike at 2:31 PM on November 6, 2002


Damn, you people still visit Metafilter? I've been reading Metashiznilter for weeks now, waaay more entertaining.

Biznatches
posted by remlapm at 2:38 PM on November 6, 2002


whatever happens, i hope we have a huge party where i can dance like a madman. i've been practicing the twist in front of my mirror every morning in my glo-in-the-dark boxers and i think i'm ready to take it to the bigtime, and dance apart to the beat in public.

also whatever happens: thanks for all the time and effort, matt.

lastly: i still want a baseball tee too!
posted by fishfucker at 2:49 PM on November 6, 2002


I have ideas and solutions flitting through my head faster than cursewords are currently flitting through Al Gore's, but I won't post them because A) I believe emotion is the enemy of clear thinking, and B) I trust that the older MeFiosi can provide more effective ideas than I can. I just want to tell Matt that if he thinks that there's a way the interested members can help him, please suggest it.

Also, shutting down new memberships seems like an appropriate immediate response.
posted by gsteff at 2:50 PM on November 6, 2002


Oh, and thanks Matt, the web, and the world, is a better place for you having started this experiment.
posted by gsteff at 2:57 PM on November 6, 2002


Metashiznilter
posted by pfuller at 2:57 PM on November 6, 2002


I've had a great time. I'd like to continue having a great time, but not at the expense of Matt's happiness.

Metafilter is already longlived and successful as sites go - whatever Matt had to prove has surely been proved. If it's no fun any more, I say (with a tear in my eye) turn it off.

Since the consensus was that the weekends were better, what about turning off posting during the week? It may be drastic, but it could turn it back into a rewarding hobby for Matt instead of a continuing unpleasant duty.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 2:58 PM on November 6, 2002


I like the subscription approach -- although money doesn't solve everything (my job pays pretty well, but I still hate it), it would at least mitigate the issue of time-suck. It also might clear out some of the people who seem hell-bent on posting drivel and shitting all over comment threads.

But if that's not happening -- or, really, even if it is -- Matt, you should take a break. Take a month off, or two or three. Do whatever it takes for you to enjoy MetaFilter again, or whatever will make you happy. I'd be hard-pressed to come up with alternatives while MeFi was down, but I'd much rather wait a month or two than never have it again.

(In essence, what rushmc, Shane and benjh said.)
posted by me3dia at 3:14 PM on November 6, 2002


Suggestion: Ban all news posts for a month. No evaluation. No debates. Just delete them. Announce in the sideblog that news posts are no longer allowed (at least for the month of November). See if it improves MeFi and the filtering of the Web.

What MeFi needs is an enema.

posted by jacknose at 3:20 PM on November 6, 2002


I might as well make it publicly known here while I'm at it: I'm considering closing the site down, more seriously than I ever have before. The site isn't scaling, I've got a dozen other worthwhile projects on my plate, and I'm very, very tired of this after three and a half years.

Very tired.

heres a wee exercise for you then matt:
try handing this site over to someone for 90 days,
without looking at metafilter or contacting the person
you have put in charge.
believe me matt, there are worse fates in life than running a community weblog.
and i never get very tired, i just get a wee bit tired.
everyone has the right to stop using metafilter if they feel it is blocking their happiness, why shouldnt you?
if it is coming as a recurring thing then its probably the right
thing to do.
if you can imagine youre life would be better without it and is accompanied by an inner happiness then that is the right thing to do.
the plug is located on your wall.
thanks for a brilliant site.


posted by sgt.serenity at 3:20 PM on November 6, 2002


Since the consensus was that the weekends were better, what about turning off posting during the week? It may be drastic, but it could turn it back into a rewarding hobby for Matt instead of a continuing unpleasant duty.

That would be a worthy second-to-last resort. Then I can get over my stupid Metafilter refresh itch. I mean, it'd be the worst website to lose since Feed, or maybe Open Letters, but if Mefi became a weekend-only thing it might make things less compulsive for all concerned. And a lot less labor-intensive than delete delete MeTa delete.

Yeah, I'm liking MetaWeekend. But really, Matt, do whatever you have to do, and all the best no matter what.
posted by furiousthought at 3:23 PM on November 6, 2002


<voice id="Mr. Book, Dark City"> Shut it down! Shut it down... forever!</voice>

Matt is exasperated (I gather). We can start new sites. We all know each other; we have CD Swaps and meetings. Matt, archive the content (if you like -- I'd like. Hell, I'd order a CD-R of it) and set up a frontpage where users can post things like:
"I've got a discussion site to talk about ____ -- come on over!"

Be done with it and we can carry on, albeit with some withdrawal symptoms.

And if you want to come back after a few months, so be it
posted by j.edwards at 3:24 PM on November 6, 2002


I've noticed that MetaTalk has been more and more, "Why was this done? Why oh why" lately. This constant stream of complaining has got to get tedious to listen to -- I know it's much more uninteresting for me to read. Like a kid in the backseat, arewethereyetarewethereyet.
Maybe Matt should just turn off MetaTalk for two weeks and see if the resulting peace and quiet resolves some of the frustration. He can be as Swedishly stoic (see Ikea reference) about axing links as he wants to be without having to defend himself.
posted by dness2 at 3:38 PM on November 6, 2002


metafilter: I've got a discussion site
metafilter: all the best no matter what.
metafilter: so long and thanks for all the pancakes/ponies
posted by blue_beetle at 3:41 PM on November 6, 2002


I do wish people would leave Matt alone.

Remember he's running this thing for your benefit. Respect his wishes once in a while, please. After all, most of you aren't paying for it.

Actually if I was Matt I'd have better things to do with my weekends. How about just every Thursday?
posted by feelinglistless at 4:03 PM on November 6, 2002


Since everone has an opinion, here's my shot from the hip brainstorm: membership freeze right now, once a week posting cap, either a limited number of comments per day or timeouts for people who post 10+ comments per thread--or maybe just 10+ per day.

No more politics. If someone wants to start a Newsfilter, do so. I've gotten sucked into the partisan politics threads lately, because of the elections, but I really regret it. It's like arguing politics with your dad--no one changes their mind and you just come away feeling frustrated and dirty.

What I came for are posts like morphic's, madamjujujive's, pud's Madness of Crowds, every other or so of what Miguel puts up--interesting posts. I was blown away by the commentary on my Yeats post, felt very humbled by all the erudition. It was so fascinating--that's what I like about this place.

The charts here would suggest, that compared to last year, post and comments aren't all that different than last year's at this time, but then we're living in unprecedented times. Plus that line looks bound to shoot ever upward. and Lord knows, there's more than I can keep up with now.

(I'd vote for drafting rodii out of retirement--or someone like him--for for our temporary King Log, by the way.)

Maybe these are dumb ideas. All I know is I've been way too chatty and blabby, myself--now my goal now is to creep way down this list.

Now, on review, I see jacknose's suggestion. It's worth a try...

I will feel very sad if this place shuts down.
posted by y2karl at 4:13 PM on November 6, 2002


Stan Chin, I like your perspective. We can decrease the moderation burden on mathowie if waiting-for-deletion type thread derailment was replaced with non-snarky, well constructed criticism, with appropriate references to previous MeTa discussions (everyone here is capable of this). The efficiency of mathowie intervention has made us lazy; we rely on mathowie to make the point through deletion rather than doing a little work ourselves to share some history with a new user. This means less pancake fun, but it means the site continues to work.

Leveraging the older membership makes the site scalable indefinitely.
posted by eddydamascene at 4:24 PM on November 6, 2002


Leveraging the older membership makes the site scalable indefinitely.

Heartwarming, but doubtful.
posted by gsteff at 4:35 PM on November 6, 2002


I've always wondered why Matt - or anyone -- would devote so much time to this endeavor day in and day out without getting paid for the effort. And I don't mean $5 here & there from some new members and handful of text ads - these barely paid for the new server if I recall. If anything is left, it can't be much more than chump change and walking around money.

People will devote huge amounts of time, energy and expertise to things that inspire them or to things that they get paid for. Every now and again, a balance between the two can occur. Money is not necessarily a motivator, but lack of it can be a demotivator.

Do people here value Matt enough to pay to keep his services? Would that even help? Maybe not, but I am surprised the issue has been barely touched on in this thread. Maybe the very people who make mefi what it is are too much the purists to pay for any web thing at all, I dunno. I'm not even necessarily suggesting subscriptions, maybe it's a pbs type fund raiser or an auction. Or a pancake breakfast. I dunno, just wondering why the collective brainstorming barely touches on the issue of money & whether it might help ameliorate the frustration and compensate for the time & effort.

Right now, Matt has an unpaid job - cripes, that would make me pissy many mornings more than we see him pissy.

Whatever you decide Matt, thanks for what you've created and allowed us all to participate in.




posted by madamjujujive at 4:40 PM on November 6, 2002 [1 favorite]


Matt: is there any way of setting up a Community Board of Supervisors, to extend and guide the site? I'm sure that there's a Honorary President-for-Life position going! (",)

Seriously, this was an original, ground breaking community, run by its creator like a benign dictatorship. Maybe we we could do a Rome in reverse, depose Caesar (voluntarily...) and elect ourselves a bunch of supervisors, with admin, coding, policy roles, etc, and charge the oft-bandided $5-$10 p.a. for membership.

Does that make sense to any one else (it's supposed to be modelled on a democracy - any other ideas are welcome!)
posted by dash_slot- at 4:50 PM on November 6, 2002


Clearly Matt needs to shut the site down, sell everyone's user details to AOL and spammers for a heady sum, then get the hell out of the US.
posted by Zora Neale Hurston at 4:59 PM on November 6, 2002


madamjujujive : I recall Matt saying recently here in MeTa that the site has been pulling in about a grand a month in recent times, FWIW. Not that I begrudge him a single cent of it, of course. It would be great if he could actually make a living off the site and still have time to do other things he's interested in.

But I suspect money is not the major problem these days - of course only Matt can confirm or deny that suspicion.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:01 PM on November 6, 2002


i suggest matt closes the site (or sells it or gives it away). a couple of months ago i was fed up with my job, getting more and more frustrated - when i finally resigned it was wonderful, and i realised i should have done so much sooner. from the way matt sounds, i suspect he's in a comparable position.

mefi is great - i really enjoy this place - but i've been a member of various 'net communities through the years and i guess most other people here have too (at least, those who've been around for that long). we can always move on, life will continue.

if you don't enjoy it, don't do it. life is too short.

as for what to do with the place - why not auction it off to anyone with, say, more than 100 comments? that way there's a good chance that the person who picks it up will have at least vaguely similar ideas about how it should be run. people could form groups and club together if they want to run it by committee. maybe someone would buy it and try to make it a commercial venture. who knows? it'll be interesting - if the place changes, well, it's changed already, it's always changing...
posted by andrew cooke at 5:02 PM on November 6, 2002


"Leveraging the older membership makes the site scalable indefinitely."

I guess I sort of fit that description. And I'm positive I'd screw up administration. Trusting Metafilter to me would be a very bad idea. Even when I'm not drunk I enjoy being rude waaaaay too much.

"Do people here value Matt enough to pay to keep his services?"

1) I don't think that's the problem. Matt doesn't like it. That's the problem. (I think)

2) Yes. I would pay. I try to buy $10-20 of text ads every month. I certainly don't need the traffic. I just want to give Matt the money. I could donate, but I like the text ads. They're cool. If Matt said we had to pay $10/month (a very high sum) to post or comment I'd send my check today. But I doubt enough people would to make it worth it for Matt. Let's say he gets 50K a year in memberships. Then his full time job is doing something he doesn't like? (I'm just playing psychic friend here - I have no idea what Matt likes or wants)

We need to find a way to help Matt to like it. Moderating our behavior would be the surefire way. But how do you do that with thousands of active people. Many of them totally nuts/stupid?
posted by y6y6y6 at 5:02 PM on November 6, 2002


oh, i know! there's this really cool way of running things where you break up everything into shares, then you appoint a board of directors, then you pay someone to run the thing, then you pay someone to market the thing, then you pay someone to administer the finances . . .

opinions=assholes, etc. given that, i have to say that this site is only great because it has that 'vision thing.' think of metafilter as a workshop that turns out beautiful work (frequency is up for debate). the true quality of the work isn't due to how the workshop was built or run--it's a product of a singular, unique vision, like any piece of art. and it's not just the idea, but the consistent, difficult to define, and labor-intensive implementation of that idea--over and over again. hats off to you, mr. howie.

i understand if you think metafilter has jumped the shark, but please pull the plug on your way out. after enjoying the wit and wisdom of this site for years (and only recently joining, dammit) it'll be too painful to watch it die a slow and boring death by moderation committee.
posted by _sirmissalot_ at 5:04 PM on November 6, 2002


I asked a "panhandler" standing outside a Fred Meyer Store how many hours a day he put into his craft. He said it varied, he just went home as soon as he made $150.

posted by Mack Twain at 5:16 PM on November 6, 2002


Neat. I bought a copy of _Street Roots_ off a homeless guy outside of Fred Meyer about a half an hour ago.

So which bum is Matt? Ah, zen.
posted by cortex at 5:24 PM on November 6, 2002


gsteff: Heartwarming, but doubtful.

I think we can prevent a lot of deleted posts from getting posted in the first place by making precedents more visible. The primary defense for first offenses is "I don't read MeTa", and they really shouldn't -- MeTa is not the point of the site. The sense of community that permeates MeTa, though, is something that new users need to be exposed to (at least a little, and then y6^3 can drop a megaton snark on their newbie ass). I think most of us would agree that sub-dividing the adminstrative tasks is not the way to go; I'm just suggesting that people participate in trying to make the site run as smoothly as possible, as it is.
posted by eddydamascene at 5:24 PM on November 6, 2002


We need to find a way to help Matt to like it. Moderating our behavior would be the surefire way. But how do you do that with thousands of active people. Many of them totally nuts/stupid?

Asshole! and truth-speaker. I've many times advocated self-policing. Read, think, then post. Be an ass if necessary, let go of the PC garbage that makes things droll, and fight the good fight. I just don't think it workable.

Letting many of the "older" members moderate for a limited period of time would work. One at a time, confusing, hair-raising, frustrating in its efficacy, let them rotate. A jackass wants to post jpegs on the front, y6cubed celebrates (not that you would). Another admin comes along, another jackass posts a pic, and Blam-mo, its gone. Certainly keep us all on our toes (I say this with full knowledge that there are those who would have banned me in my tenure here). We all have different ideas of what MeFi should be, so lets explore those in a humane way, rather than having them stripped by a cancellation of service. Come on Matt, don't deprive the addicted.
posted by Wulfgar! at 5:25 PM on November 6, 2002


...from a high horse.
posted by eddydamascene at 5:25 PM on November 6, 2002


eddydamascene, if you refer to me, I'm not necessarilly disagreeing, but I would like a clarification ...
posted by Wulfgar! at 5:32 PM on November 6, 2002


Wow. If anyone noticed, that was my first MeFi linky-post ever. And, I really screwed it up.

I'm sorry. I didn't realize that MeFi was trying to get away from commenting on news stories, and was more for keeping it to neat/cool/fascinating websites.

I didn't mean to start a flame war; I thought that people would chuckle at some comments without waiting for the to fill them in (I strongly oppose telegraphing a punchline), but my initial post was grossly hyperbolic and directly ripped from CNN.

I suck. Whip me, beat me, make me write bad checks, but please forgive me. This is the best damn blog online, and I (unknowingly) doused it in kerosene and held out my lighter. Can I have another chance?
posted by LimePi at 5:33 PM on November 6, 2002


oh, geez.... it wasn't your fault LimePi. To paraphrase Billy Joel, You didn't start the fire, it's been burning since the world's been turning.

( I did find your concern immensely humorous though. Sorry )
posted by Stan Chin at 5:36 PM on November 6, 2002


It's not you, LimePi. This has been building for a long time.
posted by websavvy at 5:37 PM on November 6, 2002


( I did find your concern immensely humorous though. Sorry )

Embarassingly, so did I. In an "Oh my god, I killed MetaFilter!" sense.
posted by gsteff at 5:38 PM on November 6, 2002


ah. so it's all LimePi's fault. so that would make them the key LimePi, no?
posted by andrew cooke at 5:41 PM on November 6, 2002


Wulfgar!: ...I'm not necessarilly disagreeing, but I would like a clarification ...

heh, it was a continuation of my own post ('I'm just suggesting...'), but your post split the two. The time stamp is the same.
posted by eddydamascene at 5:42 PM on November 6, 2002


Hey Matt? Thank you for all this. Lots.
posted by blissbat at 5:52 PM on November 6, 2002


Limepi, your apology says reams about you. However, it has been said before: we are all responsible for staying up-to-date on policy - how could you say "I didn't realize that MeFi was trying to get away from commenting on news stories, and was more for keeping it to neat /cool / fascinating websites." Where have you been?
posted by dash_slot- at 5:55 PM on November 6, 2002


dash_slot- exactly. I didn't know that we were supposed to keep up-to-date on policy, either. Sorta Vogon-esque, but, yeah... mea culpa.

It's a vicious cycle, really.
posted by LimePi at 6:35 PM on November 6, 2002


I'd be willing to pay too, and I suspect a lot of the people who really care about the site would. I think it's a workable idea, far better than shutting down the site (assuming it eases things enough for Matt that he has fun again). And I think if Matt goes that route, Miguel owes Leahzero a big fat apology.
posted by languagehat at 7:19 PM on November 6, 2002


if you don't enjoy it, don't do it. life is too short.

Not that I have any valid opinion about what Matt should or shouldn't do, I think this sentiment is somewhat hedonistic, self-centered, and immature.

I don't particularly enjoy cleaning out my cat's litterbox. I'm sure my brother gets a little tired schlepping his kids to and from soccer practice. My wife and I would probably enjoy telling the people we work for to shove it, then pat them on the head, and leave for the south of France.

To suggest we behave differently because "life is too short" is to forget about certain aspects of responsibility.

Of course, Matt doesn't owe us anything. He can pull the plug if he wants to. But to suggest he do it simply because he doesn't enjoy it anymore sort of trivializes the importance of what he has started. Not to mention the fact that Metafilter has become something bigger than Matt and his enjoyment. But I'm certain Matt has been struggling with this dilemma anyway.
posted by crunchland at 7:31 PM on November 6, 2002


Metafilter: Hedonistic, Self-centered, and Immature.

posted by hama7 at 8:24 PM on November 6, 2002


May I humbly suggest:

1.) Matt continues to delete FPPs that don't meet the guidelines.
2.) When the FPP is cut, the poster receives an e-mail alert with the generic message "Your post was cut because it did not meet MetaFilter's posting guidelines. Thank you and please continue to participate in MetaFilter." No long, drawn-out explanations.
3.) Delete any and all MetaTalk "why was this post deleted" posts.
4.) Lather, Rinse, Repeat until everyone gets the idea.

Matt is kind enough to offer regular explanations for the deletions, but he ends up having to say the same things over and over. Redundant and unneccessary. Plus, it leaves him wide open for uninformed criticism. Better to just hit delete and shoot off a form e-mail than have to compose individualized responses for every case.

btw, my reasoning on this is based on a recent flameout by a certain member who shall remain nameless. Matt deleted the thread in which she flipped out, then deleted every MetaTalk thread asking "where'd that thread go?" After about 3 or 4 days, I think everyone figured it out and just stopped asking.
posted by whatnot at 8:47 PM on November 6, 2002


It's only a website.
posted by konolia at 8:47 PM on November 6, 2002


konolia, Number 4's for you.
posted by languagehat at 8:54 PM on November 6, 2002


But to suggest he do it simply because he doesn't enjoy it anymore sort of trivializes the importance of what he has started.

So many websites have come and gone in the time I've been reading this one. The readers who've become dependent on any particular site might be disappointed for awhile but they move on.

How many jobs has Mr. Haughey been through during the time this site has been here? I think he's changed cities, married. His life shifts; he can't be expected to be responsible for years for what is mostly a diversion for an everchanging group of people he doesn't know.

And whenever he mentions that perhaps it's lost the magic for him there are loads of divergent suggestions that all require more decision making and investment from him. There are bulletin boards and chat sites and community logs all over the Internet. Anyone is free to take what they know is good here - and there is lots - and try to make another place inspired by it.

No one's need to feed their children is dependent on this place (unlike all those dotcoms that have ceased operation during the time Metafilter has existed), so whether Metafilter survives or becomes another once great site is not really all that important. Not, at least, compared to any individual's need to run their daily life successfully.
posted by TimTypeZed at 9:08 PM on November 6, 2002


Funny. I think this is the best mefi thread I've ever read.
posted by Pinwheel at 11:01 PM on November 6, 2002


Wow, deja vu.

mathowie, I don't know you at all and most likely never will. I appreciate being able to be a part of this community for a while and, if it were to disappear, would be saddened because I have been able to see a lot of things on the Web that I would not have otherwise. I have re-kindled my interest in things technical and am re-starting my education in that field, because I was inspired by the members of the community and the things that they have done. I have created a crappy Web site of my own where I post things of no interest to anyone. These are some of the things that I have done because of MetaFilter. I am glad to be here and would like to continue here but, if that means that you have to do something you hate, cut us all loose - we will survive.
posted by dg at 11:48 PM on November 6, 2002


I don't particularly enjoy cleaning out my cat's litterbox. I'm sure my brother gets a little tired schlepping his kids to and from soccer practice. My wife and I would probably enjoy telling the people we work for to shove it, then pat them on the head, and leave for the south of France.

the wellbeing of no small furry animals depend on this site. or children. and if you want to go to france, why not? maybe you don't have enough money - but this site doesn't raise money either.

in other words, this site carries less responsibilities than a cat's litter tray.

as so many people people have observered - it's just a website. no-one's life depends on this. not even a kitty. more importantly, matt owes me, as a user, absolutely nothing. it's clear that he's unhappy and i don't want any part in the responsibility for that. if he continues it's his choice, not mine.

i'm not the only one who's wondered why matt "suffers" so much over this site. i can remember somone, for example, commenting in an email to me that "we should fine the person who's holding a gun to matt's head, forcing him to do this". so it's clear that he does feel very responsible for this site - it's rather less clear that you should cook up a bunch of inappropriate comparisons as some kind of moral blackmail to play on that just so that you can continue to have a forum where you can call people that disagree with you "immature".

actually, as far as your cat's concerned, you probably don't need to empty the litter tray - you probably do that just so your house doesn't smell. and if this place is shut down, it won't smell, either
posted by andrew cooke at 2:51 AM on November 7, 2002


eddydamascene, any time I want to elicit a reaction from someone now, I'm going to follow their comment with "...from a high horse." Just the perfect vague comment. See what they say.
posted by Shane at 5:57 AM on November 7, 2002


I say Don't Stress, Don't Explain, and Don't Spare the Delete Key. We'll get used to it

Quite so. Having been a 'long time lurker, recent first time poster', I'm really enjoying the site and would hate to see it shut down. But I'd be more than happy to see a firmer hand in yanking threads that aren't appropriate. I think I've got my $5 worth, go for your life!

Or you could just run a bunch of pr0n banner ads or something for a quick buck...
posted by backOfYourMind at 6:04 AM on November 7, 2002


Do people here value Matt enough to pay... Maybe the very people who make mefi what it is are too much the purists to pay for any web thing at all,

I would be more than happy to pay $5.00 a month, as I am sure a huge number of others would. But Matt has said before (too lazy to look this up) that he doesn't like the idea of subscriptions because that would only make people more demanding. Look how much people demand from him already-- and this is free.

What would I like to see happen (might as well get my $0.02 in)? I would like Matt to just start deleting right and left --- BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!-- with no explanations necessary. All email inquiries should get a form letter in reply.

Also, much as I enjoy the relaxed nature of the weekend, I like the suggestion of just turning it off-- say midnight Friday to midnight Sunday.

As to turning off Metatalk, itself, I hope this doesn't happen. I think Metatalk is a really valuable resource, a place we can come to to discuss the finer points of posting, tutor newbies, arrange for meet-ups, and answer questions. When unpleasantness occurs inside a thread, rather than a nasty response, a simple link to Metatalk is so more elegant. Plus this has the advantage of directing more of "the unaware" to Metatalk.

I would really love to see Matt turn a blind eye to Metatalk-- to leave all the burdens of explanation and chastisement to the older, more experienced members. MeFi police? You betcha!

Inshort, if we could arrange for a lot less work for Matt, with more financial rewards, we might prolong the life of Metafilter.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:58 AM on November 7, 2002


The signal to noise ratio has reached a breaking point for one person to maintain. There are too many users for the current format of Metafilter to be useable. Matt is right, he's spending more time and money to support increasingly more noise and less interesting content. Servers and bandwidth cost money and time, someone mentioned Matt makes $1,000 a month if thats true than Metafilter is a hard-luck charity case and we're lucky its still up and running.

The only way to reduce the workload is to reduce the number of users. Or, delegate authority to others to take over. Either way its a lot of work on Matts part and the easiest thing would be to just shut the thing down. Perhaps shutting it down for 30 days will cause many to go elsewhere and cool things off at least for a while untill a solution can be found.
posted by stbalbach at 8:27 AM on November 7, 2002


When was the last time you saw a crappy I/P post? I've deleted dozens in the past few weeks.

*hugs mathowie*

posted by matteo at 8:33 AM on November 7, 2002


Holy crap.

I wasn't even going to read this thread, but saw the number of comments and figured I'd just see what was going on.

As someone who has been around here for awhile, I'm going to raise my hand and proclaim that I have a particular insight most people posting in this thread don't have.

Matt's original goal for the sight he stated plainly. Filtering the web. Hence "Metafilter". New and interesting things that people found on the web so that everyone could enjoy them.

Well, if you go back into the history of the site, and I recommend Matt's profile, you'll get an idea of what has been the standard for Metafilter.

And I think you'll see that there are a number of news-y posts, even by Matt.

However, they tend to be web-centric, and lead to other sites on the web that relate to the article that people may or may not have gone to.

As it is, I think people are somewhat lazy, which results in a lot of the posts at Metafilter being bad. Also, I think people have come to think of this place as a home - and have formed relationships, either good or bad, with people here and look to having discourse with them about topics of the day.

Perhaps categorizing Metafilter would be a good idea.. all 'news' links have to be posted in one area (much like the Metatalk categories). But also, use the interface to drive it. No more going direct to the front page, but have to go to the category page first.

I'd hate to see the site go, since it is a prime example of what is good on the web, and have survived very well in growing, yet maintaining it's original intent.

Matt's one of a few in the crowded world of the web today that has created something unique, and everyone here should have more respect for that, as well as for Matt himself.
posted by rich at 9:18 AM on November 7, 2002


Laziness and vanity seem to be prevolent these days;

Laziness in that people don't search out new and interesting corners of the web before posting them, they will quite happily post a CNN front page and consider it a worthwhile effort - it isn't.
Vanity because too many people feel that the above lack of effort should be applauded because it was their lack of effort. Vanity because so many people think that this corner of the web would be so much better if we all thought like them and they're darn well going to prove it to us. Vanity because they will launch into arguments at the drop of a hat, consistently defending their point of view with a 'nah-nah-nah, I'm not listening' attitude to anyone elses opinions - resulting in a cacophany of opinionated comments (I hesitate to say argument, since an argument would imply the protagonists were actually listening to one another).

I'm not surpised Matt is considering pulling the plug.

Give the place to a single person Matt, someone you trust not to defile your work, someone who will act with the same patience and spirit as you 9if such a person exists).
If you sell it, it will be bought out by someone (at some point) with a view to making profit from it's reputation and it will spoil (although I'd be the first to say you're entitled to make an enormous profit for the work you've put in).
If you delegate to a group, all the problems ou describe will no doubt come to pass.
If you can't find that one individual willing to take it on, then pull the plug, let the good die young and be fondly remembered, don't let it deteriorate and die slowly.
posted by Markb at 9:31 AM on November 7, 2002


There are many things that I miss about my earlier days online, and my earlier days on the web. I miss the intimacy of things like GEnie's RoundTables. I miss the idea that email that went "through" the Internet was amazing. I miss early corporate websites, which were grasping to display that they "got" the web.

Naturally, Matt "gets" the web. I think he and jack saturn are two on a very short list I have in my head of people who get the web. MeFi in its earlier days did "get" the web, too. But now? How far removed is this from any BBS? Blog? What-have-you? It's lost its magic, like all things old do.

Some people will find MeFi as it is and be absolutely blown away and intrigued. Some people will think it sucks. Oldish timers like me may come back and say, "Oh, it still stinks - I'm glad I don't participate here anymore." That's really unfortunate, but you know what? There are other places to go. They're not MeFi, but they also don't pretend to be. Other communities exist.

MeFi was important because it was a homegrown, active, diverse, and interesting community. I haven't seen any of that in a good long time. Google News is almost MetaFilter minus the comments; I don't see any links here I haven't seen on Pop Culture Junk Mail, b0ingb0ing, or anywhere else. It's redundant, and that's unfortunate.

Matt, either put the site on vacation for a while or kill it.
posted by hijinx at 11:47 AM on November 7, 2002


...lost its magic, like all things old do.

Ouch!
posted by timeistight at 12:08 PM on November 7, 2002


metafilter is a chance for us all to be part of a blog, without the headaches of coding and hosting, excepting the obvious. it is the best designed discussion site that i have seen, and most usable. there is a strong sense of community here. it is a success, well done matt.
it shows how much matt cares, i think, it is 'his baby'. if this baby has grown up into an unruly teenager, i can understand his feeling a bit put out, but i think that metafilter can further mature, given a chance.
but who would care as much as matt? the answer is academic.
maybe the solution is also academic.
i got to thinking on how this site is like a great socratic discussion, with matt dispensing wisdom and justice to those who err within the forum. who could moderate with such even-handed egalitarianism? who would be commited to maintaining the integrity and purpose of the site, without ever letting themselves become partisan? who could also maintain the site, develop new features and technical fixes. no one human being could rise to this challenge, surely, but perhaps an institution could.
my suggestion would be to consider letting the site be run by a university, or similar, who have, say, an IT dept, a philosophy dept, a sociology dept etc. these are the people who often claim to support access to ideas, and a 'liberal' approach to knowledge. i think metafilter could be run as a cross-disciplinary project. the discussions themselves could be used as study fodder for anthropologists/psychologists/sociologists/anybody. with the aaargh! geographic addition, human geography could also be involved. the institution would not have posting privileges, neither would it's students, that would taint the experiment. metafilter must continue in the same mien IMHO. these institutions also tend to have wide pipes already installed, and often under-utilised (since peer to peer file swapping was stomped on).
matt should keep possesion of the ownership of the URL, perhaps, they could buy the code and archives. they would have to do all the nitty gritty metatalking and code fixing and moderation. and that's the kind of thing that academics love to do right. that would be off matt's shoulders, the details are up to the new incumbents and should not be worried over. if people are happy to trust matt to delete without feedback, what about having a moderator so obsessed with metafilter etiquette that they out-haughey mr haughey.
metafilter is a valuable internet resource, a community, an open forum for intelligent discussion, in short, a worthy use of bandwidth, and i would hate to see it go.

metafilter is an asset to the collective.

another suggestion would be simply to let *some special people* moderate in kind. the idea here would be to have people fluent with the guidelines earmark threads for deletion, so that matt has not to be woried with reading everything. they could email him their suggestions. once in a 24 hour period, when he has a spare 5 mins (possibly waiting for the kettle to boil, taking a dump, or whilst travelling, advert break on the tivo etc.), matt could skim the earmarked threads and delete as appropriate. no questioning metatalk feedback allowed, this would be automatically deleted by the *specials*. just the same old song on my radio. where was i?
i imagine that maitaining the codebase is probably more of a time consuming issue, though.
posted by asok at 1:20 PM on November 7, 2002


a1 asok
posted by feelinglistless at 4:49 PM on November 7, 2002


Hijinx, if the site no longer amuses you, if "the magic is gone," then no one is requiring you to continue reading it. But to suggest it be killed, when there are obviously plenty of those who still love it, just because you no longer like it is hideously selfish.
posted by Yelling At Nothing at 5:35 PM on November 7, 2002


MeFi in its earlier days did "get" the web

... but what it got then was the web as the web was then.

Today MeFi is about how the web is today. Countless times, reports have declared news as second only to porn in user interest, so of course one can expect more than a few news links.

The web has hit a plateau, and virtually every subject one can imagine will generate pages of google hits. The truly 'new and obscure' becomes more rare with each passing day, and only when a new technology is introduced will we see a spurt of sites that meet MeFi's guidelines to the letter.

In the meantime, many users must like MeFi as it is, otherwise Matt's server would not be continually taxed to the max.

posted by mischief at 1:08 AM on November 8, 2002


I don't see any links here I haven't seen on Pop Culture Junk Mail, b0ingb0ing, or anywhere else

You would if you looked a little closer, hijinx - quite a few. Nostalgia blinkers observation and elitist nostalgia is often blinding. Although your points are all solid, they're so restrictive they can't move beyond a personal point of view. How can only two people "get the web"? The web sn't the recipe for Coke - it´s the Coke itself. How can Google possibly be seen as MetaFilter without the comments? There isn't even a MetaGoogle! ;)
posted by MiguelCardoso at 1:28 AM on November 8, 2002


Today MeFi is about how the web is today. Countless times, reports have declared news as second only to porn in user interest, so of course one can expect more than a few news links.

By your logic, we should have been seeing more porn here then?
posted by walrus at 1:56 AM on November 8, 2002


A site search on 'porn' provides quite a few posts on the topic. What's your point?

posted by mischief at 2:45 AM on November 8, 2002


I have been an almost daily reader here for over a year (and finally joined a month or so ago). During the time I've been reading, it seems like the amount of pissing and moaning (for the sheer sake of it!) has increased significantly. There also seem to be more FPPs being made by folks just for the sheer sake of it. Despite the above, I enjoy this site very much and would miss it if it were to go away.

My suggestions:
Think before you post - is there really value in what you have to say? Why are you posting - to see your name in lights, to fuel the flames or because you truly care about the subject being discussed?

If this site is that important to you, stop complaining about every little thing. Enjoy the nuggets and ignore the rest.

Matt, if there are posts here that you feel should be deleted, then just delete them and be done with it. If some people don't like it, then it's up to them as to whether they stay or not. Trying to keep everybody happy is impossible.

I sure hope that you can find a way to keep this site going. Either way, thanks for all of your efforts!
posted by garypratt at 4:24 AM on November 8, 2002


Yelling at Nothing (an appropriate name): But to suggest it be killed, when there are obviously plenty of those who still love it, just because you no longer like it is hideously selfish.

Sure it is. But that's part of the appeal of MeFi. Almost everyone at some point thought of MeFi as theirs, even though it was (and is) Matt's baby. We've all thought, "Gosh, this is a very powerful thing." I can be selfish with it, and so can you, and so can the person who just posted the 181st 9/11 link on the front page, and so can the person who saw something cool on b0ingb0ing and decided to post it here to receive a chorus of "Cool! Me Too!" comments.

And, Hijinx, if the site no longer amuses you, if "the magic is gone," then no one is requiring you to continue reading it.

I don't. I pop in every so often at best, and this thread piqued my interest. Assumptions are bad. And since MeFi is "everyone's", I have an equal say just as you do.

Miguel, I think this is the first time I've ever talked with you: How can only two people "get the web"?

I never said that. I said that I consider Matt and jack to be on a short list - the list isn't necessarily two people. (Truth be told, it's 18 people.) (Just kidding.)

The web sn't [sic] the recipe for Coke - it´s the Coke itself.

Sometimes I wonder if there's too much New Coke in the mix.

Not everything popular is good, and not everything good is popular.
posted by hijinx at 8:00 AM on November 8, 2002


A suggestion: Close the site for exactly one month.

Advertise the fact in advance so everyone knows what's going on. Then just 404 it.

Those people who value the site for what it is (or has been at its best) won't be too troubled and will come back. Those who are using the site to vent off will find somewhere else to get their fix.

At least, after a month's 'sabbatical' the quality of posts should improve considerably. And Matt gets a rest.
posted by grahamwell at 8:05 AM on November 8, 2002


Grahamwell: best idea yet.

Hijinx: okay, schooling accepted. But what was the point of you first post, exactly? It still seems to me like you want to kill MeFi because you no longer enjoy it.
posted by Yelling At Nothing at 10:46 AM on November 8, 2002


Thanks for responding. hijinx. Sorry about the mix-up. I still think it improbable that only those on a very short list get the web. There must be a lot of different ways of getting it, perhaps.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 4:34 PM on November 8, 2002


I still think it improbable that only those on a very short list get the web. There must be a lot of different ways of getting it, perhaps.

I get it with my cable-TV; it costs $49.95 (CAD) per month.
posted by timeistight at 5:00 PM on November 8, 2002


Kill Metafilter? Let's not be hasty!

My suggestion is pretty close to what some others have said: disable the comments without killing the whole site. Remember when Metafilter went on hiatus a while back? It'd be like that, but members would retain the ability to post to the front page. Hopefully, posts geared solely to discussion would then die painfully obvious deaths. Without the promise of discussion, hopefully the most obviously slanted posts would get weeded out too. And keeping the one-per-day rule (or cutting back even more, if need be) would help ensure that people really thought about what they were bringing to the site.

If Metafilter is supposed to be all about interesting links anyway, why not just make it all links until people get the idea?

Just got in and everybody wants it killed?! Man, this is just like when I make it to the grocery store 5 minutes before closing only to find them locking up already...
posted by tyro urge at 9:03 PM on November 8, 2002


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